Traffic is potentially the most important element of a blog. While all bloggers write because they enjoy it in some way, most are also writing to drive traffic, to get readers, and to build a community. But when you spend hours designing your blog, days thinking of interesting topics, weeks writing excellent posts, and months waiting for readers who just aren’t coming, what else can you do? Most bloggers have heard the saying ‘content is king’. But what if you know (or really feel like) your content is great? Well, as many have said before me, if content is king, then distribution is queen. If you’ve got an attractive blog with interesting content, but your readership is still low, the next step is to put all your efforts into getting your blog out there. Here are five easy things that you can do right now to help boost traffic.
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If you want people to read and comment on your blog, the most logical thing to start off with is reading and commenting on other blogs. This puts your name and your link out there for people to click on and get to know. At the very least – the blogs you comment on will reply to you (if they’ve got good blog etiquette and they’re not huge). They might even visit your blog and comment somewhere there to show they care. Though it might not drive traffic up immediately, if you keep at it for a few weeks you will see a definite improvement.
Like I said, getting your name and link out there is vital. But, commenting takes time and effort. To comment, well you have to find a blog you like, a post you care about, read the whole thing, and think of something valuable to say. Comments like ‘Thanks for sharing’ and ‘Great post’ still get your name out there, but they won’t make anyone stand up and notice you. So, what to do if you don’t have the time or energy to go out and comment today? Share. Share your post on every social outlet you have. Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus, and every other hole in the wall networking site that you can think of. Don’t send out the same post on each network – this will spam people who follow you on multiple platforms and likely tick them off. Think of something new to say on each one, or share a different post from your archives on every platform. Even if people don’t re-tweet or re-share or whatever it is they’re supposed to do – at least they’ve seen your post and know you’re alive.
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Create a Newsletter
This is something I’m working on myself right now. I’ve always thought that spamming people’s inboxes with your blog content is annoying and a little selfish, but I’ve recently realized that maybe it’s the most brilliant thing you can do. When I wake up every morning, the first thing I do is check my emails. I delete everything that I’m not interested in, read important things, and flag interesting emails for reading later in the day. And sometimes these interesting emails are from blogs I have subscribed to. They’ve got into my inbox, and my head, before I’m even out of bed. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could do the same?
Add Pinnable Images
When you’re creating content that is good, and you want people to share, a great way to do this is with beautiful imagery. Sure, someone might share a post that’s a thousand words with no image, but they’re far more likely to share it if there is a beautiful picture attached. On every feed that your content is shared on, this picture should catch people’s attention and make them want to stop and read. It should also be something that conveys your point without them having to read your caption. You can do this by either having a really obvious image – or by adding text. On sites like Pinterest, people might delete your original caption and add their own, so you want to convey your point in the image alone. Create pictures that people want to Pin (or share, tweet, like, etc.) and your traffic will grow.
Once you’ve gotten people to your site and they’re reading your brilliant content, the next thing you want to do is keep them there. When they’ve finished reading the post they’re on, or lose interest in it, you want to direct them to another post rather then letting them wander away from your site. To do this, you need to tell them where to go next. Don’t make them work for it or search for a post they’re interested in – because they won’t. Instead, give them links to relevant content. Have a ‘related posts’ section at the bottom of every post, or a ‘popular posts’ section in your sidebar, or both. Within the post, link to other posts you have written in the past. Every time you mention something related to what you once wrote about, link it. Now, don’t go getting spammy – limit the in-text links to only a few per post (depending on length) but make them good and relevant – don’t make your reader regret clicking.
Getting traffic is the one thing that almost every blogger is striving for. I still struggle with it myself at The Crafty Frugaler. Getting it is hard work, but it can be done. Even if you’ve just started out and your only reader is your mom, implementing these five easy steps will start to grow your traffic, and eventually you’ll see a big improvement. At least, in theory. I’ll let you know if I become blog famous.