The Blogosphere is like a high school clique: once you’re accepted in, you need to work at your reputation, you need to remind everyone you exist by calling attention to your brilliance, and you need to make yourself seem valuable.
There you are, a year into blogging, wondering why no one knows you exist. I mean, I’m awesome, I write great things, post great pictures, and make hilarious jokes… but no one is there to read them! Blogging is universal: You can write a dear diary blog, you can write about what you know (labeling yourself a master of your niche), or you can write to promote your small business or indie project. All of this is great, yes, but what the fuck does it matter if no one knows you’re writing?
Below is a list of ways to help drive traffic to your website or blog..today. Take a deep breath and dive in. And remember: your work is worth being read.
Drive Traffic to your website or blog
Find Your Identity
I know this sounds like a cliche`, and that you know who you are and what your blog is about. Unfortunately, you need to draw focus and aim for a more detailed description of what you have to offer. The more defined, niche specific your blog is, the easier of a time you’ll have finding your readers.
You can easily approach someone and say, “Hi. I write about fashion”, and there’s a good chance he or she will respond with “Oh. I like fashion.” But fashion is such a general term. Imagine, instead, approaching this new friend and saying, “I write about up and coming designers and bad ass indie women.” THEN, you’ll probably hear, “Oh wow! That sounds fab, I am a big supporter of the up and coming talent. In fact, let me get you in touch with (insert sexy French name here), he’s starting a column at a new magazine!”
Sexy French name has no shot at starting a general fashion column at a big name magazine because fashion columns already exist. But when you make it more detail, a nook within a nook, the possibility to expand on a subject exists, and general fashion fans will flock to your blog for the juice.
Take the extra day to really hone in on who you are, what your blog is, who your readers are, and what the hell it is that sets you apart from the thousands blogging about the same damn thing.
After you’ve identified your audience, it’s time to go find them. Take a day to find like-you blogs. Blogs that talk about what you talk about, and more importantly, have the readers who care about the topic. READ the posts and leave real comments. Don’t read and dash, don’t skip and bounce out with a, “Great post!” lame ass comment. Respect their internet home and leave a genuine comment. When appropriate (and usually once you’ve posted a few times on the same blog), you can reference a post or your website in a comment. DO NOT SPAM. You’ll get X’d, ignored, then forgotten.
Some sites (like ours) use CommentLuv, which shows your last blog post title after your comment. So, take the time to craft out appealing titles. What would you click on, I Love Men’s Hands or Two Things he Has you Can’t do Without?
The Indie Chicks has Social Media to thank for where it stands today.
Social Media is where people go to relax. If they see something a friend likes or recommends, they’re likely to go scope out what all the fuss is about – this is why it is CRUCIAL for you to have an online presence. Create a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin account… now.
Each platform has a different way of operation and it houses different breeds of people. Study up on the best ways to utilize each platform (or wait for us to write a kick ass post) and get to building yourself a community!
One important thing to remember is, that in order for you to be successful at driving traffic to your website or blog using social media, you have to engage and really get involved in the existing community. Spamming them with your content 24/7 will destroy you. Don’t be the annoying asshole at a party who can’t stop talking about himself.
Remember that list of like-blogs you built? Take a look to see which ones offer guest posting opportunities. In fact, take a look at our article, How to Write the Ultimate Guest Post. All the details are in there.
Guest posting is one of fastest ways of getting yourself in front of fresh eyeballs. So don’t be shy, send the pitch and follow instructions, you’ll be amazed at the potential. Build a page on your blog that showcases places you’ve written, and when it’s solid, use it as a portfolio when approaching bigger magazines.
Optimize your articles so that they’ll rank on search engines. If you haven’t already, install an SEO plugin (We use All-in-one).
1. Before starting your article, use Google Keywords Search
You want to pick the words you’re going to rank for. Think about what people type in a search bar. Let’s say you’re writing about flirting. You’d want to do searches on flirting, how to flirt, women’s flirting tips, best way to flirt, etc. Look for variations of what you’re writing about. Big, general words like ‘flirting’ are hard to rank for. That means competition is high. Your goal is to pick words that have high number of searches but have low competition. Keywords are literal keys to ranking.
2. Use the keyword
Let’s say you ended up with ‘How to be a flirt’ as your best option for keyword. Use it in the title and put it to the front: How to be a flirt – 5 easy ways to master flirting”. Use it in the first paragraph, in the last sentence (remember putting your thesis in your introductory paragraph when you wrote essays?) Keyword density is how much you use it within your article, so your keyword density should be 3-5%. If you can, use it as the last sentence in your entire article. Your keyword should also be in your URL. We have customized our permalinks to go from:
Remember that you don’t want to come off spammy, and using it too often will result in Google ignoring you.
3. Use bold, italics and headers
Yeah. Google likes those h1, h2, and h3. Bold your keywords if you can, and fit them into the headers, too.
If there is an article within your blog or website that you can refer to, link to it. Google sees everything as relevant when it is spider webbed.
5. Image alt tag
This is done via media upload. Once the image is uploaded, you have optional fields to fill in- DO IT! When you upload an image, use your keyword and give it an alt tag.
Now here’s the fun part: to drive traffic to your website or blog, publish great, valuable content. You can stand in the middle of the street naked with a sign, and I bet 1,000 people will come visit your site. But in order to have them come back, you have to publish frequently and publish great content. Once you build a solid readership, they’ll support you, share your work, and visit your blog to read your work.
Let’s discuss! What you have you seen work when trying to drive traffic to your website or blog?
Now that you have these great tips it is time to start making money blogging. Find out how in our special print edition.