If a tree blogs in the forest will anyone reblog it? When writers turn to blogging, they often do it to gain a voice and work to attain some popularity. Some bloggers have a pre-built audience when they start. If you’re like me, you have to build that popularity from scratch. You have to prepare for popularity and then push it out there into the respective channels.
Prepping For Popularity
In your site design, you can make your content easy to share with a few easy steps.
Make your site’s content catchy. Be a little bit lurid-- you’re not gunning to be the next New York Times, you’re gunning to run the next Buzzfeed or Huntington Post. Sedate approaches will have less impact.
Make your site easy to read. All of the good technology and earnest marketing will not counteract a hard to read website. Look at the design piece from last week
for more about design.
Inside of every web page there is the HTML source code. The source code has a preamble element called the head. It holds lots of supporting information. Of special importance, it holds “metadata.” Metadata talks to search engines and other automation systems to convey what the page is all about. Don’t miss the opportunity to implant useful information in there to be sucked up by search engines.
Most content management systems have extensions available that can be used to make your site ideal for search engine uptake. Using a plugin or module (“SEO By Joost” for WordPress; “Meta Tags” for Drupal; “SEO & Metadata” for Joomla) you can make your site friendly to search engines. When in use, make sure these extra fields are well used. Fill out as much as to can to give your content special relevance.
Make you content easy to share. To do this, you need to make your website easy to share by placing links on your website and dressing them to make them obvious. Some content management systems have this sharing capacity built in. The web service Addthis.com has a set of sharing tools you can add to your website.
Routes to Popularity
Once you have your content and a design made for easy uptake, you need to get the word out.
Ten years ago, this would have been a tertiary approach at best. Google used to rule the roost with the majority of traffic coming in via Google. Nowadays, social sharing is the main conduit for new pageviews. You need to share your posts with others. I usually share them in two directions: to friends (read: Facebook) and to strangers who are listening (read: Twitter).
An organic search is a search that generates traffic results without going through paid advertisements. These are often considered more earnest and worthwhile.
With one busy website I used to do a lot of work for saw 55% of their traffic come in via Google. Nowadays, Google gives me 4% of the by blog’s traffic. For others who are much more keyword rich content, they can see a large share of the traffic come in from keyword searches. Well scoring content can remain in a good position for some time.
Paid search is traffic obtained through banner advertising and other paid placements. Paid search can be really effective in getting instant trap, but I find it’s like taking a hair dryer to a balloon. Once you get it going, traffic flows. As soon as you stop paying, the traffic goes away.
If you want to pay for love, there are some some good places to go for cheap traffic - http://www.thosedewolfes.com/blog/other-PPC-advertising.html
You can list blog in one of the many blog directories that exist. The number of blog directories has died off a little. This is a link to a decent number of existing blog directories.
Some of these directories cost money to submit to. Even if you have the budget and real desire to get listed, I would say, “don’t pay for love.” I have to think that eventually Google and other search engines will discriminate against paid listings. if you have to pay for a listing, it could actually set you back.
Join a blogging group. I am part of several blogging groups. These groups share tips. They urge fellow members on. Ultimately, they help each other. One of these groups is Blogging for Business
. There are a number of blogging support groups out there, especially groups to support niche bloggers. Track one down. If you can join one of those groups, then join, play along and try to get some exposure.
Ask people if they want to be “on your list” -- a mailing list. Hang out a “subscribe” form on every page of your site. When you build a list of followers push them cool stuff. Give them extras. Give them your content before you post it to your blog. And monetize. Give them something to buy from you.
The Bow (Or Is That The Bow?)
Next week, let’s talk about pulling all of these elements together with a common goal of making a good blog that is easy to read, easy to market and easy to turn into a source of revenue.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay