The Alt Summit Growing Your Readership panel was like a breath of fresh awesome. I love these ladies, Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day, Kelly Beall of Design Crush, Nicole Balch of Making It Lovely, and Maggie Mason of Mighty Girl, and I learned a lot from them.
Like many of the panels, creating original content was a key point of the session. Even if you use a photo from another source, put your spin on it - include it in a layout that you create or use the photo in a way that relates to your post or why you like it. Bring you into your posts. Some examples of original content include a layout, your own experience, sharing your expertise, or something you create from your own research.
Become part of a community - you really have to be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and interact with people/potential readers.
Sometimes what you think might make more people visit your site or become more engaged might actually have the opposite effect. Kelly did an experiment where she was posting five times a day and found that her readership didn’t change. She switched to having fewer posts a day and it made her readers more engaged.
If you write about current events/happenings you can get a big boost in search engine traffic. Consider mentioning some events that are more unique and that fewer people may be writing about. Just be sure to make it authentic and “you.”
Make friends with Google Analytics. Look for spikes of traffic increases and find out what caused it. What were you writing about? How did readers find you?
When you’re using Facebook to promote your blog, be more descriptive when sharing a blog post and use and an awesome photo. With Twitter, entice people to click on your link (e.g., “Look how cute!”). Google+ can be a one sentence description.
Consider adding contributors. They can bring in a new audience and share things that you might not normally write about. Jordan noticed a big spike in traffic when she added contributors.
Google offers an SEO Tutorial. Note: When I tried clicking on the Starter Guide PDF to open it, it didn’t work but downloading it did the trick. Writing about a trending topic on Twitter or Google can boost your search traffic.
If you write about someone or their business, let them know. Send them an email or a tweet and tell them about your post.
Photo Credit: Justin Hackworth