Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing Strategy

8 Ways to Explode Blog Traffic with Your Next Post

Brad Smith
August 6, 2012
Get more blog traffic with these 8 steps.
(Image courtesy of erikrasmussen)

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

You spend hours coming up with an interesting idea for a blog post, and then spend several days creating the perfect piece of content.

You’re excited – thrilled – and know it’s going to be a big hit. Your post will go viral, traffic will flood your site and you’ll get hundreds of new leads and sales.

So you hit “Publish”, and wait in anticipation for the upcoming onslaught of traffic.

And then…

Nothing happens.

No traffic. No leads. No sales.

What went wrong?


The Best Promotion Tactics Become Habits

Contrary to popular belief, things don’t just go viral. And you can’t afford to wait around for people to beat down your doors.

In reality, the best promotion tactics are a series of steps that develop over time. Every time you publish a blog post, you need to promote it. People aren’t going to do it for you.

Getting in a habit of doing each of these steps will give your content the best chance of success.

And by being diligent and repeating these tasks over and over, the results will begin to build on themselves in the future so you’ll see exponential growth over time.

Here are 8 steps you can take with your next blog post.


Pre-Publish Routine

Before you hit “Publish”, do these 3 things:

1. SEO on-page: Each time you’re getting ready to publish a post or article, go look up a relevant, long-tail keyphrases and optimize your post by carefully inserting the keyphrase where appropriate.

2. Images: Blog posts need images to break up the text, and give people a quick visual reference for what the post is about.

You can use a paid site like iStock Photo or Shutterstock to get high quality stock images. Or if you don’t mind searching around, you can also use a free site like Flikr. Just make sure you’re using Creative Commons – Non-Commercial licensed images.

3. Headline: Before you hit publish, you need to create the perfect headline. This one factor will have a significant effect on how successful (or not) your post is.

There’s simply too much content today. People skim headlines for stories that jump out at them, scan their favoriate social media sites and quickly browse through emails based on the subject line.

So spend some time crafting the perfect headline. You can also try writing the same headline a few different ways, emphasing different aspects or emotions, to see which works best.


Post-Publish Routine

After you hit Publish, do these steps to give your content the best chance of reaching the biggest audience.

1. Submit to bookmarking sites: One of the first things you do after publishing a post is submit it to different bookmarking sites.

You want to start getting some basic links to the page, so it will be indexed by search engines quickly. You also want to get some referral traffic if other people like it.

Finally, you want to learn on a consistent basis what people like, or don’t like. These sites will help provide you with that valuable feedback.

There are a lot of industry-specific sites like this, so start by Googling and asking around. Here are a few to get you started:

  • BizSugar: Small Business
  • Digg: Business (General)
  • Hacker News: Start-ups
  • Inbound.org: Inbound Marketing
  • Ampm Insure: Insurance (yes, seriously)
  • RealEstateVoices: Real Estate

2. Schedule your updates: Use Timely or Buffer to spread those updates out during the day.

Besides common courtesy, they’ll also help you achieve better results by maximizing your click-through-rate and engagement through-out the day.

You can also use Hootsuite’s “batch update” feature if you have recurring status updates you’d like to send out over a period of time.

And if you’re using WordPress, then you can use the Tweet Old Post plugin to send out posts from your archives.

3. Share to groups: Getting Referral traffic starts by identifying and promoting to groups or communities. These could be LinkedIn groups, Forum groups or other communities you’re involved in.

Remember that unlike traditional advertising, you don’t need to go after the largest groups to succeed online.

What you’re looking for is the right groups. So like any online promotion tactic, you want to experiment with everything and let the results be your guide. You’re looking for online marketing channels that have the highest conversion rate.

4. Build high-quality links: You need to always be in the mindset of building links.

One of the best ways to get high-quality links you want is to submit content to other sites. This tactic is great because you can control the anchor text – the actual text being used to link to your site – and make sure you get maximum SEO value.

You can do this quickly and easily by using the Hub-and-Spoke method of repurposing your content.

The Hub and Spoke method is where you write one major, in-depth piece on your own blog, and write follow ups, additions, summarizations, or related news on other sites and link back to your own main piece for further reading.

This tactic is beneficial in several ways.

  • It helps you extend the life of each article by continuing to bring it up – no matter how old it is.
  • It helps you create additional content quickly, because you already know all the important things to say.
  • It gets you targeted Referral traffic that will convert better than other online marketing channels.
  • And it improves your SEO with relevant, high quality links back to your site.

As you can see, there’s really no downside.

The final benefit is that these new, additional posts don’t need to be as in-depth as your original article. So you can easily hire a blog writer, or have someone else “in-house” write quick summaries and bring in additional facts to give the content a new spin.

5. Direct outreach: Now message “warm” people to get others involved, and have them help share your content.

One effective way to get others to share your content is to get them involved from the beginning. Prep them beforehand by asking them to review your draft, or providing a quote. By doing this ahead of time, you’re warming them up. So when it’s time to reach out, they’ll be more than willing to help spread the word.

What if you know-of-someone you want to contact, but don’t know them personally yet? Try using the LinkedIn Introductions feature as a way to get a warm-introduction. You can connect with people in your broader “network”, through more immediate contacts that can vouch for your credibility.

Another way to “bypass the gatekeepers” is by going through Twitter. Even if Twitter isn’t your company’s main social network, it’s still a great communication tool for getting in touch with people. And because it’s informal, you can easily reach out to other companies without fear of offending anyone.

Typically companies have their Marketing or Communications department managing Twitter – and usually someone young – so you can easily ask them for an introduction or contact information of the person in Sales, Business Development, or another department that can help you.

Finally, you can always “cold-email” people. It’s much less effective, but it’s still necessary at times. The best strategy here is to group people into different categories. For example, you might have one group where you’re going to handcraft each email to show them respect. While there might be another group where you’ll just send the same template to each person.

What would that template look like? I’m glad you asked!

Hi NAME,

[ONE OR TWO SENTENCES ABOUT THE PURPOSE OF THE EMAIL AND WHY YOU CREATED THE CONTENT. ALSO, WHY THEY SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE CONTENT.]

The [GUIDE/POST/ARTICLE/LINK] can be found at LINK and I’d love if you could share this with your readers and help make them aware of [THE POINT OF THE RESOURCE], and how they can help. If you need any further information please let me know.

Regards,
Name


Conclusion

You can’t just hit “Publish” and then wait around for traffic.

You need to go out and get it.

But it’s not difficult.

You can easily get more blog traffic by taking easy, small steps each time you create a new post.

And after a few days, weeks, and months, your traffic will finally start to snowball on it’s own.

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