Week 8 of 52 – Blog Posts: How to build an Audience for your Blog
As I plan for these blog posts, I try to focus on the issues and questions of my clients to keep the content as relevant as possible. This is so that they can visit each week and, hopefully, take a small gem of marketing information away utilise on their sites. This week however, I’ve been actually looking into a topic for my own business’ benefit. But as I looked into it, I realised that there might be something here for everyone – so please read on….
If you have been following Rusty Mango Design either via our blog posts or Twitter / Facebook feeds, you will be aware that I am currently undertaking a 52 week blog post challenge. And it is going along swimmingly at the moment – haven’t missed one (yet). The only problem is that only a small number of visitors to my site are actually reading it. Hence the topic of this week’s post – how do I get more people to visit my blog?
I was sure that I wasn’t the only blogger with this problem so I undertook some research on Google. The results of that research I have compiled below in the form of some tips that I will be personally to try and build the blog audience I am looking for.
Tip 1: Optimise your Blog for SEO
Many bloggers are not aware that the information they impart in their blog posts can be directly linked to their site’s ranking in the various search engines – including Google. Each blog post is another page for the engines to index. This means that the more posts you create on topics relevant to your industry, the more chances you have to be found by people interested in your line of work. A recent article on HubSpot stated that businesses generally see a 45% growth in site traffic when the number of blog entries on those sites increases from 11-20 posts to 21-50 posts.
So how do you optimise a blog post to make the most of this opportunity with the search engines?
- Optimize Blog Post headings by using keywords at the very beginning. Look at the heading for this post as an example – “Blog Posts: How to build an audience for your blog” will be far more popular than if I used “How do I build an audience for my blogs posts?”
- If you are using WordPress, ensure that URLs are using the correct Permalink structure as this will utilise the heading of your blog into the actual address for the page.
- Use Tags on your posts to sort them into topics. Note that you need to be careful not to overuse similar tags on the same post as this could lead to penalties with the Google algorithm (If you are unsure about Tags, you’ll find them in the right-hand sidebar of the WordPress screen when creating your posts).
Tip 2: Promote your Blog on Social Media and Email
This would be an absolute no-brainer for most people. What’s the point of taking the time to sit and draft up a worthy blog post if no-one even knows that your blog exists? You have to use every avenue possible to get the word spread about your Blog and get those readers coming in. Shout it out to the world!
Every time a new post is uploaded, immediately jump onto your social channels and shout it to the world. Get on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Linked In for starters – if you haven’t got accounts with all of them, join up today.
You should also send out a once-off email to your current clientele and let them know about the blog. Don’t be afraid to ask for them to pass on the word if they think you have something worthwhile to share.
Finally, add your blog address onto your email signature so that every time you correspond with a client (or potential client), that little reminder is there – “I’ve got a Blog that you need to see!”
Tip 3: Sign Up those Subscribers
To keep those who have already visited your site informed, add a very visible “Call To Action” on your site in the form of a subscription button. Using this method, subscribers will be automatically informed whenever a new post is uploaded to your blog. Why not throw in a “carrot” to entice them to sign up? A free e-book, a discount voucher or maybe even a free download – anything to get that all important consent and email address. Caution: Make sure that it is very clear what they are signing up for and how often they can expect an email from you.
Over the next couple of months (this is a long term project in order to see some decent results), I will be putting these plans into motion. To track any changes, there is a sidebar on each of my blog posts displaying the number of shares of my posts through Social media. If my popularity improved, those numbers should start to rise. In addition to this, I will also be keeping a close eye on my stats to determine what topics are proving to be the most popular with site visitors. This helps to determine which topics people are reading the most.
Keep watching my blog each week for the results….