Neither is it by just promoting your content.
These things do add up to help bringing visitors back to your blog, but they're not all.
In fact, they're summed up to be one-quarter of what it takes to get the job done.
Take a look at professional personal blogs like Goinswriter (a personal blog by Jeff Goins) and Quicksprout (also a personal blog by Neil Patel).
What do they have in common?
If you're really an organized individual, you'll notice that these two blogs have lots of satisfying and relevant content, they both happen to get lots of social shares and comments per post.
Even though they're personal blogs, they're still highly trafficked and are both worth thousands, if not millions, of $dollars.
How did they get so much exposure? you may ask.
That is exactly what I'm going to discuss and show you in just 19 seconds from now.
It doesn't take much to be like either one of these blogs, but it sure does take passion.
And passion alone is enough to keep you going.
So, let's dive straight into them:
#1: Answer a question: know your audience
You need to answer a question with every post you write, else you're just wasting time and meeting up numbers with your blog posts.
Over at Quicksprout, luckily for me, I've had a day set aside and I've read most of the posts there, and you should too.
One thing Neil Patel does better than most bloggers is that he talks and writes to a person, and that person is "you" and I.
Quicksprout is pretty successful because of the person behind it and also because of the unique voice behind each blog post.
With fewer than 700 blog posts, the Quicksprout blog is able to garner more traffic than blogs with over 2000 blog posts.
But, how's that possible, right?
That's what happens when you write to answer the evergreen questions boiling up in the minds of your readers (or your audience).
So, how do you answer a question?
Here's what you need to know:
- Know your target audience – The first step to producing a valuable blog post is to know the people you're writing to. This is the first step because, the moment you know what set of people visit your blog (in the aspect of professionalism), producing a piece to ease their pain and make their carrier less stressful for them won't be a deal at all. For example, if most of the people who visit your blog are singers, then you're better off producing a piece of content related to music than that of dancing.
- Collect feedback – Dedicate a page on your blog to collect feedback from your audience. This way, you'll be able to know where you're not getting it right. And make amends. You'll also be able to hear what both your first time and regular visitors think about your content and services in general. Some of your blog readers will likely open up to telling you how your content sucks, don't reply with the same tone of ignorance and violence, at least people are complaining.
- Survey your visitors By surveying your visitors, you'll be able to know what to produce, to whom to produce and how to produce. It's almost the same thing as collecting feedback but this system of inquiry takes a more aggressive approach.
This content marketing strategy has been leveraged by higher companies to get more eyeballs and an enlarged readership base.
Trust me, this technique will work out for you.
If it doesn't work for you, feel free to come back and shoot me in the left shoulder.
#2: Know your target keywords
While this is a bit important to the people reading your blog, it's more important from an SEO standpoint
It allows the search engines to know what exactly your post is talking about.
And rank you for related search queries.
"By your keywords, they shall find you" - That's My Quote.
The most interesting things about keywords, especially in Google's keyword planner tool is that their search volumes do fluctuate.
And it takes months to show you what their original search volumes are.
This is somewhat frustrating too because you might get really unlucky with picking highly competitive keywords that appear to be a low competitive one in the keyword planner tool.
The only way to find out what keywords you can rank for is by actually looking up the keyword planner tool for low competitive keywords.
After you've done that, flee straight to Google and insert those low competitive key phrases into the search box.
It'll surely surprise you to see sites like Forbes and The Huffington Post ranking for those phrases.
But be strong, don't feel like it's impossible.
And it doesn't end there…
Forbes might be ranking for a term that you want to rank for, but if you take the time to analyse the particular Forbes page already on the first 5 positions of the search engine results pages, you'll be able to see if the page could be wiped off the SERPs with your newly optimized pages.
Most of those big brand blogs can easily be kicked out of the top spot, but they already put on a better fight with their Giant brand names, making you think it's quite impossible to rank for the terms you want.
It depends mainly on the authority of the already ranking page and the number of QUALITY links pointing to the page.
Forget the domain authority.
#3: Write from your heart and be truthful
I bet you want to sound smart and get people pointing back to you as an authority source…
but that won't happen when you try to deceive your audience by making up great numbers (overestimating your worth and traffic), giving them what's outdated, inaccurate or giving them tips that'll actually hurt them.
I know too many writers who write from their heart (most of them are already successful anyway) but, The Goins, Writer stands out.
Jeff Goins' figurative and compelling sentences are simply decision breakers and makers to those reading.
And that's exactly how you should write.
Your composition is neither an essay nor a letter to a longtime, old school friend.
Your composition should be heartfelt and your facts should be backed by stats from reliable sources.
#4: Put out something different
And difference brings uniqueness.
Everything about writing an original piece is all subject to one point, and that's difference.
Have you ever read an article twice in different blogs? or read a piece of work on a blog similar to another piece on another blog?.
For example, I have written on a topic which can easily be narrowed down to "writing tips", right?
And you're reading it now.
If I really didn't want to talk about "writing tips", there's an alternative way to get the content out.
And this time, it's not going to differ much from other thousands of "writing tips" articles on the internet.
I'll simply find the most obvious tips like proofreading, rereading, consistency and other similar, cheap tips around the corner and outline them in bullet points.
After that, all I need do is add a little block of explanatory text below each points and I'm done.
While the article might just get indexed, but will drive no organic traffic, will not engage readers and wI'll not sound unique nor relevant.
People don't need to see and read similar tips from elsewhere on your blog.
Give the best little-known tips and avoid being a cheap blogger or (much better) a cheap content producer.
#5: Have a mix of both quantity and quality
While that's true, Google considers the amount of quality content you have on your blog to determine your blog domain authority and page rank.
Moreover, if you have 100 quality blog post, you're more likely to rank for more keywords than when you have 10+ quality blog posts.
Here's where the Quicksprout blog really gets it.
Adding to the fact that Neil Patel publishes a blog post every 2 days (that's large quantity), he also makes sure that each post maintains a balance of both quality and relevance.
In other words, quality blog posts are being published in large quantities.
This is one guaranteed way to increase your blog authority. Focus on both quality and quantity.
It makes no positive difference if you publish a ton of low quality blog posts, all you'll get in return is nothing in cash, but a Google penalty free of charge.
#6: Use visual and multimedia files
From publishing powerful infographics and podcasts on your blog to uploading YouTube videos, you have a better shot at getting more visitors and increasing your blog authority.
A survey of over a thousand bloggers by Andy Crestodina revealed that more and more bloggers are beginning to leverage visual and multimedia files:
You should start doing this too.
Let's go back to checking out our case study blogs:
If you take a post from Goinswriter and put side by side with one from Quicksprout, you'll definitely unearth a similar feature.
You'll notice that each post tend to first have an image, before the content body.
This same path of using images in first position of a post is what I'm currently implementing on this blog.
By adding an image or a video (or anything that's not text) to your post in such a way that it becomes the first thing visitors or readers see before diving right into the main content, you'll be able to decrease your blog's bounce rate and make more visitors read your post word-for-word (I.e increase user engagement).
This will also sends relevancy signals to the search engines, telling them your blog is made of good stuff.
#7: Promote your content or die trying!
And just without this part, your blog post and entire blog is bound to fail.
You really don't want that, do you?.
Reach out to people via social networks like Twitter and Facebook, tell them about your new stuff and ask your potential power users (followers with more than 10,000 followers) for retweets.
Yes!, "ask for retweets".
Here's 5 tips for promoting your blog posts on the internet:
- Promote your blog posts on Reddit. This is exactly how Richard Marriott of Clambr.com became a popular startup. Reddit can drive you tons of relevant visitors only if you use it the right way.
- Encourage your readers to share your post by asking them and providing a maximum of 3 social shares buttons. You'll see a spike in the number of social shares you get per post when you do. And without telling them to do so, very few of them will do.
- Share your blog posts on twitter by yourself. And don't forget to @mention reliable sources, authors and people you'd really want to take a look at your new blog post. This is exactly how I got a renowned marketer and blogger like Sujan Patel to retweet a tweet of mine about a post on this blog. Don't also forget to create a special #tag name for your tweets. By doing so, tweeters that search for a similar term will see your tweets and click through to your website. For example, if you tweet about your blog post, and it you happens to write about "silver belts", you're better off tagging your tweet #silverbelts and #silver #belts to get maximum Twitter search exposure. Obviously, Including a link to your post is a must thing to do.
- StumbleUpon can be a great source of traffic too. Look for where your target audience are hanging out and share your posts there. If you have a crazily, quality and evergreen article on your blog, you might as well want to refurbish it and submit it to other media file directories. Or you can create and eBook by turning your existing content into a PDF at Youconvertit and submit them to eBook directories like free-ebooks.net and getfreeebooks.com.
- Lastly, i'm gonna give you one that connects you with thought leaders and compels them to give you either a link or voice you out to their own audience. Organize a special, yet, personalized email outreach to high profile bloggers in your niche, telling them to either refer to your blog post in theirs or share your stuff. This strategy really works if you are quite good at cajoling people to help you out with something.
- Be a content marketer, not just a writer. Have a content marketing plan to provide your readers with useful information. And making them know the reasons to use your product (if you have one) and buy from you.
- Know your readers. It's better to know the class of the highest percent of people coming to your blog daily. This will act as a pointer to helping you compose a more targeted or specific content and to a more targeted audience.
- Know your keywords. The first thing you should do before writing, is to find keywords that you can easily rank for, then start writing and building your content around those keywords.
- Quality is better than quantity, yes, but a mix of both will outdo the consistent presence of a solitary "one (1)".
- A great post will fall flat on it's face without promotion. You shouldn't leave this part behind. I wouldn't.
It's making research and looking out for those who read what you dare to write.
Don't be a content filler, don't be the person who writes to increase the total number of article count on his blog.
Write to fulfil a want, put yourself in the shoes of your potential buyers, who are also your readers.
How can you influence their decision? in what way can you answer their questions? what do they need?.
Your ability to answer these questions will further make you write to fulfil purpose.
And who else writes to fulfil purpose? Oh, that's a prolific writer.
So, how else can you write a viral blog post?