Blogging, for most, is a labor of love. Sure there are plenty of people out there with lofty goals of monetization, but most bloggers don’t start out with the idea of becoming a millionaire. They just want to share their ideas and opinions with an audience in the hope that they can connect with, learn from, and inspire a group of like-minded individuals. But as long as you’re sharing your passion with others, you might as well do what you can to extend your reach. Of course, it’s not quite as easy as waving your virtual wand and taking your tiny, niche blog to the level of popularity enjoyed by, say, Mashable, the Onion, or TMZ. You’ll actually have to take targeted steps in order to increase traffic, visibility, and your overall web presence. And even then you may never gain the expansive following you seek. But if you’re committed to making the most of your blog, even if it only appeals to a particular segment of society, here are a few tips to help you build your web traffic.
- Content, content, content. It’s not enough that you’re an expert in the niche topic you blog about – you have to remind readers of this fact constantly by providing them with current examples of your genius. And if you’re at all savvy concerning SEO, then you know that adding content regularly not only keeps readers interested; it also gives you a chance to use trending keywords to your advantage. Of course, your primary objective is to ensure the satisfaction of your readership, and you can do this, first and foremost, by keeping them riveted with your fresh, engaging, and timely content.
- Share and share alike. As a niche blog you will have to rely somewhat on a grass-roots type of movement to spread your name. The best way to do this is by encouraging current patrons to share your posts. And you’ll no doubt discover that certain types of content are more likely to be shared. For example, large blocks of text might not move well (unless they feature incendiary, shocking, or hilarious content), but infographics and videos might get passed around more. It also helps if you provide a means of sharing by featuring options like an RSS feed and ways for fans to like and repost you on Facebook, Twitter, and so on.
- Get listed. Listing your website with search engines may seem secondary to penning compelling blog posts, and it probably should be (especially considering Penguin directives). But if you fail to take the steps necessary to get your blog listed with search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and so on (mainly Google, which accounts for roughly two thirds of all search traffic), you’re shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to the potential to increase traffic. Well, there’s a lot more to it than simply getting listed, but this is a good place to start.
- Optimization. Once you’ve gotten yourself listed it’s time to start optimizing so that you can raise your page rank and ultimately increase traffic to your site via targeted keyword searches. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to shell out tons of money to hire the best SEO company on the web, but you may have to teach yourself, a potentially lengthy process, or devote some funds to hiring a little help when it comes to making your content work for you.
- Analytics. Optimization and outreach efforts are worthless if you don’t take the time to run analytics and see which strategies are delivering the best returns. Analytical tools can be used to provide you with custom reports that help you to create a plan for expansion based on proven data. This is a great way to ensure that you’re not wasting your precious time on efforts that aren’t increasing your web presence and bringing in more traffic.