5 Ways to Attract the Right Audience to Your Blog
So you’ve taken the steps necessary to start a blog, and you’ve gotten it off the ground by posting information and adding some advertisements for some monetary pay-off. After several weeks of continual posting you check your viewer stats only to find that only 60 people have clicked on your blog. It’s such a disappointing scenario, and it happens all the time. Having a successful blog is more than just setting up a space and posting to it. It involves setting aside time to work on getting your name out there and getting viewers to hit your blog. Some of the best ways to do this are by commenting on other people’s blogs, using social media, marketing in forums, marketing through videos, and guest posting to other people’s blogs.
The first way to start driving more traffic to your site is to spend some time perusing other people’s or company’s blogs and leaving comments on them. Leaving comments on other blogs shows support for those other blogs, gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself to that blog owner and their readers, and allows you to offer a link that can drive traffic to your blog. But, before you run out and leave comments on every blog you come across, there are a couple tips that should be noted in order to make it worth your time, not irritate other blog owners and readers, and seem credible.
First and foremost, choose the blogs you’re going to comment on wisely. If you have a photography business, don’t bother commenting on health and fitness or current events blogs. Instead, seek out other photography blogs, or similar blogs in the arts. These blogs are most like yours, so the blog owner and their viewers are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Additionally, choose blogs that already have great viewership. If you’re commenting on blogs that are low-traffic, you’re not doing anything to increase your own traffic, so choose sites that have already done the work to make their blogs high-traffic. You’ll know when a blog is high traffic because it will appear on the first page or two of a search engine when you type the niche area you’re searching. For example, type into the search engine “Photography Blog.” The first page will have the most popular, most high traffic blogs. Comment on those blogs in the first couple pages to maximize your time.
Next, don’t just comment once. Save each of these high-traffic blogs so that you can go back to them. Become a regular commenter on these blogs. This gets your name out there so that people know who you are, and it provides continual exposure for your blog, thus increasing your chances of driving more traffic to your site.
Be sure you’re leaving meaningful comments, and not anything frivolous. Leaving useless and unrelated comments will only serve to irritate blog owners and readers that are looking for meaningful contributions to their blog and the blog community in your niche. Furthermore, your meaningful and insightful comments will help to show your credibility and knowledge, thus encouraging individuals to trust you and your product or service, helping to drive more traffic to your site.
Lastly, be careful about your comments so that you don’t come off as only trying to pitch yourself and your business. This is part of posting meaningful comments only. Believe it or not, you don’t have to pitch your blog to drive traffic there. Showing that you are a part of the niche community is enough to grab attention and peak the curiosity of others in the community. This will drive traffic to your blog more than obnoxious product placements and overly zealous link placement will.
These days everyone is using social media sites, so you should be too! I’m not talking about your personal Facebook page, I’m talking about setting up social media pages for your blog, and utilizing it to drive traffic to your site. Some social media sites of interest to a blogger are Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you’re not familiar with these websites, now is the time to familiarize yourself with them.
Facebook is the giant in the social media space and that means access to hundreds of thousands of people. So, if you haven’t already created a Facebook page for your blog, do so as soon as possible. Although it may seem odd because it isn’t a person, fill out as much information as possible on the profile section of your page. Be sure to provide links to any other social media pages you may have, as well as add any screenshots of your blog, photos of related material, and anything else that relates to your blog and products or services you may be marketing.
Once your Facebook page is established, it is time to get out there and find people to follow your Facebook page and blog. Facebook offers a number of ways to search for friends, so utilize their search engine and befriend individuals that seem as though they may appreciate what you do. When speaking about your blog to friends or customers, be sure to mention your Facebook page, and be sure to link your Facebook page to your blog.
Facebook and Twitter can also be combined to help you get your blog content out there. There is a link-up feature that allows you to share information on both sites at the same time. Use this to share your latest blog posts. When doing this, your information and link will appear on your Facebook and Twitter pages, thus sharing with your social media followers what you’ve just done, and increasing the traffic to view it. You can also post sneak previews to blog posts before you publish them to create hype and interest in the upcoming post. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all great for this.
As with blog commenting, be sure that those you are hitting up on sites like Facebook are people within the same niche as you. This is so important because it sets you apart from spammers who indiscriminately solicit attention from social media users. This will only serve to irritate social media users. But, contacting those who are already interested in your niche will add credibility to your contacting them, as well as increase the likelihood that they will take an interest in you and your blog.
Using social networking sites isn’t all about using the actual site itself. Many social networking sites allow you to link your content to them through buttons. For example, you may have seen the “tweet this” button offered by Twitter, or the “like this” button from Facebook. These buttons allow individuals that view your blog to give you props on their social media page. Essentially it allows viewers of your blog to share your blog information with friends in their social network, thus getting your name and work out there. These types of buttons are essential for any blog, and should be a part of each and every blog post.
A similar button (or plugin) is Digg. Digg offers bloggers a button for their site that allows blog viewers to “digg” your content. The more “diggs” you get, the more traffic you have the opportunity of getting. This is because Digg will feature the content, increasing your audience and getting your name out there. Digg works best with other methods of driving traffic to your site because it does require that you get people to click “digg” on your content.
While social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are no-brainers since they’ve become household names, they aren’t the only social media sites worth putting some time into. Another great site is StumbleUpon, a search engine site that uses your search input to find web content and recommend other content of interest. Creating a profile on StumbleUpon allows you to register your content on the site, thus increasing your exposure, and your chances of getting your content found.
Forum marketing is actually a lot like blog commenting, and a lot of the same rules apply. For example, find forums that are in your niche area. Don’t bother with forums that have nothing to do with what you are offering as you’re simply wasting your time, and can come off as a spammer, instead of a reliable source. Also like blog commenting, be sure you’re choosing forums that are high-traffic. There is no point in wasting your time on forums that are dead. Be sure that the forum posts you are reading and participating in are still current and ongoing. One huge mistake people make is commenting in a forum without checking the forum’s date. If the forum is old and no one has commented for over a week, don’t bother participating there, no one else is, and your post won’t be seen.
When posting in forums, follow SEO marketing rules. Utilize SEO in your forum titles and in your posts. This will help drive traffic to your posts, and thus increase knowledge of you and your “brand.”
In addition to using SEO concepts to post, be sure your posts are relevant to the information being shared in the forum. Make your posts meaningful and useful, and don’t try to pitch yourself or your products and services. These things will come with the interest you generate in yourself and your blog, and it is important to remember that you are more likely to lose interest and viewers with pitches in inappropriate areas and at inappropriate times.
Next, keep up with the forum. When someone responds to your post, respond back. Show that you’re not just a passerby, but that you’re genuinely interested in the forum and the niche. Always respond with positive information. Even if someone responds negatively to you, do not lash out. Remember your mother’s advice, if there isn’t anything positive or nice to say, then say nothing at all.
Along the same lines as not looking like a passerby, register for a number of relevant forums. This means you should become a member. It looks better, and you look more credible, if you’re a member of the forum. Other forum members will take more interest in members than in guests, so be sure to register and make yourself known.
While posting and commenting to forums is an excellent idea, so is creating your own forum for you and your blog followers to sound off on. This is an area where few bloggers venture, but it could prove quite lucrative if you have the time to put into it. Be aware that starting your own forum means you also have to moderate it. This means commenting on posts, managing any disputes, and opening and closing posts as necessary. However, this also gives you a great opportunity for added traffic to the site. If people are constantly coming back to check on forum posts, contribute new information, and comment on other people’s posts, they are constantly on your blog. As we’ve gone over earlier, the more traffic to your site, the higher it is on the search engine list. Top of the search engine results means more exposure and more clicks! It’s a win-win situation, but you have to put the time and effort into it.
Video marketing is exactly what it sounds like: marketing yourself, your business, and/or your products and/or services via video. Today videos are huge on the internet. Where people used to read everything, videos are the new written article, and having a video is a great idea. Videos are not only a mindless way to take in information, they also offer a quick way for individuals to take in information, and provide a better option for things like “how tos” that may be difficult to explain in words. Videos also open up the market to people who may not be great at writing.
After making a video and posting it on your blog, consider posting it or linking it to other sites of interest. For example, post it to YouTube. Individuals that view your video can click a link to be sent to your blog, so you’re getting yourself out there even more, and driving more traffic to your site.
The term “guest posting” refers to posting to other people’s blogs as a guest. This is a great way to gain exposure for yourself, especially if your blog is new and in need of traffic. However, just like everything else, there are certain rules to guest posting that should be followed in order to make your guest posting opportunity worthwhile. Additionally, we’ll discuss ways to go about getting a guest posting position.
Be sure to choose a blog that is in your target market. So in other words, don’t pick a blog that emphasizes reporting current events when you’re interested in photography. Instead, seek out blogs in the same niche as you. When you find blogs of interest, follow them for a while. Comment on posts and let the blog owner and its viewers get to know you. When a good rapport is established, pitch a guest posting spot for yourself on the blog. Some blog owners don’t post other people’s stuff, and some do, so be prepared for some rejection. Typically, it is nothing personal, just the blog owner’s preference.
The great part about guest blogging on another person’s blog is that you’re getting your name out there. You’re exposing yourself and your writing/product/service to a new audience that may not otherwise be aware of you and your work. Furthermore, you’re establishing a relationship with someone else in your niche. This particular person may want to guest post on your blog as well. This is also a great opportunity to get traffic to your site. Because this other individual already has a built in following, their posting on your blog will bring their regulars to your blog, some of which may take an interest in your blog and become regular viewers of yours as well.
Remember that you can never have too many guest blogging spots. Unless a blog isn’t in your niche, don’t turn down the opportunity to guest blog. As you become a bigger part of the niche community, you’re likely to get more offers. This is a great opportunity for you to gain more followers and branch out. Similarly, unless your niches don’t jive, welcome others to guest blog on your blog.
Other than soliciting your services to other blogs in your niche, you can look for independent contracting work that entails guest blogging. Websites like oDesk.com offer individual listings of blogs that are looking for contributors. There are literally hundreds of postings for help, so be discerning when choosing blogs to participate in. The great part about getting guest blogging spots this way is that you most always get paid to do it. So, you’re getting promotion for yourself, as well as a little pocket change.