Lee Odden

How to Increase Business Blog Traffic, Readership, & Community

grow blog readershipOne of the key objectives and performance metrics for business blogging is to grow the network of people that find, interact with and share blog content.  An optimized approach to growing a blog community relies on an understanding of who the audience is and what their information goals are, not just what the brand wants to achieve. Many companies start out blogging about their own products and services, company news and essentially the kinds of things that belong in a corporate newsroom.

An ego-centric approach to business blogging misses the opportunity to create meaningful connections with people empowered to publish, share, refer and buy. Blogging is a publishing platform that allows both one to one and one to many communications so content should take advantage of those engagement opportunities by thinking about content that’s interesting from the reader’s perspective.

So, what can companies that are planning on setting up a blog or that would like to improve the performance of their blog do?

The first thing I’d recommend is to find a niche related to the major problems your business solves for customers and make a plan to dominate it. Develop a matrix of topics and media types that map to the intersection of target audience needs and the key messages your brand is trying to promote. What’s the one thing your company, division, department or product is absolutely the best at?  Think of  blog posts, videos, images, presentations, infographics, polls, interviews, liveblogging, reports, reviews and other types of content that you could create to be the “go to” resource for that category.  Once you’ve achieved dominance of conversation, referrals and search visibility for that key topic, document what has made your niche efforts successful and duplicate that process to other topics relevant to your business.

What are the mechanics of growing a blog community? It can differ a bit according to your industry, goals, target audience and resources, but here are a few simple tips that have helped our agency at TopRank Marketing gain an online footprint and brand credibility that is equal or better to agencies that are many, many times larger than we are.

  1. Tell Stories. Whatever it is that you’re trying to communicate, always think of what “the story” is. If you were a journalist assigned to cover a beat, what unique angle, hook or perspective would you use to make the information you’re publishing interesting to a particular audience? With practice, you can find good stories in anything.
  2. Empathize with whatever market or audience you’re after. Put yourself in their shoes when thinking of topics. What are your target audience’s pain points and goals? Write about the journey to solving those problems.
  3. Engage and Recognize. Find ways to ask your readers, subscribers, fans, friends and followers to interact and participate directly on your business blog as well as the other social media and networking channels used to grow community and promote useful content (including your own). Reward and recognize the kind of participation you’re after. Repeat. The simple satisfaction of contributing and being recognized is one of the most powerful when developing a strong blog community.
  4. Quality for the win. A quantity of quality is what wins with blog content. There’s a lot of competition in the blogging space so it’s important to produce high quality, relevant and sharable content on a regular basis. At TopRank Online Marketing we help companies plan and implement this but with a good plan, it’s entirely possible for companies to figure it out on their own over time. Provide something your readers can’t find elsewhere online and do that consistently.
  5. Easy to Search and Share. Blog content that is easy to find on search engines and that is often shared by credible sources within relevant social networks can grow your community in very meaningful ways. People that search are often looking for something specific and when your blog content “ranks” well for those phrases, it lends instant credibility that can manifest as an increase in traffic, readership and growth of your community.

Many companies start blogging because competitors are doing it or because it seems a necessary piece of the online and social media marketing mix.  Hopefully those companies are thoughtful about what they want to achieve through blogging and understand both the necessity of planning and commitment to make it work. We’ve been blogging for over 8 years here at TopRank and with nearly 50,000 blog subscribers, almost 20,000 Twitter followers, 14,000 Facebook fans and a growing community on Google+, we’ve been able grow a network, readership and community that many of the world’s largest internet marketing agencies can’t come close to matching. On top of those social KPIs we can attribute millions in $ of new business, amazingly talented employees, speaking opportunities and partnerships to the content and relationships built from our blog. I think that kind of impact is possible for any company that wants it and is willing to make the commitment.

For me this is a short post, so there are many other things a business could do to grow community, readership and traffic to their business blog. What are some of the tactics or approaches you’ve taken to attract and engage your blog readers?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.


  1. I couldn’t agree more, the biggest slip up companies make is thinking people care about their day-to-day operations.  When businesses realize that what people care about is themselves and the problems they need solved, then a business blog can start to have an impact.  

  2. Wow this really true

  3. Interesting thing about being “human” is that it’s new territory for many companies. Speaking on behalf of the brand as if it were a personality. I know it took me a long time to find my blogging “voice”. Thanks for the comment and insight Jack.

  4. This is just what I need to develop my blogging journey. Even though I don’t run a company blog, but I think the tips here practicable for blogger too.

    I like much the “Tell the Story” Parts.

  5. I’m totally agree with the Your point … Yes, content is very important, It should be not only informative , but also unique and interesting for the readers :)) 

  6. Johara Jorge says:

    Business blogs are required more informative then only readers will come to the website. More informative blogs will improve reader’s recognization. 


  7. brandsexposed says:

    In general most blogs are the ramblings of someone with far to much time on their hands! THIS ONE NOT INCLUDED 🙂

    I think the main point is people should write about problem solving information, answering commenly asked questions and generally be useful to the world.

    This will benefit readers far more than just senseless ramblings

  8. We invite you to visit: http://www.statword.com

    Research and analysis of current and historical news.
    Word popularity in time. Context in which word occurred.
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    Out service help you to discover new trends.

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  9. We invite you to visit: http://www.statword.com

    Research and analysis of current and historical news.
    Word popularity in time. Context in which word occurred.
    Fully customizable charts for insightful analysis.
    Out service help you to discover new trends.

    Szczepan Thil

  10. Rightly said, i invite you all to http://blog.friendcaller.com for latest technology trends and VoIP news. You will definetly love it 

  11. I agree Sal. If your content is quality and reads nicely, your readers will appreciate it and multiply in numbers.

  12. Blogging has indeed a huge impact on a companies success, we just have to write and share the right resources.  Besides generating traffic and online popularity, its important to take into consideration the things that we can embody and share to our avid readers.  The knowledge based experiences and findings that we can share to everyone is at most important.

  13. When using wordpress i think it is very easy to grow your community. Just instal Buddypress or Bbpress forum. Not much effort and can increase community engadgment a lot.

  14. I think besides doing a lot of seo, whats more important is to provide best product to your consumer, so they themselves can spread the news.  Blogging is a well known tool, being used by most of the company, so if we decide to use this tool the above mentioned mechanics should be present, particularly empathy.

  15. Increasing the community is difficult in many cases and it realty needs expert authors. And the tip was discussed that it is necessary to use hook or perspective to make the information you’re publishing, is a key for increasing the traffic of a blog in my opinion.