It’s tough. You post great blog content on your website… and then you wait. You wait for it to work. And then you wait. And then you might forget about it and go do other things.
I’ve done that but the cool thing is that the posts I publish do get good traffic. It sometimes take a little while but I’ve had many things get instant traction.
Would you like to learn what you have to do so that your blog posts get instant traction – almost to the point of going viral? Then read on – this one’s for you!
1. It Starts With the Content
It’s not all about you!
(It’s all about that bass, ’bout that bass…)
It’s about other people!
(I’m sorry if I got that song stuck in your head now… just try to enjoy it)
If you follow that rule, you’ll do fine – but there’s more to it than that, of course.
Ok, so I’m an introvert. I’m not extreme but I’m definitely not an extrovert. Around my friends, I can sometimes talk their ears off but around new people, it’s tough. When I teach skiing, I can somehow turn myself on and you’d have no idea I’m introverted at all. I definitely need my recharge time but when I’m charged up and get into a social situation, I can do just fine.
My secret or trick is that I just remember people will think they had a good time with me if I talk about them most of the time.
Even just in the last few weeks, I remember a few relationships I’ve started with people and they really seemed to talk to me more once I took the step of asking about them and talk about them more. It works great.
So what you want to do with your website content is think about your customers. Thank about how you can solve a problem they have. You already know which problems they have – they ask you how to solve them all the time. Get that content out there!
Should You Give Away the Secret Sauce?
Unless it really is a secret, give it away.
Here’s the secret about doing SEO (search engine optimization) – it’s a lot of grunt work. Oh, the secret’s out now – sorry everyone!
It’s boring. You do the work and you don’t see the results for days or weeks or months. You have to know a bit of how websites technically work. You need a mind that is marketing-centric. You need to study and keep up with trends. It’s just a bunch of work. It’s great when it works but it can really be boring and thankless. That’s why I’ll gladly tell anyone how SEO works – especially small business owners. I know they don’t have time for all of that. They just want to know they’re not getting ripped of, have some understanding of it and then pay you to do it.
There are some ways to bypass all the work but that I’ll keep quiet with for now… or you can get my book, of course. 🙂
But getting back on topic – this is true with most small businesses out there – they need to explain what they do.
I always give the example of oil changes. Doing the work isn’t difficult but you pay for the convenience, right? Leave it to the experts. Explain what you do and how you do it.
Plus, the more people know about what you do, the better they understand it and they see the value in it. Right?
How many times have you walked away from learning something new thinking that you had no idea about all the work that goes into it?
I’ll be honest, I really love Guinness beer. My first sip, I hated. I did. I thought I needed a knife and fork to cut it up and get it down. I’ve grown to really enjoy it, though. In fact, I had to stop writing and go grab one now to have while I’m writing. I don’t drink lots of beer (not at all) but if I’m going to have one, I want a good one.
Ok, so what I thought was great to learn was what went into making Guinness. There are tons of amazing facts and I won’t list them here (watch the documentary on YouTube) but after learning about Guinness – the history, how it’s made, the level of quality and testing they do, etc., etc. that made me understand the value that I get when I drink a Guinness. I understood it more. I think about it every time I have one now – here it is:
So help people out, solve their problems and when you do that, you’re showing your value – something they didn’t understand before. This works. This is the kind of content you want to provide.
I could talk for days and day about content but here are some more great things to remember – content should be:
- Thought provoking
- To the point
That’s a huge one.
2. Use Emotion
There are a lot of emotions you can use to help your content go viral and spread:
I have one website that I own where people complain about a certain brand of dishwasher soap. Yeah, it’s strange but that website gets traffic. There are people complaining there all the time and they’re angry. The website provides help on how to fix that particular brand but it’s anger that’s fueling that traffic.
A common emotion to use with marketing is fear. “If you don’t do this, then something else will happen!” It’s used a lot because it works. It works well. Watch for it, study it and use it.
3. Pose a Question
Just today, I did something a little sneaky. I posted a question on Facebook and asked people if they had Amazon Prime. They thought I was asking if it was any good but that wasn’t it. I knew that if they had it, they could get a book for free every month, so once I had a number of responses, I mentioned a book I published that they could download. It was actually a book my dad wrote.
I lead them on and then rewarded them. That’s one way to pose a question. I got some great opinions and advice, too.
So you could do that or else really have a question and seek people’s advice. People love giving their opinion, so if you want more interaction on Facebook, then pose questions and ask for advice about things.
4. Tell a Story
Have you ever been in a group of friends and have a new friend enter the group? Maybe most of the people in the group already knew them but they’re new to you. Maybe about halfway through the night, a certain topic comes up and then everyone says you have to hear that one story about this person and they go get that new person to tell the story to you?
People love a good story. So far, I’ve told a few in this article about myself, some things I like and so on. Hopefully, these small stories have kept you engaged and you don’t know that you’ve read over 1000 words so far.
You notice this in church sermons, too. The preacher’s up there saying stuff and then he stops and tells a story. You can almost see everyone there in church start to instantly tune back in as you do the same. Pastors know what they’re doing and good ones throw in good stories – any good party guest does this, too.
Of course, your stories need punchlines. They need to work up to a climax and then drop something significant, right? They need a point. I had a friend in high school and he’d start telling us a story about something and then he’d forget that there needed to be a punchline. We’d sit there and wait and it would never happen. Don’t do that – have a point.
Quick Recap So Far
Alright, I’ve given you a chunk of things so far – let’s quickly recap things before I give you the last chunk:
- Your blog posts need to be about other people – not yourself. Don’t brag.
- You need to help others. Consider giving away the secret sauce if you can.
- As you explain what you do, you’re showing value in what you do / sell and people will appreciate it more.
- Use emotions to make a connection.
- Pose questions to start engagement. Get their advice.
- Tell a good story to keep them engaged and more connected.
5. The Headline is Key
One of the most important things is that the headline you choose must be compelling.
Look at this article. I might change the title later but I’m going to try: “Steps to Get More Traffic With Each Blog Post” – that’s somewhat compelling, right? It got you to read it, so it was to you at least. It something you want to read. It something you feel like you have to read or else you’ll miss out on something. Hopefully, I’ve delivered on my promise with this article but the headline grabbed you. If the headline didn’t grab, then you would have never even read this. You have to draw people in with the headline.
6. Over Deliver
Put work into your articles and deliver more than what people are expecting. Make them go “wow” when they’re done reading it and make them glad they took the time to read your stuff. Provide top quality content – not fluff. No fluff ever. I hate fluff.
7. Pictures Are Essential
You need to spend time finding the best image to go with your article. This isn’t optional anymore. The posts I’ve put on Twitter that had pictures/photos are the ones that have done the best. The same with Facebook.
Don’t just grab any old image but take time and find the best images to use. Pay for them if you have to. I have some sources for stock photos – some are even free.
8. Build Friends on Social Media
The people you want on your side are the connectors. They’re the influencers. If they share your stuff, you get instant traffic. Be friends with these people. Engage with them. Give them feedback on what they send out and get to know them.
9. Post at the Right Time
Even this article… I’m writing it at night. I guess that’s important to point out since I’m talking about drinking beer. No, I’m writing it in the evening and then scheduling it to post at the right time. With my website, I have it connected to Facebook and Twitter and when it posts, it goes out to social media at the right time.
Those times are:
- 6 am – 8 am
- 12 pm – 1 pm
- 4 pm – 6 pm
When people get up, when they’re eating lunch and then when they’re done with work. Don’t worry about time zones – just do it in your time zone, that’s fine.
Skip posting on weekends with Facebook but weekends are fine with Twitter. And with Twitter, the time I’ve been experimenting with that has been working really well is from 9-11 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Tweets I post during those times do really well. You can easily schedule your tweets with Tweetdeck and it’s free!
If you use Pinterest, the best time to post is Saturday mornings.
There you go. This is a huge topic but hopefully I’ve given you some great points to focus on as you tackle blogging on your small business website. You should be a little less in the dark about it now.
Here’s how I do writing:
- I get inspired. I find other articles that I like and save them. I pull them up to get ideas about what to write about.
- I write a first draft. I sit down for 30-45 minutes and crank it out. Guinness helps.
- I re-read the article. I proof it and usually end up adding in smaller sections and I fix things.
- I add in images and video – along with setting a featured image.
- I write the meta description and keywords – along with keyword tags.
- Link out to high value websites.
- I preview the post to make sure it looks fine (desktop and smart phone).
- I schedule the post.
And then I’m done. It takes some work but I write articles as if I’ll never edit them again. I figure you might as well get them right the first time.
Ok, I can’t help it – so here are a few more, parting tips:
- Content that’s positive works better (more viral)
- Quality content beats quantity (a high word count) – but if it’s not fluffy, keep writing
- Enlighten people – give them something they didn’t know before
- Compelling headlines are a must
- Add video and images
- Do keyword research
- Have a call to action / a few calls to action – big and small (share/buy)
Don’t waste money on SEO agencies. Do what I say in this book and get your basic SEO covered. You can get it on Amazon and the price is cheap, cheap, cheap!
Alright, so one more call to action – please share this article with your friends. Please share it on Facebook and Twitter and leave comments below! Tell me what you think.