High quality content, inbound links and easy navigation are not enough to make your blog or website successful. Internet users today expect a website to load as fast as possible. They really feel cheated by blogs that take a very long time to respond to their web requests.
When it comes to your user’s site experience and position in search engines, how fast your website loads is a vital factor.
In this post, I’ve covered everything you should know about how to build a fast loading blog and website: why it matters, what are the tools to test it, and what practices you should follow to building a fast blog!
Why speed matters
It’s a well known fact if a website takes too long to load; a visitor is more likely to move on to other website (most likely competitors). With the increased internet speed, usage and accessibility, today’s users expect the fastest and most reliable online experience. Everyone has “very limited time” to surf the internet and no one likes to wait on a web page to load.
So, what’s the time limit for a visitor to felicitously wait for loading a web page? Previously it was considered that maximum waiting time should be less than seven seconds. But today, in the world of improved technology, users expect a web page (with simple content) to completely load within two seconds or less. And if a web page takes more than two seconds to load, chances are up to 40% of users may leave your site.
AdWords quality score:
Maybe you’re not aware of this, but the speed of your website can actually impact your Quality Score. Google knows very well that customers are likely to convert on a faster website, so they’ve put more emphasis on the landing page loading speed. If the performance of your landing page is dull, then your Quality Score will suffer.
Apart from this, Quality Score drives your CPC campaigns. It means faster loading speed can help you reduce your advertising costs. In short, faster page load speed results into higher quality score, and higher quality score leads to enhanced spending efficiency and more reach.
In 2010, Google had announced that page load speed would be an important factor in determining the ranking of websites in search engine results. Google algorithm makes use of multiple factors to determine where to rank your website in search engine result pages. Some of these factors are evaluation of the legitimacy of the website itself (like number of quality inbound links and age of the domain name), while others are related to a webpage content itself (like title, description, text, URL etc.).
However, after the announcement of Google, it became crucial for website owners to improve their page load time. So if you care about getting ranked higher and more traffic from Google, you should improve your website website’s performance. Though fast load time isn’t a huge ranking factor, but it’s quite important.
Generally, it is considered that mobile users have more patience than desktop users. The reason is that they use a slower internet connection. But in the present scenario, while the internet connection speed is very fast, page load time became an important factor for mobile users.
Therefore, website owners should keep in mind this factor while using tools to manage mobile versions of their websites. Also, designers and coders should create simple and lightweight mobile version of a website in order to avoid server overload and make sure that the website will load quickly on mobile devices.
Competitors cash in:
When a user clicks away from a web page on your site due to slow load speed, your competitors benefit from it. In traffic rush hours, 75% of online consumers move to a competitor’s site rather than having the patience to wait for a website to load. Hence, if your site is slow, you’re not only going to lose your visitors and money, but also indirectly handle your valuable customers over to your competitors.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool lets you test the performance of a web page both for desktop and mobile devices. It fetches the URL of a web page twice, once with a desktop user-agent, and once with a mobile user-agent. It measures how the page can boost its performance on: time to full page load and time to above-the-fold content load. After analyzing the content of a web page, it generates “consider fixing” and “should fix” type recommendations, which you can use to make your web page faster on all devices.
YSlow, developed by Yahoo, analyzes a web page and accordingly gives you suggestions to improve its performance. All the generated suggestions are based on a set of 23 web performance rules, which are defined by Yahoo’s Performance team. Additionally, it gives your web page a Grade that is based on one of three predefined rule set.
GTMetrix is another popular and effective website performance testing tool that helps you optimize your website’s speed and give your visitors an all-around improved experience. Using Google Page Speed and YSlow, it grades the performance of your site and makes actionable recommendations available to you. In addition, you can also set up monitored alerts and view your page load in a filmstrip view.
Pingdom offers a wide range of website speed testing tools that enables you to monitor the performance of your website and provides invaluable insights to help you make it faster. Using Pingdom, you will be able to monitor individual files and requests on your site and can know the reasons which cause poor website performance. From page analysis to a performance grade, they provide quite useful information related to your website.
MaxCDN recently released their set of testing tools through which you can test your website’s performance at 12 different locations around the globe. Performing Ping test, you can compare the ping speed of two domains and know how your site performs against your competitors. Finally, the HTTP Speed Test enables you compare the speed of first and last byte of two websites.
Quick tips to speed up your site
Upgrade your server:
The connectivity and speed of a website depends on the type of server being used for hosting. If your site is hosted on a shared hosting server, upgrade it to a VPS or dedicated server that allows your website having more server resources available. Hosting your website on a shared server may result in web pages being load slower.
Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network):
One of the best ways to decrease your website’s page speed is to host your media files on a content delivery network. Using a CDN, you can save up to 60% bandwidth and halve the number of requests made by your website. Some of the popular and reputed CDNs are MaxCDN, CloudFlare, and Amazon CloudFront.
Minimize HTTP requests:
According to Yahoo, up to 90% of the end-user response time is tied up in downloading the different components – like images, scripts, flash, style sheets etc. – of a web page. When someone land on your website, an HTTP request is made for each one of these components. The best practice for minimizing the number of HTTP requests is to eliminate all unnecessary things from your site.
Enable Gzip compression:
Nowadays, Gzip is the most used compression method that doesn’t only save bandwidth, but also speed up web page load time. A web page containing high quality content is often bigger than 100kb and this result in slower page load time. By compressing your website’s content, you can reduce the response size by about 70%. To check whether your site is Gzip enabled or not, you can use Gziptest.
There are two important things that you should keep in mind while uploading images to your website: size and format. As large images take much longer than expected time to load, so it’s crucial to crop your images to the correct size before uploading. For the format of your images, .jpg and .png are best options. Use GIFs for small graphics, and also avoid using .bmp and .tiff formats.
Put scripts at the bottom:
If you want to get your content delivered to your visitors as fast as possible, it’s highly recommended to put scripts as close to the bottom of your page as possible. The reason behind this is simple: visitors would not like to see a blank page while the browser is busy in loading different script related files. Also, put your CSS at the top of your page since browsers would render the CSS file before rendering your page.
Though sometimes it is necessary to redirect a visitor from one URL to another, but if you have a lot of redirects on your site, your site will suffer delay in page load. Redirections lead to additional HTTP requests, which increase web page load time. So minimize the number of redirects even though you have a responsive version of your web site.
Enable browser caching:
Monitor & improve:
One of the best ways to make your website super speedy is to monitor its performance on a regular basis and make necessary improvements accordingly. Furthermore, always run some quick tests especially when you make any changes in your website’s code or content to see the results.
It’s clear why less people are seeing the updates you post on Facebook. During the World Cup, your content was competing for news feed space with 3 billion engagements generated solely from the tournament.
There are now over 1.28b people and 30m brands using Facebook each quarter. With increased competition for exposure, businesses, especially small businesses with a smaller ad budget, are going to have to get creative to continue expecting exposure from the social network.
Despite declining reach and a more competitive landscape for business, Facebook outperformed market expectations. Lets dig into 25 updated data points, 9 new updates, and what small businesses need to know from Facebook’s Q2 earnings call.
25 Facebook Facts and Statistics
30 million businesses now have a Facebook Fan Page.
19 million businesses have optimized their Fan Page for mobile.
Businesses are paying 122% more per ad unit on Facebook than they did just a year ago.
1.5 million businesses now spend money on Facebook ads.
399 million Facebook users only use Facebook on mobile each month.
829 million people use Facebook on a daily basis, an increase from 802 million last quarter.
Facebook Daily Active Users
654 million people use Facebook on mobile on a daily basis, an increase from 609 million last quarter.
1.32 billion people log on to Facebook at least once each month, an increase from 1.28 billion last quarter.
63% of Facebook users engage on a daily basis.
1.07 billion people use Facebook on their mobile device each month, an increase from 1.01 billion last quarter.
The average Facebook user spends 40 minutes a day on the platform.
12b messages are sent per day through Facebook.
Facebook messenger is used by 250 million people each month.
Instagram is used by 200 million people each month.
Businesses spent $2.66 billion on Facebook advertising, an increase from $2.27 billion last quarter.
Mobile advertising revenue represented 62% of advertising revenue during the second quarter of 2014, a 41% increase year over year.
Facebook users bought $234 million dollars worth of virtual goods and gifts on Facebook over the last quarter.
Facebook engagement topped 1 billion during the world cup.
Twice as many people now watch videos on Facebook in their feed compared to just six months ago.
The majority ($1.175B) of Facebook’s revenue comes from US and Canada with Europe in a close second at $757 million.
Facebook Revenue Per Location
Facebook made an average of $6.44 from US and Canadian users in Q2 compared to $.86 from the rest of the world (total revenue divided by total user base).
Facebook made $1.39 billion in net income during the second quarter of 2014.
People search 1 billion times per day on Facebook.
From June 12-July 13th 350 million people joined the conversation on Facebook related to the world cup generating 3 billion interactions (posts, comments, and likes).
80% of the top apps on iOS and Android use Facebook Login.
What about you?
Any of those numbers surprise you? How are you using Facebook now?
If you want to find out more and learn how these changes will affect your business join this “FREE” Facebook webinar
Author bio: Nathan Latka is the CEO and Founder of Heyo. He’s worked with over 200,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs on launching social campaigns that capture emails and drive sales. You can find Nathan on Twitter.
Smartphones are one of the most addictive tools we have ever seen. They’re powerful, convenient and mobile. You can use them to accesses your email, allows you to find your way to your next appointment and it keeps us entertained with YouTube videos while waiting for friends. They are great time savers and enhance who we are as humans.
It’s a Swiss army knife for an information age.
Tools have moved on from just saving time and money, they are also doing some of our thinking for us. Having trouble remembering a fact or some information?….then Lord Google is sitting in your pocket or purse disguised as an internet connected smartphone.
Ever since social media broke onto the web, businesses have been working on how to use it as a tool for marketing, They have also been developing ways to automate the processes with tools (often called apps). As humans we are always trying to work out how to do more with less.
In the early days of social media any automating was almost seen as a crime. But for social media marketers to scale their efforts, automation and marketing platforms are a necessary evil.
But efficiency is not the only skill needed to succeed as a marketer, creativity is also vital.
Technology tools are also creeping into that space.
Will robots replace or enhance creativity?
The next step for tools beyond just saving time, money and automating processes is the use of technology for leveraging our creativity. For many of us coming up with a headline or even an idea for your latest article, book or blog post is a challenge.
In the past, most of us have made an educated guess at “How To Create Viral Content” and the “Best Practices for Getting Press.” But, what’s better than an educated guess? Factual research, right from the horse’s mouth.
Over the past two months, I surveyed over 500+ leading digital publishers to find out what they want, and don’t want, from content creators and outreachers. Coinciding with this research, I expanded my Harvard Business Review study to discover how age and gender may impact viral emotions.
Today, I’ve combined my findings into 43 actionable tips for creating viral content and placing it with high-authority publishers.
1. 30% of publishers want a finished asset without prior contact
Most people are pitching writers finished campaign assets (infographics, videos, etc) without any prior communication. In fact, most people are sending blanketed pitches and mass-spamming any publisher they can get the email of. Stop doing this, and do tip #2.
2. 70% of publishers want to collaborate on content
Rather than pitching a finished product, find ways to collaborate with top-tier writers who frequently cover your business vertical. Find out what makes that writer tick: Do they like interviews, or visuals? Do they cover one topic frequently, or a variety of topics?
Once you have a deep understanding of that writer’s beat, pitch him or her 3-5 ideas that build on their previous coverage. Try to pitch ideas that will allow you to help with the research and/or design — the more heavy lifting you do, the stronger the relationship becomes.
3. 39% of publishers want exclusive research
Gone are the days where you can create a lackluster infographic by compiling stale data from 1-3 years ago (at least, if you want to get major press). When I asked top-tier writers “What does the perfect piece of content possesses?” the majority wanted exclusive research. Your goal is to find ways to use survey tools, public API’s, or your own internal databases to source information that isn’t widely known. Turn this data into a unique angle that will resonate with a broad audience, and you’ll be a step ahead of your competition.
4. 27% of publishers want breaking news
If you follow tip #3, you’re well on your way to delivering breaking news. If you’re financially strapped and can’t perform your own research, you have a couple of options (1) Stay in-tune with social networks such as Reddit, which frequently break the news first (2) Research .edu and .gov studies that may not be widely known, and find a way to visualize their findings in a unique and engaging format (3) Stay on top of Google Trends to discover what is up and coming in your industry.
5. 15% of publishers want emotional stories
Emotional stories aren’t just the heart-wrenching stories you see on the news at night, done right, any form of content can evoke viral emotions. The point here is to stay away from advertorial content and overly branded assets, and create a campaign that pulls on your heart strings.
6. 19% of publishers wanted high-arousal emotions
High-arousal emotions appeared repeatedly in the open-ended responses, with answers centering around content that incited surprise, interest and humor. “Other” responses also focused on creating content with unusual angles, trending topics, interesting data and actionable advice.
7. 19% of publishers want articles
When I asked, “What content format do you want to see more of?” the largest percentage of votes were for “articles.” However, the takeaway here isn’t to inundate publishers with any blasé blog post; you want to create long-form, research-heavy blog posts that include tips #3-#5 above. You’ll also want to break up the heavy text with data visualizations where possible.
8. 65% of publishers want you to visualize your data
Although articles ranked with the largest singular percentage of votes, when you look at the next six content formats, you see that they all include some sort of data visualization: 13% infographics, 12% mixed-media pieces, 11% data visualizations, 11% images, 11% video, 7% interactive maps. Thus, when coming up with ideas you should try to focus on topics and research that will be data heavy, which will allow you to create a variety of visuals the publisher might want.
9. Press releases, badges, and widgets are a thing of the past
Press releases, badges and widgets all came in at under 5% each. This is likely due to this format’s inability to incorporate tips #3-#5 above.
10. Interactive projects are on the rise, if you’re trustworthy
“Interactive Projects” also fell into the 5% bucket; however, most publishers cited the reason this format isn’t as highly sought-after is that iframes present a security issue. Find ways to incorporate more authority signals into your website and your email signature, to show you’re a trusted source.
11. Viral content is strongly correlated to positive emotions
Our research study showed that most viral content incites positive emotions, rather than negative emotions. We found top-ten viral emotions included: amusement, interest, surprise, happiness, delight, pleasure, joy, hope, affection, and excitement. The bottom ten emotions included: anger, politeness, frustration, doubt, embarrassment, despair, hurt, guilt, contempt, and shame.
12. Viral content activates contrasting emotions
Content that activates a greater diversity of emotions is more likely to go viral, and contrasting emotions increase emotional impact. For example, interest, surprise, and amusement behave as emotional multipliers for positive emotions, and empathy acts as an emotional multiplier for negative emotions.
13. Surprise is the linchpin for viral content
Emotions that fit into the surprise and anticipation segments of Plutchik’s wheel of emotions were extremely common in highly viral content. Specifically: curiosity, amazement, interest, astonishment and uncertainty. When you conduct exclusive research, in turn breaking a common thought process or introducing a new theory, you’re more likely to activate these emotions.
14. Ego-Bait drives social sharing
In our experience, if you can tie geographic and/or demographic ego-bait into your campaigns, you’ve immediately increased the social sharing element of your campaign.
15. Generate content that feeds the “viral Loop.”
What better way to go viral than to have your own readers multiply your content for you? The “Viral Loop” occurs when your reader engages with your content, and through engaging with it, they generate a new piece of unique content. A great example of this is the “Elf Yourself” campaign.
16. Younger Millennials report less positive and surprise-based emotions
Millennials (ages 18 – 24), have been saturated in digital content, making it more difficult for you to get an emotional rise out of this demographic. A way to reactivate these emotions is to focus on creating more dynamic content that allows this age group to have a unique experience. Your goal is to create a rare campaign asset that will inspire childlike wonder.
17. Men report more joyful feelings than women do
While men report more joyful feelings, they also exhibit a slightly smaller range of emotional reactions. Instead of generating a wide range of emotional reactions with this group, focus on creating a campaign that activates a single emotional agenda: joy.
18. Women report more trust emotions, negative emotions and greater emotional complexity
Women reported experiencing more overall emotional complexity than men, so you want to create campaigns that incorporate the emotions from tip #11 to push their buttons. Also, try to incorporate data from authoritative sources to increase the trust factor for this group. Go light on the negative campaign ideas, since women are more likely to feel this emotion (and it’s on the lower engagement spectrum for viral content).
Want high-authority press? You need to earn it
Creating content with viral potential is one thing but getting it published and promoted so it goes viral is another. Here are 24 tips on getting high authority press. via Pitching publishers best practices
19. 85% of Americans get news on a desktop or laptop
The Pew Research Center found that 35% of Americans “frequently” get their news on a desktop or laptop. With the migration of readers from print to digital, the robot invasion was inevitable. It’s now our responsibility to break through the noise, and deliver something valuable for publishers to share via Pitching publishers best practices.
20. Editorial voices are outnumber by PR professionals by almost 5:1
A 2014 report shows that PRs outnumber journalists in the US by a ratio of 4.6 to 1. You can get an understanding of how most journalists feel about this by reading publishers’ guest post policies.
“Too many submissions we get are clearly just pitches for a company, attempting to masquerade as thought pieces, a press release dressed as a guest post.” – TechCrunch guest post policy
“Many [PR professionals] have a misunderstanding when it comes to the difference between advertorial and guest posts.” – Gigaom guest post policy
21. Top-Tier writers get 3x the amount of email you do
The average worker receives roughly 12,000 emails a year. Meanwhile, writers at top-tier publications reported getting over 100 pitches per day, or, 38,000 emails per year — adding up to 26,000 emails from people trying to get press.
22. 45% of writers publish one story per day
When you take into account that most top-tier writers get pitched an average of 500 times per week, yet on average the writer will only publish 5 stories per week, you quickly see the pile of email waste rising well above a writer’s ability to tolerate it.
23. 40% of writers get pitched a minimum of 20 times per day
While top-tier writers receive upwards of 100 pitches per day, even your mid-tier bloggers get a minimum of 20 pitches per day. When it comes to content marketing spam, no one is safe.
24. 11% of writers “often” write a story based on content that was sent through a pitch
While we keep pitching, only 11% of writers will “often” cover the content we send. What then can we do to increase the number of writers who will write about content? Keep reading to find out what publishers really want from your pitch.
25. 64% of writers want you to establish a personal connection before pitching
In an age where social networks open us up to communication from people who we share common interests with, writers now expect you to make that personal connection.
Use networks like Twitter to engage socially with a writer weeks prior to any pitch. Find a blog post that resonates with you on a personal level, or relates to your content, and provide an engaging discussion in the comment thread.
Get the writer to recognize (and appreciate) your name before you ever land in that person’s inbox.
“The degree to which we perceive another person to be similar to ourselves in traits and attitude and to be worthy of our generosity or assistance, depends on the extent to which we perceive a personal connection with that person, no matter how trivial.”
Building on the point above, you don’t just want to network on a professional level, but also on a personal level. Do you both have a love for dogs? What about an interest in cooking? Find some way to connect, and you’ll demonstrate that you’re not just another spam bot.
27. 85% of writers will delete a pitch with spelling/grammar errors
Remember the middle school grammar lessons you slept through? Big mistake, because now your pitch and your content are in jeopardy. Luckily, there are plenty of free online grammar courses that allow you to refresh your knowledge, such as Grammar Girl, Purdue OWL and Syntaxis.
28. Marketing speaking will get you sent straight to the trash
I asked writers what other words will get you auto-deleted from their inbox. “Marketing speak” came in at number one, with words including: revolutionary, stunning, life changing, and incredible. Other doozies such as ALL CAPS fell into this bucket, and a salutation such as “Dear Blogger” showed the email was likely spam.
29. 81% of writers want to receive your pitch via email
An overwhelming number of publishers requested your pitch come through their inbox. An important note: make sure you’re pitching the writer’s work email, and not their personal email account.
30. Social Media Pitches aren’t as popular as you think
You’ve probably seen the posts that rave about pitching publishers on social media. Well, straight from the horses mouth, they’re telling you: “Don’t!” Only 9% of publishers said social media pitches were the preferred format, and most of these responses came from smaller site owners. Instead, use social media as a networking channel only.
31. Thinking of calling a writer for a pitch? Might as well mark yourself as spam
Less than 5% of publishers wanted to be reached by phone, or by contact form. Again, these were mostly independent blog owners who may have more time to field these calls. Several high-authority publishers went into the open-response section to lament about people who phoned instead of emailed:
“Don’t cold call journalists because they are almost always not going to appreciate it.” – cNet.com
“Never phone call. Ever.” – HuffingtonPost.com
“Don’t call me. Use email.” – InfoWorld.com
32. 85% of writers want a pitch that is less than 200 words
If you’re verbose, it’s time to cull it back. 45% of writers requested a pitch that is “short-and-to-the-point” at less than 100 words, and the other 43% requested a pitch that gives a “cursory explanation” at less than 200 words.
33. 12% of writers want an in-depth explanation
Only 12% of writers want a pitch that is greater than 300 words, and most of these responses came from smaller sites. Instead, keep your pitch to a maximum of three short paragraphs that succinctly explain the unique findings from your research, and how your campaign builds upon that writer’s previous coverage or ties into that person’s beat.
34. Don’t have an exclusive campaign asset? Offer an interview
Several news publishers called out the fact that they’re always looking for an interview opportunity, more than a visual asset. Find ways to offer an exclusive interview with key stakeholders, and you’re one step closer to building that relationship.
“If you can’t offer me an infographic, data visualization, or interview opportunity, odds are you can’t help me.” – USAtoday.com
“Offer to hook me up with an interviewee.” – LifeHacker.com
“Give me a hard-to-secure interview.” – ESPN.com
35. 85% of publishers open your email based on its subject line
Your subject line is your call-to-action. Take 5-10 minutes to test a few subject lines by sending them to your own inbox. See what sticks out to you best, and whether or not your words are being cut off.
36. 6-10 words is the ideal subject line length
Make sure to keep your subject lines short and sweet so they don’t get cut off in the writer’s inbox; one study recommends keeping your subject lines at 6-10 words to lift email open rates.
37. Use subject lines that generate curiosity on demand
George Loewenstein, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University explains the “information gap theory of curiosity” creates curiosity on demand. The theory is based on an innate human behavior that’s triggered when people feel there is a gap between what they know, and what they want to know. When people feel this gap, they are compelled to fill it by taking action, such as opening your emails to read more
Therefore, you need to create these knowledge gaps in both your subject line and the body of your pitch. This will increase your open rates and your CTR. You can do this with curiosity based subject lines, statistics from our study that disprove a common thought, etc.
38. 42% of writers want the subject-line-format to be “Content Title, Type.”
This subject line format is likely the most preferred because it’s the most descriptive, and tells the writer whether or not your content fits their beat within a few seconds.
39. 29% of writers want a personalized subject line
Personalized subject lines likely stand out the most in the writer’s inbox, since so few people take the time to make that personal connection. A few personalized subject lines I’ve used include:
I’ll trade your NY Grizzlies for FL Alligators – Kelsey Libert on Twitter
You Have a Beer Chime, We Have Cowbell – RE: Exclusive Study
I See Your Black Lab, Todd, and Raise You My Chocolate Lab
These subject lines have nothing to do with the content you’re pitching. The goal is solely to make a personal connection with the writer based on something you found in a that writer’s personal blog, bio, or social media accounts.
40. 19% of writers want a subject line that includes a statistic
If your content is data-heavy and/or provides an insight that isn’t widely known, then a statistic based subject line is the way to go. This builds into the information gap theory of curiosity, where the statistic will drive the writer to open your email and engage with your content. A sample subject line that fits this format would be, “Kylie Jenner posted 451 selfies to Instagram [Celebrity Selfie Study]”
41. The least preferred subject line format is “Hi, Name.”
Only 10% of writers want you to call attention to their name in your subject line, and most of these responses came from smaller site owners. In fact, most high-authority publishers see this as a common spam format, so it’s best you refrain from using it.
42. 69% of writers want to receive your pitch in the morning hours
When it comes to timing your pitch, the early bird gets the worm. Only 22% of writers want your pitch to come in the afternoon, and a mere 9% want to receive it in the evening hours.
43. Use scheduling tools to send your email at the optimal time
You don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to send your email at the optimal time; instead, use email scheduling tools like Boomerang or Streak to schedule your email to go out between 6am-9am. Make sure you pay attention to what time zone the writer is in, so you get your timing right.
What 60 top writers say about viral content
What else did top-tier publishers have to say about content creation and promotion? We asked, “If you could give 1-3 points of feedback to people who pitch to you, what would you say?”
What content have you found that goes viral? Any of these 43 tips resonate with you? Look forward to hearing your stories and insights in the comments below. Author Bio: Kelsey Libert is a Marketing VP and partner at Frac.tl. She is a viral marketing and media relations speaker, and she’s published on the Harvard Business Review, Marketing Land, HubSpot and Buffer. When she’s not at work, you can usually find her at the dog beach with her two dogs.
Listen to this post as a Podcast
Want to start creating viral content on your own blog?
Attracting an audience and readers to your blog, website or your social media profile is more about retaining viewers than actually gaining new ones. Keeping the readers you already have is more effective than trying to get new people to read what you have written. If you write with your own style and voice, you will find that you gain a loyal readership and are also more likely to attract new people to your writing.
It’s about being memorable.
Here are some insights into how to attract more traffic to your blog by being distinctive with your writing.
1. A distinctive style may get you more repeat visitors
If you have a distinctive writing style that makes it easy to spot your writing compared to other peoples writing, then you are one-step closer to having more visitors and repeat visitors. Again, it is repeat visitors that matter. If you get enough regular traffic then at least a small part of your publicity budget may be cancelled because your regular viewers are spreading the good word about your writing.
2. Repeat visitors may write about you or tell others
It does not seem obvious or likely, but the fact is that regular viewers will write about your services and your writing on other websites and social media. Regular viewers will most likely write good things, and some new viewers may write bad things.
The point is that a distinctive style and working on developing some great writing attributes gets you more repeat viewers, and it is those people that write positive things about your writing. Those are the ones that spread the good word and help you get more visitors with what is essentially free advertising and publicity.
Reward your loyal and repeat viewers by giving them what they signed up for. It means not selling out by advising the products of other people with your posts, and it means not recommending things that you claim to like. If people keep visiting because they like your distinctive writing style, then keep giving them your style. Put your loyal viewers first because they are the true lifeblood of your blog, website or social media profile.
3. Repeat and loyal visitors will defend you
This happens when you gain a following and people start to visit your content on a regular basis. They become emotionally invested in what you write and the content you produce. They will start to defend you because of that, and you gain this repeat readership by having your own writing style and voice.
4. Repeat visitors are the lifeblood of any website or blog
The new visitors are not what power a business, website or blog; it is the people that come back again. They are the ones that make up the traffic numbers, which means you should concentrate less on getting new readers and concentrate more on keeping the ones that visit.
Your own style helps to keep people coming back because it separates you from all the other websites and blogs they have read.
5. Your own style makes you distinctive and memorable
Distinctive is memorable in most cases, and you can control if you are memorable for a good reason or a bad reason. Being distinctive will get more people to visit your content, and it also gives people a reason to recommend your content to others. It gives them something to focus on when they are recommending you to other people.
6. Generic and pop-centered content works
This is the point that few people understand, and it is that popular and generic text will attract more viewers than distinctive text and a great writing style, but fewer people will return the week after. Writing generic and pop-centered content is okay, but it is not going to keep people coming back the same way that writing with your own style will.
In the end, you have to work harder if you are pumping out generic content to please the masses, and there is more competition if you do not create your own style.
7. It is more fun to write with your own style
Adding your own flavor to your text and styling your writing your own way is more fun. It allows you to express yourself a little easier and you will often find that the content flows from you a lot more freely. Maybe it is because when you write in your own tailored style you are writing the way you think and talk, or maybe it is just because writing in your own style is simply easier and therefore more fun.
8. It’s not all about the social media response
The success of your new writing style should not be judged by your social media response. You may get no response at all, or you may get a bad response. Both of these circumstances may lead you to think that your style needs changing, but your social media response is not the key indicator in this area.
How much traffic you gain and how much you retain is a clear indicator of how successful your new writing style is. It will also take a few weeks for the results to become clear, as there are always anomalies when it comes to traffic tracking.
9. Commenters aren’t everything
If you get three thousand hits per week, do you get three thousand comments? Not in this life you don’t, what you get is a batch of comments from what amounts to 3-5% of you actual audience. Yet, when writers see their comments, they often react to them. They see that commenters have said things and they adapt their writing and their style according to the comments.
What they fail to realize is that the commenters do not speak for the silent majority–they speak for the outspoken minority. The comments you receive should not be used to judge the success of your writing style. Your traffic numbers and repeat traffic numbers are what you should use to measure your success.
10. Unimaginative is often tied with formulaic writing
Formulaic writing is not writing with style. It is the same generic tripe that was mentioned earlier in this article, and even though it can win you some traffic it will not keep them coming back every week, a distinctive writing style will keep them coming back.
About the author: Veronica May is a freelance writer, editor and blogger at Allcorrect blog. She also works with students to improve their writing skills.