If you’ve ever chased down ways to get more traffic (which you shouldn’t do, but we’ve all done it at some point), then you will inevitably have read that you should focus on making great content and the rest will come naturally.
Let me start with the bad news, it’s not true. Great content is absolutely something that you should focus on but it doesn’t just magically generate traffic. The internet is full of amazing content, unfortunately all that content is hidden amongst One Direction tweets, cat memes and photographs of Kim Kardashian. It isn’t easy to find your amazing content, it’s like looking for a needle in a million haystacks.
Planting the seeds
Creating the content is only half the battle, you need to seed that content to bring in the traffic. Seeding is essentially putting your content in front of the right people so that they will help share it. Seeding isn’t about just throwing your content around and hoping some of it sticks – you might get lucky doing this, but it’s unlikely. To effectively seed content you need to understand the audience that you’ve created your content for. Where do they spend their time online? Are they busy on social media? Do they spend their time on niche forums? What blogs do they read? How do they interact with content typically? The better you understand the audience and the way the operate online, the better the chance you have of getting them to engage with your content.
One of the biggest battles you will face with seeding, is doing it naturally. To ask someone to read your content is incredibly one way, it’s not natural and your success rate won’t be great. You need to introduce them to your content in a much more natural way. That means getting involved with their content. You shouldn’t ask anyone to do anything that you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself. Get involved in discussions, read posts that are similar to yours or have an alternative approach, talk to people on social media. The more you engage, the more opportunities you will find – and because you’re actively involved your content won’t be out of context. You will have a reference point, you’ll have a story.
Consistency is really important in your content but it’s also really important when you’re seeding. It’s easy to spot someone pushing a single piece of content, particularly when you can see their social media activity – people don’t like to feel like they’re being tricked for obvious reasons. If you’re heavily pushing your own content that is centred around a particular subject and have no real history of sharing that type of content then you’re going to look disingenuous. Try to stay consistent, don’t just share your own content, don’t just look for opportunities to share your link, it just doesn’t work like that.
It sounds like a lot of do’s and don’ts but ultimately it boils down to just one simple rule. Get involved.