How to Be Heard Through the Noise Online

Content, Content, and more Content, oh yes everyone has a blog, that doesn't mean everyone's blog is effective. Content is King, but without out a plan it's just part of the noise. It's tougher than even ever to be heard through the clutter and drive traffic to a blog, let alone convert those visitors into paying customers This is a part one or a two-part series on the business of blogging. Today's focus is on how to get your blog heard through the noise. Here are a few tactics that will drive traffic, and turn your blog into a MUST READ site. It's about more than great content.

The problem with everyone blogging is that it's extremely difficult to cover anything new. But your opinion, can give anything a new feel, especially if you are a contrarian. Try to have a new unique perspective on common issues. Don't be afraid to keep it real. Read tons of content so that you can find gaps in what others are covering. Always ask yourself: how can you present an out-of-the-ordinary view of a topic?

Often blog posts are 500 words, and those serve their purpose, but you may attract more blog readers if you change up what you post. Occasionally, write a longer post of 1,000 or more words to really cover a topic in-depth. Try interveiws, videos and images or teach something. Write a tutorial for your product to differentiate the types of content you share. Because people all consume information differently, when you vary your blog content, you'll appeal to a wider audience that you can hook with your informative content. Check your website analytics to see which posts are attracting the most traffic, and include similar content in future posts.

Don't just publish a blog post and then wait for people to tweet it, you'll die waiting for people to find you. Publish your content and then promote it immediately. Social media was build to do this. You can automate shares of every new post on your blog through sharing tools like Twitterfeed, which will post a link to your newest post whenever a new one is published on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It's a good idea to also manually share additional updates to Twitter, since not all of your followers will catch the first share of a post. Vary the wording with the blog link to pique interest every day for the week following the post's publication, and you'll maximize the number of people who click to read the post from Twitter.

A great way to make friends online and get other to help promote your content is to Interview other experts and feature them on your blog. Positioning yourself as a convener in your industry is a great way to attract more traffic to your blog. You can also ask your social network for people to contribute tips or quotes to your post, or use Help a Reporter, which connects journalists and bloggers with expert resources. People are happy to be quoted in your article if you link back to their websites. Once you publish the post, share it with everyone you included and ask that they share the post. This is a fabulous way to boost your readership.

Great high-resolution images will attract people to your blog, and when you share a post on social media, the image will stop people as they're scrolling through their newsfeed. Choose high-quality images for each post. Just be aware: you can't use just any photo you find online, because most are copyrighted. Try to find an image that best illustrates your content. If you've written a blog post about the holiday shopping season, for example, you could illustrate your point with a photo of a Christmas tree or holiday shoppers.

Your blog template should not look like anyone else's. You can easily customize a template with colors that match your brand logo, and change the layout to fit your needs, so that, even if you're using a popular template, it looks different than anyone else's. Consider what visitors to your blog will want. A search bar will help them quickly find content on a particular topic. And having just a handful of posts appear (maybe just the first paragraph of each) on the home page of your blog will keep them from scrolling and scrolling to reach the bottom.

If you think simply writing content regularly for your blog, is enough, you are wasting your time. You must do more to compete against the sea of other blog posts on similar subjects. De you'll have to strategize to continually appeal to your audience with your valuable content.

Next week in the business of blogging series, we'll talk about how to get paid to blog.

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