Once other sites start accepting and publishing your writing, chances are you will be getting some traffic to your site. Whether that traffic is huge, small, or in between, you want to be sure to turn as many of those visitors as you can into fans, so they don’t turn into one visit wonders. There are several ways to prepare your blog to ensure that you turn as many of those visitors as possible into repeat visitors, subscribers, followers etc.
These are good things to think about for your blog ANY time, but especially important if for instance, you know your blog link is going to be included with a post you have featured on a site that gets a lot of traffic.
#1 Select Your Top Post(s) Carefully
Think about how your home page displays your posts, and plan accordingly. Many of us have home pages that show our most recent blog post first. If this is the case for you, think about your potential visitors and plan something for that top spot accordingly. I mainly have humor posts on my personal blog, with some occasional pieces that are more personal/serious. If I knew I had a more serious piece going up on a site like Brain, Child for instance, I would probably make sure the most recent post on my blog was a more serious piece on the day the Brain, Child post went live. I would assume anyone clicking over would be more interested in my serious pieces, and therefore want to give them more of what they want. You could always take an older piece and republish it, or do a round-up post that speaks to your expected audience if you don’t have something new ready to go.
#2 Get Your Ads On
I remember talking to Jen Mann of People I Want To Punch In The Throat about her first post going viral, and asking if she had ads up at that time. Thankfully her husband had recently put some ads up, and they were able to cash in a bit on those visitors. You may or may not be in the business of putting ads on your site, but if you are interested in doing it and just haven’t gotten around to it yet, there is no time like the present, especially if you have a great post on another site likely to send you some traffic.
#3 Make It Easy To Subscribe
Be sure you have a clear way(s) for visitors to subscribe to your blog, whether it’s a form in your sidebar or at the bottom of your posts, or something more obvious like a bar at the top of the screen or some version of a pop up. Personally, I use an app for my self-hosted WordPress sites called Sumo (<that’s my affiliate link), that gives me functionality like a smart bar and customizable pop up as well as other conversion tools that tie into my MailChimp mailing lists.
#4 Check Your Follow Buttons
If they are only going to be in one place, be sure to place follow buttons at the top of your page. Make sure they are easy to find. I’ve seen some that were very cool, and integrated with the blog theme, but they were very “Where’s Waldo?” to locate. Keep it simple and obvious.
Use this opportunity to promote anything you think your visitors might like. This could be anything from a ‘Start Here’ page, to a free download, a giveaway, your book/e-book, training or consulting you offer, etc. Make it obvious and easy.
While anytime is a good time to make sure your blog is in tip-top shape to receive visitors, it’s especially important when you know you are going to be getting some new people. You definitely want to roll out the red carpet to receive them. Here’s hoping a traffic jam is coming to your blog soon!