Blogging is developing as a career choice for many individuals right from an early age. Many individuals have quit their regular jobs and successfully pursued great career out of blogging. Pete Cashmore of Mashable, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch.com, Ariana Huffington from HuffingtonPost.com, Darren Rowse from Problogger.com, Neil Patel from QuickSprout.com, Syed Balkhi of WPBeginner.com, Harsh Agrawal from ShoutMeLoud.com, Amit Agarwal from labnol.org etc. are just a few examples of huge successes in the blogging industry.
These Probloggers have inspired many youngsters around the globe to choose blogging as their prime career option. But, let me tell you one thing that blogging is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you consider every blogger on the globe, the success ratio of bloggers is quite low compared to failures.
Blogging may look easy from the outside but thanks to the competition and the creativity that goes behind the art of blogging, not everyone is successful at this mighty career choice. Having said that, I don’t want to demoralize you as a blogger. What I am trying to say here is that blogging too requires similar amount of hard work, focus, determination and positive attitude as any other career choice. Don’t enter the blogging industry believing it to be an easy career option.
What You need to know to market Your blog in 2016?
With the competition reaching its peak, it is never easy to gain success at blogging but following the right methods combined with hard work and a bit of luck on your side, you could too achieve the success as the blogging heroes mentioned above. Overtime, the success mantra for blogging has changed a lot.
Today, to be successful at blogging, you must follow these marketing tactics to promote your blog:
Network with Fellow Bloggers
Many bloggers don’t interact with the fellow bloggers. There’s a famous phrase in the blogging industry that says, “Sharing is Caring”. The success of your blog today relies on how influential it is among the social media crowd. In order to get better social media attention, it is must that others share your blog post on popular social media channels.
But, why would anybody or a blogger share your posts on their social media channels? Either you need an excellent write up, infographic or video that attracts many eyeballs or you can network with fellow bloggers, share their articles and they are likely to return the favor. Even for a viral content, you need initial shares from few social media influential users before it becomes viral.
Networking with other bloggers may also generate quality links for you. I have notice that many bloggers like Harleena Singh from Aha-Now.com have published posts that says “Top 30 Men Bloggers” and “Top 30 Women Bloggers” on their blogs. These lists includes top bloggers in their inner network. So if you want to be listed on such posts, then it is highly essential to interact with these bloggers on a regular basis. By interaction, I don’t mean pinging them on their IMs daily. You can network with these bloggers by following them on Facebook or Twitter as well as regularly commenting on their latest blog posts with your feedback. This way, you may bring your blog to their attention and they may consider your blog as an entry for their next list of popular blogs. If lucky, these bloggers may also follow your updates and share it on social media.
Submit Guest Posts on Popular Blogs
Guest blogging has gained huge popularity in the last couple of years. However, many newbie bloggers either ignore this tactic or do it wrongly. Guest blogging is also an essential tool for link building but don’t consider it only as a link building technique. It is much more than that.
If you can get your posts published on top notch blogs such as ShoutMeLoud.com, you will generate a lot of referral traffic to your blog from the link in your author byline. Not just that, being published on top blogs in your niche also establishes you as an influential person in the blogging industry garnering much attention on you as well as your blog.
Many bloggers or webmasters have ruined this tactic by using this method just to generate links only for SEO purpose that today Google is very strict with Guest Blogging tactics and penalizes your blog if you overdo it. These spammers have also forced many Probloggers to block guest blogging or limit to a few per month on their blogs. For me, guest blogging is an ideal tool where you can get the share of the traffic generated by any popular blog through your guest posts and thereby grow your influence in the industry.
Many blogging gurus do suggest that you must choose similar niche blogs for Guest Blogging. I agree with this suggestion but not completely. If you could get your article published on a highly popular blog as ShoutMeLoud.com, then you must do it irrespective of whether it is same niche as yours or not. Such high authority blog might not benefit you in terms of SEO but you would generate good amount of referral traffic and popularity.
Also, many newbie bloggers believe that a single guest post is enough on a particular blog and they try to post 100 articles on 100 different blogs. I am not questioning this tactic but as my personal view, I believe that you will benefit much more if you post those 100 articles on 20 popular blogs (attributing 5 posts each for every blog).
Thoroughly Optimize your Blog for Search Engines
With the growth of Social Media all over the internet, many bloggers are focusing on developing a brand and influence among the social media crowd at the cost of ignoring the search engines completely. I totally agree with the fact that it is the best time to develop your brand and influence among different social media channels to keep pace up with the industry but it shouldn’t be at the cost of ignoring the search engine traffic.
Almost 60-70% of the traffic generated by the top notch blogs all around the globe comes from Search Engines. Hence, it is extremely important to optimize each of your blog post for search engines before you hit the publish button. Before you start writing an article about certain topic, go for a thorough keyword analysis using different keyword tools available on the web. Find the right keywords which have the potential to generate decent traffic as well as easy to rank on different search engines. Craft your article around these potential keywords but don’t mess it up with keyword stuffing unnecessarily.
Next, use SEO plugins to create proper SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions for each post and also make sure to use proper heading tags within the post and alt tags over images for better SEO advantage before you hit the publish button. Another important thing that many ignore is interlinking your posts within the blog. Yes, link building in fact must start from your blog itself. Such interlinking will help your blog in terms of SEO as well as help reduce the bounce rate of the traffic generated to your blog.
Get Active on Popular Forums
The best way to become successful at blogging is to follow the footsteps of highly influential and successful Probloggers.
No, it is not. First and foremost, it took years for these Probloggers to get on the peaks of their blogging career so you don’t know what they went through and what strategies they used to become a successful blogger. Secondly, the strategies or tactics effective then may not be effective now. Hence, you must set your own path. However, you can take their guidance about new marketing strategies through their latest blog posts or my interacting with them personally. The best place for such interaction is a forum or community group.
There are many bloggers and field experts (those who are expert in their respective fields) who engage a lot with others through community forums. If you consider yourself as an expert in your industry or niche then you must be regular on popular forums within your niche. Else, you can also post your queries, feedback or updates on these forums to get reactions from fellow members.
Being an active member of the forum can help you build a quality network of people who are interested in your activities on the forum as well as on your blog. They will follow you on your social media channels and keep visiting your blog on a regular basis as you gain popularity in the forum. On the other hand, you could also interact with other forum members and be friends with on Facebook or follow them through Twitter to grow your network.
Many bloggers simply stay on their blog, visit other blogs and believe that their blog will generate traffic automatically. Most of them don’t even know about the importance of forum sites. Being active on forums can help you garner knowledge, network with like-minded people, build links to your blog and generate good amount of traffic to your blog if planned smartly. Here are two articles that you should read:
Attract Readers and Not only Search Engines
As mentioned above, search engines are the primary source of traffic for almost every successful blog out there. However, it doesn’t mean that you work as a blogger ends once you generate decent amount of search engine traffic.
A blog is successful not because of the amount of traffic it generates regularly but it becomes successful when it gets a decent amount of subscribers or readers. A blog with 1000 subscribers is much better than a blog that generates 1000 views per day according to me because the subscribers are for lifetime while the traffic may fluctuate overtime.
Look at other successful blogs around you. Each one of them is highly influential not because it generates lot of traffic. They are influential because of their brand value which is achieved with respect to the amount of subscribers the blog has received. Today, the blog subscriptions are not restricted to RSS or Newsletter subscriptions alone. With the popularity of Social Media world, the followers on your Twitter handle, fans of your Facebook Page, Followers on Google+ and other social media channels are also considered as subscribers as they will be notified about every post you publish through these channels. Hence, generate traffic from search engines but while doing that, you must also find way to convert these traffic into subscribers or readers.
Promote Yourself as a Blogger
Lastly, you must promote yourself too along with your blog. Look at top bloggers like Harsh Agrawal or Neil Patel for instance. You know them personally through their blog irrespective of the fact that you never met them face to face. These top notch bloggers become highly influential in the industry because they endorsed themselves too while promoting their blogs.
Such an influence help them generate friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels in addition to the already popular blog profiles. Due to such influence they can also promote their blog posts on their personal social media profiles. Hence, you must promote yourself as a blogger alongside your blog.
I have seen many blogs with high quality posts without any author profile or picture. Many of these blogs are a part of micro-niche sites created by individuals just to make money online who keep it private to avoid competition. As per my personal view, I don’t consider them as bloggers but marketers or webmasters and I have nothing against those folks as we all are here to make money after all. However, apart from these micro-niche sites, there are still many blogs without author profile.
I never understood the psychology behind posting as “Admin” when you write good quality articles and should be proud as the writer or blogger. These bloggers don’t understand the importance of promoting themselves as they endorse their blogs when they could benefit highly from it.
There are many SEO strategies available all over the blogging industry that guide you to generate quality traffic to your blog. But generating SEO traffic alone won’t be enough to create a successful blog in 2016. Make up your mind if you want to be successful at blogging and follow the above mentioned marketing tactics to develop an influential and successful brand around your blog.