I am beginning my series on How to Increase Blog Traffic and Improve Search Engine Exposure at the beginning…. your blog content. It all starts on your blog. If your content is not interesting, enjoyable, or remarkable, your blog traffic will suffer. This is a fact no matter what other traffic generation tactics you use.
The Importance of Good Blog Content
For now, when I refer to “good blog content”, I am not talking about optimization, or keywords, or any other type of SEO. For this post, ‘good blog content’ means… good words, interesting reading, and your online ‘voice’.
When we get a reader to our blog, do we want them to read one article? Or read many articles? When we get readers to our blog, do we want them to visit once? Or make a point to come back and continue to read what we write?
You Can Lead a Reader To A Blog, But You Can’t Make Him Read
Or maybe the right saying is about leading a horse to water…. Same difference. No matter what blog traffic generation techniques you’re using, you can tell very easily if the content you have on your blog is serving you well. Look at your blog stats. (Hopefully, you have no less than statcounter.com installed on your blog to track your readers path TO your blog, and THRU your blog.) If your average reader reads one post on your blog and then leaves, that is not a good sign. What you want to see is visitor paths through your blog that go many pages deep. Readers will have read the first piece of content on your blog that they were brought to and want to read more of what you have to say. If you have a WordPress blog, I recommend installing some sort of ‘related posts’ plug-in. Giving your readers options to more similar content you have at the end of each post can really help with getting readers to read more.
How Do I Know WHAT To Blog About?
If you’re like I am, there are days you can think of a hundred topics to blog about…and then other days when your mind goes blank. I get great ideas from visiting related forums and reading what forum members WANT to know. Same with visiting other blogs. In the comment areas, blog readers ask wonderful questions that are almost sure to inspire me.
Do not limit yourself, or limit your blog, to only things YOU want to know about your topic. Listen to others and tell them what THEY want to know. Check your stats and look at the words your users are typing into a search engine to find you. Those words are BIG hint as to what you need to blog about…or blog MORE about. Look at what your readers are reading right before they clicked through to you. Can you expand on that topic? Can you make that topic more interesting?
I have a wonderful little analytic script installed on my blogs from HitTail.com. This free tracking software keeps record of your blog hits, the words used to find you (your keywords), and then makes you a great list of ‘suggestions’. Yes, HitTail will tell you what you need to blog about and what title to give your post. It takes awhile (depending on the volume of traffic coming to your blog) for HitTail to get a good picture and start making suggestions, but the wait is well worth it. Check out HitTail.com (opens in a new window).
Remember, The Secret to Blogging is Giving, Not Taking.
Blogs generate more traffic with every bit of good information they give away. The worst mistake a blogger can make is TRYING to sell. I remember when I first thought about blogging. I thought I could just create a simple blog, write some hyped-up reviews, and make a ton of money.
I learned (the hard way) that the more information I gave away to my readers…the more I shared what I know…the more readers were able to trust me. Earning trust online is NO easy task, but once you have it, it’s wonderful. Now, when I find a product that I truly love, I can talk about it….or even hint at it…and my loyal readers have enough trust in me to take a peek at what I am talking about. There is also accountability that comes with earning online trust. I have accepted this responsibility and hold myself accountable for the products I suggest to my readers.
Stop selling. Start giving. Earn Trust. Creating good content on your blog really is as easy as those three things. Think about the blogs YOU like to read….Why do you like to read them?
HOW Do I Write My Blog Content?
In my opinion, blogs are more personal that an online article or information website. I believe your blog should reflect YOU. Whether you want to believe it or not, YOU are an interesting person. Let YOU shine through your posts. Talk TO your readers, not AT them. Let your personality show, show your silly side…just be you!
For those that read my blog regularly, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we met in person and you felt as if you already ‘know’ me. I try to write to my readers just about exactly as I would talk to them if we were both sitting in this office.
Be Genuine. Be Quirky. Be Remarkable =)
Speaking of Being Remarkable
I keep referring back to Seth Godins theory of being ‘remarkable’ because it really resonates with me what it takes to be successful online (or in any business for that matter). When it comes to blogging and captivating an online audience, I feel that you also need to be ‘curious’.
If you are a curious blogger, you come across a new term, a tough question in a forum, or a problem that YOU have and explore it further….then you share it with your readers. If you don’t have a curious nature, it can be difficult to explore something unfamiliar and dig deeper. It is much easier to click the back button, isn’t it? However, when you challenge yourself and look deeper into an issue or topic that is out of your comfort zone, a wonderful thing happens. You learn. After your learn, you now have knowledge to share…things that others want to know.
On this same topic, I’d like to share with you a wonderful and insightful video from Seth Godin. If the video does not show for you here on your browser window, click here to watch it on Seth’s blog. It’s no wonder Seth Godin is well-respected as one the best marketers around! He has such a unique view on the world and amazing insight. Heck, who else could have thought of Squidoo?
Final Thoughts On Blog Traffic Generation with Good Content
The number one way to increase blog traffic is through the very content you put on your blog. If you don’t create content that is worth talking about or worth linking to, no one WILL talk about it or link to it. Don’t be over-whelmed by this concept. Instead, use that to inspire your writing. Each time you find in your stats that someone has linked to your blog or talked about your blog, pat yourself on the back!
Content worth talking about IS talked about.