I remember when it was possible for a blog to become popular overnight. When bloggers didn’t have to worry about SEO or keywords. I have started many blogs about random things like the going-ons of my life and other topics people shouldn’t care to know, but they were all discovered rather quickly. Let’s back up- that was in 2007 and nearly 10 years later people want to know if being found online organically is even a possibility for a new blog anymore.
While you can’t just throw a blog into the air and hope someone catches wind of it, there are strategies you can use to increase your traffic and engage your visitors. Every week SipBlack grows a little larger, my email list gets a little longer, and the inquiries come in higher quantities.
I’ll lay out my 6-point plan for this week for you:
1) Spend more time crafting suitable headlines
Over the past two weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time on user experience. My goal is to try and understand how visitors interact with SipBlack, what they’re looking for and whether they leave satisfied, confused, inspired, or motivated.
You should understand what happens when someone arrives at your new blog and how they feel once they leave. Not only should you understand this process, but you should control their experience and get visitors to do exactly what you want them to.
One of the most beneficial ways to set the tone is by coming up with accurate, substantial and strong headlines. Then, following through on that headline with equally intriguing content.
Typically, the headline I start with is not what I end with. I also use a different headline for my blog than what shows up in the search engines.
2) Create a core concept
I finally made the change from “newsletter” to Blogazine! I am so excited about this, I couldn’t even begin to tell you how much research I’ve done to perfect it.
This is the VERY first blogazine for budding, creative entrepreneurs, so I had to pull data from physical magazines, the most engaged blog posts on the web and gather surveys from my readers to better understand what they want. What they really want.
In the six months since launching SipBlack, I’ve only had one unsubscribe (that’s got to be a record for a new blog, considering all the changes I’ve made), so I definitely wanted to make sure that whatever I’m doing right, I don’t stop!
Create something that’s 100% you, that your readers can use to develop a deeper relationship with your brand and that they can be excited about receiving time and time again.
Your core concept really has to be a passion project, because consistency is what will make this a successful aspect of your business.
The blueprint for my Blogazine:
- “Question of the Week” has been a huge part of my magazine-themed newsletters and increased engagement by 67% (I don’t include names, I’m huge on privacy). So this is going to be an integral part of the Blogazine. This helps my community feel less alone in their problems and be more vocal about their struggles.
- Most popular posts of the week. This reminds my subscribers to check in to the new blog often, by demonstrating how frequently SipBlack gets updated!
- A reader survey is required to receive the Blogazine. It’s about five seconds long but it helps me to track what my readers want, where they’re at in their business, and what they’d love to see more of! It’s short and unobtrusive but it helps me to cultivate personalized content just for them.
- Recommended buys. Office supplies, furniture, tools and other products that have proven to be a lifesaver. Most entrepreneurs have a problem with spending money where they don’t need to. So, this section helps put things in perspective.
3) Work on the graphics for your new blog
Graphics play a huge part in your visual branding process. You can see on my own Pinterest board that once I figured out exactly what I want my graphics to be, I went from having 2,3 repins to hundreds of repins (that’s with less than 100 followers).
A great way to know which graphics are sensational, come up with a few mock designs and share them in a FB group, asking for advice. I find Melyssa Griffin’s FB group to be unrivaled when it comes to getting feedback. They’re so honest and supportive.
Once we narrowed down the color and style for the Blogazine, it created a huge shift in the SipBlack brand palette and a new blog redesign. Hey, how do you like the new colors? Particularly that gold.
I’m simplifying the design because I really want the focus to be on my content and my services. I don’t want readers to be distracted by flashy post images. I’m also removing nonsense pictures from posts that serve no other purpose than to “give the eyes a break.” That’s ad space for my business!
That’s ad space for my business!
4) Pitch for more guest blogging opportunities
I recently wrote about making the transition from blog to business on Elizabeth’s blog and enjoyed the process very much. It was a nice break to be able to share my unique experience for someone else’s audience. I took my time, going through her blog, understanding her content and how her readers responded to it.
Although there hasn’t been much traffic, I’d say it was a success! It helped a lot of people and that was the goal.
I’m finding that a lot of people who interact with me now, through emails and such recognize my name from this one post. So, even if it looks like your guest post efforts aren’t paying off, that’s just more cred juice in your favor.
5) Focus on one major thing your readers need
I get so many questions about business plans and this is usually the first thing a client wants to get done. I’m currently working on the Ultimate Business Plan Checklist and plan to give it to my subscribers for free.
I think it’s something they can use right now, no matter what stage of business they’re in. Toward the middle of the year is when most entrepreneurs begin to lose focus and need a little help getting back on track.
UPDATE: I created this post to test the waters (see if it’s something people can get value from) and it’s currently my best performing post on Pinterest!
6) Do a roundup in your industry
Roundups will always be valuable because:
- They’re good for tracking purposes. To be able to look back at them in a few years and see whether your predictions were accurate or to see how the climate in your industry has changed over time.
- They’re great for following up on later if you ever run out of new blog post ideas.
- They help you build valuable connections with your peers.
- Your readers will view you as a resource if your roundup consists of high-quality content.
I’m doing a roundup of business bloggers to watch in 2017. These are entrepreneurs I’ve come across or have been recommended that provide high-quality content and value, are building a unique community and who we project will skyrocket in 2017. There are four spots left on the list, so we’ll take some time to narrow them down this week.
VISITORS LAST MONTH (MAY): 15,000+
Oh, and one more thing: Get these tabs closed! I have over 100 tabs open in five different windows right now. It’s been this way for about a week and I know for a fact it’s killing my productivity.
What about you?
Any specific goals for your business? Let’s talk about them.