So you’ve begun your business blogging. You’re managing to find topics to blog about and you’re publishing at least one post a week. You check your stats and lo and behold, it’s a dead zone! A massive total of three people viewed your site in the past month! It makes you wonder what’s the point of all that work, doesn’t it?
You can churn out all the quality material you like and post it on your blog, your website and anywhere else you can think of. If nobody sees it, what’s the point? And if they don’t know about or actually visit your blog, how will they?
The secret to getting more people to read—and share—your blog posts is to let them know it’s there in the first place:
Use Social Networking
Blogging is part of the content revolution and as such, it essentially falls into the category of social media. Social networking, however, is what we mean when we talk about platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. And as with everything else in business, networking is vital to get the word out about anything.
The Big Six (the four sites mentioned, plus YouTube and Pinterest) are the single fastest way of getting your content out of the dead zone and seen by users, as long as you:
- Make sure your blog posts are easily sharable on social media by adding widgets to every post.
- Use catchy titles that people are likely to want to read and share,
- Encourage interaction by means of special offers, free downloads, contests and calls to action.
If the free methods don’t do it, the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Facebook advertising options will. Just spend $5 a day running an ad for seven days to get more ‘Likes’ for your page and you’ll find out the truth of my words.
Far too many websites and blogs aren’t set up using a responsive design. Mobile technology is on the rise and headed for supremacy by 2015. It has now reached a critical mass with more than half of Internet users accessing the web via mobile devices. If you aren’t playing in the mobile space, is it any surprise that you have fewer readers than you think you should have?
And social networking isn’t being left behind by mobile, either! Facebook made a whopping $7.8 billion in 2013 and it’s spending a good chunk of that money creating mobile apps that will increase off-Internet engagement. That will make the platform accessible to people who don’t even have computers.
Buy Search Engine Marketing
You know all about keyword research and the latest best practices for search engine optimization. And yet, you still aren’t making it onto Google—at least not anywhere worth being. And you won’t do so by posting once a week. To get indexed by search and make it onto the results pages, you need to be posting more often than that and to really get it right. Hopeless, you think? Not so.
By doing some search engine marketing (SEM) using tools such as Google AdWords you can “fast-track” your way onto the first page of results. Sure, it’s commercial, but given that with PPC you pay only for the ads that users actually click through on, it’s the most cost-effective advertising you’ll ever do. Use the ads to direct users to your latest blog post, where they can find ways to share the posts, follow them using RSS Feeds and subscribe to your newsletter.
Create a Mailing List
No matter how fabulous your content is, few of your followers are going to sit waiting for the next post to come out. So the truth is, sometimes they will miss something. Encourage them to give you their email addresses by downloading free virtual products, entering your contests or simply subscribing to a monthly newsletter option.
Create and send out a regular communication to everyone on the mailing list. Include a featured blog post, some fresh news and links to the other posts for the past month. That gives your readers a second chance to see the pieces you’ve written, and of course to share them and comment on them.
Getting readers to your blog is the first step in building your website traffic through content. Using social media and paid advertising is how you let them know your blog exists in the first place. And if you want your business blogging efforts to pay off in the long term, you need to advertise your blog. Or stay in the dead zone!
*This post was originally published on Mar 10, 2014 on InBiz.me, which has now been deactivated.