Shelley Widhalm puts on makeup to prepare for a 1990s outing when big hair and big T-shirts were the thing!
By Shelley Widhalm
When I was younger, I thought if I had the cute external content, I could drive the boys to my phone number.
It wasn’t that simple and took a whole set of skills that I didn’t have at the time (and probably still don’t).
The idea of trying to get a date applies to trying to get people to read your blog. You dress up your blog and give it personality to get that reading traffic to drive customers, clients, viewer and readers to your product, service, art or writing.
The first step is understanding SEO—in high school, if I heard the term, I would have called it Super Exciting Outside. All “bad humor” aside, SEO is Search Engine Optimization, a marketing method to get online traffic from search results on the major search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.
The search engines rank websites, videos and other content based on what’s most relevant to the user in that search. Using the right keywords and phrases that show what the web page or post is about helps boost the rankings, as can links to other sites.
Be sure to choose words based on popularity (this notion harkens me back to high school and those unfilled dates) or frequency of use and profitability. Use them in titles, descriptions, tags, categories and other content to attract SEO attention. Choose keywords that are precise and slightly longer, not generic and nondescript.
Here are some more ways to get that attention and increase traffic to your blog (i.e, to get the phone numbers, or here, clicks, likes, fans and followers).
Boost Your Blog Readership
- Write content that is original and usable to readers, such as posts that are informative, entertaining and engaging, generating comments or calls to action.
- Make sure the content follows a theme and is geared toward a specific audience—don’t write everything to everybody, hence to nobody. Identify the messages you want to convey to that audience.
- Post on a consistent basis, preferably at least once a week to give updates and provide new material. Search engines give higher rankings to websites with fresh content.
- Write titles that inspire curiosity and a need to know more, generating those clicks.
- Use subheads, bullet points and numbered lists to break up the content and make it easier to read.
- Use keywords, choosing one key phrase that identifies your post, incorporating it into the title, headlines and content (at least two to three times). The keywords demonstrate to the search engines what the page is about.
- Include photos to break up the text and add a visual appeal.
- Promote the post on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
When Blogging, Be a Neighbor
- Write guest posts or add guest posts to your site, exposing the writing to larger audiences through cross promoting. This may bring in new readers to your site or introduce you to the readers of other sites. Here’s an example of a guest post I did for KatValdezWriter.wordpress.com about the Northern Colorado Writers Conference in May.
- Incorporate links to please Google, which likes to see outbound links, and readers who may want to find more resources. This is a link that takes you to Katherine Valdez’s home page: https://katvaldezwriter.wordpress.com/.
- Invite readers to leave comments and be sure to say something back.
Lastly, realize that finding those readers takes time, and building a following doesn’t happen overnight. Keep promoting the blog, because those dates, or readers, won’t know about the great internal content unless you tell them about it.