There are plenty of blog posts out there (some on this site) designed to tell you all the technical aspects of how to get traffic to your blog.
You need to optimize your site for the search engines with the right keywords, and just the right amount of content. You have to blog frequently, and promote your work so that your audience knows it’s there. You have to follow all the rules of B2B or B2C copywriting. And so on…
Maybe there’s another aspect to this, if you’re being totally honest with yourself. We’ve passed the days long ago that you can just post any old piece of writing and get have it rake in the traffic. Even if your piece is technically optimized for the search engines, it has to register with your audience to get any traction at all.
Look, I’ll be honest, myself. Any time I’m lacking any of the below topics, my traffic will dip as well. So, here’s some additional, non-technical geek-speak strategies for how to get traffic to your blog:
- Actually have something to say. Make it a super-helpful answer to a common audience question. Make it a powerful emotional story that is sure to keep people’s eyes moving from one word to the next. Whatever you do, don’t bore them to death. Boring, dry or stale are the kiss of death. So put a little personality on it. Leave your readers feeling like they learned something, or were at least entertained. They’ll come back, and they’ll keep you in mind.
- Don’t simply regurgitate what the other guys are doing. Don’t do it. Look, I know it’s tempting. But they can get that anywhere they look. Put a little thought and personality into your piece. Give your readers something they can’t get anywhere else – you. They’ll thank you for it.
- Tie your message back into something in popular culture. I’m watching the World Champion Chicago Cubs take the field against their nemesis Cardinals as I write this. Typically the TV is off when I work, but World Champion Chicago Cubs is a phrase I never thought I’d type in my lifetime. The TV stays on. Baseball. The mess that is American politics. Craft beer. The color of the most photographed dress on the Internet. If you can tie your blog topic back to any of these things, more people will invest in what you write.
- Actually be funny. This is not easy to do. But if you can make people open their mouth and give a good belly laugh, they’ll come back.
- Include a call to action. It is conceivable that the reason you aren’t getting the action you want out of your blog post is that your readers have no idea what you want them to do. So go ahead and take their blindfolds off before you steer them in the desired direction. Write a compelling call to action, and if the rest is good, they may do what you want after all.
- Show us something visual. Start thinking about alternative ways to convey your story. Would an infographic work better than a blog post? Should you be incorporating more photos into your post? Should you be incorporating better photos? If every photo for the last 4 posts is three guys who don’t work for your company sitting around a conference table, then you probably do need to reconsider your photo policy.
- Tell a better story. You need some sort of emotional tug. You probably won’t logic your reader into buying. Emotion is what triggers them to buy, like, comment, share, download or write you that killer testimonial. Remember, it’s not about the V8 engine, it’s the feeling of going down the interstate at 80 mph with the top down on a summer day.
When you’re looking at how to get traffic to your blog, it can just take practice. It takes a serious investment in consistency, and becoming a better writer. So keep at it. Use the above tips to make sure you’re not boring people into closing their browser window. You’ll find your groove.
Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and the author of Write Right-Sell Now: How to Create Content That Grows Your Business.