Have a new blog post that you want to promote, more blog traffic? You should do everything you can to do so. Share it, tweet it, comment on it, post it everywhere you can — there are many ways you can promote your blog. However, reliance on social media as your chief distribution channel may be dangerous.
Social media may not be a reliable channel for your article if:
- portions of your target audience are not on social media, and/or
- the right people aren’t being connected to you by social media.
There are other reasons as well, including:
- Effectiveness of social media varies
- Range of potential readers not being on social media
- it’s not the only method to drive traffic.
While social media has high potential, and should be utilized, dependency on social media and related research may not allow you to reach your maximum audience. Social media is only a segment of the population – instead of trying to maximize engagements from a segment, maximize your traffic from every source.
How can you do this without using Facebook, Twitter, or other social media? Start with the right content.
Usually, the traffic you receive is dependent on the content you produce. If you’re not producing low quality content, you’ll likely get low quality traffic.
Why? Google’s algorithm is incredibly sophisticated. It can discern well-written content from articles that were written with no consideration for grammar, voice or expertise.
The goal of content production isn’t to rank only; it’s to create well-written content that provides value and information to your target audience.
How do you start with the right content?
Write for your target persona.
Don’t have one created yet? Do so. This persona would include a few demographic points, along with a fictional name and photo that typifies the person you’re trying to reach.
What is also helpful is including some background on this persona – what are his/her objectives and obstacles in interaction, and how you can mitigate these problems. With a well developed persona, you can produce content that is focused and deep as opposed to generic and shallow.
Know your topic.
While your personal reputation is not a factor in ranking, how well you know your topic will impact your rank. Why is this?
It’s been noted that Google prefers long, in-depth content. Content that exceeds 2000 words, for example, is a competitor for first page results. However, writing for quota won’t help you rank. The content you produce should be thorough, use relevant terms, and authoritative links help indicate content credibility.
The better you know your topic, the more likely you are to create thoughtful, useful content that is ranked.
While this may not be news, forming the right foundation is imperative. If you can’t produce good content, no tips will be able to help.
Focus on the long-tail keyword.
The long-tail keyword is incredibly important. A long-tail keyword is a query that is made up of several words (four or more). Let’s say that you were looking for iPhone cases:
iPhone 6 case is a short-tail, or head term. It’s generic.
best iPhone 6 waterproof case for outdoor activities is a long-tail term.
It’s important to use long-tail keywords for a few reasons:
- It’s difficult to rank for head terms — there is so much online “noise” for broad search terms, like iPhone, orange, or pens, that your post and site would have to be extraordinary. Head terms also have so much volume, the quality of traffic leaves something to be desired.
- Long-tail keywords drive targeted traffic — it takes a conscious effort to create a long-tail query. Many searches now are based in long-tail keywords. Have you ever asked Google a question, such as “how do I install crown moulding on bookshelf?” That’s a long-tail term.
- Long-tail keywords are likely to help conversions — since the targeted traffic is qualified, i.e. demonstrating interest in the subject, it’s more likely that they will take action if you’re able to answer their query.
Gain referrals from other websites.
Boost your referral traffic by obtaining links from niche, high-quality websites. Though social media referrals are growing, other websites can be as valuable, if not more, in terms of qualified traffic.
It can be difficult to get these links, though. How can you do so?
- Find the website(s) you want to refer you. Focus on quality content and traffic.
- In your blog posts, put in a link. Even if it’s a mention about the great article you just read from that site, state that it was a great article. Don’t be shy about sharing.
- Send an note to the author and/or publisher to let them know about your post and link.
By doing this, a variety of scenarios can happen:
- They now know you exist. It’s a non-confrontational way of letting the site you’ve targeted know that you’re here, and you’re being noticed.
- They can now appreciate you and your site. Good will is invaluable.
- They share your content to their audience via their channels.
- They link to your blog. This is where the referral begins.
In short, a link alone is not enough to ensure you’re being noticed. You need to be proactive, and hope to earn a link back.
Guests are a great way to add to your audience. When you write for your own site alone, your audience is limited. However, you can raise your reputation and profile by guest blogging through related websites. For example, if you’re a lifestyle blogger focusing on fashion, writing for a favoured brand’s blog will both deliver new value to that brand’s audience, and your own.
As a guest blogger, you may also have the opportunity to link to your own website — take that and get more referral traffic!
For your reputation, guest blogging can help you establish your credibility, presence and knowledge. Like any brand, your name can grow to become well-recognized, leading to more direct traffic to your site.
Getting started, however, takes a few steps:
- Are you already blogging? Most sites with guest bloggers make sure that the bloggers they choose are good writers, possibly with a body of work.
- Do you know who accepts guest posts? You may have seen these sites in passing, or you can search for them, using terms like “[keyword you want to target] + guest blog”.
- Contact the site you are looking to write for directly and ask. To make sure it isn’t a complete cold call, read the blog, engage with comments, etc. — just like writing a cover letter, this is the equivalent of doing your research.
- Pitch the topic directly. Submitting a pitch uninvited is risky, but if you have an idea, mention so.
The more guest blogging you do, the more you’ll be able to do in the future! Continuing to write and publish you work leads to more name recognition. Eventually, people will be looking for you, and not your site.
Of course, there are other ways to grow your website traffic without the use of social media. Using every method that makes sense for your brand and writing is beneficial. The most critical need, however, is to understand the audience: how they search, where they search, what they look for, what they invest their time in, etc. The audience is out there, it’s a matter of you knowing how to best tap in.