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How to Get Blog Traffic: The Art of Focus for Bloggers and Your Readers

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 2

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about how to get blog traffic? If you have a blog site (blogger or wordpress), niche site, or web authority site, you want serious amounts of traffic, so maybe you spend a lot of your time focusing on how to get more traffic. Why do we want more traffic? There are a number of great reasons. On a certain level, each one of us just wants to know that our work is being read, consumed, shared, and enjoyed. Our blog content is intended to inform, educate, and assist others and IF it is not being seen -- it seems like a fruitless exercise. On another level if we have certain business and entrepreneurial goals like referrals, clicks, ad revenues, affiliate or direct sales, calls to action, and more, then the greater the number of visitors the more likelihood that a certain percentage of those visitors will take that action to help the bottom line. 

And clearly when you have serious traffic on your site, that opens up a range of other possibilities. Your page rank, mailing list, and site authority grows, giving you the ability to direct your readers to other domains, products, or other desired actions. Your site becomes a greater resource for backlinking, and a larger platform for other projects like videos, podcasts, ebooks, and so much more. There are even some bloggers who take the accumulated readership of their blogs, and bring those readers to traditional publishing by authoring a physical book. And in the event that you ever decide to sell your blog or niche site, your traffic is a mark of the success -- and value -- of that blog or niche.

FIRST - DIAGNOSE YOUR CURRENT LEVEL OF TRAFFIC

The first step to getting more future traffic to your blog site is to understand the visitors you have now. Who are your current readers? How do they find you -- do they come through search engines, specific links, forum posts? And what content of yours do they seem to visit the most? This is just a matter of doing some site analytics. Many bloggers have these stats available but they fail to use the information to help them run their sites. Focus on this long enough to find the “take-aways”.

If you find that many readers first arrive on your site through a specific post -- then go examine that post to see how easy and even alluring it is to navigate to other parts of your blog from there. Not everyone finds you through your top-level domain. If they land often on a particular page, read your content (or maybe not), and then bounce away --  that is a missed opportunity for the rest of your site. Look at each one of these “landing pages” as your new arrival would -- think about the layout, design, clarity, ease of navigation, ads vs. content ratio, and more. Focus on your first impressions... You can even ask friends, relatives, or business associates to view this page and give you their objective thoughts.

What you can do with this information? Make a plan to focus your content, focus your design, your navigation, and by extension, focus your readers attention.

HOW TO GET MORE BLOG TRAFFIC

So how do you get more traffic from this point? Look at blog your topics. Does your great content rank high enough to draw visitors? If it doesn’t you should focus on getting readers to your site for related content and then showing them the other great hard-to-rank material. Focus your keyword targeting on achievable, rankable long-tail keywords. How does this work? If your website is about “camping” for example and your overall traffic is weak, then focus now on a rankable long-tail keyword. For example, after doing some research, if you think you might be able to rank for “camping in the northwest”, then maybe focus a number of blog posts on that long-tail keyword phrase. Once you have those readers, they will organically find your other great content. 

The trick is to create enough varied regular content to keep ranking in the search engines for a wide number of related topics, but focus a series of articles on related topics to have enough material for your new readers. If you suddenly get an influx of new traffic based on your “camping in the northwest” keywords, be sure to have other interesting and related content for those readers to consume. 

HOW TO KEEP YOUR BLOG TRAFFIC and HOLD YOUR BLOG AUDIENCE

So once you have more traffic either organically or through targeted content based on new keywords you must KEEP them. A spike in traffic is nice, but what you want ultimately is sustainable traffic over time. How it this done? Obviously give them what they came for -- the most compelling content you can create! Always deliver (over-deliver!) on the titles of your posts and the domain of your blog site. You can catch new readers with great titles, provocative teasers, and more, but ultimately readers want to get what they came for - useful, engaging content and information. What you should aim for is to give them a great experience above and beyond their expectations. Even busy readers will instantly bookmark your site, subscribe to your feed, and visit again when they have more time to dig through the riches of your site. 

Another clear way to keep your audience is to openly invite them to comment, participate in the discussion of the material, ask questions, suggest topics, and more. On your blog, you really want a community first, and a marketplace second. Don’t make the mistake of trying to sell too much, or encourage commerce without creating a rich environment that gives the reader some value.

INTERLINKING YOUR CONTENT

Along with new content, you should also connect your material together. It really helps to create more contextual crosslinks between your old and and new content, to keep your readers browsing through all of your site’s resources. If you make navigation logical and easy, readers will stay on your site longer - reducing your bounce rate with Google. It’s time consuming to go back to a blog post from months ago and add a relevant link to a brand new post, but it’s worth doing, especially if that content has been indexed already and is ranking in the search engines. 

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS: EXTREME MEASURES?

What happens if you have been trying for a long time and nothing’s working? 

GUEST POSTING

Guest posts on other blogs is also a way to open up your site to a whole new set of readers and traffic. You can even begin this process by encouraging guest posts on your blog. If you don’t have the connections for this, try a site like MyBlogGuest for content by others with backlinks. You can also submit your own content with signature links back to your site. 

DOMAIN NAME CHANGES

While it’s generally not wise to change your domain name once you have started to build a real following -- it is possible to effectively rebrand yourself if your blog traffic, and readership, is relatively anemic. As part of the “focus” of first impressions, perhaps you realize that your domain name doesn’t actually make sense to your readers, or to the underlying content. This takes careful thought and is not for the faint of heart, because it is largely like starting over. It can take months to establish the kind of traffic you’re looking for, but if it’s not working you should consider everything. If you have spent far too long worrying about how to get blog traffic, perhaps a new domain in in order -- one with better keywords right in the URL. 

FIND ANOTHER FORMAT

If you are passionate about your topic, but your blog is not capturing the audience you had hoped for -- consider other ways to reach your readers. For example, you could go to Apple iTunes and launch a related podcast that sends listeners back to their site at the end of every episode. Or perhaps you would like to make a series of videos for YouTube on a channel devoted to your blog, niche, or authority site. Or perhaps you can spend a set amount of money on a targeted Facebook ad campaign to increase “likes” and eventually traffic. Since iTunes, YouTube, and Facebook are all search engines as well, this could really open up your content to those who aren’t searching on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.


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Comments

Jun 6, 2012 8:50am
Marlando
Hi--Great article and one that I truly need--I am one of those truly non-tech individuals who does well to use the computer as a sophisticated typewriter. My 9 years old grandson, is leaps ahead of me when it comes to the electronic world of stuff. Anyway, enjoyed your article and I'll attempt to follow your advice. Thanks!
Jul 2, 2012 5:59am
CapstoneTrends
thanks Marlando!
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