A couple days ago I lamented to my friend that my blog, Spin Sucks, grew only 29 percent in 2012.
She rolled her eyes at me saying, “Only 29 percent?”
I see her point, but we grew more than 1,000 percent in 2009, 292 percent in 2010, and 194 percent in 2011.
So you can see why I am a little stressed about it and why my colleague, Lindsay Bell, brainstorms new ideas to increase blog traffic, sponsorship dollars, Google+ authority, and revenue.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to take Spin Sucks’ content to the next level. Here’s what I’ve discovered.
When what you use no longer works
There are some things that still work: Comment on other blogs, write for humans and optimize for robots, build community, write guest blog posts, speak at conferences, answer questions, go to networking events, leverage YouTube, and use traditional media.
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What do you do when the old tactics start to fail? Try something new.
Here are 12 things we’re going to try to increase blog traffic.
1. Create a video series. We’re going to expand the Facebook question of the week and better use YouTube to help expand our networks.
2. Write case studies. In addition to the examples used in blog posts, we will keep a record of all our case studies in a formal document.
3. Write more guest posts. I was in a groove where I wrote one guest post a week for a couple of years and got burned out with the ” Marketing in the Round” promotion last year. I want to get back in that groove, but also involve my team more and help them become brand ambassadors. If anyone would like a guest post from Spin Sucks, let us know here.
4. Write longer form content. I’m talking about how-to guides, beginner’s guides, and maybe taking my advice to write the gospel according to my team at Spin Sucks. Although I’m writing Spin Sucks, the book, which serves that purpose.
5. Start an affiliate program. We’re going to explore options to provide free content to you, but find a way to earn money on all our hard work as well. We’re testing sponsorships so this may be a natural next step.
6. Network with new groups. There are some crowds where the blog is already very well known, but not everyone has heard of us. We’ll target one new group for the second half of 2013 to network with in order to grow our readership.
7. Use owned images for content. We’ll begin to create our own images to help our content stand out among all the visuals already online.
8. Participate in Q&A sites. Not just on LinkedIn, but on Quora, Yahoo, and others. We’ll find the sites where people ask questions about marketing communications and begin to build our influence and authority there.
9. Test pop-ups. Not pop-ups for more subscriptions, but to encourage people to share our content as they read. The social share buttons are already on the blog, but social share pop-ups may encourage additional sharing, which Google loves.
10. Survey our readers. We’ve never asked what our readers would like. Expect to be asked soon.
11. Create a podcast series. We have our “Inside PR” podcast and that won’t change, but we want a Spin Sucks branded podcast.
12. Host an event . We’re not yet convinced a Spin Sucks event is the right thing to do—or that it will be profitable—but we are considering it.
What would you add?
A version of this story first appeared on Spin Sucks.