Building a Long-Term Blogging Business: Getting the Word Out (Part 3)

Buliding Long-Term Blogging Business Part 3Starting a blog doesn’t automatically put you in an advantageous position over traditional web sites. Although a blog certainly has benefits, it won’t work unless you put the right amount of efforts into it.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m going to say it again. A blog is just a tool. It allows you to publish web content online easily. You can build community with it and use it to interact with other bloggers all through the web platform.

The fact that it automatically manages web pages for you is another plus. Now you can concentrate more on content creation and other important business activities instead of the technical details to get your content online.

However, web publishing is just one part of building a successful site and blog. Most people are struggling in getting web traffic to their blog and this is something you should focus on if you want to build a long-term blogging business.

Here are 7 things from my own experience when promoting your blog:

1. Traffic Doesn’t Come Overnight

Unless you have the budget to burn on advertisements, you need to build traffic gradually. Every blogger needs to learn at least the basic of search engine optimization. That can help you get traffic from organic search engines, which is free traffic.

Note: Others may argue that organic search engine traffic is not free. You have to work hard to rank in search engines. However, you can grow traffic from search engine by knowing some basic SEO information and promote your blog correctly.

Links from other blogs will help you in gaining rankings over time. The referral traffic from other blogs are great, and the search engine traffic is an additional bonus. You don’t pay for it, so it’s free.

2. Consistency is Key

Growing blog traffic is unlike traditional web site to a certain extent. While you can promote your older posts to get high search engine rankings and traffic from other sites, still blogging requires that you update your site consistently.

The reason why visitors come the first time is content. If they like what they see, they will subscribe to get updates via RSS feed or email. Unless you provide fresh content every so often, they will soon give up.

You don’t have to post every day. You may start by posting twice a week and try to fit it in your schedule, whatever that may be. That allows you to keep growing and get new readers while keeping existing ones.

3. Network, Network, Network

Blogging is about communication and interaction. If you decide to enable comments, you should manage it properly, interact with the readers, provide support and network with other bloggers. (If you are curious, find out why BlogBuildingU.com disables comments but leaves trackbacks and pingbacks on.)

You can’t predict what’s coming from the feedback and relationship. Bloggers who know you personally are going to monitor your site more closely. They are going to send link love to your blog and boost your search engine rankings.

A strong networker can ask for help and support from others. It can simply be technical support, social media votes, and end up with profitable joint projects in the long run.

4. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

Many bloggers are able to make a living by building their blogging business with Google, from using its advertising program to earning through its ad network and get traffic from the search engine and post video on YouTube and Google Video.

However, search engine rankings are not permanent. Google is actively changing its algorithms on a daily basis. If you focus on social bookmarking, you may not be able to reproduce the same Digg effects predictably.

Although most popular sites drive significant traffic from Google, I recommend that you spread things out and use several traffic strategies over time. Keep your mind open for new ideas and don’t be afraid to explore new things.

5. Not All Traffic is Equal

Social media traffic usually has high bounce rate. Search engine traffic varies, from people who are looking for information to freebie seekers and people who are ready to swipe their credit cards.

The types of traffic from search engines depend on the keywords they use. It helps if you learn how to target the right keywords when creating content and deliver what they are looking for in your blog post.

RSS traffic is usually very qualified because they already know you. Usually they come to your blog to leave comments or other things beyond what first-time visitors do.

Not all traffic is equal. They are in different phase of buying. If you sells advertising space, this can even be beneficial to advertisers because their strategy may be different from one another.

6. Engage Existing Readers

At the same time when you try to grow your audience by getting new readers, you should also engage existing readers with content.

Encouraging interaction among visitors and with you as the blogger helps establishing a bond with your blog.

Existing readers are in some ways more valuable because they like what you have to offer. They may become customers very soon, and they are more likely to evangelize your blog while blogging or leaving comments on other blogs.

They are not there to stay forever though. People lose interest or refocus their business and hobby. They may decide to unsubscribe from your blog. The only way to grow your blog traffic and audience is to get more new readers and minimize those who leave.

7. Put It On Steroids

If you want to get it going quickly, you can invest in a number of affordable advertising venues. You can advertise on relevant blogs and immediately expose your ads to the right audience. Many social media sites also allow you to buy ads.

I don’t recommend this option though unless you are testing small first, or better still, you have known the value per visitor and invest smartly.

I won’t go into details on how to promote a blog because I have written extensively about it.

(Read the Full Series)

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