I am very lucky to have tripled my blog traffic in a very small amount of time – well, since I begun my blog at the beginning of this year. Hang on – is this luck? Or is it really something else. In truth, there has probably been a lot more then just luck that has got me there and having tried a lot of different permutations owing to previous background as an Editor of an online platform, I am now fairly confident that I know what has worked for me, and what hasn’t. So here and now, I’m going to share with you 11 effective ways to build your blog traffic – apart from annoying SEO.
1. Content is king
Keep it real, be the best blogger you can be, be bold and write about interesting subjects people want to read about and can relate to, as frequently as you are able to without compromising the quality of your content. Have a strong voice and identity, and this, along with the quality of your content will soon see a following develop. Practical guides, list pieces and humour always seem to do the best. If you don’t have any inspiration to write, don’t write. Simples.
2. Social media
As far as you can be, be obsessive about social media, but be targeted in your obsession. Whilst Facebook & Twitter still win hands down in bringing in blog traffic (these can not and must not be ignored!), as much as people don’t “get it” and although you might feel like you’re throwing stones into the deafening sea, it’s a badly kept secret that posting to Google+ helps to increase your visibility on searches. Although I have experimented with all the social media platforms, if I had two choose only three to focus on, it would be these (sorry Pinterest, as much as I love you, you still bring me diddly squat traffic).
Note: There are lots of free tools out there to help you seem like you’re online when you’re not. The ones for Twitter are probably the most important in my book (you can really wing the rest) – I’ve experimented with them and my favourite tool is Future Tweets for its pure simplicity or Tweet Deck for something an little more complex.
3. By wary of syndication
While it might be everyone’s dream to appear on the likes of Huffington Post or Scary Mommy – be careful. You can spend a lot of time dancing around trying to get into them, feeling like a schmuck as a result, and when they publish you, it can be astonishing how little traffic they bring you. However said that, others who might republish or shout about your work with considerably less effort – for example the lovely Netmums and Mumsnet – bring you much more. Cast your votes therefore wisely. Your time may be better off spent building your traffic in other ways featured in this list.
4. Host guests posts
One of the best things I have done on this blog has been to host guest blog posts. Not only because they can provide really interesting, refreshing content in a complimentary voice to your own, but also because it helps you to widen your network out to their readers too. The #beingamother project which I run is a prime example of this…and while we are all busy bees, people are usually most happy to take up the opportunity for additional exposure.
5. Run interviews
Interviews are such a great format, and can really help you publish some juicy content if they are with someone interesting or on a strong subject which is often not talked about enough. Top tip: rather than thinking WHO you want to interview, perhaps think what subject you’ve always wondered about and then find the corresponding person to interview like with my What is it really like being a single mum interview here.
6. Participate in linkies
Linkies are a great way of getting your blog posts read by others who might not otherwise see them, and can often help a post go viral. See this fab all encompassing Linky List by You Baby Me Mummy, and my favourite linkies here. You can also read Cuddle Fairy’s guide to how to participate in linkies here.
The linky game this takes some experimenting. Some bring a lot more traffic than others and it’s just a case of mucking in, seeing what comes back and deciding where to sow your seed from thereon in.
7. Run a series
This might sound like hard work, but honestly, all you need is a strong idea, a little bit of vision and some organisation. When I first started my #beingamother project series it was off the back of a random thought that just popped into my head one day. I didn’t overthink it, and didn’t really think about what it would become, but truly, it has gathered a really great following with people looking forward to the next edition each week, which keeps people coming back to read the next installment.
8. Experiment, experiment, experiment
The only way you’ll learn what brings the traffic is is by trying lots of different things whenever you can. Of course, we are all time starved so I don’t mean trying to do everything all at once, but perhaps try to do one new thing at a time each week and see if it has any impact. For example, my thing this week is putting my content on Reddit to see if that yields any traction for me.
9. Shout as loud as you can!
Because if you don’t, nobody else will. Plus if you have great content, and nobody knows about it, what is the point? Twitter is your best friend here for reaching influencers who might not otherwise see your posts. It’s amazing how far things can travel this way, and you might even get republished by accident without your ego having to go 10 rounds with a big platform!
10. Show the blogger love
Give your fellow bloggers love, and they shall love you back. If you can scratch their back with bringing traffic in for them, most bloggers are lovely and will somehow do the same. This is just a mindset thing – show them love on Twitter, linkies…just show them love!
I am fanatical about Pinging. Pinging is basically what tells all the search engines that you have got new content up on your blog so they can get busy indexing it. You should be Pinging every time a new post goes live if you want to increase your search engine traffic. If you are clueless to Pinging then check out this guide here.
Well, I hope you found that mini-guide helpful. If you have any questions about, or suggestions to add to this list, please do leave a comment below…