Your blog is a website. There’s nothing special or magical about it. The same basics for good website design apply. You need to drive traffic to your blog just as you would if you had a website for your business that didn’t include a blog. The main difference is that with a blog, each post needs to function as a home page. So, here are 4 simple steps to treating each one of your blog posts as if they were the home page of your site.
#1 – The 3 Second Rule
Basically, you have about 3-seconds to convince your website visitor that they’re in the right place. Regardless of how they found you or why they’re there, you have approximately three seconds to convince them that they’re in the right place. Think of Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Terminator”, scanning the room, taking inventory. Most of your website visitors are in this mode when they land on your page. You need to grab their attention right there.
#2 – Above the Fold
Back when everyone got their news from traditional newspapers, editors everywhere followed the basic rule of getting the most important headlines and news articles on the front page of the paper. The news that appeared “above the fold” was the part of the newspaper that was seen when someone walked by a news stand. Lead off your post with a headline that will grab your reader’s attention and then make sure that your article delivers. Pay special attention to the text that appears to your readers without them having to scroll. This essentially is the content that is above-the-fold.
#3 – Great Content
There’s always an ongoing discussion if you should write content for the search engines or content for your readers. Why can’t it be both? You know who your target reader is. You know what the benefits to them are. So whether you’re writing to entertain, educate, challenge or sell, write awesome content. As Corbett Barr (another awesome blogger that I follow) wrote – “Write Epic Shit“. (Those are his words not mine!)
#4 – Call to Action
What do you want your readers to do? Are you trying to teach them something? Are you fulfilling a need? Are you trying to convince them that your product or service is the best and they can’t live without it? Are you building a following in hopes of selling advertising, promoting affiliate programs or preparing for a big product launch? Whatever it is that you want your readers to do, make it easy for them to do it. For example, I may want to encourage readers to read another awesome post of mine about keeping your website visitors on your site. Inserting hyperlinks like that one is a good way to accomplish that.
Your blog readers may never actually see the “home” page of your website. Some of your blog readers may eagerly search the archives and some may go to your home page to see your most recent articles. Others may follow a link that is posted somewhere and land on a specific article. Do you keep that in mind when you’re writing your posts? Do you believe that each article you write should make your readers want to stay and read more? What are your thoughts?