The two main components of success for a blog are great content and relevant traffic. It doesn't even need to be a lot of traffic to get things moving, just relevant traffic that will engage your content and share it.
But how do you bring the two together in a way that ensures your content will spread to grow brand visibility and more organic traffic?
You do it through growth hacking.
Growth hacking is a marketing mindset that refers to using creativity, analytical thinking and social metrics to gain exposure (and sell products.)
In this case, your product is your content so it makes sense to apply the concept of growth hacking. If you were to put a growth hacker in charge of your blog, these are the biggest points they would focus on first to drive up your exposure.
1. Create headlines that drive engagement.
Headlines are important. Vitally important.
Mushy headlines that don't inspire content can be the death of a blog. They don't inspire people to click through and read the content. You get pushed aside in search results and social for attention grabbing headlines that catch the attention of the audience.
I've seen email campaigns where a single word increased click-throughs by 46%. You can achieve the same thing by following the Four U's of headline creation.
- Headlines should be unique.
- Headlines should be ultra-specific.
- Headlines should convey a sense of urgency.
- Headlines should be useful.
A growth hacker would focus on creating headlines that connect with the audience on an emotional level and convey value, using the four U's listed above.
2. Make content more shareable.
A growth hacker knows that content needs to be easy to share. Your audience isn't necessarily lazy, but the easier it is to share content the more likely they are to spread your work around. Get share buttons placed within your content so that it can be shared with a simple click.
And don't just settle for putting share buttons at the end. Test placement of your share buttons for maximum impact.
One study from AddThis suggests placing share buttons above the fold to increase the volume of sharing.
3. Always leverage a call to action.
Part of creating a content strategy is having a purpose for every piece of content. The main goal should be to deliver value to the reader but you also want that content to drive further engagement.
A call to action does just that.
Don't leave it up to the reader to decide what to do next. Tell them what you want them to do.
A call to action can be anything from asking for comments and shares to driving action toward an opt-in or recommending another relevant piece of content.
Writing a compelling call to action gets results. It makes people want to click and should be leveraged on every blog post.
4. Get the call to action front and center with a popup.
If you have an email list or opt-in that you want to promote, one of the most effective ways to gain leads on your blog is with a pop-up. This can be in a lightbox format that pops in the middle of the screen or a footer pop-up that is a bit less intrusive.
Either way, they get results.
eConsultancy reports that an average overlay can increase opt-ins by up to 400%. OptinMonster offers a terrific site plugin that lets you create customized opt-ins for attractive promotions and opt-in offers to help you speed your growth.
5. Leverage influencers so it's not just about you.
A growth hacker knows you're only as good as the people you know. Your blog shouldn't be treated like a one-way promotional channel for pushing content.
Chris Lema can confirm. He's a well-respected blogger in the WordPress community due in part to his willingness to give. He works with influencers to share their content and promote key players in his industry.
It might not seem like a super-effective growth hack but when you make influential friends they're more willing to share your content.
That helps build traffic, referrals and shares.
6. Promote your content.
It doesn't matter how good your content is. If you're not promoting it then fewer people are going to find it. A growth hacker knows to look beyond leveraging your personal network.
Use promotional tools to help get your content in front of more people.
ContentMarketer.io is a fantastic toolset, with a Notifier tool that scans your contact to tag and notify influencers you've mentioned in your post. This lets their network see they were mentioned and can inspire them to share that content.
A service like Quuu.co is another great way to promote your best pieces and get that content moving outside of your immediate network.
Promotional tools like ContentMarketer.io provide a clever way to get influencers to share and link to your content.
7. Repurpose your content.
You need to think beyond the confines of your blog content. Producing and publishing content isn't a one-and-done affair. Old content is a gold mine for producing new content your audience will love.
You should take every opportunity to repurpose your blog content into new pieces that can be published on other channels. Your top blog posts can be repurposed in a variety of ways:
- Short video tips
- Podcasts and audio content
- Compiled into eBooks
- Newsletter content and more
All of that repurposed content can be used in your own blog or posted to external sites that will drive traffic back to your blog.
With every piece of valuable content think about "how could I use this in another way to generate more traffic"
8. Deliver more value with longer content.
I wrote a piece on this very topic. My research uncovered that the average content length for pages that rank in the top 10 search results for any keyword were upwards of 2,000 words - sometimes more.
Longer copy is rewarded by Google. your content speaks to them and has value, they'll read it.
Then they'll share it. You're more likely to deliver a lot of value in a 2,000 word post vs a 700 or 800 word post.
A growth hacker knows it's all about how you structure and promote valuable content. If you want to build more relevant traffic and generate far more opt-ins on your blog then follow the above tips for a guaranteed spike in both.
Have any of these tactics helped you grow your blog?