As most of you know, writing blogs is a very popular way to create an online presence for a small business. It’s very inexpensive and something you can begin in a very short time. However, you do need to put the appropriate time in and treat your blog posts seriously just as any other aspect of running your business.
Once you begin blogging, you need to pursue the audience and give them a reason to return for more in order to make your blog successful. In order to accomplish this success, you should provide your readers with quality content and get the word out there about your blog post so that people can find you and see what you have to offer.
Here are 10 ideas to help you bring in traffic to your blog:
Fresh Content. Consistently writing blogs will show your audience that your business is “open.” If you do not post a blog for a period of time, people will forget about you and may even wonder if your business still exists. Post a blog at least bi-weekly, if not weekly, to keep your online presence alive.
Tip: If you use WordPress, you could write several posts ahead of time and schedule them to publish at a later date.
Quality Content. No matter how consistent you post a blog, you need to make sure the content is informative and interesting. Do not post a blog just to get “something” out there. Make sure your audience will be interested in what they are reading. Give them something they can learn from (informative), yet not too stuffy. Try to relate to your readers as if you were talking to them one-on-one.
Social Media Marketing. Before you begin posting blogs, make sure you have opened accounts with social media networks where your target market exists. The ones I see the most activity from on these posts are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, but there are many others. Each time you post a blog, create short posts from the content and distribute that to all of the social networks.
Tip: There are plugins on WordPress that can be added that will automatically post notifications to many of your social media networks about a new blog post, but I have found that is not as effective as manually posting this information yourself.
Article Marketing. Take the content from your blog posts and submit that to free article directories. Make sure the content is at least 400-500 words long and try to keep it under 1,000 words. Include a short bio of you and your business along with a link to your blogsite (sales page is the best) in the resource box that each article directory lets you include.
Tip: There are some paid article directories out there that are worth the cost. For an example, for those who write about business related topics, Biznik.com is an awesome place to submit your quality content to. Articles receive a high number of views and writers are often “featured” on their home page.
SEO. I know things change all of the time with Google and SEO, but keywords are always important to include in your blog posts, title, bios, etc. Make sure the keywords you use are relevant to your blog and your niche… not just picked out of the air.
Tip: I have not hired an SEO expert to help me with my blogsite, but the best way I have found to locate appropriate keywords for my niche is by using Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner.
Social Bookmarking. Each time you post a new blog, you should “bookmark” to social bookmarking sites. This will post a link to your new blog and members will be directed back to the original post. The website I use to do this is OnlyWire.com. It will post the link to all of my social bookmarking accounts at one time.
RSS Feeds. A Really Simple Syndication feed gives your audience an option to subscribe to your blog posts. They will then receive email updates when new content is posted. It’s a great way to keep you in the mind of your readers.
Search Engines. When you add your blogsite to the different search engines, it allows your blog to be ranked. Three of the most popular search engines that “crawl” your blog pages is Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Forums. When you join forums, in addition to learning new things yourself, you can also begin interacting with those that maybe interested in your blog posts. There are many business forums, work from home forums, coaching forums, etc. out there. Join them and build relationships with those that could potentially become a client.
Tip: Do not over-market your business in these forums… they normally frown upon that. One suggestion is to include a signature line in all of your comments, etc., and add a link back to your blog post so others can find you.
Other Blogs. Visit blog posts that others write and make comments. This will get others to know who you are and there is a chance, they will visit your blog and return the favor.
Tip: Same as I mentioned in forums above, include that signature line in all of your comments and add a link back to your blog post.
If you put these 10 ideas into place with your consistent blog posting procedures, you should start to see increased traffic in no time. I realize these tasks can be time consuming, but it WILL be worth it in the long run!