There’s nothing that’s more important when you start your author blog than getting traffic.
Yep, you read that right.
It’s more important than content, more important than what platform you’re blogging on, more important than your blog design or publishing schedule.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The quality of your content will make or break your blog, and all those other things are important too.
But practically speaking, getting traffic is your blog’s existential requirement.
In other words, if you don’t get traffic, your blog will probably die. Cease to exist. Become one of those melancholy abandoned sites you stumble across online.
We don’t want that to happen.
Getting to the Traffic
Of course, traffic is a metaphor isn’t it? What we mean is people. People who come and read our blogs, who participate in discussions. People who share our passions and interests.
Or maybe just people who will laugh at our jokes.
The response you want from the people who visit your blog is up to you. But recently, listening to one of the terrific Copyblogger podcasts How to Attract an Audience by Intregrating Content, Social, and Search with Lee Odden and Robert Bruce, I came across this idea of combining these three essential elements.
For today’s authors trying to build community, find readers, and prepare the ground for future publications, these three concepts will keep you on track to get results from your traffic-building efforts.
Each one has its own rationale.
Content—What you publish on your blog is your content. Is it content that will attract traffic? There has to be a reason for it to exist.
- Does it help someone with a problem they have?
- Does it answer a question a lot of people are asking?
- Does it make a necessary task easier, or show a new way to do it?
- Is it written in a way that really gets across to the people who need it most?
Social—Using a hub & outpost to create a social media network is a good place to start.
Realize that who you’re in contact with is going to have a big influence on how much traffic you get. What kinds of relationships are you building in social media?
- Do you provide great content, entertainment, links or ideas to your friends and followers?
- Have you become known as a trusted or entertaining resource?
- Do you have a way to create an asset (like an email list) from your social media fans?
- Is there a good likelihood that your social media followers will hear your call to action?
Search—Have you spent time making sure what you publish actually reflects what people are searching for?
- Do you know the keywords that are most important in the subjects you write about?
- Do you have an SEO strategy for your content?
- Do you try to follow the results of your experiments to see how search engines respond to your efforts?
Although search engine optimization (SEO) is a large study, you don’t have to learn very much to get something from your efforts.
So few people seem to pay attention to “organic” SEO writing that you may be able to rank quite well with just a little work on your part.
The Three Become One
The point is that traffic—people, readers, viewers, buyers—come for a reason. There has to be something there for them, and they have to have lots of chances to discover it. That’s part of the job of your social media “outposts,” to spread the word about your great and useful content.
Getting these three elements lined up and functioning properly takes some work, experience and thought.
With the right content, intelligently written to be friendly to searches in your niche, and circulated within an active social media network, your blog will prosper.
I guarantee it.
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