There’s no point having a blog if nobody reads it.
If you are not growing your blog traffic, you are wasting your efforts writing in the first place.
It’s also a sad scenario when just a handful of people are connected to your business through your social media handles (probably your friends and family members). As an entrepreneur, running a successful blog and producing content that resonates with people is key if you plan on growing your online presence.
Pushing out great content through your blog and other social media channels will get you and your brand some much needed exposure. In the case of blog content, inbound blog traffic generally has the highest conversion rates out there, much better than PPC or even social media campaigns.
That’s why we put together a list of 20 ultimate hacks to increase blog traffic and supercharge your content for maximum impact – implement these hacks and watch your content gain much traction.
1. Attention Grabbing Headline
It’s the 21st century, and now more than ever, first impressions are everything. Your post’s first impression is its title. It is literally, the potential reader’s first encounter with your content, so make sure it is attention grabbing and makes your audience not only want to click, but need to click.
Take for instance this article title from Income. If you own a website, you know hits are very important so you ultimately want to know how to get 10 million readers too.
2. Milk your headlines for all their emotional value
Quick fact: blog posts with more emotional headlines actually result in more shares.
Quick tip: Write headlines that have stronger emotional output.
There are several tools that can help you do this. The Emotional Value Analyzer by the Advanced Marketing Institute will give you a basic rating on the emotional value of your headlines.
This allows you to keep tweaking the headline till it ranks high up in the emotional spectrum. And makes it easy for you to to write awesome (and emotional) headlines every time.
3. Include Sources/References
Especially if you’re new at blogging and aren’t seen as an authority figure in your respective field yet. Adding sources and references will legitimize your assertions and claims and increase its reliability.
You never know, some of these sources may even link back to you or share the post since it involves them.
4. Email Those Sources
On the world wide web, network is everything. The more people know about your content, the higher chances it will be seen and shared.
As mentioned above, part of the strategy behind using sources is also so they could link to your content if it truly is valuable. Getting those organic links is priceless for your SEO strategy, and it may get you some direct readers as well. So don’t wait for those sources to find your blog, email or even tweet at them, let them know about the post.
5. Include Interesting Images
It should go without saying that you should include images with your content. A killer image, coupled with a killer headline, is your 1-2 knockout punch on the internet.
The reasoning is, if your headline doesn’t do them in, your image should. That’s why your image should be sharp, creative and visually striking.
You want to make the reader do a double or even triple take. If you’re creative enough, you can use divergent thinking to choose images that would make them go, “I wonder what this has to do with the post”.
6. Use a Conversational Tone
Nobody likes to read textbooks. We all read them because we had to. And it was laborious. Don’t let people feel they are reading a textbook when engaging your content.
Write in a conversational tone and show off a bit of your personality. Let them know it’s a human being on the other side of the screen penning down thoughts. That makes it easier for your readers to connect and relate with you.
7. SEO-friendly Content
You should pay attention to search engines when creating content. People who use the internet find stuff via search engines. It’s easier. If you’re using WordPress, make sure to have an SEO plugin installed. If not, still ensure you’re properly formatting your URLs, using unique title and meta tags.
Use H1 tags, alt tags and so on. Those should all include your keywords and/or the searches you’d like to come up for. Rename your images to carry your keywords as well. Even when writing a post make some research on Google, make sure it’s a searched topic so you’ll actually get traffic when you do rank it.
8. Improve Your Rich Snippets
Take control of how your content appears on social networks. There are a ton of things you can do to your blog to make sure your content looks good when it’s shared on social media or picked up by search engines like Google.
Most of this relies on a small bit of meta tag code that you should include in the <HEAD> of your html page. This code will provide instructions to networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest by telling them which image, title, and description to use when a post goes live.
If you’re using WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin is a great way to make sure that most of it happens automatically.
9. Produce your content in multiple formats
There’s a reason that companies like Apple roll out new products every few months – even if the differences between their various editions hardly justify the fanfare of a new release. That’s because human beings are wired to anticipate a reward when they see something new. Essentially, we are addicted to new things.
You can take advantage of this by releasing content pieces in a number of different formats. Start by releasing a high quality blog post. Promote it for about a month. Then wait another month before releasing the same content in a new format – this time a video. Promote again.
Even audience members who read your original blog post will find themselves triggered by the novelty of the new format, leading to repeat website visitors.
10. Use the Click To Tweet Plugin
Everyone has social media share buttons somewhere on their blog, but what happens if you add them in your content as well? Awesome, that’s what!
As your readers go through your blog content, it’s possible for one or more of your sentences to jump out at them. Click To Tweet links allow them highlight those sections of your post and turn them into tweetable quotes and comments.
The idea is that you are not only providing readers a way to share, but actively suggesting that they do. This naturally leads to more shares and more exposure for your content.
11. Create Longer-Form Content
Google gives precedence to long-form content in its search results. Did you know that? Long-form content refers to posts that have a total of 1,200 words or more.
Experts and researcher agree – long-form content is more likely to be linked to from another site, and it is more likely to take the top spot in search results.
You know what that means… write more. But don’t just fluff up your posts. Make sure there’s value in those extra words. Provide your audience with value they can’t getting anywhere else.
12. Write Often
In fact, write as often as you can, as long as it doesn’t ruin the quality of your posts. The more content you push out, the more content there is for your audience to engage with and the higher chance there is for your content to get read and engaged. If you could put together a proper blog post at least once every 2-3 days, then that’s a great start.
13. Be Consistent
This might not sound like a hack but believe it. Your audience wants to know what to expect. No matter if you choose to blog once a week, once a month or once every day – be consistent. It’s off-putting you find this great blog, read 3 valuable posts on your first visit and then famine. The author doesn’t post anything for weeks.
Consistency is good and effective. It lets your readers know what and when to expect your next piece so they can build a pattern and fit you into their routine.
14. Feature industry authorities and professionals
Human beings are somewhat psychologically predisposed to following the word of perceived authority figures.
By simply posting content created in collaboration with professionals with major industry cred, the professional’s authority rubs off on you by proxy. After all, if the professional didn’t endorse your business or the content of your website, he or she wouldn’t have contributed in the first place!
That’s some major impact right there.
So, approach these professionals and ask if they would be open to doing an interview for your blog. Both parties stand to benefit, as you’ll get free content that boosts your business’s perceived authority and the professional will receive extra publicity and press mentions that can be added to his or her portfolio.
15. Join Communities
On the internet, just as in the real world, no one is an island. Your online identity will thrive better in communities than outside them. Therefore, join relevant communities.
Provide valuable information and advice in them, participate in their contests. In short, mix with your “peers”. The internet is a big beautiful place and depending on your niche there are definitely communities where your target audience hangs and you should be a part of those as well.
And when you have a post you’re proud to have your name on, share it there. After all, you’re now part of the family and not just some opportunistic spammer.
16. Guest Blogging
Reach out to blogs that complement yours and see if they’d be interested in you writing a post on their blog. The first time you approach those blogs and their authors, try to have at least one blog post related to something you read on their blog.
Some bloggers don’t have the time or patience to go back and forth but if you send them the post right away with a friendly note then they might just bite. Not everyone will, but not everyone will say no either. So, increase your pool of blogs you proposition like this.
17. Promote Your Content On Social Media More Than Once
One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is publishing and sharing their content just the one time. Once a blog post goes live, too many bloggers only share once or twice on social media—even though some of their content qualify as evergreen content.
If you need permission, here you go. Share your content more than once, more than twice. The trick is to follow a simple pattern to maximize efficiency and avoid coming off as spammy. Tools like Edgar help to achieve this seamlessly. Make sure you add some variety to your social content to keep things fresh.
18. Make Your Blog Load Faster
Did you know that Google considers the speed of your website when ranking your website in search results? Well, now you do.
Back in 2010, Google engineer Matt Cutts announced that Google is now factoring site speed into search rankings. You know what that means. Make your blog load as fast as possible.
Investing in reducing your blog’s load time is a wise investment. While it can be a bit technical, WPMU DEV has a great guide for speeding up your WordPress blog. Follow it, speed things up, and enjoy the rank boost.
19. Experiment with Your Social Sharing Buttons
Do you know where the best place to put your social media buttons is? The placement of these buttons can actually make a big impact on how many shares your posts receive. Research has found that more sharing happens when the social sharing buttons are near the top left of the page.
But don’t just take our word for it. Try it yourself. if it doesn’t have a noticeable effect on your traffic or shares, switch things to the bottom, to the top etc. It’s your blog and they are your audience.
The discovery is part of the fun.