I have been blogging for a long time, but I’ve struggled to get people to come to my website. The few people that did read my site – social media followers and members of the athletics club that I train at – were impressed with the content. I was confident that the posts I wrote were insightful and interesting, but for some reason I just couldn’t build up a pro-active, engaged readership beyond that of my own social circle

Image credit

Image credit

Where Are All The Readers?

It turns out that the people interested in athletics blogs are other athletes, and they’re already reading other blogs. Breaking into the niche is difficult, and when it comes to SEO Edinburgh has a lot of competition – especially given the attention that the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics has enjoyed recently. It’s hard to rise to the top of the rankings in such a competitive niche. Instead of focusing on search engines early on, I decided to try Blog Carnivals.

It turns out that blog carnivals are great for attracting readers. I started by joining a couple of blog carnivals associated with general fitness, and once I had some people commenting on and subscribing to my blog I started running my own carnivals.

Getting People to Come Back

To attract repeat readers, I used my carnivals as a way to get people to share ideas I picked a fitness-focused but broad theme each week, and invited discussion and cross-linking. This worked quite well, and it helped to build up engagement within the athletics community and the wider fitness world. That earned me a lot of links from those blogs, and after a few months I noticed that my rankings had improved as well.
Now that I have a decent base of traffic, I feel more confident in the potential of my website. The blog is just the beginning, and I want to monetize the site. I launched a store selling sports apparel and nutrition products, and I’m working with http://www.mash-marketing.com/ to improve the traffic to that part of the site and the conversion rate of the site in general.

It’s been a long road. It took some time to understand that the potential for traffic is there and that good content is essential – but that it isn’t enough by itself. If no-one knows that the content is there, they won’t know to go looking for it. What better way to promote your content than to share it with like-minded people, engage them in conversations via your website, and network along the way?

Promoting your website should be a multi-stage process – with content marketing being just one part of that. Ideally, you should aim to be building links, using social media, promoting your website via blogs and PPC, and doing content marketing too. Some of this may require that you bring in help from third parties. It will be worth the effort, however, to reach your target audience.