As part of your overall website or standalone, blogs really do provide the opportunity for increased web traffic. However, to build a high traffic blog, you can’t just sign up for a Blogger or WordPress account, post once, and expect the whole World Wide Web to come knocking. Moreover, once the traffic does come in, how will you keep those readers? Therefore, your blog should be built with high traffic in mind already.
Build A High Traffic Blog
1. Provide Value
Why would millions of online readers want to spend time reading your posts? The answer is they find something of value in your posts and subsequently, your blog.
Value can be insights, facts, and yes, even recommendations for how their lives can be dramatically benefited. Much like persuasive ads and convincing testimonials, what your content essentially sells is the reader’s need and most likely didn’t know the need until your blog pointed it out.
When thinking about what you will be writing about today, think about topics that will literally stop traffic or make a whole football stadium audience listen.
Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but what would make five or ten of your regular readers (friends and family, included) want to share it with their friends?
While this is very challenging to do on a weekly much less daily basis, it will put you in the mindset to deliver newsworthy content.
You need to select a blogging platform or service that allows advertising or affiliate marketing. You can display any advertisement you like on a self-hosted blogging platform such as WordPress.org. However, hosting your own blog incurs the expenses of domain registration and monthly Web hosting bills. Tumblr.com, WordPress.com and Blogger.com host blogs for free, but their advertising policies differ. WordPress.com allows limited affiliate marketing and does not allow advertisements except through the WordPress Ad Control program. Tumblr.com allows advertisements, but only on blogs that do not exist solely to display advertisements. Blogger.com has a similar policy.
2. Make One-Of-A-Kind Content
Blogs are not pages of links linking to other people’s posts but original posts sharing unique content and point of views. You want your blog to contribute to the community or a topic, not merely settle as the portal or highway sign for others. You can only bypass this status by delivering one-of-a-kind content.
To create the value in your readers’ lives that we discussed above, you need to share more of yourself than linking to what you like.
If you are having a difficult time with this step, sit down and think about the industry you are writing about or involved in and brainstorm what you like or hate about it. We are sure many others share your feelings whether negative or positive.To get outrank your competitors on page 1 of Google, all you need to do is show Google 2 things:
- That your content is the best.
- That your content is the most relevant.
It’s as simple as that.
To show that your content is the best, make your content the best! Outshine your competitors with better articles, and prove that your content is the best by asking other blogs to share it.
To show that your content is the most relevant, optimize your posts for the relevant keywords. OK, now you know the 2 types of traffic and the 2 things you need to get organic traffic. So how do you integrate these different traffic sources to increase your blog traffic, both today and for years to come?
You’re going to be frustrated if you don’t know what you consider great content. Great content isn’t what everyone else is doing, and frankly, great content isn’t necessarily what gets shared the most on social media (headlines have a huge part in that). If you aren’t into data or don’t care for scientific research, don’t go chasing after posts with headlines like “How To Choose The Best Diaper, Backed By Science.”
Determining this is similar to writing a mission statement for your blog. For my blog, I set up a rubric that goes something like this:
- Does it help or hurt people?
- Does it encourage or discourage people? (Sometimes helpful content, depending on how it is relayed, can be discouraging.)
- Will people feel something after having read it? (laugh, thoughtful, sad, etc.)
- Have I written the best I am able to at this moment? (I might be embarrassed a year from now, but I shouldn’t be embarrassed now.)
- Is it original to the best of my ability? (i.e. not purposefully aping other bloggers)
- Is it somehow a part of my larger story? (for a personal blog, this is fairly easy)
- Am I being overly sensational or making linkbait? (after awhile, you’ll get backlash)Come up with your own rubric. Define what you think is good writing for you and your niche.
3. Make Content That Stays Fresh
While you can write about topics with an expiration date such as current events or bargains you can’t pass up at a big holiday sale, most of your content should avoid being short-lived. Your content should provide value to your readers even after the dates and statistics have changed. Newspapers and the rest of the media already cover this type of content. However, your reactions to these events make for better timeless content even if Lindsay Lohan turned her career around and won an Oscar. Writing with this mindset also keeps our first two rules intact: newsworthy and unique. Yes, a fresh perspective even on a tired old issue remains newsworthy, unique, and fresh.
4. You Are Writing For Humans Not Search Engines
Finally, while you might think that by catering to everything you’ve read about getting higher search engine rankings by “tweaking” your blog copy is true (and some of it does work), don’t forget who will be reading your blog.
Therefore, even if you get a million new visitors thanks to your new#1 ranking for the keyword “books,” will these readers understand what you are trying to say?
We suggest writing to get your point across first and keep these new visitors coming back. After all, even in retail, the repeat customer is more valuable than the first sale.
If you’ve spent a lot of time and energy to draw in new readers but fail to hook them because you sound like you are writing for Google, they won’t subscribe or purchase even once and will most likely not come back as well.
The mechanics of your writing should be top notch. Your research (if it applies to your style of post) should be impeccable and from good sources. You should take the time to proof and edit your posts as best you can, even though you don’t have a proofreader. You should be familiar with writing techniques, like storytelling or journalism, as best you can.
5. Develop A Super-Human Understanding Of Your Audience
We have been spending the entire month of blogging about finding, growing, creating, and (most importantly) understanding your blog audience, and we’ve been doing it for good reason – it is the cornerstone of any breakthrough blog. Your blog exists for the pleasure of your audience. If you don’t understand them, then how will you ever reach them?
Too often, we take the Field of Dreams approach to content creation. We believe that if we write it, they will come. Wrong. We need to have purpose in what we publish.
One of the things that we talk about often is learning to expand your content core. The purpose of this exercise is to understand the difference between what you do, and what you need to talk about. This is where you start to understand your audience.
6. Don’t Forget The Extras
Once the writing is in place, you have the extras, like graphics and photos. Because you don’t have a team designer, you need to find a way to create images for your posts on your own. Use apps geared for non-designers and create graphics for your posts. Rethink how you use stock imagery and consider coming up with viable alternatives.
Let’s face it. You’re aren’t the first person in the world to launch a blog in your niche, industry, or even on your city block. When it comes to blogs and content marketing there are few new ideas. Been there, done that.
Don’t let this dismal take on blogging stop you from trying though. The reality is that you don’t have to be doing something new to be doing something great.
Truthfully, most blogs are simply doing the same thing as everyone else. They’re not that great. The key is to figure out how you’re different. At CoSchedule, we call this a Blue Ocean Strategy, and it works because it is strategy without real competition.
7. Create An Achievable Publishing Schedule
You have to set a schedule detailing how often you will blog. If you don’t, you will fail. It’s as simple as that.
For early bloggers, I like to suggest that they start posting content as much as five times per week. This is a great way to start learning the ropes and get used to pressing that daunting publish button. As good as that may sound, though, it won’t always be achievable, and that’s really the most important part about setting a blogging schedule: You need to find something that you can set, and achieve.
8. Write Amazing Content That Is Undeniably Sticky
This is a biggy: To break through with your blog, you need to create better, and more original, content than everyone else. This can come in many unique forms.
- It could be longer (long-form content).
- It could be more visual.
- It could be better at telling a story.
- It could excel at SEO.
Really, it could be anything. Even in a time with Google bots, and SEO, quality content is still the line that we need to measure ourselves by, and it isn’t always that easy. Sometimes content flows from our fingertips like lightning, and other times it drips like a painful leak in an old faucet. This may require an adjustment to your process, but you must find a better way.
One of the first places to start writing sticky content is with a great headline.Once you know how often you will post, you need to develop an editorial calendar and process for planning out your content before you start to write. You would need a content plan for the entire year for your blogging.
- An idea zone to plan out individual posts and content ideas.
- A one-month calendar to plan out specific posts for each day of the month.
- You can download the free templates and an easy step-by-step guide on how to implement them into your daily workflow from our website.
- The best part about using a paper editorial calendar is that it can help you start the habit of using one to plan your content marketing. Eventually you will need bigger and better tools like CoSchedule itself, but this is a great way to ease-in without a major financial investment.
9. Learn How To Promote Your Content Like a PR Wizard
One of the saddest stories in the world is the blog post that is published and never heard from again. After pouring all of your effort into an outstanding and insightful post, it will be up to you to make sure that it is heard around the world. In order to run a breakthrough blog, you are going to need to have a promotion plan in place. There are two big things that you need to be doing.
In our writing, we focus on writing one pillar article that covers everything, rather than writing a bunch of different blog posts all related to the same topic. (Pillar articles are the highest quality posts that drive the majority of our traffic.)
Because our pillar articles are useful to readers and attract a lot of traffic, we make sure to regularly update them.
We add more information to our content to make it better and more relevant.
Google likes articles that are fresh and new. But rather than writing a brand new post, we simply take that old pillar article and freshen it up which makes it easy for users to always find the most helpful content.
Google has a much easier time indexing your content, and understanding what content is the most important when you crosslink your posts.
Crosslinking simply means that your new blog posts include links to older blog posts. We put a big focus on adding as many links to our pillar content as possible, so it has an easier time ranking in the search engines.
Plus, unlike backlinks, crosslinking is entirely within your control. It’s the lowest hanging.
The beauty of organic traffic is that it virtually never dies. Put in the work today, and your posts will bring you tons of traffic for a long time to come.
That’s why we love organic traffic. But– we leverage paid traffic as well. Paid traffic is excellent for boosting new content. When you force traffic to your new blog posts in a short span of time, it creates momentum. People start to share the post on social media, which helps Google to see that your new post is important.
Don’t forget direct traffic from your email list.
While driving traffic to your blog posts via your email list won’t directly result in new leads, it’s another good way to boost traffic to your new content and build up momentum.
Besides, your blog content is really important for nurturing your leads and turning them into customers. Forgetting to email your list on a regular basis with fresh, new content is like forgetting to water your plant– it will die.