Note: Written pre Pandemic! However, you can still improve your blog ready for better times ahead…….
How to make your blog popular? I am writing this for those of you who already have a blog but want more people to see it! Includes:
- The BIGGEST mistakes people make with Instagram. (Scroll to the bottom of the page).
- How to increase traffic to your blog, how to make it relevant and interesting.
- How to go up to number 1 spot on Google and other search engines.
- How to make money from your blog and social media.
How to get readers for your blog:
Now….. I should start with the Caveat that I am not pretending to be the world’s greatest blogger. However, my website has toodled along quite happily for nearly 5 years and grown quite nicely in that time in the luxury market. Most of my blog posts are top page of Google. Remember it takes TIME to achieve this!
My goal has never been to attract squillions of viewers who are going to bounce right off after clicking onto the site. I want people who are interested in the things I write about, find the blog posts useful and stay and READ the post! And follow in my footsteps. So….. set your goals before your continue.
Increase Traffic to your Blog:
You have a blog online, it has an attractive and appealing design and good content. If you are doing everything right, what is missing?
- Update Old Content. This is key to everything. Do you have some old blog posts from back in the day? Go and look at them now. Update them and make sure they are interesting and informative and a minimum of 1,000 words. I know, this is a bit of a bore…. but do it!
- Keywords. These can be made to seem impossible to achieve. Basically, it is just the subject of the blog post. For example: I am writing about Cannes, France. These are my keywords. My Keyword is Cannes. Get something more specific in the title such as 10 Things to do in Cannes.
- Research Keywords. There are all sorts of expensive tools you can buy for this. However, I simply decide on the subject I will write about. Type it into Google and take a look at Page 1 . Choose some of these keywords plus more niche words too. You can always buy a Key search tool if you think it will help.
- Let Google know the subject. When I started a blog, I decided that my titles would be funny and original and very ‘me!’. This was a big mistake. Google Search Engine is a computer. You need to help it by very specific key words. Repeat your Keywords and Title in the text to help Google find you!
- Be an Expert. Obviously write about things that you know about! Also, ‘Niche down’. This shows the readers that you know what you are talking about, gives them lots of articles to read and also helps Google decide that you are worth putting on page 1.
- Google Page 1. This is the goal! If you are not on page one very few people will see you. So….. write a few different blog posts about the same thing. As an example, I have 10 blogs about the South of France.
Interest your Readers:
The biggest mistake? Do Not be Boring! I am writing from the perspective of a travel blogger, but this applies to any blog. The reason many fail is that they are excruciatingly boring! How many blogs have you looked at and not got past the first sentence?
- Hook the reader with interesting information in the first paragraph
- I use lists, easy to scan and see where to find something you want to know about instantly.
- Do not talk about yourself too much! No one is interested about your ‘day to day diary of a trip of a lifetime’. You would run a mile if a real life friend did that and a blog is no different!
- So…. put some personal snippets and one or two photos with you in the frame but not too many. Enough to show you have actually been to the place you are writing about…… there are so many fakes out there!
- Stick to the facts, give interesting information in a concise style. I sometimes add a a funny anecdote to keep things entertaining. Use ‘Hooks’ to keep the reader interested to the end.
Link your blog posts: Where were we up to? Oh yes, Chosen your Keywords, put the essential Keyword in the Title, written a fascinating blog with great photos. Now link any other blogs you have written on the same subject into the text. For example if I have written about Menton (in my photo above), I will link my other Cote d’Azur blog posts. This way your reader can easily find more information on the area without leaving your blog and Google knows that you are knowledgeable about the subject! Easy peasy when you know how!
Why is no one Reading my Blog?
OK. You have done everything outlined above and STILL the blog traffic is disappointing? Firstly…… WAIT! It takes time to appear in the search engines on page 1. It might take a year, so hang on in there. New bloggers (myself included when I started a blog) read lots of information about “Domain Authority” and “links”. Just relax, do not get caught up in the hype! Cream rises to the top. If you have a good, informative blog post it will make its way up the rankings.
Also, be realistic! Do not expect to appear on Page 1 Google for a very popular subject! Niche down. Update your blog posts regularly with new events and so on.
If you want some immediate traffic to your blog then join Pinterest. Pinterest has basically become a ‘Search Engine’. Join Pinterest, pin regularly and make sure you use the same formula for ‘Keywords’ outlined above. Write a Keyword Title, use hashtags and a good description. Hurry things along by joining a ‘Pinterest group’. Also add the pin to your blogpost.
How to improve Social Media Promotion
Use all Social Media to promote your blog. Twitter is particularly good at this! Take a look at your Twitter Analytics and the ‘eyes on’ every Tweet are really astonishing! Basically just ignore the ‘Likes” and “comments” on your Tweet, concentrate on those Twitter Analytics.
Instagram is beloved by PR agencies, think of Instagram as your ‘Showcase’. I use my Instagram stories to tell followers about what I am doing on my travels and link the blog from Instagram.
Beware another common mistake! Too many wannabe ‘instagrammers’/bloggers rely on interacting with OTHER wannabe bloggers. Such a waste of time and effort. Remember, those PR agencies are very good at their jobs. Your Instagram account will be studied in minute detail. ALL comments are read and they know if the engagement is just from other “Travel Bloggers and influencers”.
Remember to target the key audience for your blog. My target market is luxury travellers, so make sure to figure out your target market. Concentrate in growing an audience in your key market. For example, if you are from the U.S, concentrate on your key U.S. market and grow your following there.
Those two words can strike fear into the heart of a blogger! To be honest, when I started a blog I found the whole thing to be so dull, I just ignored it! BIG MISTAKE. Do not ignore Google Analytics! I use Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China too.
Check your analytics regularly to see how things are going. Which blog posts are popular? What demographic is reading the blog? Also, use ‘Google Console Search’. This will tell you the page ranking for every blog post, if there are any Errors you need to fix and so much more.
Concentrate on the blog posts that are doing well, write ‘Satelite’ blog posts and so on.
What is your ultimate Goal?
Some bloggers want to get as much traffic as possible to the blog and are quite happy with a 90% bounce rate. The goal is ‘views’ and ‘viewers’ in order to easily monetise the blog. There are many articles to read on this subject, written by bloggers who are super successful in affiliate marketing.
Other bloggers, including me, want to become a reliable source of information with regular readers and new readers who actually are interested in the subject and stay and read it! This is essential if you want to build an audience that will trust you and follow in your footsteps.
How to make money from your blog and social media?
- Join Mediavine and make quite a lot of money, depending on the number of page views you receive each month. There are many other Affiliate programs you can join. Some aimed at smaller blogs who do not have the big views required by Mediavine.
- If you join an affiliate group and place Ads on your site then make sure they are highly visible on the blog. This should be the first thing visible to a reader.
- Many Travel bloggers want to earn money from Press Trips. However, many bloggers do tire of Press trips after a while. They are hard work! Also, instagrammers are paid considerably more than bloggers on these trips.
- Get paid to take your followers on a tour (definitely not for me, but getting to be popular) Organise tours for your readers.
- Adverts, online shops on your blog and many other options!
- Social media advertising is a good way to start making some money. Micro influencers are in demand, join a few influencer programs.
There are successful bloggers out there earning a reasonable amount of money. However, there are many more not earning very much at all! I guess you get out what you put in. Personally speaking, my blog would not keep me in designer shoes and handbags, but that doesn’t bother me in the least!