If you're a blogger, chances are, you want more traffic. Who doesn't? Traffic is the reason we write. The lane of our leads. And the solution to our sales. I've been blogging for more than a year now and I spent the first 9 months figuring out how to drive traffic to my blog. Some methods worked, but a lot didn't. So, rather than giving you a massive list of 'traffic methods' I've heard about, I'm going to share every method that has put visitors on my blog, leads in my Aweber and dollars in my pocket. (I've also organized them by the tactics that have driven me the most traffic.)
There's no way around this. If you're writing for quantity and leaving quality behind, chances are, you'll run out of ideas, burn yourself out and not get ranked. When it comes to writing kick-ass content, there isn't a precise word count. (Hubspot Study) Whether your post ends up being 100 or 1,000 words, get your point across without fluff.
As an apparent Twitter addict, it may sound obvious that i'd recommend this. But, a few months back, my social marketer (Maja) and I did a test. We were previously posting 10-12 times per day to Twitter. So, for two weeks, we more than doubled it. We 'upped the ante' to 25 tweets per day. The result? A 40% increase in traffic from Twitter.
Don't spend another minute reading this post if you haven't set up Twitter Cards for your blog. Click here for a fantastic tutorial by Social Media Examiner. I didn't do this till last month, but in doing so, I increased my monthly @mentions to 1,500 (from 1,100) AND my monthly retweets to 1,800 (from 1,200.) That's a 36% increase in mentions and a 50% increase in Retweets. I truly regret waiting so long.
My list is like my family. Every time I do something new, they all want to know about it. So, whenever I have a new blog post, new product or random ideas, I let them know. In fact, you may be reading this post as a result of my email. (Living proof!) ;) Recommended Read: Guide to Getting Your First 500 Email Subscribers
Let's face it. How long do you stay on a website with horrible design? Usually not very long. If you can't find the latest articles, a call-to-action to subscribe, a good navigation bar that makes sense, chances are, you won't come back. It's definitely something you learn along the way, but if your site is attractive with good design, readers will return. Great example: Marketing Adept
Especially if you're just beginning. When you tell someone, "Thanks for the Retweet! You rock. :)", it makes them feel more connected to you and they'll be more prone to share your future content & subscribe to your newsletter. I began doing this about 4 months ago, and I've seen a dramatic increase in retweets from the same people. (I noticed it because I began to know the profiles who always shared my content!)
As cliche as this sounds, creating one piece of content for 30 days straight will dramatically increase your traffic. This could be a blog post, a video, a podcast, an infographic, etc. As long as you're providing value, it works. In fact, this post is Day #11 for my second 30-Day Content Challenge. The first time I challenged myself, I went from 814 monthly visitors to 9,575 by the 30th day.Click here to take the challenge & get all the juicy details.
Scheduling social media posts out ahead of time is what separates the pros from the amateurs. Posting manually to every social network will quickly burn you out and leave a sour taste for social media marketing in your mouth. The best way is to create your 4 Types of Content, commit to a certain number of daily posts per social network, write a schedule, and stick to it. Two great tools for scheduling social media posts are Sprout Social and Hootsuite. (You can access our posting schedule organizer in the Flight Media Toolbox)
I used to despise Pinterest.. In fact, for the last 2 years, I never even considered it a viable avenue for blog traffic. Luckily, about a month ago, I decided to dive in and test the waters. In the 1st week, Pinterest became my #4 'social' traffic referral source.
An authority roundup is usually a blog post with a list of industry leaders (authorities.) These are good for a couple reasons:
I actually did this when I did my first 30-Day Challenge, 8 months ago. From doing so, I got roughly 60% of the authorities mentioned in the post to share the article & generated 5,000+ pageviews on that article in the first month.
Auto-DM stands for auto-direct message. They're the message that's automatically sent to someone who follows you on Twitter. Now, while I think auto-DMs are massively abused (by spamming your blog's link,) I like to use them with strategically asked questions. I'll ask a question such as, "You rock! :) Are you an entrepreneur/business owner?" This usually sparks dozens of daily replies, creates great conversations, builds relationships with new followers, and drives interested people to your blog.
Guest blogging is quite new to me, but it's been around for a LONG time. Accepting guest blogs is nice because it minimizes work you need to do and can drive the guest poster's audience to your blog. Guest posting on other blogs is great because it gives you a backlink (helps SEO) and it gives you exposure to their audience. To get started, I recommend you checkout Kissmetric's "Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging"
I'm currently working on this one. (I even have a running spreadsheet of blogs that I've commented on) Typically, blogs allow commenters to put their name, website and email. Actively commenting on other blogs often times get's people reciprocating the love. Not only does it open the doors for the blog owner to go back to your site & comment, but if you're constantly showing up in the comments, their audience will start clicking over to your site. 8-)
People love giveaways. Getting free stuff is always great. But what if the contest encouraged people to get more entries by 'sharing the giveaway?' That's exactly what the Sumo Giveaway plugin does. It allows people to optin to your giveaway with their email, then get more entries by sharing the link. (See how this guy even grew a list of 200k subscribers & crashed his servers with a $79 giveaway in 11 days..)
Facebook advertising is great. Because it's SO cheap. Spend $5-$10 with targeted 'boosting' of your posts for every blog post you write & you're bound to drive some traffic! (I drove an extra 59 visitors on this post by boosting it for $5 on Facebook)
If you included something about someone in your article, tag them when you post about it. Because sometimes, you'll get them to share it with their audience. (Just like I've referenced different people in this post, I'll be tagging them when I initially blast it across my social channels.)
The best kind of traffic is targeted traffic. (duh!) And who's more targeted than your email subscribers? By setting up email followups and automating your email marketing, you can continually offer value to your subscribers by sending them back to blog posts & content. Side-Note: this will also help establish you as an industry thought leader.
If you're a 'news' blog, this works best. Covering topics that just happened that day can quickly rank you in Google. For example: if you’re in the marketing industry & Instagram begins allowing advertisers, write about it that day. I used to actually do this when I started & was able to drive several hundred page views/day immediately, but it burned me out as a one-man team. (So, if you have the energy, go for it!)
Headlines are extremely important because it's the first thing someone sees of your post. If it doesn't grab their attention, then they won't click to it. Search Engine Journal has a great video on it:
If you haven't noticed, I don't ever blog about SEO. Why? Because, to me, it's not as difficult as it's cracked up to be. Since I started my blog a year ago, I've been using the free YOAST plugin to generate meta titles & descriptions. But that's really the extent of it. Other than the website's meta data & the post meta data, I just add alt tags to images & link to different articles on my site and other sites. (From that, I get about 39% of my traffic from Google.) That said, as long as you're doing those basic SEO techniques, you should start ranking & getting traffic! :)
Podcasts are amazing. They expose you to an entirely new audience on iTunes, Stitcher, Blackberry, etc. and create a new platform to deliver valuable content to your subscribers. Just look at Pat Flynn with the Smart Passive Income Podcast. He's amassed over 9.5 million podcast downloads in the last 2 years and even landed the position as Director of Web & Social Media for the movie, "Crooked Arrows." Click here for his step-by-step guide to creating your first podcast. Click the image below for my podcast, "The Solopreneur Daredevil" with my co-host, Ray Akers! ;)
Whether you're writing a list post (like this) or have a good quote in a post, click-to-tweet is a very powerful way to get people sharing your content--thus, driving more traffic. Clicktotweet.com is only $4.97 per month, but it easily pays for itself. (It does allow you to try it for free!) You can create your 'click-to-tweet' links & easily organize them in folders. It even tracks the new visitors you get as a result of someone tweeting it!
[/checklist] Source: Buffer's Ideal Length for Everything Online
Following other people always has negative connotations with it. "It's spammy." "It's just begging for followers." Blah. Blah. Blah. You know what it really is? Connecting with people. Building relationships. Establishing trust. And a ton of other things. Think of social media like a massive party. A party where no one knows who you are and if you don't initiate the conversation, they never will. (Sounds like a boring party to me!) Following other people typically gives them reason to check out your content. (And if you're following relevant people, then chances are, they'll like it.)
Similar to an authority roundup (#10), interviewing top influencers in your niche can drive boatloads of traffic. The influencer gets more PR & recognition and you get exposure to their audience. (Win, Win!) On my previous music blog, we were able to drive 500+ shares on nearly every simple interview article. A few ways to interview (depending on the influencer's preference) include:
There are countless ways to drive traffic to your blog. These are some of my favorite and most effective strategies. Take them, use them and share this article if it helped you. ;) Question: which of these methods have you found works? Are there any more to add? Leave a comment below!