For example, maybe you’d love to rank high in Google for “health food” because your business is a health food store. Well fat (or slim) chance of that happening – “health food” is a pretty competitive term. However, if you focus instead on “health food meal plans” or “health food on a budget,” your chance of ranking for those longer keyword phrases is tremendously higher.
Set up an alert system. You’ve probably done this yourself - found a blog you love, forget to write down the URL, and never visit again. Don’t allow this to happen to your readers! On your own blog, you can create an email newsletter or update system to let readers know when you’ve created a new post. Want an easier way to do it? Join a program like Bloglovin.com; this site allows other users to ‘follow’ you, and receive an alert every time you post something new.
Search engines are a massive opportunity for traffic, yet many bloggers ignore this channel for a variety of reasons that usually have more to do with fear and misunderstanding than true problems. As I've written before, " SEO, when done right, should never interfere with great writing." In 2014, Google will see over 6 billion daily searches from around the world, and that number is only growing:
Just a few short years ago, Google began rolling out their new Discover feature that surfaces relevant, typically news-worthy content (that tends to have very healthy on-page SEO) to users of Google’s Chrome browser application on both mobile and desktop. The best (scary) part? They use your search data—the things you’re typing into Google on a regular basis—to try and highlight new content they think you’ll want to read about. As a blogger and content publisher, this is a major opportunity to drive traffic to your blog from an extremely targeted source.
Despite the immense power of the web to connect us all regardless of geography, in-person meetings are still remarkably useful for bloggers seeking to grow their traffic and influence. The people you meet and connect with in real-world settings are far more likely to naturally lead to discussions about your blog and ways you can help each other. This yields guest posts, links, tweets, shares, blogroll inclusion and general business development like nothing else.
You’ll need to heavily focus on those relationships though–networking with media people, starting lower (like podcasts and radio), connect with journalists, etc. Most importantly, you’ll need to actually do something that could be featured on the news if you hope to use this tactic to drive traffic to your blog. Not an easy feat, but you can get creative!
Reddit is a little tricky, because if you’re overtly self-promotional, the readers will pick up on it immediately and “downvote you to oblivion,” as they say. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have success in learning how to drive traffic to your blog from the platform if you’re careful and tasteful. Put connecting with the community and building a rapport with dedicated commenters first though—otherwise you’ll get knocked down a peg or two. After solidifying your reputation, you can start to make posts that ask for feedback on your content once you feel comfortable.
Fill out each of those profiles to the fullest possible extent - use photos, write compelling descriptions and make each one as useful and credible as possible. Research shows that profiles with more information have a significant correlation with more successful accounts (and there's a lot of common sense here, too, given that spammy profiles frequently feature little to no profile work).
Connecting the dots between marketing and sales is hugely important -- according to Aberdeen Group, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate, compared to a 4% decline in revenue for companies with poor alignment. If you can improve your customer's' journey through the buying cycle by using digital technologies, then it's likely to reflect positively on your business's bottom line.
Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing, and the internet has brought new life to this old stand-by. With affiliate marketing, you promote other people’s products, and you get a commission every time you make a sale or introduce a lead. Many well-known companies like Amazon have affiliate programs that pay out millions of dollars per month to websites that sell their products.
If you're someone who can produce graphics, take photos, illustrate or even just create funny doodles in MS Paint, you should leverage that talent on your blog. By uploading and hosting images (or using a third-party service like Flickr or Niice to embed your images with licensing requirements on that site), you create another traffic source for yourself via Image Search, and often massively improve the engagement and enjoyment of your visitors.
NOTE: This post replaces a popular one I wrote on the same topic in 2007 (and updated again in 2012). This post is intended to be useful to all forms of bloggers - independent folks, those seeking to monetize, and marketing professionals working an in-house blog from tiny startups to huge companies. Not all of the tactics will work for everyone, but at least some of these should be applicable and useful.
Learning the right blog SEO strategies and best practices of using target keyword phrases should be your top priority. You should learn how to do keyword research—and use those core target keywords in the headline, throughout the article, and in your image file names, there are a lot of other best practices to get familiar with, like making your URL SEO-friendly and using keyword synonyms. There’s a lot to learn.
It may seem a bit overwhelming to think about teaching an online course if you’ve never done it before, but you can boil this down to one simple question: what does your audience already want to know? Tackle it from the same angle as any of your articles, comments, or blog content by providing useful and in-depth content that your audience wants in the form of videos, written lectures and interviews with thought leaders in the space.
That's a screenshot of the AdAge Power 150, a list that's been maintained for years in the marketing world and receives an endless amount of discussion by those listed (and not listed). For example, why is SEOmoz's Twitter score only a "13" when we have so many more followers, interactions and retweets than many of those with higher scores? Who knows. But I know it's good for AdAge. :-)