“…many sites are popular only because the owner worked hard to get attention.”
– My Blog Traffic Sucks, chapter 5
My favorite category in my company’s blog (Performance Improvement) is Performance Thoughts on the Dog Walk – human performance issues that occur to me while running with my golden retriever every morning. I thought I had really awesome, really compelling blog content – just a less than awesome number of readers and rarely a comment posted. I feel sad that I have these incredible posts and the readers who could benefit from them are missing. I thought it was due to my very meager marketing and the bad blogging platform I use (it moves to a better platform next month). So here I am reading Steve Scott’s book to learn more about steps 5, 6, 7 and 8:
Steve Scott’s 8 Steps:
1. 4 habits of a highly effective blogger
2. Design a Most Wanted Response blog for converting your traffic
3. Network with the top bloggers to build powerful alliances
4. Write awesome, compelling blog content
5. 7-step checklist to promote each blog post
6. Guest posting
7. Build a large Twitter audience
8. 6 traffics strategies
And… I got really easy to follow ideas for marketing PLUS good reminders on the content side including specifics I’d not even thought of on how to use keywords (I’ve just been choosing them in my blog tool as identifiers – who knew, you actually have to use them multiple times in your post!)
You may have wished for more details on some of his other steps than the ones that resonated with me but lucky for you it’s a quick read. What’s even better is that it’s a Kindle book so for every step he gives several actual blogs to look at that exemplify his point – and all you have to do it click on the link. He also gives dozens of software tools links so you can download them as you’re reading – no need to go back later! The author is all about saving time and with this approach he practices what he preaches.
Design your blog to get the response you want
"Traffic generation means nothing without conversions!"
The number one response I want from each blog post is people using the comments section – both reading/answering the comments of others and leaving comments of their own. So I need to design the site and each post with multiple ways to leave those comments (right now all I have is the comments function at the end of the post and I end the post with a compelling question). The number one thing I can do to achieve this? Make it easy for readers to share each blog post (right now they’d have to cut and paste the URL or the sentences they want to quote into social media or emails).
Whatever it is you want out of your blog, design it with that mind and you’ll get the response you want.
Connect with already successful bloggers
"…approach a top blogger in a systematic manner where you slowly ease into their sphere of influence."
This is exactly how I built our customized training business – duh! Why didn’t I think of this before? I always tell people that marketing is marketing is marketing no matter what the product or service, but then I didn’t apply what I’ve already done for our customized training company so well to our blog.
You can’t just call up a successful blogger and say, “Will you be my friend?”, so following Scott’s methods was very helpful. His ideas in this step, and in all the steps are built on systems thinking, ensuring ease of replication by the reader. My first action will be to research the blogs in my topic area (human performance), with the number of readers I’ve chosen as an indicator of success (10K) and the average number of comments per post (20). I also loved his suggestion to check out another guys’ blog on how to network with busy people.
Guest posting is the #1 source of traffic
"The best way to get a massive amount of traffic is to put your content on blogs that already possess a large following."
Brilliant! Again, why didn’t I think of this? I did it for a decade writing magazine articles to get my name known so people would hire our training company. In order to get an invite to write guest posts (posts on other people’s blogs) you have to choose where you’ll hope to write those guest posts. I’ll have already done the research on the top bloggers in my topic area (GEM #1) and spent all kinds of time building a relationship so these blogs seem the obvious choices to work at getting an invite to write for. So the most fascinating part of his how to tips were – again why didn’t I think of this – be sure to write your guest blog in the same style as the blog owner as the loyal followers expect a certain style and may not read you if yours is terribly different.
Lots of steps but it comes down to two things, really: Write great content and market your blog. I’ll follow his suggestion to focus on one strategy at a time and collect and regularly analyze metrics. He suggests using Google Analytics and gives details on how to read the reports and what to do with the info so you spend your time on the right marketing strategies.
Scott ends the book with a case study of a top blogger’s day and week (this blogger has a FT job doing something other than blogging). This not only gave shape to the amount of time each of Scott’s steps should take but it was really inspiring to see his activities. I’m off to schedule my blogging day/week and ready to use some of the tools!