Tips to Draw Visitors to Your Blog
Setting up a blog is but one step in the process; hoping that search engines will find your sparkling content and bring in visitors is a doomed-to-fail strategy. Research by the Content Marketing Institute shows that those without a written content marketing strategy plan will seriously jeopardize your chances of success: written plan, 60% chance, verbal only 32% and no plan at all hardly makes 7%.
Five steps to bringing in visitors like kids following the Pied Piper:
1. Creation of an actionable content marketing strategy and roadmap:
A written and frequently reviewed plan, with action points and responsibilities, is an absolute must. Review similar blogs, figure out what they do well or not, and learn from them. Identification of a problem constitutes 90% of the solution.
A great content marketing strategy will include the following items:
- Mission – what do you want to achieve? To inform, advocate, generate leads, drive traffic to your other offerings?
- Unique Selling Proposition – How do you add value? What is different in your offer? How will you differentiate yourself?
- Target Audience – whom are you trying to reach (be as specific as you can: demographics, education, special interests, workstreams, what are their needs?). This is a crucial component, you want the right people to visit.
- The frequency of Blog Posts – will you post monthly, weekly, several times a week? What will be the optimum frequency of posts for your target audience?
- Amplification of content – how do you plan to spread your blog posts as far and wide as possible, what other channels will you use? What apps will you use to do so?
- Review of strategy – how frequently will you review your strategy? You can implement all of the most advanced content management tools possible yet not reach the audience you want, so it is imperative that you review constantly and take note of what works and what does not. Record a baseline for blog traffic and check it daily whilst implementing new strategies to determine the effect of your efforts. Use tools such as Google Analytics, Mixpanel or Clicky.
Now build your roadmap based on the strategy, with actions and responsibilities and use it daily for performance review and improvements.
2. Optimization of your blog’s content:
Ideally, you want to engage, convert and retain your readers, thus you first need to understand what encourages that behavior. Constant review of your feedback will elicit the type of content your readers engage with.
The Content Marketing Triangle, described by the Blog Marketing Academy, highlights Reach, Relevance and Connection as the fundamental components: Relevance is how well you meet your target audience needs. Socialize as much as you can with your targets – join social media groups, discussion groups, forums, other blogs, twitter accounts and google your topic to see how searchers frame their questions.
For example, if you want to add a blog to your ADHD website, find out what people are struggling with. Randomly posting interesting facts about ADHD or other special needs research will not keep the audience engaged. Be specific in offering solutions to their real problems.
Use Google Keyword Planner to optimize keywords in your content, and don’t forget to write compelling headlines – that is the ‘hook’ that trigger clicks! Another great hook is a stunning picture that is relevant to your content, visual people will click on a link with a great photograph or graphic.
Prune anything on your website/blog that does not sing vigorously.
3. Use social media to drive traffic:
Spend more time promoting your blog than what you did creating it. Learn how to create marketing funnels to effectively drive the right traffic to your door.
Use social media judiciously, do your research on their reach to your target audience. Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, QQ, Tumbler, QZone, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Taboola, Pinterest and Baidu are all popular social media sites with built-in audiences. You can buy ads, or grow your audience organically – join relevant groups, get involved and become the go-to person in the group for answers; great posts and answers are easily shared if it meets a need. Always provide Share buttons on your posts and a way to contact you. Enlist the help of influencers if possible. Use Quora and Reddit to launch your expertise reputation. Offer your content as guest posts to other blogs, websites, and web publishers.
4. Systematically drive traffic:
Once you have conquered Relevance and Reach you need to systematically strengthen Connection – this refers to readers bonding to your blog and brand. A strong Call-to-Action in your blog should drive Traffic Leverage. Set up an email list (give-aways often prompt sign up to e-mail lists), catch initial interest that wavered with retargeting lists. Automate follow up sequencing for email lists and push notifications and make use of relatively cheap advertising for retargeting. Use chatbots to drive engagement.
5. Repurpose content:
Generating large volumes of content for a blog can be extremely time consuming and not very cost-effective. Content can be repurposed in many ways, for example, posting the content of a blog to Slideshare or Medium, creating Tweets from key sentences, offering podcasts or videocasts, or creating Infographics and viral posts. Getting quotes from famous people will often lead to them posting it on their sites, thus exponentially multiplying your reach.
Starting a blog from scratch can be hard work, and many a frustrated blogger has given up after months of hard work and no noticeable traffic – others somehow magically hit a Critical Need spot and became famous almost overnight. For most businesses, though, planning and careful execution can turn a blog into a profitable marketing channel with virtually unlimited reach potential.
Dylan is a marketing consultant and blogger. He is interested in researching in the field of marketing psychology and artificial intelligence. Dylan is an expert writer in such topics, as marketing in a health company, company development, and blogging.