One of the main struggles that we all bloggers have comes down to traffic.
As simple as getting people to read your latest post might seem, the truth is most blogs simply fail to get the traffic they hoped for. That in terms results in low engagement if any, not much social sharing and most importantly no earnings.
Getting traffic actually isn’t enough.
That’s really the first step…
Building an audience for your blog basically comes down to three stages:
- Getting people to take a first look at your content
- Finding a way to make that first look one of many
- …And coming up with an effective call to action that people act upon.
The nine ideas that I will be covering in today’s post are all about those three components. Some are easy to implement, others would need a little more effort on your end, but I believe all of them are worth a shot!
So let’s get started:
1. Don’t Simply “Fly Over” Your Topics
Not long ago I wrote an article titled “Not Every Article You Publish Has to be Exceptional“. In the post I talked about the differences and the similarities between quality content and consistency and why the latter can play a more important role in the long term.
What I meant was that you can’t always come up with a awesome content and still you might be better off publishing what you’ve got!
And having said that I still do believe that there is a certain criteria that you have to meet if you want a solid reader-base!
Unfortunately if you do some digging, you are sure to find thousands of badly written blogging, social media and marketing-related articles. Their biggest problem is that they simply tell the reader that doing something is good.
They never care to shed light on why the reader should consider that something or what the action steps to achieving it are. Without the argumentation, without the examples and without the small details, you are just “flying over” the topic.
2. Ramp up Your Posting Frequency
As I’ve said in other articles of mine, the frequency of your posting schedule is decisive as to how much traffic you are going to get…
RSS feeds, mailing lists and Triberr (more on it in a separate paragraph) are three ways to spread the word about your latest blog posts. But then again, those work only when you have new content. So basically the more you publish, the more often people will get notified about your updates and hence more traffic for you.
And although some topics remain relevant for years, people prefer sharing an article, published a day ago, than one that’s collecting dust for months.
3. Have a Mobile Friendly Design
Nowadays smartphones are part of our daily lives. With their processors becoming ever more sophisticated and the screen sizes growing, they are great for browsing.
Actually almost 30% of the visits to my blog come from a mobile device. And thirty percent is really a number not to be underestimated.
Providing consistent user-experience for both PC and mobile users is not an easy task.
Probably the best thing to do is to find a suitable responsive design theme for your blog. There is a big variety especially when it comes to the WordPress platform. With a bit of research you can probably get your hands on a good free theme that does the job.
Additionally you can choose a premium theme like the Genesis Framework, which I am using. Genesis offers child themes, which are designed to make the most out of mobile browsing.
If you are the DIY kind of guy, you might want to do a bit of tweaking yourself. If you have basic CSS knowledge you can use media queries to change how your design looks on different resolution and thus make it a little more mobile-friendly.
4. Start Using Infographics
We marketers mostly use social media as a medium where we share our content. But on a side note, social media is not run by marketers but by ordinary people who like to discover new things. And the reality is that people would prefer to have the information visualized for them.
Reading is boring – images often times convey information much better.
So one way to combine both are the infographics. It’s no wonder they are so popular nowadays – people love to read and share them.
I didn’t think publishing an infographic on my blog would be a good idea until I did it and saw the results. There was a ton of sharing and as a result I got lots of additional traffic.
All in all using an infographic is a good way to get some bonus exposure. Unlike a traditional blog post, in just 15-20 minutes you are ready to hit “Publish” and enjoy a steady flow of traffic.
5. Follow the Three Updates Rule
The rule is quite simple actually. You have to post three updates minimum on Google Plus, Facebook and LinkedIn every day with the exception of weekends.
Unlike search engines where you have to work hard to spin the wheel i.e. build links and then the traffic you get is pretty much passive, when it comes to social media it’s a different story.
Basically if you want to get traffic, you have to work hard day in and day out. The moment you stop posting new updates is when traffic numbers drop significantly.
That is the reason why I always try to keep my Facebook page, Google and LinkedIn profiles updated.
The content you share there doesn’t have to be self-promotion and nothing else. You just have to keep your stream alive, as that allows for new people visiting your profile pages and hopefully checking out your blog.
6. Expand Your Social Presence with Triberr
I will say that as many times as I have to – if you have a blog and haven’t tried Triberr, you should sign-up as soon as possible!
Triberr is the platform if you really want to multiply your social media reach and traffic.
What Triberr does is it lets you connect with other bloggers in your niche and create tribes. Once you are in a tribe, you connect your blog’s RSS feed and whenever you have a new blog post, the post is submitted to Triberr, where people from your tribe can see it and decide to share it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon.
The fact is that Triberr is responsible for at least thirty percent of the retweets that my articles receive. And although your posts might not get THAT much retweets, with a bit of networking, you can still guarantee yourself 20-30 additional retweets.
If you are running a WordPress-powered blog, make sure to install the Triberr plugin, which automates the whole submitting process.
Additionally you can check out my Triberr review for more information!
7. Don’t Neglect the Importance of Hashtags
It turns out clean tweets don’t get as much clicks as when you add some hashtags to them. I once didn’t like using them, since they made the message seem a little spammy. However after some testing, I realized that this kind of mindset was wrong.
Twitter’s search engines rely heavily on hashtags to provide the results that people are looking for. That is why there’s really nothing bad in summing up the topic of the article you are tweeting about with a hashtag or two.
For instance an article can be a about marketing, but that doesn’t mean it should necessarily contain the word “marketing” in its title. And the title is what the tweet consists of.
So in that case if you don’t include the #Marketing hashtag, people searching for marketing-related content will miss on an interesting and relevant article.
For my tweets I mainly use broad terms.
Here are five of my most used hashtags:
8. Have a Subscription Form Above the Fold
Once you have readers in your list, you can share exclusive content and special offers that are essentially a great way for you to monetize your online presence.
Having the form above the fold means that once on your blog, people don’t have to scroll down in order to see it.
And although most of your soon-to-be subscribers will probably first want to read your content before deciding to share their email details with you, having the form easily noticeable will help them “memorize” its location.
Whereas if the subscription form isn’t reachable straight away, people might miss it while scrolling. After all sidebars are crowded with all kinds of widgets.
As you can see mine’s not only above the fold, but it is also the only widget on the right hand side of the screen, making it even more protruding.
9. Encourage Comments with CommentLuv
A lot can be said about the importance of comments. Although they might not seem directly related to how successful a blog is, they do play a role.
Accepting and encouraging comments is good for two reasons:
- Firstly it’s because you get to discover new people who are interested in what you have to say. Even if those people are not potential customers or buyers, if you simply take the time to reply back to them, check out their own work and promote it, you basically expand your reach. Those same folks will spread your word to a new audience. Blog comments are more personal than a simple retweet, which makes them a more valuable asset when it comes to building relationships.
- Secondly when readers see that your content receives reactions, they will think of it as trustworthier. The principle is the same as with “social proof” – it’s one thing seeing a marketer with 500 followers and it’s totally different seeing another marketer with 50,000. That should in theory mean the guy with lots of followers has something better to offer.
So CommentLuv is a very simple WordPress plugin that encourages comments by letting the ones commenting promote their own blogs. They simply connect their blog’s RSS feed and whenever they comment they have the option to include one of their latest posts to be displyed below their comment. It’s up to you to decide whether those links are dofollow or nofollow.
Those are I believe some of the more important concepts that you need to embrace in order to not only get more people to visit your blog, but to also lower bounce rates, improve “time on site” figures and as a result increase conversion rates. Hope you enjoyed the post guys.
Now it’s your turn!
What do you think is the most valuable advice for getting, keeping and converting traffic? Let me hear what you think!