A common question asked by many bloggers and many will have their own opinion. However, I currently have close to 4 blogs, and am in the process of starting my 5th so I wanted to shed some light on what I learned over the years. We often think writing great content is the only element needed to grow our blog and generate traffic, however, you’ll be surprised to know that this is rarely the case. For example, social media, smart back-linking, and optimizing all play an important role once you publish content.
Today, I’ll be exploring this important question: Does Content Equal an Increase Traffic? And is this all that’s required to build a successful blog. I’ve learned a lot over the last few years and will like to share some of it right now. Let’s get started and your feedback will be greatly appreciated. Please leave your comments in the box below.
I write out my content, exploring some of the lessons I learned along the way.
Lesson 1: List Building is Important
You’ve heard this before and I’ll express the importance again that list building is very important to increase user retention. It’s one thing when you have a visitor to your blog but something completely different when they keep coming back. Whenever a client asks me what is the MOST important thing they should do when starting a blog, I encourage them to create a few opt-in forms that they can implement within their content. List building has been proven numerous times to increase engagement and allows for continued growth for a few important reasons.
First, it allows you to push new content in front of your readers that then helps build engagement going forward. For example, with each person visiting my blog, I’ve increased the likelihood of them sharing my content on social media platforms. Right away, I’ve increased traffic to my blog and increased the chances of having new people opt-in to my newsletter.
Secondly, it’s a great way to market my services, increasing the likelihood of profits. As a business, we have to understand what our bottom line is, which, in MOST cases, is “profit”. Some do it for passion butt I believe this ultimately leads to profits.
Third, people who have NOT been to your blog in a few weeks might forget about your blog or content. Having an email list and frequent follow-ups is a great way to keep readers in the loop, building your brand.
Lesson 2: Content Timing Matters
When referring to timing, I’m referring to “time-based” content. An example would be: How to Start a Blog in 2016. This works because people are always aiming to get the MOST up-to-date content, and adding a date to your title helps. Not to mention, people have shifted the way they search for content so use highly targeted search phrases. This led to the growth of LSI and long tail keywords because they catered to the user search pattern. Next,
Google recognized this change and has altered their search engines to equip for the change. You’ve noticed they reward content with long-tail keywords more compared to years back…right? Even though “targeted” searches are NOT obsolete, it’s important to add LSI and long-tail keywords to your content. With that said,
If you just started to write content, it’s important to focus on time-based content because psychologically, people are looking for fresh content.
Lesson 3: Great Content Doesn’t Equal Traffic
Even though in-depth content is important for blog growth, it’s NOT enough to get the ball rolling. Google does give preference to content that provides depth, but personally, I don’t think this is enough to really build momentum with your audience. This is why content isn’t enough to build your brand, and you’ll have to find creative ways to target your audience. The good news is research has shown what does work if you want to create a buzz quickly. For example,
Social media is an awesome platform to get your brand known. Facebook, Twitter, and others have changed the way people interact with content. I encourage all of you to join these networks and start marketing using the different channels you have available. Invest some money in Facebook ads or even purchase some Sponsored Tweets because this can go a very long way.
Before starting, it’s important you pay close attention to the following:
- Understand what social networks are the MOST popular.
- Set up a complete profile so people can read about your brand
- Make use of social media tools (marketing, #hashtags, groups, etc.)
- Follow others in the same niche and get followed in return.
Lesson 4: Diversity Matters
There are so many different types of content you can create to engage your readers. Here are just a few popular ones:
- Video content
With so much content available online, it’s important you tap into the reader’s mind quickly so they can extract the value out of it. This is why I’ve encouraged many of my clients to focus on different types of content every time they write. Keep in mind, social media platforms have all changed the way they display content, and no matter if it’s an image, infographic, or video, you’ll still get your point across. If you have been writing text content then maybe add some images, if you have included images then upgrade to video. If you have to create infographics, then this will be a great way to engage your readers and provide value at the same time. Whenever I write content, I think about my audience and how fast I can get the point across. Here’s another example,
If you’re creating how-to content, then why NOT create a video showing them the steps to complete the job? A video will be better than simple text content…right? Video content is more popular, can be displayed on social media, and is very easy to follow.
Before you can start to put your content format together, you have to answer a few very important questions:
Who is your audience? – This will help you understand what type of content they’ll enjoy reading. Your audience might be located in a place where English is NOT their first language so video or images will be better at getting your point across.
Where are they located? – For the obvious reason listed upon, but you can also create content targeting that region going forward.
What social platform do they use? – Knowing what social media platform they use will help you tweak the display and size of your content for better engagement.
How can you test what works? – Even though it’s a good idea to mix content up for optimal results, I encourage you to keep testing because this is the only way you’ll improve your CTR. The higher your click-through, the better chance you’ll have at converting your visitors.
Now that I have discussed content and how other elements play a crucial role in increasing exposure, I’d like to go over some website changes that you should keep an eye on. Here’s what I’ve learned about web design and layout:
Lesson 1: Menu and Navigation
You’d be surprised by how your site’s navigation influences browsing. I believe that for your content to get noticed, and shared, it’s important that it can be found with very little effort. This is why I encourage all of you to pay close attention to your navigation, making sure it’s organized into the right categories. For example, if you write about “making money online”, then it’s a good idea to have menu items representing the different sections you cover.
- Social media
- And others
This will ensure that when someone arrives on your website, they’ll be able to find exactly what they are looking for, which also increases the likelihood of them sharing content with others. With each share comes the potential of new visitors arriving on your site, which goes a long way to build brand recognition.
You have to know where to place your navigation for maximum exposure. Throughout the years, you’ve probably noticed menus on the left, top, and right of the layout. However, statistically, some have been proven to work better than others. For example, having the navigation towards the top works the best because it’s completely visible when the visitor first arrives on the site. It’s been proven to keep the MOST important elements of your website above the fold, which is why a navigational menu towards the top is so effective.
If you’re using WordPress, then you can add a plugin that keeps the menu at the top of the page as you scroll. However, with the recent upgrades in themes, I wouldn’t be surprised if a new theme you purchase comes with the pre-configured plugins to allow for this functionality.
Lesson 2: The Clutter
Here’s another quick tip for you to pay close attention to when writing content. Always make sure you have the right:
Spacing – This will help divide the content so it’s NOT cluttered and very easy to read. You want to make sure each paragraph has no more than 4-5 sentences.
Font size- Make sure the size is adequate enough so it’s easy to read. The harder the text is to read, the less time people will spend on your page.
Use Bold – Make sure you bold the important text or “target” keywords because this reiterates to the reader what your content is about. It’s a great way to ensure these readers know they will find the solution on your page.
Add images – Mix things up by adding images, especially if you have very lengthy content. Images will help illustrate your point more effectively.
In-depth – Make sure when writing content, you focusing on making it in-depth. There is a lot of content available online and you should be the all-in-one solution. This is what will help you stand out compared to your competition. Stay focused and take your time writing because it’s NOT about quantity, but quality.
Many people are under the assumption that content is the ONLY thing you need to grow your blog. Even though it is very important, you need to keep a few things in mind.
Social media is a great way to build momentum quickly because everyone else is promoting your content for you. One single “share” can lead to massive traction, which will help drive traffic and build your brand. Timing is important because people are online at different times so put some tests together, looking for a pattern of when sharing is the highest. Going forward, you should focus on the same time slots for maximum exposure. Next,
Don’t forget the importance of building an email list. This is a great way to build momentum, loyalty, and keep people coming back to your blog. Imagine having 10,000 people on your list and promoting a product through a follow-up sequence. This can generate enormous money for you, helping you meet your bottom line.
In the end, it’s about testing what works and what doesn’t. I believe everything has to do with testing so make sure you have the right tools available to test the different elements of your marketing. When you find what works, you can then keep building on it until you optimize your CTR.