This article is excerpted from Chuck’s book, Create Your Writer Platform.
GIVEAWAY: Chuck is giving away a copy of his book, Create Your Writer Platform, to a random commenter. Comment within two weeks to enter! (Must live in US or Canada to win.) (Update: Williesha won!)
So you’ve been blogging for a while, you post on a regular schedule for a budding readership, and you’re sharing valuable content. Now what?
Once you have an established blog with consistent posts, it’s time to examine how to get maximum impact from your site. Make the most of the eyeballs that land on your blog to draw attention to your work. After all, the goal of blogging is to showcase your writing abilities and other services, right?
Here are seven easy ways to make sure each of your posts gets as much exposure as possible.
1. Don’t let readers get away easily
Have links at the end of each post for related reading. If someone is reading your latest post called “How to Price Your Watercolor Paintings,” they obviously have some interest in the subject matter, so guide them to related content on your site to collect more page views.
At the end of each post, point out and link to past posts on similar subject matter. The goal is to have a visitor bounce from post to post, ping-ponging around your site. The longer they stay and look around, the more they get to your know you, your ideas, your thoughts and your brand.
Remember that it’s very tough to attract new readers. When one stops by, entice them to stay as long as possible.
2. Go back and optimize old posts
When you’re several months in and are starting to get the hang of what works for your blog, you’re going to notice how messy and poor your old posts are. When you have blogging downtime, look through past posts and improve them.
If there’s no image, add one. If there are no links at the end, include some. If you think a column could be even better with a simple sidebar, add it. There’s a good chance that your current posts have a newer, more visually pleasing format. Make sure to alter older posts to match this improved layout.
3. While you’re at it, straight up recycle old posts
It’s likely that some of your early blog writing is excellent, but virtually no eyes saw it because your site had little traffic. So feel free to recycle and reuse that content.
One option is to repost the content at the top of your blog again. I’ve done this several times and called it a new series named “Blast From the Past.” You could also tweak an older column into a guest post for another site.
4. Make your most popular posts easy to access
If it’s possible and you have some impressive posts to share, think about listing your “greatest hits” down the side of your blog. That way, any new visitors can easily move through your best content and quickly see you’re an expert with great information.
5. Invite quality guest content
Why do you have to be the only one writing for your blog? Other writers who don’t have a blog of their own are looking for places to share their thoughts. Accept their quality posts with pleasure. It’s free content! You get to run it with hardly any work on your part, rather than composing another column of your own from scratch.
Try to find a few recurring guest contributors who can consistently provide you with quality columns to run. The more content you have on the site, whether by you or others, the more you’ll turn up in Google search results and draw people to you.
6. Speaking of Google, do yourself a huge favor and learn about SEO
Go to Google right now and search for something — anything. Google will display the top 10 search results on the first page. But do you ever wonder why Google displays these 10 first rather than any of the thousands or millions of other results?
The reason is called SEO: search engine optimization. Search engines such as Google are looking for different things when they report search results back to you. SEO is a vast topic, and plenty of it can get technical if you really want to dig deep, but here are three quick tips to getting more page views through search engines:
a) Make sure you have a clear, straightforward headline rather than something generic or a pun. If your post is all about how to change a tire, simply call it “How to Change a Tire.” After all, isn’t that exactly what people will search for when they need help? If you title your post with a pun (“Tired Days Are Here Again!”), it’s no surprise that people won’t find it in a search. Consider which of these following two titles will get more hits: “Meet Mollie the Agent,” or “Literary Agent Interview: Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary.” Obviously the second one is a better choice because it contains more key terms people will use in their searches.
b) Use keywords in your title, subheads and text. If people want to attend a writing event, imagine what they will search for when using Google: “writing conference,” “writing event,” “writing retreat,” “writer’s conference,” etc. The terms are all similar yet slightly different, so try to use as many as you can in your text. That way, Google will see you’re using a variety of relevant terms and process that your post is likely of value, moving it up in the results.
c) Add images to your post. While they make a post look more pleasing to the eye, they also help with SEO. For example, in a post on how to change a tire, titling the images How-to-Change-a-tire.jpg and Changing-a-tire-fast.jpg, adds more elements and words for Google to scan when it incorporates you into its results.
7. Use numbers, subheads and bullet points
Yes, you want your post to have great writing and provide value. But how you present said good material matters, too. People will have a greater impulsive desire to read your writing if you make it visually pleasing and present information in bite-sized, easy-to-process chunks.
A quick, obvious tip is to use numbers. Everyone loves posts with numbers, such as “The 10 Best Quarterbacks of All Time” or “44 Crazy Facts About Disneyland.” If your post doesn’t have numbers, break up the text using subheads and bullet points to give people different places that they can jump to around the column. If your post is just one big block of text, then a reader who becomes disinterested will have no choice but to leave your site.
Let us know in the comments: How do you help more readers see your blog posts?
Don’t forget to comment to be in the running for Chuck’s book giveaway! You could win a free copy of his latest book, Create Your Writer Platform. (Update: Williesha won!)
Other TWL Guest Posts by Chuck Sambuchino: