Blogging is becoming an increasingly competitive industry and in fact, a new blog pops up somewhere in the world every half second, which amounts to 172,800 new blogs being created every day. So, how do you ensure that your blog is found through the millions?
1. Have a Social Media Plan
A social media plan can be effectively created by following these 4 steps:
- Determine the objective – many people do not use social media adequately because their only goal is to increase their number of followers. However, social media is only effective if it results in increased engagement and a loyal following.
- Plan your content – having a content plan can allow you to organize your posts easier and build up your brand with ease.
- Distribute and promote content – having a social media presence is especially beneficial because it will allow you to advertise to your followers on platforms they are more engaged on compared to traditional media. Followers who communicate with you on various platforms tend to be more loyal compared to those who only engage with you on one channel, such as your blog.
- Measure success – refer to tip #6 (Install Analytics and Pay Attention to the Results).
Here are some different platforms to consider being active on:
Although Twitter’s growth has not been substantial recently, it still remains as one of the most common social media platforms to be present on. You can group together Twitter accounts you follow by using Tweetdeck (shown below) or HootSuite to manage the accounts you follow. Twitter is also a great way to include a shortened link to promote your blog posts.
Consider paying for advertisements on Twitter and targeting your ads based on gender, geography, interests, similarity to current followers etc. You can also target Twitter users that have installed other specific apps on their mobile device that may be related to the content you create, called “installed app targeting” to find potential new followers. Due to email segmenting in tip #3, you can also use this list of email addresses to pinpoint people who use that email on Twitter and advertise your blog and content to them.
Pinterest in a great way to supplement your blog. By creating a Pinterest profile, you can create “boards” with pictures and content from your blog. People can generally process pictures more quickly than words, so it is an amazing tool for sharing a large quantity of content at once. Since Pinterest has an overwhelmingly female audience, which is also true for most lifestyle blogs, it is an excellent place to find new readers. Be sure to include your blog URL as the source of your pins, as this can help drive traffic to your blog.
You can also pay for ad space on Pinterest through Promoted Pins (shown below) which is displayed on a Pinterest users home screen beside other pins. You can pay on a CPC basis (cost-per-click), which means you only pay when a user clicks through to your blog.
Having a YouTube channel is a great way to supplement your blog. Whether it be making “vlogs” on travel adventures or makeup tutorials or fashion hauls, the YouTube community is a popular way to gain loyal readers and subscribers.
Having a LinkedIn is very important for working professionals, and it can make it easier for major brands and followers to find you. Thus, you can market yourself on LinkedIn by gaining valuable connections and posting your blog posts to your LinkedIn page.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms especially for influential figures such as bloggers. You can create sponsored posts and target users that follow similar accounts to yours or the ones you follow.
You could also consider getting a social media management tool such as Sprout Social which makes it easier to schedule your posts to be sent through the various social media platforms as mentioned above. You can also track your follower demographics and other statistics, such as daily engagement, as shown below.
2. Analyze Your Content
A huge portion of a search engines measure of a website is determined by the quality of the website itself such as:
Good Grammar and Spelling
- This may be obvious but ensure you have no grammar or spelling errors as this will help increase your webpages quality, both to users as well as search engines.
Limited Ad Space
- Space dedicated to advertising on your blog should be kept at an acceptable level as a website with many ads are less valuable to your followers compared to a website with few ads.
- Websites that contain duplicated content receive a lower ranking by search engines. Therefore, focus on unique content that will increase your probability of your blog obtaining a favourable ranking.
- Regularly updating your blog is a good signal to search engines that you are an active webpage; thus, improving your blog’s ranking.
Quantity of Content
- Search engines find more valuable content on a website with large amounts of information compared to those with a finite amount of content (have at least 100 words on every page).
- SEO (search engine optimization) is relevant due to the fact that search engines are incapable of measuring the quality of every webpage precisely.
- RankBrain, which is used to determine the quality of a webpage, suggests that SEO capabilities should target creating quality content.
3. Build an Email List
Capturing email addresses through an easy “enter your email to receive updates” widget on your blog where people can input their emails (as shown below) is a great way to build up an email list. This will ensure that those interested in your content always receive updates on your latest posts. You can plan the timing of your emails using statistics that track what time people are most likely to open emails based on historic results. The best timing for people who follow bloggers may not be during business hours as this may get lost in business emails, but rather in the early evening.
You can give some incentives for signing up for an email list, such as holding an online contest, giveaway, or sending out exclusive content .
There are many differences in your followers so try to send out different emails to segments of customers based on the content you expect them to find useful.
You can segment based on:
- Past email response– your active followers should be sent more emails compared to less responsive followers.
- Location– followers in different geographic locations may find different posts valuable. For instance, if you post a winter outfit of the day and you live in Canada, people in Australia, where it is summer, may not find this content valuable or relevant.
- Onboarding emails– sending new followers a welcome email that might include a little introduction and an invitation to connect on social media will likely obtain a good response.
Subject lines are one of the most important parts of an email because it will ultimately determine whether the reader will click on your email. Subject lines should describe the content of an email while being accurate and informative. You can test out various subject lines on different segments to determine what gets the best response. Click here for some tips on how to write a great subject line.
4. Utilize Non-Traditional Channels of Communication
To optimize traditional social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook etc. refer back to tip #1. However, there are a number of platforms you may have never heard about or considered but are actually very useful. For instance, StumbleUpon allows you to find people with similar passions and interests. Sharing blog posts on this social network will give you the opportunity to get views from people who are interested in what you are writing about. Digg is a website where other users can evaluate your content. If your post receives a lot of likes, it will rise to the top of the list and receive more views. Reddit (shown below) is similar to Digg, however, instead users vote content “up” or “down”. In this example, it shows popular posts under the keyword travel. If you have a travel blog, this would be a great category to post under.
5. Affiliate Advertisements
Affiliate advertisements are a great way to monetize your blog. An advertiser can pay you to promote their products to your followers. There are three main types of ads: pay-per-click, pay-per-sale and pay-per-lead. However, you do not earn money unless your followers perform a certain activity such as clicking on a link or purchasing something. Start reaching out to brands to let them know that you would love to collaborate with them. These opportunities will not only help the company build their brand, but it will also help you grow your own personal brand.
6. Install Analytics and Pay Attention to the Results
Google Analytics (shown below) describes itself as a “freemium web analytics service” that tracks and reports on website traffic. Here are some of the many things you can do with Google Analytics:
- Track landing page quality
- Look under the Visitors Menu to see the location demographics of all your visitors; Target visitors in the locations that give you the most traffic
- Determine where people are making the most clicks on your blog through In-Page Analytics
- Find out which pages keep your visitors on your website the longest and which posts have the highest bounce rate by going to Site Content; this can help you identify which type of posts your visitors are interested in
- Set goals for your website whether it be to gain traffic, followers, comments, likes etc.
- Analyze site speed which lets you see the load time of your pages and how you can increase speed time
- Enable Site Search to include a search box on your blog which can help you analyze the exact keywords people are using to search on your site
7. Google Trends
One of the most important aspects of blogging is keyword research and determining what different terms and phrases your target audience is searching for. Google Trends is a free tool that allows you to track how often a particular search-term is entered into Google to see which topics are trending. This can help you determine which topics you want to talk about next on your blog post. You should also consider using Google Keyword Planner, a free tool which allows you to search for a keyword and obtain historical statistics on it. For instance, the keyword “contour” as shown below, is a makeup trend that has spiked in search results in 2016.
8. Google Similar Audiences
Google Similar Audiences (as shown below for someones current audience of digital marketers) is another free tool that evaluates data about your current followers and finds new audiences that have similar common interests. Google does this through tracking the browsing habits of “cookied” traffic over the last 30 days to your blog and finds people with similar cookie characteristics. It is a very useful, yet simple, way to drive traffic to your blog.
Click here for exactly how to use it.
We hope that through using some of these tips, you are able to increase traffic to your own blog. Because trust us, getting you to our blog was no simple task.