If you’ve got a blog and wish that your blog could be more successful, it’s time to build your blog.
Over the past few weeks, while I’ve been setting up this new version of the blog, I’ve received lots of questions. Many of the questions had a subtext of how long does it take? “It” could be anything — make sales, get readers, offer advertising spots…
The thing is, you’re always building and growing your blog. If you haven’t set goals for your blog, do that now. You may have many goals but focus on one goal at a time. Your current goal might be to gain ten new subscribers to your email list each week, for example.
Big tip: use baby steps.
Build your blog: use baby steps
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a successful blog isn’t built in a day either. Your blog will grow over time. Create a list of three things you need to do to achieve your goals with the blog, then schedule your three things.
Why three? To avoid stress. There are always things you could do with a blog, but very few vital things you MUST do.
Let’s look at how to grow your blog.
1. Add Calls to Action (CTAs) to your blog and to individual posts
A Call to Action (CTA) is an encouragement to perform a specific act. Create a goal for each blog post, then add a CTA to the post to help you to achieve your goal.
Adding a CTA to your content is essential. Readers skim online, so you need to be clear about what you’d like them to do after reading your content.
Examples of CTAs:
- “Subscribe to receive…”
- “Use this discount code…”
- “Only ten remaining, buy now…”
Beware a pitfall: avoid advertising clutter when creating CTAs
Commercial websites often plaster so much advertising on their webpages that it’s a challenge to find the content. Copywriters know “confused readers won’t buy”, so avoid this.
Restrain yourself to one CTA per blog post.
2. Blog in series to build traffic
Some of your content will easily outperform the rest — often to your surprise. When you find a sleeper post which has gained traction, consider developing a series on that theme.
If possible, aim to structure the series so it leads readers from one post to the next. Tutorial posts lend themselves easily to this, as do list posts.
For example, you might create a “10 tips” blog post. A month later, you discover the post’s won shares on Facebook and Pinterest. You could create a “10 more tips” post as a follow up.
3. Use internal linking to keep readers on your blog
You have wonderful content on your blog, but sadly many of your visitors will never see it. Aim to create internal links within each blog post.
Not only is your search engine optimization (SEO) enhanced with internal linking, readers benefit from it too. Here’s why. As time passes, more and more of your excellent content will be forgotten. Be proactive in bringing it to readers’ attention.
Review your blog every few months, using your reviews to freshen your content. Link older posts to newer ones — think of each blog post you write as a gate-way to other content.
4. Build trust via your blog’s “About Us” page
A blog’s About page is the most-visited page on the blog. Readers want to know more about you. Sadly, many About pages are just another marketing page.
Tell a story on your About page; be personal. Yes, even on a business blog — especially on a business blog — because people do business with people they know, and like.
Explaining who you are and what you do is vitally important if you have an online store. Tell your site’s visitors how long you’ve been in business, why you started the business, and so on; it builds credibility and trust.
If you sell advertising space, make that clear on your About page. Your site’s visitors will check your About page before they check your Advertising page.
5. Grow your email list: it’s the simplest way to increase your traffic
Do you have a mailing list? If you don’t, you’re missing an opportunity for free traffic. A small mailing list can be just as useful as a large one.
I’ve used aweber for my mailing lists for over a decade, but there are many mailing list providers.
6. Build your traffic by linking to blogs with related content
Although it’s counter-intuitive, link to other blogs in your niche, and comment on competitor-blogs too. You and your competitors are part of an ecosystem; you’re stronger together.
People in many industries know that they need to band together to grow their markets and survive.
For example, three decades ago, organic farming was a new thing. Traditional agriculturalists (who had their own long-standing organizations) scoffed at organic farmers.
The organic folk knew that they had to band together. They quickly formed their own associations and national groups. Over time, they gained recognition and grew their market share.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.