Blog’s done, you’ve hit ‘publish’. Now you sit back and put your feet up?
Whoa! If that’s what you’ve been doing, I guess you’re not seeing too much traffic, right?
Publishing a blog is just the very first step on a journey that can bring you some rather inspiring returns: Great SEO visibility, increased client awareness, and enhanced customer engagement, to name just a few.
However you dress it up though, most bloggers have one sole objective. Sales. And to get sales you need traffic.
The first thing to know is that blogging doesn't get you more sales. Or more traffic.
‘What do you mean? Of course it does’ I hear you shout. Let me explain…
You have a site that gets say 15- 20 visits a month. So you start blogging. For all the good reasons listed above. More traffic, better relationships with your client, increased awareness.
You write the blog. You publish the blog. You move on. Surely the search engines will just pick up the keywords, right?
Keywords are just one of the ways that search engines find relevant content, but with in-excess of 1 billion websites, search engines have to rely on other methods to prioritise which site should be ranked where.
If this is news to you, it’s unlikely that you’ll already be near the top of search returns, but look on the bright side, there are lots of ways you can improve today.
I won't go through these right now but take a look at Forbes’ Fundamental Guide to SEO in 2016. It’s one of the best SEO round-ups I’ve seen.
So, back to your blog. Your site views stick at around 15-20 visits a month. Your SEO performance doesn’t improve, and you are more time-strapped than ever, left scratching your head as to why your blogging isn't resulting in a stampede of new clients.
It’s what comes next that brings you the sales. And it’s this bit that most bloggers forget.
Some content writers say you should spend as much time promoting your new blog as you did creating it in the first place. Neil Patel, customer acquisition specialist and founder of Kissmetrics says you should spend 20% of your allocated blogging time writing the blog and the other 80% sharing it.
Either way, if you are anything like I used to be, you probably spend closer to 98% of your time creating it and 2% of your time sharing it. So, what do you do in the remaining 80% of the time? You spread the word of course. There are lots of ways to do this and you need to find what works for you.
Here are a few of the techniques that I find work best.
People like to share content that is useful, emotive or funny. By making sure your content either resolves an issue or gives the reader a giggle or some other useful insight you increase its sharability. Also make sure it's well written. Look out for typos and grammar use. It doesn't have to be perfect old school grammar but definitely professional.
By adding a one-liner like ‘Is it time to get more people seeing your blog at last? Here are 14 great ways to build to your blog today’ to the bottom of your email takes about 3 minutes and can make a sizeable difference. For added clout, don't forget anto add an image.
Of course, once you get people looking at your super-useful content you want them to share it, so make it easy as pie for them to share the love. Whilst you’re at it, if you are finding this useful, would you mind sharing this too? You;'ll find the button below.
If you already have an email list you can send a teaser email out. If you don’t already have a list, it’s never too late to start collating those contact details.
If you are thinking of setting up a blog, get your marketing list going now. You can use a service like Mail Chimp that will create the code for you to add to your site and collate the email addresses in a nice tidy database ready for you to send out your marketing emails and newsletters…all for free.
You may well do this already but to really get the most out of linking you need to use a short URL that’s really easy to share without having to worry about character counts.
Use a URL shortener such as https://goo.gl/ or bitly to enable you to get the best from URLs, both from an SEO perspective and from a sharability point of view, reducing the longest of URLs to a mere, sharable snip for social media.
According to the good people at Artifiedweb, posts with visuals are shared around 94% more than those without.
This is because the brain is largely visual. Think back to your earliest memories. I’m guessing they include an image, a feeling, maybe even a smell.
They probably didn’t include words you read or that someone spoke?
Quotes set on images are very popular and very sharable. Use a website like Canva to create quirky, amusing or insightful graphics and post it. Link it back to your blog or data capture form of course!
Mix it up a bit with a combination of posts that are literally the title of the blog, and others that are content lead. For this blog I could use something like ‘How you can increase your blog shares by 94%’.
This can be time consuming but if you put together 20 posts or tweets at a time and then post them out over the space of a week or two you’ll find the process much easier and less repetitive.
By scheduling the posts with hootsuite or tweetdeck , you’ll be able to ensure they all get used and that the full campaign is executed effectively, rather than being lost due to lack of steam half way through.
Just be sure to keep checking your accounts or the dashboards for comments and feedback, and respond to any replies you get.
Whilst we’re looking at social media, you can also search related hashtags on twitter to find others that may benefit from your blog and be helpful, reach out to them. Suggest they might find your blog useful.
Then send the link to prospective clients that might find it useful. Clients you’ve had discussions with on that exact same area, or those who pop over to ‘pick your brains’ at a networking event will appreciate you thinking of them. It makes following up quicker and introduces a way to stay in contact. Definitely a win/win.
If you are at the point where you want to invest in your blog, one of the most cost effective ways to market it is by paying for marketing on Facebook.
But don’t throw your money away.
What do I mean by that?
If you are going to pay to attract visitors to your blog then make sure you can keep them close by leading them to a data capture form on your site.
Creating an optimised web page designed to engage clients and capture their data is something you should definitely get help with if you need it. This type of investment will pay dividends. Feel free to get in touch and we can always have a chat about what you’re looking for!
You know those ads that look like news stories but seem to be selling PPI insurance or funeral insurance. Your link would be in one of those advertising boxes. How it looks? Well that’s up to you!
Once you’ve written a blog, pitch your blog to journalists. A well written blog with a well written pitch could lead to a juicy site link with some major search engine kudos.
Use the Web Search feature on Google Alerts Alerts to find similar content and leave a comment to content creators appreciating their own content and pointing out that you have created something along similar lines that they might wish to look at.
Use a tool such as Buzzsumo to help you work out who is sharing content similar to your own. Right now they have a 14 day trial period too so you can get started for free. Now, don’t get down heartened if all those you reach out to don’t instantly link right back to you.
There are two things you should know. 1) Around 65% of bloggers get approached for links several times a week. And 2) It’s a relationship game. Building a relationship is fairly easy though, make sure you reply and comment on their blogs before asking for a favour in return.
If your blog isn’t ready to go just yet, consider building up those all-important brownie points by adding comments and engaging with other writers on similar content.
If you already have a blog, check out your analytics to identify the most popular blog posts and link your new posts into your most popular posts so that your readers can refer from one blog to another.
And then make sure you let them know.
Hopefully you’ve found these tips useful and are now all set to get started in writing those blogs and reaching out to other content creators to get some real results from your blog.
If you’ve found other ways that work well when it comes to sharing content and getting more site traffic through blogging then please do let me know.
Complete Copywriting offer a business blogging service that plans and delivers market relevant, engaging business blogs to ease the pressure of your online marketing campaign.