The number one thing people often feared when starting a new site is wondering if anyone find value in their content and keep coming back for more. How are you going to generate and continue to grow traffic? We’ve all read success stories that increased their organic traffic from 0 to 100 or even to 10,000 per month seemingly overnight or just after a few short months. How do they do it? Write great content, market the heck out of it, and have an effective way of capturing email addresses. Simple enough, right? Wrong. This is one of the hardest things to do.
This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard. ~ Neil Gaiman
There are many articles available that you can find on the web about growing traffic with social media marketing, correct use of SEO, guest blogging, etc. But there are a few other important points you need to focus on as well.
1. Have Product Clarity
2. Be Willing To Change
3. Remember The Basics:
Market... Write Epic Content... And Then Market Some More
1. Have Product Clarity
Fizzle (Corbett Barr), Backlinko (Brian Dean) with the SkyScraper Technique, OkDork (Noah Kagan), and SmartPassiveIncome (Pat Flynn) all have great examples of their success on their blogs and how they continue to grow. They also all have one thing in common: Product Clarity.
You will notice each of these folks make their product or service very clear and easy to understand. You can easily understand what they are providing you - whether it is free or you have to pay for it - and what value you will get from it. They also make it very easy to purchase or download their product.
On almost every page, there is an opportunity for you to hit the download button which also comes with a sign-up to capture email addresses. Email addresses are extremely important to growing your business. You can have thousand of Twitter followers and just as many Facebook likes, but without email, you cannot always rely on being able to connect with your readers directly. People join and leave social media sites all the time. Social media sites can change their rules on how many people you can reach with a blast at one time. You have no control over these policy changes. Facebook seems to change their policies quite often and you may only be reading a small percentage of all your followers. Email is a direct link to your readers anytime you need to promote your next blog or product.
Your blog should also support your product or service. Spend time focusing your blogs on all aspects of your specialty. This will help give you authority in your specific area and aid in the overall promotion of your product. Write about how your customers can use and benefit from the product, how is it better than your competitor, and find creative ways to write about how there is a need for your product or service.
An example of this last part would be if you are selling a piece of jewelry that you designed. Let’s say you welded this piece and plan to provide training to show other designers how to use the welder. You can write about the differences in this welding technique over others and talk about how this welding equipment is better than others you have used. You can also create training videos. Now you not only have a service you can offer, but a new product: training videos. Recognizing the value in your piece of jewelry with the time and dedication you have put into it may help you sell more product rather than just putting it up for sale on Etsy.
Each of the experts mentioned above also lead in their blog posts with personalized stories quite often. This is a way to connect with your audience and let them learn more about you. Just how did you come up with this great product that they can’t live without? Does it make your life easier? Did you learn through your own trials and error and want to help others with your service?
Your product or service should meet a need that your future customers will benefit from. Ask your self if your product is making your customer’s lives easier and how. Then market those reasons.
2. Be Willing To Change
Even the best experts have their share of set-backs.
It’s great to see how people have succeeded with their businesses. There are a lot of examples out there. But how often do you get to follow along with someone on their journey? This is why I’ve been following Neil Patel with QuickSprout and his challenge of growing his own new nutritional blog to $100,000 per month in 12 months. Check it out here. In one of his recent updates, he describes how he did not do adequate research on the domain name he was purchasing. Long story short, it turned out to be a penalized domain and he had to scrap it and spend more time and money looking for a new one.
The second big adjustment for Neil was who was going to write the posts on the nutritional blog. At first, Neil was writing the blogs himself. After the first month, he decided it would be best to have a nutritional expert write the blogs instead. This will help some of the controversy that first surrounded this challenge since associating the new site with Neil’s personal brand seemed like a leg-up on the situation. But he’s an expert at growing blogs. He set this personal challenge to make $100k/month and not $1k/month for a reason.
Be willing to change if it makes sense for your business.
Find new ways to grow traffic if your current methods are not working.
I recently changed up the layout of Left Side Art. I thought the layout I had made sense and would keep people interested. After receiving some constructive feedback, I made my home page A LOT simpler and easier to navigate. I changed the font and some of the color scheme to make it less distracting and more appealing.
This is the old layout. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't very good either. You had to use the menu to get to my blogs and the rest of the home page was just verbiage. With my new layout, I feel like I get to the point a lot faster and it's easier overall to navigate.
I also changed out some of the photos that I had in my blogs. They were stock photos and not too appealing. I’m still finding my style so you might see another few changes in the future.
3. Remember The Basics: Market, Write Epic Content, And Then Market Some More
You can write blogs all day long, but if they are not full of great 'I-can’t-believe-I’ve-lived-without-knowing-this' type of content then you won’t be getting the type of response you may be hoping for. To grow traffic, you need to stand out from the rest in your industry.
Start by creating hype around a big article you are about to publish, a new product launch, or a big change you might be going through. Each instance will require a different schedule for when you should start marketing. The bigger the launch, the more time you should spend marketing. New products might require a month’s worth of marketing, and a new blog post might be just a few days prior to publishing.
Don’t let the term ‘marketing’ scare you. We all do some form of marketing each time we are on social media. I often post other articles I find around the web to my social media feeds. I’m marketing those folks articles and Left Side Art just by simply posting and appearing on my followers’ feeds. I also spend a lot of time posting links to my blogs - old and new - to keep people interested and coming back to my site.
You can also market through guest blogging, being active in forums related to your field, and joining different social media groups. If you’re great at speaking, you can try to find a conference to speak at or create a Google hangout to get people involved. There are endless ways you can market yourself and your business.
After you publish your blog or launch your product, you marketing efforts should not cease to exist. If anything, now is the time to really try to get out there in front of your followers. You now have more than just hype to show them. You have something for them to read and learn, or you have something for them to purchase. And don’t forget about capturing those email addresses at every opportunity.
Respond to comments you receive below your blog and ask for testimonials or reviews on your product. This is a great time to receive some constructive criticism or praise. Learn what your followers are thinking and use this feedback to grow and improve your next launch or article.