The thought of working in retail really stresses me out.
Think about it. All day you have to watch people come and go from your store, and while some make a purchase, many walk out empty handed.
There could be a hundred people in your store at any given time, but if 75% of them fall into the "window shopper/mall rat" category, their presence means very little for your pocket.
Then again, business blogging is pretty similar. We work tirelessly to put content out that represents our business, promotes our gated offers, and serves to educate prospects, but if the people seeing it aren't interested, our efforts prove fruitless.
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While many business bloggers become easily excited over gaining readership, they're failing to recognize that increasing numbers means nothing if the visitors aren't seriously interested.
It's a longstanding frustration, which is why we've rounded up a handful of strategies that are design to help you learn how to drive qualified traffic to your blog. The best part? It's not as hard as you think.
Understand why people share
Persuading existing qualified leads to share your content is critical. Increasing the likelihood that they'll pass the content along to their followers starts with understanding what makes them share in the first place.
To bring valuable and entertaining content to others - 49% say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action.
To define ourselves to others - 68% share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about.
To grow and nourish our relationships - 73% share information because it helps them connect with others who share their interests.
Self-fulfillment - 69% share information because it allows them to feel more involved in the world.
To get the word out about causes or brands - 84% share because it is a way to support causes or issues they care about.
If you want to ensure that your posts are shareworthy, focus your efforts on leveraging these motivations as you map out your content.
Build out a strong email list
If you're having trouble building out a quality list of subscribers, you'll want to revisit your approach.
Keep in mind that the subscribers worth having don't always give up their 411 at first site of a subscribe option. It's your job to put forth copy that is compelling enough to demonstrate value and persuade them to really want to hear more from you.
Consider these 3 factors when implementing a subscribe CTA:
Time it right - Slide-in subscribe options are often triggered by scrolling. This allows visitors an opportunity to extract a little value before you ask them for their contact information.
Eliminate risk - Provide people with the justification they need to take the next step by setting frequency expectations and addressing the inevitable spam concern.
Leverage social proof - Including impressive numbers in terms of existing subscribers or shares will help to boost your credibility.
Identify communities or forums where people in your industry are actively participating, whether it be discussions, article sharing, Q&As, etc.
For us, those communities have been both Inbound.org and GrowthHackers. Just this month we've had almost 2,000 referral visits to our website thanks to articles posted in these communities.
However, keep in mind that whatever your industry may be, you don't want to post all of your own content in these communities.
Sharing outside content that you find valuable, upvoting compelling articles, and joining the conversation will help you to build relationships that could be equally as profitable as sharing your own work.
Utilize tweetable text
As we mentioned before, social sharing plays a huge role in driving relevant traffic back to your blog posts.
If your content strategy is aligned with your buyer personas, the people that are finding your articles interesting enough to share are often qualified leads. The greater benefit is that their followers are made up of like-minded professionals who will also find your content of interest.
This is where tweetable text proves incredibly valuable.
Aware that people are lazy (harsh, but true), tweetable text allows you to create an incredibly easy avenue for them to share you content.
(Quick tip - for an easy-to-use tool, check out Clicktotweet.)
Target long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are typically phrases that are specific to whatever it is that you're offering. As a result, the people searching for them are often more qualified than those who come in on a broad individual keyword.
For example, let's say you sell vintage red leather cowboy boots. Rather than try to rank for "boots", shoot for "vintage cowboy boots" or "read leather cowboy boots."
Whether you're writing for someone else's blog, or they're writing for yours, there is a tremendous opportunity to generate relevant traffic.
For one, when contributing to another blog, you're exposing your voice to a brand new audience. Depending on the blog, you'll often have permission to include a link back to your website whether it's within the content or incorporated into your bio. This serves as an avenue for visitors who find your article interesting to take their way back to your site for more resources.
Inviting guest contributions on your own blog can be equally as rewarding (for both parties.) Guest contributions serve as a indexable page for your website that you don't have to write yourself, and they open up an opportunity for the contributor to share their post with their audience via social. (Hello, new eyeballs.)