One of the top questions I get from readers is “How do I get traffic to my blog?”
Then the next question: “How do I get MORE blog traffic?”
If you are completely new at blogging or just thinking about starting a blog, you may only think of the typical ways readers can find you online (friends/friends telling friends, social media, etc.) However, there are multiple ways to find your audience and bring them back to your site!
Like everything else for your blog (aka online business), there should be a system and strategy in place.
When we drive in the dark without our headlights on, we don’t know where we are going to end up!
With that in mind, don’t make the mistake of driving the success of your blog without being able to clearly see where you are going!
Let’s dive in!
1 | Publish more content (consistently)
Did you notice how I threw in the word “CONSISTENTLY”?
And did you notice how I used the word ‘PUBLISH” rather than “WRITE”? 🙂
I may not believe you if you tell me you have never written a blog post and not completely finished it so it was ready to publish! In fact, you may have unpublished blog posts almost ready to go now and you just keep procrastinating with finishing them!
I cannot stress this enough. New content must be added consistently.
When you are not adding new content to your site, your readers do not have a reason to return (you can only read the same thing so many times no matter how good it is 🙂 ), Google is not going to give you any kudos, and you will not have anything new to share with your social media friends (just to mention a few reasons adding new content is so important.)
The next question that typically comes with my recommendation to publish new content?
“How often do I need to publish a new blog post?”
The answer? As often as you can while still writing quality content. Posting low quality content every day of the week is not going to get you social media shares and keep visitors on your site (the ultimate goal).
When I use the word ‘consistently’ it is up to you to find your consistency, which is likely different than mine and different than many other bloggers.
Make a decision how many times a week or month you are going to write and publish a new post. If you are a new blogger, this might be twice a month and the publishing week are the second and fourth week of every month.
As you gain more experience and get faster at writing posts, you can increase the frequency as you watch your blog traffic steadily growing.
The key factor in making the decision is to be committed to it. Plan it, add it to your calendar, and do it – consistently.
If you follow the above schedule (posting twice a month) and find some extra time during the month to write more posts, schedule them ahead so you stay on your 2x/month posting schedule.
Your readers will learn when your new posts come out and you will be establishing the habit of consistent posting, not to mention experience the benefits of increasing traffic to your blog.
Once you find yourself getting far ahead in your publishing schedule (4-6 posts in the que), it is time to increase your commitment to consistently publish more posts a month.
2 | Up your SEO game
Most established blogs rely on search engines for the majority of their traffic.
Incorporating SEO strategies on your blog cannot be overlooked as a top traffic builder. However, it takes time for proper SEO techniques to kick in so you may not see immediate results.
If you are in this for the long haul, looking at the big picture is more important than temporary spikes in traffic (although this is also important – it just cannot be your only strategy if you want consistent growth.)
Therefore, it is well worth your time to incorporate proper SEO into your website from the beginning so you aren’t spending time back-tracking later.
Basic ways you can optimize your posts with SEO:
- Complete keyword research
- Focus on long tail keywords
I offer additional SEO tips in my blog post
12 13 Things You Need To Do To Every Blog Post Before You Hit Publish.
3 | Go find your audience
Where is your audience hanging out?
This will depend on the niche of your blog. Does your blog focus on business men who travel with their job and feel like they are missing balance in their life like Paul Buckley’s followers at Elite Road Warrior? You probably will not find a lot of your audience on Pinterest.
Is your blog topic one that needs to show a lot of pictures like Maya’s recipe website Wholesome Yum? Pinterest is your go-to place.
As a new blogger, I once had social media explained to me something like this – ‘Imagine you go out on a Saturday night and meet a bunch of people that become your new friends.
You have so much fun with them you invite them back to your place to cap off the evening.
After having a great time hanging out, as they leave you talk about when you are all going to get together again.’
Look at social media just like this!
Your goal is to make new friends and invite them back to your place (aka your blog) to hang out and then offer them such a good time (aka great content) they want to come back for more (aka returning traffic.) (Thank you Kevin Kruse for this great conversation and comparison!)
4 | Increase the number of images in a post
Images break up the monotony of content and add life to a post. They should be spaced throughout the article strategically, not randomly.
This increases traffic by not only keeping visitors on your site longer, but when they are engaged in the content (including the appearance), they are more likely to return to the site or use one of your social share buttons and bring their friends over.
The team at Coschedule recommends adding an image relevant to the blog topic every 75-100 words, or 10 images for every 1000 words.
Top blogger Neil Patel recommends adding ‘as many images as you need’ but for a specific number, he recommends one image for every 150 words in his post 11 Best Practices for Including Images In Your Blog Posts.
However many images you decide to add to a post, be sure they offer value to the post topic. They should also have a reason for where they are placed so they can work in your favor to increase your blog traffic.
There are multiple types of images you can include in addition to your featured image, such as charts, infographics, screen shots, and photographs, depending on what kind of blog article you are writing.
Google cannot read the text on images. For SEO purposes, as well as to provide your readers with detailed information, be sure you include a caption or some kind of text about the image if it is an image that is more than ‘eye candy.’
Also, complete the alt image text and give your image a descriptive name, including your keywords. My post 12 Things To Do To Every Blog Post Before You Hit Publish offers specific details on this topic.
5 | Add Q & A sites to your growth strategy
Question & Answer sites and forums have become popular in recent years as the internet marketing space has expanded.
Sites such as Quora and Reddit, although very different in their structure and purpose, both offer a place for bloggers to answer questions in their area of expertise and post links back to their blog.
While Quora is the most popular and continues to grow rapidly, another popular Q & A site is Yahoo! Answers.
Three less known Q & A sites are Blurtit, which actually encourages you to share videos, URL links and images in your answer, Ask Me Help Desk and the The Answer Bank.
Strong word of caution for this method of gaining website traffic: Q & A sites and forums (#7) can be easy to get drawn into and before you know it, hours of your valuable time have passed.
Remember your purpose for being on the site, set a timer, and stay hyper-focused on answering the questions.
6 | Invite guests to contribute a post
Inviting guests to write a post for your blog has multiple benefits.
Not only does it additional fresh content for your readers, it also saves you time because it is content you did not have to spend time writing.
An additional bonus is the contributors will share the post with their network, opening your blog to new readers.
One other possibility that can come from this strategy is the writer may reciprocate and ask you to write an article for their blog, again opening doors for increased traffic to your site.
Guest posts on your blog should be from bloggers that are in a different niche than you. They should be ‘non-competitors’ (for lack of a better term), and be established as an authority in their niche.
7 | Join niche forums
Niche forums are different from Q & A sites in that they are more conversational. Being able to have a conversation about the discussion topic adds value to the original poster and builds trust in your knowledge.
For example, if you are a full-time RVer there are loads of forums to join for free and answer people’s questions on RV life.
This relates to strategy #3 – find where your audience is so you know where to hang out.
Find A Forum offers an extensive category list of forums. Another great place to find forums in your niche is to ask your Facebook group friends.
8 | Link to reputable websites
The main purpose of external linking to reputable websites is to improve your SEO, which also increases traffic to your blog when readers can find your content organically.
As your website SEO increases and you become a trusted authority in your niche space, others will begin linking from their blog to your blog, which will also increase your traffic.
According to a backlink study on google completed by Moz on the relationship between external linking and website ranking, there was a strong relationship between the two.
Over 99% of the websites that ranked the highest had at least one external link.
In simple terms, a website without an external link will not rank with Google.
Never add external links to a website randomly.
When making the decision if you should add an external link, be sure you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions first:
- Does the page provide extra value to my readers?
- Is the page on-topic for my blog post?
- Is the blog legitimate?
- Is it visually appealing and easy to read? (You want to send your readers to a blog where they will have a good user experience.)
When providing a link extension, connect with the website author and let them know. There is the possibility they will link back to your blog, increasing your traffic from their blog readers.
9 | Write guest posts
Writing an article for another blog is a great way to bring traffic back to your blog. However, it will not help your blog traffic if the blog has few visitors and the audience would not be interested in your blog niche.
For this reason alone, it is imperative you use precise strategy if you put your time into writing a guest post.
There are hundreds of blogs that look for guest bloggers. However, sometimes the best opportunity lies in the relationships you build with fellow bloggers.
This is why it is important to reach out and connect with other online businesses.
Just because we work behind our computer instead of in an office, building professional relationships cannot be overlooked for a successful blog.
Your author bio is one of the most important parts of your guest post. Before submitting your bio, read other bio’s on the site to get a feel for the tone of the writing (including ‘I’ vs ‘she/he’, etc.)
Guidelines for a great author bio, generally speaking:
- Keep word count at 50 words or less
- Write in 3rd person (‘he/she’ rather than ‘I’- unless other bios on the site are in 1st person)
- Tell the reader what you do
- Tell the reader how you can help them (short and on-topic – this isn’t the time for your ‘elevator speech’!)
- Include your website link
Additional information if there is room:
- Your credentials (why you have authority to help them)
- A photo of yourself (try to be brand-specific)
- A funny or unusual detail about yourself to help them relate to you and make you memorable (sets you apart from other writers)
10 | Upgrade your content
Even if you write evergreen (timeless) content on your blog, there is almost always updates and changes that can be made.
- Add screenshots to explain the information better
- Update screenshots that are outdated (I have never seen a platform that didn’t change over time!)
- Audit your SEO to be sure it is at maximum optimization
- Add a new image
1 | Leverage your email subscribers to increase blog traffic
The subscribers to your newsletter are your biggest fans!
They want to hear from you and learn from you, or they wouldn’t share their email with you. The more we give them what they want and need, the more we create a win-win situation for them and us.
I am a big fan of Luke Combs, along with millions of other people. If you are a country music fan, you may know Luke’s story, which is incredibly motivating considering his first album went platinum in his mid-twenties and he didn’t pick up a guitar until he was 20 years old.
And if you have ever watched the Luke Combs video, Beautiful Crazy, he states it perfectly at the beginning of the video – “Let’s give the people what they want. This is the song they want.” This reinforces Luke’s personal commitment to “give the fans what they want.”
What do your followers want?
Ask them, follow-through, and watch your traffic explode!
The email provider you pick for your blog is also an important choice. When you are starting out it needs to be affordable as you start with a small number of people.
As your newsletter subscribers grow, you need a company that can grow with you. Also, you want to be sure your email deliverability is high so your subscribers get your emails. I use Mailerlite because it meets all the criteria.
Blog traffic is the life of your business! Following these 11 tips will give you a great foundation for getting more traffic to your blog.
Blog traffic is where the life of your online business starts. It doesn’t matter how great your content is if there is no one reading it.
There are numerous ways and strategies to increase your blog traffic. This list is just a start to the opportunities available.
The strategies on this list can be implemented by a new blogger or an experienced blogger. They are 11 of the basic strategies to come back to when you feel like your blog traffic should be more!
Which of these strategies have you tried and had success with? Hop down to the comments and share!