In this post I am going to share some simple and effective ways to increase your blog readership and maximise your conversion rates. Whether your goal is to make more money, increase your brand awareness or anything in between, these 8 successful blogging tips will help you achieve better results.
Understand Your Target Audience
Perhaps one of the most important and fundamental things anyone can do in marketing is to truly understand their target audience. Blogging is no different.
Your goal as a blog owner should be to deliver targeted value to whoever you’re talking to. This is pretty hard to do if you’re casting a wide net and trying to please everybody.
How can you deliver targeted value?
One way is by putting yourself in the shoes of your audience. Think about WHY they would be searching for your content, what benefit are they getting? What makes your content unique and different?
There’s a ton of ways to segment an audience but primarily if you can work out the basic profile of your readers and what benefits they are seeking you will be well on your way.
Another good thing to do is test your content and offers to further gain insight into your readership with Google Analytics. What are they clicking? How long do they spend on the page? Are they returning to your website?
These are all good questions and I’ll show you towards the end where to go to learn these things as a newbie.
Ask for feedback and don’t be too proud to accept constructive criticism. Ask for comments and feedback to understand what your audience is thinking.
If you can understand who your audience is and deliver them real value in a unique way then you are going to be miles ahead of a lot of other blogs. If you keep the reader in mind you will naturally tune into them more and more over time so don’t think you need to have this perfect from the start.
You can always adapt your blog later down the road if you decide you were missing the mark somewhat. There is nothing wrong with this.
Publish Quality Posts Regularly
Posting regular content is highly important to establish yourself as an authority and can also help you rank better in the search engines.
Google loves blogs that are regularly updated and provide fresh and informative content.
Thinking up good blog post ideas on a regular basis is not as hard as you might think. Spend some time learning what questions your audience is asking in places like Yahoo answers, Quora and other forums related to your niche.
Think of broad ideas and drill down to see what the competition has left on the table so to speak. The idea is to make them minimum of 500-1000 words and genuinely help whoever your writing for.
It’s also a good idea to add pictures and break your content down into readable chunks to make it easier for your audience to digest. Focus on writing good content regularly and you will see a lot of success over time.
Research Keywords Effectively
You can publish the best content online but if you don’t know how to target the right keywords you’re going to be in for a rocky ride in the SEO world.
Ideally you want to learn how to target low competition keywords that make sense to a human. Sounds simple and it is when you know how.
Getting this right can mean the difference between ranking on the 1st page of Google and launching your content into outer space where no one is looking.
Forget about targeting high competition/ high traffic keywords if your blog is fairly new. If you can get into a rhythm and publish posts on a regular basis then before you know it those low traffic and low competition keyword blog posts are going to add up and you’ll be getting a ton of traffic in no time.
Not only that but once you’ve shown Google that you are providing great content for your readers with those posts, you can scale your efforts up and start targeting tome of the higher competition keywords with more traffic.
Personally I use a tool called Jaaxy and it has helped me enormously in my keyword research efforts and it is single handedly helping me grow my traffic numbers every single day. It’s simple, effective and it saves me time.
There are free tools like Google Adwords but the data is known to be somewhat hit and miss and only takes into account Google stats. Bing and Yahoo (Microsoft) accounts for over 30% of all search engine traffic so it’s worth knowing what they are doing as well.
Plan Your Schedule
As I was saying earlier, posting regularly is highly important to your success and the best way to get into a rhythm is to set yourself a schedule.
I get that your probably really busy but if you’re not putting the time into your blog you will not see the results you are looking for. Plain and simple.
I find what helps me is to use my laptop calendar and plan each week in advance. I like that because if something changes I can simply move things around. While you should try and be firm with your commitments things do happen and it’s nice to be flexible.
Pretty much whatever works for you is good, just as long as you are planing ahead.
Try and work out the actual topics you are going to write about as well. Doing this one thing alone has saved me hours each week because I’m not stuffing around looking for what to write in the morning… I just get to work!
I also find I come up with ideas as I go along so try and have a place to note these down and refer back to them later.
I’m not a huge social media buff but this is important and if done correctly can work well. If you are new to social media try and dedicate 15-20 minutes per day to 2-3 social media platforms and you’ll do fine.
Build up your following by commenting, liking and sharing other people’s content and by doing this you will connect with people. Share your blog posts and write something in the description to get your peers involved.
Avoid being the person that dumps a link to your content and runs and diversify what you are posting. You don’t want to come across as someone that is trying to sell stuff to your network. Add value to people instead and remember it is a social platform so keep it fun and interesting where possible.
Utilise Alternative Traffic Sources
As a blogger you probably spend a lot of time thinking about SEO and ranking in Google, and that is a good thing. Well at least if you are taking action on ranking quality posts and not just thinking about it!
There are other traffic sources that could potentially increase your visitors substantially and they should not be overlooked. The 2 main ones that come to my mind are Pay Per Click (PPC) and YouTube video marketing.
PPC can be a really great way to test some of your posts out and get an idea about your conversion rates. If you can learn how to use it, can be a great additional source of traffic. Use it wrong and it will cost you a lot of money.
YouTube has enormous untapped potential with over a billion users worldwide, a third of ALL internet users! Every day hundreds of millions of hours of video are consumed and this number is growing steadily.
Making a short video to compliment a blog post, to show people how to do something or any other purpose that could help your audience is a HUGE step in the right direction. Get your hands on some free screencast software and make a short 5 minute to test the waters.
You don’t need fancy equipment when you’re starting out and you can always improve as you go along.
Understand Google Analytics
This is something that I continue to learn each and every day and there is so much you can do with analytics. It is really worthwhile getting rolling with Google Analytics because it allows you to track your results and tweak your performance based on real user activity.
Getting familiar with this is going to help you learn more about your audience, learn about what is working and what isn’t and help you work out what to tweak to maximise your conversions.
Simply put, this is an essential learning curve to grow your blog and you will need the right training to utilise Google Analytics effectively. It’s well worth the effort though in my opinion.
Monetise Your Blog Correctly
How you choose to monetise your blog will have an enormous impact on how much money you will make. There’s a lot of different ways but 2 of the main ones are Google Adsense and affiliate marketing.
Google Adsense is for people that don’t really have a targeted niche in my opinion. Write about anything and everything and as long as you are getting traffic you can make money with Adsense. Essentially these are ads served on your website from Google and they change based on the users search and web browsing history.
The drawbacks are you will not earn much, they are ugly and you are sending people away from your website when you could be making commissions on product sales yourself.
You’ve already done all the hard work but instead of promoting targeted offers of value to your visitors you are sending them away for pennies…
People do make money this way, but in my opinion it’s not the best method.
What is? Affiliate marketing by a mile.
This is just where you get paid commissions based on people clicking through your affiliate links and making purchases with the vendor. The commission amounts will vary according to the product or service but this is a lot more lucrative than Adsense.
All you need to do is find out what sort of products your audience would be interested in and find an affiliate program to suite.
Recommend the best products you can find to help your audience in some way and you can effectively monetise your blog with affiliate marketing. It’s not about selling people something, it’s about helping them solve a problem of some kind.
The Bottom Line
Blogging can be a great way to make an income online and by following these tips you are giving yourself the best chance of success.
The most important thing to remember is the concept of giving people real value and building a relationship with your audience. Focus on helping a group of people and the success you can achieve as a result is unlimited.