Blogging their way into the hearts of millions is a dearly held ambition for many, but the path to blogger fame and fortune is fraught with pitfalls. Building a successful blog requires time, effort, a message and avid readers. While all strategies won’t work for everyone, there are some basic tactics that can be utilized to increase blog traffic.
No one can please everyone, nor should they try. In an online environment where social media is king, bloggers would do well to direct their writing efforts toward those who are most willing to share. Social media represents the online version of word-of-mouth advertising, providing multiple opportunities to strike a chord with the blogger’s target market. Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter are the preferred social media sites, providing bloggers with the means to locate others with shared interests that will share across multiple platforms.
Ready Made Readers
There are millions of online communities where potential readers converse and discuss topics of interest. These websites provide good launching points to get a feel for what others are thinking and saying. They offer an ideal venue for bloggers to gain trust, credibility, and develop a following for their well-reasoned ideas.
An SEO friendly blog is essential for attracting traffic through search engine results, but SEO for blogs relies more on generating attention among readers than optimizing copy for search engine algorithms. Features such as RSS feeds, email subscriptions, the ability for readers to make comments, and providing an easy way for readers to share content will count more with readers.
Other SEO techniques include keywords and phrases within posts to rank higher in search engine results. Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool can help with this. Building links to other reputable sites helps bloggers get recognized in search engine results and is an effective marketing tool. Bloggers with multiple, authoritative links establish their blogs as popular and desirable.
It’s important for individuals to monitor how their blogs are progressing and an easy way to accomplish that is with Google Analytics. It’s free to use and install, and provides bloggers with a way to discover information such as where most of their website traffic originates and how long visitors stay on the site. It’s an essential tool that shows bloggers where they’re succeeding and where new opportunities await.
Photos, Videos and Graphics
Today’s Internet user wants to be entertained and bloggers can help build their reputations with the addition of images, video clips, cartoons and graphics. Those with artistic talent can create their own or purchase stock images. Photos and videos help break up large amounts of copy, while adding visual interest to keep readers engage. A user-friendly website incorporates a design that’s easy to navigate and “feels” good to visitors.
Don’t Be Shy
Modesty has its place, but not when an individual is trying to launch a successful blog. Bloggers shouldn’t be reticent about referencing their content in ways that are appropriate and non-manipulative. Commenting and referencing the material of other bloggers can pay dividends through mutually beneficial relationships. Writing a guest blog for another site, or asking a prominent blogger to provide a guest post helps build trust and authority, and offers exposure to a new range of potential readers. Question and answer forums provide a wealth of opportunities for exposure.
It may seem like a daunting prospect, but hosting conferences, webinars and other events provide an ideal way for bloggers to enhance their credibility and increase traffic. Meeting with others in person offers an informal way to connect to with other bloggers and members of social networks in a relaxed atmosphere conducive to networking.
Email and Digital Signature
Just as companies include their name and contact information on paper communications, bloggers have the opportunity to circulate the name of their blog and content with a digital signature on their email. Links can be provided to the blog and social networking sites. Bloggers shouldn’t forget to link their profiles from various online sites to their blog and digital signature.
Magazines, newspapers and companies of all types employ surveys to obtain information. A survey can provide valuable insights into what readers think about a particular blog or specific posts. They’re easy to conduct and open the door for reader participation that can be used to make a good blog even better. Everyone has a favorite blog, and running a “best of” list is a sure way to garner interest and stimulate visitor participation.
Building a blog for fame and fortune takes time and dedication, but many bloggers give up after just a few weeks. A blog can take up to two years or more to become successful and attain the needed volume of traffic. Blogging requires persistence and bloggers that have attained significant followings are those who have a genuine love for what they do and a desire to make a difference.