Does it ever feel like growing your food blog is an uphill battle? Like you’ll never make it to the next level of growth? Like everyone else has the secret to growth that continually eludes you? Yeah, I know what you mean. But, here’s the thing….
There is no secret. And today I’m going to show you what it takes to grow your food blog by reviewing present day SEO and lessons learned by studying well over 100,000 backlinks to over 100 food blogs. We’ll even look at how you might be able to buck the trends and fast track your growth.
I’ve taken the over 100,000 backlinks collected in this study and condensed them down to just the best high-authority source domains. These are the sites from which your fellow food bloggers have acquired valuable backlinks to grow their domain authority. Grab the free list of 1000+ domains and start searching for new opportunity.
If you’re one of those folks that think blogging is easy and I’m about to show you a magic trick then you can stop reading this post now and I might have some magic beans I can sell you.
Still here? Awesome! Take a deep breath, we’re about to go in for the deep dive. But first, a little background…
Table of Contents
- Organic Search Overview
- Understanding the Modern SEO Landscape
- Link Study Deep Dive: Intro
- The Relationship Backlinks and Domain Authority
- Learning from Outiers: Part 1
- Link Authority and Other Factors
- The Google Fred Update
- Organic Search by the Numbers
- Learning from Outliers: Part 2
- What Makes a Good Backlink?
- Grab your Freebie!
- Conclusions & Growth Hacking
Organic Search Overview
I understand, there’s a TON that goes into growing traffic to a food blog: Photography, videography, copywriting, networking, social medi, and on and on. And they’re all related. And they’re all deserving of their own discussion, but this post will focus heavily on organic search.
The Importance of Organic Search to Food Bloggers
After studying countless food blogs over several years I can confidently say that Organic Search and Pinterest are consistently the top 2 sources of traffic. And, more often than not, organic search is #1.
But if you want some real numbers to back this up then here are a few income reports from food bloggers that include traffic reports:
If you search “food blog + income report” you’ll turn up even more and they’ll likely show you more of the same.
The numbers in this study reveal the same thing:
- Organic Search is responsible for over 20 percent of site traffic for 80% of the blogs in this study
- Organic Search is responsible for over 30 percent of site traffic for 57.6% of the blogs in this study
- Organic Search is responsible for over 40 percent of site traffic over 40.5% of the blogs in this study
- Organic Search is responsible for over 50 percent of site traffic over 24.3% of the blogs in this study
You get it, right?
Organic search matters.
Understanding the Current SEO Landscape
Gone are the days of gaming the system. You’re welcome to try, many still do, but don’t be surprised if you don’t achieve the results you are hoping for. Google has grown smarter and is on the lookout for those trying to game the system.
Today’s SEO world is about great content and relevancy.
What is the best way for a food blogger to grow their organic search in today’s SEO world?
This is a bit of a loaded question because of course there is a LOT involved and there is no one formula for success, but in a recent article Search Engine Journal listed 2017’s Four Most Important Ranking Factors According to Seo Industry Studies. They were:
- Mobile-First User Experience
- Other Technical Factors
We won’t get into all of this in detail, but….
Of course content is #1. Don’t expect quality backlinks without quality content. Would you expect egg production without a chicken? Maybe a better analogy, would you expect to find a Michelin star restaurant without a great chef using high-quality ingredients?
And the other stuff on the list equates to user experience. Present day SEO is all about relevance and user experience. In other words, make sure your content matches searcher intent and is engaging enough that the user sticks around.
All of this is great because it means if you create great relevant content it has a chance to rank. But the other reality is that if you don’t distance your content from higher authority blogs then more often than not they are going to dominate you in the SERPS (Search Engine Ranking Pages).
We need to dig deeper.
The Role of Backlinks
In short, backlinks are trust signals. When someone links to your site, basically they are saying your content is a good resource. But, of course…
…it’s not quite so simple. As google continually evolves their goal is to match searchers with better and better results. They work hard to amplify the best results and weed out those with lesser content and those who try to game the system.
In the same Search Engine Journal article mentioned above, they say:
Backlinks remain an important Google ranking factor, but over the years, Google has learned to weed out the bad links from the good. More links will still result in a higher score, but only if they’re from a number of diverse and authoritative domains.
In other words, not all backlinks are created equal. More on that later, but for now understand that backlinks are hugely important trust signals that can help boost your domain authority.
Link Study: Overview
In preparation for this post I compiled a database of over 100,000 backlinks to over 100 food blogs of varying authority. What can I say? I’m a little nerdy like that! I’ve spent the near 2 decades of my professional life in the IT world, some of that time building relational databases to store large amounts of related data. Suffice to say, I appreciate the power of getting to look at and learn from large amounts of related data. Don’t we all? 🙂
For this study, along with collecting a sampling of backlinks from over 100 blogs, I also collected information on things like domain authority, link authority, link type, overall traffic, organic search traffic, and domain age.
The goal here was not scientific significance, but to examine trends within the industry to give food bloggers a big picture road map of what it truly takes to build blog authority — and thus, hopefully, grow their traffic and revenue.
A quick note on methods: The tools used to gather this data for this study are ones widely used throughout the SEO industry, but it’s important to note that they provide estimates. Again, the goal here was not pinpoint accuracy, but building a big picture road map.
Some quick vocabulary review:
- Moz Domain Authority – Moz is an industry leader is SEO and their Moz Domain Authority (DA) is, in their own words, “a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). Domain Authority scores range from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank”.
- Link Authority – A score that takes into account both the quality and quantity of links pointing to a website. Higher scores are more likely to rank.
- Active Links – Links found by web crawlers in the past 90 days. Older links can count if they have been active, but that link you received eons ago that hasn’t sent you traffic in years isn’t considered active.
- No Follow Links – Nofollow is an HTML attribute that can be attached to a link as part of the ahref tag. It signals to search engines bots that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index. In layman’s terms, no link juice is passed.
Time to dig in…
The Relationship Between Backlinks and Site Authority
Okay, let’s dive into the data compiled for this link study. First, we’ll take a look at the relationship that exists between backlinks and Site Authority.
Looking at Figure 1 below, we see a scatter plot of Domain Authority vs. # of active backlinks.
It should come as no surprise that as the # of backlinks to a site increase, in general, so too does domain authority. But, the real question is, “What type of relationship that exists between these two metrics?”.
Is it a linear relationship? No, clearly it’s not with an R-squared value of 0.278. It may have been a few years (or decades?) since your last statistics class, but R-squared is a measure of how close the data fit the regression line. Don’t worry, we won’t be delving deep into statistics, but for basic review:
An R-squared value of 0 would indicate that the model explains none of the variability around the mean. An R-squared value of 1 would indicate that the model explains all the variability around the mean. So in layman’s terms, the higher the R-value, the better the data points fit the line.
If you’re at all familiar with Moz’s domain authority then you shouldn’t be surprised that a linear regression line isn’t a good fit as on their website they say:
We score Domain Authority on a 100-point, logarithmic scale. Thus, it’s significantly easier to grow your score from 20 to 30 than it is to grow from 70 to 80.
With that in mind we start to gain a better understanding of the relationship between # of active backlinks and domain authority.
Figure 2 below contains the same data as Figure 1, but this time I chose to use an exponential trendline. And we see that it’s a much better fit. The takeaway is that it requires more and more backlinks to progress to the next tier of domain authority.
This may seem like a bitter pill as you find yourself stuck at a given level, but remember, your visibility and authority also has the ability to rise exponentially.
I’m sure you’ll also recognize the names of the few high authority blogs that I labeled on the chart. I WILL NOT be labeling all blogs as the point is not to make those who are just getting started or struggling feel bad, but to provide helpful insights for all. But I labeled a few well-known blogs for fun and I’m sure these blogs won’t mind a tip of cap to their high domain authority which no doubt came through years of hard work (more on that later).
…I’ve moved from using the # of active links to the # of unique active links. A higher R-squared value indicates it’s an even better fit which supports the notion that link diversity is important.
The takeaway: Getting a lot of links from the same site might provide some boost to page authority of the individual posts they link to, but they start to have diminishing returns in regards to helping your overall domain authority. Domain authority comes through building a diverse profile of authoritative links.
Now that we understand a little bit more about the relationships between backlinks and authority, let’s take a look at a site that goes against the expectations.
Learning from Outliers: Part 1
Examining a large data set to discover and learn from trends is important, but just as important, and maybe sometimes even more important, is learning from outliers. Are there data points go against the trends? If there are and you can discover why then that could be very valuable information.
How come the domain authority for the highlighted blog isn’t higher? It has double or triple the amount of the unique active backlinks than the other blogs with similar domain authority. So, what gives?
It seems off at first glance, but if we take a closer look at the backlinks pointing to this blog we start to understand why perhaps it doesn’t have a higher authority. 86.2% of the backlinks pointing to this blog are no-follow links and it only has a Link Authority score of 6 meaning they are mostly low-quality links and that this site probably isn’t sending a lot of trust signals to google.
The above outlier is a good reminder to not allow yourself to get caught up on one metric. Any one metric alone can be misleading, especially if you don’t have a good big picture understanding of other factors involved. When talking about a website’s backlink profile and its ability to rank in SERPS, clearly link authority and other factors play a role.
Link Authority and other factors
Not all backlinks are created equal. If they were, we could simply adopt the more is better mentality. But, not surprisingly, things are more complicated.
Three additional clear factors you should be considering when looking at your overall backlink profile are:
- Link Authority – If you’ll remember from above, link authority is a score that takes into account both the quality and quantity of links pointing to a website. A higher score indicates more links AND more links from authoritative sites.
- No Follow Percent – The overall percentage of links pointing to your site that are no follow links. A high no follow percentage may be sending a signal to Google that your content isn’t trustworthy.
- Relevance – Are your links coming from highly related content? If you run a vegan blog then it makes sense that links from authorities within the vegan niche are going to carry more impact because it’s a signal to Google that your content is relevant within this niche. Relevance is very important as Google attempts to match search results with search intent.
Let’s look at these factors in a little more detail using the data gathered for think study:
Figure 5 below should look familiar as we are again looking at domain authority plotted with the # of unique active links. But here we have added in a 3rd blog attribute, link authority, which is indicated by the size of the circle. Ignore color/shade as those were just used to make overlapping points more easy to distinguish.
The obvious and expected trend is that link authority (the size of the circle) rises as domain authority rises. Notice, you don’t see any elite blogs with a poor link authority score.
Figure 6 below presents the same data, but at a slightly more zoomed in scale so that it is easier to see the blogs with lower link authority scores (the small circles).
Note how the majority of the lower authority blogs fall above the trend line. Remember, the trendline provides an expectation for domain authority in terms of # of unique active backlinks. So we can think of above the line blogs as underperforming because their domain authority is lower than expected given the number of backlinks they have acquired.
So it makes sense to find the majority of the blogs with low link authority scores above the line and it’s not at all crazy to make the assumption that the lack of high-quality backlinks is one of the reasons their domain authority isn’t higher than it is.
The low link authority blog that stands out as the biggest underachiever (just above 1400 backlinks) is the blog we looked at in Outliers: Part 1, and so we know that not only does it have poor link authority, but a high no-follow percent as well.
Figure 7 below gives a good big picture view of how link authority is a good indicator of domain authority.
No Follow Percent
Knowing that no follow links provide no link juice to your content, it stands to reason that having a lot of no follow links pointing to your site doesn’t particularly help you, but could it actually be hurting you?
More on that below in the Google Fred Update section, but for now turn your attention to Figure 8 below which shows the percentage of a site’s total links that are no follow links plotted by domain authority.
There’s a lot of variability here, but the obvious takeaway is that higher authority blogs tend to have a lower percentage of no follow links.
It’s worth noting that this doesn’t mean they have less no-follow links, but that no follow links make up a lower percentage of their link total. And that’s because those blogs have so many other backlinks (trust signals) pointing to their site that serve to drive down their overall no follow percent.
Again, I like to continually return to thinking things in terms of trust because at the end of the day that’s what it comes down to: Does Google trust your content as a good resource?
Relevance isn’t something that can be counted like backlinks, but be sure that google is using your backlinks as relevance signals for different subject areas. More on this in the Google Fred Update section further below, but, for now, just understand that it matters greatly whether your backlinks are coming from highly related content.
Putting it all together
So yes, backlinks are super important, but you have to understand the other factors as well. With that in mind it might make sense to represent a blog’s Overall backlink profile with a radar chart as done in figure 9 with each of the axes representing one of the related variables that all clearly play a role in the overall trust signal you’re sending to Google.
It’s the total area (trust signal) that matters. You may have a high number of backlinks, but if they aren’t coming from authority sites and highly related content then you’re trust signal is still lacking.
Who is Fred?
On March 7th Google’s ranking algorithm underwent an update that quickly became known within the SEO community as the Fred update. The name Fred was jokingly coined by Google’s own Gary Illyes.
But those site affected by Fred were not laughing, some seeing traffic drops of up to 90%.
Fred was definitely felt in food blog world where I talked to and heard from many bloggers feeling the sting of Fred. The impact from Fred varied, but on a personal note we saw organic search traffic for our relatively young My Wife Can Cook blog dip by 50%.
So what do we know about Fred?
In a Techwyse Article they say:
Fred seems to be a link quality algorithm update, meaning it measures a website according to the other sites that are pointing back to it. A strong link profile has backlinks from sites with high domain authority, which means it’s not enough to simply get a wide swath of backlinks from spammy sites. Sites with low-quality backlinks are taking a serious hit with this new algorithm.
All this is in line with everything we’ve discussed above. It’s not just about links, it’s about link authority, relatedness, and the overall trust signal your content is sending out.
If you remember back to that outlier example from Part 1, you’ll remember we looked at a site that had a lower than expected domain authority given its number of backlinks. And looking closer we could see that this very likely had a lot to do with the site’s overall poor link authority and a high ratio of no follow links. Well…
Similar sites to this are the ones that were most likely affected by the Google Fred Update. Site’s that aren’t sending out enough trust signals.
More articles suggested that the Fred update targeted low-value revenue focused content.
Have you ever actually read Google’s Webmaster Guidelines? You should.
So what’s my advice for those still seeking to recover from Google’s Fred penalty?
Stop thinking of it as a penalty! It’s just Google’s way of telling you it doesn’t yet believe in your content. They are not out to get you, they are just trying to better serve their users.
Yes, I understand, it can be extremely disheartening to see your blog traffic drop, but you’ve chosen to enter an evolving landscape. It’s up to you to adapt. Updates are going to happen. They are Google’s attempt to match search queries with better results. So…
Instead of focusing on the short-term and getting upset, focus on the big picture and work smarter. If you do this then you might just find yourself celebrating on the other side of the next Google update (Barney?).
Organic Search by the Numbers
In the intro we talked about how a higher MOZ domain authority is supposed to indicate a better chance of ranking in SERPS, but do the #s actually bear that out?
In a word, yes. Take a look at Figure 10 below:
Quick Note: As mentioned previously, all #s are estimates. Average organic traffic estimates were further adjusted by removing any outliers that fell 300% above or below the tier initial traffic average.
As expected, as domain authority grows, so does organic traffic. But,…
…it’s worth noting, that some of the increase is assuredly due to more content. Figure 11 below shows the average domain age for the same domain authority tiers.
Although it will not always be the case, it’s reasonable to assume that more often than not older blogs will have more content. Following that assumption, more content equals more opportunity for organic search traffic.
However, in most cases bloggers aren’t going to create new content at an exponential rate (although they could accelerate their production rate by expanding their team) so increased content alone doesn’t account for the exponential growth in search traffic.
But what you have to remember is that if your new content continues to couple with high-quality backlinks then your content growth is going to result in increased domain authority which can help open the organic search floodgate.
This should represent a silver lining for those who were doom and gloom about the notion that it’s going to be twice as hard to grow your domain authority to the next tier as it was to make it to your current tier. If you put in the work, at some point you will start to see increasing returns. And…
…also remember, that with increased exposure and the continued building of your blog/brand, it will become easier to accumulate certain backlinks so what seems like an impossibly steep curve doesn’t actually equate to an impossible amount of work to reach the next level. But you have to work smart and create great content.
Learning from Outliers:Part 2
Examing organic search traffic of the blogs in this study provides us with the perfect opportunity to look and learn from a few more outliers. Look at Figure 12 below which shows monthly organic search traffic by blog and plotted by domain authority.
The 4 sites highlighted get significantly more search traffic than other sites of similar domain authority? How is it that they are crushing it so much?
If you read the chart title you probably already figured it out. All 4 of these sites are niche sites! Without giving away what sites they are I can tell you that 2 of them focus on food from a specific region of the world and the other 2 focus on specific cooking techniques. And by doing so they are crushing it.
Let’s think for a moment about why these niche sites are performing so well in search. I think maybe the best way to provide an answer is by going over an example:
Let’s say 2 blogs each have 500 recipe posts. Blog A is a vegan blog with only vegan recipes. Blog B has all sorts of recipes and 10% of them are vegan recipes.
Who do you think Google is going to see as more of a vegan authority?
With some simple math we can see that blog A has 10x more vegan content than vegan B.
Remember when we talked about other factors affecting your overall backlink profile and one of those factors was relevancy? This comes to the forefront when talking about niche blogs. By niching down and creating high related content they are able to more quickly establish credibility in a given subject area.
Now, I know what you are going to say:
“Yes, but blog A has so many other types of recipes that also have a chance to gain search traffic.”
This is true, but you have to understand how SERPS and organic traffic work:
Google has made it abundantly clear that what matters in the modern SEO landscape is relevance and matching results with searcher intent. Furthermore, the VAST majority of Google traffic comes from page 1 of the SERPs. And the VAST majority of that comes from the top few results on the page. So…
Who do you think has the best chance of cracking into that top page and those top results? The blogger who has a little bit of content in a given subject area with a few trust signals coming in or the blogger that has ALL of his content in a focused subject area accumulating many relevant links and trust signals on that subject? I’ll let you answer that one.
What makes a good backlink?
If you’ve made it this far (I told you it was going to be a deep dive), hopefully, the answer to this is obvious.
Nevertheless, it bears reviewing:
I think there are 4 main factors that go into a good backlink:
Let’s quickly step through each of these:
Authority = Trust. Authority = Credibility. Does the backlink come from a credible source that has built up trust in the eyes of Google? Or does it come from a site that Google views as spammy? High-authority links are what you are after. Watch out for low authority or spammy links — while not always bad, you should now realize that if your site becomes too skewed towards low authority signals, Google may not be happy.
This one is obvious, right? A link from Toyota is great if you’re in the automotive industry, but don’t expect it to do much for your Grandma’s apple pie recipe. You want links from related content. You want signals that your content is a relevant solution to a given question.
This one is a little different because we aren’t just talking about a single link, but also about the overall signals for your website or a given piece of content. Getting a backlink from the Food Network is awesome, but you need to build a profile of diverse links. Diverse relevant links.
You want to think about accumulating link diversity on a sitewide level to raise your domain authority, but also on a single post level when attempting to boost particular content.
I see this one left out a lot, but context matters. Is the link coming from the first paragraph or in the sidebar? Is it one of 100 links in a long list like a recipe roundup or link party? Or does it actually fit with the context of the post?
What you want are editorial links with appropriate anchor text.
The whole idea of someone linking to you is that they are vouching for your content so it’s great if they actually write something about your content and why it’s valuable. If there’s no surrounding text to put the link into context what sort of signal are you actually sending to Google?
How To Get Quality Backlinks
Ah, there’s the trick. Or at least it feels that way sometimes. But…
Is it really?
Matt Cutts of Google said the following of links:
The objective is not to ‘make your links appear natural’; the objective is that your links are natural.
So, just write great content and the links will come, right?
Well…maybe…but, probably not. You see, the trouble is…
It’s not so easy to stand out as a food blogger. After all, how many different ways are there to write about apple pie? And how do stand out among millions of food blogs?
The short answer is it’s not easy. The longer answer is, yes, you want to be great and try to be unique, but you also better learn the industry and get really good at networking and marketing.
Social Media, sure, that’s a big part of it. But you also have to be sure you are not waiting for people to find you. You have to actively be seeking out connections. So…
Who should you be connecting with?
I think you can break this down into 3 major categories:
- Other Bloggers – You’ll likely have better luck starting out with bloggers close to your authority level, but nothing stops you from reaching out to bigger names. Just make sure you do your “outreach the right way with the goal of helping others first”.
- Brands – Working with brands is not just a great way for bloggers to increase their income, it’s a great way to gain exposure, backlinks, and build authority. If you’re not quite sure how to reach out to brands then I highly suggest you start following Jenny Melrose who teaches bloggers how it’s done.
- Media Outlets – It may hard to instantly land on sites like Buzzfeed and Huffington Post, but you can start with smaller outlets within your niche and lots of sites are open to contributors. Just be sure you familiarize yourself with the site, make sure it’s highly related and read all their rules about contribution. Most sites are going to discourage anything that’s overly self-promotional so you have to make sure that you enter with the mindset of genuinely doing a great job and providing then with great content, But yes, you also want to score a high-quality backlink!
GET YOUR FREEBIE!
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had a premade list of high-authority sites that you knew had linked out to other food blogs?
Yes, that would be awesome. If only someone was nerdy enough to do a backlink study of over 100 food blogs.
Oh wait, I did that!
I’ve taken the over 100,000 backlinks collected in this study and condensed them down to just the best high-authority source domains. These are the sites from which your fellow food bloggers have acquired valuable backlinks to grow their domain authority. Grab the free list of 1000+ domains and start searching for new opportunity.
Helpful Search Hints
When looking for contributor opportunities it helps to do a specific search within the domain in question like the following:
site:domain.com “become a contributor”
site:domain.com “contributors wanted”
site:domain.com “write for us”
site:domain.com “guest post”
If those searches yield nothing, almost all sites are going to at least have a contact form. Just always remember, your goal is to help them. Don’t be that pushy blogger who’s just in it for themselves. There are too many of those folks out there already and that’s not a good approach for building real connections. You build real connections by offering real value to others.
Okay, let’s move to the final section.
If you’ve read all of the above sections, hopefully, most of this now comes as review.
THE BLOGGING MARATHON
Remember back to figure 11 (Average Domain Age by Domain Authority)? Most of the blogs who have made it to the top have done so because of years of hard work. Some of them have been at it for more than a decade. So if you wonder why large bloggers sometimes have a distaste for smaller bloggers who are new to the scene it’s often because:
- They don’t show proper respect
- They want something for nothing
- They think it’s going to be easy
- They think top bloggers were simply lucky and got in at the right time
Almost all of the big time bloggers who are experiencing great success are doing so because they have worked their butt off for years. If you think you’re going to experience similar success with any less of an effort then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
If you look back at figure 10, you’ll note that early (sub 30 moz domain authority) blogs have a really tough time getting any organic search traction at all. Even 30-39 domain authority blogs can struggle, although many start to have a pulse. The real surge begins with 40+ blogs, but from figure 11 we know that it’s going to take a lot of bloggers 4+ years to get to this point. Those can be some lean income food blog years so it’s going to take real commitment. But those that persevere and continue to improve may experience the exponential growth of organic search traffic that can occur when you become a high authority blog.
But what about bucking the trends and accelerating your growth?
It starts with great content of course, but let’s review some of the ways you can accelerate your growth.
Growth Hacking Tips
Do you see that poor blogger in Figure 13 falling off of the curve down into traffic purgatory? This will be you if you get caught up in noise and all the things in blogging world that don’t really push the long-term needle. Don’t let that be you. And that Average Joe or Sally steadying making the slow climb up the steep hill to more authority…nothing wrong with that. That’s admirable. But better still, we all aim to be the blogger that rockets their way to the top. “Oh Hey Ree, how’s life on the ranch?” “What’s up Lindsay? When are you and Bjork coming over to dinner again?”
Now, obviously blogging is an ever evolving industry and this is by no means an exhaustive list, but below are a few ways in which you can accelerate your growth:
- More Content – As mentioned in some of the above sections, more content gives you more potential for backlinks and organic search. If you’re familiar with Sabrina Snyder of Dinner Then Dessert you know she was able to grow to over half a million pageviews a month in her first year by posting nearly every day. It’s a great example of how you can accelerate your growth by building your content base, but just be aware that she also was committed to building industry relationships and to developing great recipes and content for her readers. So don’t think you can just slap anything up there and greatly accelerate your blog by amassing tons of mediocre content. Nope. You still have to deliver quality and continue to build relationships.
- Better Linkworthy Content – This should go without saying, but obviously better content increases your chance for faster growth. For bloggers, this means better pictures, better video, better recipes, and post that are share-worthy and more likely to garner quality backlinks. There are a TON of food blogs out there so you have to create content that will stand out.
- Niche Content – Hopefully Outliers: Part 2 opened your eyes to the potential growth accelerating power of creating niche content. More niche content equals more trust signals to Google that your blog is a good source of information on a particular topic. Even if you don’t go all the way niche on your blog, you should at least consider building up a few content silos or buckets in certain subject areas. It will help you to more quickly build authority in those areas.
- Invest in your business – I understand everyone has budget considerations, but if you’re not willing to make smart investments in your business then it’s going to be a long and slow road. I’m not talking about frivolously spending and throwing money at every new tool you hear about (that could actually bring your growth to a halt), I’m talking about willingness to reinvest in your business when you see an opportunity to work smarter. Maybe that means outsourcing the trivial tasks that someone else can do just as easily as you. Maybe that means investing in new software or new equipment. Whatever the case may be, if you want to accelerate your growth you have to invest in your future.
- Networking – Networking is easily one of the biggest factors that will affect the rate of your growth. Don’t fall into the “If I build it, they will come.” Trap. They won’t. Blogging world is too big and too competitive. You have to get out there and hustle. You have to get out there and forge relationships. If you need advice on how to do outreach you might want to check out my Ultimate Blogger Outreach Guide.
- All of the Above
– And obviously, if you can do all of the above then you’re well on your way. But it won’t come easy so make sure you have a plan and set goals that you can measure. Revisit them regularly and adjust accordingly.
Thanks and Share Your Thoughts
You made it to the end! Wow, thanks for reading and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. And let us know, “What has been the most important thing you’ve done to build your blog authority?”