According to Wordpress, over 409 million people view more than 20.4 billion Wordpress pages each month. Their users produce about 56.6 million new posts and 52.2 million new comments each month.
Tumblr reports 262.1 million blog accounts as of early November 2015, with 123.3 billion posts to date. A quick look at these numbers and it’s clear that gaining an audience for your blog content is not an easy feat and it’s getting more and more difficult. So If you build it and they don’t come what can you do?
If you are one of the many brands or bloggers looking to improve the traffic and engagement with your blog, here are eight steps you can take today to help fix what is broken.
1. Mix up the mix. No one outside of your company will come to your blog if you only talk about yourself or your company and its products. Implement the practice of storytelling and create a strong mix of timely topics around current news, events and industry pain points and solutions. And then create a “kick ass” headline to draw the reader in.
2. Consider inviting guest contributors from outside the company to write for the blog, develop an interview series that runs once a month, exploring the opportunity to tap into other thought leaders outside of your organization.This will show you have a more worldly view on the industry, are open to outside contribution. Most importantly it gives you another avenue to encourage sharing of your posts outside of the organization.
3. Tap into your internal brain bank. While the blog typically falls to the marketing team to manage, there are untapped internal subject matter experts that can share ideas and content for the blog. Be sure to meet with different departments regularly to get a sense for some of the more interesting work being done within your organization and plan to interview those involved in these projects to learn more.
4. Don’t discount the value of visuals. Hubspot offers 10 ways to mix up visual content for social here. But the same concepts hold true for blogs. Great eye catching photos, charts and even stock images are always a surefire way to grab the reader’s attention and promote your posts on other social channels to draw readers in from the outside.
5. SEO-optimize your post with relevant keywords. Use the most important keywords in the headline and early in the post. Hyperlinks to top sites covering these topics to demonstrate the depth and reliability of your content to the web crawlers that index your content in search results.
6. Encourage sharing. Blog content that is not shared and supported by internal teams is just … well sad. Why go to the effort of creating a blog if your own employees aren’t reading and sharing it. Be sure to make the blog a fun and interesting place for them to visit and contribute ideas. Encourage employee sharing of posts by sending an email announcing a new post with a suggested tweet, LinkedIn or Facebook post. Provide guidelines for authors to use to share their content on Medium and their own LinkedIn pages
7. Measure results. If you aren’t looking at the analytics behind your blog, such as visits, most popular/visited posts, time spent on the blog, and keywords searches you won’t understand how to keep the momentum heading in the right direction. Monitor, analyze, test, revise and continue creating the kinds of posts that work. Stop doing things that don’t attract attention. Put your time and attention toward the content that gets you the most bang for your buck.
8. Consider the X Factor. Sometimes all the optimization and internal and external sharing you can muster still doesn’t move the needle on visits to your most important blog content. In those cases consider a putting some power behind your posts with some paid promotion. This could come in the form of a promoted LinkedIn post, a Twitter ad campaign using different visuals and tweet content to attract RTs and engagement with blog content, or an amplification service to position your hot content in front of the targeted audiences most likely to be interested.