So you’ve created an awe inspiring blog post, some of the best content to hit your website yet, hit the publish button, and then waited for the traffic to start pouring in to read and engage with your brilliant creation which took 4.5 hours to write, edit and optimize. And then you waited. And waited……crickets chirping…..
Unfortunately, all you heard were -well, see above. Of course your mom visited the site and said it was AMAZING. She’s your #1 fan 🙂 But she’s also your… ONLY fan…
Why? Because you’re missing a critical piece of the blogging puzzle. Here’s the thing most of us, including myself when I was starting out -don’t understand. Your content in and of itself is only a small piece of the puzzle. Boom.
The fact is that without actively promoting your content, systematically, your blog is STILL going to be in nowheresville. Actually I take that back. Your work must be inspiring and must create great value otherwise even if it is promoted no one will read it. So the number 1 step is to of course create GREAT value. That being said…. * Content is only king if someone other than your mother can see it. *
And so, the formula of spending 80% of your day writing and 20% sharing and promoting to increase blog traffic must be given the big flip: It’s that same 80/20 rule turned on it’s head: You need to be spending 20% of your time creating great content and 80% of your time promoting it. Repeat that a few times in your head…or out loud.
I can hear the whiners now…. “But Suzen, it took me 2 entire days to create that blog post/write that article/create that video/create that sales page. I don’t have time to now go out and spend hours promoting it.” If that’s the case, forgive my tough love: you probably don’t have time to build a successful online…or offline business for that matter, because even if your business is brick and mortar, these days you need to incorporate online promotion in order to be noticed, and taken seriously. Perhaps not to the extent as strictly online businesses, but to a certain degree your brick and mortar store/office/restaurant/medical practice needs to have an online marketing strategy to keep you ahead of your competitors. This is what I’m talking about for all of you
Now, for all of you online marketers and bloggers, folks writing blogs, creating podcasts, videos, webinars, simulcasts, etc…… content created for free that is aimed at converting, and if you want to multiply the visitors to said content, which means multiplying visitors to your website, which means…well you know what it means, then you’ll want to save yourself some time and follow these steps (which I wish someone would have shared with me when I first started blogging…it would have saved me 2 full years of trial and error) :
The step by step formula I use to increase blog traffic:
Ok, that’s a fancy way of saying first things first; make sure to do these things during your blog writing process. The first 3 are internal:
1. When creating content, use a keyword planner
First things first. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen people make is creating content around subjects that are not being searched for. I mean, why bother? Just because you think people should be interested in motorized pie shell making ( wha?) does not mean people are searching for that. If your new product happens to be a motorized pie shell baking…kit….then you must start where people are already searching for pie shell baking…or ‘best pie shells’ or ‘best tips to create a great pie shell in 10 minutes or less’. Go where pie shell people are going to be going anyway, and then hook them on the motorized pie shell baking kit. You are going to have to create a buzz around your product starting with a topic, and aimed at the market that would be interested in your creation. But don’t take my word for it. Find the keywords, and keyword phrases, otherwise known as ‘ longtail keywords’ that are getting many hits per month, and use them and variations of them. My go-to keyword planner remains the free Google Adword planner. You will need a Google and a Google Adwords account to use it but that is easy enough to create if you don’t already have an account. Let me know if you need a keyword planning session. It’s pretty simple.
2. Use the free Yoast SEO WordPress Plug- In
Obviously this tip is for WordPress users. It’s a big one. Everyone should be using some sort of SEO plug-in to make sure they are optimizing their posts to the best of their ability. Since migrating to my new-ish site and installing Yoast it’s been easy-peasy to make sure I’m dotting all of my SEO I’s and crossing its’ T’s. And it’s been working- my ranking has increased…a lot. You’ll learn the basics about SEO as well, which is info every website owner should have. Hit Publish. Now what?
3. Internally link to relevant past blog posts or website pages.
Yours, not someone else’s, although there is a place for that as well. Note that I do that throughout this post. It promotes “stickiness” and shows your “greater value” as you’re giving your readers a much richer experience, not to mention the fact that Google will rank the post higher with more internal links, especially if the links are relevant key-word anchor text. Don’t over-do it though; that’s just obnoxious.
How I Promote My Blog or Content. Every time. No exceptions. In this order:
4. OnlyWire :
One of the best tools I’ve found to quickly share your posts, video’s, pages, whatever, across a plethera of big deal, high authority bookmarking sites like Diigo, Stumbled Upon, Digg Digg, Newsvine, Delicious, Blogger..and more, as well as your own social media platforms…all wrapped into one bundle. Once I write my blog the first thing I do is take that URL and plug it into Onlywire. Of course it will take some setting up as you’ll need to establish accounts with the bookmarking sites first (and whatever social media sites you want to get out to, if you haven’t already), but once that heavy lifting is done, it’s smooth sailing from there. Every update you make to your post-hit the onlywire button again to re-send, and there is no harm in re-posting it every few days as well. Onlywire has a scheduling feature as well so that you can pre-set your submissions, or submit via an RSS feed. WARNING, Will Robinson: as good as it is, as with any sharing tool remember that this is still only a tool. It can’t engage for you. I could if I chose to have Onlywire post to my Facebook groups and pages, as well as to my LinkedIn groups, but I don’t. Why? Because it’s spammy. So much more valuable to post something with a personal comment attached. And on the flip side it can’t respond to any comments or likes…it’s a tool. A cool tool but a tool only meant for making life easy. You’ll still need to get into your social media sites and engage so as not to be perceived as the spamming blogger. So use it carefully and make sure that it’s not totally substituting for your presence.
5. Email it to your list:
You must, for so many reasons that are too long for me to get into here but anyone who follows me knows them by heart. I use AWeber– it’s simple, cheap (free actually up until a list of 500 I believe), quick, you can schedule it and walk away and I will clock you one if you neglect to do it.
A great site for blog-sharing, commenting and seeing other friends feeds, with big SEO value. Non-discriminatory anyone can set up their “feed” and share with their online friends.
Scoop.it is my one-stop shop for getting fresh new traffic to EVERY blog post. A content aggregator, besides being fun to use, It has done amazing things for my page rank. Scoop.it is content curation at it’s best. With thousands of different topics and curators who collect their favorite content from around the web. And the best part is, you can suggest your favorite blogpost with the click of a button. You’ll see a link at the top of each Scoop.it pages that allows you to submit a suggested link. It takes all of 10 seconds to suggest your link. If the creator of that page decides to share your link, it gets published and any followers of that page also get notified (instant backlink and high-quality traffic). I recommend submitting your content to at least 10 Scoop.it pages for each new blog post you publish. There is also an option of adding a Scoop-it page to your site AS your blog, or as an ongoing news-feed. I’m looking into the possibility of doing it on my site now and will let you know you it works out. It could be a real no brainer solution for lazy tired folks who don’t like to blog or who simply have no time. Plus it’s constant fresh content. Great for SEO. So stay tuned.
8. Facebook groups and Facebook Sponsored Stories
Let’s focus on Facebook sponsored stories for a minute. Although not free, promoting your post through a sponsored story will enable your blog to get out to friends of friends. Targeting on Facebook has become much simpler and easier, and can be done without buying expensive ads. For more in depth info on how to laser focus your Facebook marketing check out Facebook Guru Amy Porterfield – I highly suggest taking one of her webinars; many are free. I’m in a number of Facebook groups that attract people who also might be interested in my content. And orgs that I’m a part of with like- minded tribe members. I always make sure to first ask nicely, and then once (and if) permission is granted, post my blog there, with an image and a nice note directed at the particular group. And then I pay attention and engage with people who comment or like. Cause you must.
9. Pingler.com and/or Ping-Omatic.com:
2 good sites for Pinging; yes pinging. What, you might ask is pinging? Not ping- ponging, pinging. When you ping your website is sending out a notification to other authority sites that there is fresh content at hand. Your website may does it automatically but I also do it manually to these 2 sites because Ana Hoffman wrote about it once and it’s worked beautifully for me.
10. Repurpose your content.
So many easy ways, but be mindful in re-purposing. One of Google’s latest updates has made it difficult to copy and paste content. It’s called ‘duplicate content‘. There are work arounds- Read this. A great advantage to formulating your content is that you are creating a reference library, to be pulled down off the shelf, dusted off, updated when necessary and then thrown back out there for the world to see without having to start from scratch. The age old marketing 101 theory of placing your “stuff” in front of your audience multiple times in multiple formats, or with a new call-to-action still holds true. People need to see things multiple times before it sinks in.
So, cut yourself a break and re-purpose your content in a different format. That’s called branding.
These traffic strategies are my inside secrets of what has worked best for me so far. I use them on each and every blog post, video or article that I write. Things change, best practices morph, there are a ton more techniques that help build traffic as well, many of which i cover on an ongoing basis, but for now, right this minute, these are the ones that work best for me. Try them out and let me know what works and what doesn’t. I know it seems like a lot– hire an intern! I have an awesome one who is eager to learn these techniques and see how my page rank and Alexa rank improves at each blog post. She will get a nice Christmas bonus if we keep going as we are now!
Keep your eye on the big picture here– that once folks have clicked the link to your blog to read your post from any of these outside sources, they are now on your site. What you have for them there, after reading your awesome post is KEY to conversion. That’s for next time.
Remember the even bigger picture: provide massive value to your community – and it will deliver massive value back 🙂 Did you get massive value here? Learn something new? Let me know in the comments below and share, share share the wealth. It makes you look good.