When the first blogs appeared on the internet, their marketing value wasn’t immediately evident. The first blogs were more like public personal journals or diaries, or else they functioned as forums for writers to express opinions on politics, sports, religion, and pop culture.

However, it quickly became apparent that the blog format was a perfect vehicle for businesses to stay in touch with their customers and keep them informed about new products, industry developments, and associated topics. But with so many blogs on the internet, how do you attract readers? Here are some tips for driving traffic to your blog.

  • Make your blog attractive and easy to navigate. Choose a visual theme that’s clean and easy on the eye. Avoid having too many colors, too much content jammed together on a page, and animated GIFs that aggravate and distract readers. Use a side column to organize content by date and by topic so that readers can quickly find what they’re seeking. Use keywords and phrases to boost your search engine traffic.
  • Carefully consider who your audience is and what they want to read. Meet their expectations. Don’t suddenly go off-topic. Take advantage of analytics to determine who your readers are.
  • Make sure everything’s working properly. Nothing’s more aggravating than a page of broken hyperlinks or a page that takes too much time to load. You may need to find a more reliable web host or a social media marketing company to keep everything in working order. If your page loads too slowly, you’ll find yourself dropping in the search engine rankings.
  • Advertise, market, and promote. Be sure that people can get to your blog from Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest. If you opt to pay for advertising, be smart; buy ads on websites that cover similar or related topics. If you sell handcrafted jewelry, an ad on a NASCAR-related site is probably a waste of your money.
  • Boldly grab the attention of readers. Write irresistible headlines. Take an unconventional approach. Write in a unique, personal style. Don’t rely on Microsoft Word for spelling and grammar checks. If you aren’t confident as a writer, you may want to consider hiring a free-lancer or a social media marketing company that provides content. And don’t write “off the top of your head.” Make sure your facts are verifiable; don’t flinch from doing a little research. Your readers will appreciate consistent reliability, and if they can’t depend on you, you’ll lose them.
  • Finally, keep it fresh and up-to-date. If your last post was four months ago, no one will be interested. Some bloggers update daily, others weekly. Monthly just isn’t enough. You also keep your blog fresh by occasionally changing and updating your visual theme. The occasional re-design keeps readers attracted and wondering what’s coming next.<