Recently I posted a highly successful article on my blog outlining my 29 tips and tricks for making better blog posts. As so many of you found it helpful, I’ve decided to create a Part II to help newcomers and even established bloggers looking to reach a wider audience.
While this list is not completely exhaustive, I’ve done my best to ensure there is plenty of information and resources listed here, without overloading you with so much information that it’s impossible to sift through.
How to get more traffic on your blog: 29 Tips & Tricks
1. Build a Community
This might not seem to be the first and foremost tip for increasing blog traffic, but don’t underestimate the importance of community when it comes to traffic. That’s because 1 engaged reader is better than 10 passers-by. Why? It’s about building a loyal fanbase who trust you, as well as the importance of a two-way relationship. It’s easy to forget that blogging goes both ways – but think to yourself, why am I doing this? Chances are whatever reason you have as an answer involves your readers. YOU need THEM as much as they need you – never forget that. But it doesn’t end there. Building a community is like building a special place on the internet where people like you can come to meet others like both of you – i.e. the domino effect.
2. Master SEO
Search Engine Optimization is often the biggest source of traffic for many established bloggers. But what about the newcomers? Many new bloggers or those who have yet to master SEO shy away from learning the ins and outs of SEO as a result of fear – fear that it is to difficult or that it cannot be achieved. But it’s important not to be discouraged by initial results and to always be working on your SEO – because in the long run, this will count for the great majority of your blog traffic.
So how to master SEO? The first step is to establish a balance, because the golden rule is to ensure good SEO does not interfere with good blog writing. Monitor which posts are performing well, what keywords are resulting in traffic, and how you can improve your results.
3. Master Google Analytics
Having Google Analytics is one thing – monitoring it is another thing – and mastering it is the key to success. Once inside the dashboard, be sure to take a look around. Log into your Google Analytics dashboard and take a look around – you’ll be shocked by how insightful the information is!
4. Diversify your Social Media
I won’t be the first person to tell you the importance of social media in 2014. I also won’t be the first person to tell you how important it is to have a presence on all social media platforms, rather than relying solely on one. To optimise your social media coverage, it’s important to diversify your role on each. Some bloggers choose to focus on one platform (i.e. Instagram) and don’t have a presence on others, or choose to simple synchronise their photos over to these feeds. The problem with this is plain and simple and may be best described as ‘putting all your eggs in one basket’. Just remember how uncertain and changeable the internet is – that should be reason enough to diversify your social media engagement (read more about mastering each platform later in this post).
5. Essential Plugins
There are plenty of plugins out there to increase your social reach (and thus increase traffic), but to save you time, take a look at this article for a brief rundown. Social plugins are a great place to start for encouraging your readers to share your content. Truth is, no matter how much people enjoy your articles and would theoretically share them with their friends – many (if not most) won’t without the prompt or reminder to do so.
6. Why your Sidebar is so important
Most bloggers wouldn’t consider their sidebar as a tool for increasing traffic. Rather, bloggers often view their sidebar as a section of their website to place ads and other promotional tools. But it is also the perfect place to increase and expand your audience. As your sidebar is likely to appear on almost every post/page on your website, it’s the perfect position for promoting your various social media channels, email subscriptions, and any other ways to connect with your readers on a more consistent basis. This will result in return readers who are more likely to share your content, and thus expand your audience/traffic sources.
7. Increase your site speed
Getting people to your website is one thing, keeping them there is another. There is perhaps no one single more irritating thing in the blogosphere than waiting for content to load. Do you enjoy it? No. So don’t expect your readers to! Use this free tool to check your site speed and analyse how it is performing, as well as finding tips on how to improve your site speed.
8. Network with other bloggers
One of the most deflating aspects of any workplace environment (be it hobby or career), is competition. It’s important to identify early on that blogging should not be a competition – it’s a network, a community, a chance to co-exist and co-operate with other people who share your passions. Networking will inevitably result in cross-promotion, whether it be via an interview, guest post, or exchanging links. So what are you waiting for? Get networking!
9. Host Giveaways
Giveaways are a great chance to offer your readers something and remind them that you care as much about them as they do you and your blog. Giveaways also provide an opportunity to grow your audience, by offering entrants the chance to win something via sharing your content. Stuck for where to start? If you’re just starting out, you may have to invest in the giveaway yourself – so start small. The more you grow your blog, the more opportunities you will have coming your way to give away product through your blog. Essentially it’s a win-win situation, as you get to give your readers something as well as giving the product/company exponential advertising.
10. Tell Everyone you know and everyone they know
It’s no secret that social media is here to stay. But if there’s one thing more powerful than social media, it’s word of mouth advertising. The reality is that people trust what they hear from a friend. So be sure to mention your blog with pride and encourage everyone you know to visit your blog, so they tell everyone they know… and so on and so forth.
11. Using PicMonkey for better Photos
If you haven’t heard of Picmonkey yet, the good news is that it is better late than never! This service is free (unless you upgrade to become a Royal Member – of which I’d strongly recommend) and is a great quick/easy tool to improve your photos. Adding text to your photos actually increases their share-ability. Particularly for Pinterest, this is a great strategy to make your content more shareable and in turn drive traffic to your blog.
12. Use links in your posts
Increasing external traffic is the main goal, but increasing internal traffic within your posts is equally as important. Be sure to use links in your posts to your other content to encourage readers to visit other posts on your blog.
13. Formatting your posts better
When new readers land on your blog posts, you want them to be so impressed with your content that they feel obliged to follow your social media and subscribe in order to stay updated on your upcoming posts. Put simply, blogs are visual. Make ’em look good!
14. Make a Media Kit
When you’ve got the numbers pouring in by the thousands, it then becomes time to take a professional step towards blogging as a career. If you want to continue your growth and turn your blog into a full time career, then you’ll need to start thinking and acting like a professional blogger. Potential brands who may want to collaborate with you will want to see all of your ket information in one source – it’s called a Media Kit. Here’s a great article on creating one.
15. Old School Marketing
Business cards. Haven’t considered them yet? As it turns out, business cards can quickly become one of the most powerful and influential marketing tools you will have for your blog. Whenever you mention your blog to new people in conversation, it’s important to hand them a reminder to follow up and check it out afterwards. The answer? Business cards.
16. Using Stumble Upon correctly
Here’s a great article on how to use Stumble Upon correctly.
17. Using Twitter correctly
Here’s a great article on how to use Twitter correctly.
18. Using Instagram correctly
Here’s a great article on how to take better Instagram photos.
19. Using Facebook correctly
Here’s a great article on how to use Facebook correctly.
20. Using Pinterest correctly
There’s a way to use Pinterest and then there is a way to use Pinterest correctly. With the rules constantly changing, be sure to do your research before you get started.
21. Join the discussion
Commenting on other blogs is a great way to increase your traffic flow for two reasons: Firstly, you can comment a direct link to your blog or a particular post you have written in similar vein or in contrast to what the author has written on the post you are commenting on. Secondly, each backlink helps increase your Google Page Rank, which means your posts will appear higher in Search Engines.
22. Quantity AND Quality
People often ask me, is it best to focus on quantity or quality? I say both. You should aim to post at least 3 times per week if you want to earn quality followers and readers. Once you become more established and find your writing style, once per day on weekdays is a great target to hit. It’s better to start posting LESS and more QUALITY posts before you fall into the trap of sacrificing quality for quantity.
23. Make your content shareable
There’s a fine line between meeting the needs of your readers (writing good, quality posts) and meeting the needs of your blog (making content shareable). Your posts should aim to do both. To make your content more shareable, include quotes and interesting facts that your readers will feel encouraged to share for their unique quality. Think to yourself: what would this say about a reader if they shared this post? If it’s something you could see yourself sharing, it’s likely going to be something some of your readers will share.
24. Keyword Research
Conducting keyword research is a tool used by many of the world’s leading bloggers. And the best part? You don’t have to pay! A great tool is to use Google Keyword Search to find the keywords you should be including in your Blog Post Titles to hit those search engine enquiries.
25. Check for Broken Links
No one likes to click on a link and have it go nowhere – or redirect to a 404. Here’s a great free resource to check your blog for broken links.
26. Revamp your About Page
Your About Page is more important than you’ve realised. It’s where your potential readers and fans go to find out a little more about you and see whether they resonate with you, your story, and your style. On your About Page you should do a few key things… 1) Tell the reader your story and why your blog is unique, 2) Give insight into your personality, 3) Give prompts for your readers to follow your social media platforms and subscribe to stay updated.
27. Guest Blog (and accept guest blogs)
Guest posts are a great chance to feature other bloggers you are inspired by, and vice versa. Each guest post you write for other bloggers will also provide a backlink to your site – in turn increasing your Google Page Rank.
28. Host and Attend Meetups
Firstly, they’re fun. Secondly, you get to meet your readers. Thirdly, they’re fun. Meetups give you a chance to meet likeminded people and spend quality time with your readers. They’re more of a time investment, sure, but they’re totally worth it. Some of the readers I have met have resulted to be some of my best friends!
29. Encourage your readers to subscribe
A final thought – subscriptions. In the current age of social media, subscriptions are often overlooked. But we’re also in the age of the smart phone – meaning we receive alerts each and every time we receive an email. Subscriptions thus become the most direct way to reach your readers every time you write a new post. Be sure to offer multiple subscription prompts on your website to get your readers to subscribe!
…Thanks for reading and feel free to share this post to help other bloggers!