Blogging is awesome. Sadly, a majority of small to medium sized clients we work with get near-zero traffic to their blogs.
There can be a number of reasons for this but, assuming you’re writing great posts that appeal to your market, one of the biggest reasons for a failure to launch is a lack of links.
There are two types of links to consider:
On Site Linking
If your post isn’t linked to from your site, that’s a clear signal to Google that the content isn’t important. While there’s likely a link to your new post in your blog feed, as you add posts to your blog it will eventually get pushed down and moved out of your main feed.
There are a few places you can make sure your post is linked from:
- A category page (if you use categories for your posts)
- Other blog posts (if you provide links to other relevant posts)
- Resources or other appropriate site pages.
The more places your post is linked from the more important Google will think it is. Note that you probably should make more effort to link your more important/insightful posts as if they all have an equal number of links they will all be considered equal in importance to Google.
Off Site Linking (links from other sites)
Getting links from other sites is often called link building.
Link building has become more or less a dirty word to web marketers as most “link building” companies charge you to place your links, almost always on very low quality sites which are more likely to hurt you.
These companies are particularly insidious as they often “game the system” and are able to get high authority rankings from tools like Ahref and Moz’s Link Explorer. However, despite these high rankings, Google is unlikely to be fooled by these spam links and, ultimately, these links will likely harm your overall rankings.
However, there are some great strategies you can use to legitimately build your own links to your posts:
- Write “linkable” posts and share them far and wide. In short, if you want links you have to be writing posts so valuable or entertaining (or both!) that people will want to share them and link to them.
- Actively look for other sites that link to your type of content and reach out to them (again, this only works if your content is so valuable to their audience that they will want to link to it).
- Include other companies or people in your posts (and make sure they know about posts so they can hopefully link to them).
- Consider adding some interviews to your blog. Even quite prominent authorities in your field are often quite willing to be interviewed and might be open to linking to the posts after they are published.
- Look for colleagues in your industry who might be willing to link. This is often easier if they are also publishing great content that you can help promote. In this case, “one way” links where their site links to yours but yours doesn’t link to theirs are the most valuable. If you’re being strategic in winning one-way links, you might consider some generous promotion of their posts through your Social Media channels in hopes they might be willing to link to your posts or blog from their site. Of course, this only works if they are producing great content – you certainly don’t want to promote content that’s not of value to your audience.
There are also a couple of easy wins for getting links to your site. These links may not be directly to posts, but any links to your site will help your efforts significantly:
- Sponsored organizations. If you sponsor various organizations, it’s totally reasonable to ask them to link to your site (if they display your logo on their site, they can make the logo clickable with a link to your site).
- Suppliers. You likely have a bit of leverage with your suppliers and it’s totally reasonable to ask them to link to you. This could be through a resources, clients, or partners page on their site or it could be from their blog if you give them a nice shout out in your blog.
Consider carefully targeted paid social “boosts” for your posts to:
- Generate some initial traffic
- Get exposed to a folks who wouldn’t otherwise see it
- Hopefully have people share your post.
There’s no getting around the fact that this all takes some work. That said, compared to posting without any posting and/or linking work, unless you already have a large and established audience, you would be better off posting half as much but engaging in this sort of work on the posts you do create.