Blogging to grow your business can be hard work; success doesn’t happen overnight. So how can you tell if you’re on the right track? Is there anything else you can do to boost your views? Here’s a checklist for building your readership:

Optimize for increased traffic. You have great content which answers your audience’s questions and is laid out in an organized, user-friendly manner. But how can you get your blog in front of more people? Below are a few tips to get more traffic, followers and devoted readers:

 1.     Edit your headlines.Make sure that your titles and headlines are full of search-friendly keywords. Also, when sharing on social media and via email, make sure your headlines are intriguing.

2.     Always write meta-descriptions. These are the descriptions that show up in search results. Making them short and compelling will encourage people to read your full article.

3.     Use categories. This helps readers as well as search engines find your content. Categories are much more helpful than tags for SEO purposes.

4.     Create images that are the correct size for each social-media channel. Optimal image sizes encourage engagement and sharing on social media.

5.     Add “share” buttons to your blog page. Placing these convenient buttons at the beginning or end of your blog posts encourages your readers to share them with their friends.

Remember that your blog is a tool to start a conversation with a potential client and not a direct sales tool. But to win business with your blog, you need to do more than write valuable content, you need to make it easy to find, easy to read and easy to share!

Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips:

Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and President of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website www.financialsocialmedia.com and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.