New blogs pop up all over the internet each and every day. But most bloggers seem to have trouble finding the right kind of traffic to their new site and get tired of posting over time to a non-existent audience. When this happens, the new blogger tends to lose momentum and will typically quit posting before their blog even has a chance to bring in new fans. So the answer to this question is very important for the new blogger to understand in order to build their readership from the very beginning. What I’m covering in this article is what I classify as my three key areas to address in helping you gain a following and a real buzz about your site.
1. Key area #1 pertains to the way a blog is built using the proper plugins and functioning widgets.
If you are wanting real “social proof” you have to show other readers that you have readers, too. I know this sounds strange (since you don’t have any, yet), but you should always prepare for (and encourage) your readers to post comments on your blog, first. Find a plug-in that shows how many comments you have at the top of your post. I know this sounds scary in the beginning and you’re probably thinking – “what is this going to look like to others visiting my site?” But, trust me, when you get comments coming in, this one step will entice others to want to “stay and read” what you have to say. It gives your site more credibility, too. The same thing goes for the Facebook “Like” and Twitter plugin. If your readers know you have a large fan base that is commenting, “Liking” and “Retweeting” your posts, your messages will get shared more freely. Showing these buttons on the top of your posts sends a subliminal message encouraging everyone to engage with your site.
Speaking of sharing – the best way to get your readers to share is to offer the right tools for doing so. At the end of each post, add a plug-in that allows your readers to share. I use a plugin known as “Sexy-bookmarks” and it allows me to add lots of sharing tools after each post. What’s even better is that it allows the reader to use the print button to send the article to their printer or convert into a pdf format. Really cool, I must say!
For even greater interactions, be sure to add a sign-up form on your site. The best way to get subscribers is to offer some type of gift for signing up to receive your updates. Some great ideas include e-reports, videos, audios, e-classes, or anything you can come up with that would be of interest to your readers. Also allow your readers to sign up through an RSS feed, too. Giving them options as to how they would like to receive your information will result in higher readership.
2. Key area #2 deals with finding large audiences to publicize your site through.
Now it’s time to get serious about finding your perfect audience. In order to do this effectively, you should know your audience well enough to know their specific interests. Think about other types of industries that cater to the same audience without competing with you. Some examples might be a dog groomer and a veterinarian, a beauty shop and a day spa, or a CPA and a financial planner.
Next, find the top bloggers, (with very large audiences), in these industries and visit their blog. Another industry to team up with would be any famous type bloggers your audience already reads (maybe some television and radio type bloggers). Creating a beneficial “joint venture” with these types of bloggers can be golden, if approached correctly.
Finally, to partner with such a blogger will take some carefully planned strategies. Keep in mind; you do not want to annoy them by blatantly marketing your site before they have time to get to know you. It’s best to have a strategy that would benefit both parties, otherwise you could get banned from their site if you don’t follow their rules. Start out slowly by reading their blog first, then join their reader list, and lastly, start making comments on their posts. If you comment frequently enough, you should ask them if you could post an article their readers might enjoy. The main thing when doing this step is to be patient and remember the rewards of posting for all their readers to see (with your site information listed), can be a huge payoff in the end.
3. Key area #3 is all about getting the word out to everyone.
When posting your articles and information on your blog, set up an “auto-post” to other sites. There are many plugins available that will take care of this task for you – OnlyWire.com, Hootsuite.com, and one of my favorites, LinksAlpha.com. A word of warning, though – when auto-posting to your social media sites, be sure to post the other way around on Facebook, because Facebook ranks your posts higher when your posts are automated through their apps, instead. But, the other social media sites don’t seem to mind either direction – so auto-post away on these.
Search engine optimization keywords should be added to each post (an each page). There are plugins available to help with this task, too. To find your perfect keywords, try using the Google Keyword tool. It not only helps you find the right keywords, but directs you to other words and phrases most often searched for by your readers. The plugin I use for my SEO is the “All in One SEO” plugin. Of course, there are many more available, just be sure to use one that prompts you to fill in your optimization on each post.
Lastly, you should submit your site to all the top blog directories. There are many directories in which to add your site and an endless amount of these are useless. A good way to start is to check out a few of the more credible directories through searchenginejournal.com. They provide links to some of the best blog directories on the internet and their list is compiled fairly often. Of course, you could also use some blog directory posting software; just beware of the ones that list your site in directories that seem to get blackballed with Google. Being listed on one of these sites can be deadly to your ranking, too.
Well, that’s just a few of the startup tasks involved with developing (and publicizing) your blog. Although there are so many more strategies to use as your blog grows. So I’ll be posting more information on this topic from time to time, which is a good reason to sign up for my updates.
And, for those of you that would like help with your blog (and blog traffic) immediately, contact me to discuss one of my blog services – either my “complete, customized blog development” services or my “blog review and suggestions” consultations.
Here’s to creating your own fabulous blog buzz,