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Just Started Blogging? Don’t Worry, It Gets Better

Just Started Blogging? Don’t Worry, It Gets Better Blog Feature

September 16th, 2014 min read

shutterstock_70646878_miniBefore Nirvana was performing in sold out venues, they experienced their initial success on the airwaves of college radio stations. 

Award winning actor Bradley Cooper's first gig? An extra in a Dell computer commercial.

Even J.K. Rowling was once denied acceptance to Oxford University before she went on to write the Harry Potter series.

All three of these situations serve as proof that big things often start small. 

So before you throw in the towel on your business blog, read this.

Work on building an audience

"Rome wasn't built in a day." 

So why would you expect that your blog subscriber list would be?

While blogging everyday only to have your articles read by a handful of your co-workers and maybe your mom is certainly discouraging, it's not an excuse to give up.

Building out an audience takes time, however, these tips should set you on track:

Experiment with subscribe CTAs:

In order to generate new contacts, it's critical that you have a subscribe CTA in place that is persuasive enough to encourage submissions.

If you're not generating the results you'd hoped for, consider running some tests on color, placement, size, and copy. In doing so, we found that our sidebar CTA wasn't seeing any action, leading us to reposition the CTA in the banner to yield a greater return. 

Ask the audience:

While page views, conversions, and comments will help you to determine what type of content is best resonating with your audience, it doesn't hurt to ask, right?

A few months back we created a poll using an app called Three Cents to help us gauge the interest of current subscribers. This type of outreach helped us determine what type of content they wanted to see more of, ultimately positioning ourselves to attract more subscribers like them.

Leverage social proof:

Normally I'd advise bloggers to incorporate social share counters on their blog to exemplify the popularity of their posts and encourage visitors to keep coming back, however, if your traffic is low, this could have an adverse effect.

Lucky for you, there are other ways to use social proof to your advantage. Something as simple as including a "featured tweet" on your blog homepage can help to provide first-time visitors with validation that they're in good hands. This type of display reassures people that you know what you're doing and they can benefit from sticking around.

Know that SEO traction takes time

While many of us would love for Google to index each blog post we write as we write it, the process is a bit more complex.

Often times it will take Google several day, sometimes several months to index your content depending on factors like the age of your domain or the level of authority your site already has. However, rest assure that good things come to those who wait. 

Companies that blog have 434 percent more indexed pages, resulting in far more leads than that of a business without a blog. How's that for a little light at the end of the tunnel?

To ensure you're ranking how you anticipated once your post is indexed, there's a lot that can be done in terms of optimization. 

Understanding your buyer personas search patterns is a good place to start. Focusing your efforts on content that aims to alleviate their pain points will help you achieve greater resonance. 

Using HubSpot? You're in for a treat. They've created an SEO tool built into their blogging platform that provides readers with as-you-type optimization advice. 

Once you've built up a library of well-optimized resources, you'll notice that you'll not only be generating traffic from your latest posts, but you'll also drive residual traffic from your existing posts. 

Focus on social sharing

If you're promoting your blog posts on social media but still struggling to see any return from it, perhaps it's time you adjust your distribution strategy.

With new social networks popping up left and right, it's easy to get wrapped up in spreading yourself thin over them all. However, the more familiar you get with your audience, the easier it will be to narrow your distribution. Essentially, identifying the social networks that your audience prefers will help you faciliate better engagement

While promoting your own content serves as a way to get it in front of more eyeballs, wouldn't it be nice if others were sharing it with their audiences as well? The simple truth is that people share content that they like. If you prove that you understand their needs or teach them something new, they'll be more likely to pass it on to their network. 

Including social share buttons on your blog will help to encourage sharing, but when your audience is small, it's important that you consider alternative ways to boost engagement. We've found that the free tool, Click-to-Tweet, allows us to create easily shareable content in an interesting way. 

When you eliminate any "heavy lifting" that stands in the way of your audience sharing your blog posts, they'll be more likely to.

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