FREE – The Ultimate Guide To Getting Your Blog Read!

Well, we’re finally nearing the end of the road for GrowTraffic’s Blogging Series, The Blogging Blogs, and we’re now at Part 6; no, I can’t believe it either, but don’t worry – after this one we’ll be having a blogging break and looking at some different subjects for a while. Thank god!

In the meantime, we’ve decide to go out on a bang and so, in this final instalment (for now!) of The Blogging Blogs, we’ve worked our little socks off in order to bring you the ultimate guide to making sure that your blog is read. Before you get too over-excited though, you haven’t heard the best bit yet – it’s FREE!

Now we can’t say fairer than that so, without further ado, let’s get on with the show… 

FREE Guide – What To Write And Where To Publish

As with Part 5 of The Blogging Blogs, we’ve moved on from the theory behind blogging and are now into more practical territory. Hence, in The Ultimate Guide To Getting Your Blog Read, I’ve compiled the advice of many SEO experts and distilled it all to put together a useful, step-by-step manual that will help you write and then promote a blog that everyone will want to read.

As I’ve said many times before, there is absolutely no point in writing a blog if nobody is going to read it and so promoting your blog once it is written is just as important as the writing itself. Finding the right places to advertise and publicise your blog is vital if you want your blog to be worth the effort that you’ve taken to produce it, not to mention creating revenue.

To make everything just a little bit easier for you (because life is already hard enough) I’ve put everything into another handy SlideDeck, not only because I have fallen a little bit in love with SlideDeck, but also because I genuinely believe that presenting everything in easy stages, which you can walk through one step at a time, will give you a much better chance of making sure that your blog is an unprecedented success.

The Importance of Growing Your Blog

If you have followed all of the stages that I have described so far with this blogging series then you should by now have a clearly defined set of aims and goals that you want your blog to help you achieve.

Whatever you want your blog to do for you, whether it be to increase the size of your customer base, to increase your revenue or to increase awareness of your brand, the only way that you will achieve it is to continually grow your blog’s readership.

Unfortunately, given factors such as a natural dropping away of readers along the way, working to build awareness of your blog is something that you will more or less constantly need to plug away at. Even if you reach a readership that quite frankly amazes you, you should nevertheless keep going, because you can always make it better and you can always reach more people.

So What Can You Do?

Well, there are actually quite a few ways of getting more people to read your blog and, in the following SlideDeck, I’ll walk you through them one stage at a time. With a little bit of application and quite a lot of hard work, by the time you’ve put the following steps into practice, you should have a blog that is well on its way to rivalling the big boys.

The Ultimate Guide To Getting Your Blog Read
Curated by Rachel Weinhold Rachel Weinhold
Welcome
Welcome

Hello and welcome to GrowTraffic’s (FREE!) Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Blog Read. OK, we realise that this title is not exactly the most grammatically correct sentence ever concocted, but the sentiment is there! 

The aim of this guide is to take you step-by-step through the process of producing a fantastic blog that everyone will want to read.

In the following slide presentation, we’ll take you from sitting down to write that first blog post, through publishing and promoting your blog, right up until you have a blog that is not only read and shared widely but also benefits your business and, ultimately, makes you money.

Part One

 

 

Writing Your Blog

Choose A Good Title
Choose A Good Title

The vast majority of people will only start to read a blog if the title intrigues them, so make sure you pick a title that both explains what you do but also entices people to read more.

Write A Good Blog…
Write A Good Blog…

One of the most beneficial things that you can do for your blog is to make sure that you write it well. The following are a few tips that should give you a starting point…

Write In Proper English
Write In Proper English

Not only does it deny the Grammar Nazis a reason to laugh at your blog, but it also makes sure that your blog can be easily read and understood by everyone. There is absolutely no excuse for poor spelling and grammar; if it isn’t your bag then, for heaven’s sake, please just use the tools in Word! 

Write To A Person
Write To A Person

Don’t write generally to a vague, imagined audience; instead, work out who your target audience are and write to a specific person who typifies that group. Your blog will come accross as much more personal and genuine.  

Ask Questions
Ask Questions

You need to make your audience think and provoke a reaction in them, so ask questions or pose conundrums that will get them to engage their brain and involve themselves in what you are saying.

Tell A Story
Tell A Story

Research has proved time and again that people get more invested in a story, so harness the power of the fairy tale and embrace our oral tradition by weaving a tale with your blog. If nothing else, it adds a bit of variety!

Create A Sense Of Urgency
Create A Sense Of Urgency

This is an old marketing trick that has been working on our subconscious minds for generations now; people are always more easily convinced of something if you can persuade them that time is running out. Good examples are ‘buy now: only 2 left’, ‘act now: time is running out’ or ‘sign up now: places are limited’ – it’s not always applicable but is practically fail-safe if you can fit it in!  

Court Controversy
Court Controversy

Nothing gets people stimulated and talking like a bit of controversy; you don’t need to set yourself up as a hate figure, but don’t be afraid to tackle contentious issues or voice your strong opinions and then invite people to respond. You can guarantee that it’ll get your blog noticed and people will remember you.

Choose A Good Design
Choose A Good Design

As important as the words you write are, the design that you choose for your blog plays an equal role in securing your blog’s success. You only have a few seconds with which to make a good first impression and it’s highly likely that a tired and dated design will deter new visitors before they even read a single word. 

Use Good Images
Use Good Images

Humans are visual creatures, we like to look at pretty things whilst we learn, so make your blog more appealing by incorporating images. You can either put images within the body of the text or just as an accompaniment, but remember to mix it up; use stock photography, take your own photos, use templates to design your own diagrams or download appropriate graphics but, whatever you do, remember to be mindful of copyright restrictions.

Use Infographics
Use Infographics

One of the best ways of easily conveying a complex issue is with infographics and they can also be a really fun way of adding a bit of levity to otherwise dry subjects.

Use Multimedia
SEO Your Blog
SEO Your Blog

Just as with the rest of your website, you need to make sure that your blog is optimised for search engines. That means doing your research and making use of keywords, getting the right links to and from your blog page and making sure that your meta-tags and meta-descriptions are correct, amongst everything else.

Target Sharers
Target Sharers

Some people are more likely to share content than others, so make your blog appealing to a demographic that is likely to share and gear the content towards that audience and the associated platforms. You never know, you might just spark the next viral sensation!

Make It Topical
Make It Topical

In order to connect with your readers and to tune into their everyday lives, your blog needs to be topical and at least refer to, if not discuss in depth, current events and recent news stories. Having said that though, your blog will stay live on your website for a long time, so it also needs to make sense to someone who may be reading it in 6 or even 12 months time. It’s a fine balance to achieve.

Build A Blog Network
Build A Blog Network

Within the text of your blog, it’s wise to refer to other blogs that you have written previously ; it gives credence to all the blogs and helps to establish your authority. Also, reference or comment upon the work of other bloggers too and then tell them about it; this will help you to build a blogging network. 

Big Up Other People
Big Up Other People

It always pays to be nice, so reference other companies and say something nice about them, then let them know. At the very least, it will put you in their favour, but it might even get you a link or a mention by them in return. If you’re really lucky, you may even get something free!

Guest Blog
Guest Blog

Despite the recent bad press, guest blogging is still a valid tool to help spice up your blog and keep it interesting, not to mention achieving organic links. As well as inviting other people to write a post for your blog, also make yourself available to write blog posts for other bloggers; it will promote your name and help to earn you a favorable reputation. 

Part Two

 

 

Promoting Your Blog

Post Regularly
Post Regularly

How often you need to publish a blog post will entirely depend upon your business and the industry that you work within but, however you choose to do it, you need to be consistent and post your blog regularly. As SEO Consultants, we generally recommend uploading a blog post at least once a week. 

Time Your Posts
Time Your Posts

In order to maximise the chances of your blog being read, it’s a good idea to consider the optimum time for publishing. This will take a little bit of research and probably a little trial and error too but say, for example, that your target audience demographic comes primarily from the over 55 category, then there is little point in publishing or promoting your blog at 3am.

Use Social Media
Use Social Media

I doubt that there is any person writing a blog today who doesn’t promote it using social media in some form or another; it really is that vital. If you’re social media savvy then post your blog to all of your platforms but, if you’re not willing to commit your entire life to it, then just pick 3 or 4 key platforms and promote, promote, promote. 

Harness Twitter
Harness Twitter

If you do have to pick one social media platform, then Twitter is arguably the best one to plump for; it’s the perfect place to share your content with like minded people from your industry.

What’s more, research has shown that asking people directly to re-tweet your posts always succeeds, so tweet your new blog post several times using different tag lines and shamelessly beg for those RTs!  

Make It Easy To Share
Make It Easy To Share

People are essentially lazy so, if you want them to share your blog on social media, then you need to make it easy for them. Installing share buttons at the bottom or side of your blog page not only allows people to share your blog easily but also allows you to keep track of how many times it has been shared. 

Email It
Email It

It’s a simple idea, but just send a quick email out to all of your contacts to let them know that your new blog is out and, obviously, include a link to the relevant page! 

Link From Your Email
Link From Your Email

Put a link to your blog into your email signature; it can’t hurt and could just get the occasional person interested enough to become a new reader. What’s more, it’s a great technique for a bit of self-promotion, as it’ll give any new recipients the means to do some research and get to know you a little better.

Enable Subscriptions
Enable Subscriptions

One of the easiest ways of ensuring that loyal fans never miss a blog post is to allow subscriptions by email. It’s really easy nowadays to build this function into your website, so even the most technically challenged amongst you will be able to keep your readers updated regularly, not to mention start compiling your own marketing lists. 

Use Sites Like Bloglovin
Use Sites Like Bloglovin

Bloglovin is just one of a multitude of blog and RSS sites that allow readers to subscribe to and follow their favourite blogs. Bloglovin is not necessarily the best, but it is probably the biggest. Whichever you choose though (and you can go with more than one, if you have the time) making use of sites like this will certainly help to give your readership figures a bit of a boost. 

Engage With Blogging Communities
Engage With Blogging Communities

There are quite a few blogging communities out there, such as Blog Engage or Fuel My Blog, so you’ll need to do a bit of trial and error to find the ones that work best for you. Whichever you choose to use though, blogging communities are a great way of networking, building links and increasing your blog’s readership.   

Give & Accept Feedback
Give & Accept Feedback

As hard as it can sometimes be to accept feedback, the only way that we learn and improve is by listening to what other people think and perfecting out technique. So, encourage people to comment on your blog and acknowledge their contribution, then leave constructive criticism, where applicable, on other people’s blogs. If you do this right and are friendly about it, it should help you build up your blogging network too.  

Create An Ad Exchange
Create An Ad Exchange

If you can’t afford costly advertisements, then create an ad exchange on your blog’s website, where you advertise the blogs of other writers in exchange for an advert for your blog on their website. 

Use Social Analytics
Use Social Analytics

Sites such as Followerwonk and CircleCount allow you to measure the impact that your social media activity is having, enabling you to see what you are doing right and where you can improve to increase your social reach. These kind of analytics help you to keep assessing your audience and tailoring your blog accordingly.

Use Social Sharing Sites
Use Social Sharing Sites

Uploading your blog posts to social sharing sites, such as Reddit, or other content sharing sites will again help to increase your blog’s reach and get your content out to new audiences. Each industry is also likely to have their own content sharing sites, such as Inbound.org for Digital Marketing, which you can similarly make use of to promote your blog.

Participate In Q&As
Participate In Q&As

Remember that you are an expert in your field, so get your name out there and make sure that everyone else in your industry knows how good you are. Participating in Q&A sessions is a great way of doing this; answer questions on other sites or start a conversation by hosting a session on your own blog site.

Attend & Host Events
Attend & Host Events

Another way of getting your name known is to both attend and host industry relevant events; you can even offer to speak at events if you feel confident enough. These don’t have to be physical events either if you can’t manage the travelling; organize webinars and invite industry leaders to attend. It will not only get your face recognised but will also help to bolster those all-important networks.

Check Your Competitor’s Links
Check Your Competitor’s Links

There’s a great free tool from Moz called Open Site Explorer, which allows you to check the links going to and from any site on the net, so check out the links of your direct competitors and then – in the nicest possible way – try to get them for yourself! You don’t have to be underhand about this, you just have to be better than your competitors (and then point it out to the people who link to them!). 

Use Buzzstream
Use Buzzstream

Sites like Buzzstream are a great way to market your blog and help gain new links to it from external sites, so make sure you make the best use of them. 

Survey Your Readers
Survey Your Readers

For some reason, people like to be asked their opinion and to fill out questionnaires, so this is a fab way of both engaging your readers and doing some market research. There are a couple of rules to follow here though; don’t make it too long and try to include multiple choice answers. Even better, if you can, make it fun and a little bit silly. 

Have A Business Card
Have A Business Card

Again, it sounds simple, but have some business cards for your blog site printed out, so that you can give them to anyone you meet who shows even a vague interest in what you do. It’s interesting to see how you can slip the subject of your blog into any conversation!

Use Google Analytics
Use Google Analytics

Whatever tools and techniques you choose to adopt, and wherever you promote your blog, you need to always keep an eye on how your website (as opposed to your blog specifically) is performing, so that you always know what to do to improve it.

The most important thing to remember is to never give up. It may seem as though you have been toiling away on your blog for decades with only 4 loyal readers following your brilliantly crafted blog posts but, believe me, if you keep on trying and plugging away at it, you will get there eventually. 

It may take a couple of years but, if you keep on following the tips in this presentation, you will be able write a blog that is both interesting and influential and build a little reputation for yourself to boot.  

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