Question: How long should it take for our blogging strategy to increase our readership?
Ever heard the expression “Loaded Question?” Well that is a loaded question if I have ever seen one. However, it is also a very important question and one that small business owners everywhere are asking. So I’m going to go ahead and try and tackle it anyway.
In order to help readers get the most out of this, I’m going to break the answer into a few variables to simplify and help businesses at various stages of blogging identify where they are at.
Traffic to your site is usually driven by a few specific things. I call them the FAQS of Content since acronyms make everything easier to remember
- Frequency: When it comes to driving traffic, more frequency creates more content. The more content you have, the more opportunity for search engines to index it as well as the more overall content that has had the chance to spread through potential readership. This does however vary greatly depending on what marketing efforts are being made with the content. I will touch on that further below.
- Audience: What kind of audience is out there to consume your content and create traffic. Are you writing subject matter that will appeal to the masses or is your content more niche. Total audience size will impact overall traffic but should bring some other considerations to light such as how important is volume of readers versus the right reader? I ask clients this all the time since total traffic is always sought, but in some businesses 1-2 conversions can yield double digit growth. (I will talk more about that in a future post)
- Quality (Authority): There has been a ton of discussion around Google Hummingbird so click here for a good read on the specifics. Bottom line though is Google is growing more interested in having content that is high quality and authoritative. This means it is of good quality as defined by how much the content is shared, linked and indexed for the specific subject matter that it covers. So while short and frequent used to be a great way to grow traffic, Google is looking for quality which sometimes lends itself to longer posts. One of the funnier explanations I heard is that Google doesn’t want people writing for Google. Makes sense thought, right?
- Social and Community: There may be nothing more important to your traffic building efforts than whether or not your company has an established community. A few tips here are to start with building an internal sharing philosophy within your business. Then use mailing lists and referent customers to introduce your work. After that continue to be consistent in sharing and look for opportunities to earn reciprocity. As much as companies would like to think people will share their stuff because it is amazing, a lot of sharing in social is built on reciprocity. Lastly, take community serious. Your digital brand is the future of your business. Build relationships slowly and don’t be spammy. The loyal audience (your community) is who will help grow your traffic exponentially. This takes time, but it is absolutely worthwhile.
And yes, I realize I didn’t give an answer like…It will take 8 blog posts over 3 weeks, 5 days and 6 hours to grow your traffic. Because the bottom line is there are just too many factors and I’m always going to tell you straight! But I promise you this. If you stick to the FAQS above, you will be off to a great start for building a strong digital brand with all the traffic you can handle.