This is the part 2 of my Successful Blogging series. For Part 1 Creating Awesome Blog Content, click on this link.
Before taking on any new clients, one of the very first things I would do is to find out what they’re precisely struggling with when running their business blog.
And here’s the surprising thing: They’re struggling not because the content (since they can easily outsource the work), but with attracting loyal readers.
It’s one thing to produce high-quality content that is relevant to your readers, but it’s only half of the battle in content marketing.
The other half is about how to draw a healthy flow of traffic consistently. Not just any kind of traffic, but people who are genuinely interested in your product and are ready to buy from you.
Over the years as a digital marketing consultant, I’ve learned a lot of ways a content marketer can do to attract the right readers to his blog.
These some of the strategies that I have used over the years, and they have proven to be golden.
1. Creating Great Content
Pillar content is the blockbuster of your business blog.
These are the posts that you want to be known for, and that readers come back to time and time again.
Think of pillar content as like writing a book. The book explores a general idea, but each chapter walks readers through a subtopic that explains a bit about the core subject in more detail.
Each of these chapters lays down the fundamentals and gives structure, keeping the book organized and makes a hundred pages of text easy to read and navigate.
Pillar content on the internet can involve any topic and encompasses a wide variety of mediums.
Everything from blog posts to infographics and even videos can be used, as long as it’s content that your audience is interested in.
To use your pillar content to draw incoming traffic, think about each pillar can be used to attract people to your website.
For example, if you find that the readers for one of your pillars use Twitter, you can go on there and connect with your readers.
This lets you appeal to your niche audience while also covering a core subject that appeals to a broader audience.
When you build content that is highly relevant to your audience, they will gravitate towards your content when they are going through their
research during the buyer journey.
How-to posts are a fantastic way to bring value to your audience. These types of posts are favoured by both bloggers and readers because they are valuable and helpful.
With a collection of how-to posts, you can build up a library of evergreen content that can last you for a long time.
As a matter of fact, how-to style posts generate an average of 55% more views than all other types of posts.
Whether it’s to cook a meal or to fix a broken vacuum cleaner, how-to posts allow your readers to get a quick win.
Once they do, they will start to trust you. And readers that trust you become loyal, they start coming back to your blog again and again for more content.
Try stepping into the shoes of your marketing personas, and start thinking about what they'd like to learn how to do.
Talk to your customers and learn their needs in regards to your business and industry.
What do your customers want -- or need -- to learn about? Chances are, the questions you are asking will make great topics for how-to posts.List posts
There are many reasons why list posts are fantastic.
For one, the nature of the list post allows you to use numbers in your headlines.
Studies show that people actually prefer numbered list headlines than any other type of headline.
Numbers are great for headlines because they generate curiosity and represents a quantifiable return on the reader’s interest.
Secondly, people love reading lists. They inform the reader explicitly what - and how much - they're going to get out of the post, plus they're very shareable.
They're also easy to read, and with so much content at our fingertips, being able to scan a post and still walk away with a nugget or two of information is extremely valuable to the reader.
And also, list posts and articles are perfect for building your authority and demonstrating expertise in your niche or industry. If you’re doing business blogging, that’s a crucial advantage.
Share a personal story
While you might feel uncomfortable telling people stories about your personal life, telling stories can be a viable way to forge a strong bond with your audience.
Stories make you become a relatable person and not just a faceless business. When you become more personable, your readers will come back again and again for more.
The best way to achieve that is by sharing your story. Whether it’s through a touching memory, or a funny incident, the more comfortable you are with sharing your life with your audience, the more likely you’ll attract them.
Write Great Headlines
In marketing, headlines sell. It’s the very first step in bringing your content to your audience’s attention.
Even if you have the best piece of content in the world, no one will see it unless you write a great headline for your content.
Your headline is what grabs a reader who is passing by, stops them and tells them to check out your blog.
While it doesn’t guarantee instant success, headlines are essential in today’s web content, whether it’s for readability or search engine crawlers. So make sure you write them well.
Optimise for SEO
Doing SEO isn’t difficult. It’s all about taking the right steps to optimization. To learn more about SEO, check out my SEO guide.
2. Be Everywhere
Writing guest posts on blogs your audiences read
Guest posting refers to the act of writing and publishing an article on somebody else’s website or blog.
Guest posting lets you join an already-established community, and share your message. It allows you to tap into a network of new people, which can eventually benefit you if you do it right.
When you’re adding value to the ongoing discussion, you’re going to see your efforts convert towards more readers, fans, and followers as time goes by.
By writing high-quality guest posts for another blog that has a larger audience than yours, you can quickly bring your content in front of bigger crowds.
And guest blogging can be an effective way to build authority in your niche and boosting your SEO.
When you’re just starting your business blog, you’re going to have a minimal presence.
Creating an omnipresence around your audience is an excellent way to attract them towards your blog.
And if they like your content, they will want to read more from you, and naturally, they will start visiting your blog.
Comment on other blogs regularly
Blog commenting can not only help you build friendships with other bloggers (who then come and check out your blog), it also builds backlinks to your blog, which is great for your SEO efforts.
It’s a great way to exchange ideas, thoughts or opinions about what people feel for a particular topic or a blog post.
Blog comments help you come across as more social too. The more you engage in the conversation, the more your popularity grows.
When you comment on other blogs, there are a few rules of engagement you should follow:
First, you should stick to commenting on blogs that are in the same niche as your business (this will help build higher quality backlinks).
Second, always leave a meaningful comment that adds to the conversation and creates engagement.
And lastly, if you’re leaving comments on a famous blogger’s post, try to be one of the first to do so. The easiest way to do so is to just make use of to Google Alerts by creating an alert, so you know when the blogger just uploaded a new post.
Use social media
Not too long ago, blogging and social media were separate affairs.
Blogging was long-form content, which is usually serious and crafted. Social media was quick, personal, and spontaneous.
Some folks even predicted that social media would replace blogging because of declining attention spans.
Today, blogging and social media not only coexist; they complement each other. The principal method to increase your traffic is to use a blog to enrich your social media using long-form posts, and then use social media to promote your blog.
You don’t need to be on every single social media platform out there. Choose 1 or 2 social media platforms that you want to focus on, and then spend all of your social media time there.
Whenever you publish a new piece of content, don’t forget to share it on your business’s page. And always find time to interact with your fans.
Do remember to include links to your social media accounts on your blog so that people can easily follow you.
If your blog is interesting to your audience, people will start following you on social media, and if your social media has something interesting for them, other people will start reading your blog.
3. Build Relationships with Other Bloggers
Publish roundup posts
Roundup posts can bring a ton of new traffic to your blog because all the bloggers you feature will often share your post with their audience.
A roundup post is a collection of answers and opinions on a single question. Readers love them because they put all experts’ views together in one piece of content.
Why are roundup posts so effective?
Firstly, they attract tons of traffic through the experts that participate in your roundup.
The experts can send traffic directly to your post by sharing it with their (often large) social followings.
And because a roundup is a compilation of smart insights from knowledgeable figures, it’s the type of content people actively want to share.
Secondly, roundup posts can boost your brand and your blog authority by association. When you’re seen interacting with influential people in the industry, people are going to see you as in the same league.
Emailing your favourite bloggers and connecting with them through email
When you want to reach out directly to another blogger, there is no better way to build connections than to email them.
Popular bloggers already have large audiences that follow them. Not only can they introduce your content to readers you’d never otherwise reach, but they can also link you up to other influential people online.
But most people don’t do any outreach because they resent the feeling of rejection. The key to reducing rejection is to warm up to them slowly.
You don’t want to email any blogger cold, or you’re most likely get ignored by them. You need to make sure they at least know your presence before you reach out to them.
Start by following them on social media, then leave some meaningful comments on their blog or social media page.
Keep doing that until they know you. Then try to connect through email and ask if they would like to participate in your roundup post or exchange guest posts.
Conduct joint webinars with other people from related niches
Here’s how a joint webinar works; you join forces with another business owner in your niche who doesn’t have a product or service in direct competition with yours.
You come up with a topic that you teach on in a live webinar that both of your audiences would be attracted to, reaching more audiences than you ever would do alone.
There’s no better way to grow your audience than to join forces with another business and do a joint webinar, especially when your business is new and has a small reach.
For example, if you’re in the roof insulation business, it can be an opportunity to work with someone from the pool cleaning service. That’s because both your clienteles might require services that are related.
You can conduct a webinar for their audience and have them do one for yours, as well. Doing so can demonstrate higher value to your audience and get in front of new people at the same time.
Attracting loyal readers isn’t as tough as you imagine, as long as you take the right steps to make it happen.
By creating epic content, being everywhere, and networking with the right people online, there is no way you can’t pull in the right kind of people towards your blog.
Of course, reading these steps is always easier than putting the actual work. But you’ll find the more you do it, you’ll reach the point where doing outreach work with your content is no longer a daunting task.
Don’t be afraid of rejection, because if you do you won’t be able to leave your competitors behind as you get ahead of the pack.
About Murray Dare
A digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur,
Murray runs his marketing agency Murraydare.co.uk and several online startups.
Murray has helped startups and businesses achieve online success through a considered approach to marketing.