If you're a blogger, chances are, driving traffic to your blog is probably at the very top of your blogging priority list. I just want to quickly jump out there and say that the “chasing pageviews” blogging strategy may not be your best one.
That's because it relies way too much on factors you can't control, like social media algorithms. And doesn't focus enough on building your tribe and serving your readers. When pageviews are the goal, bloggers are typically working to qualify for higher paying ad and brand networks so they can start making money with their blog.
When this philosophy is the driving force of your blog, things are missed. The focus is primarily on creating posts to get clicks.
I'm not going to say this isn't a real or effective strategy. It's being used by many successful bloggers and they are probably happy that they're making a steady flow of income from their blog. For now, until something happens and their free traffic channels dry up.
I'll say, however, this method isn't great for building a solid platform for which all your other efforts will stand on. Efforts that work to serve your tribe. And equally isn't building a foundation for making a meaningful impact with your blog.
If you're a passionate blogger like I am, you'll want to focus instead on who your ideal reader is, what their biggest struggles are (as it pertains to your blog), and how to best connect with them and serve them on a more meaningful level.
If you're new to blogging, you'll want to read my startup guide first:
Your Blog is Your Foundation
Your blog should be your foundation, not the end-all-be-all. If your weekly blog posts are as far as your plan goes, you're missing a MAJOR opportunity to make a far bigger impact and will find it extremely difficult to get off the blogging hampster wheel.
Early in my blog journey, I was doing #AllTheThings with my blog. Everything that the experts said I should do. The funny thing is when I first started my blog I had HUGE dreams and plans to do things way beyond my blog itself. In fact, the very reason I launched my blog was to build my platform so I could realize my dream of becoming a published author.
I took Michael Hyatt's course Published over 5 years ago. He taught that in order for publishers to work with a new author, that writer must create and build their own platform first. So, I set out to embark on the scary and exciting journey of blogging.
So you see, I already knew the power of the concepts I'm sharing here. But I got sucked into to the temptation to make my blog my entire focus and take the easy road of not putting in the work of creating lasting resources for my readers that were designed to make their lives better in some way. To connect way beyond the blog post.
How to Build Your Blog's Foundation
If you put too much energy and focus on finding ways to increase your page views and traffic to your blog without a lasting plan, you could be hurting your blog in the end.
Let me ask you 3 questions:
Do you know who your reader is?
Is the content on your blog serving your readers well?
Are you taking them on a deeper journey?
If you don't confidently know the answers to those questions, your content is probably not meeting your reader's needs and they'll go searching elsewhere.
If the desire to make a more meaningful and lasting impact with your blog speaks to you, then your main focus should be your content strategy and product creation vs. the pageviews model. Even if you have tons of traffic coming to your site because of a viral pin or post but you don't have any other content for them to consume, or if your content is disjointed and doesn't tell a story… they aren't coming back.
If you don't have products or services to offer that will help your readers on a deeper level, you're missing an opportunity.
And in the times many of us including myself are experiencing when traffic is down (and happens to every blogger) I can stay calm knowing that my blog is still a valuable resource for my readers. And regular readers and email list subscribers will still be loving my blog even though new readers are low.
A Winning Content Strategy
So how do you create a winning content strategy?
1. Know Who Your Ideal Reader Really is
You are ideally creating content for one perfect person. The person isn't perfect… but they are a person who's perfect for you and your blog. Write them down, give him/her a name and an identity. Create content only for them! While other's may still love your content… you're not writing for them – just for your avatar.
2. Know Their Biggest Pain Points, Struggles, and Deep-felt Needs.
When you know this, you can easily create endless and super helpful content that solves their problems, eases their anxieties, and validates the beliefs they already believe. Your content then becomes magnetic! Remember your blog is all about them and not about you.
3. Create a Focused Content Schedule
It's time to create a content schedule that takes your reader on a journey from where they are to where they want to be. Your content should be a roadmap for their personal growth in whatever area you share on your blog.
It can be a journey from living as a disorganized, overwhelmed mom to an organized and happy mom who knows how to keep her home free from clutter. Or you could be a travel blogger who helps people travel the world on a budget learning everything they need to know to live their dream of becoming a world traveler without having to hit the lotto first.
4. Create Products Beyond Your Blog Posts
This is a loaded point, so I'll try to keep it simple here. Start by offering something valuable for free in exchange for adding them to your email list. This is important because having a growing and engaged email list is like having your own traffic channel that you can tap into anytime. Just send and super friendly and helpful email.
Next, you want to add a larger version of that free product and create a paid version. You may be thinking why not just offer all your amazing wisdom for free on your blog. Sure, that seems to make sense. There are just two problems with that, products and services are a highly effective way to make money with your blog.
But even more importantly, it increases your authority and trust with your readers because you've taken the time to create a system, wrote an entire book, or build a course to help them make a positive change in their lives. If you're suddenly feeling pangs of guilt for charging for your wisdom, let me stop you right there!
Russell Brunson, the creator of ClickFunnels talks a lot about how people won't make a meaningful change in their own lives until they make an investment… usually a monetary investment. Just think about your own perceived value of free information. It's not high, right?
Think about how you instinctively treat something as more valuable and important if you've paid money for it. I can't tell you how many free programs I've downloaded and never went back to. I can't say I've EVER done that with a paid course! Once I see that “your payment has been processed” message come up… I'm all in until I've completed the program.
When you put a price tag on something, people instantly feel the opportunity to make a meaningful investment in their lives and are more likely to put in the work necessary to make that change.
If you stick to this strategy week in and week out, your blog WILL GROW and because you've focused on creating an epic blog without an identity crisis, your readers' lives will be changed and your blog will really mean something to them. That's what being a passionate blogger is all about!
Social media is a method to find and connect with your readers to bring them back to your winning content. But social media can be fickle and changes all the time. So building a business that serves your readers will never be a waste of time.
Share in the comments how you uniquely serve your blog's readers? Do you have a book or a course that's getting amazing results?