How to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog
It has been made never easier to start your own blog. But it is a lot of hard work if you want it be a success. If you manage to make it to the top in your niche, you might even be able to make a living out of it. But don’t get us wrong, of course, you. Though most of us like to write for the public, we assume you want people to read it. Having gone through this blog post, we hope you’ll have developed a lot more ideas on how to drive traffic and build a new readership.
This article will be a little different from what you usually find on this publication. Obviously, SEO will be part of it but we’ll also cover quite a bit of social media marketing strategy. If you’d like for your blog or website to have a lot of traffic (SEO is one way) then different channels are necessary. For example, someone that turns to branding will probably use different channels.
Our blog is new, so before we begin I want to discuss my thoughts on blogging and how you can get started. There are tons of free and paid blogging platforms out there, but they all differ and might not be suitable for your purposes. Blogger is Google-owned, while Blogspot and WordPress offer more options. These free blog platforms are really good. But I think that if you are truly committed to your blog, you may want to host it yourself. Or at least buy your own domain name.
Websites hosting was never so cheap, and most providers allow you to install WordPress in a single click. I highly recommend that you use the CMS WordPress found at WordPress.org because it will give you a lot of flexibility when it comes to SEO. Ah, but don’t worry because this guide is all about that stuff.
But I’m not here to tell you what to do or how to make money from hosting. You’re here to learn how to get more readers and visitors to your blog, so let’s jump in.
1. Consider the competition and choose a topic that’s popular
You may have heard it before, and if you’re a reader of our blog then you might be familiar with the importance of conducting keyword research. But as with anything that is published on the web, it’s essential to do your market research before beginning. But you didn’t have to choose the topic with the most searches- maybe you could go for a slightly different topic instead, with lower search volume, but less competition. This keyword is called an LSI-keyword. You should also look for long-tail keywords, which are usually related to your topic.
2. Be sure to use the keywords, but don’t forget about synonyms
After you’ve completed your keyword research, it’s common to remember at least one word that may be relevant. Aim to integrate this word into your article as much as possible, but don’t get too carried away trying to force it in at the expense of the content. Long ago it was possible to fool search engines with a technique called keyword stuffing. But, don’t worry, we know all about the disadvantages of this approach.
Instead, we recommend you have the reader in mind and make sure to use synonyms. It’ll not only make your content more readable, but it will also probably help with SEO and traffic.
This might be a bit overkill for most bloggers, but we still think it’s worth mentioning whilst we are at it. If you are planning to write a lot of content within a certain niche, do it with keyword cannibalization in mind.
3. Write a catchy headline
So we are still covering the result of your keyword research. It might be very tempting to use the exact keyword or search phrase that you have found, as a headline for your blog post. But we strongly recommend you don’t.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s great if you can incorporate your keyword or search phrase in your headline. But make sure it makes sense, it’s readable and preferably something that excites the reader to click. Especially if you are trying to get traffic through social media, but also to get a good CTR in the search result.
Also, you probably don’t want to sound like a robot.
4. Never forget the importance of a good title and meta description
Let’s look at meta description and titles whilst headlines, titles and search results are still on top of your mind. Depending on what platform your blog is running on your meta title and description might already be perfect. But there’s also a chance they need improvement.
Meta title and meta description is what’s shown in the search result on Google and other search engines. Both the meta title and description should attract a potential visitor to click and at the same time reflect what your blog post is about.
A tip is to Google the subject of your article and see what the competition looks like. You don’t want to copy someone’s meta title, or description for that matter. You want to create an even better one. This will make you stand out. This is easier said and done, but do your best.
5. Images, illustrations and videos can attract your readers more
Most people have really short attention spans. Especially online. Few people have the discipline to read a wall of text, so make sure to make use of different visuals. Depending on your niche it might be photos, illustrations, graphs or videos. Even short animations like GIFs can help your readers finish reading your blog post.
6. Open your brain – Plan, write more and write often
SEO is a great way to get new visitors to your blog. But don’t underestimate the power of returning visitors. Depending on the character of your blog you might want to post several times per day, a few times a week, or maybe just once a month.
Consistency when it comes to frequency is more important than how often. And whilst a high frequency of new blog posts probably is better, don’t compromise on the quality of your blog posts. That will probably not work in the long run.
7. It is important to know your niche and find your target audience
Unless you are trying to create the next Wikipedia, try to find your niche. And stick to it. You are more likely to build a loyal and devoted crowd of followers if you have a clear niche of your blog.
It doesn’t need to be super narrow, as long as the niche is clear for both you and your readers. If you have a lifestyle blog, but 90% of the content is about watches it might be better to just stick to watches and skip the other 10% of travel, food, and leisure content. Just as an example.
When they think about whatever subject you are writing about, they should think about you!
8. Write Your Content Ceaseless
Newsworthy content might give you a nice peak in traffic, but quite often this is highly temporary. Instead, you should try to write timeless pieces of content.
We usually call this evergreen content. Some examples of evergreen content are recipes or historical events. Some examples of content that is not evergreen are news articles.
Obviously it’s not that black and white. If your content is seasonal, it could be a good idea to make it as evergreen as possible. If you are a food blogger writing about the tastiest Christmas recipes you might want to put the year in your titles and headers. But not necessarily in the URL. Then it’s super easy to reuse the blog post year after year, or at least parts of it.
9. Don’t let outbound links scare you
Links are a big deal when it comes to traffic and especially when it comes to SEO. Every incoming link to your blog will probably have a positive impact on your SEO. The same applies the other way around as well. When you are linking to someone else’s blog or website you are technically helping their SEO.
That being said, you should not be afraid of linking to other blogs or websites. If the link can help your readers to get the most out of your blog post that might be worth more. But you might want to think twice before you are linking to one of your biggest competitors.
10. Internal links are important to remember
Inbound links and outbound links both have an effect on your SEO. But so do internal links. An internal link is basically you linking to something on your blog. It can be a blog post, a category page, or your homepage.
We think that there’s a lot of benefits to using internal linking between your content and blog posts. Not only will it have a positive effect on your SEO, but it will also help your readers to discover more content on your blog.
This could be used in many different ways. Instead of explaining the same thing over and over in your blog posts, you can refer to a blog post that explains whatever there is you want to explain. You can also take the opportunity to refer to related or similar blog posts.
11. Do guest posting
Guest blogging and guest posting have been used by SEOs for many years. Some would say that guest posting is dead, but we don’t agree. At all.
Guest posting done right might be more powerful than ever. Reach out to similar blogs to see if there’s any interest. You will probably be turned down more times than people say yes, or even reply. But don’t worry. It’s the same for most bloggers and fully normal.
If you get the opportunity to a guest blog you might expand your own audience as well as getting a backlink, which would be good for your own SEO. Just keep in mind that you want to write something truly interesting. Way too many guest bloggers put together some low-quality content, just for the sake of a free backlink.
12. It is best when you invite guest bloggers
What comes around goes around. Accepting guest bloggers might be as great as doing some guest blogging yourself. But you should also demand a certain quality and not accept anyone. The last thing you want is to disappoint your loyal followers.
Obviously, most will be forgiving if it happens once or twice. But if your blog starts to fill up with sales pitches of various products full of outbound links you will probably see a steady decline in readers.
13. Prizes are always attractive, Giveaways and competitions will give you benifit
Giveaways, lotteries, and competitions are a great way to engage with your readers. And you can make it even greater by asking for something small back.
Could be anything from a like on Facebook, follow you on Instagram, or writing a blogpost about you. Maybe with a backlink. There’s a lot of different approaches and we are sure you can find a lot of creative ways to experiment with giveaways.
Just make sure you follow the laws or regulations for lotteries and competitions.
14. Try to benefit from social media as much as possible
Even though most of us use social media on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget how powerful it can be. Especially for people who mainly work with SEO. Although social media has too little no direct impact on your SEO, it does have an indirect impact. And it’s also a great way to drive traffic to your blog.
Some social media works better for a certain kind of social media, whilst other social media might not work at all for your audience. The best way to find out is to try them out. Do your best to build an audience on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any social media you can think of. If your blog is more of the corporate kind, LinkedIn might be your primary choice.
Give it some time and you will soon find which social media channels work best for you and your blog.
15. Share your new and old content
When you have managed to build up some followers on your social media profiles, singular or plural, don’t be afraid of sharing your content. I guess it’s quite obvious that you should share your latest blog posts.
But there’s also a great way to share some old content every now and then. It could be content that really engaged your social media audience before. It could also be content that for some reason never got the reception you expected.
Just remember that no one likes to be spammed. When you share your content do it with moderation and especially if you are sharing old content.
16. Social share buttons, It helps
Might be obvious for a lot of bloggers. But we see so many blogs that don’t have share buttons on their blog posts. Even if they are only used by every hundred or every thousand visitors they are still worth the small effort.
There’s plenty of plugins that make it easy to implement on your blog. Just make sure the share button shares the actual blog post and not only your blog URL.
17. Choose a viral topic to write
A lot of bloggers probably dream about their content going viral and get shared by thousands of people on social media. Writing a viral article is hard and it’s even harder to predict if it will go viral.
But there are shortcuts that you can and should make use of. If you check out a viral site like Bored Panda and search for one of their viral posts you will realise a lot of viral sites have more or less the same content. Even newspapers.
And you can do the same. Find something that has gone viral before and that suits your crowd of readers. Adapt it to your audience and give it your personal touch and share it. You might need to give it a few tries before you find a recipe that works for you. But remember to do it with moderation, a lot of people are fed up with clickbaits.
18. To promote your blog use email signatures and bio
Today is a blurred line between social media and things like email and forums. Most people would probably not consider email a social media, whilst they would say that WhatsApp is one.
Nonetheless, if you have the possibility to show people where to find your blog, take it. It could be your email signature, a forum profile or basically any kind of bio. At some forums and portals, you will still get SEO friendly backlinks, which is a great bonus.
19. Invest in advertising
Depending on the character and purpose of your blog, advertising might be a great way to expand your audience. If someone mentioned advertising a decade ago you probably thought of something requiring thousands of dollars in budget. But thanks to social media you get a lot of exposure for peanuts.
Facebook is probably easiest to get started with, assuming you are actually using Facebook. To promote a post that you have shared usually just requires a few clicks. But even platforms like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and obviously Google lets you advertise. Starting at cents, or maybe a dollar.
20. Make it easy to subscribe via RSS
A lot of industry professionals will probably disagree with me on this one. But hey, that’s ok. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is a way for people to, kind of, subscribe to your content. It was especially big for blog and news content. I say it was, because RSS probably had its peak around 2006 and has been declining since.
But there’s still people using it, so again, depending on your audience it might be worth supporting it. Also, most blog platforms already support it out of the box.
21. List out your email clients
This might sound like a recommendation from the ’90s, but email is far from dead. Social media in all it’s pride and glory. But a lot of people, especially from certain generations, still prefer email.
If your audience is right, newsletters will be a great way to engage with your audience and remind them of your latest blog posts. Done the right way, of course.
22. Invite readers to engage
You should always try to engage your audience. Giving them the option to comment on your blog post is a great way to do this.
Depending on how big your crowd is, it might not be possible for you to reply to everyone. But at least they have the possibility to interact and discuss in between each other.
I think all blog platforms I’ve seen have some sort of comment section. But it might be worth looking into a third-party platform like Disqus or Facebook Comments Plugin. Using a third-party comment platform can help you reach beyond your current crowd when they engage.
23. Make your blog faster and lite weight to load
Talking about people’s attention span, no one wants to wait ages for a website or blog to load. Doesn’t really matter if they are coming from Google or Social Media. You should always make sure your blog is loading as fast as possible. If your blog is super slow, it might even have a negative impact on your SEO.
A super-easy way is to make sure your photos and images are optimised for the web and not unnecessarily big. Videos hosted at third party sites like YouTube or Vimeo don’t affect your speed as much. If your blog is hosted on one of the big blog platforms there’s not much more than this you can do.
If you are hosting your own blog at a hosting provider there might be a lot of things you can improve, but that’s a chapter of its own
Finally it can be said that you have to work hard to get your blog hits or more traffic. Once you get the hang of it, it will ease up a lot. And you will see, that you are getting results from your good practice. Your blog will hit and reach many people. Never stop your flow. Know by writing, slowly everything will become clear to you. And when you see your progress you will become addicted. And that will be your success.
So focus on your writing without delay. Follow the rules while writing. I’m not saying just follow my blog. You are open-minded, search Google as you wish.
See how your post can be taken first. Watch the video tutorial. Know understand and then write.