One of the biggest challenges of social media is that it is not a quick-fire impact-driven marketing tool. It takes time to build the communities, following, and to start to gain measurable results. Blogs are not much different. It takes time to foster a following, build regular commenters, and have people share your content.
With that said, what’s the best way to drive traffic to your blog?
1. Provide valuable content – content that people want, not what you think they want.
The best way to know what this is, is to poll your expected reader base to find out what they really want to know from you.
2. Make sure the blog is decked out with appropriate meta data to ensure the search engines are picking up all of your hard work. This also includes categories and relevant tags relating to the post itself. If this blog is on your website, the meta data and tags should fall in line with the keywords/meta data of your website.
3. Market your blog.
This means including a link to your blog on all print media, on your business cards, on the social media sites, and in your email signature.
This also means pushing the content out to information aggregators… Technoratti, Digg, Delicious (for now), and a few others. It also includes posting your blog posts to Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, etc.
when doing this, turn off the sales speak, and turn on the engagement speak.
“Did you know 4 out 5 marketers only rely on #sm 20% for their 2011 plans? Read more: [blog link]” … not …. “Hey, read my latest blog post about marketing…”
4. Grow your communities external to your blog.
This means commenting on peers with similar content or complimentary content blogs, engage in dialog with people on twitter and Facebook, Linkedin too (groups, Linkedin answers, profile posts, etc.).
Establish yourself as a thought leader with valid content. and they will come.
5. Use email marketing to continue the cycle. Have a section of your email newsletter that features a popular blog post(s) each month. Leave a little to the imagination and use a “read more” link to drive people to the blog to continue reading the entire blog post. Also include links to your social media profiles in your email. And be sure to include an engaging call to action that perhaps drives them to a landing page about your blog with a few snippets from key blog posts. On the landing page, include a form for them to fill out to subscribe to the blog.
6. Make it easy for people to follow your blogs. Make the call to action to subscribe clear, and obvious. Include both RSS and email subscriptions.
7. Add outbound links within your blog posts. Include links to blogs of your peers, thought leaders, and marketing tools’ website/blog to boost your SEO rank while notifying those blogs that you are listening to their content. It all counts!
What else do you do to drive traffic to your blog?