Although last week I whined about how hard I’ve worked to build my blog, I really wanted to demonstrate that interesting articles and regular posting – even a single post a week – can get results. So if you’re like me and you just don’t have time to churn out three quality blog posts a week, take heart. The overall consensus is that maintaining a consistent blog that delivers good content can help establish an author’s (or anyone’s!) platform, encourage discipline, and allow a writer to practice craft and find a voice. In my last post, I shared five strategies that will help build your blog. Today I’m sharing points six through ten. Here’s the list again:
Ten Tips To Increase Blog Traffic And Gain Subscribers
- Post evergreen content that people want to read
- Share content across social media sites
- Use automated tools to promote current and past blog posts
- Engage the readers that you have – and hope that they will share, too
- Balance building your blog with promoting
- Repackage/repurpose existing content and remind readers about it
- Include calls to action
- Ask for and physically collect email addresses
- Host other bloggers and share guest posts with your blogging colleagues
- Pay attention to SEO – even if it’s just a little bit
6. Repackage/Repurpose Existing Content And Remind Your Readers About It
Every time you write a post or decide to add a new topic or category, ask yourself, “How can I repurpose this?” Figure out a way to repackage your work into a format you can sell, give away as an incentive, or otherwise use as an additional marketing tool. That’s why an editorial calendar works well for me – planning ahead and thinking about post topics in advance helps me see the big picture and sometimes that includes an aha moment complete with a plan to re-engineer a group of posts into something else. I’ll be working on this idea soon – and you might consider compiling a pdf/ebook or send a quarterly Mailchimp newsletter to remind your subscribers about a group of really great articles on your blog.
Don’t forget to re-use the guest posts you share with other bloggers! You can rewrite each article a bit (Google frowns on duplicate content) and eventually publish it on your own blog. Christine Nolfi’s guest post, How to Get your Book Reviewed, was actually a re-write of a post she originally published on her website. I asked her to share it with me, and it racked up 450 unique page views in 24 hours. Yaaay!
7. Include Calls To Action To Ask Visitors To Subscribe
What do the experts say is the best way to get people to follow your blog? Invite them to subscribe in multiple places on your website. This is another area I’ll be working to enhance over the next few months. I’ve hesitated until now to ask to “assertively,” and If you’re like me, you may be leery that too aggressive a stance will turn people off. Last week for the first time EVER I actually invited readers to subscribe at the bottom of the post, and I gained six additional subscribers. I want to thank each and every one!
Laura Wu of 30 Day Books says readers want to know more about the writer of the articles they’re reading. According to Laura, the “About me” page (<– see mine) is the second most visited page on most websites after the landing page. If you make your “About” page compelling enough, you’ll convert visitors into subscribers by including a good call to action here, as well. Want to hear more? Read this excellent article: 8 Actionable Ways to Grow Your Email Newsletter Subscribers.
8. Collect Email Addresses Whenever You Take Part In Book Events
I’ve noticed in the past that authors have requested email addresses physically when they man a festival booth or take part in book signings and other book events. If you’re Skyping with a book club, doing a radio interview or a Twitter chat, you should always invite your listeners to learn more about you by following your blog, and tell them exactly how to find it.
At all in-person events, display a guest book with a request for names and email addresses that is clearly labeled with an invitation to subscribe to your blog or your newsletter. Be sure to let folks know you won’t share their email address and display a clear “opt-in,” a.k.a. what you’ll be using the email for – book news? blog? If the venue provides Internet access, open a browser and pull up your website so guests can subscribe on the spot.
9. Host Other Bloggers And Share Guest Posts With Your Blogging Colleagues
Guest posting on other blogs pays off for a number of reasons: You get introduced to a new group of readers who may be so dazzled by what you have to say they’ll sashay on over and follow your blog, too. You’ll also gain another inbound link to your blog from your host’s website, which enhances your site’s credibility with search engines. Not only that, guest bloggers help defray the time and responsibility of writing every post yourself, and your readers benefit from the knowledge, insight and expertise of others. Just so you know, my guests’ incredibly informative posts almost always get more page views than my own. (Sheesh! That’ll keep me humble right there!) If you want to approach bloggers to pitch a guest post, here are some great ideas from the fabulous Darren Rowse: 6 Powerful Guest Post Tactics No One’s Talking About.
10. Pay Attention To SEO –Even If It’s Just A Little Bit
SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization.” When someone seeking information types in a word or phrase on Google, SEO refers to how well – how close to the top of page one – a website or page ranks in the results. When a blog has good SEO, it means the search engines think that website is credible and suggest its posts to people looking for the content topics it provides.
I’ll admit that when I first began to blog the concept of SEO was overwhelming, and I still don’t try really hard to utilize keywords correctly in my blog posts. Even so, my blog ranks pretty well on Google and on many days nearly half the views on my blog come from search engine queries.
A couple notes about enhancing SEO without a lot of effort:
- In each new blog post you publish, link to other posts and pages on your blog. This is good for readers, page hits, and SEO.
- When you link to posts in your article – yours and posts on other blogs, be sure to use the keyword-rich TITLE of the post as the link. Don’t just say, “click here.” Example: To learn more about how to cultivate great SEO, read this guest post by my friend Jodi Aman: Attract More Readers With SEO!
- As I noted above, guest posting on other blogs is great for your website’s SEO. When your host includes a link to your website in a guest post, an inbound link to your website is created, and Google and Alexa will show you the love.
- Commenting on other blogs can be very beneficial to your own, because it links back to your website in a round-about way. Try to get out and support your fellow bloggers as much as possible!
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