Starting a blog is something that all of us can do, we can download WordPress or even create a WordPress account and begin writing, easy stuff. If we’re feeling a little bit devious we could also consider blogger, but let’s assume we’re not that deranged. The other option is to not use a traditional blog at all and use something like this website builder. But what then, how do we get people to see our fresh newly written content that we think is the best thing since sliced bread? Well I can tell you, from personal experience it’s a real challenge. Getting a blog off the ground, however well-written it is for the most part is a tough, tedious task. Experienced bloggers struggle, big companies with great articles published day in day out struggle and even some of the most well known blogs on the Internet today struggle to maintain a regular readership – so what hope do the rest of us have?
This article will explain the basics on how to get your blog out there and get an initial audience but how well you can retain that audience and grow it to the levels needed to perhaps generate revenue will be down to you and your own marketing abilities.
1) The E-Mail List – People these days scoff at the idea of creating a mailing list, surely e-mail is a thing of the past and we all just read sites and tweet/fb each other if we have something to ask? Well, like it or not a well built e-mail mailing list is still one of the best way of getting in touch with a visitor after they’ve come and gone to the website in question. If you want to grow your blog the first step is to maintain your readership once you have hooked them in. It is much better to get 10 readers and have those 10 people read your blog for the rest of time than to have a quick influx of 1000 visitors and have none of them bother come back around a second time. Building an e-mail subscription list at least gives you the chance of a repeat visitor. Be sure to make sure the actual e-mail you send out worthwhile though. People get enough junk in their Inbox already without seeing your post round ups. Make it worth their while, limit the unsubscribes!
2) You need a social presence – Even if you despise posting Facebook updates and those who do it, you need to participate. Same with twitter. Regardless of what you think of the platform it’s still a fantastic way to get the word out about what you’ve posted and also as above can give people a way to keep track on your blogs development rather than randomly finding it again months later. If you’re posting/tweeting about things you’re posting you will also find that you can get instant traffic through to your content from a live audience – no waiting months for Google to position your content in a way that actually yields visitors from search. Good content, well introduced will yield social traffic if promoted correctly. Social media really can be a case of build it and they will come unlike traditional search traffic.
3) Find like-minded bloggers – If you’re in one of the more popular niches or sectors you will no doubt have lots of competition. That can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you position yourself and the extent of your marketing efforts. You need to get yourself featured on these blogs in some way, shape or form. If you have a finance blog, people reading other peoples finance blogs are your audience. You need to steal them away. There are numerous ways of doing this. You can buy a direct ad from the third party site, you can guest post on their blog or you can give your insight on one of their posts by way of the comments. All of these methods will work in some sense and will provide some traffic. Sure, the traffic will be minimal but it will be your desired audience which is worth ten fold the equivalent in non-targeted traffic.
4) Optimize it for search – Search engine traffic should still be at the forefront of your mind when marketing your blog. People still search and will do for a long time to come so your content needs to be visible and relevant to the sort of thing people search for. I’m not suggesting to create content solely for search engine purposes but be sure to include relevant phrases and keywords within your blog posts that people search for. You will probably do this naturally anyway if you’re creating good content but make sure your title and opening segments get to the point and are geared primarily to the main topic if your post.
5) Links, you need links to your site – Buying them is a no go area but if you create good content you shouldn’t have any trouble getting other blogs to link you. This may happen naturally but you may need to present your content to the right people in order to get that ever important link back to your site. Perhaps contact some of the people you have identified in step 3 and see if they want to share your subject idea with a reference to the post you have created on the same matter. This usually works providing the article you have written is of value to the audience – both yours and theirs.
So there we go, not a complete list by any means but these 5 steps will all yield traffic either from the outset or on going. You can use any or all of the steps above in order to yield traffic but make sure when you do get the traffic you try your upmost to retain it. Good domain, design, content are ever important and you shouldn’t neglect any of these factors.