If you want to attract website traffic through the content that you write, you better start developing the habits that most other writers and bloggers implement. When put into practice, these habits can help you produce better content, which will slowly develop a readership and gain exposure. Below are some of the most common habits of successful bloggers, along with tips on how to start building the habit yourself.
They Write Regularly
Whether you are deciding to write daily, weekly, or even monthly, what really makes a difference is the dedication to writing really great posts each time you sit down to do it. If you can only handle one post a week (or month), then do your best at it. What makes great writers and bloggers stand out is when their audience knows they can depend on them. Just like your favorite TV show that you know comes on every Tuesday at 9PM, you want a dedicated readership that looks forward to your posts as they come out.
What’s most important here is only writing when it’s your best work. Don’t write something just to get it out. Write when you feel like you have something to share that could be beneficial to the people reading it. After all, if you are writing something that you aren’t happy with and no one reading it is finding value from it, then really has no purpose.
They Enjoy What They Do
I often seen employees at businesses (or even the owners themselves) forcing blogging, just because “everyone else is doing it.” This should be the #1 reason why you should NOT have a blog. As I mention farther down, we all use the internet every day, so we can tell when someone is trying to force “cardboard content” down our throats.
You have to really like what you are writing about in order for it to catch on. I’ve found that on The Hustle Life, my more personal blog about productivity, traveling, and personal development, my most personal posts where I am just basically freewriting without a set blog-type goal in mind are usually the ones that get the most traction on social media and in the comments section. If you want a blog, but don’t like blogging, consider outsourcing it to someone who does.
They (Probably) Write a Few Long Posts Over Several Short Posts
Some bloggers, like Tim Urban of Wait But Why (which currently has over 116,000 email subscribers) only publishes one post a week. However, that post is usually thousands of words and super detailed and interesting, complete with custom illustrations and graphics. This type of high quality posts is what will attract today’s readers, who have moved past the glitz and glamour of simply being online, like it used to be in the 90s. Now, because the web is part of our everyday lives, we expect more out of it.
This is why it might be beneficial to shift to few posts, but higher quality. While it’s not ideal for every blog (e.g. if you wanted to set your site up as a news resource, timeliness would matter over length in many instances), long posts using engage more readers, who also spend more time on site.
Aim for posts that are 600 words minimum, and over time, try to regularly sculpt posts that are greater than 900-1,000 words. If does take time, effort, and research, but your readers will appreciate a heavier meal over a light snack in the long run.
They Promote Their Posts
It’s crazy to me how many writers and bloggers publish their posts and think it ends there. Successful bloggers know that promoting their posts is the second part of the battle toward more traffic and returning readers. Some of the ways you can promote your posts include:
- Sharing it on social media just after it’s published
- Pull quotes or statements of insight from the post and use that as a lede for another social media post down the line
- Craft a mailing list or RSS feed that will help readers get posts as easy as possible. SumoMe is a cool WordPress plugin that makes driving mailing list subscribers easy.
- Share the post with their network and on message boards or forums, like Reddit or Inbound.org (for marketers). Tact and non-spammy practices are key here.
As a blogger, you’re not just a writer. You are a community manager, a social media marketer, and even oftentimes, a webmaster. Embrace these roles to ensure your blog’s success.
They Spread the Love
Self-promotion is crucial, but so is building a network of fellow bloggers and colleagues in your industry. Building a community will only help your blog grow, as friends help one another by commenting on posts, sharing each other’s posts, and giving advice on how to grow.
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to growing a community, try attending a conference that is known for gaining friends like BlogHer or SXSWi, signing up for a tribe on Triberr, or reaching out to bloggers on blog directories in your chosen niche, like Healthy Living Blogs. Local networking or blogging groups could also be a cool way to get to know people who write about the same things you do (or at least understand what it takes to run a blog).
Being a successful blogger and online writer is hard, passionate work. But if it’s something you truly enjoy doing, then you’ll find that the hard work does pay off, eventually! 🙂