Okay, I have to admit something. I MIGHT have pulled a fast one on you with the title of this post. There is no quick way to grow your blog.
The thing is, growing a blog is not an easy or fast process. It takes lots of time and a TON of incredibly useful content for your target market. You have to make the investment to see the results and, unless you are privileged with a huge heap of advertising cash to buy traffic to your site, you are not going to see immediate results.
There are, however, a lot of actions you can take to make sure you are growing your blog in a strategic and thoughtful way so that you see gradual increase in traffic over time rather than relying on a piece of your content going viral (which you just can’t plan, darn it).
Keeping up appearances
When visitors arrive on your blog, they will make a lightening fast assessment on whether your blog is relevant and lives up to their standards of content they enjoy consuming. This means that you need:
1) Attractive site design
2) Optimized UX
3) Blog topics, titles, and formatting that fits your target market.
Check out our post on finding your target market to get in the right mindset about who you should be targets with your blog.
If you’re trying to serve multiple target markets with one blog, you might want to reevaluate that choice.
If you haven’t developed a standard format for your blog posts that includes focus on readability and getting the reader to take in the entire post, you should do that.
If you aren’t implementing links to your other content and non-invasive ads that get viewers to sign up to receive even more useful information, you should do that.
Focus on quality
Ideally, when a first time visitor reads one of your blog post, they’ll want to stick around and check out some of your other posts or pages on your site.
A rinky-dink, quickie blog post that you throw together so you can say you wrote a blog post today isn’t going to have that kind of appeal with your target market. If the value of your posts are shallow, the visitors consumption of your content will be shallow as well as they bounce from your page and onto something more appealing.
This (above) is one of our most successful blog posts and I put a lot of time and effort into making it useful. It’s not your typical 300-worder with tons odd formatting to make it look like there’s more content than there actually is. That trend is pretty bogus and reminds me of the slacker kids in high school who tried to mess with font size and spacing in between paragraphs to make their papers reach the page minimum. I didn’t need to do that because I wrote enough valuable information for readers to begin with.
Most successful bloggers will tell you they put a few hours into each blog post and are extremely thoughtful in their choosing of the topic, the copy, the title, and the images.
Instead of aiming for drops in the bucket, consider focusing on more long-tail posts so each one leaves an impression.
When you’re thinking about quitting, write another blog post
The thing about building a successful blog is that it involves BUILDING. Even if a post isn’t a smash hit right out of the gates, it’s still valuable content that can be shared over and over (just make sure it’s evergreen) and serve as additional useful content down the road as visitors stick on your site and search for more posts to read.
You can also link to your best/most popular posts on each and every one of your new posts as long as it’s relevant to the reader.
A concept that is very popular in the blogging world right now is the idea that you should only publish a few blog posts and market the HELL out of those.
While I do agree that proper marketing and distribution of anything you publish is important (otherwise, no one is reading and it’s kind of like throwing time and $ down the drain), this has led to a slew of startups and solopreneurs who aren’t providing enough rich value with their blogs. All of a sudden, we have blog posts with no dates on them and just a handful of posts.
This can be a red flag because it means 1) they aren’t creating new content regularly (so I don’t have a reason to come back to this website or subscribe) and 2) the “blog” is overly concerned about converting me to a paid customer but I haven’t yet seen enough to persuade me to make that move.
So, keep creating and experimenting with different amplification methods for the work you’ve published and don’t stop adding to your archives.
If you’re concerned about time input and other things you can be doing that add more immediate value to your company, consider making Sundays a writing day and find a way to make it fun.