If you are thinking about launching a blog, or if you’ve been blogging for awhile, understanding how to effectively promote your blog can be critical to your success.
Blogs are digital assets that acquire value over time. If your goal is to attract and cultivate leads from your target markets with your blog, you must first focus on growing your visibility; or attracting blog traffic.
If you’re not blogging and you are relying on a static website to grow your online visibility, you are missing a tremendous opportunity to grow your business over time. (More on why you should launch a blog now to serve as the base of your social media strategy)
If you want your blog to be successful and sustainable for the long run, you will need to focus on two key principles:
- You must produce great content (content that is relevant to your target audience)
- You must place that content in front of the right people
Note that combining quality, relevant blog content with a strategic promotional strategy is what will lead to success. Just because you are producing great content doesn’t mean that your target audience is seeing that content. You must adhere to both principles in order to grow your online influence systematically.
Below are 10 tips that will help you stick to the two key principles for boosting traffic to your blog
1. Optimize Your Posts for Search Engine Traffic
There is a reason why search engine traffic is so coveted. More than any other form of referral traffic, it can provide you with a consistent stream of qualified visitors to your blog. And that is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be an important part of your content strategy.
Fortunately, it does not have to be a complicated part of your content strategy. We published a 5 Step Onsite Optimization Checklist recently, and those 5 steps are all that you need to take in order to prep your site effectively for SEO. While there are additional steps that you can take, we believe in focusing on core optimization techniques that can provide the best value for your efforts.
2. Write Great Posts
Great content forms the bedrock of any successful blog. While a blog with adequate content that is marketed effectively can achieve success, the positive effects of any marketing that you do are heavily affected by the quality of your content.
Fortunately, we have you covered on this front, with our three part series on writing stellar blog posts:
- How to Write Stellar Blog Posts, Every Time [Part I]
- How to Write Stellar Blog Posts, Every Time [Part II]
- How to Write Stellar Blog Posts, Every Time [Part III]
3. Write More Posts
As long as you are writing quality content, more is always better. Every single post you write represents another opportunity for a ranking in the search engines, social media exposure, and links from other blogs. There is no such thing as a blog with too much content – that much is clear by the sheer volume of posts that are churned out by the likes of Mashable and the Huffington Post.
Although it is not feasible for busy professionals to post as much content as the leading online media blogs, it is still important to contribute to your blog frequently and consistently. Also, you should never sacrifice quality for frequency.
I am of the opinion that any concerted blogging effort should result in at least one published post per week. There are certainly examples of highly successful blogs that post less often than this, but the more often you blog, the quicker you will grow.
4. Write Something Controversial
When it comes to making a name for yourself, there is nothing quite like writing a post that polarizes opinion.
I am not recommending that you write something for the sake of being controversial, but if you have an opinion on something, don’t be afraid to voice it. More than likely, you are passionate about your point of view and you’ve come to believe in what you do based on your own life experiences. Share your point of view. Dare to be different.
5. Write a Round-Up Post
Another great way of attracting attention is to feature a selection of people and/or websites in a post. The key here is to create a valuable resource where you have curated a hand-picked selection of links or topics. Once you have published the post you will want to reach out to each of the people you have mentioned, and politely ask them to share or feature your post.
Some (if not most) of the people you mention will be grateful, and will only be too happy to spread the word. This is a highly effective way of tapping into the audiences of your peers.
6. Write Guest Posts
Guest posting is one of the most effective forms of blog promotion, because it offers so many benefits:
- It drives traffic to your site
- It increases your reputation as an authority in your niche
- It establishes or boosts the relationship you have with the blogger you are guest posting for
- It creates another link back to your site (thus boosting your authority in the eyes of search engines)
- It gives you the opportunity to engage with a third party’s audience via comments
If you have not tried guest posting yet, you should give it some real thought. We will be covering guest posting in more detail in a future article.
Unless you are operating in a tightly focused market, there are likely to be plenty of other bloggers out there with audiences that may be interested in what your business has to offer. You should reach out to these bloggers and look to establish mutually beneficial relationships. Always start with how you can help them first, and the positive returns will flow in time.
One of the most important aspects of blogging that perhaps runs contrary to the principles of business is that you should look to collaborate, rather than compete. Networking is collaboration in practice.
8. Tap into Alternative Mediums
Although your blog starts with zero visitors, there are ready-made platforms available for you to exploit should you wish to do so.
If you feel that your particular market could benefit from video or audio content, you should look to utilize those mediums. YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, and the popularity of iTunes (and by extension, the podcasts that it hosts) is truly astonishing.
Re-purpose existing blog content for these alternative mediums to expand your visibility and boost your blog traffic.
9. Build a Social Media Presence
Many financial advisors are skeptical about the idea of engaging with social media. It is often viewed as time consuming and not value-added for business. This is far from the truth. Social media provides you with an opportunity to build a loyal community around your thought leadership. With just 15-20 minutes of time invested per day, you can build up a sizable following of potential clients and brand evangelists over time.
At the heart of any social media strategy, you should simply focus on providing valuable content that is of interest to your target audience. Follow these 3 Simple Rules of Social Media Participation to get started on the right foot.
10. Be Patient
Blogging is not going to produce instant results. It is a digital asset that accumulates value over time. What it does offer is an opportunity to build a foundation of influence that can ultimately attract your target clientele and grow your business in a meaningful way. Many professionals who launch a blog with the best of intentions give up after 6 months, which many times can be the tipping point for gaining traction!
The benefits of blogging gradually snowball and become apparent over time. The key in executing all of the above tips is in doing so consistently, and over a prolonged period of time. If you are not sure that you can commit to producing quality content consistently and then promote your blog following the above 10 tips, it is probably best not to launch one in the first place!
If you are currently blogging but you are not consistently growing your blog traffic, you need to take a closer look at either the relevancy and quality of your content, or your promotional activities.
Creative Commons image courtesy of Nrbelex