Look at you! You’ve dedicated some time to banging out an eloquent and entertaining blog post that you’re proud of and can’t wait to receive feedback on! You did your researched, linked back to some of your resources, embedded beautiful images, maybe even a relevant video; you did everything right. So where are all of your readers?
As of October 2013 HubSpot.com reports 77% of Internet users read blogs, 6.7 million people blog on blogging sites, and 12 million people blog via social networks.
If you don’t drive traffic to your blog properly it’s very easy for your posts to get lost in the noise.
It doesn’t matter how great your blog post is, without taking the right steps to share it once you’re finished writing it, as as if you didn’t even write it in the first place.
Here are a few crucial steps you need to take after you post a blog to drive traffic.
1. Optimize Your Page for on-Page SEO
If you aren’t an SEO expert, there’s no need to become overwhelmed. Search engine optimization used to mean going into the backend of your posts, however Google now tracks on-page SEO. This means that based on how you structure the content of your post, you’ll be more likely to appear in the top search result on google. So how do you go about doing this?
Let’s start from the top, with your url. Make sure that the url of your post includes the keywords on the topic that you’re writing about by customizing it. If your url looks like this once you post it: http://www.companyblog.com/1234 no bueno. Try editing the link to include your topic, for example http://www.companyblog.com/onpageSEO
Next the actual content of your post. Google recognizes text that you make bold or larger than the other text as keywords. You’ll notice that each time I mention ‘drive traffic’ in this post, it is larger than the rest of my body text.
Finally create Alt Text (alternative text) for your images. When you embed an image into your writing, you have the option to add a title, caption, Alt Text or description. What’s important is that you edit your Alt text. The easiest way to do this is just copy the title of your post and past it into this box.
2. Add the Link to Your Email Signature
Think of how many emails you write everyday. Each email that you write is an opportunity to shamelessly plug your writing to the recipients. Try simply editing your signature within your email host setting, and add a link to your website or to the latest post.
If you want to take it a step further, one of my favourite email signature apps is completely free! Wisestamp includes icons leading to all of the social media links you wish to include, your company logo or headshot, and can also include email apps such as a Facebook: Like My Page widget, an RSS feed, or a WordPress blog post promotion widget. Perfect for sharing recent posts!
3. Auto-Share to Your Social Media Via IFTTT
There are many ways to trigger your blog posts to automatically be shared onto your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.. but the website If This Then That (IFTTT) is my all time favourite. The website allows you to create actions that trigger another action, for example if “If I create a wordpress blog post, then write publish the link and title to Twitter”. These are called recipes. Creating recipes automating your posts to be syndicated to all of your social media platforms is a great way of making sure that you never forget to highlight a post to your networks again, and assure that you’re reaching all of your connections online.
4. Schedule ‘Tweet Later’ Plugin to Re-share It
After making sure that your blog post will automatically be shared to your social media sites via IFTTT, it’s important to make sure that you stay in the tops of everyone’s minds. Tweeting a single post, just once isn’t good enough. You may be 1/800 people that your followers are tracking. and for this reason you’re only as relevant as your most recent tweet. The wordpress plugin ‘Tweet Later’ automatically tweets old blog posts as many times as you’d like it to throughout the day. This also helps assure that none of your non-time sensitive posts become overlooked and forgotten.
5. Pin Feature Image to Pinterest
Pinterest is one of the hottest and easiest ways of sharing and collecting content. I believe that Pinterest is a crucial step in sharing your posts after writing them. Even though you can auto-share your blog post’s feature image to be pinned to your pinterest board through IFTTT, I prefer manually creating a pin myself. I also use a plugin that allows readers to pin images from my blog right onto their pinterest board with the ‘Pin It’ button. Some of features to include in your pinterest images (besides the image itself) include an intriguing description, the board that the image belongs in, and the source. Include the link to your post in the source box, this allows pinners to be redirected to your original blog post.
6. Comment On Other Blogs
One of the easiest ways to drive traffic to your blog is by connecting with other bloggers and audiences who share common interests. Visit some of your favourite blogs that cover similar topics. Comment on some of their more recent posts and include a link to your blog in your comment. One thing to remember is not to comment for the sake of having people click your link, don’t spam other bloggers! Give honest, useful, and positive feedback that the author and their audience will actually appreciate, and in turn feel intrigued to visit your website to see what you’re up to.
What are some of the steps that you never skip after publishing a new blog post?