I do not claim to be an expert in this area, however after 15 years of doing this, I have learned one or two things.
1) Create Quality Content
Seems pretty darn obvious to most folks out there, but let me tell you it isn’t to a lot of folks. Don’t just rehash crap you have read, show an opinion, show you have ideas and don’t go with the herd. Don’t be stupid about it, but if you agree with everyone else, then why would anyone want to read your stuff?
2) Stay on Topic
If your site is about a specific topic, Stay on topic! Yes, occasionally, after you are successful you can add your favorite guacamole recipe or whatever, but stay on topic. I was really, really guilty of wandering off topic, and it has cost me time and again. Why would anyone read your stuff if you can’t stay on topic?
This site exists because my Personal Finance site was getting riddled with technology stuff, and nobody wanted that. Stay in your lane.
3) Make it fast
If your site is as slow as molassis in January, nobody will wait for it to load. People have no attention span these days, so don’t overload your site with crap that slows it down. Better still use something to cache it and optimize the cache’ing settings too.
Google cares about this a lot too.
4) Make Your Key Content Easy to Find
Anything you think is good or important better be no more than 1 click from any page that any user browses. If you make things easy to find, people will find them, more easily (think about that one for a minute).
5) Get links and make good links
For God’s Sake don’t carpet bomb sites asking for Guest Posts and Links. I get inundated with that crap and I ignore it. People who I know that are successful just ignore them. Make contacts, but you aren’t going to make good contacts on cold-call emails.
6) Social Media
Seriously, I gotta put that one down? OK, here is a little more stuff, if you are using Social Media SEPARATE your personal and business feeds. If you want to get up on your pulpit about a personal cause, do you want it to be associated with your site?
7) HTTPS – Get a Site Cert
If your site does not have an SSL cert, go get one. Many folks won’t go near a site without one, and if you are going to sell something you MUST get one. It makes you look like you actually are trying hard too.
8) Get your site Crawled
Set yourself up on Bing, Google and whatever other search engines you can think of so they crawl your site to find your great content! Install Yoast SEO or something like that and it is all pretty much automatic. They aren’t going to look for you, there is too much content these days, you have to tell them about yourself. Search on sitemap.xml and go from there!
9) Learn how to count!
Yeh, that is important too. I hate list posts, so I did this mostly as a gag (i.e. more than 6 points). Lean how to make sure your content is concise and easy to read. If you have a thesis, better put a sharp precis at the start or folks aren’t going to read 10,000 words.