There’s a lot of talk about content, traffic, and SEO these days. Everyone is looking for the secret key that will unlock a world of traffic.
I hate to tell you this, but there is no secret key.
Nor is there a magic bullet.
There are, however, several tried and true methods that will help you build traffic for your blog or website by providing targeted and consistent content.
1. Find Your Niche
Everyone–and I do mean everyone–is an expert in some area. It may be a broad area like retail sales or it may be a specialty area like antique race cars. It may even be one of those weird niche categories like drawing portraits of horses with colored pencil (don’t laugh… that’s my “day job”).
One of the best things you can do is identify your field of expertise. You may not believe it, but there are people out there who are also interested in those things and a lot of them would be interested in what you have to say. Some of them will be very interested and some will be so interested, they’ll pay you for your expertise.
Figure out what you’re good at and how you can help others who are interested in the same thing and you’re already ahead of the game.
2. Aren’t An Expert? Make Yourself An Expert.
All you have to do to be considered an expert in something is to read enough books on that subject. How many is enough? Would you believe three? If you read three good books on any subject, you’ll know more about that subject than 90 to 95% of the population. The more you read on that subject and the more you study it, the more of an expert you become.
Becoming an expert is easiest if you’re already interested in the topic. You’ll have learned something about it because of your interest.
But if there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn, why not learn enough to become an expert?
3. Identify Your Target Audience
Whether you already have an area of expertise or have to get one, the next step is identifying your target audience. Are they do-it-yourselfers looking for advice on projects? Are they more likely to be professionals or hobbyists? Male or female? Young or old? High school educated or doctorates?
The more of these categories you can fill in, the better able you will be to write content those people will find helpful. So take time to give this some thought.
Take time to identify your ideal reader. Describe where they live, what they do for a living, what they do with disposable income, and what they will need your assistance with. I know this sounds like an arduous task, but it will not be a waste of time. If you have a specific person to write to, writing quality content will be much easier. And you are a writer, after all.
4. Write Quality Content
You would think this is so obvious, it wouldn’t need to be said.
It is obvious, but…
…it still needs to be said.
No matter how much you know about a subject, if your content is poor, you’ll have a difficult time reaching readers or keeping them.
There are a few simple guidelines to follow in writing the best possible content.
Write for your audience. If your target market is highly educated, wealthy, and professional, write to them. Treat them with respect, use analogies that suit their background, and, by all means, use professional language and grammar.
5. Keep It Brief
At least at the beginning, keep your articles short. Between 300 and 500 words is ideal. 300 words is the minimum word count to attract search engines. 500 words is about the limit before people start to lose interest.
Once you’ve established yourself, people who value your information will read as long as it takes.
While these tips are geared for those of you just getting started or thinking about getting started, they can be implemented at any time. Chose one and spend a week or a month learning and using it, then add another. You might be surprised at the difference even just one will make.