How do you grow your audience and increase blog traffic? That's a common question from new bloggers. You already know you need to post consistently, comment on other blogs, and write compelling content. But one aspect bloggers rarely share is the follow through. Time to break the silence with very clear examples.
Let's take a look at a recent Momtrends post about the trends I spotted at the NY Gift Fair . The post took a good amount of time to research and write. I had to go to the event, serve as a judge, take pictures and then write the post. I want to get leverage from this outing. Here's what I did to turn a post that might not have attracted much attention into an interesting and high-trafficked feature:
1.) Links. In the first paragraph I mention my fellow judges. I spelled out the prominent bloggers that worked with me on this event. I linked to their sites and then sent them a tweet letting them know about the post. Guess what? They retweeted the article and added me to their features. Everyone was a winner. It's not enough to just link--you've also got to share the links.
Best Practice: Mention other bloggers in your posts and send them the link
2.) Cross promote. I tweeted this post and put it on facebook. I tagged brands and individuals mentioned in the post. Is this time consuming? Yes, but it is a heck of a lot easier than writing more content. Make the most of everything you've got!
Best Practice: Automatically tweet and facebook post all of your blog's content and tag everyone mentioned.
3.) Never miss an opportunity to network. Here's my rule of thumb: Every time you mention a brand share the link with that brand. Why? Well for a positive review, the brand will promote your content on their facebook page, blog or twitter account--free buzz for your site.With the Gift Show post, I sent a short email congratulating the brands that won a prize. No surprise--they retweeted my post and some of them linked to my feature on their blogs.
Best Practice: Every time you mention a brand send them an email link.
4.) Organize your business cards. Use constant contact, mailchimp or another email service to collect the contacts your start amassing. Once a month write a short email with your top five posts and share it with this list. You might not have time for a formal newsletter, but if you want to build your blog, you've got time for a monthly top 5. It's another chance to repackage your content.
Best Practice: Repurpose your best content in a newsletter
These four tips aren't easy and they take time. But that's the way it goes with building a business. There's no magic potion that will turn your blog into the next Dooce--it takes hard work and follow through to build numbers. These online networking tips should help.