Traffic. In all honesty, isn’t that what every good blogger wants? I mean, every blogger wants to create good content and have a stunning blog, but most of all, they want to be recognized. Because of this, thousands of bloggers spend millions of dollars to advertise their blogs, only to realize that their new “followers” are all fake.
How can you avoid this? How can you, as a blogger, target the right audience and bring in as much traffic as is possible within your limited number of followers?
Beginning the Post: Relevant Pictures
I wrote about this at length last week, but if you weren’t paying attention, make sure you are now. Studies show that inserting one relevant picture into your blog post can increase traffic by 200%! Now, the crucial part of inserting a picture is making sure that the picture is appropriate to your blog post. If you’re blogging about abortion, but insert a picture of neighbor Jim, won’t your audience be confused? They’ll be out of their minds, trying to figure out the connection between abortion and Jim, and they might even assume that Jim had the abortion, which would be a disaster if it wasn’t true. Always make sure that your picture is obviously related to your topic. If you’re blogging about abortion, show a picture of a baby. If you’re blogging about music, insert a picture of a guitar.
Continuing the Post: Long, Relevant Posting
Yes, you read that right. The best post is a long post. Not overly long, mind you, but decently long. Neil Patel, the leading name in Google SEO and Traffic, claims that his posts contain over 4,000 words apiece (2019). He backs this up with a citation to his monthly traffic, which reaches well over 800,000 views a month. Obviously, Mr. Patel knows what he’s talking about.
Now, you’re probably wondering how on earth you can write posts that long. It seems like a difficult thing to do, but in all honesty, it’s not. I can rattle off a 1,500-word blog post in an hour (all my WordPress posts are above 1,300 words, including this one), so you should be able to handle 1,000 words.
One way to make writing long posts easier is by ensuring that you have a full understanding of what you’re talking about. Have you ever noticed that old people could talk for hours about their favorite hobbies? Well, that’s because they’ve spent hundreds of hours researching and thinking about it. The more a person knows about something, the easier it is to write or talk about it. So, before you do a post, ask yourself: Do I know what I’m talking about? If so, go right on ahead. It shouldn’t be too hard to pull 1,000 words out of your pocket. If not, do a little research until you’re confident you can do it.
Another way to make writing long posts easier is by making sure you have the time to do so. Even if I can write a 1,500-word post in under an hour, that doesn’t mean I could do it in a half-hour, especially if I’m being rushed. If you want to write a quality, traffic-worthy post, make sure you have at least forty-five minutes to write, and you aren’t on a tight deadline. Otherwise, the writing will seem forced (because it is).
Beginning the Ending: Asking for Followers
Honestly, this is one of the most humbling things a blogger can do. If you really want people to follow your blog, you have to remind them. In today’s world, most people have the attention span of a gerbil. Even if you’re lucky enough to have them read your entire post, it’s not likely that they will click that Follow button of their own accord. So, to remedy this, make sure to always end your posts with a reminder to click the Follow button.
Ending the Post: Creating Your Internal Backlinks
This may seem confusing to some. If you read my blog regularly, you’ve seen my add “Last Post” and “Featured Post” links to the end of my bogs. Obviously, this is more than just a reminder for you guys to read my stuff. Doing that begins the long but rewarding process of building internal backlinks. Internal backlinks are the backlinks found within your blog. While they may seem pointless, they actually increase your traffic and SEO by massive amounts. Internal keyword building can help Google increase your Site Authority, thus bumping you up in Google Search terms. If you’re confused about this, don’t worry. We’ll get back to this next week. For now, just know that it’s a good practice to include links to your last post, a featured post (perhaps your best post that month), and a related post if one exists.
Before You Publish: Keywords and Links
The word “keyword” is the second most feared word in the blogging industry (for the most popular, stick around until next week). For some reason, people are scared to insert relevant keywords into their posts, thinking that it’s a lot of work or that it might get them into trouble. Let’s stop this now: IT’S NOT!
Keywords are the backbone of traffic. Without them, how do you expect anyone to find your specific posts? Here, let’s use the earlier example. Pretend you blogged about abortion but didn’t insert any keywords into the WordPress keyword box. You release your post, hoping for a lot of traffic, but only get 15 views and 3 likes, mostly out of pity.
Why did that happen? The answer is easy- no keywords. When someone goes to the WordPress Reader, they are asked to type in what kind of blog or blog post they wish to find. The WordPress Reader then presents them with a plethora of posts, all found with keywords. Because you didn’t add a keyword to your post, it probably won’t pop up if someone types “Abortion”. But, if you added two keywords, “abortion” and “babies”, then your post is almost guaranteed to be on the list.
So this time, you added the keywords. Now, during the next few hours (while your post is fresh and new), anybody that types “abortion”, “babies”, or something similar will probably see your blog in the top 50 posts. If you can master this, you are ready to move on to SEO next week
Now that you’ve added keywords that are relevant to your post (between 5 and 10 are appropriate), you need to make sure that your post URL isn’t too long. For instance, this post has a very long title. If I had left the URL alone, it would have been well over 100 characters long. Instead, I shortened it to the basics: Increasing your traffic. If your URL is over four words, try shortening it to three words that still describe, in essence, your post.
After Publishing: Finding Your Audience
If you know anything about hunting, then you know that a good hunter finds his prey’s nest to bring in a good haul. The same works for blogging. If you want to target the right audience, target the right nest. If you’re a Christian blogger like me, then follow Christian bloggers, join a Christian Discord server, participate in online debates, and follow /Christianity on Reddit. This way, you’ll be targeting the right audiences at the right time.
Now, obviously, don’t be obnoxious. Only drop your blog’s URL if someone asks for it. If you’re continually spamming your blog URL, people will get annoyed and you’ll probably be banned. Instead, find ways to be uplifting and criticizing, then make sure to drop a subtle hint about your blog on the way. A few great ways to work your blog into a conversation might be “Oh yeah, I blogged about that,” or “Hmm, that’s a good blog post topic”. These are almost surefire ways to have your online friends ask, “Oh, you have a blog?”
Once you’ve found your audience, stay with it. Post regularly, share regularly, and followers will come. To date, I’ve received over 100 organic visitors from online forums, two dozen from guest post links (When I guest posted for someone else), a dozen from Reddit, and well over four dozen referrals from individual blogs that linked back to me. Without all of that work, I would have had probably 200 fewer organic visitors in the last two months.
After you’ve been with your audience for a decent length of time, and successfully fooled them that you are a normal, sane human being (since most bloggers aren’t), you are ready to strike. Begin Order 66: Advertisements.
Advertising is a difficult but fun process. Obviously, it’s a bit more than dropping subtle hints in a conversation, but you still don’t want to go overboard. If you annoy someone with your home advertising, they will probably get on your blog just to spam you and make your life miserable.
One easy way to advertise is in your member bio. If you are on a website such as LinkedIn, Reddit, Quora, or Facebook, it’s not difficult to insert your blog link into your author bio. Once that’s done, every person that clicks on your name will see your blog link, and chances are if they liked you enough to click your name, they’ll like you enough to click your blog.
Another easy way to advertise is by being friendly and asking for other blogger’s links. They will be all too happy to give you theirs, so long as you don’t spam them. Make sure to ask them what they think of your “little blog” so that they’ll not only share theirs (which is another place to advertise) but also look at yours.
The final way to advertise is by making helpful, honest comments on other blogs. In writing a realistic comment that doesn’t look like spam, you are more likely that someone will see your comment and click on your name, thus following you to your website.
Alright, thanks for reading, and I hope this was super helpful! As always, if you haven’t clicked that Follow button, be sure to do so! That way, you won’t miss out on any new posts. Thanks again for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day.
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Patel, Neil. “Why 3000+ Word Blog Posts Get More Traffic (A Data-Driven Answer).” Neil Patel, 10 October 2019, https://neilpatel.com/blog/why-you-need-to-create-evergreen-long-form-content-and-how-to-produce-it/