By Mark Elmo Ellis – Get more out of my site HERE
You’ve been writing great long form blog posts with loads of in-depth graphics and charts. You have also taken the time to carefully select your keywords and optimized your post for SEO.
However, your traffic sucks and you feel like you’ve been gaining no traction.
Worse than that, you are not making any money with your blogging at all.
Your frustration is starting to show…
The first rule of successful blogging is creating incredible content. The second rule is gaining traffic.
Blogging without any traffic is just like a great movie in an empty theater. And if you aren’t harvesting an audience and generating traffic, you’ll eventually burn out and quit.
That would be sad considering the amount of work you’ve put into your blog, wouldn’t it?
So you’ve got to have a strategy for gaining visitors to your site. Better yet, you’ll want to develop a herd ― a group of people that love your site and return to it again and again.
In this post, I’m going to give you some steps that will help you generate traffic and get people to help you promote your blog.
An important rule to remember is: building relationships with people is the key to successfully building traffic.
One of the best ways of getting traffic is through social media. The reason why social media influencers are so important is because they are active on places like Facebook and Twitter and will spread the world on these sites about your product or service.
Bearing this in mind, the first traffic building tactic we’re going to learn is:
Developing Relationships with Key Influencers
Let’s first define what a “key influencer” is.
A key player is someone in your niche that is pulling out all stops to make it big…but just hasn’t made it there yet.
I’m not talking about Jon Morrow, Neil Patel or Darren Rowse. Guys like that are giants in the IM world and they are extremely busy.
I’m not saying that these folks are stuck up, because they’re not. As a matter of fact, I’ve commented on some of their blog posts and they were kind enough to say a few words of encouragement.
However, everyone and their mother are vying for their attention, and getting on their radar enough to elicit any help is going to be difficult.
What I’m talking about someone that has a following but hasn’t made the big time yet. They are making money, have a decent following and can easily be found on the Web.
- They have demonstrated expertise in their niche and have a degree of credibility.
- To put this into a nutshell, we’re looking for people with the following criteria:
- They have expertise in their field
- They are relatively easy to find on the Internet
- They have credibility
- They are very active (blogging, social media, content sharing sites, etc.)
- Some of their posts are popular enough to register on sites like Buzzsumo
- They have commenters on their blogs
- Their content is being shared
- They may have a book or two on Amazon
Finding the People that Can Help
Our next step is to locate and find these people. There are a lot of different ways you can do this. One of the most popular methods is to go to a site like Buzzsumo and see what’s being shared.
However, it has been my experience that sites like that will show the bigger fish first and in order to see who the smaller influencers are you’ll have to get a subscription to their site.
When you’re starting out in blogging you may not have the money to shell out for a site like that. You may want to invest in it later when you have a little success first.
Here are a few free ways you can find influencers for free.
Google Plus (G+)
According to the Social Media Examiner site, 96% of all the people that took a survey sponsored by them use social media to market their business. Of that percentage, 92% agreed with the phrase “Social media marketing is important for my business.”
Courtesy of Social Media Examiner
Google Plus is a great social media site to meet influencers and to network with people that can help you build an audience.
Google Plus has niche areas called “Communities” where you can easily find like-minded people in your net.
Here are the steps to finding influencers on G+:
Step 1: Navigate to Google + (or just click my link). If you don’t have a Google+ account, sign up for one. It’s easy and quick.
Step 2: Click on the “Communities” link on the left side of the page.
Step 3: Do a search in “Communities” for your subject area or niche.
You’ll notice that some names will immediately pop up when you start to type in your subject into the field. Make a note of these, because these people are very active in G+ Communities.
Step 4: Once you’ve clicked “Enter” you’ll see several rows of different areas that Google+ has, like “Collections”, “Communities” and “People and Pages”.
The owners of these areas are usually people that are serious enough to create these different venues while adding content to them. You’ll want to look at their posts and find out where their website or blog is.
Step 5: If you go into someone’s “Collections” area, check out the things they are sharing. If they are posting quality stuff, click their “follow” button.
Step 6: Click on their face or profile button, this will take you to their Google+ page. There you can access their “About Me” section. Click on that as well, you will then see a pop-up area that tells you more about that individual.
Step 7: If the individual you are investigating is a true influencer, they should have a professional looking blog with posts and commenters.
In this example, Ms. Harleena Singh has a link to her site. I went to her site Aha!NOW and it looked very professional and her blog was loaded with great content. So I took the next step…
Step 8: Look at the comment section, the number of shares on posts (if listed) and how many different people write posts for the blog. These are key indicators of how serious this entrepreneur is about their business.
If all of these key ingredients are in place, there’s a good chance that you’ve found and influence that can help you gain some traffic in the future.
Step 9: Start commenting on stuff they post on Google+ and on their blog. There is a real art to leaving comments on influencer’s sites and you can read my detailed post on it here: How to Leave Comments on Other People’s Blog
Using Twitter to Find Social Media Influencers
There are over 500 million people that use Twitter worldwide. Yep, you read that right; almost a half a billion people have Twitter accounts.
Considering the sheer magnitude of Twitter’s influence, you really can’t afford to ignore the opportunity to use it, especially if you know how to do so easily to your advantage.
Before you can meet influencers and start networking with them, you need a presence on Twitter yourself.
There are two ways you can use this vehicle to gain attention. You can just jump into the Tweet stream and hope you’ll influence enough people to gain traffic ― or you can have a great strategy.
Personally, I like the second strategy.
Here are some excellent ways to start gaining traffic using Twitter step-by-step :
Step 1: Create and use images for your tweets
According to the social media site, Buffer Social, tweets from Twitter that had images had 18% more clicks and 89% more retweets and 150% more favorites that tweets without.
Image Courtesy of Buffer Social
So you can easily see that putting pictures with your tweets is crucial.
Canva is probably the easiest for you to use because when you go to their site, they already have templates for you to use on twitter.
Here’s a page where Canva shows you exactly how to do that: Create Twitter Images with Canva
Check your Twitter picture size
Here are the sizes that you’ll need to know about when posting images with your tweets in Twitter.
Small images will be resized to 440 by 220 pixels or a 2:1 ratio
Maximum size for a file is 5MB (animated GIF images 3MB)
Maximum sized pictures will expand to 1024 by 512 pixels
You can tweet up to 4 images at once
The simplest advice for me to give on image size is to experiment a bit and see what works the best. Just remember that many people (like me, for example) don’t have super-fast Internet speed.
You need to optimize your image to load quickly, so even though you have a nice, clear image at 4.55 MB it may load slow for some users.
Add a watermark to the image
Your pictures can act as a visual calling card if you use them right. Some companies just place a watermark on their images like this:
Image courtesy of TopRank
If you want to place your logo and web address on your image, you can do it like this:
Add a relevant message or words of inspiration
This is one of the most overlooked strategies by entrepreneurs on Twitter. People love words of inspiration and will appreciate your image if it is relevant to your tweet.
One of the things I try to do (and it’s kind of fun) is to post crazy images that will provoke a reaction. Here’s one I made a while back:
In direct mail copywriting, long formsales letters work the best. However, when writing copy, you want each sentence and phrase as simple and short as possible.
On Twitter, the more short and to the pointyou can make your tweets, the better. Try not to use “college professor language” either; the average American reads on the 8th grade level.
Step 3: Gain Twitter followers fast by followinglike – minded people
Finding people that are in your niche on Twitter is easy. Just type your subject into the search field and you’ll find loads of other people that have the same interests as you.
Once you’ve done a Twitter search you can hover your cursor over their name. A pop-up will appear that will allow you to follow the individual.
It’s been my personal experience that if you follow people on Twitter, they will follow you back. It doesn’t always happen but it helps. (Google+ is the same way.)
Step 4: Ask people on your email list to follow you on Twitter
If you have an email list, you can also ask your subscribers to follow you there as well. Just send out an email and provide a link to your Twitter page.
Step 5: Join chats on Twitter
Basically, the way you chat on Twitter is to use a hashtag (#) that is being used by the same people you are tweeting to. That’s all there really is to it.
For example if you there were a group of people Twitter chatting about the rock group “Blind Gerbils” you would simply navigate to the Blind Gerbils Twitter page and join in on the conversation like so:
#blindgerbils Really dug the concert last night. I can’t wait to buy their latest album “Bum Scratcher”
Just like any other tweet, you’ll want to keep yours to 140 characters or less.
Step 6: Retweet, share tweets and message social media influencers on Twitter.
Once you’ve uncovered the people that are up and coming social media influencers that are responding to your social media advances, you need to stay in their loop.
You should try to retweet, reshare and occasionally send them a message of encouragement or comment on their shares.
You can then develop a healthy business relationship with these individuals and at some point approach them to do a guest post on their blog, or try to do a joint venture with them.
Step 7: Schedule your tweets for the best possible times
If you want to reach the biggest possible audience using Twitter, then you need to know when the best time to post is.
Here are a couple of guidelines for you to use if you want to maximize the tweets on that social media site.
Here are the best times to use Twitter according to Kissmetrics:
- Most of the people involved with Twitter use Eastern Time followed by Mountain Time.
- Wednesdays and weekends are the days that have the highest click through rates
- The best times to tweet are from 12 PM to 5PM with click through rates peaking at 6PM
- The most click through rates occur at 12 PM
The Free Ways to Find Social Media Influencers on Twitter
Here’s how to find social media influencers step-by-step:
Step 1: Investigate Social Media Influencers on your Radar
Once you have people responding to your tweets by comments and reshares, you need to take a closer look at those individuals and see if they are in the same niche you are.
Here are a few indicators that these Twitter candidates are key social media influencers:
- How often they tweet
- How many followers do they have
- Are they promoting a product or brand?
- Do they have a website or blog that is active?
- Are they posting to their site or blog regularly?
- Are people leaving comments on their blog posts and tweets?
Step 2: Use free online tools to find social media influencers
I just love this tool. You can easily find out who is following you by clicking on a tab that says “Friends”. You can then find out who is the most active of your followers by using the “Tweets per Day” in the drop down menu. This us a super-easy way to find out who the social media influencers are in your twitter followers.
Fruji (Don’t ask me what the name means) is a site that will give you a free analytics report on the social media influencers that are following you on Twitter. I found this data to not only be valuable but encouraging as well.
Fruji will also let you see which of your followers are the most popular as well as give you an analysis as to which ones are also the most valuable.
Finding Social Media Influencers on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is probably one of the easiest ways to meet people online, especially influencers that can help you. Not only that but LinkedIn has become the big dog on the block as far as professional networks are concerned. As a matter of fact. LinkedIn has been purchased by Google.
It is very easy to meet people on LinkedIn and you’ll find that you won’t have to spend loads of time warming them up to your ideas or business proposals. However, you can’t just jump into LinkedIn and expect to quickly gain their trust either.
Here are some tips to making connections with social media influencers on LinkedIn:
Step 1: Make sure you have a professional appearance in LinkedIn. You don’t want a crappy looking profile on the site. If I were you, I would do everything that LinkedIn suggests concerning improving your profile.
Step 2: Friend as many people on LinkedIn as you can. Currently, LinkedIn will allow you up to 3000 contacts on their free version before they will stop you from making more contacts.
It takes a considerable amount of time to rack up that many contacts on LinkedIn, so friend as many people as you can.
I usually friend as many people as I can on that social media site, however I do have one preference that I stick to. If the LinkedIn member does not have a photograph or a legitimate job description accompanying their profile, I’ll skip that person.
There are spammers on LinkedIn that will hit you up or try to sell you stuff on there, so make sure you know who you are making contacting with.
Step 3: Once you have made your presence known on LinkedIn, you’ll want to start investigating people that are prominent on LinkedIn. These people are not hard to find, because they post regularly and often. You’ll need to check their profiles and find out if they have blogs or a website.
Remember, you’re not looking for a Richard Branson or a Seth Godin, but someone that is seriously pursing a dream but isn’t too prominent yet.
A Great Way to Make an Impression With Social Media Influencers
This is a great way to make sure that you will be remembered by influencers on LinkedIn. Write an eBook or book and give it away on there. I wrote a 200+ page eBook on how to use copywriting techniques to write blog posts that I freely give away.
Just to make it legit, I put the eBook up for sale on Amazon for a few bucks
I would then contact the person I wanted to make to make a connection with on LinkedIn and offer him or her a free copy of my book that I was selling on Amazon.
Not only does that impress the contact, but I tell them that I will put them on my premium content email list as well. This is just one extra way you can use to build your email list quickly too.
This tactic will help you connect with and impress social media influencers that can help you get traffic to your blog…eventually.
There are a lot of ways you can make connections with influencers through social media marketing. If you have had success connecting with influencers in your niche, please feel free to share your tactics and experiences in the comment section below.
If you want to get a free report on how to increase your website conversion rates by 64% as well as a free copy of my book, Blog Profiting Secrets 2016, click on this link: FREE BOOKS