Updated 4/28/2023 | Published 4/27/2022
- How to get traffic to your website without social media or paid ads
- Essential parts of every blog post
- How much traffic can you generate with Content Marketing?
- How to create the perfect blog post
Have you heard of “content marketing?” Maybe you’ve heard marketing people say you should be doing content marketing, but you don’t fully understand what they mean and how you can do it for your own handmade business. Content marketing is one (of many strategies) for how to get traffic to your website without social media, running advertising campaigns, or dancing on TikTok.
So we’re all on the same page, let’s define content marketing as:
Publishing content (whether that be words, images, or even videos) that your ideal customer would find interesting or useful and then promoting that content.
For example – If you have a handmade jewelry business, you could create some content about how to style your jewelry with different outfits to complete different looks. This is helpful to prospective buyers and can even create a sense of desire for your jewelry!
How to get traffic to your website without social media or paid ads
Creating your Content
So what type of content should you create and where should you publish it?
Your “type” of content has a couple of different facets:
- content format (text, image, audio, video – or a combination)
- publishing outlet (a blog, podcast, YouTube, email, downloadable file, online course, webinar, Instagram reels, etc.)
When considering format, consider which format makes the most sense for the content you’re creating – for instance, text or audio wouldn’t be the best ways to show how to style jewelry with different outfits. Images or video would be much better suited. Also, consider your resources and skills available as well as which format would be more enjoyable for you to create.
When considering a publishing outlet, you want to choose based on your chosen content format (for example text content is not suitable for YouTube). You can also choose based on your goals – Want more traffic on your website? Post your content on your website and drive your traffic there!
Content Marketing = Website Traffic
You’ve perhaps heard that “Content is King” when it comes to SEO. Content marketing is a long-game strategy to get traffic to your website without social media antics or ad budgets. Well, guess what? Blog posts are content! Creating a blog is one of the most popular and flexible ways to create content that will generate more traffic to your website.
Create and publish blog posts on your own website. If you have a website built with WordPress, this is incredibly easy because all the blogging tools are built right in. And WP is the king of blogging, so there are tons of great features built-in, plus there are a ton of free (and premium) plugins available to take your blog to the next level. For example, I’m using a plugin called AIO SEO to create that nifty table of contents at the top of this post. I have the premium version, but the free version of the plugin has the TOC feature!
Shopify and Squarespace also have blog tools built in, but they are not quite as robust as WordPress. But don’t let that deter you – start anyway!
Blog posts are flexible because you can publish any kind of content format. You can include text, images, videos, and even audio clips directly into your post. ❣️ Bonus tip: You can also create downloadable files to accompany your blog posts so that visitors can opt-in to your email list to get access to the file. (Grow your email list which will be yet another way to drive traffic to your website in the future!)
Blogs drive traffic to your website because you will be promoting the content you just made and sending people to that post on your website. They also drive traffic via search engines – HELLO SEO! People searching on the internet about the topic of your content can find your post in search results and click over to your website to learn more.
How does content marketing increase traffic to your Shopify store, WordPress/WooCommerce shop, or even your Etsy shop?
- SEO – your website will be more likely to rank in search results and drive traffic from search engines
- Email – you can grow your email list with opt-in forms in your posts and also email your subscribers to drive traffic to your shop or blog
- Pinterest – you can gain traffic from Pinterest when people pin and repin your blog posts
- Social Media – when you have great content, you can share it on social media and other people will share it too!
Essential parts of every blog post
Before you can create an awesome blog post, it’s helpful to understand the components or “anatomy” of a post. Here are 10 key pieces you should have for every blog post that you want to rank organically in search
- Excerpt (and/or “Meta Description” for SEO)
- Call to Action (“CTA”)
- Featured Image
- Pinterest Image
Additionally, if you want to track your performance, I highly recommend that you set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console and ensure that you have the GA tag installed on your website.
How much traffic can you generate with Content Marketing?
In the example screenshot above, you can see this website got over 1,200 clicks from search results in a month’s timespan (not to mention over 55,600 sets of eyeballs on the brand). What’s more, is that over 78% of all the traffic to this website comes from organic search because of the content marketing efforts in place!
Imagine how much traffic you’re “leaving on the table” if you’re not utilizing a blog and content to increase your SEO.
How to create the perfect blog post
1.) Carefully craft your blog title (for SEO and also for humans)
Your blog post title should be clear and aligned with the content. When considering a particular title, imagine what assumptions people would make about the contents of the post (before they click) based solely on the title. AKA don’t clickbait people! You also want to incorporate your target keyword into your title somehow, but in a natural way that is written for a human first. which brings me to the next point
2.) Choose your target Keyword Phrase
Where do you want to show up in search results? Think about what people are typing into the google machine when searching for your blog topic. The phrase or question that someone types into the search bar is called a “query” and you want to target a keyword phrase that is closely related or an exact match for a popular query. Ideally, you want to target a keyword phrase that gets a decent search volume (the # of people searching it monthly) while also having low competition (the results listed are not high quality or not aligned with the query). So, how do you choose a great keyword? Well, my friend, that is the question. Keyword research and choosing winning keywords is a whole art, science, and profession in and of itself! And I haven’t quite cracked the nut on that one, but I’m getting better!
3.) Put your Target Keyword in your post URL
A great URL for a post looks like yourdomain.xyz/target-keyword-phrase-here
To achieve these beautiful URLs you need to have your blog set up on a system that allows you to control the link structure of your posts (In WordPress you do this from your Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks and set your Permalink Structure to “Post Name” – easy peasy 🍋 squeezy). And then when you write a new blog post, your “slug” (the part of the URL trailing after your domain/) will default to your post title. You can easily tweak it in your post settings though so you can simplify it if need be.
For example, on this post the title is “Want More Website Traffic? Content Marketing for handmade sellers” but I tweaked the permalink to simplify it to /website-traffic-via-content-marketing
4.) Organize your post into a category
You can organize your blog into categories which helps people browse your blog to find the content they are interested in. You can create categories and sub-categories (and sub-sub-categories) to further organize your posts if you have a lot of content. And posts can be included in more than one category.
For example, this blog post is included in the “SEO” category of my blog.
5.) Increase your CTR with a great Excerpt or “Meta Description”
When your website shows up in search results, the snippet typically shows your Post Title, URL, and an excerpt from the post. Google can choose any excerpt they determine best fits the user’s search query, but you do have the option to suggest a custom-written excerpt. Use this space to inform the searcher what your post is about while also enticing them to click through. This is your chance to win that click!
6.) Write a great post (Content)
An awesome post is all about the content. Here are a couple guidelines for writing great post content
Post Length: There is no magic word count that will rank you better in search. So focus on quality over quantity. You do want to ensure that your post is long enough to answer the searcher’s query fully.
Make it easy to read (and skim): Use headings and subheadings to break up your text into manageable paragraphs. Use bulleted or numbered lists. Add images where appropriate. Keep paragraphs on the shorter side so they are not overwhelming to the eye. We all gloss over when we see a paragraph that goes on and on forever. You don’t want that for your readers!
Include Keywords: Naturally incorporate your target keyword as well as similar and related keywords throughout the content. Don’t overdo it or try to cram them in where they don’t quite fit. Write for a human first, always, but ideally you can weave in some great KW phrases. Don’t forget to incorporate those keywords into headings, subheadings, and image descriptions or captions as well!
Add links: Throughout the text, you can create hyperlinks to other blog posts or your e-commerce products. These are called “internal links” and help people browse around your website.
Incorporate multimedia: Add images, embed videos, or embed social media posts into your blog post to help create visual interest and add context to your content.
7.) Include a Call to Action (“CTA”)
A Call to action or “CTA” is where you encourage your readers to take an action. That action could be to read another post or to opt-in to your email list to receive some free guide or incentive. Even better: You could include a CTA to your products (where appropriate) to increase traffic to your Etsy shop. When readers get to the end of your post, what would you like them to do next? Then make that call to action very clear!
8.) Add a Featured Image
On your blog archive or Recent Posts section, usually your site shows your blog title and a snippet of the content, but also it’s showing an image to go along with it. Add a nice featured image that relates to your post and helps increase interest. Tip: Be consistent with the sizing (aspect ratio) of your featured images so that when viewing a grid layout or tiled row of all your posts, all your posts line up.
9.) Make your post “Pinnable”
One way to get more traffic to your site is to encourage Pinterest users to pin your blog post. If Pinterest marketing is part of your strategy, be sure to add an Image into your post that is formatted for Pinterest (A vertically oriented tall image with your post title or intriguing text on it). Another feature that will help with increasing pins to your post is to have a “pin it” button. This can be visible when visitors hover over an image or a button at the beginning and/or end of your post.
10.) Help readers find more interesting posts on your blog with Tags
Let me preface with this: Tags on your website are totally different than the way Tags work on Etsy.
On your website, tags are another way to classify and organize your content to make it easy for people to browse similar or related posts and topics to what they are currently reading and interested in.
Tags are different than categories though. “Categories are best used for broad groupings of topics…. Tags are much more specific topics that you want to use to associate related content.” (Source: WordPress)
For example, if you’re running a handmade soap and cosmetic business, you might use blog categories such as News & Announcements, Ingredients, Skincare Tips, Haircare Tips, Hair & Makeup Tutorials, etc. And then you might want to use tags like “curly hair” which could apply specifically to posts catering to people with curly hair – and those posts may cross categories (Haircare Tips vs Hair Tutorials). Another example might be a tag like “sensitive skin” which could help people with sensitive skin find blog posts that will help them with skincare tips, product suggestions, and makeup tutorials that won’t cause redness, rashes, or breakouts.
So, what will your next (or first!) blog post be about?