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When you create an engaging blog, you gain a valuable outlet for building your brand. Without taking deliberate steps to optimize your website for traffic and conversions, however, your blog might not attract an audience as well as you envision. Discover the following eight ways to enhance your blog and gain the audience you seek.
Image via Flickr by Skley
If you struggle with low readership, one of the most important ways to enhance your blog is by growing your traffic. For most blogs, this process is a two-stage effort. First, start by optimizing your site for relevant search terms and popular keywords in your industry.
Once you’ve secured strong search terms and keywords, set up a regular content and blog creation schedule. Try posting once, twice, or more times a week and take a look at the results. If your traffic grows substantially from posting more than once a week, make that frequency level your new goal.
Attracting new readers won’t help you so much if you can’t keep them interested. Prevent readers from clicking away too soon by improving page readability across devices, writing information-packed posts, using high-quality images, or incorporating video.
Once your readers finish with a single blog post, don’t let them click away. Lower your bounce rate and encourage readers to stay on your site by including internal links in your blog posts and referring to more content in sidebars.
No matter how dedicated your audience members might be, they read much more than your blog alone. Make sure that your blog adds value for your readers.
While it’s important to take part in the conversations relevant to your industry, you don’t need to rehash tired topics or copy other blogger ideas. Instead, find a way to make your blog stand out. Produce case studies to market your services, create curated posts to connect with the big names in your field, or include rich media that informs and entertains.
Visual content can improve any website. Not only does placing photos and graphics in your blog posts allow you to say more with fewer words, but this practice can also make your blog more memorable for readers.
With visual content, however, you don’t need to limit your blog to static images. In fact, incorporating digital media such as infographics, e-books, white papers, and data visualizations can take your blog to the next level.
Use eye-catching infographics and data visualizations to help readers understand and engage with high-level information. Incorporate e-books or white papers you’ve written to establish your brand as an authority in your field.
Specific digital media needs might vary from industry to industry, but one aspect remains true no matter what field your blog covers. The more websites and content you have to compete with, the more necessary you need to offer your audience something more with digital media.
No matter how big your blog gets, building relationships with influencers in your field never loses its value. Refer to important influencers in relevant blog posts. Create links back to their websites and popular content.
Next, connect with influencers on social media and link to the content where you’ve incorporated their influential thoughts and ideas. Encourage them to share your content with their own dedicated readership to expand your network and drive more traffic to your blog.
If you want to create a community around your blog, starting a conversation is one of the best methods. Encourage your readers to leave comments on your blog posts by sharing their insights, answering your questions, and enhancing the experience for themselves and other readers.
Unless you create particularly controversial content, however, most conversations won’t happen on their own. Invite readers to take part by ending blog posts with questions and making clear calls to action.
Be sure to rely on a comment system that your readers will actually use. If you’re starting out, a simpler system is often better, since there’s a low bar for entry. Once your blog has a large, engaged readership, consider using a more feature-intensive comment system that further enhances the community you’ve built.
No matter how much your readers comment on or engage with your blog, your blog exists in a virtual vacuum when you leave social media out of the picture. Determine the best social media platforms for your industry and start sharing your content regularly.
When sharing a post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform, don’t rely on your audience to engage without being prompted. Ask questions, ask for opinions, and encourage engagement on social media. Readers are bound to join the conversation and leave comments on your blog, too.
If you opt to schedule and auto post content on your social channels, make sure you don’t take the automation aspect too far. Check in with your community periodically to respond to questions, add your own comments, and engage with your audience.
As you strive to enhance your blog and develop a dedicated readership, don’t ignore your audience members. Instead, take advantage of the opportunity to capture your audience and bring readers into your marketing efforts.
Depending on the nature of your blog, you can pursue a lead generation campaign in several ways. Start by adding a pop-up to your blog, asking readers to give their contact information to sign up for your email newsletter. If your blog offers e-books or white papers, require readers to give contact information before downloading your valuable content.
Once you’ve convinced readers to sign up for your services, don’t ignore them. Produce regular email newsletters and marketing campaigns that keep your audience up-to-date on your latest content and products while encouraging readers to return to your blog.
Whether you’ve had your site for years or you’re a newcomer to the world of blogging, room for improvement always exists. Let these eight ideas help you make your blog one that engages, entertains, informs, and inspires.