I have a quick question for you:
“If your utility bill was due and you knew that you had to earn just another few dollars to take care of it, which one of the following choices you would pick to give you the better odds at making money with blogging?”
A. Entertain your audience and pray they donate pocket change or click on an ad sense ad to support your cause. Or…
B. Solve a SPECIFIC problem your target audience will be happy to pay you to fix from your blog.
If you’re like most people, of course the logical answer is “option B”, but the hidden and unspoken answer is “option A”. Here’s why:
When most people think of blogging, they assume if they write what they’re passionate about, money will magically show up from nowhere to pay expenses and buy fancy vacations. Yet, the truth is…
If YOU don’t offer your customers something to help them gain pleasure or escape pain, you’re not going to make a dime. And, it all goes back to basic fundamental truths about marketing — even with something as personal as a blog.
Don’t be mistaken…
I’m not saying you “shouldn’t” blog about what you want. Just understand that, unless you’re in a target market where people are known to spend money — you won’t make very much if your goal is to crack jokes and entertain your audience.
Listen, people read blogs for relief from boredom, but selling entertainment alone is a little tricky because the expectation on the web for people who look for entertainment is “free, free, free”. Just look at what record companies and movie studios are dealing with right now in piracy.
A key success trait in many successful bloggers is having a solid understanding of who your market is, how they’ll find you, and what problems you solve for them.
So that basic fundamental aside, increasing traffic to your blog website is a top priority.
While it might seem like an intimidating task, there are actually some easy ways to increase your website’s traffic on a consistent basis.
Assuming that you are solving a problem and have something folks would purchase, buying blog traffic is surely one way to increase the number of visitors to your blog. You can do this through pay per click ad campaigns on Google, Facebook, or other types of advertising on various ad and publisher networks.
While this is a straightforward and undemanding path to more traffic, it does have a number of downsides.
First, the only way to maintain the increased blog traffic is to maintain your spend. You must continue spending money and many internet-based businesses simply don’t have the available cash.
In addition, some advertisers have found that the quality of the traffic that they buy is not always as good as they might hope. You will need to manage and test your campaigns and advertising budget.
Getting a thousand new visitors to your website isn’t worth very much if none of them buy anything or sign up for your mailing list.
Fortunately, you can increase your traffic – long term traffic – without having to spend any money.
The first way to improve your traffic is simply to continue updating your blog or website with quality content on a regular and ordered basis.
If you are not publishing a new blog post at least once a week (this is at a minimum), then you aren’t going to attract the same degree of attention from Google and the other search engines.
In addition, unless you are publishing new information frequently enough it makes it less likely that your visitors will come back to your website again. It is worthwhile to note that the recent Google Penguin algorithm announced in late April does have a focus on new- not duplicate content.
One more way to improve traffic to your website is to become active on other websites and blogs that are associated with your particular line of business. The clear-cut way is to comment on the blog posts and articles that appear on those other websites.
Do this properly. It is critical that you post substantive comments that relate directly to the article. Do not simply say something like – “Super article! Please visit my blog here: [LINK]”. This will only make you look cheesy and diminish your potential. When visitors to those other websites see objective and pertinent comments, the will eventually recognize you as knowledgeable on the subject will be more likely visit your site. Here is a good and free resource Leveraging Other Peoples Blog Traffic.
It is important to use some discretion and thought when you are identifying the other blogs that you might want to become an active participant. Focus on those sites that allow you to comment using a Facebook, Disqus, Google+ or similar accounts. Use the social media services to broadcast your opinions….it is a bit like free advertising within a targeted market.
The other advantage is that if someone is interested in learning more about you, they can simply click your picture or name and view your online Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn profile. Whatever account you’re using or service that you are registered with, they can easily see the website or business you are connected with.
Properly developing yourself, your blog/business, and your professional identity on the internet is an investment and does take some time. However, it is likely to be one of the easiest, and without a doubt one of the most successful, long-term ways to increase traffic to your business.
You must always be thinking ahead. The combination of quality, consistent, new content, with a modest effort in advertising is an excellent starting point. Take into account that your market or your business will likely change and expand over time so building traffic exclusively to a single site, connected to a single offering, supported by particular focused advertising might not be as valuable as getting people to follow you for your expertise and integrity.
Once you create that type of following, whether you move on to the next generation of your product, expand your market, or develop your next business – you’ll already have an ‘en suite’ audience and large amount of traffic.
Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with Jerry on Google+.