As can be ascertained by the title of Gary Vanerchuck’s new book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” – vying for the attention of readers online is a fight for attention. Need proof? According to stats from the Digital Buzz Blog, there are over 2 million new blog posts every day trying to get the attention of the billions of people online.
So what else can you do to help your company’s blog stand out after you’ve already done everything you can think of – including writing every day, experimenting with longer and shorter posts, tweeting, and posting on Facebook? What do you do when you’ve exhausted all of the traditional ideas?
Here are a few things you can do to help increase your readership.
Have Clearly Defined Goals For Your Blog
I see many company’s blogs make the mistake of trying to be everything to everyone. This will definitely get you lost in the huge stream of blogs on the blogosphere. You want to have a clear focus on the topics that your optimal readers would be interested in. Even more specifically, you want to have a goal in mind for each individual blog post. If you are looking for more readers keep this in mind, “Why would someone reading this post subscribe to read more from me?”
Identifying and Finding Your Optimal Audience
There are numerous ways to do this effectively. You can use social media searches on Facebook and Twitter to find people who are posting similar content. You can also use Facebook Open Graph Search to find interests that are similar to yours and see what the audiences are liking and sharing.
Another great tool is the website, AllTop.com. This site is a directory of blogs sorted by category that allows you to search topics that are in the same vein as what you write about. This will help you to fine tune what your own blog should be about and lets you see what other bloggers are posting. It’s a great resource for finding potential guest blogging opportunities as well. When you are looking at the blogs at AllTop, create a spreadsheet of data like name of blog, topics, demographics, email address and name of the blog owner, and whether or not they allow guest blogging.
Make Your Blog Unique
Similar to establishing a Unique Selling Proposition as one would do in a normal sales oriented business, you want to establish the same sort of thing for your blog. Why would someone want to read my blog? What makes me unique? If you are giving “how to” advice, show the results that can be expected from following your advice. If you write a weight loss blog, use yourself as a “guinea pig” and document your personal results with images and videos so people can see that you know what you are talking about and that it works.
You can also experiment with the “lists” format. You’ve seen them: “7 Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Site”, “15 Best WordPress Business Themes,” things like that. But if you REALLY want to get an explosion of traffic, take the time to do the research and write a post that has 50 or 100 resources! What you are doing now is helping people by doing the research for them and providing all of the information in one place. People love that kind of stuff and it gets shared and linked all over the web.
Increasing Your Distribution
Now that your blog is getting filled with good, shareable content, how do you make sure that it gets seen by a wider audience? There are several things you can do beyond the normal tweeting and posting on Facebook. As far as Facebook goes, one method that has worked well for me is to participate in large groups and link to a blog post that I have that answers a question or topic that is being discussed. Don’t just post the link but actually add value to the conversation.
As mentioned above, another great way to increase your readership is to seek guest blogging opportunities. Simply write an email to the blog owner and give them an idea and summary of what you would like to share with their readers. Some will jump at the chance to get more quality content for their blog.