One of the most distressing things about blogging is building a regular fan base. There aren’t any cheats; it simply takes time to solidify your reputation as a blogger. As most bloggers already know, good content is essential. This means you need to keep it interesting and fresh. Since we already touched on content in “9 Blogging Mistakes and How to Fix Them,” this time we are going to focus on getting traffic to your blog.
So, how do you promote your blog so that readers know you exist?
1. Use your blog to communicate with employees, prospects and clients.
It’s easy to get your employees to read and comment on your blog, especially if it’s relevant and interesting, but your blog can be a great place to keep clients up-to-date on changes and other news too. Try to make sure they know your blog is out there- email them links to your most recent posts to keep them in the loop. Also try sharing your posts on social media.
2. Make your blog easy to find on your site.
Don’t make visitors search for your blog. Display the link prominently on your website. Put it on the top level of your navigation menu, and add a banner link to your home page.
If at all possible, try to host the blog on your domain rather than hosting it on a third party URL, like Blogger or Word Press. In the long run, it will give you an advantage when it comes to search engine rankings.
3. Circulate your website address wherever and whenever you get the chance.
It’s quite simple really. The more places you post your web address the more opportunities people will have to find your blog. Business cards, stationery, email signatures, yellow pages, and other ads are all natural places to post your URL. Posting your URL on blogs or forums that you participate in can also give you a boost. Avoid the temptation to point all your links to your website home page. In some cases it’s much more appropriate to map the link straight to the blog. If someone clicks on a link to read a blog article, they’re going to want that link to go straight there.
4. Make use of guest bloggers.
Helping out other bloggers isn’t just important, it’s absolutely necessary! In fact, it’s really the ONLY way to get your name on other industry blogs and get some established exposure to your content. As a rule, you’ll get a link back to your website or blog for your trouble. Not only is this a great way to drive visitors to your site, the search engines also look at these links as adding authority to your domain.
Conversely, remember to return the favor by inviting guest bloggers of your own.
5. Take advantage of social networking.
Make some friends!
The online world is not as fragmented and impersonal as it might appear to the casual observer. In fact, it’s composed of many tight knit communities, and if you want to succeed you need to find and engage the communities that are relevant to your market. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are a good place to start. Find and engage groups that are related to your target audience. Don’t just promote your website. Put a link in your profile and cite your blog when the opportunity arises.
6. Mention your influencers.
Large media and content providers set up vanity tracking so they know when their name is mentioned. This will get you noticed. If you help them, it’s more likely they will help you.
7. Host a contest.
People love free stuff; the prize doesn’t need to be extraordinary. Hosting a contest can be as simple as sharing your blog link or posting the most comments. If you want to get even more comments you could offer something valuable in exchange.
8. Keep your site fresh.
Eventually every blogger gets stuck in a rut. Once you succumb to a formula, it can be hard to get past it. By the time you feel yourself starting to drift into limbo, it’s a pretty safe bet it’s already happened. Do something different. Tell a joke, post a funny picture, or post a viewpoint that differs from your own. Keep your readers guessing. Videos work great and have added benefits. When you upload a video to YouTube you get even more exposure which can lure traffic who might never have found you otherwise.
Bloggers who apply these strategies often see a significant following. So in addition to keeping your content fresh and relevant, take some time to promote your blog-this will have a big influence on your returning visitor base.