I firmly believe that blogging is a modern art form, a means for individuals from all walks of life to express their ideas, emotions and expertise.
This naturally means that practitioners of the art pour a significant amount of their time – not to mention passion and
creativity – into their blogs. I was recently speaking to my good friend and owner of aMuseInk Advertising Agency, Jamie Engelbrecht, about the pittance that many freelance writers get paid by exploitative clients, and he phrased his sentiment so astutely that I just had to share it.
His exact words were: “Many people think being creative is easy, but you put a piece of your soul into your work”.
Seriously, though, you put a lot of yourself into your blog, so why aren’t you getting traffic? Before spending loads of money on marketing and display adverts, try these simple hacks.
- Add rich media
Fact: people like looking at nice things. It’s just our nature, and there is an emotional and physiological response when
confronted with things that are pleasing to our senses. Adding some pretty pictures or an engaging video clip can really go a long way towards boosting the overall quality of your blog and making readers want to share it.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, you don’t have to spend a fortune on stock photography. Sites like this one offer high-quality stock photos at no cost. Of course, if you’re a good photographer, you can always just take the pictures yourself.
Rich media drive engagement.
- Do some marketing of your own
Most of the time, the best marketer for your content is you. You don’t need to embark on massive (and massively expensive) marketing campaigns and take out loads of ad space in order to get your name out there. Share your blog on your own social media channels, and ask your friends to share it on theirs and you’ll soon see a spike in traffic.
- Guest blogging
Strictly speaking, this just isn’t always possible. Many established blogs will only accept guest posts from well-known, successful bloggers.
But it’s still worth your time to do some research and do some pitches, even they are initially unsuccessful. You’ll need to prove your worth, especially if you’re not well-known, so it’s good if you are an expert in your field and can write well.
- Do pro bono work
I know, I know. No one likes doing work for nothing, and you’ll have to view this suggestion in the context of long-term success and popularity.
But it really is a great way to get your name out there and get a decent portfolio going. Sites like this one connect NGOs with creatives willing to do pro bono work so, in addition to making a name for yourself, you’ll be doing it for a good cause.
- Take a good, hard look at your content
No matter how thick-skinned and accepting of criticism one is, we are all emotionally-invested in our work, and it sucks when that investment isn’t paying the dividends that we expected it to.
But the reality is that, to really be noticed, content has to be remarkable. There’s no point in me sugar-coating that fact. So spend some time reading successful blogs, familiarize yourself with some of the writing styles (while never losing track of your own) and embrace some of the methodologies that these blogs use.
Content should be unique, but there is nothing wrong with learning from those that have been in the game for a long time. Learning is never, ever a bad thing.