If you've been struggling to increase your traffic and build an audience that really engages with your website - despite creating the best content you can, despite your great social media following, despite posting once or twice a day....you're probably making one simple mistake - your sending all your traffic away.
I know you're probably a bit confused or asking how am I sending all my traffic away? It's the Pin-It button on every single image of your website, or it's the Facebook like/share button on your posts, or one of the other social icons you prefer to use.
Whatever icon or button you use that grabs the readers attention and directs them away from your website - into the great big sea of social media - is how you're sending them away.
Directing people to your social media pages seems like a great way to boost your Facebook following or Pinterest followers. But you can't control Facebook and Pinterest and both of these companies want the same thing you do - more traffic and more advertisements.
Social platforms are hungry for content, your content, that's how they exist. Their existence is founded on you sending them your content which you worked very hard for and then they turnaround and make millions, correction, billions from your content. And what do they do in exchange for you? They send you a few hunderd visitors (that's probably it, check your web stats).
Think about this: If a reader is already on your website why do you want to send them to Facebook or Pinterest? Does it help your business?
In most cases, it does not help your business. It's like sending your readers back to the beginning of the conversion funnel. It's also like sending your traffic to your greatest competitor's website. And let's be honest, would you ever deliberately feed your traffic to you competitor's website?
But most blogs do it all the time without ever realizing it.
Facebook is a hungry content beast who wants to eat into your profits. Unfortunately, Instagram is making changes to become more like its older, adopted brother. You can't be naive, Facebook and Pinterest have hundreds and thousands of software engineers who are pretty crafty at writing algorithms to maximize their advertising dollars and keep readers on their site, minimizing the traffic they send you.
Most blogs fail to realize their greatest asset is their content.
Content should be the focus of your business. Pinterest and Facebook rely on content to keep them in business and in many cases you are the one who spent hours producing content and they are the ones making billions off of it.
The problem is bloggers and publishers have tried so hard to keep up with social media they've begun to believe it's the only way to succeed at business and you must work whatever is the newest and latest social platform.
It's a lie.
You don't have to rely on Pinterest or Facebook to make you successful and you really shouldn't. When you rely on them for your success you have absolutely no control over your business. And when they change their algorithim your business is at their whim.
You must build your traffic around fabulous content (that's what an editor does anyways...right?) You create a following in your industry based on your editorial content, and by networking with the professionals and businesses that support your industry.
You must also invest in technology.
You are competing with technological giants and readers who are used to certain tools, so you must build them into your own website. Whether that's the ability to save images, create boards, powerful search tools or amazing image galleries - offer your readers a way to stay and engage with the hours upon hours of labour you have put into your content.
Of course you can't ditch social media altogether. Social media is an amazing way to stay in touch with your readers and direct them to your website, but once they are on your website it's a totally different ball game. You need to use social media to your advantage and not to theirs. Here's a few tips:
Now we all still want larger social media followings to help drive traffic; what we recommend is that you focus on creating campaigns to drive new followers that run a couple of days each month. You can use your blog, email newsletters, email blasts or any other creative source for these campaigns.
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