How to grow your blog – top ten tips
May 16, 2019
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Are you a business blogger who’s hoping to grow your blog’s readership?
If you’re putting time and money into blogging for your business, you expect to see results. What’s the use of writing blog posts that don’t show any ROI? Your blog should work to improve traffic and leads that will impact your bottom line.
The point of a business blog is to build your company’ reputation in the business community, to pull in traffic and convert them into customers. Or, maybe you just have a lot to say, and in that case, you must be a lot of fun at parties.
Of course to see results, you’ll need to understand some basics in analytics and SEO.
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A growing business needs a growing blog. That’s right; your blog shouldn’t be set in its way just because it’s seeing some traffic. Let’s check out some tools and tactics that can help you grow your blog.
Create great blog posts
Blog posts are the singing sirens of your website. They pull in your organic traffic based on search results.
1: Develop your voice
Firstly, when writing blog posts, develop a unique voice. Get right inside your readers’ heads. Nice and creepy like. It’s very hard to keep a blog audience when writing too academically. No one wants to struggle and trudge through a blog post. That’s how readers (potential customers) are lost.
Instead, you need to translate any difficult terms and concepts into friendly and fun language. Relate to your blog audience, which of course will fluctuate with every topic you tackle.
Improve your visitor engagement
User experience (UX) is important for the people reading and for search engines. Your search engine rankings rely on good user experiences, as do any hopes for returning interactions. It’s important to stand out, but more so to ensure your site is easily accessible.
2: Develop your structure
Also, you should structure your blog to help readers navigate pages and content. Users will be less resistant to your site if they find the information is easily accessible, with a simple and convenient layout.
3: Use visuals and graphics to stand out
Graphics make everything better. Our eyes barely even get a choice; they’re drawn to images. A picture is worth a th-blah, blah, blah.
Graphics also make your blog posts unique and memorable. Throw a narwhal and an owl on your website as your blog mascots and people go nuts. Your blog’s colors and callouts will have a lasting impact on visitors to help your blog grow.
As a blogger, you’re not expected to be a graphic designer. Don’t try to overdo it. Keep your graphics simple. If you’re worried that your graphics are cheesy or just horrible, invest in a little help. Or, check out sites like Canva and WordPress which make designing your blog easy.
4: Use automation and APIs to
Automation can make your blog posts more engaging. But more importantly, automation can save you time. I’m sure there are things you are putting far too much time into on your blog.
MailChimp is an app that helps send automated emails to your subscribers. Crystal (Crystal Knows) is an automated extension for Google that helps you understand personalities of people on LinkedIn. This is important for making connections with competitors and similar blogs, especially when you make pitches to write guest blog posts.
Don’t have the time or confidence for email communication? Mailerlite (not the beer) creates email templates that are customizable and look great.
Have international interest? Benchmark Emails is an app that can translate your newsletters.
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APIs help connect your blog to other applications, which can also improve user experience. Make it easy to jump between apps and platforms by looking into three of the best blogging APIs: WordPress API, Reddit API, and Blogger API.
Content outreach tools
Now, if you’re having trouble getting blog traffic, it’s probably because nobody can find you. Very rarely will writers be able to sit still and let the traffic come to them, like a waffle house at 2:00 am on the weekend. Instead, your blog needs an outreach strategy.
5: Use social media to pull in more traffic
Marketing your blog can be very challenging. You’ve already written your heart out and now you have to leave the comfort of your website. Rough, but so it goes.
Social media is your best friend. You can’t afford to be that punk kid in 2008 that resisted the switch from MySpace. Social media is where your audience is, and they’re waiting.
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and other social media platforms all offer direct access to your target audience. But keep in mind, we mean more than just an occasional Tweet.
Although Tweets are important to your blogging audience, social shares give you a reach you can’t get on your own, based on the users that promote your blog. Simple share links are staples for all blog posts. These share links or buttons are like social media citations. They allow visitors to instantly promote your posts.
If you’ve used Medium, you’ve probably noticed the option to highlight certain excerpts and even quote directly. These options are convenient for the reader and more so constructive for the writer, who receives notifications from such interactions.
Nowadays, social media influencers are rising in demand for many businesses. Based on their followers’ interests, they tend to be held pretty high in their niche. It’s a great idea to partner with an influencer that has similar interests. As a blogger, you may one day be in their position.
On the topic of the online community, Triberr is a blogging platform that helps bloggers connect with one another, forming “tribes” and building relationships. And Pinterest, if you didn’t already know, is the man. It’s an awesome, positive online community of shared ideas. Pinterest allows you to publish pins, which can be shared amongst the business community. Your blog should make it easy to share. That’s one reason Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook are all great resources.
Additionally, mobile apps like Buffer and HootSuite help you manage your social media apps, schedule posts so you don’t get overwhelmed. Imagine trying to juggle all of the accounts you should be taking advantage of without any help.
6: Build an email list
Building an email list can help set the foundation for leads. However, you should make it easy for subscribers to unsubscribe with different options. If users opt-out of your emails, it doesn’t mean they’re not interested in your blog or your work. They could just very simply hate emails.
The best way to deal with competition is to connect with them. Writing a guest post, or featuring guest writers on your blog articles are great ways of getting involved in the online social networks. Guest blogging also helps support other blogs and gives credibility to your content. It also has the likelihood of gaining you your guest bloggers’ subscribers.
7: Optimize your content
SEO is the most cost-efficient marketing strategy for your blog and site. So, how can your blogs make it into onto those SERPs (search engine results pages)?
Optimize your blog and its content for search engines. There are many factors that influence a website’s rank on certain search engines.
8: Keywords are key
To come up with relevant topics and interesting content, you should do keyword research. This way, you’ll understand the demand and how much traffic you can expect based on search volume. Search engines even recognize different tenses for keywords so you don’t have to be concerned about including every variation.
Long-tail keywords apply to more specific search queries. A long-tail keyword, being so specific, won’t have as much search volume as something broader. But it will hit home with those who are really interested. And for that, long-tail keywords are more valuable.
A blog specifically referencing “lions” a few times will attract anyone looking for lions, whatever the context. But your article about “lions wearing tutus” will surely weed out any irrelevant traffic. Overall, it helps user experience. Plus, encased in those long-tail keywords as smaller, broader keywords. It’s kind of a win-win.
Yoast is an excellent resource, not only to help optimize your WordPress blogs, but also to understand everything about SEO. The Yoast integration alerts bloggers about the strengths and weaknesses in a piece of writing. Its automated systems recognize keyword strength and readability that help you edit your writing.
Of course, while creating relevant content is important, people don’t enjoy reading repeats (despite commitment to The Office reruns). People search to be educated. It’s rewarding to create content that is unique and refreshing to the reader.
If you want to grow your blog, you need a developing readership.
9: Keep them coming back
Once you’ve narrowed down your keywords, written great content, and boosted your traffic, you’ll need to get visitors to come back. Sometimes readers get lost and distracted, so it’s important to include a call-to-action on your blog posts that turns that one-time visitor into a subscriber.
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10: Analyze your blog’s growth
Google Analytics is an excellent, free resource that helps to understand performance and growth. Basically, it allows you to see a piece of content’s success, as well as interactions on other pages, such as your landing page.
Unfortunately, other analytic programs, such as Clicky, Momently, Tableau, and CrazyEgg aren’t free. But, they can help you understand where and how often visitors are abandoning your blog, and where they’re spending the most time.
Although it’s disheartening to see the weaknesses in your own work, it’s important to tackle suggestions to develop.
Growing your blog is a lot of work, especially for one person. But I’m convinced you cannot grow without understanding SEO and your blog audience. Remember, your blog can’t grow if you don’t. Step outside of your comfort zone, market to potential readers, and convert those readers into subscribers. Lastly, use analytic tools to strengthen your blog’s weaknesses.
In the end, it’s a big digital world, getting smaller and smaller with every app. How will you fit in?