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.
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!