If you are a blogger, then I’m sure writing and publishing content feels like an extremely gratifying experience. But, are you satisfied with the way your blog is growing? Does it have the kind of traction it deserves?
Writing an amazing piece of content is great, but it’s not enough. It’s only one part of the deal that will get you a step closer to your desired results.
Thing is, if you’re new to the blogosphere, and have zero audience, publishing articles that no one is reading would not take you anywhere. Even if you have great secrets that can change the game of your niche, they won’t help people unless they read what you have to say.
This rings true for many bloggers, even those who’re not so new to the blogosphere.
According to Paul Graham, a blog needs to grow by five to seven percent every week, and if that is not happening in your case, then it calls for some serious action steps.
Today, I’ve compiled a list of eight things that, if done consistently, can bring astounding results for your blog. Most of the times, it’s the things that you do after publishing your blog that really make all the difference.
Answer all comments
You love this blog. You read it every day. You have subscribed to its newsletters. You have great respect for what the blogger has to say. Then, one day something in the post hits a raw nerve. You decide to post a question in the comments’ section. And you wait. And wait. And wait.
You never hear back from the author. And that’s when you realize that almost no one has received any replies from the blogger. Even some very vital questions remain unanswered. So, you go and look for them elsewhere.
If you’ve been there, the feeling is definitely not good.
As a blogger, you write for your audience. Readers who are loyal followers are assets, and should be treated as such.
Whenever you get comments on your blogs, make sure to reply as soon as possible. Usually, comments start pouring in as soon as a blog is published (especially if you’re an established blogger). Make sure you block some time off your schedule (within 24 hours of posting a new blog) to reply to each of the comments.
Engaging with your audience one-on-one has multiple benefits. First, it gives you a chance for a personal exchange with your readers. Second, you immediately double the number of comments, thus gaining social proof for your blog. And, finally your responses encourage other readers to engage more frequently, which can in turn provide valuable content for search engine traffic.
On the other hand, if you are just starting as a blogger, comments will be much less in number. Let’s say you receive five comments on your post “7 ways to make a more productive workspace”.
You reply to each of these, and viola! Now you have 10, instead of five. Replying to each comment individually also shows readers that you care about what they have to say.
The number of readers will increase as a natural consequence of this action.
Use social media to your advantage
Almost every day, new social media platforms are emerging. Using all of them does not make any business sense. I recommend that you focus on only a few, choosing those that best fit your needs.
Before you create a social media strategy (and yes you need one!) you need to understand that there are big social media platforms, and then there are niche platforms.
We have seen that Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn are responsible for sending the biggest size of the traffic to any and all blogs.
You must begin by identifying your reader. If they are mostly professionals, then you should focus on LinkedIn, and if they are big on visuals, focus on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter. While sharing on social media platforms might seem like a very simple activity, over the period of time as you keep doing it, you will realize that it’s both an art and a science that requires a lot of patience and consistency.
Use these programs to repost old content and give them new life. You can also change their titles when sharing on different social media sites.
Another advice that I’ve found useful is to use snippets of information from your blog, and share it on social networking sites, without a link. You can also share short tips that are useful as is or statistics that are awesome, but that might not make blog content. We come across such information while researching for articles.
Build an email list
People on your email list already enjoy your blog. They like what you write, and so it makes sense to share any new post with them first.
You can use the below email to send out new blogs to your new and old subscribers.
Hope you’re doing great!
Just wanted to share my latest blog post [add post title] with you.
I would love to hear your feedback on this.
Short and sweet!
Building an email list isn’t easy, but it is extremely useful. Here’s how you can build a strong subscription list.
Cover your topic in-depth
Creating a resource that is incomplete, or doesn’t answer several important questions does not make sense. Churning out article after article without ensuring quality will not be of much benefit in the end.
So the best route when writing a blog is to go narrow and deep into whatever subject you may be writing about.
I recommend this monitoring method that can help you stay on top of your niche, and bring back traffic.
Using Google Alerts is very simple. Just open the bar. Type the keywords you would like to receive updates for. Click on “show options” to set an alert frequency and any other parameters that are of interest to you.
Once you receive the list of all the articles that have used the same keywords as yours, you can go to each one and post thoughtful comments.
Get rewarded for your favors
You might not realize it, but you are giving favors to at least a few people every time you post a new article. Whenever we link to another article on our blog, it sends bits of traffic their way.
The problem is many people won’t usually realize that websites are linking to them unless they’re closely monitoring theirs.
So here’s what you should do.
Every time you link to a website, blog or article, send them an email saying that you enjoyed reading their article as it had a ton of really great information. Share your own blog with them and tell them that they can share it with their audience if they find it useful. No hard-sell needed.
Dear [name of the website/blog]
Hope this email finds you well.
I was reading your article [add the link of the article] and found it very interesting, and useful.
In fact, I’ve used it in my own blog that talked about the same subject [add the link to your blog].
Please do let me know if you liked my piece and feel free to share it with your readers too!
It would be best to keep the email short, and to-the-point.
A word of caution here; do not link to sites only to get links. Only do so if you genuinely find the resource useful. Additionally, make sure your own posts are data-driven, in-depth and very well-researched so they can be used as a quality resource by other websites.
Use aggregator sites
Aggregator sites are websites that collect content from various online sources and post it on one portal to be discussed and voted on. Most aggregator sites actively look for content, and are an excellent source of driving quality traffic back to your website.
The only problem is that aggregator sites do not exist in all niches. They mostly cater to technology and business-related subjects.
Reddit is one excellent aggregator site that has several sub-reddits. These subreddits act as individual aggregator sites, and content can be shared simultaneously on several of them.
Please be cautioned though that many such websites will flag you for spam if you immediately start sharing links the minute you join.
It is therefore essential that you should first contribute to discussions for a few weeks before you start sharing links. Most of the time, links should constitute less than 20 percent of your overall input.
Other aggregator websites include:
- BizSugar (for smallbusinesses)
- Lobsters (Technology)
- Product Hunt (Products, SaaS and related categories)
- Inbound.org (Digital Marketing)
- Growth Hacker (growth hacking community)
Admit yourself to the blog owners’ society
If you are new to the blogosphere, you might be struggling with zero or very few comments, and/or little or no views. If it’s any help, know that you are not alone.
I’m about to share with you a strategy which is about as underused as it is powerful. Build relationships with five bloggers, and you have five comments. Reply to all of these and you instantly make it ten.
Here’s how you start.
First go to Google search and write “Top [your niche] blogs”. You should be able to get several lists that boast 50 or more blogs.
As you skim through the first 10-15 blogs that are prominent, you will start seeing many smaller blogs, usually run by a single person (the author) with a small, but dedicated audience.
Once you have zeroed in on the five blogs you would like to establish relationships with, start writing very thoughtful comments on their blogs. If possible, make sure that these comments should add value to their articles.
Now, after leaving the comment, wait for anywhere between two days to a week before writing them an email.
Here’s the template you can use:
Hello [name of the blog owner]
Hope this email finds you well. I came across your website and found that your articles are a treasure trove of information!
Too bad they’re not receiving the kind of views and comments they deserve. To be honest, I find myself in a similar situation.
How about we exchange a couple of comments every time a new post goes live? I think it would encourage other readers to do the same on our blogs. It’s a win-win.
Here’s the link to my blog [add the link].
I look forward to hearing back from you.
It is important to know that not everyone will reply to these emails, however some will.
Contacting 20 or so bloggers should do the trick.
Use social media forums, groups to your advantage
LinkedIn and Facebook groups are two categories that you should target right away. On both social media networks, you should join at least five to 10 quality groups.
Let’s say you open your LinkedIn account and decide to search for groups related to your niche. You will find plenty of them. But before joining any of these, make sure that you see the following:
Every shared link or message should have at least a few comments and likes. It is understood that whenever you join a group, you should not start sharing links to your content immediately. Take a week or so to participate in group discussions, post thoughtful comments on what others are sharing and then share your work.
The same rules apply to Facebook too. Once you look for relevant groups, you will get hundreds of results, but join only those that serve your purpose, and allow you to meaningfully interact with other members. In Facebook, you will also find that many groups are closed and most of them are strictly moderated, with members sharing meaningful content and partaking in discussions.
For a person like me, writing a detailed, catchy and innovative piece takes anywhere between two to four hours. And that’s a lot of work. I’m sure you bloggers already know what I’m talking about.
That is why it makes all the more sense for my blog to work harder for me, by receiving the kind of traction my time investment deserves.
Hopefully, you would have found the above list useful. We would love to hear your views in the comments section.