Every blogger and online writer wants to know the same thing. Whether you've published your first or five thousandth post, you're wondering it, too:
How do I get more traffic?
Although everybody and their mom has an answer, those quick solutions are often unsatisfying. They ring hollow and untrue for most. They may have worked for “those guys” but who's to say they'll work for you? (They won't.)
No, the truth is much simpler — and harder. And you already know what it is:
You're going to have to work.
The gurus are wrong
Never trust “experts” who fail to practice what they preach.
In other words, don't listen to a branding expert if she doesn't have a strong brand herself. And don't believe what some guru says about web traffic if he hasn't shown you his own analytics.
There are no easy answers to getting more traffic, no quick tips or fast solutions. If you're going to be serious about this whole website thing, you're going to have to buckle down and do the work.
And let's be honest: You were kind of dreading that was the case, anyway… weren't you?
The three R's
I told you it was going to be harder than you thought, but it's not impossible. In fact, maybe all you need is for someone to break it down for you. Here's what you need to get a lot of traffic and keep it:
- A reason to write: You need to know what you're talking about and have a clear direction of where you're headed.
- An understood relationship between you and the reader. Our lives are crowded with noise; you need to earn trust and permission to communicate with an audience on a regular basis.
- A way for visitors to return to your website when you post new content. This sounds simple, but is SO overlooked.
So how do you do all this?
Start small. Take it one step at a time:
- Start. Get a blog (which is just a website that allows you to post dynamic content).
- Commit. Choose a writing routine that you can stick with for the long haul. For starters, try one new piece of content (an article) per week.
- Create onramps. Join Twitter and Facebook, and use those outlets to promote your content. Most importantly, create an easy way for people to subscribe via RSS and email.
- Deliver. Do what you say you're going to do. (If you say you're going to write one article per week, don't write five.)
- Respond. Reply to comments and emails. Get involved in people's lives. Show them you care.
- Keep showing up. This is a long-term strategy; there are no quick fixes and easy solutions. But if you commit to the process, you'll see the results.
If you've read this far, you're probably ready to make some serious changes. That's what I like to see.
If you've got a blog or website and you're tired of seeing no engagement with your readers or customers, it's time to take things to the next level. It's time to get intentional.
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