When it comes to your blog audience, there’s no denying that size matters. While your blog traffic is not the most important thing when it comes to profitability, you’ve got to have someone to sell to. And if you’ve ever felt that your blog isn’t growing fast enough, you’re not alone.
Before we start, remember that you don’t need a huge audience to make a profit from your blog. Even small audiences, when you have a well-defined, focused niche, your audience might not be as large as others, but they will convert better.
That said, here’s how to maximize your audience.
Retaining Current Readers
A lot of advice about increasing blog traffic focuses on getting new readers to your blog. And, yes, that’s important. But it’s far easier to get someone who’s already engaged with and loved your blog to come back and read more than it is to convince someone new to give you a try.
So, let’s start with some tips and tricks that will increase your traffic by getting one-time readers to become loyal fans.
1. Stay true to your niche
There’s a reason that Module 1, Lesson 1 in Teacher Blog Academy is all about defining your niche. Your niche – the intersection of what you write about, who you write for, and how you help them – is your guiding star when you make any decision for your blog.
What should I write about this week? Look to your niche.
Which social media platform should I use to market my blog? Look to your niche.
If your niche is finances for 20-something women with a focus on money mindset, stick with it. Don’t suddenly start providing stock tips and your opinion about which Wall St. bankers should be in jail… That’s not why your audience comes to you. It will confuse them and Google. And like Donald Miller says, “When you confuse, you lose.”
2. Email your list
Your list is a group of people who like what you have to say, and want to hear more. They have self-identified themselves as potential superfans. But even loyal readers are busy. They need to be reminded to go check out your latest post.
Think of it this way… I enjoy having a fresh, clean smelling house, but I still have an alarm on my phone to remind me to clean the litter boxes every Monday night. No matter how much people love your content, they need reminders when you put something new out. And by emailing them, you increase the chance that they come back and read your latest post.
3. Write great posts
This may seem obvious, but there will be weeks when you feel like just phoning it in and publishing any old thing. While it may take extra time and effort, creating content that truly speaks to your audience’s needs is worth it.
Answer a question that your readers have. Even if you feel like you’ve answered it before. (You’re a teacher, so you understand explaining things multiple times in multiple ways, right?) Address a mistake you see your ideal audience making. Give them something to think about in a new way… but remember that putting out content isn’t the goal – helping your readers is.
4. Tweak your titles
A blog title, whether it shows up on social media, Google, or your own website, should entice readers to click and find out more. A great title lives somewhere on that fine line between clearly stating what your post is about without giving it all away…
It’s a balancing act.
Gaining New Readers
Once you’ve done what you can to retain readers and get them coming back to your blog, it’s time to think about how to attract new readers to your blog.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a behind-the-scenes process in which you make it easier for search engines, like Google, Bing!, and others to recommend your content to others.
According to Neil Patel, “The main Google keyword ranking factors include search intent, search volume, quality of the content, number of backlinks, domain authority, and page loading speed.”
This means that specific focus on using the appropriate keywords, producing great content that builds your authority, and upping you page speed, with something like SG Optimizer can all increase your visibility on search engines.
6. Market your blog
“Build it and they will come.” is a movie slogan, not a growth plan. As of this writing, there are nearly 1.2 billion websites online, with more being shared every day. No one is going to accidentally stumble upon your blog. You have to tell people about it. This is called marketing.
Social media is a fantastic – and free – place to start marketing your blog. When you publish a new post, share it on social media. Then, continue to share it on an ongoing basis so that people who are new to you, or didn’t happen to see it the first time can find it. You can also make it easy for your readers to share your blog with plugins like Social Warfare.
You can also use marketing channels like Pinterest and YouTube, but you can also guest blog, appear on other people’s podcasts or shows, and even just updating your email signature can let people know about your site.
7. Expand your network
No man is an island, even in the digital age. While you may be a solopreneur, if you want to grow your blog you’re going to want help. Get to know other bloggers and build relationships that can further support your readers.
Take advantage of the technology available to network in communities that wouldn’t exist in the past, like Facebook groups, and start to build a reputation for helping others in your area of expertise. This is not an invitation to spam – even under the guise of helping – just offer guidance, advice, and support with no strings attached.
8. Give it time.
The internet may be filled with stories of overnight successes, but behind that “overnight” success was a lot of patience and hard work. No one puts up a site and starts raking in millions the next day (unless they’re doing some Breaking Bad level illegal stuff).
Time allows Google to know and recommend your blog in searches. Time builds up loyal followers who tell their friends about you. Time lets you create systems and processes to handle more readers and customers.
There’s no rush.
Again, blog traffic is not the end-all-be-all of blog metrics.
You should see your page views go up month over month, slowly. There’s only a problem if you’re not seeing growth overall.
In Teacher Blog Academy, I’ll teach you how to make decisions that will help you build a profitable blog in less time, with fewer roadblocks. You can enroll now at teacherblogacademy.com