Probably the most often asked question on any community based website or forum website like Redd-it, stack overflow or WordPress, is How do I drive traffic to my blog?.
In general this question is most likely asked by newbies to blogging, with the expectation that there is just one thing they can do that will magically start generating 1000’s of visitors to their blog daily.
Usually these hopes and dreams are based on the desire to sell advertising space and earn mega millions from the 5 minutes they have spent setting up a blog.
The truth is, there is no magic formula that can somehow turn your obscure blog into a world best. It takes a constant experimentation and tweaking, usually daily effort.
Nothing is going to happen overnight in truth it is most likely, based on your skills of being an absolute beginner to blogging, nothing is going to happen for at least 18 months!
Basic SEO Knowledge
One of the many secrets to success in blogging, is to have an absolute basic knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you can start by learning What is Search Engine optimisation, and then understand why SEO should complement your content marketing.
You should have at the very least rudimentary high level knowledge of how and why search engines work. You don’t need to understand the complex algorithms or deeply complex mathematical formulas involved.
Even taking the time to read the SEO for dummies book, will be well worth the effort.
Don’t worry about if the content is not up to date or even if the tools they discuss are not of any relevance, there is still a lot of information that is highly relevant and will give you a solid grounding of the basics.
Truth is the basic concepts of SEO remain the same no matter what. The only thing that changes are strategies and tactics, but sticking to the basics is all you need to focus on in the beginning. The more you learn the better you will be able to evolve your strategies and tactics.
If you are going to be using a platform like WordPress , Blogger, Drupal or any other blogging content management system, then you can be rest assured that most of the Technical SEO aspects are more than likely going to be covered for you, and in most cases you will need to do very little. Anything else there is more than likely going to be a plugin to help you on your way. We generally recommend making use of the free Yoast SEO.
Opinions on free Yoast SEO plugin vary amongst the SEO community, some regard it as unnecessary with significant performance impacts and others regard it very highly. Our general stance on this, is that it great if you are just starting out and are keen to learn. We cannot vouch for the premium version, in all honesty because we have never used it and as most sites tend to get larger and as experience and knowledge improves the plugin is uninstalled.
The key point to remember is the more time you spend thinking, learning and practice implementing increases the likelihood of success.
Your blog is not unique
Too many people waste too much time worrying about what aspects of their website is going to be unique. They will spend hours contemplating unique design choices and even ways on how to uniquely write content etc.
I can assure you, Nobody cares about uniqueness, in fact being too unique will often count against you.
What your target audience only really cares about is how are you aim to serve them and their needs. Your content and the quality should be your only differentiator.
The most important question you should ask yourself about of your blog. Do you solve problems ? which should be immediately followed by do I add value ?
The reason behind this is, that people use the internet to search for solutions to their problems. The only thing they are concerned about, is themselves.
The only unique aspect of your blog you need to worry about, is how quickly and easily can people find solutions to their problems by using your blog.
Plan your content
Blogging is an element of Digital Marketing more commonly associated as Content Marketing.
content marketing should make your audience stop, read, think, behave differently.
To be successful at Content Marketing, or any kind of marketing for that matter, you need to have a Content Strategy ,Plan , Audience and Action.
You need to plan the content of your blog to ensure it addresses the needs, wants and desires of your target audience.
Sure, this is easier said than done, but it’s the reality of blogging. Many people get into blogging, thinking that they have something to say and they want others to take notice. The truth is, nobody is really interested in what you’ve got to say, they are only interested in whats in it for them.
You need to really take the time, to think about what would like to achieve with your blog. We’ve discussed this briefly in How to start a successful blog, in that you really need to dive deep into what are the reasons why you want to start a blog.
Once you’ve successfully answered that question, then you need to answer a few more of the following questions
- who the intended targets of your blog?
- What are they searching for ?
- What do they need ?
- How would they want the information presented?
- How frequently do they need the information ?
- What other information are they most likely to need ?
- What actions would you like them to preform on your blog ?
- Why would they prefer to come to your blog
The answer to these questions, will help you to define your blog. You’ll have absolute clarity of purpose of your blog. It is this clarity and sense of purpose that will help set the conditions of success for your blog.
Having the ability to not only define who are the target customers of your blog but also crucially who are not the target customers so you don’t waste time attracting these people.
Define your niche
Your niche isn’t a specific area of expertise or particular product. Your niche, is a specific target market of customers. People with a specific needs, desires and wants.
The advantages of defining your niche, is that you’ll know exactly where these people are and what you can do to attract them to your blog. You’ll know what they’re searching for, what they’ll need and more importantly what you’re going to do satisfy them.
It’s hardly rocket science, but too many people treat it as such.
You just got to keep in mind, Everyone is not your customer but there is somebody who is!
Taking time to identify and interact with your target community is vitally important. Don’t try target all social media channels all at one, choose one or two at the most. Engage and interact with your audience. Humans like Humans not bots.
Although these may be at first glance some really basic and rudimentary steps, we can assure you they are also the one most likely to be over looked. Building a great website is all about flawlessly executing on the basics. It really is all you ever need. Once you have mastered one skill, move onto the next one and you will notice that your traffic numbers will start improving over time.
A unique background as business owner, marketing, software development and business development ensures that he can offer the optimum business consultancy services across a wide spectrum of business challenges.