A strange thing happened to my blog on Friday, February 28, 2014.
The traffic to it increased by 100%.
I was stunned when I opened Google Analytics on Saturday to check my stats and saw the huge traffic spike. I immediately wondered what caused it to increase so drastically.
The reason quickly became obvious. On Wednesday, February 26, I had written a post regarding my thoughts on a story that had just surfaced on Tuesday.
You can read the post yourself and follow the link to the original story I read (“Kelly Blazek’s Acidic Emails Are Just Part of a Bigger Issue”). Here are a few lessons I learned so you might be able to apply them to your own blog:
Giving your perspective on a breaking news story is a good thing.
I used the story to illustrate how this woman had successfully destroyed her brand. And branding is part of what I provide for my clients.
So use breaking stories but put your own spin on it. If a well-known CEO was just fired and you offer HR consultative services, then write about the importance of CEOs receiving executive coaching. When a story breaks and its close to your wheelhouse, take a moment to give your perspective. It’s another way to share your expertise.
Optimize your blog post for action.
I recently changed the theme on my blog. It includes a call to action box that appears after every post, asking the reader to sign up for this newsletter.
Obviously, these readers came because they were essentially “rubber-necking” to view a smoldering crash on the Internet highway.
But you never know if your blog will resonate with a new visitor. Make sure your blog has areas where a clear call to action is featured, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, downloading a free report, or watching a video introduction.
Blog traffic loves speed.
If you’re used to planning your blog posts carefully and tweaking them over the course of a few days, then you will need to adjust your usual routine.
Breaking news items have a very short shelf life. What is news today is old news by next week. You need to take advantage of its interest by weighing in as soon as possible.
When doing this, you have to let go of the need for perfection. You have a narrow window of opportunity. With a breaking news story, give a summary of the story and then develop your post to explain your take on it.
And then hit “publish.”
If you have other insights that arrive after that, you can always revise the post. But the important thing is to recognize the need for speed when it comes to using news stories as a way to boost your web traffic while emphasizing your expertise.
Do these three things and you, too, can take advantage of breaking news to establish your own brand and boost your numbers. Remember, there are only seconds to catch a great wave.