So you’ve started a blog. Fantastic! Let’s dive right in and talk about how to drive traffic to your blog so you can start seeing returns on your time investment.
First things first…
Don’t Give Up
Blogging is hard. Content creation is hard. It takes consistency and persistence, and often times the difference between success and failure is simply not stopping. Don’t give up.
The above analytics is from a personal blog we manage, and it’s clear to see that it takes a while for things to get going. This blogger spends 3-5 hours a day blogging, hit a couple of rough patches in 2016, and approached us to help monitor her analytics and optimize for SEO. Now, more than two years into blogging, with a little heavy lifting behind the scenes, things have finally gotten going. Don’t give up. She got some solid backlinks, some good guest posting gigs, and a few posts that took off in her sphere. Don’t give up.
There are opportunities for new bloggers to hit the scene every day, but coming up with content ideas, gathering photos, brainstorming topics, and growing a following takes a ton of time. Simply put, lots of people just don’t make it past a couple months (or less) of trudging along. Don’t give up.
2. Share in communities where your audience hangs out
Buyer personas, market research, surveys, all this stuff is basic data mining to find out where a target audience is likely to be reached. Luckily finding out where your audience hangs out online isn’t that tough. In fact, you probably have a pretty good idea of the forums, social media platforms, websites, and other blogs your people are interested in without having to do any research. Because chances are, if you’re spending a decent amount of time blogging about a topic, you’re spending time there too.
If you need a little direction, you can use a simple Google search or use Google’s Display Planner to determine where your audience is participating and engage with them there.
There’s no use in attempting to reach an audience on Facebook when they’re really hanging out on Reddit. Participate in the community your audience is in, and be sure to follow the etiquette and rules of the appropriate social platform, whether it’s leaving comments, liking, or sharing content. Don’t be a troll, but earn trust by participating as a credible and kind member of the community.
3. Promote toward users likely to share
This idea comes directly from a post written by Moz in 2014. Even though the world of SEO and content is ever changing, this tenet is an industry standard that is evergreen. The idea is to determine groups within your existing audience who are heavy content sharers and are most active in social sites. If you promote your blog to these users, you’re much more likely to gain shares, engagement, and ultimately traffic and conversions.
4. Create and repurpose evergreen content
Search Engine Journal defines evergreen content as something that “will always be helpful to industry [newbies], and the topic itself will continue to provide enduring value to the blog’s audience over time.” When you create evergreen blog posts, they can generate you traffic for years to come after their original publish date.
Republishing evergreen posts is far easier than generating something entirely new, though you should always rework some of it, and be sure to update the copy if necessary. For example, your original post headline could be: 35 Blogging Tips To Woo Readers and Win Business. And your fresh headline reads: 37 Fresh Blogging Tips To Woo Your Readers Right Now. Get the picture?
Once you publish your repurposed post, be sure to promote it to your email list and social channels.
5. Use long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are great because they identify searcher intent, therefore, if you use long-tail keywords, you’re likely to target users who are actively looking for whatever you’re offering. For example, if someone searches “digital marketing companies albuquerque” we know they are looking for a company, and are likely ready or near ready to make a buying decision. If someone isn’t interested in buying, then we don’t want to waste time targeting them – that user isn’t going to give us what we want. Check out this helpful strategy from Neil Patel on how to dominate on long-tail keywords
Consistency is key. You won’t see overnight results, but I promise if you keep at it with these tactics, you’ll gradually see the traffic come in. Continue your process, figure out what works with your audience, keep them in a steady sales funnel, and you’ll see the ROI in time.
Did I say don’t give up?