It’s a topic I’ve googled on more than one account. We all want to know, especially those of us that are just starting with our blogs, how to drive traffic to our websites. While mastering SEO is essential, you also have to take into consideration what’s going to make a user stick around once they arrive on your site. I used to spend far too much time worrying about how to get people to visit, versus actually putting enough effort into what they’re reading once they made it. I always thought that producing purely skimmable content was enough, but I quickly realized that there had to be more to attract consistent readers. I started thinking about what I wanted to portray, the advice I wanted to give, and what kind of community I wanted to build as I ventured off on this blogging adventure. I knew that branching out too much would overwhelm readers pretty quickly, so I settled on a few topics that all seemed to correlate. Once you’ve got a good idea of what you want to write about, it’s time to start learning how to produce compelling content.
Here are a few questions I want you to ask yourself when you draft your next piece.
Does it Have Flow, or is it a Jumbled Mess?
There was a time I didn’t edit any of my blog posts. I’d draft them one after the other and never even bother to read any of them back. This was a big issue, once I stumbled across an old once recently and realized that I had no idea what I was doing. Have you ever read a paper that you may have written in high school, one that you threw together the night before for a mediocre grade? It definitely doesn’t sound like a great read, does it? I now have a very particular drafting process, where I’ll spend the first few minutes collecting my ideas in a bullet list, complete the first draft, and edit thoroughly before I hit publish. That has changed the game for me when it comes to what I present on my website, and it’s something to keep in mind.
Am I Taking Risks With My Content?
If you find that all of your content is starting to sound the same, it’s probably time you take it upon yourself to branch out a bit and try something a little different. When I first started blogging, I always found that I stuck to the same topics because I was afraid that by trying something new, I’d drive traffic away. Taking risks will not always result in great success, but it is worth it to test the waters and really gauge what works and what doesn’t.
Do My Readers Have Something to Resonate With?
When I first started blogging, I never included anything personal because I was so sure that no one would care about my personal anecdotes. I quickly learned that it is precisely what people care about. They don’t just want you to teach them something. They want you to show them how it worked. I now spend more time being a lot more open about the stories I write, the blog posts I draft, or the articles I produce-because it feels incredibly genuine and never forced. It has changed how many reads I receive as well.
What Message Am I Trying to Send?
Every post needs to have a single takeaway that you can leave your readers with. I always keep this in mind whenever I start drafting a new post because even if your post seems to be overflowing with information, there still has to be that one crucial thing to remember that will keep your readers thinking about what you had to say.
Who Am I Writing For?
Knowing your audience is significant to driving traffic to your website, because if you start out writing about productivity, gain a following, and start doing beauty reviews out of nowhere-your audience may not like that. I’m all for branching out, but it should be a slow progression because switching up your content too often can do more harm than good. That’s why when you choose a niche; it’s essential to choose something you’re incredibly interested in, something that you want to write about often.
That’s how you keep your readers coming back for more.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.