Last week, I asked everyone on my Facebook page (come join us over there!) what kind of blogging information people would be most interested in reading. The most popular answer? How to increase blog traffic.
That was my #1 goal when I started getting serious about blogging, and it’s been a non-stop effort on my part to grow my blog’s traffic (traffic = money, and I’m into money!). I don’t believe there’s a one-size-fits-all formula for increasing your traffic, but what I’m going to share with you is what I’ve done on this blog that has directly resulted in more traffic.
I wish there was a simple secret or a quick trick to growing your traffic, but the truth is there is no secret. It takes time and consistency, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Before I get started, I have a few comments on traffic and expectations (I know, this post is long…but please read this part – it’s important!).
Blogging is not a “get huge overnight” kind of gig. Sometimes, blogs do seemingly blow up overnight, but these are usually bloggers who have a unique story. Most of us need to keep our nose to the grindstone for a year or more before we start seeing real growth. And to some people, traffic doesn’t matter. But if you want to work with brands or make money blogging, at some point the numbers will come into play and you’ll want to increase your traffic.
Every blog is different, and you cannot compare yourself to others. Everyone has a different idea of what a “big” blog is…some of us get 1,000 pageviews a month – others get 100,000 pageviews a month (not me, not yet…but sooner than later, I hope!). It’s important to set personal goals for yourself and your blog, and let those goals guide your success (as opposed to what other people seem to be accomplishing).
Give yourself several months to see results…not a day, not a week, but months. I’ve never written a post and had it bring in tons of traffic right away. Even my most popular posts have taken a few weeks (or months!) to build steam – follow these steps consistently and over time, you will see your traffic grow!
So now on to the fun stuff! BLOG TRAFFIC. Here are some things you can do (immediately, and over time) to increase your traffic.
1. Hook up with other bloggers. This is my #1 suggestion because this is the #1 thing I’ve done to grow my blog. A supportive “tribe” can help you like you wouldn’t believe. It’s one thing for you to share your posts with the world – it’s another thing entirely to have a tribe of friends willing to share your content for you! You’ll also find that being a part of a blogging group gets you nearly instant access to a ton of helpful information and possibly even blogging jobs, too. If you need help finding a group, come join us in the The Blogging Bunch facebook group – we’d love to have you!
2. Write content people want to read. I can write silly stories about my kids all day long, but people are only so interested in that kind of stuff. My biggest traffic-drawing posts are helpful posts – things people can pin, and share, and learn from. There is something out there that you know how to do and can teach others about. Try writing about that, put a pinnable image in your post, and pin it. See what happens!
3. PINTEREST. Pinterest is a huge traffic source for me. Not all of my posts are “pinnable” posts – but when I do have something pinnable, I am sure to include an image people will want to pin (like the one above…you really want to pin that, right? :::wink wink:::). For more info on creating pinnable images, check out this post. If you can’t think of anything original and pin-worthy, try curating some content and creating a round-up post. For example, if you have a toddler and you’re stuck inside, create a post with 20 of your favorite toddler crafts. Here are some guidelines to follow if you don’t have an original image to use in your posts. Pin your own stuff (it’s okay, I swear), and ask your friends and family to pin it, too.
4. Be smart about SEO (SEO is Search Engine Optimization, and it’s how you get Google to recognize your posts so people will find them when they’re searching for topics you’ve blogged about). Not every post needs to be pinnable, and not ever post needs to be properly SEO’d. I think blogging loses some of its magic and authenticity when all we do is create content with Pinterest and Google in mind. But. When you ARE creating those helpful and informative posts – the ones you plan on pinning – make sure you properly SEO them so Google can help direct readers your way! And always (always!) use SEO tactics when writing a sponsored post (to benefit your sponsor and the future life of your post). Pinterest is my #1 referrer, but Google is #2 – and I want people to find my blog when they’re searching for “St. Patrick’s Day craft” or “how to find blogging jobs.” If you have WordPress, you can install a plugin called Yoast that will make it super easy to SEO all of your posts.
4. Grow your social media following. Social media is a real pain in my behind. I don’t love it. But the more fans I have on Facebook, the more followers I have on Twitter, the more people who follow me on Pinterest…the more traffic I get. Spend some time every day (or week, as your schedule allows) working on social media. Follow new people on Twitter, pin lots of awesome stuff on Pinterest, and share fun information on your Facebook page.
5. Post frequently. Plan on posting at least several times a week if possible. The more interesting content you have, the more traffic you’ll get, the more likely Google is to recommend your site, and the more posts people will have to read when they land on your blog.
6. Make your content easy to share. Ladies (and gents) – this is SO IMPORTANT. You need a “Pin It” button on your images and an easy way for people to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Here is some info on how to make your content easy to share.
7. Link up at Linky parties. I have a whole post on this in the works, but the short story is this: to make linky parties work for you, you need to link up to a BUNCH (as many as you can), and you need to link up your best. You probably won’t get tons of direct traffic from these, even if your posts are featured…but you CAN get lots of traffic from people seeing your post and pinning it or sharing it with their friends. A note on these: I pay the fabulous Elizabeth of Rock-a-Bye Parents to link me up to lots of parties…she can help you, too!
Be sure to check out my linky party, Wordy Wednesday…you can link up at any time, and the whole point is to showcase your most awesome content – and I will be sharing ALL of it!
8. Stay the course. Be consistent, and don’t give up. Sometimes it feels like you’re writing amazing content and then sending it into a giant black hole, never to be seen by another human. Keep writing! Those posts may bring you lots of visitors in the future. Keep being awesome and it will pay off eventually.
I’ll say it again…traffic won’t come overnight, and it won’t come without some planning. But if you’re consistent and create content people want to read, you can increase your blog’s traffic.
So – what are you going to work on first?