This one day popularity half-life means that you need to write quickly publish another post to sustain your traffic. Soon, you are publishing low quality posts to maintain your traffic fix. There’s another way.
How to Extend Your Post’s Impact
You will always see the most traffic on publishing day. Use the ideas in 21 Things I Learned From Publishing 852 Blog Posts to get more visitors on the first day. But a post’s real utility comes 7, 30, 60, and 90 days after the day it’s published.
A post that can attract 10 posts a day 30-days down the road can contribute 3,300 visitors a year. Imagine having 20 posts like these? That’s why we blog.
We’ve listed 10 of our favorite tactics for boosting a blogs long-term success. But before you dive in download the bonus –
Bonus: Download this checklist in printable format to reference or share with your team.
Easy to Share
Imagine that your blog post is an ambassador to different tribes of prospects around the Web. Your goal is to equip your post with the tools it needs to motivate other tribal leaders to share its message. For many businesses, Twitter is the tribal gathering place of choice. Click To Tweet gives your readers the ability to share predefined snippets of text with one click.
Download the Click To Tweet here. Setup at least one tweetable quote in each blog post. One will do since tweeting will take your reader away from the post for a moment.
A growing number of your audience will be reading your post on a mobile device. These mobile readers skim first and slow down to read anything that catches their attention. This behavior puts emphasis on headlines, subheadlines, and blockquotes (or pull quotes). A blockquote visually separates a block of text often adding a graphical element to nab the readers focus. WordPress users can designate a blockquote with a click.
Sometimes it’s the little tweaks that can make a big difference.
Place one blockquote toward the midpoint of your blog post. Use the standard WordPress blockquote. Modify the blockquote to add color and visual interest if you have access to design help.
Adding one photo to the top of your post is a good best practice. But, you can take this one step further. For a typical 700-word post, your initial photo will scroll out of sight as the reader works through the post. Without the photo, your text starts to blend into blocks of unappetizing text, prompting the reader to click away. Adding more photos will hold your reader’s attention and keep them with your post.
Add one more photo to your blog post toward the mid-point. Select a photo that reinforces a subheadline to prompt the reader to slow down and closely read the section.
Your blog promotion routine probably includes a flurry of social media updates the day a post is published. This practice creates a spike of traffic on the first day that tapers to zero the next day. This means that you need to load up another post to rescue traffic.
Try a different approach.
Use a tool like CoSchedule or HootSuite to schedule several social updates one day, three days, and one week after your post is published. This multi-day approach will extend the traffic-generating power of your posts beyond the initial day it’s published.
Many times you can’t fit all of the information you want into a post. Enhancements like tables, graphs, or checklists can be difficult to include in posts. We deal with these obstacles by creating “Content Upgrades.” Content Upgrades are supplemental information that the reader can download. Typically the reader needs to submit their email information to get the upgrade. We’ve found that Content Upgrades are effective ways to build a list of subscribers while offering relevant info.
Use Google Analytics to select posts with the most sessions (Google’s term for “visits”). Reviews these posts and look for ways to upgrade the content with a downloadable tool. Here’s an example.
Personal Teaser Email
Gmail and other email apps are getting smarter by the day. My inbox has been mostly spam-free for months now. But this also means that most “blog update” emails have been routed to folders out-of-sight and unfortunately out-of-mind. This is a big problem if you rely on email to attract readers back to your blog.
Try this –
Go back to the basics and write a brief teaser email for each blog post. Make the email personal, share your motivation for writing the post, and tell your reader what they can expect to learn. A personal teaser email will take extra time but it will get more readers back to your blog.
Record and Promote Audio
Much to the chagrin of writers, people hate to read. Your blog doesn’t have readers. It has skimmers. A growing share of your audience prefers to watch or listen to content. It’s sad but that’s how things work.
Record yourself reading your next blog post. High audio quality is important so invest in a microphone that can capture your voice with little background noise. I’ve heard excellent reviews of the Audio-Technica AT2020 USB microphone. Take your recording and upload it to Soundcloud. Soundcloud will give you an embed code that you can place at the end of your blog. Now you readers can listen if they choose.
How many headlines did you write before selecting the one used for the post? If your answer is one then your headline is a dud. Headline masters usually brainstorm dozens of headlines before settling on one. They often test each of their choices before picking the permanent headline for a post. So, thinking you can shortcut the process by slapping any old headline on your post is a non-starter.
Do this instead:
Take a moment to brainstorm 10 new headlines. I guarantee that one of these new headlines will be a better alternative to the one you originally were going to use. Consider using Optimizely’s Headline A/B tool here to test multiple versions of your headline.
Submit to Upvote Sites
I get most of my news from Upvote sites like Growthhackers.com, Quora, and Redditt. These sites often have the best content since members can upvote or downvote articles. Getting a top list article on these sites usually sends hundreds of high-quality readers to your blog. The downside is that there aren’t many Upvote sites outside of the marketing niche. But it’s worth doing a few Google searches to find an upvote site in your category.
Visit Redditt and look for a subredditt covering your niche. Spend time submitting articles, other than your own, to build a reputation for contributing quality information. After a few months of consistent sharing and upvoting, add your own article. A variation of this technique is answering questions related to your post on Quora.
Keep in mind that these are long-term strategies that can have a big impact once you’ve built a reputation and cultivated relationships.
Move Engagement to LinkedIn / Facebook / Twitter
I’ve turned off comments on Pushing Social. Instead, I’ve encouraged people to contact me via LinkedIn to continue the conversation. This has worked extremely well and saved my team from hours of troll-hunting and spam-eradication. The conversations are stimulating, respectful, and useful to everyone. I’m not suggesting turning off comments on your blog. I am suggesting –
Invite your readers to ask questions and share their perspective on your preferred social network. Follow-up and answer questions as quickly as you can. Respect your readers and keep delivering value.
Create a Process
Use a process to consistently boost your blog’s chance of success.
At Pushing Social, our content specialists follow a checklist that has each of the items discussed earlier depending on the client’s needs. We recommend that you follow the same process.
Create your checklist on Google Docs and share with team members (or Virtual Assistants) assisting with your blog. Google Docs makes it easy to collaborate and make improvements to the Post-Publishing Checklist. Stick to the checklist, modifying it based on how well each tactic performs. Pay specific attention to your blog posts traffic after the day it’s published. You should see steady traffic over the long term.