A growing number of businesses are using blogs to increase traffic to their website and boost sales. It is an easy way to begin offering your clients or customers informative content, which can build trust and show your visitors that you value their time.
Setting up your blog can be fun, exciting, and challenging. After performing research on your market, creating your blog, and posting your first several blog posts, you are ready for the increase in traffic and sales. When you do not notice a significant boost in the number of visitors that come to your website, it can seem that all that work was for nothing.
The first thing you need to realize about using a blog to grow your business is that it can take time for your efforts to create positive results. Do not get discouraged. Creating a blog has not been a waste of your time. You just need to take a step back and ensure you are doing everything that you can to promote your blog.
Coming up with informative articles, creating a blog that is easy to navigate, and including proper search engine optimization is only half the battle. You need to reach out and begin promoting your blog to get the ball rolling. If you have not detected a spike in your daily traffic, thanks to your blog posts, then take a moment to look over these tips and suggestions to promote your blog.
Search for Hot Topics in Your Niche to Promote Your Blog
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One reason that you may not be generating the traffic to your website that you would like is that you are not choosing the right topics. While you may think that the topics you are blogging about are of interest to your target demographic, the truth is in the numbers. If no one is showing an interest in your blogs, leaving comments, or sharing links, then you may need to reconsider the topics you are blogging about.
To find out what your potential clients or customers may be interested in, start browsing the blogs created by your competitors. Look at the topics that they are covering. You should not copy their content, but this could give you a better sense of the type of information that you may want to write about.
Another way to find hot topics is to use an online tool to find popular search terms or discover the most talked about blog posts. Google Adwords can be used for more than pay-per-click advertising. You can set up an account for free and then use the Keyword Planner Tool to look for the most popular search terms. BuzzSumo is another online resource that can offer additional insight into hot topics in your niche. With BuzzSumo, you can search a term and discover blog posts that have been shared the most on social media.
Avoid Adding External Advertising to Your Blog
When you look at other websites, or browse the internet, you will surely come across blogs that are plastered with advertisements. These ads can be distracting, overwhelming, and take away from the overall user experience that you are providing your visitors. Using ad placement, such as Google Adsense, may help you earn a few dollars, if you can gain enough traffic, but it takes away from your credibility as a business owner. It is also difficult to choose what types of products are advertised on your site, when using these ad placement services.
Instead of using external advertisements to generate a few dollars, you could include a couple affiliate marketing links – linking to the products or services that you feel will provide a benefit to your visitors. For example, say you have a website selling pet accessories, such as dog collars and food bowls. If you happen to find a legitimate website offering professional dog training or dog grooming, a service that you do not offer, you could contact the administrator of the website and see about setting up an affiliate linking program. If an affiliate program is not available, you could simply offer your visitors a link to the site in a blog post or in a sidebar widget.
Start Networking with Other Small Businesses in Your Niche
The online community is much like any business community – networking is an important aspect of increasing interest in your business. Start searching the internet to find other blogs within your niche or industry. Create a bookmark folder in your web browser containing about 20 blogs. Read several of their latest blog postings and leave a comment whenever you can think of a relevant question or comment.
Begin networking with the owners of these blogs, build a positive relationship with these blog owners. You do this either through direct messages using their online contact forms or by starting conversations with them through social media. Share information, ideas, interests, suggestions, and do not be scared to ask for advice.
Promote Your Blog by Building Backlinks to Your Website
Link building is a major part of driving more traffic to your website. Google and other major search engines use the number of backlinks to your website as a determining factor in search engine results. If you want to get to the first page of Google searches related to your business, you need quality backlinks.
A good place to start is with the blogs that you are attempting to network with. When you place comments on these blogs, you may be able to include a link to your website.
Social media is another source of backlinks. Always make sure that you share your posts, throughout all your social media profiles. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest, share each new post. If you are using WordPress for the creation of your blog posts, you can even use a plugin to automatically share new posts as they are published.
Join a Growing Community and Learn More About Online Business Promotion
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If you want to learn more about how to promote your blog, take a look at some of the other articles on my site or feel free to contact me with your questions. I truly enjoy helping small business owners make the most out of their websites and would love to offer some further insight into promoting your business. In addition to the articles on this site, I have also created an online series of community webinars, the Web Presence Institute, which includes step by step instructions, training, and tips for using your website to gain more traffic and increase your overall sales.
Learn more about the Web Presence Institute and join a growing community of like-minded small business owners.