As with social networking sites, blogging started out as a way to share your thoughts, opinions and feelings. Starting in the late 1990’s blogging has now evolved into an essential part of online marketing. If your business does not yet have a blog, it is time to get started.
Tools such as WordPress give everyone an opportunity to start a blog fairly easily. Once you start your blog, you will need followers to make your blog active and effective. Building a large and loyal following will take time, commitment and work but the results will absolutely be worth the effort.
Below are some strategies and tips you can utilize to begin building your blog’s traffic.
1. Use the Search Engines – Be friendly to the search engines. Optimize your keywords, link those keywords to other blog posts and utilize search engine plugins. Each post needs a keyword rich meta description as well. Another easy tip you can follow is to use hyphens instead of underscores in your urls. The search engines read hyphens as a space but not underscores. Using post titles in your urls is another way to get more positive attention from the search engines.
2. Get Readers from Other Blogs – Consider the blogging world a big party. By standing in the corner and not participating in conversations or talking to other people, you will end up alone. The same holds true to blogging. You need to get out amongst the crowd. Participate in conversations and attract people’s attention. Get them interested in you so they will come to your party (blog).
3. Bring Your Blog to Life – Be passionate in your posts. Let your personality shine through. Give your content life and energy. Do not overdo with personal posts. Don’t complain about a messy house or the kids giving you problems. You are there to provide helpful content for your readers, not whine. Keep it professional but let your readers get to know you. Show your readers you really care about them and your blog.
4. Hold Contests – Be creative in ways to make commenting on your blog fun. Have a ‘Secret Word” contest. Pick your word and let your readers know that whoever uses that word the most in their comments wins a prize. Hold a referral contest. So many referrals to your blog wins a prize. Let your readers post their contests as well. Cross promote each other and get more followers for all.
5. Offer Incentives – Offer people a free gift for getting involved in the conversations. Getting involved would mean more than “I agree”, or “thank you.” They need to actually offer opinions, ideas, thoughts, experiences, advice, etc. How about a tip incentive? Anyone who offers a viable tip or idea would get a free gift. There are so many different ways a blogger could go with this. Try out different ideas and see what works. In the meantime, you will be building a large, loyal following.
6. Visual Attraction – People are visual creatures. Our brain processes pictures and images much faster than text. Be sure to use images that are relevant to your post but are also interesting and visually appealing. There are places all over the net to get pictures but be wary of copyrights and legalities of using just any image. Be sure to leave some white space around your images. Text bumped right up against the photos is not very effective. You can also improve your search engine ranking by including relevant keywords in your image titles and descriptions.
7. Blog Regularly and Consistently – Add new posts at regular intervals and be consistent. Do not post once a day for a week and then go two weeks without posting. Being consistent is more important than you might think as it is a big step in gaining your readers’ trust and respect.
8. Of Course, Social Media – What would any marketing campaign be these days if it did not include Social Media? Be sure to make your blog posts easily shareable. There are plugins you can add to your blog that will make sharing your posts very easy for your followers. Share your new posts on your Social Media sites as well. Encourage others to share them too.
9. Get Subscribers – Make sure you have a subscription form handy when people come to your blog. You want to get them on your mailing list so you can keep in touch with them on a regular basis. Offer a free gift and/or special discount for subscribing. Using an RSS feed is a great way to keep people coming back to your blog.
10. Stay Up to Date – There are always new tools, apps, platforms, etc. coming out. Keep abreast of new developments and keep your blog fresh and new. If you don’t keep your blog up to date, people will assume that your business is also not up to par. Another reason for updating your blog is for the search engines. Search engines prefer sites that are changed and updated regularly. An active, up to date blog could get you more inbound links as well. No one wants to link to a blog that appears dead in the water. Don’t let your blog and/or your business get left in the dust.
A blog is not something you can throw up and let sit. It has to be cared for and nurtured. Only then can it grow into a successful and productive tool.
About the Author:
Terri Seymour has over 16 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Visit her site for three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips and How to Market Your Online Business for Free: http://www.SeymourProducts.com