So you’ve created your blog, congratulations on this first step. Now you’re creating amazing content and like many writers, bloggers and vloggers, you can’t understand why people aren’t flocking to your work. Increasing traffic may in fact be the hardest part, especially in the early stages, even if you have great content.
This is all too common in the world of media. Understanding the Internet is not for the faint of heart. Fortunately for you, here are some tips to increase your brand awareness and help you with increasing traffic overall on your blog or website.
1. Search Engine Optimization
The first priority of anyone starting a blog or media site is to understand what SEO is. Search engine optimization is what helps search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing identify your content on the web. The explanation is the only thing simple about SEO. If you’re using WordPress there are multiple plug-ins (Yoast being the most popular and most highly recommended) that are available to help you integrate SEO, but the key thing to understand is that SEO is a daily task that you need to take into consideration every time you post a story or image on your site.
People will charge you anywhere from $25/hr to $600 a month to get your SEO right, but here are some things you can do on your own to start seeing immediate results and help you increase traffic.
a. Develop a list of keywords you want your site to receive attention for. There are tools out there to help you determine the best keywords for your site
b. Make sure every page on your site has a unique and catchy title and where possible use one of those keywords from above in your title
c. Title every image on your site. People search images and memes all the time, but there’s no way they are finding your image if it’s saved as “untitled” or “image1”.
d. Highlight keywords in your story
e. Link to other sites/sources in your pieces. These are called backlinks.
f. Get other blogs sites to link to your site and content. This helps increase your Web authority and tells Google that other people also respect your work.
g. Write guest blogs/posts for other sites. The more popular and reputable the site, the better. Also include a link to your site in the post or in your bio so that helps the attention spread.
2. Step Your Social Media Game Up
Use social media to your advantage. I like to tell people, social media is a sport, and you have to figure out which one is for you (or most useful to you). For some it’s instagram, others it’s Facebook, others it’s twitter, and on the rare occasion you may have a multi-sport talent who can perfect multiple social sites. Whatever your focus, put that time and energy in to create an audience that is tangible and will support your site. There are sites that are getting up to 80% of their overall traffic off Facebook alone. That’s a lot! But if you can get a few thousand views off your posts off social media it makes your overall traffic goals that much more attainable.
Also with social media, sharing is caring. If people aren’t sharing your content (and if you aren’t sharing your content on your personal page or in your groups, etc.) you are not using social media to your advantage. But not those generic posts. Write a little blurb to garner interest.
3. Keep an eye out for what’s on the rise
This could fall under social media 2B. Discover rising social media. Google+ and LinkedIn are examples of social media that have been around for a while, but there are opportunities that exist within them now that might not be available through the more common social sites. It may be a bit easier to build up a following and an audience where other people aren’t trying so hard. And if you can stand out where others will be flocking to in the coming months then you are ahead of the curve.
Discover the opportunities that Google has to offer. For magazines and blogs Google has something called Google News. That comes with Editor’s Picks. That combination can make quite an impact on your traffic. This will take some research and you may have some trial and error, but once you get the hang of it, you will see an increase in views.
Flipboard is an app that comes courtesy of Android phones. It features news and content from all different types of magazines. You can sign up to share your content there as well. As with anything else you will have to build up your followers but if your piece can get some traction, you can have some really good days of views.
5. Develop A Team
This doesn’t get talked about enough with content creation, but that’s what every good site needs. You need people that are sharing your posts and putting it out to audiences you might have time to reach. You need someone handling the tasks that you might not be able to focus on because you’re so busy creating content. You need posts from other people, because even if it’s your site and your voice, it won’t hurt to bring in someone with a different audience and a different viewpoint from time to time just to break up the monotony and bring in new eyeballs to your content.
6. Create a Mailing List
A good mailing list is worth a nice amount of money if you manage it and maintain it right. Those fans or followers or supporters—whatever you want to call them—are crucial to bringing repeat readership to your site. People forget about you if you don’t remind them. Be careful not to spam or over do it, but if your content is good and your headlines are catchy, people will keep coming back… and you’ll be well on your way to increasing traffic on your site.
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