off the beaten path

Grow Your Blog’s Traffic With These “Off The Beaten Path” Ideas

In Traffic by Lori Soard0 Comments

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably tried some of the traditional marketing methods out there, such as  advertising on various sites. However, by keeping an open mind to “off the beaten path” marketing ideas to grow your blog traffic, you can generate more blog traffic and build a blog brand’s credibility even faster with less competition. Another advantage to marketing in unusual places is that you will reach customers you might not come across in other forums and get a leg up on your competition, who may not have a presence in this out-of-the-way  online venues.

Breaking New Ground

When you’re ready to add some test markets to your promotional plan, there are a handful of unique promotions that you’ll want to start with. These sites and methods get high traffic and have been successful for other entrepreneurs.

SlideShare

According to SlideShare, about 3 billion slides per month are viewed on this website. That breaks down into 1,140 views per second. The majority audience at SlideShare is made up of professionals, such as business owners and executives. If your blog is one that would appeal to this demographic, then creating a slide or two on topics you’re an expert in can be a good way to introduce your business to new people.

The slideshows are similar in nature to a Power Point presentation. In fact, if you create a slideshow in Power Point, you can then upload it to SlideShare and allow it to serve a dual purpose. The site is different than other social media networks, because it is less interactive. However, it is very informational, so you can teach people about what you do in a fun way.

As a blogger, you’re probably aware that Google’s algorithms have changed drastically in the last couple of years. The new Google appears to favor information that has high value and is quick and easy to read. SlideShare covers both of these requirements, so the site ranks well with Google’s search engines. This means that your slideshow may rank better on this site and you’ll get more browser mileage out posting a slideshow here than you might elsewhere.

You will want to make a couple of changes to get the most traffic possible from your posted slideshow. Most importantly, you’ll want to add a clickable hyperlink to your website at the end of the slideshow. You’ll also want to use the embed feature to embed the slideshow onto your own website.

Pinterest

You likely already have a presence for your business on Twitter due to the massive numbers of visitors using the site. According to Pew Internet Research in their Social Networking Use report (May, 2013), about 18% of online adults use Twitter. However, Pinterest is within reach of Twitter’s coat tails at 15%.

With that many people actively using this interesting website, this can be one place where your blog can have a presence and reach new users that the competition may have overlooked. Pew states that 68.2% of the users on the site are women. If your blog would be of interest to women, then this site may be of particular interest to you.

The site is driven by images. Most people going to Pinterest are looking for crafts, recipes and interesting sayings that they can then share on other social media networks or save on “pin” on their boards to share with friends on Pinterest or use later. To take advantage of this site, you might want to:

  • Create some motivational quotes and combine them with beautiful background images.
  • Come up with a how-to article that relates to your blog’s theme and share it on Pinterest.
  • Offer a recipe each week that ties into your blog. For example, if you write a blog with golfing tips, you could create a recipe called “Golf Day Stew” that golfers could allow to cook in a crock pot while out golfing.

When it comes to Pinterest, if your blog doesn’t naturally fit into the crafting and recipe type format, you may have to think outside the box a little to come up with a way to reach new customers through this format.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging isn’t exactly a new idea. However, you can take this concept off your typical course and reach out to new markets. What businesses are related to yours that are not competition? For example, if you write a wedding planning blog, can you guest blog on sites about floral arrangements, shoes, cake decorating and photography? Think about topics you can write for each of these types of blogs that would tie into what you’re already doing but still be unique. Example, you could write an article about simple floral arrangements for a country themed outdoor wedding for the floral arrangements site and an article about choosing the best photographer for your wedding for the photography site.

Another unique concept is to create a “blog tour” that lasts 30 days. You will need to find 30 blog owners willing to let you guest blog and come up with 30 unique posts.

You may feel a little uncertain about guest blogging. After all, Matt Cutts, Google Spokesperson, recently stated that using guest blogging to drive traffic to your site could potentially hurt your overall ranking. However, if you seek out quality blogs and provide quality content, you will gain new visitors through these posts. So, it just depends on what your overall goal is. Keep in mind that Google doesn’t like backlinks just for the sake of backlinking. Make sure you choose quality websites to guest blog on and that you only link to your own site once, if it even makes sense to do so.

There may even be occasions where you guest blog simply to increase name and brand recognition and don’t include a link back to your site at all. The choice is yours. The important thing is to be smart about making those choices. Stay away from ad-heavy blogs that might be flagged as spam sites or take a hit from Google. It is important which sites you link to or that link to you with new Google algorithm changes, so just be aware and make linking decisions accordingly.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is one of those sites that pulls up in Google often. You’ve probably noticed it when you’ve searched for various terms. It holds prime real estate value. It would be nice to get a piece of the 116,835,000 visitors it claims. However, Wikipedia is tricky. If you go over there and start adding links to your own site in the hopes of getting visitors from them, you’re likely to get pinged by Wikipedia editors and blocked from the site.

Essentially, you have to spend a little time and get involved on Wikipedia. Talk to others in the community. Edit articles without any self-interest and without adding your own link. It’s smart to stick to educational and government resources when doing this as they are seen as extremely credible. You can thus establish yourself as an authority on your topic and someone else in the community may begin to use your articles as references.

This process can take time, so this isn’t a quick fix to get on Wikipedia. However, having just one article linked to on there can help your website traffic increase.

Liveblogging

Liveblogging events has taken on a life of its own. Nielson announced that during the 2013 Super Bowl 26.1 million tweets were posted. The year before it was around 13 million. There is a definite uptick in the number of people micro-blogging about an event as that event goes on. However, your blog can take advantage of the popularity of this trend in a number of ways.

  • Install a live feed on your own website with WordPress plugin LiveBlog.
  • Place a feed in your sidebar and utilize a service like Feedjit.
  • Use Pirate Pad and invite your customers to get involved in reporting on the event.
  • Host an event, such as a guest speaker, and then live blog about that event on Twitter.

The other thing you’ll want to do is try to find an event that makes sense for the theme of your own blog. For example, if you blog about daily soaps, then liveblog about the Daytime Emmy Awards. You may even want to line up an interview or two ahead of time with some of the newer stars on daytime soaps and include a link to those posts within your liveblogging feed.

Become a Trend Watcher

Ultimately, to benefit from ideas out of the norm, you have to become a bit of a trend watcher. What are the latest social media sites people in the age demographic you are targeting are frequenting? For example, if you are targeting readers in their teens and early 20s, Instagram seems to be a favorite. How can your site get involved there and gain a following?

On the other hand, if your demographic is senior citizens, you’ll want to seek out what is trending in that age group. What current topics are of concern to seniors and how can you tap into that with your blog marketing?

Be open to new ideas. Pay attention to what other blog owners are doing as well as what they aren’t yet doing. Be a trend watcher, so you can become a trend setter with your marketing plan and forge a new path that puts you ahead of your competition.

 

Lori Soard

Lori Soard has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 1996, writing on topics such as business, technology and promotion. She has a bachelor’s in English Education and a PhD in Journalism. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, online and she’s had several books published. Since 1997, she has worked as a web designer and promoter for authors and small businesses. She even worked for a short time ranking websites for a popular search engine and studying in-depth SEO tactics for a number of clients. She enjoys hearing from her readers.