(My Interests: Blogging)
21 Practical Ways To Increase Your Blog Traffic
by Leigh Holland.
New to blogging? So, you’ve set up your website, posted your images and content, and you wait. At first, the traffic is a trickle. As you post more content, more people arrive, but it’s just a hair higher than the original traffic trickle. How to increase blog viewership and connect with others who share your interests? Here’s a list of possibilities on how to increase blog followers that may help.
- WordPress Reader. New to WordPress? Look for bloggers in your niche. If you like what you see, follow them. The WordPress community is awesome and tends to be supportive. Use the Reader to search for bloggers who may have helpful info on your topic. Here on WordPress, there’s usually someone who has what you need. Here’s a screenshot of what I found on the reader:
- Social Media. Make sure you’re on a variety of social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Google +, and Pinterest. DON’T try to master all of these. Post to them, but pick ONE to focus more time on. Don’t fall into the social media sinkhole. Your blog posting will suffer. In WordPress, use that PUBLICIZE button! All your posts will automatically go to your social media accounts. Ensure you have their info under the Sharing section. Make sure in WordPress to add social media links buttons on your sidebar so people can follow your on your other sites and pages. People you connect with on social media can become supportive and influential blog followers over time.
- Keyword Research. This is one of the most important skills for SEO (search engine optimization) you can learn. I myself am still learning this! The keywords for your blog posts help determine where they rank in search engines. For example “how to increase blog traffic” would be a good keyword for this article, but it’s a high competition keyword. There are a lot of articles on this topic out there. The goal is to create keywords that have low to medium competition and have high search engine volume. Keyword research also lets you know what’s trending.
- Facebook Page. A Facebook page is different than a facebook account. Use your account to set up a page that links to your blog. Post relevant updates and contents to the page. Make a header that matches the theme of your blog. On WordPress, you can use the Facebook Page widget to show your page in the sidebar. Visitors can click the “like” button from your blog page without having to leave and visit the Facebook Page. Cool, huh? You can also use your Page to run giveaways and contests for free copies of your book(if a writer) or other items for page likes.
- Include Images. Most people are attracted by color and design, i.e. images. Using images in your posts and on your social media accounts can increase your blog traffic by up to 400% according to some studies. A great place to find images free for commercial use is Pixabay. Always check the type of license an image has. Make sure you’re not infringing on the copyright and if an attribution is required, it is given.
- Twitter. Twitter has a character limit of 140. If you’re a writer, use hashtags such as #amwriting, #amreading, #writerslife, #writer, #bookpromotion where possible and appropriate. Leave 20 characters open so anyone retweeting has a chance to add something. Use good twitterquette. If someone retweets your pinned tweet(pin a tweet to stay at the top of your tweets, it tells people about your blog and you!), retweet one of theirs. If people like your posts, find one of theirs you like and hit that like button. If people tweet to you to engage you, reply. Tweet things that are educational, entertaining, or informative. People also adore cute kids, pets, and positive quotes. Everyone enjoys a booster in their feed!
- Reciprocation. If people on any of your sites like and comment, reply and like, too. Find articles you honestly like on their sites and leave comments relevant to their topic. This reciprocation builds online friendships, alliances, and partnerships over the long haul. It provides you with a positive, solid rep in the community.
- Follow Back. If someone follows you on Twitter, follow them back (unless doing so makes you feel uncomfortable for some reason). Unless you’re following someone who you are a total fan of, if they unfollow you, unfollow them back. There’s an important reason for this. Human psychology being what it is, people don’t want to follow someone who follows 5,000 people but has only 500 followers. They find that odd. You’ll need to try to keep your following-to-follower ratio within about 10%. Also, you want to try to build a platform for your blog and, if you’re a writer, your other work. Focus on the people who seem to be interested in your work. When someone unfollows, they aren’t interested.
- Get a social media manager. There are quite a few of these out there. Some are free, some cost. The more popular ones are Tweepi, Crowdfire, and Commun.it. These sites help you find people with shared interests to follow and engage on Twitter, and help you schedule posts to your social media sites and build a following. These are great at reducing the amount of time you’ll spend on daily marketing and promotion, leaving you more time to do the things you love, like writing.
- LinkedIn. I haven’t tried this yet, but I may. LinkedIn doesn’t drive as much traffic as Twitter or Facebook, I’m told, but they have recently opened up their platform to content creators. If you join them, send invitations to people via email who you know to link up. Do daily status updates. Follow influencers and ask or answer on their posts. Join and focus on 3 relevant LinkedIn groups. Include links to your other social media accounts and blog and tweet about your LinkedIn once daily. Publish your best posts, with links included back to your blog, on LinkedIn’s publishing platform to attract people to your blog.
- Search. As you earn authority online, your search engine rankings will improve. The first 4 to 6 months, you won’t see a lot of search engine traffic, simply because it takes time for search engines to gain confidence in your site. The more confidence, the higher the ranking. That takes time. But there are things to do that can help. Google rewards long form content– articles with 1,000 or more words-by giving them more weight. Don’t write a bunch of nonsense to get word count. Write articles and guides on topics people need or want to read. Do the research to write quality articles and reviews.
- Linkbacks. As other websites link back to your blog, your credibility goes up as well as your ranking by the search engines. Please note that it takes years to get a large number of linkbacks and this is normal. Keep in mind, quality linkbacks are more important than quantity. There are several ways to get linkbacks. Give linkbacks to other bloggers in your niche. Sometimes, they’ll find content on your site relevant to their post and return the favor. Pinterest and Facebook are great ways to get and give linkbacks. Usually, if you guest blog on another site, they’ll allow a linkback for your site as well.
- Long Tail Keywords. Most of us use short tail keywords, such as “writing tips”, or “book review”. Try using one or two long tail keywords that people are searching for. Long Tail keywords get higher rank than shorter ones. Go to Google search and type in your topic. In this example, mine is “how to increase blog…”. It pulled up several options we can use as long tail keywords. We want to include some of these in our post.
- Interlink Pages. Have you written a post that is related to another post you wrote in the past? Link to the older post in the new post. Always interlink your own pages when possible. This allows search engines to crawl your site faster and easier. It also boosts your chances of more pages being viewed per visit.
- Email. This is the most important thing you can set up starting out: an email subscribers list. Why is this so important? Because email is forever. Twitter could crash and burn tomorrow. Google may change their algorithm and leave your site behind. But having an email list of people interested in your content and projects is priceless. For new bloggers, I recommend Mailchimp. You can do a lot for free. They have great looking templates for newsletters. I find sending newsletters semi-monthly works for my schedule. Others may prefer to send them weekly. If you’re a writer, this is great because when your next book is released, you can immediately notify people who are already engaged with you and your site.
- Free Offers. You can run specific, time-limited giveaways on your blog, social media sites, etc. You can also offer email subscribers a free gift for subscribing. This is usually an e-book. It can also be access to a ‘hidden’ section of your blog with expanded content.
- Pay For Ads. Yes, you can pay a company (or person) to market your blog for you. Lots of sites pay for advertising. If you have the funds, and you believe they can provide what they claim, this may be something to consider. Be very cautious when going this route. Some companies are established and trusted, others not so much.
- Collaboration. Online communities have global reach in the modern era. Collaborating on projects and guest posting on each others’ sites helps build credibility and reputation. It also provides your readers (and theirs) with varied content. It can amplify the audience for each collaborator as their audience overlaps and expands.
- Social Proof. Don’t forget the power of social proof. Do you have a lot of followers on social media? Use WordPress to publicize this fact on your site. People are more interested in sites that have more followers because this builds their confidence. Are you a writer and your book just got its 20th five star review? Paste that post and publicize it. More people will be interested not just in your blog, but also in your book.
- Catchy Headlines. There are so many blogs and articles today. Studies indicate the catchier the title, the more likely an article or blog post will get attention. Which one is attention-grabbing? A: “Bottle Feeding Kittens” or B: “10 Amazing Things You Never Knew About Bottle Feeding Kittens”?
- Quality, Green Content. Write quality articles and post regularly. Over the long haul, these two factors are what will keep people interested in your blog. How often should you post? Blogs that post at least three times per week get more traffic than those that post less. But make sure you’re posting however often works for you. Once you decide how often to post, try to stick to a consistent schedule. People like knowing what to expect.
Thanks for reading my article and I hope you find some tips here on how to increase blog traffic that can help. Remember, the goal is not to increase traffic for traffic’s sake, we want to gain wider exposure to find and connect with our audience.