You know what they say – a watched kettle never boils, and watched stats can seem to move very slowly. For the longest time, my stats were frozen well below 10,000 page views a month, closer to half of that truth be told. It was EXCRUCIATING! But then things changed, and snow balled, and then BOOM! I hit the 10,000 page views a month mark and started running right past it.
Now I know 10,000 page views a month might not seem a big deal to some of you (errrrr…if that’s the case, why are you reading this?)but if you’re still on the ascent up to that, I’m going to share with you how I believe this happened and my tips for growing your blog to that level.
Publish more frequently
I know a lot of people say that it doesn’t matter how often you publish and that less can be more but I’m sorry, I don’t fall into that camp. For a start, Google LOVES blogs which are updated regularly and if you can get that up to daily which I did in the end, then that can be a major tipping point. Obviously though it still has to be quality content. And obviously that takes a lot of work. So start training yourself to write faster lol! However, if you’re churning out rubbish just to meet numbers then that’s not going to fly. But there are lots of tools out there to help you generate ideas of things to write – I love Answer The Public but there are some other blog topic generators you can try out here.
For me, things started really changing when my organic search engine traffic started taking off. A big player in this for me was when I started internal linking within each post – try for 3 if you can. Internal linking helps to increase the rank of your page which in turn increases visits yadda yadda yadda. More on the importance of internal linking here.
Regular readers of my blog know that I am a total sucker for putting out crowdsourcing posts – an example of one I published on mums empowering mums here. Honestly, I don’t do this to increase my traffic but just because I have a lot of thoughts and ideas in my head which I want to know what others think and feel about. It also happens to make for great content. And it also happens to make for content that those involved want to share and amplify. If you want to start putting out crowdsourcing posts then a great place for harvest crowdsourcing comments on particular topics if the UK Parent Bloggers Crowdsourcing Facebook group.
Accepting more guest posts
If you’re anything like me, you will be drowning in guest post idea submissions. Some of these are just awful, some of these are great, and quite frankly some of these should be paid for. But some can really help with your search traffic because of the proposed topic (i.e. it’s about something people really want to know/find useful). The trick is working out which is which, but here’s the hard part….I think you can only really know which is which through experience, numbers and a good dose of blogger instinct!
Writing what people want to know about
Yes, are bloggers we have a lot to say about what WE want to say, but what is it other people want to know. While I do believe in writing about what you are passionate about, I also think it’s important to write about what other people want to know and what people are already searching for. If you haven’t got a clue, again….Answer The Public is your new best friend here.
Being religious about YOAST
I was a reluctant YOAST-er (you know, the plug in app) for a while, but I think it was only when I became totally militant about green lighting the lion’s share of my blog posts that my organic traffic really started taking off because my SEO was tip top (more on SEO from me here). And although I do receive a lot of traffic from social media which I firmly believe is crucial to any blogger increasing their traffic I have now got to the point where my organic traffic has far outstripped my social traffic….something I thought could never possibly happen!
As bloggers, we can be so impatient, we want everything now. But no, sadly, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. We can’t expect everyone to just be flocking to our blog over night, no matter how amazing you think your content is. A lot of this takes time….time for people to know about your blog, time for people to LOVE your blog, time for people to really want to follow your blog and engage with it, and time for Google to love your blog too. Sigh. Sorry no magic answers for you there….just perseverance and patience I’m afraid. And then one day – BOOM! you will hit that tipping point.
Forgetting about the viral post
Oh yes, the viral post…it seems to be the holy grail of our blogging world. But here’s the thing…as someone who has had a few viral posts in her time…I don’t believe this is what translates into consistently higher traffic. Just as quick as those readers flocked to your blog, they will flock away again…those fickle fish! So yes, while a viral post is a lovely way to make you do a happy dance, it’s not the sustainable game plan you need. I found once I stopped thinking about making my posts viral (how the hell do you do that anyway??!), that’s when things really picked up for me.
There’s a reason comment threads exist. Google loves blog posts with lots of comments and engagement. It helps other people to find you. And it helps to send other traffic your way. There are lots of comment pods out there – have a look at those on Blogger Club Facebook Group and UK Awesome Bloggers as a starting point. Honestly, until I started doing this religiously everyday, my organic traffic was meh. You get back what you put in after all.
So what’s next… if I can double it again I’ll be over the moon. But I know that’s going to take a great deal of the above all over again.
So did you find these tips useful? Please do share in a comment below.
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