How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog (or Video or Podcast), Part 1

It Starts with Tweaking Your Copywriting (Don't Fret -- I’ll Show You How)

Do you have a blog? Or a podcast? Or put out a video regularly?

If so, you’re probably hip to the bad news: Most of your audience probably won’t see your next posting of that content.

Given the restrictive algorithms of the main social media platforms (e.g., only 5.2% of a Facebook page’s followers will see a given post; and only 0.25% will engage with it), we can only expect a tiny percentage of our followers to see and click on the post that promotes our blog (or podcast or video – which I’ll refer to collectively as our “primary content”).

And even with a healthy-sized email list to which we send the link to our latest bit of value-bomb content, only about 20% of our subscribers (average open rate in Education & Training segment) will actually SEE the email content.

Then, even with a strong open rate, with an average click-through rate (CTR) of just 3%, fewer than one in 10 of our subscribers will read, hear or watch it the primary content we’re linking to, at least in the near term.

Which is a problem not just for the visibility of the primary content we spend so much time crafting: As I talked about in a previous post, it’s a problem for our bottom line as well, because the fewer people who see our primary content, the less we’re growing our like and trust factor among them, stifling our ability to convert them to client or customer.

How can we beat those poor percentages?

...and get more eyeballs on our primary content, grow that like and trust factor and build our business by converting more clients and sales? In this post I’ll share:

  1. The 6 Factors that Increase Traffic to Your Blog/Podcast/Video
  2. The one factor you can most quickly and easily tweak for better results.
  3. Specifically how to do those tweaks to increase your Open and Click-Through Rates…

…so that more people see your primary content…you build more like and trust…and your bottom line grows over time.

Generally speaking, there are many angles of attack for increasing traffic to our blog/podcast/video -- primarily, these…

6 General Factors that Increase Traffic to Your Blog/Podcast/Video

  • Topic: Obviously, we have to give our Tribe the content they’re hungry for – relating to their interest areas, pain points, desired outcomes, etc.
  • Organic Promotional Effort: Sending to our (hopefully growing) email list and posting to our own (and others’) social media channels, among other tactics.
  • Paid Promotional Effort: We can of course spend money to get more traffic.
  • SEO: Further to organic efforts, this is one of the most important factors not just for any particular blog, but for traffic to our website generally.
  • Titles, Subject Lines, and Headlines: The key bits of copy that help us promote our primary content.

Some of these are big topics deserving of a dedicated blog, so we’ll not be tackling them all here.

Fortunately, the simplest moves to immediately increase traffic to our primary content are centered around the last of those six factors:

Improving Our Titles, Subject Lines and Headlines

Why? Because the key metrics that maximize the number of eyeballs on our primary content -- Open Rate and CTR – are driven by how much INTEREST (or lack thereof) our titles, subject lines and headlines generate.

One of my favorite quotes from my past life as an ad exec brings this point home:

“People don’t read advertisements. They read what interests them. And sometimes that’s an ad.”  – Howard Luck Gossage

Replace “advertisements” and “ad” with “social media posts, blogs and newsletters” and you’ll see why this old-school quote is timeless.

In fact, without interest driven by enticing titles, subject lines and headlines, NONE of the other five factors really matter!

Got a great topic? Yay! But if the title of your blog/podcast/video or the subject line of your email promoting the blog doesn’t entice the open, your topic is irrelevant.

Got a great social media promotional effort ready to rock? Maybe even a paid ad? Props to you! But if the headlines in those posts don’t entice the click, your efforts (and $$$) are squandered.

Done a lot of work to beef up your blog’s SEO? So much so that you’re landing on the first page of search results? Awesome! But if the title of the blog and the meta description (the “headline”) appearing in the results don’t entice the click, your SEO is meaningless.

So, interest, created by those key bits of copy – titles, subject lines and headlines – is pretty freakin’ RELEVANT!

And how do we generate more interest using these lines of copy? Three words: More interesting copywriting. (Don’t run away! It’s easier than it sounds!)

Increase Traffic to Your Blog by Tweaking Your Copywriting

I know how hard writing can be for us coaches and solopreneurs. We’re so busy wearing so many different hats, that marketing/writing hat is among the most uncomfortable. In fact, I am a painfully slow writer (and reader), yet that is basically what I do for a living (besides business and productivity coaching).

And it’s all the more difficult to write great copy that meets the gold standard -- that educates, entertains and inspires!

But we don’t have to be seasoned copywriters to improve our copywriting enough to make a difference in our marketing metrics. To wit, here are a few general guidelines to help you tweak all your copy – whether titles, subject lines, headlines or any lines!

Gotta Have Pain...or Gain. We all know generally what our Tribe’s or prospects' biggest pain points are – their struggles, frustrations, needs. And likewise, their biggest gain points – hopes, desires, ideal outcomes, etc. An executive and leadership coach I’ve worked with calls these “the pain and the hunger.” Love that!

And these are key in all of our content creation – but especially in titles, subject lines and headlines.

“Always remember to write TO YOUR TRIBE. Write to their pain points. Write to their hopes.”  - Alan P. Brown

Get “Buzzfeedy.” Ever done a quiz or read a post from Buzzfeed or Cosmo? Their titles are super click-able: “5 Gag-Worthy Mistakes to Avoid in Your SO-AND-SO”; “Three Simple Ways to BOOM”; “4 No-Brainer Tricks for YADA YADA.”

They’re short, fun, and enticing -- designed to make the reader think, “I can’t NOT open this email/read this article!”  A few examples you should play around with:

  • The Big Mistake You May Be Making: [PAIN/GAIN POINT]
  • 3 Things You Need to Know About [PAIN/GAIN POINT]
  • The #1 Question I Get Asked About [PAIN/GAIN POINT]
  • Here’s Your Cheat Sheet For [PAIN/GAIN POINT]

Use Power Words. In writing copy we might shy away from superlatives. But well-chosen Power Words can turn a so-so social media post or email into a click-fest.

So what are Power Words? You probably have a sense, and you’ve perhaps seen some lists of them. Sure, they can be simple superlatives: Instead of “Big”, I’ll say “Massive” or “Huge” or “Yuge-with-a-Y!” (Yes, I’m from New Jersey. That’s how we say it.)

But Power Words do more than emphasize or exclaim.

  • They can make your content sound more like quick-wins with words like “cheat sheet”, “no-sweat” or “no-brainer.”
  • They can pique curiosity: “little-known”, “cringe-worthy” or “common myths.”
  • They can boost the impression of value and impact with “hero” language: “Like a boss”, “kick-ass” or “turbocharge.”
  • And they can accelerate your like-and-trust factor: “Science-backed”, “guaranteed” or “best-selling.”

And in each case, they increase INTEREST! So take a look at your recent titles and headlines, and see where they might have benefitted from a little more POWER.

Generate Multiple Title Drafts. In surveys of blog writers, those with the best results say they draft upwards of 25 titles before settling on the one. While this is a bit extreme (not to mention extremely time-consuming), we should be drafting at least 3-5 alternate titles (ditto for subject lines and headlines); taking a step back; and then picking our favorite – doing so based on the best practices above and below, along with a sprinkle of gut feeling.

And for your blog/podcast/video titles, it’s wise to “test” your top three by posting them on social media for a vote!

With these general copywriting guidelines, you’re going to get better engagement with your content all around.

And in my next post, I share some specifics around how to boost your Open Rates so more people have the chance to engage in your blog, podcast or video.

Meantime, if writing is anywhere near as difficult and frustrating for you as it is for me, then I invite you to click HERE to get my free video, 5 Mental Performance Hacks I Wish I Knew as a Struggling Executive!

In it, I share the main secret to managing your brain’s energy; a simple hack for re-booting your brain, and other powerful “brain hacks”!

And if you need a great blog post (or podcast episode or YouTube video) but you're fresh out of fresh ideas? Here are five blog titles that will practically write the blog for you.

What are your thoughts on this topic? I'd love to know. Shoot me an email at [email protected] or DM me on Instagram @alanpbrown.




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