I know the title of this blog post is probably freaking you out. I don’t blame you. There’s a common misunderstanding among online entrepreneurs that the vast majority of traffic comes from Google. This is simply not true. Even without search engine traffic, you can still do quite well with your blog. You can still make money off your blog.
If you don’t believe me, just pay attention to the traffic volumes of YouTube and Facebook. Make no mistake about it, the vast chunk of the internet’s traffic is no longer monopolized by Google and other search engines. This general guide seeks to open your mind about how you can blog successfully without relying on search engines. However, your first success comes from picking the right hosting provider.
I’ve even broken down a three-step process for you to follow. Now, keep in mind that this is just a framework. You would need to tweak and fine tune it based on your own particular niche, as well as your own set of circumstances. Still, this blog post points you to the right direction as far as planning out your blog goes.
Search engine traffic vs. social media traffic
Now that I’ve gotten you excited about non-search engine traffic, let’s get one thing clear: There are tremendous differences between search engine and social media traffic. I need you to be completely aware of, and clear about these differences. Otherwise, you might build your blog on wrong assumptions. You can still decide to build your blog to depend primarily on search engine traffic. It’s your choice. However, there is a big difference.
The big difference between search engine traffic and social media traffic is that search engine traffic is more durable. If you rank high enough on Google’s search results, you can rest assured that you will get a steady stream of traffic from Google. Social media traffic, on the other hand, depends on how viral your content gets or how loyal your social media fans become.
I’m not at all saying that you shouldn’t expect a steady stream of traffic from social media, what I am saying is that social media traffic tends to go in waves. You can get a nice search and then it would die down to a constant trickle, and then you get a nice search again, depending on how popular your content gets on social media platforms. This is the big difference between these two types of traffic.
Also, you have to jump through many hoops to get your blog content to rank high enough on search engines. That can take quite a bit of time. Social media traffic, on the other hand, takes less time. If you are able to figure out the right types of content to put in front of the right eyeballs, you can get a nice surge of traffic. You can also do this even if you’ve just started your blog.
The solution to social media traffic’s sustainability problem
As I mentioned above, social media traffic is quite erratic. It’s not very sustainable. The good news is that there is a workaround. The solution is actually quite simple: Become a brand. That’s right. Turn your blog into a solid media brand on social media. By doing this, you let your brand’s durability carry your blog through.
Instead of relying on periodic surges in content interest and demand, if you have a solid brand you can pretty much stabilize the attention you get on social media. Here’s a three-step social media brand-building plan.
Step 1: Stay within the “Index Industry Average” of your niche’s look and feel
The first thing you’re going to need to do is to hire a virtual assistant to look up all the top blogs in your niche. For good measure, have your virtual assistant look at related niches and get the leading blogs in those niches as well.
Look through the list of top blogs in your niche and look for patterns. Do you notice that a lot of them have roughly the same look? This is not an accident. The reason why your competitors’ websites look like this is because they know what works and what doesn’t. Study these patterns and come up with your own version that is closely related to the standard, but is different enough to support your own distinctive blog brand.
Step 2: Figure out the content types that work in your niche
Using tools like BuzzSumo, you can find hot niche content. Figure out the types of content that people interested in your niche consume heavily on social media. BuzzSumo is a great tool because it uses retweet and hashtag signals from Twitter to help you come up with a niche-specific profile of hot content trends. Figure out these types of content. You would quickly understand that depending on your niche, your audience members may not be interested in a wide range of content types. They might be interested only in one very narrow range of content types and topics.
Step 3: Come up with your own brand’s spin on hot content types
Now that you have an idea regarding the hot topics in your niche, as well as the types of content people are looking for, the next step is to come up with your own version. Come up with your own spin on the topics. Maybe you would prefer a more controversial approach, or maybe you are looking for shock value. Whatever the case is, make it clear to your target audience members that while you’re talking about stuff that they are interested in, you’re going to be talking about it on your own terms. This increases the likelihood that you will develop brand fans.
You have to understand that your target audience members are not looking to get the exact same treatment of hot topics from your blog. If that were the case, then they would just be wasting their time going to your blog. They could’ve easily gotten that content from your competitors. Do you understand how this works? You have to come up with your own distinct content while at the same time addressing the needs your target audience members have, as revealed in the hot topics in your niche.