You thought you’d write your blog and they (site visitors) would come.
Of course, you’re a savvy blog owner and you knew you’d need to do a bit more than that, but still your traffic has grown stagnant, you’re using good marketing tactics and you just don’t understand why.
Fortunately, there are some tricks you can use that will help you gain traffic naturally and give your site more exposure.
Tip #1: Guest posting is a two-way street
Guest posting goes both ways and each increases your traffic. You can post on other people’s blogs. This will bring traffic from that site’s visitors to your site when they click on your links or via your bio. On the other hand, allowing people to post on your blog can also bring traffic as they are sure to announce the guest spot to their lists.
Either way, you gain traffic to your blog and new site visitors.
Guest posting on other blogs
While guest blogging can be a good tactic to win new traffic, you don’t want to post just anywhere. Keep in mind that the site should relate to yours in some way, even via a loose connection.
For example, if your blog is about women’s clothing, then you probably don’t want to post on a blog about men’s shoe inserts. You might be able to stretch it into a relatable topic, but the audience won’t likely be the one you are seeking. Also, Google does look at backlinks and links from your site to outside sites. Make sure you are linking to quality sites. Avoid sites filled with spam or errors.
Don’t spam blog owners by sending out blanket form mails asking to post at their site. Instead, steady the site and see what types of articles are already there. Then, pitch a specific idea or two that you think would fit with the theme of the site. Use a spreadsheet to determine where to guest post and stay organized with follow-ups.
Bonus: If you are looking for places to publish your guest post, today is your lucky day. Here’s a list of 101 blogs to publish your guest post (spread sheet on Google Docs).
I am releasing the list for the first time and it is only for you – readers on Blogging Wizard. Have fun guest blogging! 🙂
Inviting guest posters to your blog
If you’ve already committed yourself to writing posts for blogs and you simply don’t have time to write any more, then you can invite others to post on your blog instead. You can also do this in conjunction with posting on other sites, sharing one another’s traffic and reach. Something that Adam Connell talks about here.
Use FollowerWonk to analyze how many followers are on social media. Simply go to FollowerWonk > Analyze Followers > Social Authority Scores of Followers. This information will help you determine if a guest poster is one you’d like to have on your site. The more followers, the more traffic you’ll likely get from that person.
There are many benefits to allowing guests to post on your blog. You’ll gain some great content with a voice different than your own. This can be a treat for your readers and keep them coming back to your site for more. You’ll get some additional social media exposure from the poster and his/her fans as well.
E-mail invitation template for guest poster to your site
Dear [Use the person’s full name if you can find it, but try to be as specific as possible.],
I spent some time looking at your blog and was very impressed with your article on _________. I thought your point about ____________ was well thought out and I agree that ________. I wanted to ask if you’d be willing to write a guest post about ____________ for my blog ____________. I can provide a link back to your site and a short bio at the end. [Only offer the link if you are willing to link to them.]
Thank you for your time.
Your Name Here
I’d recommend that you rewrite the above template in your own words – if everyone uses the same template, that won’t very good will it?
Tip #2: Create blog content readers crave
Another way to drive traffic to your blog is to offer content that readers can’t find anywhere else and truly want to read. To achieve this, you have to research ideas and then think about your target audience and what they’re looking for.
Visit other blogs for inspiration, but don’t copy what that writer writes about. Note: You are only looking for inspiration.
For example, if you read a blog post about having dinner with your family being important, it might inspire you to write about making a kitchen feel welcoming and cozy. It is a different topic, but was inspired by the initial article that you read. You may even want to reference the family dinner article in your piece with a link back as a sort of informal thank you to the original author for refilling your creative well inside your mind.
At the same time, think about your audience. If your current blog is about caring for elderly dogs, then your readership isn’t going to care about making a kitchen feel warm and welcoming. Well, some of them might, but that isn’t the topic they are looking for when they come to your website for info on elderly dogs.
Finding the right niche and filling the information gap
Think about holes in information on your chosen niche. If you are just starting off, put effort in brainstorming and picking the right niche for your blog.
Ever think “I wish someone would invent…”?
It’s how many successful businesses started.
The same goes to starting a successful blog. Be the solution your readers were looking for; and you’ll get yourself tons of loyal readers and repeat visitors.
Questions to ask yourself: Is there anything that is important to this topic that isn’t covered? Is there an expert you can interview? Is there a new product that readers would enjoy a review of? How can you help your readers with information?
Consider polling your readers and asking what type of articles they’d like to see. If it makes sense, cover the topics suggested and answer their questions.
Utilize tools to help you understand what readers want. Try the Content Strategy Tool, for starters. You’ll find out what the top searches are as well as which search topics are “rising” or trending.
Tip #3: Fully embrace the social media trio to maximize results
The big three when it comes to social media are Facebook, Twitter and Google. To see the biggest traffic results more quickly, you need to maintain a presence for each of these sites. Here are some general tips to help you maximize exposure on these sites, we will dig deeper into each platform in the later part of this article.
Stay updated to latest trends
Watch what is trending on these sites. What are people talking about? How can you cover those topics for your blog? If people are talking about Miley Cyrus latest video and your blog is about home restoration, can you make a play on words about “Wrecking Ball”? Look at what is current and run with it.
Social media tools
There are a number of social media management tools you can make use of. Tools like HootSuite can save you time as you can announce your posts at once or schedule the announcement in advance. You can also install plugins on a WordPress blog that will post to your Twitter and Facebook feeds automatically whenever you put up a new post.
Don’t just share words
Add a related image or even a Meme with a text link to your site on the image itself. Make the meme fun and timely and others will share it. Some will visit your site.
Remember the 80/20 rule
In the book Top Market Strategy author Elizabeth Rush Kruger writes,
“The 80/20 rule predicts that the top 20% of inputs generate 80% of the outputs, balanced by the bottom 80% of inputs generating 20% of the outputs.”
When it comes to social networking, focus on the sites that will reach 80% of the people. Don’t give up on smaller social networks like Quora, Pinterest, LinkedIn or SlideShare, but put the most effort into the big three.
At least while they are still the big three. If another site takes over and has more traffic or sends you more traffic, it is fine to shift the focus of your efforts as well.
Actionable tips on how to market your blog better on the big 3 social networks
- Tweet short – The shorter the tweet is, the higher chance it will get retweeted – optimum tweet length is 71 – 100 characters.
- Always ask for a retweet in your tweets – use words like ‘Pls RT’, ‘Please retweet’, etc.
- Tweet at the right time – Use TweetDeck or Buffer to schedule tweets; use Follower Wonk to determine when is the best time to send out tweets. Think about the times people will be online (in the evenings, weekends, etc.)
- Write shorter Facebook posts – According to a Track Social study (study no longer available on the web), the Facebook Response Score drops drastically once post length is more than 140 characters . Short and sweet is best.
- Use screenshots of your articles or relevant images in all Google+, Twitter, and Facebook shares.
- Create a business page for your site but also offer information on your personal homepage, so your family and friends can follow your blog, too.
- Participate in the Google+ community and develop yourself into an authority within your industry.
- Numbered Posts and Top 5, Top 10 work well – I have found from personal experience that Google+ posts with numbers often get better responses. Instead of writing about “Golf Gadgets for Christmas” write about “Top 5 Golf Gadgets for Christmas”.
- Focus closely on Google+’s Tagline and Introduction. This will affect how your Google+ account appears in Google+ profile search and the normal web search.
- Add contributor links for your blog and other blogs you write for and add the Google+ tag when possible in your blog posts.
Each year, the Internet changes and morphs into something new. Five or six years ago, Pinterest was unheard of and no one knew about Instagram.
According to Social Media Today, Pinterest is now one of the fastest growing social networks with a whopping 15% of users on the site. It now trails directly behind Twitter, which has 16%.
While it still is not quite as active as the big three, that could change quickly.
Stay on top of new sites as they emerge, new ways to reach readers and you will continue to drive traffic to your blog month after month and year after year.