What got you to my blog?
Pinterest? Google? Facebook?
Whatever it may be, what’s keeping you here? My witty personality? The fact that I’ve got something you need? Gotcha. I bet the title drew you in. Here’s how to drive traffic to your blog and keep it.
You can have your cake and eat it too.
If you’re interested in starting a blog, check out my guide How to Start a Blog in 10 Minutes or Less!
1. Make it Personal and Readers Will Love It
Find a voice, a style, something that screams you. You’re unique. Embrace it, because readers will love it more than you think.
Why? It’s human nature to want to connect to other people. You make yourself seem like an interesting people and people will naturally want to know more. If people didn’t crave this, they’d be reading a textbook every time they needed to know something.
Doesn’t exactly sound that fun, does it?
When I started blogging, my writing sucked. I say that now because it just wasn’t me. It’s like I was writing through a filter. A sprinkle of personality in that sentence? An ounce of humor in the other? No thanks. Basically, I wrote the cold, hard facts.
Make it friendly. If anything, pretend like you’re talking to a friend. We’ve been trained all of our lives to make conversation. A conversational tone will always make the words flow easier, because we’re so used to doing it. It’s a trick that I wish that I had learned earlier. Before, I had just gotten away with writing content that looked way more like a dull academic source than any piece I’d like to read.
I was writing for textbooks, not for humans.
Learn from my mistakes.
2. Make it Easy for Readers to Connect With You
It may not seem like it, but something as simple as an about page can go a long way.
Humans are social creatures, designed to connect with faces and empathize with others. That’s why books usually have a picture of the author with a little blurb about them. It’s why blogs do the same thing on their about pages. It’s a great way to connect with your readers because it puts you on their level.
You’re human. You’re not an all-knowing being with a perfect life. You’ve got struggles. Like your readers, you’ve made mistakes, but you’ve overcome them too. Let your audience see that side of you and they’ll love it!
Tip. If you’re writing to connect with readers, leave little snippets about yourself when useful. Of course, don’t do this for no reason. If you’re writing about dogs and you start talking about how you went to a restaurant on a unicycle, you might want to rethink your writing choices. (And maybe your life choices.)
3. Make Content that Will Help People
Think of it. Can you think of a time where you wanted to read something that didn’t help you or at least entertain you in some way? Readers are the same way.
If you’re not creating content that will solve people’s problems, you’re missing out on a ton of traffic.
If someone’s bored, it’s up to you to entertain them. If someone needs help fixing their bench, it’s up to you to help them. If you consistently offer solutions to people’s problems, they’re going to keep coming back to your content.
Tip. If you’re having trouble coming up with “problems to fix”, try looking at yourself and the problems that you’ve had in past. It will be a lot easier to write about these types of things, because you’ve dealt with them and know what it’s like.
4. Make Content that You’d Like to Read
It took me three months to learn how to write informative posts that didn’t make people want to shoot themselves in the foot. (I kid, but seriously, it wasn’t my best content.)
But, here’s what I did. I started writing content that I wanted to read. It seems silly to even mention this. I mean, why would someone put time and effort into creating something that they don’t love?
Well, it’s simple really. Because:
- we don’t know any better
- or when we feel confined to certain restrictions
I think for me it was a little bit of both. I was just starting out in the blogging world and I had no idea what I was doing. Not to mention, seeing so many successful blogs made me feel like I had to conform to a certain style. But don’t make the same mistakes that I did.
I figured that if I wouldn’t read it, why should you? Remember that filter that I was talking about earlier? It stripped away all the best things about my personality. I mean really, it took away all the things about my personality. And that’s no fun.
I mean, who would you want to be friends with: the person who always makes laugh or the person who always talks about the weather? (No offense to any weather forecasters out there.)
So, instead of being that person that always talked the weather, I brought my own person personality into play. Finally, I started creating content that I would read.
When people insert witty remarks and humor into posts? I love that. Seriously, it’s like my drug. You can guarantee that if you make content that tells me everything that I need to know and keeps me laughing, I’m going to keep coming back.
Just do it. If you think that you can’t write something interesting, you’re wrong. Start by writing those sh*tty posts. Mine are still up, but I’m going back through them as we speak. Blogging has a huge learning curve and you’ve got to be willing to make mistakes if you want to be successful. It’s weird, but I’m really grateful that I can look back at my old posts and see how bad they are. Why? Because it means that I haven’t just stood still. It means that I’ve grown and that I have learned how to improve my work.
5. Get Out of Your Head
When I first start started blogging, I was way too in my head. I’d overthink the simplest details or the smallest sentence. I can’t tell you enough how much time I wasted making sure that my sentences were “perfect”. But guess what? Looking back at them now, they’re not as great as I thought they were.
Luckily, I’ve learned from my mistakes. My point is: don’t sweat the small stuff.
That “perfect” word that you’re looking for? Just forget about it. Keep writing because you can always go back to it later.
We’re all capable of writing amazing content that moves people. We have the power to connect with people, to help them. We just may not know it. I was one of those people a few months ago, but I’ve changed. Now, I’m creating better content than ever before.
Luckily, the more that you write, the better you’ll get. It means that you have nothing to lose.
Go for it.
Here’s how I got over it. These are a few steps that helped me get out of my head every time I wrote a blog post.
- pick a topic
- focus on structure
- fix any typos, revise
This points may seem like common sense, but give me a chance to explain exactly what I mean. It’s not what I did, it’s how I did it that helped me.
1. Pick a topic. Take the time to pick a topic. Any topic. Preferably something that you love, because you’ll have a much better time writing about it. But hey, if you want to write about anything that makes you drag your feet in contempt, go for it!
Don’t have a topic? Stop thinking so hard and let your mind wander. I’m sure you’ll think of something. After all, I usually come up with my best ideas when I’m taking a shower or having dinner. Stuff like that where I’m not actively trying to think about what my latest blog post is going to be about.
Also, don’t be afraid of being silly. Sometimes it leads to the best ideas.
2. Write. Once you’ve got your topic down, write. Write like your life depended on it. Every single word. Phrase. Sentence. If you make a typo, keep moving. Ignore the mistakes grammar and everything that comes with it, because that’s not the point. What’s important is the meaning and as long as you can understand what you’re writing, you’re good.
Don’t waste time going back and fixing what you’ve already written if it’s legible. Focus on creating.
3. Focus on structure. Now, this is where you arrange your work so that it makes sense. If a sentence makes more sense in the conclusion, move it. If another one makes more sense in the body, move it there. Keep rearranging your sentences until they’re in a way that work for you. Only keep quality writing. Delete others if you must. If you’ve somehow got the magical ability to write coherently in one go, then you can go onto the next step.
4. Fix any typos, revise. Luckily for you, this is the easiest step. All you’ve got to do is revise what you’ve done. Spelling, grammar, that extra comma, now is the time to fix it. Here’s where you can also swap out certain words or phrases for other ones that may convey your idea better.
And voila, you’re done!
6. Make it Easy to Read
Large paragraphs never did anyone a favors.
I can’t stress this enough.
If your page doesn’t look good or if it’s not organized in a way that makes it efficient, more people are going to bounce.
If someone is coming to your page, they want to know what they need to know. And they want it quick. So don’t waste their time. If you do, they won’t come back when they need to know something else.
Say, you need to find information on blogging. Are you going to read the page with the 2000 word paragraph or the page with 2000 words split up into nice paragraphs with nice subtitles?
Think of it this way: when most people are online, they have the attention span of a squirrel. Bright-eyed and bushy tailed, they’re going to keep looking until they find something they like.
So do something about this and hit them with some eye-catching content. Make headlines that grab people’s attention. Use bulleted lists with your most important ideas. Italicize words that you want to emphasize. You can do all of these things. Right here. Right now. It takes two seconds to make one of these changes.
Here are a few things to mess with to achieve that eye-catching effect:
- headlines – font should be bigger than body text
- bullet points – great way to attract attention to main points
- italics – good way to put emphasis on certain words
- color – makes certain things pop
- shorter paragraphs – makes it easier to read
Use these things to direct people to what they need to know. They’ll appreciate it!
Of course, be reasonable with how you implement these things. If every other word is bolded, then what is important? There’s a curious mix between using these things too often and too little. If you use it too much or too little, then nothing is important.
However, don’t let this stop you from creating quality content. Experiment with these things and you’ll find something that words for you!
As always, thanks for reading and please share if you found this useful!