Two weeks ago I attended WordCamp Seattle 2014. I found the session “Free And Low Cost Ways To Grow An Amazing Blog” the most inspiring. Kate Stull of Popforms presented both high-level ideas and specific actionable steps.
My takeaways included the following:
1. Target your niche.
Ideally, every website has a target audience or intended group of readers. For example, my site’s target audience is small business owners and entrepreneurs who would benefit from a new WordPress site. By addressing topics that may interest and help this group, I can attract them to my site.
As you create this content, make sure your best resources are easy to find. Place links on the home page and in global site areas, such as the header, footer, and sidebar.
2. Optimize for search engines.
When deciding what article to write next, you can research subjects at Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Search for key phrases that have high search traffic and low competition.
After completing a post, optimize it for search engines by using your key phrase with the Yoast plugin (if you have a WordPress site).
Another way to increase your posts’ popularity is to enable Google authorship. This will connect your articles to your Google+ profile. Learn more about the setup process here: https://plus.google.com/authorship
After enabling Authorship, Google will sometimes display your profile photo next to your post in search results. This can differentiate your search listing and lead to more click-throughs.
3. Build an email list.
Though the communication mode is 20 years old, email continues to be an important way to reach people. How you can improve your newsletter sign-up rates? To begin with, directly state why the newsletter is valuable to your audience. Place multiple sign-up fields with this value statement throughout your site.
You can also gift free guides and e-books to people who sign up for your newsletter. Don’t be afraid to repurpose your creative content into several different areas. For example, you could pull together a collection of related posts and expand them into an e-book.
And of course, keep subscribers on your list by including interesting and helpful content throughout your newsletter.
That’s a Wrap
Kate Stull did a great job with this presentation. I look forward to implementing this advice on my site and on client sites.