Most people who blog for their business have one of two goals. Either they want to build up a community around their topic, or they want to attract new customers through good search rankings.
It doesn’t matter if your business is your blog, or your just have a blog on your business website – I’m afraid there are no quick wins. The only way to get people to come to your website or blog, without spending a fortune on advertising, is to keep plugging away at it every week or month, for a long time.
Three really important things factor in to this need for longevity.
Google’s ‘sandbox effect’
When you search for something in Google, you trust that the results you get back are going to be useful and legitimate. But we didn’t all wake up one morning trusting Google – they worked hard to earn their reputation. Their secret algorithm has to do a really good job of knowing when sites are useful and legitimate, and filtering out the ones full of link spam and other nonsense designed to make a quick buck through affiliate marketing.
Although Google themselves have never confirmed it, many bloggers and industry experts believe that the algorithm treats new websites differently from established ones. It’s theorised that new websites are placed in a ‘sandbox’ when Google first sees them. If you keep writing new content, the algorithm will gain confidence in your site, until you reach that tipping point where you start to see your website doing better through search.
Backlinks and guest posts
Another key thing which helps people find you, either when browsing or searching, is getting other websites to link to your own. You can do this by leaving helpful comments on blogs and forums related to your topic, and including your website along with your name and email. Offering to write guest posts or articles for other websites will drive traffic to you as well.
It takes time to build up a strong web of connections, so like with posting on your own site, make sure you keep working on it. The more routes into your website there are, the easier it is to get to, and the higher its ranking will be.
Now I said at the top of this blog that we didn’t want to spend a fortune on advertising, however, spending a little on ads and marketing can be really helpful. Free techniques might get you there in the end but if you have a little spare cash every now and again, then some paid ads can give you a bit of a boost.
If you target them very carefully, a little money on Facebook ads and Google AdWords can go a surprisingly long way. You need to make sure you’re using the best keywords you can, so do your research, but also make sure that you’re only paying for views from people in your target market, especially on Facebook.
Small adverts on blogs or websites that relate to yours can also be affordable, and you know they’ll be seen by the right audience.
The point here is that, because you’re only spending a little on marketing, it takes a long time to build up your traffic and your customer base. So you have to stick at it, and keep creating fresh content and seasonal ads, in order to keep driving new customers towards your business.
How long have you been blogging for? What other tips do you have to help build your audience over a long period?