How to effectively translate your time into traffic:
There are only so many hours in day, and if you’re at all like me, those hours seems woefully lacking when compared to the length of my online marketing to-do list. As web designers and SEOs, you all know the importance of optimization, whether in reference to user experience and ease of access or with regards to search engines, but there is one other thing that must be optimized in order to create innovative designs or marketing strategies that fit within your ever-dwindling timeframe. Time management, or, more accurately, “process optimization,” is an important skill to continue sharpening, and this post describes nine effective tactics to optimize your blogging and online marketing process, and if implemented on a consistent basis, will help you translate your time into traffic much more efficiently.
The first is participation. When you approach blogging as a tool to attention and traffic to your site, is extraordinarily important to not only create engaging and exciting content, but to insert yourself in relevant communities and participate in discussions about your topic of focus. Moz’s Rand Fishkin describes participation as “people contributing comments…people sharing on social media…people replying to you, people sending you e-mails about the content that you’re putting out, people inviting you to contribute in other places, potentially in-person talks, or do this video, or would you do this webinar for us.” The goal here is to add value to the community in which you find yourself participating, so that you begin to be known as a influential and valuable member of the community. Your goal is to earn participation, and to do this, you need to participate intelligently, almost surgically, especially when facing that time crunch.
The second tactic, connection, builds upon participation by reaching out and interacting directly with the other influential and valuable members of your online communities. It’s crucial to build personal connections with the people who contribute and participate immediately, because, as Rand mentions “…it will reinforce this idea of them coming back. I can’t tell you how many times our community team here at Moz has seen someone tweet something nice about us and as soon as they get that first response, it builds that engagement and respect and fandom for life. It’s very, very powerful.”
Mention, retweet, and quote
Next, make sure you are mentioning, retweeting, and quoting influencers. Again, this tactic is implied in the above two strategies, but it bears repeating. Once you’ve found the influencers within your online community, become an asset and valuable contact for them. If they post something intriguing, exciting, thoughtful, or otherwise impactful, spread it around the web! These people are after the exact same thing as you: more readers, more followers, and greater online visibility. If you scratch their back, they will be much more likely to help you out. “Those folks are tremendously excited to be mentioned even once somewhere; and they are much likely, much more likely to become proponents and advocates of the content you produced if you’re mentioning them. This can be a very, very powerful tip. I like going after the not big influencers, but niche influencers.” Another important thing to note about the sharing aspect of our time-optimization process is that it is incredibly fast and easy. It usually doesn’t take more than one click to repost good articles, so if you’re not, why aren’t you? This is one of the easiest things an online marketeer can do, and it is particularly satisfying because you are simultaneously promoting your own brand while helping others promote their innovative ideas. A rising tide lifts all ships, right?
Quality over quantity
When it comes to content, put quality over quantity. Most of the people whose articles or posts I most enjoy reading only publish a post once every couple months, but they do it with such elegance and intelligence that I can’t help but stay glued to their timelines waiting anxiously for them to release their next great lesson. To bring the discussion back to time management and process optimization, this is a key tactic because as long as you are focused on producing high-quality content, you don’t have to be pumping posts out every day! Take it at the proper pace, and don’t be concerned by infrequent posts, as long as you are sure they are adding something valuable to the collective consciousness. There is already too much substandard content on the Internet, and you’ll stand out much more if you refrain from adding to the clamoring mob. Here’s another great quote from Rand’s Whiteboard Friday talk: “I have actually found that those blogs today that are earning outsized influence, outsized voices can often be those that are only producing content once a week, once every month, couple times a month. You don’t want to go like a whole quarter without producing something. But in can be the case that if you know that you only have a certain amount of time to invest and you would rather produce the most remarkable thing that you can once every thirty days, rather than try and write every day or every night, I would bias to make that decision today.”
These are a few of the things I keep on my mind when drafting blog posts that are intended to draw more traffic to my sites, and I hope you’ve found them useful, engaging, or inspiring! Stay tuned for the second half of this post next week. While you’re here, check out our portfolio page to see the exciting projects we’ve been working on recently.