Bloggers today are so reliant on social media to promote their websites—so much so that if you take social media away, they will lose a significant portion of their readership. I cannot let this happen to you, so I will share a manual called: Blueprint: How To Grow A Blog WITHOUT Social Media.
Do not ignore this. If your preferred social media channel loses ground, you will also lose your hard work. As you know, people flock from one social media to another. If you have been using Pinterest for a while and people started to leave the platform, you will also lose your audience.
The solution to this problem? Do not use social media at all. I will show you today are tried and tested methods by which you can grow your blog without relying on social media.
METHOD 1: Publish Quality Content
The first thing that you have to do is to publish quality content. But what is it, really? Many bloggers try their best to provide information that they think serves their consumers, yet their pages get little to no traffic.
To help you out, see my tips below on how to create content that people will read.
1. Entertaining and Informative
Writing for the internet is different from writing for a magazine or newspaper. People who are on the internet want something quick. As such, your style of writing must be concise. On the other hand, never beat around the bush—convey your message as straightforwardly as possible.
2. Detailed work with analysis
Great content uses data. This applies mostly to blogs that offer a product that requires statistics to prove what they are claiming.
For example, let us say that you are writing about health and fitness, recommending a protein shake. The best method to create quality content around this is to show data.
No, you do not have to be a scientist, and neither do you have to carry your own experiments. You have to look for a research paper from a scientific journal and then quote that in your article.
And since we are talking about data, it will do you well to show charts and graphs in your article. This gives your content credibility over the others.
3. Up-to-date and relevant
The last thing that makes great content is relevance. In blogging, there is a thing called evergreen content.
What does this mean?
Evergreen content means that even after a few years, the information on your blog is still applicable. As such, you have to avoid writing articles that will be no longer relevant after a rating period.
Examples of articles that are NOT evergreen are:
- News articles
- Articles that have something to do with trends
As you can see, writing about a hot topic like Kim Kardashian’s divorce from Kanye West may be hot now, but it won’t be a matter of significant relevance after a few years.
In essence, your content must be better than others. And by others, I am referring to the top five recommendations on Google search engine result pages (SERPs). To be able to beat them, you need to read their content.
If you want to write about a subject matter, search for it and read the first five articles that Google shows you. Then, ask yourself how you can make these articles better.
This process is called the skyscraper technique. It is called so because you want yours to be “taller.” If the article you read is 1,000 words, make yours twice longer.
As a reader, you have to ask yourself what these articles are missing or include things that the audience does not need.
Make your goal is to write a piece that is better.
If you do this, people will respond more positively, and Google will notice it. Over time, Google will place your article at the top of the SERPs.
If you think this is challenging, you can always outsource this kind of work to a reliable and affordable ghostwriter.
METHOD 2: Use SEO the Right Way
Search engine optimization is not as simple as sprinkling keywords. Many bloggers think that it is that simple, but it is not.
Some, on the other hand, do not believe in it.
I have been blogging for many years now, and I can say without a doubt that SEO is an important aspect of getting organic traffic, provided that you do it the right way.
Let me show you how…
1. Improve your title tags
The first thing you have to improve is your title tag and the title itself. First off, you want to create an attractive headline that pretty much sums up what the article offers.
For example, do not just use a title like “Beautiful Hair Tips.” Instead, use an attractive title like “9 Tips to Have Beautiful Hair This Summer.”
As you can see, the second title offers clarity about what the reader could expect. Of course, do not forget to include your chosen keyword in the title. The longer the title, the more keywords you can put in there.
In our example, the keyword could be:
- Tips to have beautiful hair
- Beautiful hair
- Beautiful hair for summer
A good headline or title is a fundamental SEO approach to copywriting. You want the audience to click your article in the SERPs, not the others from other blogs.
2. Use keywords in the right places
There is no real consensus as to where keywords should belong. Generally speaking, it should be in your title, body, and meta-description.
Google does not reveal how many times you should use a keyword, but they said that they hate keyword stuffing.
In my experience, keyword usage has to happen organically. My advice as far as placement is concerned is as follows:
- Headline or title
- Start of the paragraph
- Other headings
- Body of the article
This is not hard science. It is difficult to provide data around this because Google uses hundreds of factors to determine a webpage’s ranking. Nevertheless, you have to use the keyword in the title, so Google knows how to index that page.
3. Do not forget a meta-description
A meta description is a text that you see below the title of a post. It does not get published in your blog, but it shows in search engines.
Below is an example:
The purpose of the meta-description is to tell the reader what the article or web page is about. For SEO purposes, you have to put your keyword in there as it somehow validates to Google what the page’s content is about.
4. Make use of long-tail keywords
A basic keyword is mostly comprised of two to three words. For example, “blue shoes.” The problem with this keyword is that it is too generic.
Can you just imagine how many people use this keyword in their blogs?
An example of a long-tail keyword is “blue shoes for men’s basketball.” This is a lot more detailed. Your article is very likely to appear in SERPs if you use this keyword if a person searches for “best blue shoes men’s basketball” and other similar search phrases.
5. Practice linking strategies
The last piece of advice I have for SEO is to practice linking strategies. There are three types of links that you have to create.
The first one is interlinking. It is a process where you provide links to your other web pages. It keeps your audience on your website, and it gives a signal to Google that your content must be good because your audience stayed long.
The second one is outbound linking. Here, you are linking to another webpage. This tells Google that you share information that you think is good for your readers, even if you drive them out of your site.
The last one is inbound. This is a link to your own web pages, but it comes from other websites. You can do this by guest posting, which I will discuss further later.
These are too many to handle—I know that. I suggest that you create a list of the standards that you have to apply for each blog post. You can use this list that I have here.
Now that you have a checklist, make sure that you meet each condition before publishing a blog post. This will help you publish content that has standardized SEO best practices. However, you must also take note that there are some SEO mistakes that you have to avoid.
METHOD 3: Take Advantage of Email Marketing
The third method, email marketing, is a tad tedious, but it is effective. Email marketing is a process where you send emails to your subscribers.
The problem: how will you get email subscribers?
To grow your blog this way, you have to convince a reader to give you his email address. In return, you will give something for free. This free stuff that you give away is called a lead magnet.
Here is a summary of what you need to do:
- Set up an auto-responder in your blog
- Create an email subscription form
- Attach free stuff to the form
- Launch it on your site
The way this works is that on your blog, there is a pop-up or a section that announces that if the reader gives his email address, or if he “subscribes,” he will get something free, like an eBook. This eBook will either automatically download to the readers’ device or be sent to his email.
Sending it to his email is a better choice; this guarantees that the subscriber will only use a functional email that he can access.
Once a reader does this, you will be able to store his email address in your autoresponder. This is called an email list, which is a fancy name for a distribution list.
From your autoresponder, you can do the following things:
- Send mass emails to people on your list
- Automatically send an email to them if you posted a blog
As you can see, this is going to help you generate traffic. If a person subscribes to your email list, it means that he loves your content. As such, you want to capitalize on this.
If you notify him about a new blog post, chances are he will come back. You can also use the same technique to tell people about a new product that you are launching.
There are many autoresponders that you can use. Some are free, but most are not. The best free one that you can use is Mailchimp. You can use the basic features of the platform for a maximum of 2,000 contacts or email addresses.
The best-paid one is GetResponse. It has features like automated workflow, webinar funnels, and so much more.
Now, it is up to you to choose which brand you want to use. However, you have to know that many of these autoresponders charge according to the number of subscribers that you have. The more subscribers there are, the higher you will pay.
So, how does this really help?
The one way this helps you grow your blog is through repeat traffic. You will not get new traffic from this method. The second way it can help you is via sales.
Email marketing is a fundamental part of a sales funnel. Many people use this as a strategic approach to making people come back to their website and finally buy their offer.
METHOD 4: Guest Post in High-Traffic Blogs
Guest blogging is nothing more than publishing a blog on someone else’s website. You either do it for free, or you pay the website owner to publish your article.
In return, you get to put a link on that blog post about some of your other blog posts. In short, you are backlinking to your site. In a guest blog post, you either get a byline or not.
This works because you are promoting your own blog from someone else’s site. However, there are some important tips you have to remember to make this work, which I will discuss below.
1. Choose a good blog
The first step to take to make guest blogging successful is to choose a good blog. By good, here is what I mean:
- The blog’s niche must be related to yours
- The blog must have a good amount of traffic
- The blog must be an authority
It is not a good idea to work with another relatively unknown blogger. You could if you want to, but this is not going to yield traffic for you. Choose a blog that has a decent amount of traffic—preferably better performing than yours.
Why should you do this? Because a blog that has high traffic has a high readership, and you want this readership to trickle to your own blog.
When choosing a blog, never ever choose a direct competitor. It is rare for a blogger to do this. Instead, choose one that is relevant to your website.
For example, let us say that your website is about nutrition products like whey or protein shakes. In this case, you want to look for a blog about physical fitness. You are not in direct competition, but the blog’s audience may be interested in the products that you are promoting.
2. Pitch the right way
After finding a good blog, you can now send your pitch to the owner. When pitching, you have to focus on what you can do for the blogger.
Every blogger receiving a pitch from other bloggers knows that the end goal of the guest poster is to get traffic and exposure. As such, they are on higher ground. Never make an offer where you are asking for money.
Some bloggers will charge money. This is something that you have to anticipate. If the blogger wants to get paid, make sure that the price is reasonable, like $5 or $10. There is no reason to pay hundreds of dollars just to be able to publish a blog post.
Take the time to write your pitch and understand the audience of the blogger. Your goal is to drive traffic to that website and then hope that your backlinks will work.
Before you write your pitch, take the time to read the blog. Write your ideas and scrap those that the blogger already has on his site.
In your pitch, list down the topics you have in mind, how many words, and what web pages you will be backlinking. This is a transparent offer that the blogger cannot refuse.
3. Make high-quality content
My last tip is to write a high-quality blog post. Naturally, the blog owner will not want to publish your article if it does not meet his editorial standards. I already discussed the meaning of high-quality content earlier, so just revisit that section.
So, why does this method work? It works because you are building a community of web pages that lead to your site. From an SEO standpoint, Google will crawl these pages that link to your site, which will improve your authority.
Here are more benefits of guest blogging:
- Exposure to different audiences – since your niches are not exactly the same, you expose your article to a different set of people. You will never really know how it is that you may have an appetite for your content.
- Brand enhancement – typically, the website owner will allow you to put a footnote at the end of the blog post that you provided. Here, you can write a short synopsis of who you are and what you do.
- Improved credibility – if you guest post on other blogs that people already trust, that website’s credibility will be passed on to yours.
Whatever it is that you do, do not pay people who will do a “press release” for you. There are also unscrupulous people out there who say that they will publish your blog on ten or 100 different websites for a fee.
Do not fall for this.
These people use a private blog network. Pretty much, they published many blogs, but these websites are not authority sites. They have little to no content, and they do not provide value for their audiences. There is nothing you can gain from this approach.
Also, Google’s algorithm has a way of checking if the links back to your site are coming from spam websites. And if Google decides that they are actually spamming sites, your site ranking will get hurt really bad—so bad that it will take months for you to get back on the right track.
METHOD 5: Provide Value in Forums
The last method that I will share with you is to use question and answer forums. These are websites like Reddit and Quora. Here, people ask questions, and other people provide an answer.
The beauty of these websites is that they do not have any particular topic. Anything goes here, and so you can provide value to its readership base.
So, how does it work?
What you have to do is to look for questions that are related to your niche. Then, write an answer to help out the individual. Somewhere in your answer, use a long-tailed keyword and then backlink to your site.
As time goes on, you should develop your credibility as an authority figure in your subject matter. For example, let us say that your blog is about finance, specifically for stock trading. In this case, you have to answer a lot of questions in this niche.
Before you do this, I have some tips on how you should do it right:
1. Choose questions with followers
On forum websites, you can see how many people are following a certain question. You must only answer those that have 50+ followers. Once you post an answer, these people will get a notification from their app and read your answer.
2. Answer with value
Do not just put a one-liner or a short answer. You have to answer the question as if you are writing a blog. The entire purpose of the website is to provide answers to those who are in need. If you are not helpful, you will get reported, and you may get banned from the platform.
3. Do not spam
Do not fill your answer with links to your blog or other websites. In short, do not spam and do not troll. Each forum has its own rules. Many allow links, but only if that link is somewhat related to your answer, like as if you just mentioned it in passing.
Never answer with sentences like “Check my opinion here…” and the word “opinion” is backlinked to your site. This is spam, and you will get banned.
4. Focus on your niche only
Surely, there are many subjects where you are an expert. However, I do not recommend that you answer any question that is not related to your niche. This makes you a jack of all trades, and you will not be able to develop credibility.
5. Create a good profile
Forums allow you to create a profile where you can put links and offer your products and services. Use this to your advantage. Write a long profile explaining who you are and how you can help your readers.
Lastly, I strongly encourage you to post replies. Engage with your readers, and give more information to people who need it.
Do not engage trolls. There will always be people who will challenge you and question your expertise on the subject. Engage politely and show the readers how professional you are.
Also, make sure that you write with the skyscraper technique in mind. Before you write an answer, read other users’ other answers and write something better and unique. In forums, readers have the option to like and dislike an answer—what you want is more likes or upvotes, so the system will put your answer at the top of people’s feeds.
Summary: How to Grow a Blog WITHOUT Social Media
These things take time to do and master. I urge you to be patient. Plan each method carefully, and let time do the rest.
One downside of using social media too much for traffic is that the audience you find here is not interested in what you have to offer. As a blogger, you surely are addressing a niche problem. People will only see your posts on social media because they appeared on their feeds, not because they searched for it.
Once you stop posting on social media, you will also see a decline in your traffic. However, if you use the right SEO techniques, you will reign supreme in search engines like Google. This is what you want—to be at the top of the search results.
If you do the things I mentioned here, you will see that you are gaining a position at Google. If this happens, you will have a consistent stream of organic traffic.
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