I don’t know about you but my threshold for BS is low; I’m talking earthworm eye level low. And I’ve had it up to here with all these tips, techniques and tricks – yeah, the “experts” come right out and use the word tricks – on how to get more visitors to your blog. It’s sickening actually. So allow me to pull back the curtain and reveal the wizard.
It’s not much of a surprise: if there’s a way to exploit people’s ignorance, someone will give it a go. My clients are consistently shocked with how much I’m able to do for them because I don’t hype my extensive experience in social media marketing and SEO. That is why I always recommend they get a second and third opinion before dishing out hundreds and thousands of dollars to anyone claiming to be “an expert.”
The big secret to get more visitors to your blog is: The Golden Rule. Does anyone remember that old thing? Basically, you treat others how you would want to be treated in the same situation. So how does that apply to blog traffic? Simple, really.
Why do you visit a particular blog? Is it because of their fancy design? Or their page ranking? Or the amount of back links? I daresay nope.
Chances are you visit a blog because its author wrote a post (or comment) that grabbed your attention. Maybe a catchy headline piqued your interest. Or maybe the author discussed a topic for which you’d been searching. Perhaps you felt a personal connection with the author. And once you were on their blog, you liked what you saw and stayed a while. The point being, the content was valuable to you; it fit your immediate needs.
How do you know if your content is valuable?
It is something you want to read when you take off your “Writer” hat.
Quick tips for valuable content:
- Identify your audience. The audience depends your blog’s niche and purpose.
- Be your audience. Put yourself in their mind. What information would you enjoy reading? Is your topic something that’s been written to death? Don’t guess, do a search to find out. If so, do you have a unique viewpoint to give it a fresh feel? Will you write the post to inform, inspire, or incite your audience?
- Give the post an accurate title with a fun twist. Your title should incorporate keywords and describe the post’s content but by all means give it some oopmh.
- Select keywords (a.k.a. tags and categories) to attach to your post. Tags and categories make it easier for your audience to find exactly what they’re looking for. Think like a reader when you pick keywords.
- Publish posts on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean you have to publish every day or even every week. But a blog that’s updated frequently will attract more loyal readers. Readers want to connect and, if they can’t depend on that connection, they’ll look elsewhere.
You get the idea: Treat your blog’s visitors and readers how you’d want to be treated.
- Don’t force yourself to write a post; write because you want to and are excited about it.
- Don’t trick visitors with a headline that’s irrelevant to your post’s topic and/or content.
- Don’t stuff the post with unrelated keywords.
- Don’t stuff the post with keywords solely for the purpose of increasing traffic.
- Don’t write 500 words in one long continuous paragraph with no line breaks or formatting. And for pete’s sake, spell check!
- Don’t include oversized images or other large files. Link to them instead.
- Don’t rehash a topic that’s been done over and over and over.
- Don’t publish a post if it’s going to get buried underneath tons of affiliate ads. This is a personal pet peeve; it’s too overwhelming to find the content in between all those ads, so I just give up and look elsewhere. Keep the ads in the sidebar.
Remember, the first and most important step for how to get more visitors to your blog is to always write from a place built on The Golden Rule. Don’t forget your audience’s needs are first and foremost.
Think you have solid content? Then your next step would be networking and I’ll offer my two cents on that topic next week.
One caveat to the above suggestions is the blogger who journals. In your circumstance gaining readers is a little trickier because it’s more about making “friends” than attracting readers. It’s not impossible, and it might even be easier, but it most definitely means you must excel at networking.
Author’s Note: I was inspired to write this series of posts because I’m sick of seeing what I love about blogs (and other social media) being exploited; therefore, I wanted to remind people (those who care about keepin’ it real) that you don’t have to be “an expert” or tech genius to get your blog in front of its intended audience. Hopefully, these posts will help bloggers connect with that audience.
Photo credit:Shannah Pace