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Do you remember when you first came up with the idea to start a blog? You were probably very excited and full of motivation for everything blog-related and then the reality set in. We can all agree that it can be a struggle to grow your blog traffic, an it’s probably the complaint I hear most often from beginning bloggers!
Pinterest can Skyrocket Your Blog Traffic
Pinterest is hands-down the largest “social” network referral for my site and it’s a great way to get more blog traffic. I put social in quotation marks because although Google classifies Pinterest as a social network on its analytics platform, it’s actually a search engine (a very powerful one!). If you are a blogger and you aren’t on Pinterest yet, you need to go over there right now and set up a profile and start pinning content.
Make sure you set your account up as a business so you can take advantage of Pinterest analytics. You should also enable rich pins. Make sure you pin others’ content in addition to your own for the best results. I typically schedule about 15-20 pins per day with the help of Tailwind (you can try a month FREE with my referral link!). Tailwind allows me to set aside an hour or so to pin content for the whole week. It also has some very helpful analytics that can help you find out what types of content are being pinned the most on your boards. You can read more about maximizing Pinterest in this article.
Spending time optimizing your pins and boards on Pinterest is the gift that keeps on giving. After the latest Pinterest update, I’ve noticed an even bigger jump in the amount of traffic it’s bringing to my site. If you’re a bit overwhelmed with Pinterest and need a really good primer the Pinterest Improvement Master Plan (P.I.M.P) from Jennifer Ledbetter is AMAZING.
Use Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are so important for connecting with other bloggers and getting valuable advice! There are a ton of different groups for bloggers out there, so find a few that sound like a good fit and join. There are often threads for sharing your latest content, collaborating, following on social, and so much more.
Leverage Your Instagram Following to Get Traffic to Your Blog
Instagram continues to grow as a social media powerhouse, and even though it’s primarily driven by pictures and video, it can still drive traffic back to your blog! There are only two ways to link out to other content on Instagram, so I like to use the Link.tree app. Link.tree allows me to place one link in my profile that takes the follower to a menu with 5-6 other links I want them to see. You can see what it looks like in action on my Instagram profile.
If you already have a large Instagram following (over 10,000 followers) and you have a business account, you can access the swipe up feature in Instagram stories. This is a great way to get your Instagram followers to affiliate links for products or services in your IG story or back to related blog posts. I recently looked at my insights, and I was surprised at how many people swiped up to view my links!
Find Other Bloggers in Your Niche and Engage with Them
One of the easiest ways to get more targeted eyes on your blog is to find other blogs in your niche. Think of the blogs you love to read (and look up to!) that have an audience that is closest to yours. Try and visit these blogs regularly and offer well thought out comments on their posts.
The benefit here is two-fold: 1) the blogger will see a number of comments from the same reader and will probably look you up if you have a hyperlink to your blog and 2) other readers who scroll through will see your comment and click over to your blog. Since they are already interested in the content from the other blogger in your niche, chances are they will also enjoy your content! A note of caution: make sure your comments are more than a few words and add something to the discussion as opposed to writing “Great post!!”
Start Growing Your Mailing List– NOW!
If you don’t have a mailing list set up for your blog, you need to create one NOW. 🙂 There is a saying that the money is in the mailing list, and it’s true! While social media platforms may come and go (think Vine and Periscope), you will always have your mailing list. Readers who opt into your mailing list will often be your most loyal readers and they grow to trust you and what you have to say on any given topic. Conversion rates for affiliate marketing and your own product sales are MUCH higher for a mailing list than for any other platform. Get started creating a great opt-in incentive and watch your mailing list grow!
Create an Avatar for Your Blog Reader
If you want your blog to be successful in today’s blogging world, you need to focus on your reader. It can be helpful to create an avatar that represents your average blog reader. How old is he/she? Where do they live? What do they do? Do they have kids? You can look through your Google Analytics demographic data to help you come up with your avatar.
When writing your post, imagine that you or writing directly to that avatar. It will help keep your writing less formal and more conversational. This can go a LONG way in developing a relationship with your reader. It will also help you focus on who you are really trying to reach with your blog, as it can be easy to get side-tracked!
Create the Right Headline for Your Blog Post
A blog post can be epic, but if it doesn’t have an equally epic headline, no one will read it. It’s important to spend time crafting a headline that is truly irresistible. Look at blog posts or through your e-mail inbox and see what headlines/subject lines jump out at you. Which ones make you click through? You will likely notice a pattern. They often contain a number (odd number), a superlative (best, worst, most important, etc.) and an outcome. For example, 9 of the Easiest Ways to Get More Re-pins on Pinterest. This formula always works and is SUPER easy to replicate. For more helpful tips on creating amazing headlines, CoSchedule has a great headline analyzer tool.
Monitor Your Google Analytics Data
If you don’t have Google Analytics, make sure you get it today. You can easily create a Google Analytics account and insert the necessary code into your blog with the help of several plugins. Not only does Google Analytics track your viewers, sessions, duration of the session, bounce rate, etc. but it is the gold standard for measuring page views. Brands will always ask for your page views from Google Analytics, NOT your WordPress dashboard.
Google Analytics provides a treasure trove of data about your blog and where your traffic comes from. You can also see the demographic data of your blog readers, which can help you create content that speaks directly to them. It’s so helpful when it comes to determining which social network drives the most traffic to your blog and which ones require more work. I promise it will give you a TON of valuable info if you learn to use it regularly!
Use an Editorial Calendar to Plan Content Strategically
Having an editorial calendar will help you stay organized. It also helps you make sure your content is cohesive and that you are writing about topics that your readers want to hear more about. It’s tempting to be distracted by other topics, but if you want your blog to have a niche/theme, you need to make sure that your posts reflect it.
That’s not to say that you can’t add a few articles here and there, but for the most part, you want to keep your content in line with your niche. Create categories that reflect what you write about most often and write posts centered around those topics. For example, if you have a lifestyle blog, you might have the following tabs: food, travel, style, etc. You want to make sure that majority of your posts fall into those categories.
You can plan a few weeks or a whole month of content at once. You will be amazed at how well it keeps you on target and feeling organized. If you want to plan your content out for the whole year, you can grab my blog post ideas for the calendar year.
Don’t Give Up on Blogging!
Huge blog traffic doesn’t happen overnight (okay, VERY rarely!). If you put in the time and continue to create great content regularly, your traffic WILL continue to grow. Don’t give up and keep writing– the best is yet to come!
If you haven’t made the decision to self-host your blog on WordPress, I would highly recommend it! It makes it so much easier to customize, add plugins AND monetize your blog!