This is a guest contribution from Robert Kramers.
Discouraged with the amount of traffic your blog attracts? Maybe you’re looking for ways to engage more readers, build more business and build a loyal following?
Understanding a few effective strategies can help you attract the readers you want and get them to share your content, grow your readership and increase your overall visibility.
Here are the three super-effective blogging strategies for building your reputation online.
Find Blog Topics you Know have a Proven Record
The trick to publishing content that people share, is to base the content on something that has already worked in the past.
You can take a lot of the guesswork out of publishing content by researching what people have already enjoyed and improving on it.
Hereís a few ways you can do this:
Method #1: Examine a successful competitor
One of the best ways to work out what’s popular on a competitors website is to use Moz’s Open Site Explorer.
Let’s say you are in the social media industry and you’re looking for a topic for which you want to maximize the chance of success. You could throw a competitors home page URL into OSE, and view the top pages of their website.
- Step #1: Find competitor who ranks well in Google search:
- Step #2: Enter their home page URL into OSE
- Step #3: Click the ‘top pages’ link to the left of the page (pictured)
- Step #4: Scan the list of top pages on the website. You will often find some of their most popular blog posts in among the top few pages.
Top pages in OSE are based on the authority of the page, which incorporates a number of signals including links from other websites and social signals.
In about 40 seconds of searching, I managed to find: 7 Mobile Marketing Stats that Will Blow Your Mind, which has a heap of social shares, tweets and Facebook ‘likes’ to go with it… It’s popular!
You now have a topic which you know people are interested in. Can you make it better? Add additional information or images? Rinse and repeat for other competitors and you’ve got a solid strategy for creating content you know people love.
Method #2: Work out whatís HOT using Buzzsumo
Buzzsumo is a tool which scans the web for content which has the highest number of social shares, based on keywords you type in to the search.
- Step #1: Search for your topic
- Step #2: Scan the results and find popular topics
Enter more keywords in the search and find a gold mine of topics which have a proven record of success. All you need to do now is make it better, and get it in front of people. Theyíll share it!
Pro Tip: Find out who currently links to your competitors content and show them your more advanced and improved version. Chances are, they’ll either share or link to your content.
Blog Post Titles Matter HUGELY
A great headline can help your content stand out among the information overload. It tells your readers why they need to read your article and why it should be read now, rather than put in the ever-growing stack.
A compelling headline convinces a potential reader that your content is valuable and that theyíll get something out of the effort they put in.
Use effective verbs, and adjectives amplify the effect of your blog post title. You can test some of the common headline structures to see what works best with your audience.
Include keywords in your blog post title to help with your search engine rankings.
Adding keywords to your headline is not just good for helping your website show up in Google, but it is also a proven method of increasing the click through rate (CTR) of your search engine snippet.
According to this, if I searched for “social marketing tips” in Google, I would be more likely to click this result (highlighted), than those below it because it’s a closer match to what I initially searched.
Aside from that, it has the most intriguing headline also.
Pro Tip: Make sure to include your popular keywords in your headline, to ensure your blog post has a better chance of ranking for related searches.
Deliver Great Content that Engage the Reader
In the past, obtaining visibility in search engines for your website was achievable with a few simple “SEO techniques”.
However, times have changed.
Google is more advanced and the number of shortcuts have significantly decreased. Search engines are getting better at analysing actual social signals, including shares, re-tweets, and links to your content.
Search engines use this information to determine where your content fits on the continuum of popularity and quality.
“Create something worth sharing and people will share it”.
In order to get this “social currency”, you need to provide something that readers actually want to read and share with people they know.
Blog posts that provide answers, advice, and inspiration to readers consistently generate traffic and can become cornerstones of a successful blog. And when you solicit your readersí, create discussion and get opinions you get them involved with creating and improving your content.
Specifically, consider these types of posts to engage and increase readership:
Craft Useful Answers to Specific Questions
Readers appreciate posts that provide real answers.
Present a solution or range of solutions that have gotten results, and then ask readers for their feedback. Any responses you get back will strengthen your post and help drive traffic. You may get positive and negative responses to your original answer and hopefully some additional creative solutions that readers can try.
Pro Tip: Reverse engineering common questions is a great strategy in itself for finding new blog topics.
Objective Advice / Shared Results
If youíve had success solving a problem, starting a new venture, or meeting a particular goal, share it.
Offer advice based on where you ran into problems or made mistakes. The goal is to provide inspiration to your readers and to make their path easier.
This type of content can add to your credibility as a blogger in addition to driving traffic. It puts you in the position of being the expert and gains the trust of your readers, especially if they are able to replicate your success based on the template you provide.
What strategies do you use to resonate with your readers and drive blog traffic?