20 ways to drive traffic to your blog

As bloggers our objective is to get our words read! We want an audience and we strive to increase traffic to our sites. In this article are 20 top tips to help drive traffic and build awareness and visibility of your blog.

I’m guessing you’ve landed on this page because you want to know 20 ways to increase traffic to your site. If you don’t care about traffic then this post is not for you so click away now, even though that will seriously mess with my bounce rate!

Is traffic the most important thing about blogging for me? No it isn’t, I blog because I love to write, it’s in my bones and writing is all I’ve ever really wanted to do.

This space started out as being very cathartic for me and slowly but surely it has turned into more than than. A source of income that along with my freelance writing work became my job. I am incredibly grateful for every opportunity that I receive and I care a great deal about my readers. I pour my heart and soul into this blog, staying up until 2am in the morning and working at making it the best it can be.

That’s settled then, let us begin.

I’ll assume that you’re already putting out awesome content because it is ultimately only awesome content that will drive traffic:

You’ve spent hours crafting the most perfect article.

Baked the best looking cake, heck you could appear on Masterchef your cake looks so good.

Taken brilliant images, edited them and added artwork in TWO fonts.

You’ve thought long and hard about your stance on the latest topical issue and delivered your argument eloquently, inviting agreement or rebuttal.

You’ve styled an outfit so impeccably that it could grace the pages of a magazine.

Yet the only person who reads your blog is…your mum.

Errm…Sound familiar?

I jest of course, but it can be disheartening when our blog posts don’t get the full attention they deserve. This is not an exhaustive list but it’s a good place to start:

1. Write interesting and engaging content-Make sure your posts are well written articles that your audience want to read AND share. Sounds obvious doesn’t it? Take a look at your Google Analytics to see which of the posts have had the most views. This isn’t to say you can’t expand on the topics you write about but it gives you an excellent idea of what to focus on. Listen to your audience; write what you know, and write it well.

2. Stick to a schedule-Think about a posting schedule and what frequency your posts can be published. Aby from You Baby Me Mummy explains it brilliantly in this post ‘How to write 17 fabulous blog posts in a week’ now we are not all superhuman like Aby (lord knows that mama is organised and totally awesome) and no one is saying you have to post that frequently however Google likes to see your website being updated regularly and the more content you have the higher you will come in the Google search so it pays to have some sort of schedule and stick at it. I personally aim for 5 times a week. This brings me onto…

3. Building a loyal audience-An audience of regular readers who pop in to read your blog post once it is published. Your audience will come to expect certain content from you on certain days and if you don’t give it to them, they may just look elsewhere. [bctt tweet=”A loyal engaged audience will help build a community and your work will be shared”]

4. Make your content shareable-You can even download nifty little plugins such as ‘Better Click To Tweet’ seen above. I hope you all tweeted that by the way ;-) Adding sharing buttons to the end of each post and encouraging readers to comment are fantastic ways to build a community. The bigger the community the more shares and the more traffic. This should be reciprocated, so don’t forget to comment on other blogs, support your favourite bloggers and share the love!

5. Write a post with a number in the title-Y’all clicked the link didn’t you?! Posts with numbers in the title are always going to be popular, as are lists, how-to guides or anything where you offer readers a definitive answer to a burning question.

6. Do some keyword research- It doesn’t need to be anything too fancy; you can try typing in a few of your keywords to a Google search engine and see what comes up. A descriptive yet enticing title that intrigues the reader to click is what you’re aiming for.

7. Get to grips with SEO-If you’re on WordPress and you haven’t already then download the Yoast plug in. It does the hard work for you. Simples!

8. Write a post like this one-Something helpful that addresses a need will have mass appeal. Any posts about increasing blogging productivity will always be popular, bloggers are a hard working bunch who strive to achieve and we all learn from one another so be generous with your knowledge.

9. Use an app like Buffer or Socialoomph- schedule your post to tweet out at regular intervals for a week after you publish. If it is evergreen content that will still be pertinent in the future then schedule it to tweet out in a month and so on. I have several ‘pillar content’ posts that I share regularly, these posts continue to get traffic months after I’ve published them.

10. Find your tribe-It’s been said time and again but it’s so important-you need to find your tribe. A group of like-minded people where you all share each other’s content giving one another maximum exposure. Win-win.

11. Start a linky or join in with one-A linky is a super way of increasing views from readers and peers who are interested in the same things as you. Not only will this broaden your audience it will help you find other blogs in your niche to enjoy and learn from.

12. Host a competition or a giveaway-This can be a contentious issue as some would say that ‘compers’ are not real readers I disagree though and have a lot of readers that enjoy my competitions and comment on my regular ‘ol posts too. If you haven’t already, check out Response Source. If you input your details and say you are looking for prizes to giveaway on your blog I can almost guarantee your inbox will have 20+ emails the following day with offers of prizes.

13. Get a blog Facebook page-If you haven’t done this already then do it now. It is really important and readers still rely heavily on using Facebook. Your Facebook page will probably be one of your top referring urls once you get to grips with it. I am very late on the Facebook bandwagon and only joined a few months ago (oh the shame) it has proven very fruitful, both for connecting with my audience and driving traffic. BTW are on Facebook, are we friends?!

14. Be present on all social media channels- As with Facebook, Twitter will prove an incredibly valuable source of traffic as it directly targets your audience-the people who follow you. Now I know I send out a lot of scheduled tweets and also have the Evergreen post tweeter plug in and it can be a bit annoying seeing my links pop up in your feed (I have had actual complaints!) As well as the autobot tweets I am always around on Twitter, respond to tweets or questions and have real life conversations on there, so don’t see a problem with the scheduled tweets.

15. Make your images Pinnable-If I am doing a recipe or a crafting post I always make sure to take one portrait (lengthways) shot that I can add graphics to. I have a plugin installed that when a user hovers over my image a ‘Pin It’ button automatically appears. I place my pinnable image at the end of the post and will use a call to action such as ‘Pin this image to your recipe board’ You can see an example in this post. 

16. Guest Post-on a high profile site such as The Huffington Post with a link back to your blog. This type of guest posting has proven a valuable source of traffic and attracted readers that otherwise may not have found me.

17. Create a series of posts- I have just started a weekly feature called The Style Edit it is early days but I hope in time readers will know I post something style related each week on a Friday and look out for it.

18. Write a post about your favourite brand-this doesn’t have to be a review or paid post, in fact it will probably work better if it’s not. When you hit publish include the brand’s twitter handle or post it to their Facebook wall and fingers crossed the brand will share it. Thus giving you a welcome traffic boost.

19. Ask your readers to subscribe-use an opt in form like the one at the bottom of this post. Another bug bear for some, but I have gone from zero email subscribers to lots since I’ve been using the opt in. You can then utilise Mailchimp and sync your blog’s RSS feed so that your posts are delivered to your subscribers’ inbox at a frequency you set.

20. Try and stick to around 500 words-OK, OK this post is a total contradiction and is more than three times that but there was a lot of ground to cover. Hopefully I’ve kept your attention span, I know you have better things to be doing like writing and promoting your own AWESOME blog posts.

Go forth and blog, the traffic will follow!

You Baby Me Mummy

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Comments

  • Cat

    Written on 22nd July 2015

    Reply

    Hi, this is a great and interesting read this morning (and any other time no doubt). I started my blog very recently after having over 30,000 words just sitting on my hard drive. Writing has always been my ‘thing’, and I live in hope that one day it wil help me pay the bills. Although I do not blog solely for numbers, I cannot help but get disheartened at the lack of traffic. Is it my content? My subject? My writing?
    I know my first posts could do with a lot of editing – but they are more journal like I guess, and, well, my story. What I would really like is honest feedback from fellow bloggers, people who know thier stuff. I have a few comments now, mostly through linkys – which I get so excited about! I can’t shift the feeling they are more out of politeness than drive to comment.

    I will heed your advice, although I think I am doing most of these (maybe I am deluded that my content is half decent). I just cannot help but feel frustrated.
    So, wordy eh? Great post, useful tips, perfect morning read.

    Cat
    http://Www.breedandwrite.co.uk
    Cat recently posted…Comment on Saturday Morning Glory by CatMy Profile

  • Katie / Pouting In Heels

    Written on 23rd July 2015

    Reply

    Wonderful, super, duper, fabulous tips here Amy! Thanks so much for sharing. When I first started off blogging over three years ago, I had very little understanding of how to attract readers. I just kinda did my best and put myself out there! ;-)

    But it’s true, it’s so much harder then people think or realise, so these tips will really help others. Personally, for me, the key to it has been writing posts from the heart and opening my soul up to others. No easy win, no quick fix, but by far the best way to attract new readers and make them want to stick with you. That’s what I have found anyhow.

    I’d also say engaging with the community, being active on social media and being consistent (which I’ve been rubbish at on occasion but am trying to improve!) is also the key.

    Smashing post! xxx
    Katie / Pouting In Heels recently posted…BEFORE I HAD ELSIE…My Profile

  • Hannah Budding Smiles

    Written on 24th July 2015

    Reply

    Great post lovely! I feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut lately with my stats remaining stubbornly level so I have high hopes for my impending move to WordPress and redesign. Fingers crossed!xxx #TheList
    Hannah Budding Smiles recently posted…What’s My Mummy Style?My Profile

  • Mudpie Fridays

    Written on 25th July 2015

    Reply

    Great list, I have printed it to put in my file (still a paper girl at heart) so I can tick them off! Being new at this (my blog is 4 months – not sure when it stops being new!) and working full time I struggle to give it the attention it deserves – hopefully this will help. I will be checking out your other posts on blogging – Thank you :) #Thelist.
    Mudpie Fridays recently posted…Letter B Activities – A letter a week (ish)My Profile

  • Katie @mummydaddyme

    Written on 25th July 2015

    Reply

    Such brilliant tips Amy, I am so lazy when it comes to promoting my posts, I really need to sort myself out and start doing it more. This post is so useful to new bloggers and others like me who need to be reminded to step up a gear! X
    Katie @mummydaddyme recently posted…Stockholm with Kids- Part One!My Profile

  • Polly Mixtures

    Written on 25th July 2015

    Reply

    I have been trying to multi task setting up a new blog as well as maintaining my current one, and I’m failing abysmally – this post has come at just the right time! I was on the cusp of hitting Tots 100 top 500 – I really want to make it next time around!
    Polly Mixtures recently posted…Lessons in life and bloggingMy Profile

  • rantinggran

    Written on 30th August 2015

    Reply

    Wow, loved this info, i recently moved from blogspot to self hosted,losing the little followers i had along with my mojo, i really have no clue on the technical side and cannot even find how many(if any) views my posts have had. Reading helpful posts from established bloggers like yourself is the only thing that keeps searching for my lost mojo, and trying to figure out all the techy stuff that just looks like gobbledygook to me.

    thank you so much for this info xx
    rantinggran recently posted…The Heartbreak of DrugsMy Profile

    • Amy Treasure

      Written on 2nd September 2015

      Reply

      Glad you made the jump from blogspot to self hosted you will love it I am sure, followers will build up again quickly. I am really pleased you enjoyed this and found it helpful. Good luck with your blog x

  • Laura

    Written on 24th October 2015

    Reply

    Finding this hugely helpful after coming here through Twitter!

    To use response source do you have to be established? Like having a media kit and stuff? It looks too good to be true!

    • Amy Treasure

      Written on 26th October 2015

      Reply

      Hi Laura, so glad it’s helped. No, not at all. You don’t need to be established-I certainly wasn’t when I first started with them, you don’t need a media kit just post what sort of things you are interested in doing and someone will contact you!

  • Julie @ Velvet-Rose.net

    Written on 26th October 2015

    Reply

    Some great ideas in this post :) Definitely agree that you need to find your tribe.

  • Rachel (Lifeofmyfamilyandme)

    Written on 18th December 2015

    Reply

    Thanks for the tips Amy, i am off to look how i can pin my images :)

  • yvette morgan

    Written on 8th March 2016

    Reply

    fab advice, lost my mojo and followers when i migrated, but just getting back into it, I have so many posts in my head but lack the confidence to get them out there, will follow some of your advice and hopefully discover my mojo and maybe some kind of niche, highly unlikely though as i am a little bi polar so dont think any one subject would hold my attention x

  • Emma

    Written on 22nd May 2016

    Reply

    Ooh so many good points on this. I agree that I think sticking to a schedule is key. Also very interesting about what you say about having a number in your title! I had never thought of that so will have to try that one more :-) #thelist
    Emma recently posted…Goodbye April. Hello May 2016My Profile

    • Amy Treasure

      Written on 22nd May 2016

      Reply

      Apparently (and I learnt this after I published this post) odd numbers in titles do better, no idea why! x

  • Mum in Brum

    Written on 23rd May 2016

    Reply

    Great tips Amy – I so need to set up an email subscription on my site, I keep putting it off! And I really need to get better with Facebook. I find it so hard to distinguish between my blog page and my personal account. Thanks for sharing x #TheList
    Mum in Brum recently posted…Instagram – lessons I’ve learned so farMy Profile

  • Mim

    Written on 25th May 2016

    Reply

    I wish I had these tips when I started out! I’m grateful for them now though too :) I think you’re so right with all of these, they’ve worked for me – with the addition of giving it time of course, as much as I wanted loads of readers from the get-go, that wasn’t going to happen! x x #TheList
    Mim recently posted…CBeebies Playtime DVD Giveaway! (UK)My Profile

  • Honest Mum

    Written on 25th May 2016

    Reply

    Fab points, content is king, always, but ensuring what you write is visible through social and PR is vital. I love Moz ranking which shows your page and domain authority, updated monthly-the more high authority sites you are linked on the better via guest posts and PR and also linking internally back to your site is cruical. I would just note that Google prefer the longer posts so 300 minimum- and the 1000 + fare better rank wise. I am working with an SEO company at the moment and loving improving on my blog’s back end- fascinating how simple things can help with organic traffic.
    Honest Mum recently posted…How to Sleep Like A Baby By Dr Juliet McGrattanMy Profile

    • Amy Treasure

      Written on 25th May 2016

      Reply

      Very good point re the number of words. 1000 seems like a lot but that is the optimum apparently, any less than 300-400 wouldn’t be any good for SEO would they. Thanks for reading and such an insightful comment! x

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