Are you a player?
Before I begin this lesson, I want to clarify something. There are times when building a massive blog following serves no purpose. Let’s say you created a blog for your catering business. Your blog is filled with some interesting articles that draw thousands of readers to your site every month. But these are mostly out-of-state readers only interested in learning about the delicious recipes you share.
As far as business goes, thousands of readers in this situation aren’t going to translate into massive sales.
The only thing you’ll get out of your blog is a warm and fuzzy feeling because thousands of people fell in love with your recipes. Now let’s focus on how to generate traffic that will actually lead to increased sales. There are 5 steps I use on my own blogs such as this one. Follow these 5 steps and I guarantee you’ll have the desired traffic in no time. Before I get going, however, I want to mention something many of you will be interested in. After reading this post, please take a look at my Free Digital Marketing Audit to see if you qualify to have your business “inspected” for free ($250 value). Now, let’s get started…
Step #1: Produce high quality, useful content
This is the most important step and something you'll learn about in my blogging guide. Even if you are able to attract visitors to your blog, if the content is weak, they won’t stick around. You need high quality content that is useful to the reader. If you have a catering business, the topics should be focused on recipes, planning events, local activities, etc. Those are the kind of topics someone that found your blog would be interested in. Plus, they are the type of topics a potential customer would enjoy reading.
Take a look through our blog. You came here because you wanted to learn ways to build your Internet business. Therefore, I’ve been creating blog posts that provide proven advice on how to grow a business online. If I mixed in some articles about top European travel destinations, they would serve no purpose. You didn’t come here for that. So stick to useful content that keeps readers coming back for more.
Equally important is to produce high quality content. The topic selection is only 50% of the task. The content should engage the readers, be interesting and mistake-free. No grammar or spelling errors.
And don’t beg readers to buy. A blog is an excellent sales tool but it shouldn’t be too sales-y. What I mean by that is give the audience what they came for. Use the blog to prove you are an authority on the subject. When you do this, readers naturally turn into buyers.
Now, I must bring up one other thing on this section; we aren’t all natural born writers. So how does an inexperienced writer produce high quality content? Your first option is to write the blog posts and then hire an editor to clean things up. That’s an okay idea, but it’s time consuming. A better idea is to outsource the writing to a professional writer. You can hire quality writers on different sites such as Elance at affordable rates. But if you have the time and talent, by all means, write the posts yourself.
Step #2: Continually update your blog
A great blog is a blog that brings readers back for more. You can’t expect to turn every reader into a buyer right away. If a reader notices you don’t ever update the content, they won’t come back again.
They will read your posts, leave and then forget your blog exists. If that reader didn’t buy something on the first visit, you’ll never turn that person into a buyer?
Create at least 2 posts every week, maybe even 3-4. If the articles are interesting, your readers will stop back each week to see what new topics you’re discussing. Some of the readers that weren’t in need of your products/services the first time just might be in need of them the second time. Also, frequently updating your blog with fresh content is good for SEO purposes. Google tends to favor blogs that update their websites with new content regularly.
Step #3: Write catchy titles (and tips on how to write a title)
When you search for something on Google, what makes you want to click on a link? Catchy titles usually, right? If you write catchy titles, you will generate more traffic from search engines even if your site doesn’t appear first in the search results. Writing catchy titles is the tricky part, so here is some advice (practice makes perfect):
Make it clear what the article is about: If I’m going to read your article, I need a reason to. How am I, the reader, going to benefit from reading the article? After writing your title, make sure the title clearly answers that question. You need to give me a reason to read your article in the title. If you don’t, I’m going to open up the link(s) that do give me a reason to read.
Tease, don’t please: The title should clearly explain what the article is about. But it shouldn’t give away too much information. If you give away the entire concept of the article from the title, why should I waste my time reading the article? I already have my answer. The title, “The Best Way to Make Money Online Fast is to Sell Your Unused Items on eBay” gives me everything I need to know. So why should I bother reading your article? Instead, try this one…”The Best Way to Make Money Online Fast”. If I’m looking to make money fast, I would want to read this article to find out how I can make that money.
Step #4: Become actively involved in social media
Perhaps Facebook isn't the best place to promote hearing aids...
Twitter and Facebook are great ways to promote your blog. Best of all, they’re free forms of marketing. There are no monthly dues and you can post as often as you want. The downside to social media marketing is it is a pain in the backside at times. In order to get anything out of your social media marketing efforts, you must put in the time and effort.
This isn’t a difficult task by any means, but it’s essential you spend some time on it. Post on your Facebook business page immediately after publishing each blog post – link included. Follow up to the comments, not only on your blog, but also on your Facebook page. Do NOT ignore anyone that comments. Acknowledge their presence and give a friendly, “thanks, I really appreciate that” response or directly answer their questions. Interacting with your followers is essential because it keeps them coming back and also leads to referrals.
Twitter is another forum you should become active on. Twitter is good for SEO purposes (posting links to your blog) and also a great way to get the word out about your blog. Posting on Twitter – or “Tweeting” – is quick an easy. Just log-in and drop the link to your blog post. There’s very little more to it. Make sure to include the title of the post – the catchy title we talked about earlier.
Step #5: Get active on public forums
How do you find targeted blog followers? By going directly to the type of audience likely to enjoy your posts. Where do you find these folks? On Internet forums. Search Google for forums where the type of people you’re targeting are likely to hangout. If you sell exercise equipment, get active on a bodybuilding forum. Here’s what I mean by “get active”…
Participate in discussions and give advice. Do NOT spam the forum with lame sales pitches. Not only will you get banned from the forum, you’ll do harm to your business. No one is going to read your blog if you join a forum and immediately begin posting links to your blog. That’s just lame. Become a respected member of the community and provide useful advice. A person selling exercise equipment should have a knowledge of effective workout programs.
Share this with the community. Always be friendly to EVERYONE on the forum. Be known as the person on the forum that always has the answers. Most Internet forums allow members to include a link to their own website(s) in the signature block that shows up below each post. This is not only great for SEO purposes but, more importantly, it’s a fantastic way to get these targeted readers to your site…assuming you’ve followed my forum posting tips above. For more detailed information about blogging and to learn how to create a blog, please check out my blogging guide.
Click the link below to download Kavit’s free report and learn his secrets to running a successful small business. Oh, and PLEASE join in the discussion below. We would love to hear about additional methods you’ve used to drive traffic to your site/blog:
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