“When you stop growing you start dying.”
– William S. Burroughs, Junky
What I did to double site traffic
I had a problem. Readership was falling on my site. While I was getting more traffic than the previous year, things were drying up pretty quickly.
It would have been easy for me to make up excuses and brush this off but I decided that some changes were in order.
Instead of being content with defeat I was going to gear up and strike back.
Once I put my foot down and decided to take action a funny thing happened, readership increased 156% in less than a week.
This happened without me spending a dime or even actively promoting anything. I didn’t hire an SEO firm or buy backlinks. I just made a few changes to my own blogging style and watched the traffic skyrocket.
5 factors that grew my readership
The are a few things that really helped me to grow. While I’m probably forgetting something, I’ve listed five of the biggest components below:
1. Better headlines
Creating headlines used to be something that I was horrible at. I always tried to write them like they were song titles. Vague and not too descriptive. While a musician like Lana Del Rey or The Weeknd can get away with one word titles, a blogger cannot.
People want to know what they are getting into when they click a link. If you want to expand your readership you shouldn’t act like you are too cool to write a descriptive headline. “What I did to double site traffic (and how this can help you)” might not be as artistic as something like “Seeing doubles,” but it lets the reader know what the article is going to be about.
2. Deeper posts
Some of the newer posts that I’ve written are longer than a lot of eBooks.
This is great because it allows readers to have something useful. It would be easy for me to simply pump out a 500 word article about something generic, but I’ve been making sure that each post gives you plenty of information on whatever topic is being discussed.
In blogging, and I know this from my experience as a freelance writer, there’s a huge debate as to whether you should write short posts or long ones. A lot of companies prefer fewer words and more pictures due to the fact that their readerships aren’t particularly intelligent.
30 Days To X readers are go-getters and smart people. Making a 300 word post with lots of pictures and animations isn’t something you’d want to see here. I took a risk and made my posts longer. It paid off.
3. Varied content
Not everyone wants to read about blogging. Likewise, there are people who don’t care about stuff like fitness. In order to appeal to more people I added a lot of variety to my content.
Someone who might not necessarily like one article can find two or three others that interest them.
4. Providing value
Every new article gives the reader something useful.
Instead of just posting content for the sake of having something new, all articles have a purpose.
There’s nothing wrong with entertainment, but giving back is much more important.
If you want more people to read your work you have to give them a reason to visit your site. “Entertainment” might work well for a major place like BuzzFeed, which has hundreds of employees to ensure that people see their content, but it won’t work well for an independent writer.
You have to create something that’s actually worth reading.
5. Timely articles
The second I heard about Lindy West’s “resignation,” $100 says that she was actually forced to quit, I jumped online and wrote an article about it.
If I wrote that a week from now it would be a non-story. Right now its hot news.
When you see an opportunity you have to take it. Waiting around isn’t going to bring you anything.
How you can apply this to your own blog
Blogging and making money online are two subjects that are surrounded with misinformation and lies. There are all kinds of snake-oil salesmen out there who loves separating you from your wallet. Spending $19.99 for a lame eBook, or $40 for some lousy seminar, isn’t going to help you. I know because I’ve fallen victim to these scams on several occasions.
Instead of getting duped into purchasing some shoddy products, try to use the tactics that I’ve listed above. Even something as simple as writing good headlines or penning longer posts can really help to improve your readership.
Little changes like these can have a huge impact on traffic.