Running a blog is a fantastic way of expressing your thoughts and ideas, as well as educating or entertaining other people. Nowadays, building a blog is extremely easy, so many people decide to take it up as a hobby.
However, if they’re enthusiastic and ambitious, this hobby can easily turn into a very lucrative business. Still, being hardworking and passionate about something isn’t enough to skyrocket your blog and make it popular.
Of course, high-quality content is a must, but what’s the use if no one is reading it. The trick lies in driving traffic to your site and growing your audience, which isn’t as complicated as it sounds.
Luckily, there are some simple steps that you can take to boost your blog exposure and visibility.
Define your audience
It’s very important to know who you are writing to and understand your audience’s online behavior. That’s why it’s an innovative idea to target your content to those who are most likely to share it because that’s the best way to boost the visibility of your content and expand your reach beyond those who visit your site and your existing social media following.
In other words, try to create shareable content, and bear in mind that infographics are all the rage on the internet, and that video dominates social media. But, what will motivate people to share your content and promote it?
The New York Times conducted a study “Insights – The Psychology of Sharing” in an attempt to get to the bottom of this social media phenomenon. According to this study, there are 5 basic motivations for sharing content:
- Bringing useful and relevant information to others (94%);
- Defining oneself to others (68%)
- Developing and nurturing relationships with other people (78%);
- Achieving self-fulfillment and the sense of involvement (69%);
- Supporting certain causes (84%).
Apart from this, people mostly engage with amusing, informative, and awe-inspiring content, and those are the common ingredients of every viral social media post.
Take advantage of SEO
So, you’ve created some great, relevant, and powerful content that your readers will greatly benefit from, but still, you don’t have a large influx of traffic. The problem might be in the lack of proper search engine optimization or SEO.
If you want your content to reach your target audience, you need to strategically enrich it with relevant keywords. Before doing that, it’s important to investigate thoroughly what search phrases of words your target audience uses to find the content they’re interested in.
Your competitors can be a reliable source of information on relevant keywords, but you should also use some practical tools such as Google Keyword Planner. You can place keywords anywhere – in your titles, subtitles, tags, or meta description.
Long-tail keywords can be easily and naturally integrated within your text, but you should be careful not to oversaturate your content with them.
Keyword stuffing is a practice frowned upon by Google, and it results in severe penalties, meaning that your website will be buried in search results.
Optimize for mobile devices and loading speed
According to Cisco, mobile data traffic increased by 63% in 2016. This, practically, means that more and more people use their mobile devices to surf the internet, read their emails, or even watch videos.
So, if you want to capitalize on this trend, your website must be optimized for mobile. We live in an age where 2.5 exabytes of data are produced on a daily basis, which means that your readers have access to an abundance of all kinds of content.
That is why you must optimize your website for mobile devices if you want to keep them. Another crucial factor for attracting audiences is the page loading time. Even back in 2009, when Forrester conducted a research study for Akamai, if a web page took longer than 2 seconds to load, visitors would become impatient and abandon it.
So, you can imagine what this sluggishness could mean for your traffic today, which is why you should think about using a content delivery network.
Interact with your readers
By interacting with your readers, you show them that their opinions matter and that you respect them. Apart from answering their questions and engaging in conversations with them, you can gain valuable insight into what they like or don’t like, and get a hint about what direction your blog should take.
Writing follow-up articles to your popular posts is another clever idea, and you can also mention members of your audience who commented on the original article.
People love when they’re being appreciated and recognized, so make sure to give them credit from time to time. To collect more detailed data, you can use relevant paid surveys, and create a win-win scenario for all involved parties. You’ll get the information you need, while your readers will make some money online.
Content that is truly helpful and useful to readers is more likely to be successful. As you know, people turn to the internet and its countless communities to find solutions to their problems, so no wonder that how-tos and all kinds of tutorials are among the most popular searches on Google.
Moreover, if your content can help people resolve their issues, they’ll be bound to share it. There are lots of growing Q&A websites, such as Quora, where you can give your contribution, by answering some questions and drawing attention as well as driving traffic to your blog.
What you should do is identify the hottest and most recent questions, and share your expertise on the subject. This is also beneficial for establishing yourself as an authority in your niche and build credibility.
Becoming a contributor to the likes of Forbes, HubSpot, Huffington Post, or some other respectable online magazine, is a surefire way of catapulting your traffic and boosting your blog exposure.
It’s hard to secure a spot in the guest post sections of these publications, but it’s not impossible. If your articles are of high quality, you should give this idea a shot and if you’re lucky, your content, as well as bio and URL, will reach wider international audiences.
This could be a game-changer and a turning point in your blogging career.
Quality content is essential for the success of your blog, but promotion is an equally key factor. These marketing tactics can help you expand your reach and drive traffic to your blog.
Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at BizzMark Blog.