Obviously the reason why you are writing and publishing articles is because you want them to reach your target audience…
And there are lots of things you could do to spread the word about your latest article:
- You could do some on-site SEO to make sure Google indexes your next article.
- You could share the post on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.
- Or maybe you could submit it to one of the blogging networks like BizSugar, BlogEngage and Blokube.
But there’s the thing… Although completing the above tasks is crucial if you want to get more exposure, the exposure itself isn’t all.
The fact is a lot of the people who see your tweet won’t click on it, NOT everyone who searches for “blogging tips” will decide to click exactly on your post and even if they do, not all of those visitors will translate into actual readers.
And what do you do to get more people to read your posts?
Well the answer to that questions is namely the topic of today’s post!
In the below paragraphs I have covered four of the best ways to get a bigger part of your target audience to not only visit your blog but also read your latest post!
1. Work on Your Social Shares
Why do you want people to share your post on the social networks? A silly questions you’d say, but aside from bringing traffic your way, the shares you get can be one of the main motivators for people to start reading an article.
You see if you have (and you should) the cool sharing buttons with counters installed on your blog, whenever someone shares your post, the number will go up by one. That’s social proof. To make it clearer, social proof is when you decide to check out an article only because it has like 400+ retweets, 200+ Facebook likes and over 100 Google pluses. You are like “that thing went viral, it must be worth a read!”
So the question now is how do you get more social shares. Below are some tricks to do that for the three platforms – Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus:
- Twitter – Once you publish new post schedule two tweets. In the first announce you’ve published a new post. The tweet looks like ‘I just published a new post –> “Post Title” http://post-url.com’. The second one goes live 3-4 hours later and asks for retweets. It’s something like ‘Would greatly appreciate a retweet –> “Post Title” http://post-url.com’.
- Facebook – Make sure to share your latest post on your fan page. In the description start like ‘I’ve got a new blog post and would appreciate your feedback!’. That will encourage comments under that Facebook story. Comments count as likes. Now if you take the time to reply to the comments you get, that will be one additional like per reply. A final step is to share the story to your personal profile. That almost guarantees 5-6 initial likes.
- Google Plus – Share your latest post in the same way as on Facebook. Again make sure to reply to comments and ask for them. Additionally check your notifications and make sure to thank anyone who re-shares your post in the form of a comment and to +1 the re-shared article. Also don’t hesitate to share your latest piece in a relevant community where you participate.
In addition, if you are interested, you are now able to “embed” your Google+ comments directly in your WordPress blog. This can now be done and can add a bit more of user engagement on your Google plus stream. See video below on how to install Google Plus Comments for WordPress.
2. Make Sure to Add a Blog Post Image
The social media world is becoming quite the place for visual content, especially with the introduction of Pinterest. And based on different studies, it turns out Pinterest traffic is one of the best in the social media world in terms of conversion rates…
But then again, aside from allowing for some additional Pinterest traffic (with this great plugin), images can be a great way to get your blog’s visitors to actually read an article. I mean think about it. You enter a blog and all you see is a wall of text. There is absolutely nothing that sticks out and makes you want to actually dig deeper into that blog’s content.
If the article doesn’t have an image to go along with it, it’s just harder to switch from “I don’t care” mode to “Let me see what’s that about” mode.There are two main reasons why the above is true:
- Images are descriptive – Having slapped an image to your latest piece is a sure-fire way to give an instant idea of what the article is about. That’s the idea – you find a suitable images, that aims to describe exactly what you will be talking about.
- Images catch the attention – Aside from their descriptiveness, images alone tend to catch the attention very easy. That’s especially valid on blogs that use simplistic themes and don’t rely on a ton of colors. While people won’t instantly start reading the post’s intro, they will surely notice the image.
3. Be Careful with the Headlines
From the two on-site elements, we move to the two off-site elements. Headlines are not THAT important when someone has already landed ON your blog.
Why is that so? Because a good percentage of your traffic won’t land on your home page but namely on an article page instead. So the chances are that percentage of the traffic already knows the title and has probably made the decision to open your blog BECAUSE of the title.
The real value of a good headline is when it is seen either on the search engine result pages, on some social networking site or someplace else OUTSIDE your blog.
Twitter can probably serve as the best example here:
Since tweets can only be as lengthy as the 160 character limit allows, you can’t really say much. So in most cases if you’d like to tweet an article, you simply include that the title along with the URL and occasionally a hashtag. This means you must be very careful with the headline of your post. If you fail at it, people will simply ignore the tweet and they won’t proceed to click on the link and read your post.
And if you get it right, there’s a good chance to get retweets along the way.
Sometime ago I used Twitter to do extensive testing on which articles catch the attention and which ones rather fail to. The two most important conclusions from the experiment were that:
- Using adjectives (effective, quick, simple, useful, etc.) is a good way to get more clicks e.g. “9 Random (but Useful) Tips on Improving your Writing Skills”
- Crafting lengthier (60-70 characters), more detailed and descriptive titles, draws more attention and thus results in more clicks e.g. “7 Effective Ways to Keep Your Twitter Stream Alive and Get People Clicking”
More about: How To Write Attention Grabbing Blog Posts
4. Pay Attention to the Meta Descriptions
Although whether or not you have meta descriptions won’t directly impact your SEO, it certainly is a trick you can use to “catch” more traffic.
When your posts don’t have meta descriptions Google and other search engines will extract and excerpt directly from the article instead. Sometimes this might work, but more often than not the end result probably won’t entice people to click exactly on your post.
So first off, how do you include a meta description for each article you write? If you are a WordPress user the process is simple. All you need is the Yoast plugin or the All-In-One SEO Pack. Once you install that one, in your post editor, you will see a new tab where you can add the “meta description” field.
If you are on the Blogspot platform, the process requires a bit more effort:
- Place this code above the tag in your theme’s HTML source code.[html]<b:if cond=’data:blog.url == “Post URL“‘>
<meta content=’Your Description’ name=’description’/>
<meta content=’Your Keywords‘ name=’keywords’/>
- Replace Post URL with the blog post’s URL
- Replace Your Description with your meta description
- Replace Your Keywords with your own keywords.
- Repeat the process for each post you publish
Now that you know how to create meta descriptions for both the WordPress and the Blogspot platforms, here are three things to keep in mind when coming up with one for your next piece:
- Say exactly what you offer – The meta description is the last place where you need fluff. Tell people exactly what they are going to learn if they click on your link.
- Include a call to action – Asking always makes a difference. Make sure to include action phrases like “check out”, “take a look” , “read to learn about…” or something those lines.
- Make them unique – Make sure different articles don’t have the same descriptions. They have to be unique or otherwise you might get into trouble with some search engines.
- Keep them below 160 characters – Go above that and your description will be cut. That way there will be a good chance that namely your call to action won’t be visible, which will mean less clicks. I’d recommend you to go for 140-150 characters.
Those are probably the most important elements of your articles that you have to consider if you’d like more people to check out and read your articles. Now let me hear your thoughts! Do you agree to the items I’ve shared in the post? What else plays a role if you want to get more readers? Don’t hesitate to share your two cents!