Most business owners know that having a blog is increasingly becoming a crucial tool to assist in the success of their business.
Studies show that companies that blog increase visits to their sites by 55% and have 97% more inbound links*
However, in a digital universe where there are over 500 million websites and more than 150 million blogs, how does your blog stay relevant? What can you do to have your blog show in Google searches? How do to reach potential leads? How to keep your existing audience coming back to your blog.
Here are my ten easy ways to drive traffic to your blog. And to help you with your blogging efforts, I have included in this blog post a completely free blog planner. Download your copy for free below.
1. Keep your blog current and fresh with quality content. There is no better way to keep your blog relevant and, therefore, have people visiting it than by writing good content that is relevant to your audience.
2. Write blog posts regularly. Try for a post a week or at the least, a post every two weeks. Although some studies suggest that an optimum word-count for a blog post is around 1,200 words, the reality is that there is no magic number. Some blog posts will be longer if you share in-depth and well-researched information while another post may just require 3 or 4 paragraphs to reinforce the message that you are already sharing through images or a video.
3. Use your newsletter to promote your blog posts amongst your contacts. About 71% of Australians check their emails first thing in the morning**. If you have people who have subscribed to your newsletter, it is because they are interested in your content and what benefit they can get from it. Do not disappoint them and keep them informed with your latest news.
4. Use social media to drive traffic to your blog. You already have a pool of followers and potential leads that are relatively easy to reach. Share a link to your latest blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn groups and relevant Facebook groups.
5. Share your posts more than once. Sharing more than once is worth doing in some social media channels, such as Twitter. Having said this, it is not good to abuse this tactic.
For instance, if one of your blog posts has been particularly successful, share pieces of it (for instance, a relevant phrase) and link them back to the full blog post. Use hashtags to reach a wider audience who are interested in the topic that the blog post is covering.
6. Tag anyone who is featured in your blog post and share links to any source of information that you share where appropriate. By tagging others in your posts, you will be reaching their contacts. This increases awareness of your posts and the posibility of them being shared with their networks.
7. Optimise what your write for SEO. When writing a post, remember to use key phrases or long tail keywords that people are likely to type when searching for the information that you are sharing. People no longer search for single keywords. Instead, they will be typing in specific sentences. For example, 'how to .... ' or 'where to find the latest model of ....'.
8. Include visual content in your posts. Study after study shows that visual content gets more engagement than plain text. These may be videos, photos, infographics or any other visual content that works for your audience.
9. Repurpose previous content in different formats. Remember to update the content and add some new value too! You can do this by using content from one or a combination of various blog posts. For example, you can create an e-book, a slide presentation, a video, a series of infographics or any other downloadable asset that will add value to your readers.
10. Focus on what works for you and your audience. It does not matter if there is a magic word-count for blog posts, or if there is a topic that works for lots of people. Focus and improve on what works for your audience. Make it better every day and find ways to add value to what you know your audience
Overall, remember to keep your content simple, relevant and engaging! Have always your audience in mind when writing content. Think about why they would enjoy reading what you are writing or what benefit they would get out of it.
Lastly, if you don’t have time to create content yourself, consider having contributors creating content for your blog. You can also hire professional content marketing specialists to help you create quality content at least once a month for your blog.
For tips on what to write for your next blog posts, read my previous post on blogging for small businesses here
* Hubspot http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics