6 STEPS TO BUILDING BETTER BLOG TRAFFIC:
Let me guess…up until now, you’ve been writing a blog post, adding a few links, trying to tag the post with keywords you think Google might fall in love with and PRAY ON YOUR KNEES THAT YOUR BLOG GOES VIRAL!!!!!!!!
Oh silly photographer. In the photography world, this is referred to as a “Spray and Pray“. Put out content and hope to God something sticks.
How ’bout we stop with the Rambo technique and try a little bit of point and shoot instead. Let’s talk about some basics to get you on the road to more traffic and a more engaged readership.
IDEA 1: Start a journal.
“But I’m already freakin’ blogging!!” Shut up winy baby!!!! Go get a half used notepad from you desk drawer (or do like me and find this as a great opportunity to wander through the amazing wonderland known as Staples for a brand spankin” new notebook), a niiiiiice pen and make them small enough to carry it with you at all times.
If you are into this whole “digital revolution” thing, you can also use your iPad, iPod or iPhone (hell…any iDevice) for these purposes.
Now, just keep track of blog topics as you think of them!
If you are wedding photographer, don’t think that you ONLY have to write blogs titled “Donny and Marie’s Wedding Day” (ewwwwwww…..). Write a blog post FOR your brides! Try writing a post about “Why I hate Mason Jars” and propose various NEW ideas for your couples. (I’ve been wanting to write that post for a while…). Write a post on “Embracing Your Wedding Day Stress While NOT Chucking a Shoe At My Face”. (A bit long…but also a great topic.)
IDEA 2: Add a Facebook/Twitter/StumbleUpon Button to your blog.
You’d be AMAZED that this simple idea doesn’t seem to permeate to the inner subconscious of the blogosphere. If you are on a wordpress blog, it’s just as easy as downloading a widget.
Quick sidenote on StumbleUpon. It’s probably one of the quickest ways to pull in new readers. After you publish your content, hit that “StumbleUpon” button BELOW YOUR POST (it’s where all of these social media widgets should go), and watch as a party breaks out on your page!!! (To see how many people are on your page at any given time, check out the “Wibya” app.)
IDEA 3: Create Newsworthy Headlines
The trick is not to GET the people on your blog. It’s to get them to want to STAY there. Most readers will stay on a blog’s page for 6 seconds max. THAT MEANS YOU HAVE SIX SECONDS TO WOW THEM WITH CONTENT!! (New movie: “Gone In 6 Seconds”…it’s the sequel.)
There are CRAZY amounts of resources out there to help you create great titles. All you have to do is look! Or…click the links below. Lazies…you make me sick.
“10 Kinds of Shareable Headlines To Try On Your Blog” – Shareaholic.com
“The Lazy Blogger’s Guide to Writing Great Headlines…” – StellaAnokam
There are a ton others, but I’m tired and done doing your research. It’s called Google, people.
IDEA 4: Identify your reason for blogging.
Like I stated above, you have approximately 6 seconds to grab your reader’s attention. And unless you’re Jose Villa, you probably aren’t going to gain too many subscribers just through pretty pictures. Readers are selfish beings. When they go to a blog, they are constantly asking “What’s in it for me?”.
If I am instantly inspired, I’ll subscribe to the feed.
If I think I can learn something, I’ll subscribe to the feed.
If they are giving away free stuff, I’ll subscribe to the feed.
If they have a ton of really great products, I’ll subscribe to the feed.
See where I’m going with this? What are you offering your readers that they can’t get somewhere else?
As soon as you’ve identified this, post it everywhere your readers will find it!! Put it in your about page, on your main page, in your emails, at the bottom of your posts. Put it places so that within 6 seconds, your readers know why they should stick around.
Are you gearing your posts towards booking more brides? How about a banner at the top of your page that says “Bust out the rings and we’ll shoot you!!” Well…ok….maybe not. But it made me giggle. The point is, show your clients what they are going to get before they get it. (And don’t just put some stupid phrase like “We’ll do your wedding right.” That’s just…stupid.)
IDEA 5: Learn SEO basics!!
I know. I know. This is like the equivalent of “Just learn Calculous!! C’mon!! It’s fun!”. Search Engine Optimization can be an intimidating monster…but I’m telling you right now, if you can just learn the basics of a good SEO enabled blog post you’ll be set.
Our new book “Building a Bad Ass Blog” (it’s coming soon!!…sign up with your email to get notified of our new baby’s arrival!!), is a great start to this. It covers the basics of blogging for newbs, but it ALSO covers of the basics of SEO. Google is constantly changing their “algorithms” and this book will provide you with up to date information on just the basics and easy to implement steps of a great Google approved blog post.
The Photographer’s SEO Handbook – I’ve read it. I love it. It’s SUPER easy to understand and implement. No really. Buy it. It will change your life. And they have a new community!! I haven’t joined yet, so I can’t say much about it…but if it’s anything like the awesomeness which pours forth from their tomb of knowledge…it’s going to be OFF. THE. CHAIN….ahem….YO. (Couldn’t help myself.)
SEOmoz – These guys offer NOT ONLY an amazing online program and community for marketing and SEO research, but they also offer a FREE simple ebook for getting started and understanding Search Engine Optimization!!
“Rock Solid SEO is Simple. Really.” – A podcast from the guys at CopyBlogger. (If you can’t tell…I’m a die hard fan.)
See??? Not so bad!!! No tricks or treatsies!! Just funsies!!
STEP 6: Try a new content format.
Yeah…paragraphs are fun. But what about lists?? What about interviews? What about podcasts or vlogging?? Mix it up and have some fun!! If there is an amazing local florist or local wedding planner, see if you can meet them for an interview for a video tour! Take a look at their studio and ask questions that brides might ask. Chances are, that will book you AND them a job! And don’t forget to give a copy of the video to the florist as well. I betcha a million you end up on her blog…you know…in front of all of those brides???
If you can’t get the interview by scheduling time with the florist (or you are sadly anti-social like myself), shoot her an email with the questions you’d like answered. Or set up an interview via skype!! A podcast can be just as effective…and local brides can subscribe to it in iTunes!! Just make sure the information you are providing is seriously hard core epic.
Amazing ideas, yeah? Getting you excited to jump on over to your login and get to bloggin’?? (*snort* That…was an awesome rhyme.)
Before you do, click this link for a FREE DOWNLOAD of my check list for each blog I post. I go through this list right before I hit my “Publish” button on a weekly basis. It will improve your content and feedback by 5000000000000.47.
Not. Even. Joking.
Terra’s Personal Digs:
Josh’s Personal Digs:
- Why Submit Your Best Posts as Guest Posts? (problogger.net)
- 4 Post Headlines that are Guaranteed to Get Readers Excited (problogger.net)
- 7 Crucial Tactics for Writing a Radically Successful Guest Post (copyblogger.com)
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