wordpress blogs traffic tips guidesA long time ago — but in this galaxy vs. one far away full of droids, death stars, and an epic John Williams score — it didn’t take much to generate significant traffic to a blog. However, that era is over and with apologies to the traditionalists and nostalgia buffs out there, it’s never coming back.

These days, competition for eyeballs is relentless and ferocious. Not only is there an abundance (or make than an excess) of choice available, but folks who scour the interwebs looking for content are much more sophisticated and demanding. If they’re impressed, they’ll stick around. If they aren’t, they’ll disappear and probably never return.

Naturally, you want your blog to get bookmarked instead of blacklisted. To that glorious — and indeed, profitable — end, here are 5 ways to drive traffic to your WordPress blog:

Focus on Core Concepts and Themes

If you want a personal blog where you opine today about your favorite new age singer (who doesn’t like a dose of Enya every now and then?) and wax philosophically about your trip to the post office tomorrow (wow, people sure to return a lot of stuff to Amazon, don’t they?), that’s fine. A personal blog is simply that: personal. It’s more like a diary than anything else. But if you want to generate traffic for your business or to support any other commercial model (e.g. affiliate programs, advertising, etc.), then you need to focus — and stay focused — on core concepts and themes. Otherwise, you won’t and can’t build a brand or a loyal following.

Generate Relevant Content

The critical, eternal questions that you need to ask before crafting any content is: Why would people visiting my site care about this? What problems does it help them solve? What goals does it help them achieve? If you’re drawing a blank for any of these inquiries, then it doesn’t matter how interesting or readable your blog is. It won’t be relevant, and it won’t generate traffic. And of course, make sure that your headlines are relevant, too (learn more about this here).

Publish Regularly

Running a successful blog is like deciding to be healthy. It’s not a once-in-a-while thing, or a set-it-and-forget-it proposition. You need to publish a steady stream of focused, relevant content. Years ago, it was fine to publish a few times a month. These days, publishing at least once a week is the minimum standard, and publishing daily is even better. If this is too much of an administrative and creative burden, consider hiring (good) content writers, or soliciting guest posts. Just make sure that the content is 100% original and won’t be published elsewhere down the road.

Aim for at Least 400 Words

A lot of WordPress blogs (and other kinds of blogs for that matter) publish “micro posts,” which are basically Facebook and sometimes even Twitter-sized blurbs. While these are fine once in a while — usually to highlight something important and link to a source, like an article in a major newspaper or a new video on YouTube — generally, you want your posts to have at least 400 words; though longer is even better. And while you’re at it, make sure that you make ample use of bullets, lists, sub-headings, and suitable images and graphics, so that your content is visually engaging.

Connect Content

Last but not least, when applicable and relevant, connect content to drive visitors deeper into your blog and increase time-on-site (which is a critically important metric to measure engagement). For example, if you run an interior design company and publish a blog highlighting “7 Do’s and Don’ts of Dental Office Design”, then link to relevant blogs and other assets such as infographics, ebooks, white papers, checklists, videos, and so on.

The Bottom Line

These tips won’t instantly transform your blog from a virtual wasteland into a hub of activity. But they will definitely put you on the road to what matters most: generating more quality traffic, and ensuring that your blog stands out and apart from the crowd.