How to maximise your traffic with great-quality content

Stuart Garlick

One of the most common questions asked by people who are starting to write a blog, or produce a website on which their writing and other online content will be hosted, is how to find readers or users.

There are millions of blogs that don’t get many views, so why should yours be any different? Well, it can be — and here are some practical tips that will help you be in a great position to make your content worthwhile.

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Write the kind of content that people want to read

It’s really important to make sure that, when you write content, you are aware of the audience you are writing for, because this is key to getting adequate views for your work. The more people enjoy what you’ve written, and find it useful, the more will keep returning to your site for more information, possibly even clicking on some of your ads, or perhaps making you money through purchasing one of the products you review.

When done well, content can create a virtuous circle, ensuring that not only does your article get read and enjoyed, but that the next piece will, too. Equally, you should find that if you keep on producing high-quality content, then the audience you have gained will increase. This only happens if you’re persistent and you show a strong commitment to updating your content regularly — do this, and people will learn to plan viewing your content into their daily or weekly routine.

Plan out your content

If you haven’t produced content for a site before, it will be of great help to you if you can draw up a chart of what you want to write or produce, and when you want it to go up on the site. This way you can create a strategy for your content, and ensure that posts are spread out and delivered at times when people will most appreciate them.

Make a plan of what to post and when — this gives you a head start when it's time to hit 'Publish'
Make a plan of what to post and when — this gives you a head start when it's time to hit "Publish"

We recommend using a Google Sheet to create a content plan, but any spreadsheet will work. Look at how successful blogs or sites related to your subject matter have spread out their content — that will give you ideas how to do it well.

Promote your content on the right channels

This needs a bit of thinking-through before you dive in — and that’s because each social media channel is a little bit tribal, and is suited to specific kinds of content marketing. The marketing technique you choose, and hence the social media channel you use, will depend entirely on what your content is trying to do, and what kind of audience you are aiming at.

It’s crucial that you work regularly at whichever social channel you choose, because only with regular posts will you gain followers and keep the people who have already come on board interested.

This is one of the reasons it makes sense to only focus on one or maybe two social media platforms in order to promote your work; whether you choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, or another network will depend on what you want to achieve from doing so, and who you want to reach.

Twitter is great for catching the eye of businesses, or other writers and journalists — that’s because it is an inherently word-based network, where decent writing is appreciated, and where it is good practice to share links you like with your followers through retweeting (a straightforward share) or quote-retweeting (where you embed the original tweet in a new tweet). With Twitter also being algorithmic, it means that you’re going to get a lot of benefit from repeated posts at times in the day when your followers are online.

Facebook is the old-school social media network of the four we will focus on. It used to be by far the most important of any network, because almost everyone had an account there, and the number of shares on Facebook would often dwarf anything on the other channels.

Much like this camera, Facebook is seen as old-school among other popular social media networks
Much like this camera, Facebook is seen as old-school among its competitors

This isn’t so much the case any longer, with Facebook having changed its algorithm to show more users' personal posts from individuals more of the time, and corporate posts from companies, news sources, and websites less of the time. It serves partly as a way to incentivise purchasing an ad, or “boosting” your post, and partly as a reaction to the distaste people have shown for fake-news sites in recent years.

This is damaging for websites trying to get their content viewed and using Facebook as a promotional tool, as it means fewer eyeballs are seeing your posts. This doesn’t exclude Facebook as an option for promotion in order to make money from your content, but it may make you think about other options in addition.

Another such option, for websites that have a lot of good-quality visuals attached to them, is Instagram. This is only worth going into if you have content that is connected to something innately visual, such as food, fashion, or travel. If you’re blogging about something a bit more difficult to visualise, like, say, accounting, then you need to assess if Instagram will win you followers and, hence, business. If not, stick to Twitter and possibly Facebook.

Reddit is the least-understood of the social networks, as it looks and behaves like an old-fashioned message board, is not the friendliest place for new users, and is full of people who will sense from a long way off if you have a limited knowledge of your subject matter. If you are a true specialist, find a subreddit (a board within the application) and post links to your content, and also take the opportunity to ask and answer questions, and you’re well on the way to finding people who will appreciate your content.

Present your work well

No matter how good your content, it's how you present it that gets you noticed
No matter how good your content, it's how you present it that gets you noticed

Although we’ve talked so far about creating content that stands up on its own two feet and isn’t superficial or over-reliant on gimmicks, it is still critical that you have somewhere pleasing-to-the-eye on which to post the articles or videos, or whatever you have created. A cluttered website design can cause potential readers to run away in seconds, sending your ‘bounce rate’ (users who leave after one page) rocketing.
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