We are always talking about how to improve your on-page SEO, get traffic to your blog, and how to get readers to interact with your content, so here we go again.
It cannot be expressed enough, the importance of writing good content, and actually having people read it, share it, and of course, comment on it. Increasing traffic, improving reader interaction, and encouraging link sharing are all important parts of any good Internet marketing campaign.
A blog allows you to contribute, or have others contribute content to one specific place instead of using separate content sections. Blogs store all your content in one organized place, where traffic is earned, higher rankings achieved, and brands are built.
A blog also helps create a connection between your business or brand and the visitor, or hopefully the customer that visits your site.
A blog can be a place where you advertise your business, make connections with like-minded businesses, or attract new customers. It is used to establish and maintain relationships between your business, other businesses, customers, and potential customers. It is used to help uncover what your customers want, need, and expect from you and your company, and is one of the most effective marketing tools any company could use.
If you are creating a blog on a topic that is over-flooded with content online, expect to work harder for your traffic and interaction. Blogs that are on topics or niches that are less popular, may not have the competition that the more popular ones have, but they still require hard work to get them on top, but just not as much hard work as a popular topic blog.
Blog about something you are passionate about, something you know, so you can become an authoritative voice on the topic. If people do not feel like you know what you are talking about, they will not listen, and any comments you get will be negative ones. Speaking of negativity, stay positive in your blog, avoid bashing any other company or product, and stick to ONLY the positive aspects of your own personal brand or niche. That is not to say you cannot spark controversy with a topic, sometimes that is good, but anytime you can avoid negative exposure, it is a more positive experience for everyone. The main point is to educate your readers with the information you provide. Tell them something they didn’t know, teach them something, get them interested and involved…make it interesting and entertaining.
After you have decided on what you are going to blog about, whether it be cookies, diets, SEO, or dog grooming, you need to get people on your blog and get them talking about your content. So, now what?
You want your readers to participate in the conversation on your blog site, so you should participate as well. You can start with your own blog, by commenting on what others have to say, and adding more insight into the content as the interaction grows.
Another great way to participate is on other blog sites. You are probably reading tons of content that relate to your topic to get ideas for your own content right? If so, then leave comments on those blog sites as you read, do not just steal their ideas and runoff. Tell the writer how much you appreciate their content, and add a useful comment if you have one.
The basis behind leaving the comments on the other blog sites is to get yourself noticed. The more you are noticed, and the more people who notice you, the better your brand is recognized, right?
DO NOT just leave generic comments, like “nice post”, or leave spam-type comments where you simply plug your own service or brand. Be unique, insightful, clever, or inquisitive, anything that will get you noticed, and add depth to the content on the blog site.
Read the blog entirely, and find something that you relate to or even something that you could add some insight into. Compliment the writer on a certain part of the article or blog before adding anything to what was said. The last thing you want to do is come off as a “know it all”. The idea behind leaving the comments is to establish connections, and by being negative, that is the last thing that will happen.
Tip: I know you want to, BUT DON’T leave links back to your site and plug your brand in the comments section. Do you want readers using your blog as a spam receptacle, or do you want them to actually participate and contribute to the content? Exactly…so treat others the way you want to be treated.
Ok, stalk is a strong word, but you do need to check out the people who are contributing comments to your blog site. The very first ones that leave a comment are the ones you need to start with, and then you can move on down to the others who leave later comments.
Why are the first commenters so important? Well, they are the most connected in most cases, meaning they are keeping up with what is new, and more importantly, they are keeping up with what is new with you!
Since they took the time to comment or add something to the content, you need to take the time to make a real connection with them. Yes, everything is digital, and personal touches are rare, but when you make one, it is explosive. Check for their e-mail, find out if they leave comments on other sites, check their site out if they have a link to it somewhere, and get connected with their social media groups. This commenter is more than just a contributor to your site; they are a potential connection to help you build strong social personal relationships in this digitally dark world. Once you have found out who they are, send a thank-you e-mail, leave a tweet on their page, acknowledge some of their work on their site, just do something, you will not be sorry you did.
If there is someone who is already established in your niche, then mentioning them in your blog helps build authority, and can even possibly help build a connection between your business and theirs. If you cite their articles, mention some of their accomplishments, or just simply give credit where credit is due, there is a chance they will notice you, and maybe even share some of your work. Start off with mid-line influencers; they are always excited to be mentioned. If you are mentioning them in your content, they are going to be much more likely to share your content; it is a free advertisement for them, right? RIGHT!
This is where a lot of bloggers fear they are spending too much time on promoting others and not themselves, but in all honesty, it is self-promotion, just a much more subtle one, but still very effective.
Ok, so creating controversy, just for the sake of creating controversy is wrong, right? Wait, now I am confused, so is it right, or is it wrong? That little bit of controversy I just started, about whether or not it is right to start controversy is exactly what I am talking about. Still confused? If you are, that’s good, it means you’re thinking, and that is exactly what you want your readers to do.
If you have an opinion, voice it, within reason of course. Your voice can be a very powerful tool to build an audience and encourage engagement. Be respectful, be cautious of your audience, but make your opinion known, and encourage your readers to share their own opinions.
What did I miss? Are there better ways to grab a reader’s attention and get them involved in what you are saying?
Just by adding a simple question at the end of an article, you can actually get more comments. Many people spend so much time online, that they just scan through content they need and then leave without commenting, not because they did not have an opinion or comment, but simply because, they were not asked to share one.