The art of blog writing has to be practiced and honed over time, by staying committed to the cause and never giving up on your goals. Each month, an estimated 70 million blog posts get published and a staggering 77 percent of the users of the internet read blogs regularly.
These stats only go to show that blog writing, either as a hobby or a profession, is a booming enterprise that can help small as well as large businesses reach greater heights by connecting people through the joy of reading and informing.
If you are an entrepreneur who wishes to expand your business, or a freelance content writer who wants their ideas to reach more and more people, increasing blog traffic is an important objective that needs to be fulfilled. By increasing and maintaining traffic on your webpage, you can make sure that your content regularly reaches more people and you can continue to expand your prospects.
15 Proven Ways to Grow Your Blog Audience
1. Write for people and optimize for search engines
It is no secret that people are most attracted to things that they find useful and intriguing at the same time. As a blog writer, it is important to note that your topics contain themes that resonate with the audience and things that they find utilizable in daily life. From tips to improve one’s home décor to ways to maintain a healthy diet, there is a broad spectrum of topics that can be covered. The best blogs out there follow some basic rules, such as: aiming to solve a problem, having good readability, and being well-optimized. The last point is the most important because your blog will only gain traffic if more people are able to see it in their searches. That is where search engine optimization comes in.
Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is a technique to improve your website and make use of various tools so that your blog page is visible to the audience better when they search for a particular query on a search engine. In today’s day-and-age, Google is a very big source of traffic influx, meaning that more and more people turn to Google every day to find out the solutions to their problems. The more your page is optimized with tools such as commonly used keywords, link building, and search intent alignment, the higher Google’s algorithm will rank it in its list of popular web search results, leading to more clicks on your page.
2. Have a proper content plan
Apart from catering to the needs of the general audience, a blog writer should also have a structured content plan that should be put into place so that their content can hold its own in the stiff competition it faces from other blog pages. With a written content plan, they can make sure that through each step of the way their content is efficiently organized and stands apart from the rest. This can be done in the following ways:
- Note down the goals you want to achieve with your content. Is it just to entertain the audience or inform as well? With a defined end goal in mind, it becomes easier to go through some tasks and you can focus on more difficult things such as promotion and advertisement of the content.
- Know your audience better by performing some market research and understanding what sells. The more you learn about what the readers want, the more you will be able to streamline your content to suit their needs. Also, stay informed about what your competitors are putting out so that you can analyse what the readers are liking more in their blogs, especially the ones who have been in the industry longer than you.
- Keywords are crucial to the success or failure of a blog and can really make or break whether your blog reaches the top of the searches or not. More important than attracting an audience is attracting the correct kind of audience, which consists of people who are looking for exactly what you have to offer. This can be done simply by doing serious keyword research and understanding what the people are looking for, usually something with a high volume of searches but also having low competition. These keywords act as wildcards and inform the search engine about your blog’s presence.
- When all of the above is covered, make sure your content is organized into a schedule and gets posted on your page at fixed periods of time. This helps in keeping your blog active in the search rankings and always being in the race to be ranked highly. This way, loyal readers know when to expect your content as well as build momentum so that the footfall increases the next time you post something.
- Once your content is out and about, take the necessary steps to advertise and share your content with the world judiciously. Take advantage of the innumerable social media platforms at your disposal to spread the word around. Not only that, do take that extra bit of effort to give your readers some more attention and engage with them so that you are able to retain your audience.
3. Keyword Research
Keyword research is the most important aspect of having a functional SEO, which helps in diverting a lot of traffic towards your blog page. With the right keywords, your webpage can attract more and more readers. Keyword research also helps in understanding what is the need of the audience, the number of people who are searching for it, and what purpose do they want this information for. To answer all these questions, you can use a keyword research tool that can describe the traffic on the keyword, the number of times it was searched, as a part of what search query was it used, and so on.
Based on this, you can analyze which keywords are being used by the majority of websites and which ones are getting no traction at all. Such keywords are known as “long-tailed keywords”. If you are starting your journey as a blog writer, it is advised that you target these long-tail keywords and use them to bring in more traffic towards your webpage, as these keywords have very little competition from the bigger web pages that are utilizing the more commonly used keywords. You can find out these keywords easily by setting a “low-volume search” filter on the keyword research tool of your choice.
4. Consistency and Patience
As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day”, neither can your blog be built in one, unfortunately. While starting out as a blog page writer, there can be continuous dry spells of low traffic and meager engagement, but that is the beauty of being able to provide written content to the mainstream audience.
With each passing day, you get the opportunity to improve upon your mistakes and put out better content for your audience to see. The practice of blog writing requires repetitive efforts and a lot of patience to build your platform. With continuous efforts, your profile gains momentum on search engines and stays longer at a higher ranked index, and thus gradually more people visit the page.
In the 21st century, the power of the internet is only harnessed and seconded by the impact of social media on our lives. Anything that you can think of that has an identity on the digital surface is interconnected via its social media presence. So, each product and service can ideally speak for itself, considering you are able to sell it the right way. This is a part of a larger web of elements that can be described as networking. The more you, as a blog writing person, can network with your peers in the space, the more awareness, and acknowledgment you can aim to gain for your product.
One powerful rule-of-thumb the networking and social media moguls of today’s world is called the “90/10 rule”, wherein you spend only 10 percent of your resources in the production of your content, while the rest of the 90 percent is spent on its advertisement and in the occupation of media space. You can simply think of it as having a strong marketing model for your product, where the marketing activity takes double or triple the amount of effort it took you in making the product in the first place. Secondly, as a blog creator, make sure you acknowledge each and every brand or individual you mention in your articles, as these brands or social personalities can also help in driving your content to their regular consumers, thus giving you that extra bit of traction that you need. Finally, don’t hesitate in joining various online communities and talk spaces that suit your needs. These are a great source of information and socialization for you and your brand, as you get to manually carry your service to new, prospective readers.
6. User Engagement
As a budding blog writer, you have time on your hands to devote to your newly formed reader base and to make sure that they stay and come back to read more of your articles, it is a good habit to make them feel important by interacting with them in the form of communication through comments on your posts, using your social media handles to interact with your followers, and other such ways.
Also, you can assure retentivity by producing content in such a way that it does not sound too negative or boring to read. With short, succinct paragraphs and the vulnerability of you being just another blogger on the internet who has something to say will eventually attract more readers towards your content and assure them of your ability to deliver good content.
7. Email Lists
According to a study, 66 percent of bloggers use email marketing as a means of promoting their content and getting it to more and more people. It is natural that even though a reader may like your blog, they may not be able to come back to the page because of their busy schedule or maybe because of forgetting your domain name altogether. That can, however, change if they can provide their email address so that they can subscribe to your blog, whenever you upload the next time.
8. Push Notifications
Most popup notifications are annoying to deal with as a user, but as a content writer they are crucial to your art and can bring in those people who were intrigued by the look and feel of your blog but did not have the time to read through it fully. Push notifications on a reader’s browser or their phone are small reminders that can make a difference, without having to make them go through the ordeal of putting in their email every time they access your webpage.
9. Optimizing the look and performance of the page
Time is money, and a second too many spent in loading your website could mean one less consumer visiting your blog. A slow website can cause potential consumers to divert away from your content, as nobody wants to wait that extra second or two for your site to load. You should take steps to reduce this loading time as much as possible and reduce too many server requests from being generated so that your page can load quicker.
Also, take active measures to enhance the visibility of your page, making it less cluttered and easier to read. Nowadays bloggers tend to use minimalism and only keep those elements on the landing page which can directly contribute to enticing the user to stay on the page for longer and eventually come back for more.
10. AIDA Communication Model
There are four steps that a consumer has to go through before making the decision of buying a product or choosing to apply for a service. These steps translate into blogging as well, acting as a cornerstone for newcomers to base their blogging work on.
The average reader spends only 4 seconds on a webpage, before making the decision to stay longer or leave. So, in the small window, you have to grab the reader’s attention with a thought-provoking title that can hook their attention from the get-go. If your title can express the sentiment of solving a reader’s problem or pique their interest, then you can consider your title to have had done its job. Make this title segue into your introduction, which should be just as compelling as its predecessor, making the reader interested in what you have to say. When that is done, craft the main course that is your content in such a way that leaves the reader desiring more and ready to consume whatever content you put out their way the next time around. This includes putting catchy graphical figures, famous references, and overall relatable content. Once the show is over, the reader should be convinced that they want more of what you have to offer, so they can provide you with their credentials, which is the basic indication that they are willing to receive more content from you in their personal space and consequently come back to your page again.
11. Different Modes of Content Creation
Gone are the days when readers would be satisfied with a simple black-and-white blog copy and come back to read the same style again. Digital media has grown by leaps and bounds and it would be unwise to not capitalize on this. You can use your webpage and social media platforms to hold webinars, podcasts, live shows, and other such audio-visual broadcasting events to not just engage with your audience in a new way, but also put out new content. This way, the readers are able to physically witness the artist behind the craft which in turn improves connectivity.
12. Offering More Than Just Written Content
53 percent of bloggers are willing to offer additional exciting free content to their users in exchange for their loyalty to the page by means of an email subscription. By further incentivizing the process, bloggers are making sure that their readers get more than just what is on their page. This is also a good way to ensure traffic on the page, as more and more readers would like to obtain a free eBook or an online course subscription in exchange for their email addresses.
13. Internal and External Linking
Internal and external linking are methods in which blog writers provide a hyperlink to either a link in their website or a link outside the blog that contains more information for the reader to view. This is a great method to ensure traffic for a blog as search engines consider this interlinking to be a sign of a good blog, as it is viable data for a consumer, and therefore the algorithm pushes the webpage higher up in its searches. It is to be noted that as a blogger you should take care to put only quality hyperlinks and not just any common, low-pulling links. These links act as bridges between fellow bloggers, helping them achieve an increased footfall in their respective pages. As for internal linking, it leads the user to another one of your own links which they can use to understand an article better, thus providing a good structure to your blog.
14. Use of Images, Videos, and Other Visuals
It is probably common knowledge by now that we, as humans, are just inherently lazy. Pages and pages of colorless text are every reader’s nightmare and without enough graphical stimuli, nobody would bother reading through it all. It is very important to add images, videos, and other such visual elements to your blog not just to make the page look and feel better, but also to make your readers engage with your content better. If the first thing your audience sees is a neat and crisp graph denoting the number of people who used a certain commodity throughout a period of time, they are more likely to carry on reading the whole thing even if it contains lots of mathematical notations and figures. With the presence of good quality photos, your page could also be present higher in a Google image search, which can also help in bringing in new, unexpected readers to your page.
15. Start Small, Grow Big
Finally, the most important tip of all, be confident while starting your blogging journey and do not be afraid to take only one step at a time. Once you get the hang of things, build a small user base and gain some momentum, grow into the practice of writing for your audience and understanding the needs that need to be catered to. The process of growing your base is going to be slow, but in time with more and more hard work and effort your content will reach higher in the search query and you will be able to grow your traffic.