You work hard on your blog post, and you want to see results. You’vebeen heeding the advice of experts, and you’re proud of the work you’veaccomplished.
Fast forward to several months later…
You’re still writing blog post after blog post, and you’re puttingyour heart and soul into every word that goes on that page. Yet, you’regetting no comments, nobody is visiting your site, and you’re beginningto entertain notions of giving up.
I’ve been there, and I’ve learned through years of tough labor, experimentation, and dumb luck what works and what doesn’t.
The reality of the situation is that nothing is going to happen ifyou simply write stellar content and put it on the web. You need to domuch more with your content these days. In order to get your work outthere, you’re going to need to do some heavy lifting with those fingersof yours. Yes, you’re going to have to connect with the right people tosee your numbers rise.
The Internet is a constantly running vacuum. If you’re ideas aren’t a substantial piece of furniture in the ecosphere, you’re going to getsucked up in the noise never to be heard from again.
So, how do you become more than debris that’s just waiting to getthrown out with the rest of the trash? What techniques really work? Howdo you promote your blog post?
I’m about to do something that many people would consider remarkable. In less than 2,000 words, I’m going to tell you the exact steps youneed to take to pull yourself up, get some recognition and start getting that blog traffic that you crave. Follow the advice in this column, and you’re certain to see substantial growth on your blog.
The Content Does Matter
Before anybody is going to take you seriously, you must first creategreat content. Did the opening of this blog post resonate with you? Ordo you think you could do better when it comes to creating your content?
It takes much more than 30 minutes to write a fantastic blog post that people are going to read. Think of it this way:
Would you want to read something that someone put no effort orthought into? Don’t you skip when you come across a website with content that’s obviously poorly organized and hastily written?
Nobody wants to read subpar content that can be found on a millionother sites. Here’s a secret that you probably already know. Manybloggers spend hours writing a single blog post. It’s not that theycan’t churn out a fantastic post in 20 minutes. Many bloggers canprobably write a complete post in less than 30 minutes.
No, bloggers spend hours on their post because they care about theirreaders and they want to make sure they are offering truly usefulinformation that brings in loyal readers. They don’t want casualreaders, they want the kind of readers who eagerly await the next blogpost, and soak up each word.
You need to realize that your readers value their time; and, ifyou’re writing substandard articles, it shows you’re not valuing theirs.
So what is good content?
That’s a question you’re going to have to figure out for yourself.But, basically, great content is content that provides so much usefulinformation that it places you as an expert in that particular topic.
- Great content gets to the point without meandering.
- Great content has a purpose, and your readers are able to learn something new from it.
- Great content is content that people want to share.
- Great content is content that makes your competitors stop and take notice.
One caveat though: If you do manage to create groundbreaking content, you need to watch out because others will want to copy your content.It’s a blessing and a curse since when people copy your content it shows your ideas are valuable, but it also means that you’re creating yourown competition.
Which brings me to another point…
Avoid writing more than two to three sentences per paragraph. Makeeach sentence easy to digest, and keep in mind that the average Internet user has a short patience for large walls of text.
In a newspaper or magazine article, it’s okay to write severalsentences per paragraph. The reader can change their reading position,put the paper down, or come back to it later and the page is still there waiting to be read.
Do you know what happens when someone takes a break from your article?
That’s right. They close the browser never to hear from you again.For this reason, it’s important to write in a way that they can easilyfollow and understand. Plus, short sentences and paragraphs just lookbetter on a computer screen.
Use a Content Aggregator Site
You would be shocked to find out how much content is being writtenevery day. There are people hired by the thousands to write blog posts,product descriptions, and content of every kind under the sun. It’severywhere, and unless you have a way to get your content out in frontof people, you’re going to have a very hard time getting through thenoise.
Imagine you had a page of code with one million words in front ofyou. Now, randomly place your well-written article somewhere in thatmass of words. How long do you think it would take someone to find yourarticle?
On the Internet, it’s even more difficult to find your article because other people are also writing amazing content.
This is where a content aggregator comes in.
By submitting your articles to sites where people up-vote ordown-vote your article, it’s possible for you to gain followers. Here’sthe catch though:
Your content has to be exceptional!
Even if your content gets upvoted to the top of the pile and everyone sees your article, you still may not get the type of following you’relooking for. You need to grab people’s attention. Show them that youhave something to say, and get them to click over to your website toread more.
Once you get people to your website, the challenge is to keep themcoming back. This means that every single article you post has toresonate with your audience. Even one lackluster article is enough foryou to lose visitors. It’s not just about throwing a bunch of facts andfigures into your article either, you have to really provide somethingthat readers crave.
Perhaps it’s beginning to become apparent why those bloggers spendseveral hours on each piece. You have to think of each new article youwrite as a potential pink slip. If you mess up, you might lose readers.If you do well, maybe you’ll get a promotion.
There are content aggregator sites for web design, food, marketing,music, health, and many other topics. Figure out your niche, and searchfor a site that you can feature your article on so your article getsinto the hands of readers.
How do you find relevant niche forums capable of sending thousands of people to your site?
Head over to Google and enter the following search strings –
“keyword” + “forum”
“keyword” + “forums”
“keyword” + “powered by vbulletin” (vbulletin is a software used to create and manage forums)
“keyword” + “hot thread with new posts”
“keyword” + “board”
These search strings should give you a bunch of relevant niche forums to investigate.
Build Your Email Lists
The webmaster that relies solely on Google is doomed to fail.
There are some major content farms out there that did very well whenGoogle was use an old algorithm. Basically, if you wrote content andlots of it, Google would rank you highly. Over the years, Google haschanged their algorithms more times than I can count. Each time, thereare always webmasters have discovered that they are suddenly losinglarge amounts of traffic.
Just check the Google Webmaster Forums to find out how often thishappens. There is always a great gnashing of teeth, screaming, andcrying to get Google to give them some reason for why their livelihoodhas just been destroyed…
This is the most important part of the article because it discusses techniques to get people to actually visit your page.
Once you have written a few articles and promoted them on varioussocial media sites and content aggregator sites, you need to have areason for people to come visit your website.
This is where it get really serious — You need to create a free eBook to help grow your list.
Take all of your expertise and knowledge and spend a lot of timecreating an eBook that people are really going to value. It needs to bechock-full of current resources and additional information that peoplecan use to learn more. It’s going to be the best thing you’ve everwritten, and yes, you’re going to give it away for free.
But, you are going to ask for something in return. You’re going toask your readers to sign up for your newsletter to receive youroffering. This will help shield you against the fickle beast that isGoogle, and even if your website drops in the rankings your visitorswill still be only an email away.
Another thing you should really consider doing is to start making your own videos.
People enjoy a mixture of content. If you don’t want to make your own videos, at least post relevant videos from other sites on your website. Just makes sure to link them and don’t try to take credit for theknowledge.
When I was training teachers, I used to tell them not to worry aboutusing resources that already existed. People are paying you (or visiting your site) to find out valuable information that you know. Giving themsome resources that may be difficult for them to find is a great way tobeef up your content and help them learn in the process.
Use videos and images sparingly, but make sure each post has somesort of media attached to the post. This will make your posts moreengaging, and it will give readers a chance to take a break from thosewalls of text.
Don’t rely entirely on search engines
They are important, but you need to start building your list now.There are many ways to do this, and here are a few possibilities:
- Use a content management system and allow user registrations.
- Create an email sign-up box to allow readers to quickly sign up. Make it easy and give them something free for signing up.
- Use an email subscription manager to make it easier to manage your newsletters.
I personally use MailChimp on many of my sites. I like how it works, it’s easy to use, and my website visitors tend to love it. You may also consider Aweber or GetResponse too.
If you use a content management system, look for a plugin that allows you to convert your registered users into subscribers, and make sureyou always have an opt-out option and get their permission first.
Social Media Sites
You’re going to have to get a bit personal here.
First off, you should have a Facebook page at the very least inaddition to your own private social media page. A Facebook page makes it easy to purchase ads and target specific demographics, but that’s amore advanced topic for another day.
What you want to do is use your social media page to get people where they are most relaxed.
Recruit all of your Facebook friends and give them the option ofsubscribing to your page. Don’t post articles to your personal profilesince frankly, that’s going to make you seem full of yourself and people probably don’t want to read your articles in that forum. The Facebookpage is there for people when they want to see your content.
One nice thing about Facebook is that it keeps a record of everyonethat visits your page. This only works when you get a certain number offollowers, but you can also pay for advertising credits to boost yourFacebook page numbers initially. After that, if you have good content,your numbers should grow organically.
Don’t Monetize Too Soon
The last thing I’m going to talk about is the issue of monetization.
I know you want to make money from your blog, but you shouldn’t do this unless you have at least 500 visitors a day.And of those 500 visitors, at least 100 of them should be recurringvisitors.
The reasoning for this is simple. You don’t want to scare people away with ads. When you put ads on your site, it can look messy.
Focus on building your following and get people to trust your content.
If you get enough visitors you start using Google Adsense or one of these alternatives on your website. The important thing is to build trust with your visitorsfirst. Advertisements are difficult to implement correctly, and they can push your visitors away if you haven’t yet established trust.
Invest the time and do the research to provide superior content, andin a few months you should begin to see those website visitor numbersrise.