I’m a firm believer in using blogs to advance our careers. Blogs let us show the world what we know and how well we know it. We can prove our knowledge, demonstrate our expertise, and establish our authority with blogs. Still, if our blogs go undiscovered, they won’t help much.
Let’s explore some ways to drive traffic to our blogs. Well written blogs can open doors for our careers, but getting readers is key.
We must know ahead of time who we are writing to, and provide advice and solutions to just that set of people. Those that try to matter to all comers find that they don’t matter enough to any one visitor. So, we must decide what we provide and who we are providing it to. To be chosen, we must specialize enough to meet the needs of a market segment. We need to build our personal brands upon these decisions in order to attract the kind of visitors who will read, subscribe, revisit, purchase, or do whatever else we want them to do.
Be an expert
Build a brand
All our lives we’ve been told to look our best when it really matters. Looking good is important for job interviews, dates, and first impressions. The same is true for visits to our blog. Looking our best enhances our credibility, lengthens visits, and increases sharing. So, we need to have a blog setup that looks professional and supports our marketing efforts.
Use a professional photo
Use a quality theme
Use plugins for SEO (WordPress)
Use plugins for Related Posts (WordPress)
Use plugins for Social Media Sharing (WordPress)
Optimize for Search Engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) has been with us for quite some time. It used to be mostly for Yahoo, now it’s Google. Who knows about tomorrow. One thing that’s still true about SEO is that the visitors it sends our way are looking for something. That makes them more likely to read multiple posts, subscribe, even purchase. These, and other purposeful visitors, represent quality traffic. It may take months before the search engines send us visitors, but they’re worth the wait.
Know what Keywords we are writing for
Use Meta Tags effectively
Use Post Titles that use our Keywords
Publish a Sitemap to ensure that all of our pages are indexed
Interlinking – linking to our own posts improves SEO
Use Exact Match Domains to rank faster
Publish Good Content
Content is King, as we’ve been told dozens of times. It’s true, of course. We must have something useful, profound, or compelling to say if we wish to draw traffic. Those of us who blog to prove our worth, get clients or customers, or otherwise persuade need to have quality content.
There are certain things we should do when we blog. They can enhance our SEO, initiate helpful relationships, endear ourselves to our visitors, or even elicit an emotional response. All of these increase our traffic.
Link to others’ blog posts
Link to your own posts
Let your readers get to know you
Be a Hands-On Marketer
Most bloggers focus on writing posts. We figure that the search engine traffic will come, eventually. Still, we don’t need to wait for traffic. We can use a number of methods to get it right away.
Comment on other blogs
Email and offer to help key bloggers
Email and offer to help key experts
Make friends and build key relationships
Invite other bloggers to post on your blog
Pitch your posts to other bloggers
Feed your posts to your Twitter account
Feed your posts to your Facebook Page
Feed your posts to your LinkedIn profile
Engage on Twitter
Work selected forums
Work selected LinkedIn groups
Work selected Facebook groups
Work selected Yahoo groups
Work Yahoo Answers
Work LinkedIn Answers
Update your Facebook status
Update your LinkedIn status
Reply to comments on your own blog
Talk about your blog offline
Regularly produce short videos and publish to YouTube
Relationships lead to …
Riding the success of other, more established bloggers, can generate lots of traffic. When we’re first starting out, getting a link from a popular blog can be a significant source of visitors. So can a guest posting opportunity. We need to fashion mutually beneficial friendships with other bloggers.
Linkbacks to your blog
Guest posting opportunities
Invitations to join blogging networks
Invitations to participate in blog carnivals
Other Ways to Promote
There a many ways to promote our blogs. I would venture that we are barely scratching the surface. Here are a few more that I can think of.
Submit to Technorati
Get coverage in media (TV, Newspapers, Magazines)
Submit your best posts to Digg
Submit your best posts to Reddit
Submit your best posts to StumbleUpon
Build an email list and promote to it
Publish a newsletter
Write for magazines and newspapers
- 62 Ways to Build Credibility
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- 50 Ways to Demonstrate Social Proof