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    Blogging is a great way for businesses to generate organic traffic.

    Our Gravitate blog accounts for more than a quarter of our monthly unique visits. It seems that the more we write, the more traffic we get.

    It wasn’t always this way though. We didn’t really find our groove until about a year ago, and we’ve continued working out the kinks ever since. However, we’ve definitely learned a few things by achieving a 144% growth in blog traffic this year.

    Lucky for us, we’re also in a unique situation: as an agency, we are able to test our strategies on a lot of different businesses – in a lot of different industries.

    Here are some universal, yet often overlooked tips for using a blog as a traffic-generation strategy.

    General Rules:

    1. Don’t even start blogging unless you can commit to at least one full year of consistent publishing, with a bare minimum of twice per month. 1–2 times per week is ideal.
    2. Spend at least as much time promoting your blog as you do writing it. Shoot for a 50/50 mix.
    3. Each post needs a call to action. At the very least, urge readers to sign up for your e-mail list.
    4. Use a shared content calendar within your organization for planning ahead and keeping your team focused on upcoming topics. Get started by downloading our free template on Google Drive.
    5. Set up your authors with Google Authorship to help with rich snippets in search results. I know, I know, Google no longer shows the thumbnail image, but it’s still worth it. You’ll still get your name in the search result listing, and Google does track Author Rank.

    Rules for Selecting Topics:

    Keep it original.

    Make sure it doesn’t appear anywhere else on the web.

    Make it search engine friendly.

    A good rule of thumb to remember: in a perfect [SEO] world, each page would be about just one topic.

    Be useful.

    Your content needs to solve the unique concerns or challenges faced by your target personas.

    Bring the value.

    Provide information that challenges popular beliefs or provides worthwhile insight or resources that are otherwise hard to find.

    Keep stellar design and readability in mind.

    Keep your pages looking modern, clean, distraction free, with easy-to-read text that loads flawlessly on any device.

    Promotion Tips:

    • PDF it! Copy/paste your blog into a template Word doc, create a PDF version, and then submit to these PDF directories.
    •  Compile a list of influencers who might be interested in your blog post. Mention to them you wrote an article on a subject they happen to be discussing, dropping them a link to the post.
    • If you reference an influencer or other author in your post, let them know on social media. Example: @influencer Thanks for the inspiration for my latest post on #business #blog #strategies! Bit.ly/iGds
    • Using hash tags to reference your topic will help attract other users who are interested in the topic.
    • Make your conversation unique to each influencer. Don’t blast them all at once with one blanket tweet or comment.
    • Just one RT or social share from an influencer can put your blog post in front of tens of thousands of new readers.

    If you start with these things in mind, you’ll be ahead of 99% of the companies using a blog as a traffic-generation strategy.

    Don’t forget to download our PDF of this post, leave a comment, or give us a shout out on Twitter with your comments via @GravitateDesign.