We really don’t have a lot of time, especially us writers, and sometimes our blogs get pushed to the backburner because of it. With a little effort, however, generating blog traffic can be financially and artistically worthwhile. It can increase exposure and book sales and be another creative outlet for us.
Below are seven ways to increase traffic to your blog.
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1. Embed Call to Actions (CTAs) into Every Post
You have probably already signed up for more than one service on the internet, from a social media site to someone else’s blog. One reason that we sign up for certain services is because they have a good Call-to-Action (CTA) strategy that draws us in. That is, they encourage us to take specific actions that will be beneficial to them and ideally to us, too.
You can also have a good CTA strategy to increase traffic to your blog.
One strategy is to have CTAs in every blog post, both at the top and at the bottom. Sometimes people don’t read to the bottom of a post. And sometimes people who finish a post forget about the CTA at the top.
The CTA should standout in some way (graphics, words, etc.) and highlight some benefit to the visitor who takes the action you desire (and/or remind them that there is no cost to taking the action). They might get free notifications of new posts that will help them solve problems or entertain them, a free book, or something else.
Check out this Hubspot post for 31 examples of great CTAs.
What you want people to do is up to you, of course, but in this particular post the idea is to keep them coming back to your blog. So, your CTA could have a link that takes them to the subscription button to follow your blog or a sign-up for your mailing list.
If they do that, there is a greater chance that they will come back to your blog because they will be reminded of it.
2. Write Blog Posts that Solve a Problem for Your Audience
People buy our books because doing so fills a desire—be it entertainment or something else. People have needs. In other words, they have problems that they want solved. And you can help with that.
But, first, you must know your audience. Is it your readership? Is it a group that shares a similar interest with you? Is it other writers? Once you have an idea, imagine a general persona for that group. What do they look like? What are their characteristics—e.g., age, race, class, education? What are their likes and dislikes? What are their needs and wants? Write a bullet point list of the answers.
All of this might be imaginary. But, it’s a start and better than going in blind. If you have some customer data, you can add that into the mix. Other people may have already collected such information. You might find a group profile online with a little searching.
Once you have an idea of your audience, you’ll have a much better chance at writing posts that will draw them in from search engines and keep them coming back because you’ll be offering the answers that they seek.
For more detailed information on buyer personas, click on this book from Amazon.
3. Post the First Chapter of Your Book (or, a Part of It)
One of the benefits of posting the first chapter of your book is that readers can get a sense of the story line and want to read more. They will also get a sense of your writing style—the flow, the words, and most importantly your voice.
Another benefit is that you can ask for reader feedback. If you post the chapter before publication, they can help direct it. If you post it after publication, you can make certain tweaks. In either case, it is a strategy to engage your followers and make them feel a part of the production process.
One of the effects of knowing beforehand that you will do this and that you’ll probably get reader feedback is that you will be more likely to make the opening sentence an attention grabber and the first chapter a real keeper.
Once people feel like they helped, they will be more likely to share the outcome and mention the book to their friends on social media—which will hopefully draw new readers to your blog.
4. Post an Original Short Story
Similar to posting the first chapter, posting an original short story offers readers a glimpse of your writing style. But, now they have the benefit of feeling a sense of completion. Since more and more people use smartphones, they will also be able to start and finish the story in their between times, like while waiting in line.
They will also feel like you offered them something for free. Good karma.
As for you, the process of writing a short story helps hone your craft and offers you another creative outlet. You might try your hand at micro-fiction (less than 100 words), flash fiction (100 to 1500 words), or short stories (1500 to 30,000 words).
The word counts may vary based on the source, but the idea is the same. This is an opportunity for you to have fun.
It is also smart to write your short story with the plan of sending it to an online publication. If it gets accepted, a new audience will meet you and your blog. If it gets rejected, you tried for publication and so the story is likely going to be something your readers will enjoy.
And, especially, if it has emotion or a memorable point they can relate to, they may share it on social media (which you can suggest in your CTA). This will increase your blog’s exposure.
For help with crafting short stories, click on this book.
5. Be Active on Social Media
Although we laugh about how social media sucks time away from our writing, a little strategic time on the various sites can be productive, too. When you write updates, add comments, and hit the like button, other people get introduced to your name and get a sense of who you are.
You can join specific groups that relate to your blog’s niche and you can sign-up for other people’s blogs, which in many cases (but not all) leads them to respond by subscribing to your blog, especially if you already have a history of being nice on social media.
6. Sell Your Books Through Your Blog and Have Frequent Sales
If you have a self-hosted blog, such as a wordpress.org one hosted through bluehost.com, which is a popular combination, you can sell your books directly from your blog. WooCommerce is a good ecommerce platform for these sales.
For more details on succeeding with WooCommerce, click on this book.
Once your shop is set-up, you can have holiday sales or the-boss-is-on-vacation sales (which hopefully you really will be on vacation) or just-for-the-heck-of-it sales. Even with the sale price you’ll make as much as if you went through a distributor, which takes a cut.
You can publicize the sale on social media and with paid advertisements. Visitors get a discount and you make money, too. A win-win.
7. Set Specific Goals with Specific Time Frames
Possibly one of the most important points here—and in life—is to set specific goals with specific time frames. For each of the points above, set goals. Here are some examples: have top and bottom CTAs for every post for the next six months, identify your audience persona by next month and write three blog posts that solves a problem for them, and by next month post to social media a certain number of times and make a certain number of comments.
With the goals outlined explicitly, you know what you need to accomplish. And with a specific time frame, you have a deadline—which makes it more likely you’ll actually achieve your goals.
For more specific help with goal setting, click on this book.
What Do You Recommend for Increasing Traffic to Your Blog?
Getting more people to visit your blog is an important component of the writing and publishing process. It generates more exposure and likely book sales. What has worked for you? You can leave a comment below, which will help everyone. Thanks!
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Photo Credit: Geralt from Pixabay
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