Tip #1 Write content other people want to read. Tip #1 sounds like a no-brainer but many bloggers lose sight of it. Try to work out who your audience is, and what they need. For instance, I have a lot of librarians and teachers who read my blog, The Book Chook. They are time-poor, and that almost always means no comments. But they come to my blog if I offer content that saves them time like an article that pulls a whole lot of educational resources together, or an article that explains how to do something for kids. Because I have spent many years in the classroom, I know what parents might be able to use in their own parenting or homeschooling. I also read content every single day in my subject area of children’s literacy, literature and learning.
Tip #2 Let people know what you've written. Post a link to your current blog article on all your social media pages. Join groups, email lists, Google+ communities and forums. Follow blogs and like-minded people on Twitter. Refer to your articles at an appropriate time if you think they might help. Tweet them and Pin them to appropriate boards. It's really important not to be spammy. The soft sell works best when posting about your blog on other people’s sites or pages.
Tip #3 Learn techniques to enhance what you write. Read up on good SEO practices and implement what you can. The overwhelming majority of my traffic comes from Google. I hope to turn at least some of those people into subscribers to my blog because they want more of the same kind of content. So I make sure the subscribe and share options are easily seen amongst my blog real estate. I also offer other ways to subscribe e.g. Facebook, Twitter, G+ in the hope that will appeal to some people. “Link Within” is a great widget to use on each post that suggests further reading on my blog, but I also add links manually to many posts. For example, “If you enjoyed this article, you might like to read …" Readers at my blog can find content under select categories in the form of buttons in my sidebar too.
Tip #4 Write and invite guest posts. Inviting other authors to guest post on your own blog means they will mention your blog to all their social networks and open you up to a whole new audience. Writing for other bloggers earns you a byline and links back to your blog. Hopefully, some of their readers will follow the trail home to your page.
Tip #5 Include how-to posts. Back in 2010 I wrote a blog post on how kids could write a book review. Today that post has had 165 363 page views. I've sold its content to a publishing company and still it brings traffic to my blog. I suspect "how-to" posts are an excellent way for new bloggers to start.
Tip #6 Include video and images. Liven up your text posts with video and images. Video demos are perfect with “how-to” posts. Definitely include an image so people can Pin your post. Spend some time researching Pinterest and the sorts of images that work well there, and seek out like-minded people there. After Google and Twitter, my next biggest traffic bringer is Pinterest.
Tip #7 Share your passion. Blogging is like any kind of writing - if you find and follow your passion, that passion permeates everything you write. Luckily, sharing creative and educational resources IS my passion. It also makes me very happy to know that I’m giving something to people I very much admire: parents, teachers and librarians. If you share your passion, I believe that not only does that reflect in your writing much of the time, but it makes your blog less like work and more like fun.
Susan Stephenson is an Australian reader, writer, book reviewer, teacher and blogger. She began blogging as a way to build an online presence for her own writing, but soon became fascinated by blogging as a way of communicating with a global audience. The Book Chook blog features children’s book and app reviews, plus tips and resources for parents, teachers and librarians. Recently Susan was invited to blog for