Blogging is a great way to keep an open dialogue with customers and add currency to your content but only if your posts actually get read! Below are some generic methods to drive more traffic to your blog. However, no blog will succeed without well written, engaging content. Once you have created some quality content your audience will want to read, here are some ways to promote it.
Link Whenever You Can…
Make sure that the communications you already make direct people to your blog. This is about more than just linking to your blog from your website. Put it on your business cards and in your email signature too. Every contact with a prospective or existing customer is an opportunity to start an ongoing dialogue via your blog. If you’re asked a question and the answer is in a blog post direct people to it. When you post a new article mention it and link to it from status updates. Directing people to articles you know they will find useful will encourage them to use your blog as an information source again in the future.
…And Get Links From Others
If you know other bloggers try to get them to mention you in one of their posts. When people have found the information you post useful ask them to reference it. If bloggers comment on your competition, ask them to review your products or services too. Find trusted bloggers and reviewers for you area of business and engage with them. Ask their opinion on your posts. They may comment on your thread or they may create an article that references yours. Be creative about how you approach this and try to find other bloggers you can find mutual benefit in cross referencing to share readerships.
Use Descriptive But Intriguing Titles
Often people will just be presented with a link and the title of your article. If it sounds interesting and relevant to them they will click and then read your post. If it sounds dull or off topic they probably won’t. Many blogging communities create automatic links to your articles from other blogs when they think the themes are related. To make the most of them you must capture peoples attention and interest with clear, concise, compelling titles. Get it right and you’ll convert more links into clicks and visits.
Be Active on Others’ Blogs
Get out and comment on the blogs of others. Most blogging communities will automatically link your comments back to your own blog. If your comments are insightful, helpful and interesting then people will want to hear what else you have to say. Try to focus your commenting to popular blogs on related topics. This will ensure your comments are seen by people potentially interested in what you are writing about. If you have written an article related to the one you’re commenting on then reference it and include a link.
People may even be talking about you or your product. Search regularly for blog posts that are. If you join the conversation you can give your side of the story and direct potential customers to your blog or even directly to your products. But be aware if you are being talked about then it may not all be positive. Think carefully about how you engage with critics.
Use Tags, Labels and Categories
Tags, labels, categories: different blogging software uses different terms but they all have something to fulfil the same the role. (We’ll use tags as a shorthand for all the terms.) Essentially, tags are the list of subjects that a particular post deals with. Search engines use tags to determine what your posts are about. People use tags to find posts about the topics they’re interested in. Blogging software uses tags to inter-link posts that are on related topics. Obviously only include tags that are relevant to your post but include as many relevant tags as you can. Using tags properly can get you more visitors who are actually interested in your articles.
Blogs are about keeping an ongoing dialogue. Keep your blog fresh by regularly adding new content. Blogs that update regularly will get visited regularly. Blogs that update infrequently will get visited infrequently or be forgotten altogether. As you build the volume of blog posts that you have you increase the potential for interlinking. Some posts will be ephemeral but written properly most will be useful for along time. The more material you have the more tickets you have to the lottery of related post links. Plus search engines love to index fresh copy. Every new post is a little more value in your blog to you and your customers.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. It covers some simple things that you can do yourself that will help build a following irrelevant of what you blog is about. Depending on your industry, content, who you want reading your blog and a host of other factors there will be other possibly much more valuable actions you can take. If you would like a discussion about how eSlice could help you promote your blog and your business online contact us today.