Publishers are increasingly expecting authors to blog in connection with their books. These blogs can be a highly effective marketing tool—if you can successfully attract readers. In order for your blog to thrive, you need large numbers of engaged readers who follow, comment on, and repost your content, which means you need to know how to maximize your traffic.
In a recent TAA audio conference entitled “Author Blogging: How to Attract Readers”, Joel Friedlander, author of the highly successful blog, The Book Designer.com, and an expert in maximizing blog traffic, shared the following advice:
- Offer compelling content. Readers browsing the blogosphere want content that solves real problems and offers expert knowledge and advice. Writing how-to articles, reviews of books or products related to your field, and tutorials on relevant skills are great ways to lure readers in. Writing in an engaging, accessible, and personable style will keep readers coming back for more.
- Create memorable headlines. Blog headlines tend to be weak, but it is vital that they hook potential readers’ attention. “Headlines can make all the difference,” Friedlander said. “My message is that the headline is worth as much as the article itself because if nobody is drawn in by the headline, they’re never going to read your great content.”
- Exploit SEO. In order to make your blog easier for people to find, learn at least the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). This will include knowing and using the important key words for your niche and utilizing SEO tools such as Google’s keyword tool, which will tell you the most effective keywords to include, and the Scribe content optimizer, which helps you ensure that your headline, description, and content has been optimized for your particular keywords.
- Get to know other bloggers. Networking with other bloggers is a key strategy for building a successful blog. Once you have developed relationships with other bloggers in your niche, you may have the option of writing guest posts on their blogs, which introduces a new audience of interested readers to your work and can lead to increased traffic on your own blog. You can also collaborate with other bloggers to host events to increase readership.
- Post frequently. Friedlander suggests posting a minimum of once or twice a week to grow a successful blog: “Most successful blogs do not post any less frequently than once a week. The more you post, the more traffic you will attract. Find a schedule of at least once per week that is comfortable for you.”
- Listen to your readers. Pay close attention to the comments your readers leave on your blog in order to get a feel for what kinds of posts will be the biggest hit. “If you get readers engaged, you start an endless conversation, and from this conversation you get incredible market intelligence because people will tell you every day what they’re getting stuck on, where their problems are and what they don’t understand. If you ask them, they will tell you. You can become more and more successful as a blogger as you listen to the people who are reading your blog.”
Blogging do’s and don’t’s
Veteran blogger Joel Friedlander, author of the highly successful blog The Book Designer.com, suggests following these basic do’s and don’ts in order to most effectively utilize blogging as a marketing tool:
Do Post Irresistible Content. Content is the cornerstone of a successful site.
Do Optimize Search Magnetism. Utilize keywords to drive traffic to your site.
Do Network for Success. Comment and guest post on other sites. This network provides an excellent platform for launching a virtual book tour.
Don’t Use Boring Headlines. Interesting titles draw in readers.
Don’t Post Dull Prose. Make the content readable, fun, and engaging.
Don’t Fall into the Trap of Poor Formatting. Avoid the use of long blocks of uninterrupted text.
Leveraging the tips Friedlander shared can help you grow your blog into a successful marketing tool and ultimately share your ideas and your work with a larger readership.
Share some ways you have maximizing traffic on your blog.