How to Get More Eyeballs on Your Blog
Today I am talking about how to get more eyeballs on your blog. How to get more attention for your content. How to get people on your blog for their first view.
This is part of my current series on the 4 different steps you want your readers to go through if you want them to be fully engaged.
The 4 steps were about taking your readers from being cold about your brand to becoming fully engaged with you and your brand and becoming raving fans of your site.
Today is all about the first stage – Helping People to Become Aware of Your Brand Getting attention isn’t for those just starting out, it needs to be incorporated for the long haul.
Note: listen to the next part in this series in episode 114 which is all about converting first time readers into people who keep coming back.
Challenge: Getting readers to know that your blog exists.
Objective: To get the eyeballs, and have your blog seen.
4 Techniques to Get More Eyeballs and Attention on Your Blog
- Create guest content – leverage other people’s blogs, forums, and sites to get eyeballs on me
- Go through the exercise of listing the top 5 blogs, forums, groups, podcasts, media, books, events, tweets, pins etc that your ideal reader is reading
- Find out who your ideal reader is
- Then get permission to interact with your ideal reader at these places they frequent
- Look for opportunities to create content, even comments and forum posts count
- Guest posting on blogs still has opportunity for exposure if not SEO
- Shareable content – this is just one more way to get eyeballs on your site
- Mythbusting posts get shared a lot
- Humor gets shared
- Debates this versus this
- Research and poll results
- List posts
- Cheat Sheets
- Long Form Content
- Beginner’s Guides
- Use BuzzSumo
- Always link to other content in your site
- Look for opportunities to take readers to the next level
- Repurpose your best content – this is a great way to get fresh eyeballs on our site. Can You Really Make Money Blogging (Example)
- Search Engine Optimization
- YouTube is a search engine – I made a video of me talking about a camera and put it on YouTube and it has been viewed 60,000 times
- App Store – Content aggregation app Jarrod Robinson, he gets 1000s of downloads from this app, plus push notifications every time he publishes a new blog post
- iTunes – Starting a podcast is one of the best things I’ve done for ProBlogger in a long time
- Google SEO – Featured Snippets answer to your question put into the search results, we optimized an older blog post so that it would get a featured snippet
Further Resources on Helping People to Become Aware of Your Brand
- Jarrod Robinson
- Exercises for Coming up with Places for Guest Content
- How to Optimize Your Content for Google’s Featured Snippet Box
- How To Get Featured Snippets For Your Site
- Episode 94: SEO Podcast with Jim Stewart
Hey there, welcome to episode 113 of the ProBlogger Podcast. Today, I want to talk about how to get more eyeballs on your blog, how to get attention on your content, how to get people onto your blog for that first view. This is part of a series that I’m currently doing. It started in the last episode, episode 112, where I outlined four different steps that you want to take your readers through if you want them to become fully engaged.
The four different steps were about taking your readers from being cold towards your brand, and even being unaware of your brand, right through to fully engaged to become raving fans of your site. Today’s episode is all about the first stage, helping people to become aware of your brand. You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/113.
I would encourage you to listen to the last episode, episode 112. It’s only about 20 minutes long and it will help you to walk through the four stages. But if you’ve already listened to that one, let’s get into today’s topic which is all about how to get attention. Remember in the last episode, I told you about these four stages that your readers go through if they want to become fully engaged. Each stage has a challenge, and in this case the challenge is that your reader is completely unaware that you exist, which sounds very melodramatic and very much like a teenage boy pining after his first love or teenage girl, I guess for that matter as well, “They don’t know I exist.” That’s something that we’ve all, I guess, grappled with in our romance of life.
But also, as bloggers, it’s very easy to feel that way as well. As we look at our Google Analytics and we see that number zero staring us in the face, or that number one or two and realize that the only person that knows our blog exists is our mom, or our partner, or our best friend.
The challenge we have here is that our readers are somewhere other than our sight. We can all relate to this, but it’s not just first time bloggers, or first time podcasters, or first time Facebook users who feel this and need to work on this. All of us need to be working on this area, and this is one of the things I probably should have mentioned in the last episode, is that getting attention isn’t just for those starting out. It needs to be something that you incorporate into your business, into your blogging for the long haul.
You perhaps need to focus more in the early days, but even when you’ve got an established blog, the reality is more people don’t know it exists than do. My main blog, Digital Photography School, gets four or five million people on a good month land on it. That’s considered to be a medium to large blog, that’s really good. But if you think about it, four or five million people out of the world’s population, or atleast out of the world’s digital camera owning population, that’s a pretty small percentage of people that are aware we exist. We need to continue to work on that as well.
The objective for this episode is to get the eyeball, it’s to get attention, it’s to be seen. I want to give you some strategies to do this. Now, there’s a whole heap of things we could talk about on this particular topic, there’s probably 20 or 30 different episodes we could go through, but I want to share with you four different ways to get to attention. These are four places that I would probably be starting.
I have mentioned a couple of these in previous episodes, but I want to refresh them, because I think they’re very powerful. They’re things I would really be focusing my attention on if I needed to up the antea in terms of getting more eyeballs on that sight.
The first strategy is to create guest content, to leverage other people’s blogs, forums, podcasts, and sites, to get eyeballs on me and to get eyeballs on my blog. This strategy should not be new to any of you, I’ve talked about it in the past and many of you will have done it. I first did guest content on another blog about two weeks after I started blogging in 2002, this is before guest posting existed. I got an email from another blogger–about two weeks after I started–who had read one of my blog posts and who said to me, “Could I interview you on my blog?” He sent me a list of five or six questions and said, “Could you just write 400 or 500 words on each of these questions?”
My initial reaction to that request was not very positive, I have to say. I was like, “What? You want me to write two and half a thousand words? You want me to write your content for you? You just come up with five questions, you want me to write it all?” Then a little light went on in the back of my mind and I began to think, “Okay, well that’s a lot of work, but this guy has been blogging for a year now, he has an audience; I do not. Apart from him, that one guy and a few other people.” I thought, “Okay, I’m going to do it. I’m going to see how this works.”
I wrote that post and I put a lot of time and energy into answering his questions and ended up writing three-and-a-half thousand words in this interview, much more than I wrote in the original post that he’d got the idea from. It went live on his site. The next day, my readership just jumped up. I don’t remember the exact number, but it was more than ten-fold, which wasn’t too hard, because I didn’t have many readers, but I immediately saw the value in creating content for other people’s sites, for other places on the web.
There’s a whole heap of different opportunities for us existing today. It goes way beyond being interviewed on someone else’s blog, although that might be one. A really simple exercise that I would encourage you to do–and I’ve mentioned this in a previous episode–but I’d go through it again for you here, because I think this is very powerful. In fact, I think it was episode 37 that I first talked about this, it’s the exercise of listing the top five blogs that your potential readers are already reading, listing the top five forums that they belong to, listing the top five Facebook groups that they engage in, or LinkedIn groups that they engage in, the top five podcasts they listen to, the top five media that they consume, whether that be television shows, or newspapers, or magazines, the top five books and authors that they follow, the top five events they go to, whether they’d be online events or real life events, the top five Twitter influencers, Pinterest influences, Instagram influences, Facebook pages, I guess it’s the influencers in those different social networks. You want to list the top five of all of these things for your ideal reader.
Before you do that, you really need to ask yourself who is your ideal reader and do some work on that, but then start to list where these ideal readers are already gathering online, because the list you come up with should give you some hints about where you can be creating some guest content.
Some of these places, you need to get permission to add the content. Like when you come up with a list of five blogs that your ideal readers are reading, you can’t just have your content appear there, you need to build a relationship with those bloggers, you need to find out whether they accept guest content. There’s a certain level of work that you need to do there to get a guest post, but pretty much every blog on the internet by a handful has comments, and you could be adding content in the comments section.
Someone just asked a question on another blog that I read. About 20 minutes ago, I just wrote 400 words responding to that question that I saw on another blog. I basically wrote a guest post for that blog in the comment section of that blog. I know that that 400 words is going to be seen by the person who asked the question and possibly hundreds of other people who discovered that. It’s also going to be read by that blogger and build a relationship with him. That’s guest content. Leaving a comment in a forum, leaving an answer to a question in a Facebook group, these types of things are creating guest content.
As you work through the list of 50 or so places that your readers are hanging out, look for opportunities to create content, whether that be by writing a guest post or being interviewed on a podcast, whether that’s just in the comment section in these places as well. There’s all kinds of opportunities.
One great opportunity I saw, just recently, I was at Social Media Marketing World, Michael Stelzner was up on stage doing the opening keynote and talked about how they have been giving other people in their niche the ability to do a live video on their Facebook page. I think that’s an amazing thing for Michael to do on his Facebook page, it adds a lot of value. He had people like Mari Smith, Joel Comm who have expertise in different fields, come and take questions, do Q&A on Social Media Examiner’s Facebook page. They’re the first site that I’ve seen do that, but that’s a whole opportunity for people like Mari and Joel to create guest content on someone else’s site.
There’s all kinds of new ways constantly evolving in this area. Guest posting on blogs was big a few years ago and it’s kind of died off a little bit now. Although, that’s still something that has a lot of benefits. It’s kind of died off a little, because Google has cracked down a little bit on the SEO value of the links in guests posts, but I still think there’s all kinds of opportunities.
One of the big ones that has been taking off over the last couple of years has been getting interviewed on other people’s podcasts. I know I’m getting pitched all the time for this podcast for people wanting to be interviewed here, even though I rarely interview anyone at all. That seems to be one area that’s spiking at the moment.
Even with tools like Blab, which I’ve talked about in previous episodes as well, Blab is a live streaming tool that allows four people to have conversation at once. If I was you and looking for more eyeballs on my site, I’ll be hanging out at Blab and jumping into the conversations that are relevant to your site. That’s one way that you can get your face in front of other people in your particular industry, to have those conversations. Guest content is strategy number one.
Strategy number two that I think is so important for bloggers of all stages, particularly those of you just starting out here and trying to get that first load of attention, that first load of eyeballs, is shareable content. Shareable content is just one way of getting more eyeballs on your site. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ll know the kind of content that I’m talking about because you will know–having looked in your Google Analytics–what content gets shared more than others, what content drives you more fresh eyeballs into your site.
I just spent a few minutes in my Google Analytics looking at the most eyeballed content on Digital Photography School. I came up with a little list of the content that is getting more eyeballs for us. Everytime we do a myth-busting blog post, that gets shared a lot, that gets more eyeballs, people like to share any kind of content that busts myths, or that disrupts commonly held ideas. If you sort of attack a commonly held idea and show the flip side to it, then people like to discuss that, they like to share that.
Humor, any kind of content that has humor in it, tends to get shared more. Debate, when you write this versus this, people like to share that to justify their own opinions on those sort things. Research results, anytime we do a poll with our readers and then present back the results of that poll, that kind of content gets shared a lot. You can take that to the next level by doing a survey or by doing more significant research.
I know, again, use Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner, they research their readers every year in a major piece of research and then they present that information back to their readership. I know for a fact that that kind of content gets shared a lot, because it’s cutting edge research findings. Listicles, list posts, very simple to write a list posts and it’s a kind of content that whether you love it or hate it, it gets shared more in most cases than the same content written in a non-list format.
We find cheat sheets work really well for us. Infographics, any sort of visual content in that way. Long form content for us is getting shared like crazy. It’s not our short posts that always get shared, it’s the long meaty stuff that people share with other people. That kind of content that’s really meaty, that’s really in depth, that goes the extra mile, that makes the people look good who share it. I will share that content, because it makes me look good, it makes me look like I’ve read that whole article, even though maybe I haven’t, although I usually do.
The other type of content that works well for us in terms of shareable content is beginner guides. This doesn’t tend to get shared on mass. If you are a beginner guide, it may not get shared from a big Facebook page, unless it really relates well. But you might find that people share it with other individuals that they know who it’s relevant for.
For example, we had a post, can’t remember the exact thought, but it was something like your guide to learning how to use your first digital SLR. When I shared that on Facebook, I see a lot of people tagging Mari, Mari you should read this, that one on one sharing can be quite prolific on those beginner guides. That’s kind of just a little list of shareable content that works on our site.
It’s different from blog to blog though, one great resource that you can use to find this content is to check out BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo I think is just a brilliant resource. I’ve upgraded my account to the premium one and I think it’s well worth it, because you get a lot more data. BuzzSumo allows you to put in any domain, so you can put in your own blog’s domain and then click whatever the button name is, and it will pump out for you the most shared content on your own blog. That is golden information.
It will give you information that you can’t find in your Google Analytics, because it will also show you which social networks each piece of content has been shared on and how many times it’s been shared. You can look at this list and go, “Okay, what’s the most shared content on my site?” Begin to look for some trends in that. What I do when I plug my domains into BuzzSumo is to begin to look at topics. What themes and topics have been shared a lot? That will give me hints as to the kind of content that my readers like to share.
I look at the format of the post, the medium. Is it a video? Is it a listicle? Is it some sort of visual content? Is it long form content or short form content? Is it curated content? Is it someone else’s that I’ve embedded or is it my own? Is it for beginners or is it for advanced? Are there any key words in the titles that seem to recur? You will find over time that there are certain keywords in your titles that trigger sharing, so be on the lookout for that.
That’s BuzzSumo, you can use their free version and get some of the data, but if you want to get all the data, you need to upgrade there. I’ve got no connection with them. I’m not an affiliate or anything, although maybe I should sign up as one, if they’ve got one.
The other thing you can do with BuzzSumo is analyze your competitors content or other bloggers in your niche, other podcasters. You can do the same analysis, plug in their URL and you’ll see the most shared content on their site. Again, you should be looking at topics, the format of their post, the length of their post, the keyword titles, and that type of thing.
Here’s the thing with shareable content, you really don’t want to go overboard with it. It’s really important to create content that will be shared or that has a chance of being shared, but don’t get obsessed with it. This is a trap that I see many bloggers falling into, is that they get completely addicted to the eyeball. The feeling when you get a rush of traffic from one of these pieces of content is magic. It’s great. We love that feeling and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t, but we need to remember that it’s just the beginning of this process.
Getting the eyeball is just the first step in getting people interested, connected, and engaged. We need to work on these other three areas as well. Yes, work on getting the eyeball, but do not become obsessed with it, do not ignore those next steps in the journey. A quick tip with shareable content is that you should always link it to something deeper in your site. Always look for opportunities to get people to another type of content on your sites.
If you’ve got an infographic, find a related tutorial that you’ve written that you can link it to. If you’ve got a humorous piece, that sometimes can get a bit harder, but maybe you want to link it to another humorous piece of content or something that kind of vaguely relates to it. You want to get them deeper into your site and to a point where they’re more likely to subscribe and want to connect with you. You want to take them from the eyeball to get the second look. That’s the type of content you want to be linking to constantly with your shareable content.
Have a look at the pieces of content on your site that are doing well and then look for opportunities to link deeper into your site.
I’ll leave you with a little quote from Seth Goding as we finish up talking about shareable content. He writes, “Entertaining the people who clicked on 50 things a day will get you numbers, but they won’t make a difference. Always be looking for that opportunity to take readers to the next level.”
Key strategy number three for getting more eyeballs on your blog is repurpose your best content. Repurposing content is just a great way of getting fresh eyeballs on that site. The big lessons that you need to learn and that I’ve learned over the last few years, is that if content has been shared a lot in one form, then it’s highly likely to be shared again in another form.
Let me give you a really quick example on this. There’s a post that I wrote back on ProBlogger, back in 2012, I’ll link to it in today’s show notes. It’s called Can You Really Make Money Blogging? And then subtitled, seven things that I know about making money from blogging. This piece of content did really well. It came up in my BuzzSumo report, as being one of my most shared pieces of content. I began to ask myself, “Where else could I share this piece of content?” I repurpose that blog post into a talk. That was the first thing that I did.
I gave a talk at a conference in Sydney, I think it was last year or the year before. I’ve actually given that talk two or three times now, probably about a thousand people have seen that talk. Already I’ve got fresh eyeballs just through giving a talk. I took the slides from that talk and tweaked them a bit, so they didn’t rely upon my voice. The slides themselves told the whole story.
Then, I took those slides and I put them on SlideShare, which is a tool where you can present as you can put slides, it’s owned by LinkedIn. It got featured on the front page of SlideShare, because I drove a bit of social media traffic to it. Those slides are linked back to the blog post. I think that those slides got viewed around 5,500 times over the coming months.
I took the same slides and put some music behind them, put them into a video format, and put them on YouTube. I think I also put them on Vimeo. The YouTube clip of those slides, and it goes from three minutes to four minutes, I think. It got about 6,000 views, and again, it linked back to the blog post.
I took the same blog post and put it up to Medium, which is another blogging tool. I tweaked it a little bit so it was a bit different, so it wasn’t duplicate content. That Medium post got around 2,000 views.
I took the same content for my talk and repurposed it into a podcast, episode 32 of the ProBlogger Podcast, it’s called Can you Really Make Money Blogging? I’ll walk you through the same Seven Things That I Know About Making Money. That episode had 20,000 downloads.
You can see here that the eyeballs on this same piece of content are starting to mount up now. The great thing is that in each of the places I put it, it continues to get fresh eyeballs, because YouTube is a search engine, because Live Share is essentially a search engine, iTunes is a search engine, people are searching for content in all of these places and so it continues to get more eyeballs for me.
Really, the places I’ve repurposed that content to have now had more eyeballs than the blog post that I first did. If you’ve got a piece of content that’s doing well in one form, you should always be asking yourself the question, “Where else could I repurpose this?” Maybe you could repurpose it into any of those ways, maybe you could create an infographic or a cheat sheet, maybe you could picture it through a newspaper to be written there, maybe you could picture it to someone to interview you on a podcast, there’s any number of ways that you can repurpose content.
The last thing that I want to briefly touch on is search engine optimization, and this is because I’ve really already talked about that. As I just said, YouTube is a search engine, people are searching YouTube for ‘make money blogging’ and that video comes up.
Another quick example, I wrote a post back on Digital Photography School a few years ago on a Leica camera that I owned. The blog post was a dismal failure, it hardly got viewed at all. I took the same content and I stood in front of the camera, recorded myself talking there on video, and showed this little Leica camera. That particular video has now been viewed 60,000 times. YouTube is a search engine. People are now searching YouTube for that camera name and my video comes up.
Another place that is a search engine that you might not think of as the search engine is the App Store. A good example of someone using an app that a blogger could do is Jarrod Robinson from the PE Geek. He’s created this little content aggregation app. Jarrod, his blog is for physical education teachers. He teaches them how to use technology. He basically created this little content app and it aggregates content from his blog, his podcast, and then it promotes the workshops that he does and the membership sites that he has.
Jarrod gets thousands of downloads of that app every month. Not only that, people get push notifications every time he does a new blog post. The App Store has found him a whole new readership, so that maybe another area that you could be thinking about in terms of your search engine optimization, putting yourself into a place where people are searching for information, iTunes is another one.
Starting a podcast has been one of the best things that I’ve done in the last few years for ProBlogger. A whole heap of people find me, find ProBlogger for the first time, because they do a search in iTunes. I hear this story all the time and I’m sure some of you listening to this podcast right now found this podcast, because you did a search ‘how to blog’ or ‘how to make money from blogging’ or something to do with blogging and a podcast of mine came up. It gets you eyeballs, it’s great sources of free traffic. Then of course, there’s Google Search Engine Optimization as well. I will link in today’s show notes to two episodes that we’ve recorded on that topic, because it is a big topic.
The one thing I will say though about Google Search Engine Optimization, that we’ve done a little bit of work on recently, is Google’s featured snippets. Have you heard of Google’s featured snippets? Have you all seen them? When you do a search on Google these days, sometimes Google puts into the search results the answer to your question. One of the most common ones is how hot is it in Melbourne? It gives you the temperature in Melbourne, or what is the time in New York, and it tells you the time in New York, and then lists all the search results underneath it.
If you were listed underneath the answer, you’re probably not going to get a whole heap of traffic where you might have in the past. Some people don’t like featured snippets, but sometimes featured snippets can work to your advantage. Sometimes, Google gives you a snippet of your blog post as the answer, and then pulls in a little image from it, and then puts the search results under that, but it also links to the source of the content.
One of the featured snippets that we’ve had recently, we’ve re-optimized our blog post called How To Make Money Blogging and we re-optimized that post so that it would get a featured snippets slot also that we hoped it would. We found that when we moved from just having the number one search result, to having that number one search result and the featured snippet, that traffic to that blog post increased some way between 150%-200%. It changes from day-to-day a little bit, but by getting that featured snippet, we’re getting about 200% more eyeballs on our content.
I’ll link in today’s show notes to a few tutorials from around the web on how to write that type of content. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of tweaking the blog post that you’ve got, to include a little list of answers to the questions that people are searching for. SEO is a great area that you really should be paying some attention to. I do recommend you go back and listen to the episode that I recorded with Jim Stewart on that particular topic. I’ll link to it in today’s show notes.
There are some techniques that I would encourage you to think about in terms of getting more eyeballs on your site. We’ve talked there about guest content, we’ve talked there about shareable content, we’ve talked there about repurposing your content, we’ve also talked there about search engine optimization. Not only Google, but things like YouTube, the App Store, iTunes, and plenty of other places where people do searches as well.
Now remember here, what we’re talking about is the process of taking your readers from being unaware, from being cold towards your blog, your brand, and you to being supper engaged. This is what we’ve been talking about today, getting the eyeball is just the first step.
In the next episode, I want to talk about what you need to do next. The next step is about getting people interested. It’s about going beyond the eyeball and getting people to look twice. Snapping people out of that zombie like state that they surf the wave in and making them pause to take in what it is that you’re doing. To make them go, “Ha, this looks interesting.” That’s what the next episode is about.
If you’re not already subscribed to iTunes or your favorite podcast listening app, please hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out on this next episode, because I’ve got some really great techniques to help you to create great first impressions that will help you to make people look twice for your blog.
I’d love to hear what you think about today’s show on getting eyeballs for your blog. Love to hear what you do to get eyeballs on your blog. Do you do something on Pinterest or something on Instagram? There’s a whole heap more that we could talk about, share your tips, share the knowledge in today’s show notes ProBlogger.com/podcast/113. Thanks for listening and I’ll chat with you in a couple of days time.
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