Are you struggling to drive traffic to your blog?
Is your content doing its job and getting you the exposure you're looking for?
In this post, I'm going to share how you can create the right kind of content that drives traffic.
I started my online business on January 18th, 2008. It was the day I stumbled onto something called Freebie Trading.
I used Incentivized Freebie Websites that promised to send you free stuff if you complete offers and referred others.
It actually worked, and in my first year, I grossed approximately $29K.
Back then, forums were still a thing. It was the way I got business.
I was active on a Freebie Trading forum and spent tons of time providing value.
When people asked questions, I was there to answer and be helpful.
As a result, MANY of the freebie traders in the forums listened to what I had to say.
I was helping them solve a problem. They wanted to make money, and I helped them do that.
In September of that year, I stumbled onto blogging. I was so excited about it that I started my first blog – The Freebie Guy.
And from that blog, I made consistent content. Content to help freebie traders make money with freebies.
I already had an audience from the forums. My traffic was almost instantaneous.
But it wasn't accidental.
There are some things that you have to have right to get traffic to your blog. They are all very specific.
You need to have a:
If any of these components are missing, you will not get the traffic you want to get.
To understand what kind of content you should create, let's look at an interesting study.
The New York Times Customer Insight Group did an extensive study on why people share online.
Here are the reasons they found:
Does your content do any of the above-mentioned points? If not, it's time to rethink your content.
Before you start creating your content, it's important to know who you're targeting.
Sit down and write out who your ideal target person is. Some people call this your customer avatar.
In my case, my avatar is Christina Simmons. Listen to the episode for a detailed description and tips on how to come up with yours.
When it comes to traffic, your content is the most important factor.
A study done by The Aberdeen group showed that the annual growth in unique site traffic is 7.8 times higher for content marketing leaders than followers.
This is not something that you should take lightly. You HAVE TO start with great content, and then improve from there.
In your content, make Christina (insert your avatar's name here) the hero. How?
By using the points found by the study on the Psychology of sharing.
How can your content give Christina a feeling of self-fulfillment when they share it?
How can your content help Christina define themselves to others?
THAT'S the kind of content you should be creating.
Taking those principles into consideration, start the brainstorming process.
For every piece of content, think about what's in it for Christina? What will she feel while reading/consuming?
The easier your content is to consume, the more likely she will be to consume it.
Here are a few tips to help you simplify your content and make it more effective.
Here's a fact that most bloggers don't like to hear.
Eight out of ten people will ONLY read your headline. That kinda sucks.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Spend a significant amount of time on your headline to try to make it as effective as possible.
Your first paragraph is your most important paragraph. It's what gets Christina to keep reading.
Your first sentence is the most important sentence. It's what gets her to read the first paragraph.
Here are three tips to help you start off on the right foot:
Deliver on your promises.
The main content of your post should deliver on the promise made by the headline and intro paragraph.
This is where you provide value. Also, keep in mind that the purpose of each sentence is to get her to the next sentence.
Here are some tips for structuring your content:
No post is complete without a call-to-action. It's not all about what you have to say.
Always invite them to take part in the experience. Here are some calls-to-action you can consider using:
One of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert is to be relevant.
There's always something new happening in your industry and by sharing that in a timely way, you'd be surprised at what can happen.
To do this, you have to make sure that you are current and informed.
Read your industry publications and follow the news as it pertains to your industry.
Use newsjacking when appropriate. If there's something big in the news, cover it on your blog and share the word.
Sharing hot topics is a great way to drive traffic. But make sure to only do this in a way that provides value.
There's one thing that's abundantly clear about where the industry going.
Early last year, Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview with Buzzfeed that he “wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.”
Later that year, Nicola Mendelsohn, who heads up Facebook’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa said in five years time Facebook “will be definitely mobile, it will be probably all video”.
Facebook and YouTube are in an arms race to dominate the online video space.
This is the time for us bloggers to pay attention and consider going all in on video.
IF you go the direction of video first, the same principles apply.
Also, still have written content along with the video for SEO purposes. Google understands the written word better than anything else.
One of the best ways to get more exposure for your content is by repurposing it.
Whenever you create content, convert it into other formats. Then, you can use it in multiple ways on multiple platforms.
This brings more exposure. In fact, it's such a powerful strategy that I will be going into depth on this in next week's podcast episode.
My question for you: How will you change your content strategy over the next few months?