Putting up a blog doesn’t mean that you’ll have an audience right away. Here are some basic ways you can drive more traffic to your blog:
Choose a memorable blog name
Make it easy for your readers to type in your domain name without needing to sift through their bookmarks. Blog names are like toll free numbers; if your blog doesn’t resonate with people, they’ll most likely move on to the next blog.
According to ProBlogger, you can use your own name for your blog. However, the downside to this is that you might not be ready to let family, friends, and co-workers know about your blog. You would also have to train people to remember your blog name. Aside from using your actual name, you can also choose a catchy name that conveys your niche. Stay away from generic and bland blog names that are easily forgettable.
Create shareable content
Aim for well-written content that tells a story. Generally, blogging language should be simple yet powerful. You should be able to hold your reader’s interest from the title down to the last sentence. Content that sells is usually informative, entertaining, or inspirational. It should connect to your reader’s deepest needs or challenge their ideas. Moreover, choose appropriate and appealing pictures, graphs, charts, and other illustrations for visual appeal or to simplify ideas. To get examples of great content that click from one post to the next, check out Copyblogger, Social Media Examiner, and The Oatmeal.
Know the basics of SEO
According to SEOmoz, over 3 billion searches were run through Google in 2011, and this figure is increasing. Great content won’t matter much if it can’t be found. Search engine optimization will give you the needed boost for improved blog traffic. To get started on the basics of SEO, you can download this guide from SEOmoz.
Keep track of traffic
For this, you will need to install tools like Google Analytics, which lets you know where your blog traffic is coming from.
Build trust on social media
There are a lot of social networks where you can advertise your blog, and you don’t have to be on all of them. Presently, the networks with the most active users are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. When you join these networks, fill out your profile as completely as possible, making it as descriptive, as compelling, and as credible as possible. Obviously, people wouldn’t want to follow profiles which look like spammers or fake accounts.
Aside from this, you can also be active on forums and other blogs within your niche. Share insights and be helpful. Be responsive to comments and give others a link back when appropriate. You can also participate on social sharing communities like Pinterest, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, and Reddit. Each of these sites have their own formats; for example, you can ask and respond to questions on Tumblr. Merely leaving your link will not do much for your blog. Authentic engagement (creating conversation, being genuinely interested about others’ posts, etc.) is the key to building trust.
Keep your audience engaged
Want to get people to click on more of your content? Use widgets like Outbrain or LinkWithin that display recommended or related content on your site. You can also place internal links within your blog articles. To make it easy for readers to share content, add social sharing buttons and let them subscribe to email updates or to your RSS feed.
Mind your blog design
A grossly designed blog is the ultimate turnoff. Choose readable fonts, make tags visible, limit your colors, and organize your blog in such a way that makes it visually appealing. You can choose from free themes on WordPress or Blogspot that are easy to install and pimp up.
Be a guest blogger
Find sites that accept guest bloggers. Research the sites that focus on your niche and to which you can give a valuable contribution. Opt for blogs that already have a relevant audience and prepare your awesome sample article beforehand.
Update your blog or you might find your readership dwindling. Post at least thrice a week or blog daily if you can, so you can maintain readers’ interest. Never give up just because your post didn’t go viral. Keep on doing what you love, be grateful for your readership (large or small), and blog away.