These are some tips I’ve come across and utilized with great success to help drive traffic to my blog and build an audience. The first step is getting them to your website. Next, have people find your content useful. Finally, you have to give them a reason and method of coming back to enjoy your stuff.
The first step is often the hardest one for new bloggers and authors trying to build an audience. Here are a couple of quick, easy and useful tips to increasing visibility and building a bigger audience.
PUBLISH RELEVANT CONTENT
I cover this topic in other blogs too. This may seem silly and trite, but most blogs never crest past 500 views a month. Further, most blogs have incredibly poor conversion rates and the content offered is only marginally relevant. If you’ve gotten far enough to have someone click all the way to your website, be sure to have something useful to offer them. Check out my article on website usability to find out more on why this is so important.
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But, more specifically there is a finer point. Each blog or page should have a specific topic. Whatever it is should fit into a few short words and be searchable. The content you write about should be about those keywords. Essentially, if people want to know about underwater basket weaving, your article should be titled as such, keyworded as such and have useful and actionable information about crafting receptacles in a submerged environment.
Remember, bolding keywords or using Italics will help the search engine crawlers further identify keyword content and phrases.
Writers (and bloggers) who start anew often figure out the front end catchy part but rush the back end content part. Don’t be one of them. Take the time to give your readers useful and relevant content. This will help you build an audience.
UPDATE YOUR CONTENT
Okay, if you’re a writer writing about writer stuff this isn’t as big of a deal. But, if some of your content talks about upcoming dates, things that are going to happen or perhaps SEO optimization and ways to build an audience online… Well, you might have some updating to do. Be sure you constantly monitor your website traffic and look at which pages perform well and if they are being shared via social media too.
Sounds scary right? That’s because it is. As a writer, hopeful author, blogger, person who enjoys typing and generally sarcastic oddball, I hate technology. Most creatives and creative people don’t mix well with technology when it comes to the nuts and bolts of data manipulation. That’s okay.
It really isn’t that bad and paying attention to it will help you build an audience a lot faster than if you ignore it.
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If you use wordpress or some other hosting site that has a web builder platform on it, then you can utilize plug ins to assist with meta data. Personally, I use wordpress and recommend Yoast. There are three parts to metadata that you should generally (and by generally I mean ALWAYS) pay attention to.
- TITLE METADATA – This is the title of the web page that will appear on a search result. It should succinctly describe the contents and have the keyword located in it. Search engines can choose to show different titles in their search results and that isn’t something you want to happen. Take the time to install the proper plug ins so you can manipulate this. Remember, key words must be used in this.
- DESCRIPTION METADATA – Down below the title and below the link is a description of the web page. It should also have the key word(s) inside of it and be directly related to the content in the page. This will help increase your visibility for the specific topic you are trying to write about.
- KEYWORD METADATA – Is not often used to tabulate finalized search engine rankings. But, knowing your keywords and using it in all aspects of the metadata is important. Make sure you have your key word or phrase picked out and use it 6 – 8 times throughout your article. Make sure it is held within a variety of phrases too. Using long-tail keywords is the best. I prefer mine to be around three or four words. Remember, you can’t build an audience if people can’t find you.
HAVE A LINK-WORTHY SITE
Again, since I’m a FANTASY and CREATIVE NON-FICTION writer, having a link worthy site is almost a joke considering the main thing I want people to do is read my books. But, any good author or blogger worth their salt knows that content is king and people use the internet for help and entertainment.
Make sure the content you have has internal links to similar content and external links to other expert content. I have learned a lot about SEO from other bloggers out there. It’s important to use links that describe the content instead of saying “CLICK HERE” for more information. In fact, Google hates it when you say that. So, don’t do it for your own stuff or other people’s stuff either.
USE ALT TAGS
Don’t know what an alt tag is? That’s okay, because I didn’t either. Having images inside of my articles is important. I didn’t know though that using the ALT TAG information when saving your image into your website database was something I should do. I didn’t think it mattered. Make sure you use short phrases (less than ten words) to describe your image and then the alt tags should be related to the keyword search or relevant topic.
Okay… I hope that helps a little bit. Writing for the internet is WAY different than writing a book. Keep things short, keep things brief and keep things useful.
I offer tons of help in writing related topics and have built a decent sized library of free content. Many of the items are used in professional writing classes. Stay strong and let’s always help each other out!