The one question I hear bloggers and entrepreneurs ask every day, is "How do I get more traffic?" Other variations of it include, "How do I promote my blog?" Where do I find readers?" And "How do I get more views on my website?"
I put together 20 tips that will help you optimize your blog or website, promote better, and get the traffic you want so that you can reach more readers and get your message out where it belongs.
1. Know Your Ideal Reader/Client-
If you don't know who you're writing for, you won't be able to speak to their needs. Get super specific about this and develop your ideal reader into a solid persona.
To get to know your ideal reader, start by asking these questions:
Who is your ideal client/reader?
What problem are they having right now?
How do they feel about the problem they're having?
What are their biggest fears and pain points?
How can you help them solve their problems and address their pain points?
"My ideal reader is a 30 year old woman with 3 kids, aged 6 and 12. She's divorced, works in a department store and has a second job cleaning houses on the weekends. She loves to draw and wants to start selling her artwork, but she's frustrated with lack of time and overwhelmed by all the technological aspects of running a business nowadays. She reads business blogs looking for advice to get started, but mainly she's confused by all the conflicting information. She doesn't have much money, feels guilty about spending so much time and energy on her art, and is afraid that she's wasting her time. By reading my blog and working with me, she will gain confidence and learn that she can pursue her passions without neglecting her responsibilities to her family." (I made this up; it's not my actual ideal reader.)
You can do this over time; don't try to just plug stuff in all at once.
What does your ideal client want most? What are her dreams and goals? What is she frustrated by or struggling with? How can you help her solve her problems?
Your ideal reader is not a demographic. Don't say your ideal reader is "Momprenuers age 25-40 with two kids." That's a target market. There are tons and tons of businesswomen who fit that description and only some of them will fit your ideal reader profile. You can target your marketing to a demographic, but when you write your content and sales copy, you'll speak to your ideal reader.
2. Develop Your Personal Brand —
Your brand is how readers/customers feel about your business and the concepts that they associate with you. It encompasses your attitude, your values, your beliefs, your style of interacting, and the mood that you set with your website and social media feeds. Brands use story, opinion, and information to establish authority and tone. They use colors, fonts, textures, and patterns to create, enhance, and communicate the emotions that they want their audience to share.
3. Optimize Your Site's Navigation —
Your website navigation can make or break you. If a person comes to your website and can't find a way around or can't figure out what your site is about, they won't stay, no matter how good your content is.
A. Organize your site menus in an intuitive manner.
Menus read left to right. Information about what you offer your clients, your business, your blog, and anything you're selling should come first.
Generally, a well structured nav bar looks like this:
About page __________>Products or Services_______> Blog_____>Interactive Pages/Things You Want Readers to Engage With ;
B. Have an elevator pitch and client testimonials displayed on the front page.
Use the top sidebar positions or sections of a scrolling design to quickly let your audience know what your site is about and what to expect. Use the rest of your sidebar space to display a category tree or links to popular posts. (If you don't have a sidebar, you can create a "Start Here" or "Best of" page that gathers your top content. ) You can also display small banners that link to opt-ins or special content.
C. DON'T overload your front page with banners, ads, a million badges for groups you belong to, or book covers for every release you've written.
4. Write/Produce Quality Content —
Quality content supports your ideal reader in their journey. These are some characteristics of quality content.
answers their questions,
gives them insights that no one else is offering.
If it's text, it's well written and concise. If it's video, it's free from technical problems, has reasonably good production values and you don't ramble or say "um" every sentence. If it's an image, you own the rights or have permission to use it. It presents information clearly, in a visually striking manner, and doesn't look like a template that you swapped some text onto.
5. Research and Implement Strong SEO Strategies —
SEO means Search Engine Optimization. It's what gets your post listed on a search page when people type in questions or keywords. SEO can make or break a blog. It would take a whole separate series for me to cover it here, but here are a few articles that will help you:
6. Create A Promotion Strategy—
Spend some time researching before you promote your blog heavily. Learn about SEO, learn some strategies for Social Media Marketing, and find groups and events that you want to participate in. Then sit down and write out a strategy.
Start with one subject that you want to establish yourself as an expert in. Then, think about these things:
How many posts will you make per week?
Where will you share them?
If you're in a lot of groups and activities, pick a handful (3-5) and share consistently in them for a month before you try something else. This will keep you from getting stressed out because you're trying to do everything at once.
Who else is posting on the same topic and how will you network with them.
This is not optional. People in your niche who are posting on the same or similar topics can be great allies. Don't treat them as competition. Reach out with offers to collaborate and share their posts. This will increase your reach and establish you as a person people can trust. You're not just sharing your own content; you are genuinely helping your audience and fellow bloggers/entrepreneurs.
7. Post consistently—
It doesn't matter if you post once a month, once a week, or 5 times a day. What matters is that you plan enough content in advance and stick to a consistent schedule. It's true that posting more often will get you more views, high quality content is what counts.
8. Create Shareable Graphics—
Have a page with images and link code for people to share your blog. Have images for each of your posts that are optimized for different social media sites. Using the right size and orientation will help your posts get noticed.
9. Use Passive Promotion Strategies—
Put links to your blog's promo pages or opt-ins on all of your social media profiles.
10. Have Social Media Sharing Buttons Visible On Your Site—
Squarespace and many Wordpress themes provide these for you. If you don't have a theme that offers them, install the Jetpack or SumoMe plugins.
11. Have Popular Content Visible In Your Sidebar—
or create a "Best of" section of your site if you don't use sidebars . Link to your category tree, your favorite posts or your top posts. This will help keep readers on your site once they've clicked a link.
12. Use Your Social Media Channels—
Share your posts frequently and don't forget to re-share old posts. In Wordpress, you can install the Revive Old Posts plug-in that will retweet any post that's over a month old.
13. Promote Your Blog Strategically—
Most new bloggers write a post, then either don't share it on Social Media at all or they frantically share it to every feed, group thread, Pinterest Board, etc, they can find. Before they know it, they're exhausted, and nobody's engaging with their posts, so they give up.
Here's how to strategically promote your blog:
A. Research Your Ideal Reader and Target Markets.
Find out where they hang out online.
B. Choose 3-5 sites or groups that you know your ideal reader is hanging out on.
Learn the rules to those sites.
C. Engage before you promote. People are more likely to read posts if they recognize you.
I skim threads looking for fresh content to share with my audience every day. Names I recognize get first priority. If you know that you're planning a series of blog posts about how to choose a winter coat, offer tips and value about winter apparel in addition to your post.
D. Work slowly to build optimal engagement on each post.
Share and promote when you have time to reciprocate views and comments with others. Keep track of where you share your posts by creating a reusable checklist.
E. Rotate which blog posts you are sharing according to themes and trends.
If you notice a lot of people asking about how to choose a web host and you have a post about that, share it, even if it's older. You don't have to wait until someone asks, just treat it the same as you would a new post.
F. Periodically reshare popular posts.
G. Create followups to the popular posts and share both again.
14. Syndicate Your Content—
Create free accounts on those sites like Medium, BlogHer and SheKnows. You can repurpose old content from your blog there and link to the original posts in the text.
There's a common misconception that re-posting content on different sites will hurt your SEO ranking, but that's only the case if you have duplicate content on your own site, and even then there are exceptions.
Here are three reputable sources you can check out for more info on how duplicate content works:
15. Network with Other Bloggers—
Internet culture is about relationships. It's about sharing information and helping one another. It's NOT about creating a little club where you have a captive audience for your products and get to talk about yourself all the time.
The more you reach out to help people--GENUINELY--the more street cred you have in the online world. The more people see you actively helping others, the more they trust and respect you.
The more that happens, the more they will naturally want to help you. By sharing your content, promoting your books, and building you up. The more people will read and listen to what you have to say.
16. Join A Blogging Event—
There are blogging events for just about anything you can think of. Participating in them can help you form connections with other bloggers and get your content in front of people who share the same interests that you have. Wordpress.com hosts a list of active blogging events, and you don't need to be a Wordpress blogger to participate!
17. Create A Blogging Event—
If you can't find an event that suits your needs, start one!
18. Seek Out Guest Post Opportunities—
Bloggers post notices about guest opportunities all over social media. Search #guestpost on Twitter or skim collaboration threads in Facebook groups.
19. Allow Guest Posters on Your Blog-
My blog, Hardcore Hope features guest writers every month (sometimes more) this brings in a constant stream of new visitors to my site and many of them stick around.
20. Research trending topics and current events-
Check news sites, social media, and popular aggregates for trending topics. You can also try Quora or Buzzsumo to see what questions are being asked on popular subjects. Incorporate them into blog posts to boost your traffic but make sure you're covering topics that you would normally write about anyway.
21. Quote popular bloggers in your niche, then tag them on social media-
This gets you in front of a larger audience super quick and if the influencer likes your post, they may link back to you, boosting your SEO ranking.
Guest Post by: Rose Fischer
Rose B. Fischer is an avid fan of foxes, Stargate: SG-1, and Star Trek. She would rather be on the Enterprise right now.
Since she can’t be a Starfleet Officer, she became a speculative fiction author whose stories feature women who defy cultural stereotypes.
In her fictional worlds, gender is often fluid, sexuality exists on a spectrum, and “disability” does not define an individual. Her current project is The Foxes of Synn, a low-tech science fantasy serial.
By day she runs Hardcorehope.com, a resource and support site for survivors of child abuse and domestic violence.
To support Hardcore Hope, Rose has a paying gig as a Digital Creativity Consultant. She works with female and nonbinary creatives to help build powerful online presences that remain in line with her clients' artistic visions.
Check it out at evilgenius.rbfhub.com
She also runs a Facebook group, Empowered Creative Women: Live the Life you Want. The group is for authors, story-focused bloggers, and creative entrepreneurs. They're focused on personal development, intentional living, and helping one another meet their goals.