Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be powerful sources of traffic for your blog. These websites are among the most popular on the internet today. Need proof? Check out these statistics:
- 72% of online American adults use Facebook*
- 23% of online adults currently use Twitter*
- 25% of online adults are LinkedIn users*
*source: Pew Research Center
People are using social media more and more every day. It has become integrated into everyday life and is used for keeping in touch with friends and family, reading the news, finding blogs to read, and researching products to buy.
While each social media site has its own flavor and features, the basics are the same. For each platform, you create a profile and connect with other users and share updates and content. That alone is not enough. You need to embrace the “social” part of social media. Make sure you are engaging and friendly. Provide value, give feedback, and listen. Broadcasting alone won’t bring your blog traffic in the long run.
Try Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is just what it sounds like — blogging as a guest on another site. This may sound counterintuitive. Why give another site your great content? Because it can bring that site’s audience to your blog.
Over the past couple of years, guest blogging has gotten a bad wrap. People using guest blogging solely as a means of link building have been penalized by Google. The main problems with those guest blog posts are that they were not well written, they were submitted to sites with little relevance to the post’s topic, and they contained overly optimized anchor text and little to no other outbound links.
When you write your guest blog post, make sure your post is well written and well researched with outbound links to authoritative sites (not just a link to your website). Ensure the site where you guest blog is relevant to your topic. If you sell copiers, for example, you shouldn’t be guest posting about copiers on a pet products site. It needs to make sense. Last, but not least, don’t over optimize your anchor text. Instead of using exact match keyword phrases like “buy copiers,” consider mixing it up and using longer phrases: “when purchasing copiers for your small business.”
Experiment with Online Forums
Online forums are another option for connecting with potential readers and customers. A forum is a site where people create profiles and discuss common interests with other users. With all the different types of forums out there — you can find them for types of businesses and industries, spiritual pursuits, musical genres, hobbies, sports, areas of science, foreign languages, video games, and so on — you are bound to find one or more where your target audience congregates.
Use Blog Commenting Wisely
Another possible source of traffic to consider is blog commenting. Just use this method as a source of good and not spammy evil. Only leave a comment on another blog when it’s genuine and relevant. Don’t just hijack a comment thread to try to push people to your website. If your comments are valuable and original, people who are interested in the topic will visit your website. Many blogs allow you to list your website when making a comment, so that’s how people will find your site when you leave comments.
A good way to keep readers coming back for more is to send an email any time you update your blog. You can use a service like Google’s Feedburner to set up a subscription service so people get an email any time there is a new post. You can also use RSS feed options in some email marketing platforms to send a weekly update of latest blog posts.
Make Your Blog SEO-Friendly
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to things you can do on your website to improve its ranking in the search engine results pages. There are a variety of ways to update your content, site architecture, etc., to ensure your site ranks for your target keywords. In a future post in this series, I’ll give you some basic SEO tips and links to resources that can help you optimize your blog for better search engine results.
The best way to determine which traffic sources to target depends on where your audience spends time online. SEO, of course, is a must because almost everyone online uses a search engine at some point to find information. Choose your other traffic sources based on your buyer or reader personas. Business buyers are probably going to be most easily reached via LinkedIn, guest blogging, and possibly blog commenting (again, use guest blogging and commenting wisely). If you want to reach coders and developers, an IT forum may be best. Sell apps or games, maybe Facebook or Twitter will be best. The bottom line is do your homework.