A blog is a powerful tool to raise your business's online visibility and generate leads. Still, many bloggers struggle with how to attract visitors to their blog. Here are eight ways that I've used over the years to turn the flyte blog into a powerful lead generation tool.
1. Start with powerful, compelling, keyword-rich titles. Good titles are half the battle when it comes to grabbing a reader's attention. I strongly recommend doing a keyword analysis so you know what your prospects are searching for online. Use your best keywords in the first 3 - 4 words in the title.
My favorite title structure is [keywords] : [restate premise with other keywords.] For example, a yoga studio might have a blog post entitled "Overcoming Stress: Yoga Stretches to Reduce Your Workplace Stress."
A well-written title will increase your search engine visibility (driving more search traffic to your site) as well as get more traction in social media. This is because people will often share your blog post with their social networks before they even read it, increasing your visibility with no additional work on your part.
2. Write blog posts that don't suck. Blog posts that talk about how wonderful you are, how fantastic your products are, or how great your boss is (that he made you write), well, they suck. Nobody cares; your blog isn't a vanity press.
Write blog posts that people want to read. Write blog posts that answer questions that your prospects are asking of Google or Bing. Create how-to's and give away your best material. Don't worry about over-sharing; unless it's mission-critical proprietary information, chances are someone else is already blogging about it. The best you can do is hope you can explain it in a way that resonates with your audience. (Think I'm the only one writing about how to drive traffic to your blog?)
3. Make it easy to subscribe to your blog. Sometimes it takes a while for someone to make a buying decision. If they subscribe to your blog, you increase the chances of getting their business by your ability to continually provide quality information over time.
Make sure your email and RSS subscription boxes are "above the fold" and easy to find.
4. Add a Retweet button to the top of every post and a ShareThis button at the bottom of each post. We added the retweet button to each post and saw a surge in people sharing our posts with their friends. It only takes a few minutes to set up, but it can greatly increase your social media visibility. We also include a ShareThis button at the bottom for people who want to easily share the post on Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon and other popular bookmarking sites.
5. Add your blog posts to your Facebook business page. With the NetworkedBlogs application, your blog posts will appear on your Facebook business page with no additional work from you, increasing your reach and making your business page more rich with content.
6. Add your blog posts to your LinkedIn profile. If your blog is on WordPress or TypePad, you can have your most recent blog posts appear on your profile. You'll be able to do this through the Application Directory under the More navigation tab.Tweet out your blog posts.
7. Leave intelligent comments on other blogs. Leaving a comment on another blog will create a link back to your blog (or any other URL you specify). Just make sure it adds to the conversation, otherwise you may find that the blog owner deletes your comment with extreme prejudice.
Focus your activities on influential blogs within your industry, but don't ignore well-written blogs that may not have much readership...yet. To paraphrase Liz Strauss, sometimes little bloggers grow up.
8. Don't give up. It takes a while to develop a readership and drive a strong number of people to your blog on a regular basis. If you want to use a blog to grow your business, you need to commit to the process. I'd recommend planning on writing 2 - 3 blog posts a week for six months before giving up. These posts don't need to be long; we're addicted to short form content, so 300 - 500 words is fine.
Every blog post you write adds to the overall value of your blog and your online visibility, so keep at it!