Whether blogging for pleasure or for profit, this is a question that many writers have often asked.
A blog post or article could be near perfect, but remain undiscovered for years because it didn’t get seen by the right people at the right time. Google won’t send searchers to your blog post immediately, if at all. It very rarely happens on its own without some help.
This article will go into some of the best tried and tested methods to get people viewing your blog posts. We’ll also explain how they work so that you can start implementing them into your blogging, and know why you’re doing them this way to give you a basis of knowledge to work from adding your own twist and brand to your work.
Your blog posts title is going to be the very first thing that anyone sees. A good title can bring in a lot of clicks, so make it a good one.
A good title is relevant, to the point, and highlights the value of the post. A reader should know what they’re going to gain from reading the article before even reading it.
An interesting example of this is ‘clickbait’. We’ve all clicked on one of them before. Whether it was because a friend shared it, or because Facebook recommended we read it (they have cleaned this up pretty well recently if you hadn’t noticed), we’ve all clicked on something that didn’t actually turn out to be what we were expecting it to be. Do you ever remember getting halfway through an article and realising the entire thing was an advert?
It’s now because of things like this that Facebook, Google, and the general reader are now more wary of titles and how they relate to the content. More on this in the next section (SEO).
Your title also needs to be a good length. Not too long that it gets cut off in most previews, but not too short that it doesn’t effectively describe your post. If you’re using a self-hosted WordPress website, then use Yoast SEO for a preview of how things will look when published (see image below).
There are a few varying opinions on how blog posts should be written and constructed with the intention of ranking well on Google, a long-term method of gaining traffic to your blog. This is due to the nature of search engine optimisation – The fact that Google won’t tell us how it ranks content.
The two most contrasting opinions are as follows:
1. Written content and blog posts need to be search engine optimised with keyword targeting, and constructed with SEO rules, theories and practices implemented every step of the way.
2. Forget SEO, well-written, well-researched content will get picked up by the search engines accordingly.
As said, those are the two most contrasting opinions held by content creators and marketers.
We believe that content should fall somewhere in the middle in this regard. Keyword research is important because you can be sure to include a few well-searched relevant keywords and phrases into your text. However, over-placement, commonly known as ‘Keyword Stuffing’, can get you penalised on Google. Additionally, what qualifies as keyword stuffing is changing all of the time.
It all comes back to keeping things “natural”. As we explain in our beginners SEO guide, Google wants to serve up the most relevant website for each users search. So building high quality, purposeful content is a necessity – But Google is still very much an automated process, and aside from getting backlinks to your content (which takes a while), we need other ways to let Google know that the content is worthy of being served up as search results.
This is where following some of the ‘SEO rules’ comes into play. Keeping content a good length, having a killer title with no blacklisted words, well-researched content that links to sources where necessary all seems to earn good karma with Google.
You should be sharing your content across social media. This is part of the ‘off-page SEO’ process. Whilst your website should mainly focus on building one or two main social media accounts (see here), you should be sharing your content across as many social media sites as you can. The more different website’s that have permanent links back to your content, the more authoritative your content looks.
Related content: Social Media Marketing (Which Social Media Sites to Focus on?)
It goes without saying that you should make it easy for others to share your content too. Make sure your share buttons are easy to find on all the content you want to be shared. This can be done using a plug-in on WordPress.
If you’re using a platform that uses hashtags, such as Twitter, check out those tags on Hashtagify to see if there’s not a more popular tag to use than the first one that comes to your mind.
You should be linking your other related content in your blog articles. Google seems to really like that and it helps get people who are genuinely interested in your writing to read more. Don’t put it too close to the top, and make sure that you link it at the appropriate points.
These are just a few of the important things that many writers often forget or neglect. By working on these can help bring more visitors to your blog, and write more engaging content. Learning to write well is just half of the battle. Getting traffic and readers isn’t easy and you’ll find that you’ll want to keep reading up on these methods to keep up with changes that affect the way content is displayed, shared and popularised by internet users.