Hello everyone. My name is Ahmed Bilal, and I’ll be here every week showing you how to get more traffic for your content (be it your own website or content you’re writing for a client).
As a writer, putting words on a paper or a text document is easy. You have an idea, you have a mission, you have a story to tell, and you say it. In words. Simple, right?
But getting people to read that story is a different beast altogether. It’s made more difficult by the self-centered, uber-idealistic mindset of beginner writers that writing is about them, about what they’re thinking or saying, and everybody else needs to sit in rapture and marvel at their brilliance.
Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re past that hurdle – i.e. you’re already writing for money and based on specific guidelines / requirements given to you by clients. You know that ultimately, the publishing business is determined by the # of eyeballs – how many people read, listen, or watch what you create.
It’s rarely the writer’s domain to contribute towards audience building, although there are many subtle ways (beyond the writer’s reputation, writing ability and chosen subject matter) that can be used to attract more readers. What’s more, and this is the takeaway for today, if you can can offer quality content plus targeted traffic to your clients, you’ve instantly moved from the 99% of the field to the elite 1% of writers who become indispensable for their clients.
Let me rephrase that:
Content+Traffic = Indispensable Asset
And that’s my goal for this column – to help you be more valuable to your clients, to help you differentiate yourself as an indispensable asset, to help you charge more to your clients and obviously, to help you drive more traffic to your articles.
This advice works whether you run your own website or you exclusively write for other clients. It works whether you’re writing about shoes or maternity clothes or the latest iPhone or the Jurassic Era. It simply works because the principles for building traffic – just like the principles for building your business – stay the same across all niches.
Your expertise in your niche + what you’ll learn here about traffic building = an irresistable combination for your current and future clients.
The mindset I talked about earlier – of writers divorcing themselves from the need to write for traffic – is something even experienced writers suffer from at times. Like today, when I was writing this article, I wanted to go on about my personal writing experiences and my past, before I redrafted this to speak directly to you and talk about what you want to read.
When you’re writing, there are two conflicting forces – the need to express yourself and the need to please the reader. How you successfully combine the two is something you can learn, and apply with ease to your daily routine. If you already understand how your target market thinks, you can frame your point of view to suit their needs, and satisfy both demands.
Over the course of the next few weeks you’ll read about specific tactics and actionable tips you can use to get more readers. From SEO copywriting to going from 0 to 100,000 readers / month on your own website to leveraging social bookmarking and social media tools to understanding how viral content works and how to create it – you’ll be reading, learning and hopefully applying different strategies designed to help you succeed and become a better writer.
Around this point I’m supposed to also tell you a bit about me, who I am and what I’ve done. Susan’s introduction gives a overview but here’s some facts you might not have read elsewhere:
- I went from struggling with English as a second language to becoming a fluent speaker and writer in a matter of months with a simple mindset change – one that I’ll discuss later this month.
- I have a decade of hands-on experience in helping clients drive traffic to their websites – through SEO, through social media (before it was called ‘social media’), through viral marketing, through word of mouth, through email marketing – bascially, any and every legitimate way to drive targeted traffic to a business, free or paid.
- My latest venture focuses on business partnerships – helping startups and small businesses (usually offline) increase their revenues, improve their marketing, develop their online presence and overall, make more money for them.
- I currently manage 50+ writers at Soccerlens (and in the last 4 years have easily worked with 500+ writers there) and while everyone’s different, writers tend to have similar problems and gaps in their learning. Whatever I’ll be writing here, it’ll be from hands-on experience of helping writers progress and become better at their jobs.
- At Football Media I’m working with 30+ websites to help them increase their traffic and therefore increase their revenues.
So what’s next? I’ll be here every Tuesday talking about building traffic, and if you’d like to keep up with the column you can bookmark the site or subscribe to the RSS feed (if you haven’t already!) We’ve barely touched the surface this week so next week will focus more on a specific tactic and how you can adapt that for your own needs.
Also, I’ll be answering questions every week about traffic building – so feel free to ask me on Twitter (@ahmedbilal) or in the comments section below. If your question is selected it’ll be answered at the end of the column.
Susan Gunelius says
Welcome aboard, Ahmed! It’s so important for writers these days to know how to write for the web and use their writing as a tool to drive traffic to their own branded destinations where they can promote themselves and build their businesses. Also, many writers earn comfortable livings writing web copy for clients. Bottom-line, I know your posts are going to be very helpful on many levels to the FWJ audience, and I can’t wait to read more from you!
I just started a new blog (http://allaboutereading.com/) and I definitely need tips on drawing traffic to the site, even though I haven’t posted any ads on it. Looking forward to your articles, Ahmed. Thanks.