In 2012 there were an estimated 31 million bloggers in the US alone. Small business owners hoping to increase blog traffic will need to pay more and more mind to standing apart from the crowd. Read on for tips on what you can do to ensure your blog gets attention!
1. Build a blog aimed at a small niche or offer a different angle
When you consider the staggering number of bloggers out there competing for attention in every industry, the most sensible place to start is with some research. Find the top three to five bloggers in your industry blogging in your city, then expand your search. Once you see the common threads among the blogs already out there, it will be easier to avoid being generic. Think about how you can approach your area of expertise from a different angle. If there is a small niche that’s isn’t currently represented, become the blogger that caters to that niche. Now brainstorm a list of topics you can cover that no one else has touched, and different ways you can approach your topic so your blog stands apart.
2. Tap your creativity to develop a unique, recognizable voice
I love to share this bit of good news with business owners who are naturally creative, but haven’t yet figured out how to let their creativity shine in their businesses: if you’re creative (as many entrepreneurs are!), you’re way ahead when it comes to creating stand out content. How do you blog, tapping in to your inner Dorothy Parker, when you aren’t a creative writer? In a recent article, I shared how Using Creative Writing To Set Yourself Apart is a fun and effective way to build blogs that attract readers. If you’re stuck, you can always borrow quotes from those who are known for their bon mots — just give credit where credit is due!
Getting back to your earlier research, take a close look at your writing style. Is the current voice of your blog friendly and helpful? Thoughtful and inspiring? Professional and informative? Your tone and voice should always be appropriate to the subject matter — but is there a part of your personality you can let loose that would differentiate your brand and appeal to readers? Try taking a risk. Start a debate, say something controversial, create a personality for your blog that is remarkably different. Some bloggers with distinct voices (and hefty followings) that may offer some inspiration are Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project and The Business Goddess, Leonie Dawson.
3. Learn to use simple SEO techniques to increase blog traffic
Don’t miss the opportunity to increase blog traffic using simple search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Do your longtail keyword research and incorporate a few low competition, high use keywords in your blog post, title tag and meta description. For more information on how to write effective meta descriptions, these articles by SEOMoz will help you get started.