You can make globs of money by either setting up a blog to generate more traffic for your business, or you can use it to create an online store, or to include affiliate links or as a source of advertising. The ideas are limitless.
However you use it to make money, you need traffic.
Without traffic, you might as well go home.
So how do you get as much traffic as possible, to your blog? This post will tell you.
But be warned: it’s not for sissies. Setting up a blog that generates a return on investment is not easy and lots of patience and persistence is required.
Attract the right people
The biggest mistake newbie bloggers and entrepreneurs make, is to attempt to appeal to many groups of different people. But when you try to attract everybody, you’ll end up attracting nobody. Successful bloggers understand who they write for, because it goes deeper than content.
You don’t want to attract old women to your blog when you sell razor blades for men.
You don’t want young sporty girls if you provide a business service for entrepreneurs.
You don’t want dog lovers when your product is for cats.
It’s essential you attract the right people to your blog, and it’s your blog content which is going to determine this. Content has to be written by design, not by default. It’s strategic, not willy-nilly.
In some niches, it’s pretty easy to know your target audience, but there are cases where the lines blur and it becomes a little more difficult. Taking the time to create a clear picture of who you serve, will separate you from the poopballs.
As a simple starting point, ask the following questions:
1. What need do I (or my business) solve?
2. What kind of people need the solutions I provide?
3. Who is my competition?
4. Who are my current customers?
Then find out how to create better content that is based on the right target audience.
Use the right words
When people do a search online, there are certain words they use to find what they’re looking for.
It’s these words that you have to find out, so that you can use them in your content. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, because of something called, “relevancy”, as well as whether the term has lots of competition, and whether it is searched enough.
Different types of keywords represent different meanings, interest and intent. For example: “buy tennis shoes” indicates that the person is ready to buy tennis shoes right now and is searching for a way to buy them. “Best tennis shoes” on the other hand, would indicate that the person is still in the research phase and is looking for the best tennis shoes for their needs. They would not yet be ready to buy the shoes.
The different keywords can be summed up as:
- Brand terms
- Product terms
- Competitor terms
- Substitute product terms
- Complementary product terms
- Buying phases terms
- Knowledge terms
Find the right keywords to use in your blog content, goes hand in hand with knowledge about your target audience. When you possess a deep understanding about what makes them tick, you’ll start hitting on the kind of words they use for searches.
This is important because by using the right keywords, you’re helping search engines to send the right people to your blog.
Your website must be attractive
First impressions count. You may have the best content in the world, but if your site’s ugly, you’re going to miss out on opportunities big time.
No matter what we wish for, people judge others by the way they look, and they will do the same with your website.
When it’s being designed, keep in mind your target audience and their desires, not your own.
Search engine optimization
There are four parts to search engine optimization:
Set a strong foundation with technical SEO
Technical SEO means laying the foundation so that your blog content can get the best traffic results from search engines.
Technical SEO includes elements like:
- Making sure your website loads fast, because your visitors expect a speed of about two seconds. If it takes longer, you’re likely to lose visitors and conversions.
- Ensuring your website is mobile friendly. You can check if yours is with the Google Mobile Friendly Test.
- A good site architecture (easy navigation).
- Categorized information. Put your pages and posts in categories.
- Page redirects.
- Ensure you don’t have duplicated content on your site – either between pages on your website, or from other websites.
- Structured data.
Maximize the results of content with on-page SEO
On-page SEO involves the content aspect of search engine optimization, and includes:
- Header tags which help search engines to know what your blog content is about. Keywords should be used in header tags.
Image Credit: PointBlankPro
- Optimized images play a big part in blogging success. There are a few things you need to understand about images, and the first one is that images attract attention, so when you promote a post via social media, you need to attach an image. Here’s an example of a post on Facebook that does not contain an image:
And here’s one that does. Spot the difference:
Besides their visual importance, Images need to be optimized for search engines, or they could do more harm than good in terms of SEO.
- Keywords should feature in the title of the blog post.
- Declump text to make it easier for people to read. User experience is a priority for search engines.
- Outbound links are important to include in posts, but make sure you link to websites that are more popular than yours. This not only improves user experience, but also tells search engines how relevant your content is, and of what quality, because “birds of the same feather flock together”, and all that…
Ensure a sturdy reputation with off-page SEO
Off-page SEO tells search engines what others think about your website, and is concerned about reputation and authority. It includes:
- Links from other sites to yours. This is important especially if your site is fairly new. Search engines crawl the web to look for new content, and they start on big, popular websites. If a link is located on one of those sites, your content is found faster, which means it is indexed faster = more traffic, sooner.
- Single pages that connect to category pages and supporting posts.
Image Credit: NeilPatel
Get found by location with local SEO
Local SEO won’t apply if your business is international, but it’s very important if you rely on local business, because it determines your search ranking in a geographical location. If you need to rank high for local SEO, this is what you need to do:
- List your business on Google Places for Business. It’s important to complete profile information and to make sure your details are the same there as they are on your website.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews. Websites with reviews get preference by search engines. Doing a search for restaurants in a certain area will first produce those who have been reviewed. I.e., reviewed sites get preference in search results.
Provide epic content
It’s got to be said. If your content is bad, it’s not likely you’re going to make your millions from blogging. There are just too many blogs on the Internet, and it’s far too easy for visitors to click right off your site and on to another’s.
Besides, if your content is bad, you’re not going to make it to the first page results of search engines. And if that is the case, there goes something like almost 70% of your organic traffic.
Your content has to grab and hold attention. This is why knowing your target audience is so important, because you really can’t provide awesome content if you don’t know who you’re writing for.
What is meant by “epic content”? It’s content that provides value. It entertains, educates or inspires.
If you don’t provide content that adds value to people’s lives, close shop and just go home.
Crucial pages and their goals
There are four crucial pages on any website:
1. Home page – this is the page your traffic lands on. It has a maximum of eight seconds to grab attention, so the header on this page is important. Your home page has to tell visitors immediately, what your site is about and how you can help them. Visuals are important – the page has to look good. Include testimonials and social proof to build trust.
2. About page – contrary to popular (and old) belief, the About page should not feature your boring history, because who cares? Instead, it should work to build trust, authority and credibility. The About page should help to make visitors think you’re awesome, so include awards, company culture (if it’s a good one), photos of employees to build trust, etc. Add differentiating factors to the page – what makes you different to competitors?
3. Services/products page – 47% of your visitors will check out the services or products page, so be ready. Highlight expertise.
4. Contact page – where you include a full physical address, makes visitors know that you are a legitimate business. Adding contact details is also vital if you want your blog to rank high for local search.
Include a call to action on all pages
No matter how your blog makes money, you should be making full use of those who visit, so a call to action on every page is vital.
A call to action is some kind of guidance as to what you want your reader to do. The importance of this is not to lose them once they leave your site. Digital marketing is all about The List, and The List is simply a list of email addresses of people who are interested in the solutions you provide.
The reason why marketers are so obsessed about The List is because it’s where the money sits. People don’t usually buy the first time they visit a website. You need to “prime” them by keeping in touch via email, so that when they are ready to make a purchase, your brand is at the forefront of their mind.
Ideas of call to actions:
- To download a free white paper or e-book
- To call for a quote
- To contact a company for free advice
- To receive newsletters
- To get a free trial period
Example of a call to action
Add social media sharing buttons
If you want visitors to share your blog content, you’ve got to make it easy for them. Add social share buttons to your content, but don’t overdo it.
Play around to find out which buttons to include. For example, despite a plethora of social media networks, the top sites like Lifehacker, only give two social share options, and Buffer (who should know best of course) provides three.
Finally, you’re going to want to promote your blog so that your traffic increases. There are a few motivating factors to spread the news:
- Get more traffic via search engines
- Inspire a random visitor from another website, which could result in a sale
- Positively influence your reputation, which also impacts SEO
Research shows that the most popular methods of website promotion spending, are:
1. Social media marketing – adding posts to social media and paying for social media advertising.
2. Content marketing – promoting content in various ways.
3. Email marketing – keeping in touch with a list of subscribers.
4. Search engine optimization – getting more traffic by making sure your website and content is optimized.
Read this for cost effective ways of promoting your blog.
Setting up a money-making blog is not for the feint hearted. But if you’re prepared to go for it, this is how to set up your website so that it works to bring a maximum amount of traffic:
- Make sure your blog attracts the right people.
- Choose the right keywords.
- A visually appealing website counts.
- Make sure your blog is search engine optimized by addressing technical, on-page, off-page and local SEO elements.
- If you don’t provide content that is of value, just give up right now.
- Make sure you include the most important pages.
- On all pages, include an action for visitors to take.
- Add social media sharing buttons to make it easy for visitors to share your content.
- Promote your blog so that you can get more traffic and boost your reputation.