Traffic Generation for Blogs: Hunting your Audience
What is this?
I did my first case study on my God of SEO Blog a few weeks back now, and as time has passed and my traffic, engagement and affiliate sales have continually grown, I thought I’d go into a bit more detail on building a Blog’s audience from scratch.
I’ll be going over:
- How to find your Audience
- Where to find your Audience
- Building a Reputation in your Industry/Niche
- Gaining Traffic from your Target Audience
Who are they?
It’s pretty easy if you’re writing about an industry/niche you’ve grown into over a few years, but what if you’re working on a big clients site or a brand new blog that you really don’t know much about the industry on?
Well, there’s a few steps you can take. Firstly I’d start off with finding the generalization of your niche, if I’m an SEO then I’d generalize it to an internet marketer. If I’m a tree surgeon then I’d generalize it to Gardener, this makes it a lot easier to find people and find potential targets.
How do I know what they want?
It’s pretty easy, the people you’re trying to target will tell you what they want. When looking at competitors and looking at pretty much any niche you’ll find most of the posts are generic or are like Matt Cutts style, they’re broad answers and don’t boil down to the exact detail of the question the reader wanted. Some, just won’t even answer the question at all.
Look at places like Yahoo answers, forums etc.. for your niche keywords, they’ll show you a lot of questions people ask which you can develop into posts, you can even use the answers from other uses to help boost the quality of your post.
Where they at?
It can be pretty hard to find out where your audience are online, but I’ve streamlined it into 3 methods that really do bring in traffic:
Related forums are fantastic, I’ve seen some really good traffic from SEO related forums where I’ve been advertising in my signature and doing helpful threads/posts with links back to not only my content but other peoples content as well.
Downtown eCommerce did a post on traffic generation for your ecommerce sites via link building on forums. This saw the company make over $14,000 in revenue just from being engaging on a forum. I suggest you read that fully detailed post if you’re looking for the gigantic case study on it, otherwise I did a shortened version for you:
TL;DR – Engaging with a community is super simple, when you start out, start out slow, don’t post to your site and just build up your username as an authority. If you can start posting links to helpful blog articles or even base your content around questions asked on the forums. Then once you become an authority figure, you can do blog style posts on the forums and use your signature (sometimes have to pay for this) to advertise your products or site.
Blog Commenting –
Here we go again style thing, but I use a number of SEO related blogs to pull in traffic to my God of SEO Blog. Of course I only comment on articles that I’ve read and genuinely interested in but it doesn’t hurt when I saw a couple of visits pass through. It alsoadds anchor text diversity to my backlink profile.
I actually been seeing some really good visits from Matthew Woodward’s posts where I leave a comment on all the articles I read and people seem to like to click through –
Traffic Bait –
Rather than “link bait” which is what seems to generate good links, I prefer traffic bait. I’ve come up with a few examples below of how you can create traffic bait:
This can be super annoying, but done correctly for something that somebody really wants it works fantastically, offering a spreadsheet with the best forums for niches or a free bit of software in return for a Tweet or a Facebook share makes for really good social signals (boosting SEO and online authority) and creates traffic, it works really well to.
I did a post on this on SERPChirp – Where I saw 3.7k views in a matter of days from being a bit controversial within the industry. It saw me get some awesome social shares, backlinks and I gained a couple 100 followers in a day.
Don’t be “too controversial” though, otherwise you’ll end up hurting your brand/image which isn’t fun in the long game.
Get Influential people Involved –
When God of SEO first launched, I didn’t have all that much content to back it up so I built an article that was a little controversial but most importantly featured influential people.
I made “Penguin 2.0 and how it’s killing local business – It ended up being discussed in the SEO Hangout panel, being tweeted by Rand Fishkin (Who was featured) and being at the Top of Inbound.org for a while as well. I ended up with around 250 unique visitors on my first ever post, and a couple people subscribed to my email list.
I hope you enjoyed my article, it really does work and the tips involved have what’s earnt me close to 4,000 uniques now (In around a month). It works on all levels and I really suggest checking out the Downtorm ecommerce article above, you could be literally missing out on thousands of dollars.