Blogging can be tough. In an ocean of content, it’s unsurprising that most blogs fail to capture even the tiniest share of the internet’s attention. In a perfect world, every blog would come with its own dedicated crowd of adoring fans, but the harsh truth is that building an audience takes a lot of hard work.
If you’re struggling to attract readers to your blog, don’t fret! There are several proven strategies you can employ which should reliably increase the traffic to your site. Read on below to find out how you can boost your readership.
Focus on long-form content
Articles with high word counts that go into great detail on a particular topic have been shown time and time again to outperform shorter, bite-sized articles. Sure, it might mean that you’ll need to come up with unique angles and display a particular expertise in your writing, but if you’re unable to do that, it’s probably a sign that you’re in the wrong niche!
There are a few reasons why long-form content consistently helps in generating higher search results rankings. Due to their larger size, longer articles have more room for relevant keywords, meaning they’ll appear in search results for long-tail keywords far more frequently. Long posts are also more likely to engage any readers who do find them.
This is especially true for a post that addresses a niche interest, whether it’s a guide to installing a new motherboard on a custom-built PC or an essay on French new-wave cinema. Come up with a particularly hot take, or write an indispensable step-by-step tutorial, and your content will likely get shared.
Optimize your blog for SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) is an incredibly deep topic, but the bottom line is this — it can mean the difference between your blog being a smash hit or a complete flop. For a step-by-step guide, check out our post on SEO for beginners. SEO is generally split into two categories — on-page and off-page. Off-page SEO refers to actions taken outside of your website — things like social media promotion, content marketing, or most commonly, link building. Link building is the process of building your blog’s authority by having other websites link back to it. It’s an incredibly effective way to boost your blog’s visibility, and if you’re unfamiliar with it, we can highly recommend Ahref’s beginner’s guide on the subject.
On-page SEO is a different beast altogether. This is the practice of optimizing all of the elements that make up your website, with the aim of pushing your site as high up the search engine’s results page as possible. Keyword optimization, internal linking (linking to other articles on your own blog), and meta descriptions all play a part in on-page SEO. Often overlooked though, is the speed at which your website loads — Google considers this when ranking your page, too.
There are many ways you can decrease load times, but one of the most important factors of your website’s performance is your choice of host. If it’s been a while since you launched your blog, consider migrating to a managed hosting solution — it’s likely you’ll see a huge decrease in load times. For example, Cloudways offers WordPress hosting with industry-leading performance and reliability. Keep in mind though that there’s little sense in having the fastest WordPress hosting if you’re neglecting all the other aspects of SEO mentioned above. Always aim for a well-rounded approach to optimization, as this will ensure your blog will consistently rank high on Google’s results pages.
Build quality links to your blog
We touched on link building in our last point, but we can’t stress enough just how important it is to gain as many backlinks as possible. Of course, there’s no use in having any old spam-laden site linking to your blog — Google is likely to penalize shady tactics like these. Instead, seek out reputable blogs which have high relevance to your chosen niche. If you’re running a blog about classic cars, there’s no point in reaching out to Ecommerce blogs to request a guest post!
Getting backlinks isn’t an easy task, but it’s worth the effort. Aside from seeking out authoritative blogs on your topic of expertise, try using HARO. Think of HARO as a matchmaker for public relations. In the simplest terms, it connects sources of information (you), to reporters (bloggers and journalists). For example, a reporter may need a quote from an expert on the difference between HD and 4K televisions. If you’re running a technology blog, this is a perfect opportunity to lend a hand. Send over your pitch and hopefully, they’ll use your quote (and you’ll gain a sweet backlink in the process!).
If you’re hoping to keep your audience engaged once they do reach your blog, you’ll need to make sure your writing is easily scannable. By making your blog as easy to digest as possible you’ll keep your readers glued to your content and prevent them from losing interest.
Keep your audience engaged by following these tips below:
- Keep your sentences short and sweet — don’t scare your readers off with gargantuan walls of text! Use plenty of paragraph breaks and consider adjusting your blog’s line-spacing.
- Add visuals — Illustrate your points with pictures. Images make things way more interesting and serve as anchors for your content, too.
- Add subheadings — Break your content up into smaller chunks and use subheadings to make navigation as simple as possible.
- Highlight important points — Don’t be afraid to go bold! Use italics to add emphasis, too.
Use Email Marketing
If you’re not keeping in contact with your readers, you’re missing a trick. Offer your audience the option of signing up to a mailing list, and use this to inform them of new posts. An email marketing list can create a powerful bond between your blog and your readers and consistently drive traffic to your site.
Convincing your blog’s visitors to subscribe to your mailing list won’t be easy, though. To do this, you’ll need to make the option to sign up impossible to ignore. Place the sign-up form on your homepage, below every post, and consider setting an automated pop-up to appear to every visitor who spends over 5 minutes on your blog.
Use a compelling message to convince your readers to opt-in. Don’t just make a demand, offer a hook: “Never Miss Another Tech Tip— Get My Blog Sent DIRECTLY To Your Inbox!” or “Want Exclusive Ecommerce Strategies You Won’t Find Anywhere Else? Opt-In To My Newsletter Now!”. If your blog occupies a part of your ecommerce site, it’s also a great idea to offer discounts for anyone who opts in.