You’ve started a blog, wrote a few articles and shared them on your social media pages in hopes of getting a few readers. Now the crickets are becoming so loud that you can barely hear yourself think. To add insult to injury, when you look at a colleague’s blog you don’t see any crickets, what you see are people commenting and sharing on social media. You just can’t seem to understand why they aren’t doing that on your blog.
Sorry… There is No Magic Bullet
So what gives? How does one get a blog off the ground? Is it a matter of purchasing pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google, or is there some sort of SEO sorcery in the back-end? Chances are neither, since SEO can only take your blog so far, and PPC is in the same boat. The good news is that the organic growth of your audience is something that you can work on daily and see results.
A popular blog is popular because of several factors that you may or may not be able to replicate. Even copying the formula may not work due to things like timing, industry, and external links. Like everything that deals with sticking out in a crowded space – there are tons of blogs – you may not be able to summon success, but what you can do is have the right things in place for when opportunity does knock on your door.
Why Are You Blogging?
When you start a blog you should set a goal, and when you have that goal in mind, do some research into what it will take to achieve it. A popular goal is to get x amount of readers per month, readers equal pageviews, and with pageviews comes opportunity. One of the biggest opportunities with having a popular blog is that your articles get top billing on search engines, and doors will open for both advertising and guest articles.
Another popular goal is to “build a community”, which can be utilized for so many different things. A community gives you direct access to your audience, and you can use that to grow a fan base. Unfortunately this goal is one that you have very little control over since a community comes from the blog’s readers interacting with one another. Still, a blog writer that is active in the comment section can help to bring a community of readers together.
Growing Blog Traffic – The Old Methods Still Work!
One of the best ways to get your blog some attention is to have popular blogs linking to it. But since those sites are the authorities in your area, they won’t give you a link just because you ask. Getting links can be done through contributing guest articles, paying them outright, or leveraging their comment section. Should you pay for links? The short answer is no, paying for links will get you on the naughty list of Google search.
Guest article writing is a great way to bring in traffic, so email the blog owner about writing for the site – keep it short, concise and honest. Popular blogs get inundated with emails from people looking to guest blog, so get to the point of your email fast. State what you intend to write about and why it will benefit their readers. Here’s an example of a good guest blog email:
Subject: Can I write an article for you about traveling on a budget?
A few years ago my husband lost his job and money became an issue for our family. This was a bummer but even worse we had to find a way to tell our children that there would be no summer vacation to the Florida Keys (we go every year). My husband and I put our heads together and did some research into traveling on a budget and wouldn’t you know, I learned so much on the topic that I started my own blog on it (blog link).
I’d love to write an article for your blog to share some of my knowledge and hopefully help someone who is going through the same thing we were. I see that your blog primarily covers self-help tips, and I think that your readers will find a lot of value in it.
Don’t just copy and paste these emails if you’re emailing several blog spaces. Make them all unique and individualized to the specific person and blog. DO NOT recycle articles from your own blog, and if you place a link in the content back to your blog (which you should), make it as natural as possible, and make it a helpful link possibly pointing to another helpful topic.
Here is a list of five additional tips:
- Take an unpopular stance on an age-old subject.
- Let me preface this by saying that you should avoid political and religious fallout as much as possible by positing facts, and taking a neutral stance on articles like this. You want to trigger emotion, and response, but not at the cost of your reputation and future readership.
- Answer questions on topics that you’re well-versed on.
- Get to know other bloggers, learn from them and share posts.
- Respond to your reader’s comments fast and professionally.
- Start an email newsletter with convenient sign-up on your blog .
- This is its own article, but many bloggers have seen success with email campaigns that update readers on when new content is on the blog. Emails are easily forwarded and shared, so it definitely has growth potential.