Blogging isn’t something you can be successful at overnight. It takes time, a lot of time. I first started blogging in 1998, and it wasn’t until 2002 I launched my main site FanBolt. Here we are 14 years later, and I’ve made it into a business. Sure, I made money off the site before now, but originally, it was just a hobby that I loved which made me some extra income and opened up an amazing set of opportunities for me. I didn’t want to be big and corporate, I just wanted a small team that wrote from the heart about what they loved. And that love and patience, I believe is what has made my blog successful.
That being said, there are still a number of other tips I give bloggers to help them get their blogs noticed. It’s not a “build it and the visitors will come” type mentality. You can’t just be a writer – you have to be a planner, a designer and a marketer if you want your site to be successful.
Here’s a set of tips I hope will help you! If you have additional tips or questions, please share them in the comment section below!
Create a Content Strategy
What are you going to write about and how often are going to write about it? Quality is more important than quantity, so figure out how often you can realistically write posts that people will truly want to read and share. Once a day? Once a week? Be realistic and create a content calendar for yourself.
Another thing you need to do is define 3 to 5 keywords that describes your site’s content and create a content strategy around those keywords. My goal is to write at least one article a week in each of these categories. What long tail keywords can I use in articles under each of these topics (keywords)? What will people type into Google about these topics that I want to pop up for? These are actually great ideas for post titles (ie. How Do I Get More Blog Traffic)!
These are things to consider when constructing your content strategy.
I have both my bachelors and masters degree in web design and development, so I’m a little bias here. A user-friendly, visually appealing design is incredibly important when it comes to blogs. Visitors to your site will form an opinion about your brand in the first 4 seconds they’re on your site, so you need to make a strong first impression to convince visitors they need to go digging.
If you need a little design help, or you picked out a WordPress template that looks nothing like it did when you originally purchased it, then reach out to a local web design company or web designer and get some assistance in getting things setup. My company Excite Creative Studios helps bloggers with this as well, and we always do free consultations so if you need to know where you stand – don’t hesitate to reach out.
Mention Other Bloggers
Who are the top bloggers in your niche? Write down 10 to 15 of them and visit their sites several times a week. If you really like one of their posts, consider doing a weekly-roundup post of your favorite content created by the blogs you follow. If you don’t want to do a post for this, consider doing a links page or a blogroll (list of links on the sidebar of your site to the blogs you follow). If you the sites you mention are using WordPress (my recommend blogging and site platform – Women’s Business Daily uses it as well as FanBolt), then they’ll see when they login that you’ve linked to them.
There’s good karma here to be had by sharing link love!
One of the quickest ways to grow traffic in this age of social media, is to do interviews. Think about who you can interview that would be of interest to your readers. With Women’s Business Daily, we feature one woman a month who we find to be inspiring. And with FanBolt, I’ve done over a thousand celebrity interviews now, countless set visits, phone interviews and even email interviews. Sometimes even the stars will retweet the coverage which helps expand our reach.
— Logan Browning (@LoganLaurice) June 16, 2016
— Olesya Rulin (@olesyarulin) June 15, 2016
Doing interviews not only provides you with good knowledgable content, but it provides good press and content for the person you’re interviewing. There’s also the added potential there to be exposed to their fanbase.
What makes your content different from other bloggers in your genre? Typically, it will be your knowledge and take on a subject along with your personality. With Women’s Business Daily and with FanBolt, I have some posts that are more personal in tone, whereas the majority of articles have more of a newsy-tone to them with a call-to-action at the end that shows a more personal touch.
However, in most blogs, being personal, funny and witty are going to be what builds your readership. If you don’t like something, say you don’t like it. Don’t be afraid to be controversial. No one wants to read a press release, so have fun with your content and create a relationship with your readers.
Focus on Social Media
PR companies will look at you differently once you have 10,000 Twitter followers. I learned that myself as soon as I hit 10,000. It’s hard to keep up with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram for FanBolt and this site (and my others), not to mention my own personal accounts and the few that I work on for my clients. My secret? Again I’m big on strategy and schedules. I have a planner laying out update types for each social network. FanBolt and Women’s Business Daily post automatically to their respective Twitters via the JetPack plugin for WordPress (literally one of my biggest lifesavers) and then I also use Hootsuite (another lifesaver).
Post updates that are worth sharing. If it’s not something you would retweet if you saw it on another Twitter account, ask yourself what you can do to jazz it up a bit.
Also it’s important to use #hashtags – for this site my favorite to use are: #FemaleEntrepreneur #GirlBoss
Research your niche and discover the popular hashtags that you can use, and go through each of those and like and share quality content that has been marked with those tags.
Tweet Other Bloggers & Influencers
Picking up off the last point, go through and share content that use similar hashtags to your account. Also, create a list of active bloggers and influencers in your niche on Twitter and regularly tweet them and engage them in conversation. I know this can be time consuming, so I recommend setting up a list on Twitter, and then 2 to 3 times a week (schedule this so it’s a set time for you each week) visiting that list and going through their content. Tweet them questions and comments. Tell them you love their content. Twitter is a whole different beast once you start engaging with other followers.
Every post you do needs a photo. Try to use 1 to 3 photos per post depending on the length of content. This makes your post look visually pleasing – making your visitors happy, making the search engines happy, making the individuals that share your content on social media happy, and of course all these things make you happy.
You may be wondering where you can get images from if you don’t want to take them yourself. I’m a big fan of taking photos yourself if at all possible, but sometimes you won’t be able to or won’t have the opportunity to take one that fits your content. I recommend Shutterstock for stock photography if it is in your budget to go that route, if not, here are some great free resources:
It’s also worth mentioning that you can embed Twitter Updates (like I did above), Facebook Posts, YouTube and Vimeo videos and even Slideshare decks into your blog post as well for a little extra wowing!
I hope these tips help you with your blog! If you have additional tips/suggestions or questions/comments – please leave them below!