By Elisa Black-Taylor
Michael’s article yesterday on Internet Expansion. Websites vs Users, inspired me to write this article to let everyone know how I’ve increased readership of my article, as well as visits to my personal website. Between Michael’s training, and trial-and-error (what I call sink or swim technique) I’ve more than quadrupled the number of people reading my articles.
Here are my best tips.
MAKE SEARCH ENGINES WORK FOR YOU
For most of the writer’s out there, search engines (such as Google) play a big role in how many people visit your website to read your article. I’ve determined three ways to use search engines to my advantage by dividing my writing into one of three categories. These are
- Breaking news. This means a website owner has to stay on top of the news. News is only considered news for around 48 hours after it occurs. If a writer can produce an article on breaking news, it will rank higher in search engines when a visitor is looking for information on the topic. Make a list of top sites that offer breaking news and check them several times a day. A serious writer may find it necessary to produce an article at “un-Godly hours” just to stay on top of the rankings.
- Good content on health or behavior. Article title should be short and to the point so it’s ranked near the top in the search engine. This is necessary for those who have a problem with their cat (or dog or whatever the topic).
- Catchy title. These draw the reader in and make them want to read the story. An example would be “9 Ways My Cat Tortures My Dog.” This is a fictitious title, but you get the point. Interesting titles create curiosity. A potential visitor can’t help but want to read an article with a great title. While they’re on your website, hopefully they’ll take time to look around for other articles that interest them.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA AND PRIVATE WEBSITES
Social media is a necessity these days to get the word out that you’ve published new content to your website. With so many internet users, and these users not having time or thought to constantly check your personal page, you have to get the word out to them. Here are a few ways to let the world know you’ve been writing.
- Facebook, Google+, Twitter. Have a personal presence on one or more of these and post the link to your newest article. Don’t be afraid to repost past articles that offer good content. Sometimes this can get that article back into circulation.
- Facebook groups or like pages that reflect you or your subject. Michael (PoC) is fortunate there is a Pictures-of-cats.org group page on Facebook. The group has more than 4000 members (current 4098 and rising), with more asking to join every day. While it’s mostly used by cat lovers posting cute photos, it’s also a great place to post new articles.
- Networking using other groups. Know what groups are out there on Facebook and post new articles to their pages according to subject. There are groups for FeLV, FIV, strays, black cats, etc. Make a list of groups who can help spread the word about a newly published article. Also find out who the page or group administrator is and ask them if you can share new content on their personal social media page.
HAVE A PERSONAL WEBPAGE
These days it’s good to have a “person webpage” to tie all of your writing together. This page shouldn’t be associated with any social media. Michael may have no need of this since his website here is his “presence,” but I have a private site that’s divided into categories. For those who want to check it out, it’s at http://furbyshouse.com. I write on several topics now, with the article title and link listed on the page that best categorizes it.
When using a non-social media webpage, be sure to post an updated link to it at least once weekly on your Facebook or other social page. Include a photo if at all possible so the post is noticed. This keeps the social media tied into your website and hopefully your friends will want to check out new content.
My only problem with the personal webpage is having very little time to update date it. I’ve literally had to schedule time into my work week to make sure everything I’ve written is at least listed. When you write multiple articles on a daily basis, it’s hard to get everything done.
OFFER CONTESTS OR INCENTIVES
Michael has recently done this with the idea to pay 5 cents for each article comment made on his website. Another method to increase website traffic is to sponsor either a photo or a writing contest. Visitors can send in cute photos or submit an article related to the primary content on the website. Ask those who enter contests to invite their friends to vote on their entry. This drives quite a bit of new traffic to the site.
COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT
Commenting on the work of others, as well as answering those who comment on your writing, is very important. Not only does this build a good relationship with those who visit your site, your name will most likely end up in the search engine each time you comment. The more your name is listed in a search engine (for any reason), the more famous your writing will become.
One last tip is to link past articles into new articles you put online. Michael is very good at this, and he’s taught me well. If you’re careful and link good articles together, you can keep a visitor on your website for hours.
One thing I now do, that Michael doesn’t is to list my references. I’ve been told by people who comment on my articles that it helps them to go back and look over the source. It’s also my way of keeping track of where I obtain information for an article. My writing on dogs and family issues require this, and it’s kept me out of trouble on a few occasions when my editor has had to go back and see where the content originated.
Michael, friends, have I left out anything important here. Any tips you want to add to help those who want to increase traffic to their website?