You blog, you measure, you blog but sometimes it seems like it’s not worth it, sometimes your reader figures get you down. How can you increase visitors to your blog?
There’s no point blogging if no one is reading, there’s no point producing content your audience doesn’t want to read.
I’ve been writing an eBook, preparing a webinar and a talk over the last few weeks on how to attract more visitors to your blog.
The number one answer to this question is to write the right content. Write blog posts your ideal reader wants to read. It’s an easy thing to say but not always an easy thing to do.
In this post we’ll look at 9 ways you can research and test your blog topics with your target market.
How testing topics helps increase visitors to your blog
For more ways to attract more visitors to your blog download the Workbook ‘How To Get The Right People To Visit Your Blog’. It’s free and packed with ideas and worksheets.
Step 1 – Know who you are writing for
I’m not going to go into this in detail as this is a topic we covered in depth in episode 14 of the podcast.
Knowing who you are writing for is crucial if you are going to attract them to your blog.
Step 2 – Topic Ideas
Write a list of potential blog topics. If you are stuck for inspiration take a look at:
And because that season is creeping up on us again…
Which topics are going to work for you? Which ones will get people reading? Time to test.
Test 1. Keyword research
Start with some basic keyword research related to your topics. The easiest and laziest way to do this is to start typing your topic into Google and see what suggestions it comes up with as you type.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and see what ‘related topics’ it offers you.
This will tell you if anyone is searching for the topics you want to write about and what they are typing into Google when they do.
Read more on keyword research, including tools that will show you how many people search for topics.
Test 2. Ask on LinkedIn
If you haven’t been on LinkedIn recently go take a look. It’s blossomed over the last few months and suddenly people are chatting and interacting.
It’s a great place to pose a question related to your blog topic. Previous Blogcentric guest Janet Murray does this brilliantly on her profile.
She outlines the question in full and askes for responses offering suggested replies.
Try this, some topics will work better than others, the ones that get the best responses are the ones to turn into blog posts.
Test 3. Groups
Having applauded LinkedIn it has to said that LinkedIn groups seem to be on the way out. We rarely see group posts in our feeds and they’ve been pretty quiet, link-dumping spaces for a long time.
Facebook groups however, are amazing. Whether you’ve created your own or participate in groups where your ideal readers hang out they are a great resource for finding and testing topic ideas.
Run polls in your group to ask questions that relate to the topics you want to write about. If you get a good response, if people comment as well as participate these could make good blog posts.
But you don’t have to run a poll, you can just ask a question and see what sort of response you get. If people chip in ideas you can include them and credit them in the finished post.
Test 4. Monitor popular topics in groups
You don’t have to post in groups to get ideas. You can monitor the conversation. For example, I recently noticed a lot of chat relating to secure certificates in a group I’m a member of. I did some research and discovered it was a hot topic for bloggers so I wrote about it. That post is still attracting traffic.
Test 5. Use Nuzzel to find most shared posts
Nuzzel is a service that emails you with a list of articles and posts that are popular amongst your Twitter followers. Assuming you have built an audience of ideal readers on Twitter this is a great place to find the type of posts that they are interested in.
Save any link on topics that appeal to you. I’ll tell you what to do with them later on.
Test 6. Twitter
Twitter may not be the hive of conversation it used to be but in some ways that makes it a better place to test your topic ideas.
Ask people for their opinion on a topic, wait and see what sort of response you get. If people are happy to chat about it on Twitter you’ll know you are onto a good idea.
Alternatively, you can use polls but I find you’ll often get more conversation if you ask the question straight.
Test 7. Ask your mailing lists
For some reason, we often think of our email list as one-way communication. Instead of just sending a newsletter, consider sending emails that ask a question and ask for a response. If you get replies you’ll know that the topic is interesting to one of your warmest audiences. The people who have agreed to get communications from you
Look back on your previous mail outs. Which ones attracted the most opens and click-throughs? These too will make good topics to write about.
Test 8. Your popular content
Go take a look at your blog analytics. What are your top blog posts? Can you write more blog posts related to these topics?
Test 9. Post curated content on Facebook
Back in test 5 I asked you to save the links to posts you found on Nuzzle. You should also seek out existing posts on the topics you want to write about.
Share these on your social channels and monitor them. Which ones resonate with your audience? Which ones attract likes, comments, clicks?
I’ve been contemplating writing more posts about running a small business and have been encouraged by the response I’ve had to posts I’ve been putting out on my Facebook page.
Look at how many clicks this one got
Obviously a hot topic with my audience.
You’ve tested your topics now it’s time to write. Consider each topic a category or theme. Can you write a series of blog posts on each one? This will keep your readers coming back for more.
Bam, you should now have a shed load of blog posts to write. Posts that will attract the right readers to your blog post.