How to Promote Your Blog and Get More Visitors/Traffic

Updated December, 2014.

I’m getting a lot of e-mails lately from people who have just started a blog and are looking for tips and suggestions for getting more visitors and traffic to their blog. Here’s an example:

Hi Mike. I have just recently started a blog and I have a question about promoting it or getting the word out about it. Right now it’s small and I only have two posts but I’m lost on that part. Can you give me some actual advice or something that I can do right away in order to start receiving more visitors?

It’s not an easy task, but if you get things right at the beginning you will start receiving some traffic and it WILL increase over time. I’m suggest you follow the methods below, and if you do, you will see some results. However, don’t wait for a miracle and be prepared to wait at least 2-3 months for a decent traffic flow.

 

1) Create good content / well-written blog posts

This should be your number one task from the beginning. You’ll need to write compelling and interesting blog posts. If you are having writer’s block or just don’t know what to write about, then I suggest you check my post titled: 101 blog post ideas

Furthermore, make sure your blog posts consist of:

  • Information that other people (your blog readers) may not be aware of. It’s even better when it’s valuable and up-to-date.
  • Help or actual advice that helps your readers to succeed in something particular (for example: I’m writing this post in order to help you get more traffic to your blog).
  • If possible, add images & videos – people love to browse with their eyes.
  • Bullet points and well-organised paragraphs are all parts of a good blog post as well as outgoing links to different authority sites/other blogs that give out even more information on this specific topic.
  • In addition, you can share you own stories or news that might engage your readers from the very beginning.
  • The longer the better (usually). After blogging for more than four years, I’ve found that longer content gets more shares/likes and links. Keep in mind though, that your ultimate goal is not to stuff your blog posts with fluff and empty words, but rather improving the overall quality with useful, actionable and informative content.

Once you have at least 4-5 compelling blog posts or articles you can start thinking about promoting your blog. If your blog is unfinished and you don’t have much content to read then people will just think “OK, it seems like this blog is a work in progress and there’s not much to read. Perhaps I should come back later.” But here’s the sad truth: they don’t usually come back later.

For further reading: How to write killer posts that attract visitors

Conclusion: Believe it or not, content is king. You might drive thousands of people to your blog, but if there’s nothing to read, they will leave and most likely never return.

 

2) Make a public announcement on your social media profiles that you’ve started blogging

Most people are present on different social media platforms, such as; Facebook, Google+, Twitter and others. Check where you have the biggest number and most active followers and make a public announcement that you’ve started a blog that covers [TOPIC]. Write your industry/niche there and add a link to your blog. The first readers are usually your friends, family and acquaintances. They are easy to catch online.

Here’s an sample of my presence on Google+ :

Tell people that you have started a blog

P.S: Right after I published this on my Google+ account, I started to receive feedback that was excellent! Your friends and colleagues might think that you’ve done a lot of work to set up your blog, but you know the truth – it’s easier than it seems at first glance.

Conclusion: The first few readers are probably your friends. Make sure you let them know about your blog so they can give you feedback and help you make improvements. At the end of the day, you’d want to make your blog the best.

 

3) Ask a small favor from your close friends

Pick 5-10 friends and send them a short and personal message asking for a share or like. You can send this through Facebook as well, but I personally think that email is way more personal. (The script for doing this is listed below.)

Another option is choosing people who are interested in the same topic that you cover. For example I’m covering blogging and how to get started, so I targeted people who already have blogs but who have friends that may want to start one.

E-mail about your new blogAnd here’s the script:

Hi [Name]

I launched my new blog called [YOUR BLOG NAME] yesterday where I cover [YOUR TOPIC OR INDUSTRY]. I’m asking for a small favour to share the blog on your Facebook and Twitter feed. It won’t take much time and may be useful to your friends who are interested in blogging.

You can use the script below: “My friend [YOUR NAME] has started a new blog where he covers [YOUR BLOG TOPIC]. He publishes great content and useful tips. Feel free to have a look: YourBlog.com”

I appreciate your share very highly!

Conclusion: Using emails to let others know about your new blog is a great way to gather feedback as well as new visitors.

4) Search for people who have previously tweeted/shared posts covering similar topics

Search for some popular posts (use Google to do that) in your topic and see if someone has left a comment under the post. If you’re lucky, you’ll get their contact details by clicking on their profile:

Blog post where I found the person

Once you have found the contact details, send them a quick email like the one below and see if you get a response:

Here's my e-mail outreach

The second useful way to reach people personally is via Twitter. Just go to twitter.com/search and type in the keyword(s) that are related to your blog. I used “WordPress Cheat Sheet” as an example.

Usually a couple of results show up:

Search results from twitter

Now check their profile and see if they usually share other posts or not and reach out to them in 140 characters. It can be hard but it’s doable! It is very important to keep in mind that spamming is no good. Remember, you main goal should be helping people not begging for a re-tweet.

Hi @JonathanTorke, you previously tweeted The WordPress Cheat Sheet. Maybe you’ll find this article useful: http://t.co/EFf66F6l7R

— StartBloggingOnline (@StartBlog101) July 2, 2013

… and he tweeted about my blog post.

Conclusion: This “method” is a good way to gather more tweets and likes for your content; which may result in a huge spike of traffic. On the best day I received approximately 1000 visitors from Twitter alone.

 

5) Use tools to look for important people in your industry/niche. Check their posts, add comments and become active in the community

Influencers in the industry gather a lot of attention and traffic. There are many ways to find them but one of the easiest ways is using Topsy.

Go to topsy.com and pick “Influencers”. After that search for keywords that are related to your blog.

I picked “Blogging” and got a list of people who are active and considered to be authorities in the blogging niche. Now, do some research about them.

Topsy homepage

Check their blog, posts and tweets, and see where you can step in and add value with your comments and discussion. There are several other tools you can use, for example Klout, Twello, Tehnokrati and more.

The easiest way to start interacting is by posting VALUE-ADDING blog comments to popular posts. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pick recent articles and also the ones where you feel you’re competent and able to say something.

Keep your eye on their social media activity, re-tweet their updates and answer their questions. Connections don’t come overnight; they take time but are totally worth it in the long run.

Conclusion: When you manage to build a relationship with the authorities in your niche, you will start gaining more exposure. And when you do, it’s only matter of time before you also become an authority.

 

6) Start participating in forums and blogs that are similar to yours

Another great way to start receiving traffic from different sources is to become active in all sorts of discussions that are relevant to your blog. Here’s what you should do:

1) Become an active member of 2-3 forums that have a lot of contributors. Start sharing your opinions on different boards/threads and don’t forget to add your blog link in your signature. I used this strategy a few months back; every single day I made approximately 5-6 threads/replies on different forums and I received >100 visitors per day from it. Not too bad :)

Add your blog to forum signature

 

2) Become an active reader on blogs that are similar to yours. For example, if your blog is about fashion, then it’s also wise to leave comments on other blogs that already have some sort of audience. That way you can literally “steal” readers from other blogs. However, make sure you don’t “spam”; instead you should leave meaningful comments that actually attract others to read your own blog.

Leave meaningful blog comments

Conclusion: Getting into discussions is not time consuming, but it’s a very efficient way to drive laser-targeted visitors to your blog. Don’t miss that opportunity.

 

7) Establish relationships, get links & optimize your blog for Google

Another way to get traffic to your blog is by making your site “Google friendly”. That way you can get more traffic from Google, as well as from Bing and Yahoo. In a nut shell, in order to get better rankings, they all want you to have:

  1. Good content
  2. Links to your site from other blogs/resources
  3. Social shares/likes

In order to get links, you need to share your content. If people like it, they will most likely share it on their blogs and websites. If they don’t FIND your content by themselves, you have to build relationships and use e-mail outreaching (See steps 4 – 5 again).

To get you more familiar with this method, I’ll point out two strategies that I’ve personally used in the past.

1) Resource linkbuilding – Go to google.com and search for queries like “intitle:YourBlogTopic inurl:resources” or “intitle:YourBlogTopic inurl:links”. I used “intitle:blogging inurl:resources” and this is the search results I got:

google search for blogs

Your next step is to get in touch with the webmasters and blog owners who have those “Resource pages” on their blogs/websites. Keep your email simple. Here’s an example:

“Hi *NAME*

I was reading your blog this morning and noticed that you have a awesome resource page. I actually have a similar blog that might be helpful or useful to your audience.

See it yourself: YourNewBlog.com

Let me know what you think of it. Perhaps it’s worth mentioning on your resource page.

Either way, have a nice day,

Your Name

Feel free to tweak the email text and subject. Just keep it short and straight to the point. Those blog owners and webmasters tend to get tons of emails on a daily basis and if your email is not straightforward, they may just delete it.

2) Broken linkbuilding – In short, it’s a strategy where you need to find a website or a blog that is no longer available (domain expired, owner abandoned it or even deleted it for some reason). Let’s say AwesomeFoodBlog.com used to be a great blog for finding smoothie recipes, but it’s no longer available.

Now you need to head over to Ahrefs.com and type in the broken URL. Once that’s done, you will most likely see list of sites that have linked or mentioned this blog on their own blogs. All you need to do is to get in touch with them with a short email:

Hi *NAME*,

I was reading your blog and I noticed that you previously linked to AwesomeFoodBlog.com from your blog post here: LINK

However, it has been taken down and thus is no longer available. If you ever plan to fix/edit this link, I recently published a similar blog on this very topic. See it yourself: YourNewBlog.com

Let me know what you think,

Your Name

Looks easy, right? Here’s a more thorough post about broken linkbuilding.

For further reading about Search Engine Optimization, I suggest you read these articles/blogs:

Conclusion: Optimizing your blog content for search engines is definitely a great way to drive organic traffic to your blog. Of course, that means you have to learn the basics (which are all covered in the links above).

 

8) Use guest posting to drive more traffic to your blog

Another great way to get more visitors to your blog is to guest post on other similar blogs. In short, instead of writing something on your OWN blog, you write it for another blog.

At first you might think it’s a silly idea – but it’s not.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Your post will be seen by a bigger audience. Try to get your guest post placed on blogs that have a lot of visitors
  • You will get a link back to your site – great for SEO.
  • You will attract interest in your own blog

To get started, I suggest you use Google once again to scrape together a list of similar blogs in your niche. Once you’ve found 20-30 of them, start sending emails. Again, let other blog owners know that you are a new blogger who is interested in writing a guest post. Make sure you don’t “beg” or “spam” anyone. I’ve used this email to get the most successful responses:

Hi *NAME*

I was browsing your blog this morning and noticed that you are accepting guest posts. I’m extremely interested in *TOPIC/NICHE” and I’d like to write something useful and helpful to your audience. What do you think?

If that’s cool with you, I can send you a couple of blog post ideas and you can choose which one you’d like to publish on your blog.

You can also have a look at my previous blog posts here: YourNewBlog.com

Have a nice day,

Your Name

I used the exact same email template to get in touch with EventManagerBlog.com. Here’s my guest post that I wrote a year ago – How to use WordPress for your event. I still get some referral traffic from that post – awesome, isn’t it? :)

guestpost

 

9) Submit your site to famous social bookmarking/discussion sites

You have probably heard about StumbleUpon or Reddit. If not, they are sites where users (yep, you need to register) can share something that they have liked. If you share your blog post and other people “like” it, you will get more exposure. Sometimes great blog posts can go viral out there.

Make sure you publish something awesome in order to get it viral. Here are a couple of sites where you can share your blog posts:

For further reading, check this awesome post by Neil Patel. He explains how you can make your blog post go viral on Reddit.

 

10) Create videos to land new visitors

Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine – but most bloggers never use it the wise way? One simple option is to create a short video or a video series where you talk about one of your recent posts, like a review or a summary. Just make sure you write a comprehensive description under the video and definitely add a link in the first line that directs people to your blog.

Youtube_traffic

I’m sure you’ll land some visitors from time to who will actually become long-term readers. If you’re using a Mac, iMovie is the best software you can use for editing, but here’s a list of alternative options. YouTube is definitely a powerful channel that can be used for traffic acquisition.

P.S: If you need more help or guidance, feel free to leave a comment below. And if you have your own strategies to drive traffic to your blog, don’t be shy to share :)

Comments

  1. I started a new blog yesterday(I’m not new to blogging by the way), just searching for some new traffic tips and found your blog, Topsy and Twitter tips were something that I’ve not tried before but seems to be effective, Thanks for the tips :)

  2. Hi Mike,
    I started a blog 3 weeks ago. Really enjoyed the blog as a platform to share my thoughts and ideas but when I start thinking about traffic, it gets demotivating. Has been dismal. I am trying to do some of the things you and others suggested but when it comes to SEO and some of these other ‘tech stuff’, I get turned off.

    I like the way your post is written, loads of info in a simple way. Since you started in 2009, I figured that I should start seriously worrying if my visitors rate do not spike up in the next couple of years. Thanks for the time spent to teach.

  3. After much anticipation I finally got round to starting my first blog today, so these tips will come in super handy! Thanks for taking the time to share this. Much appreciated, Mike!

  4. Thanks for the tips Mike, really helpful. Are there any specific places you’d suggest for finding good forums?

    • Hi Andrew,

      I suggest using Google and talking to people in your industry, that’s the easiest way to find forums. I’m sure there’s a decent forum for almost every topic/industry that connects the enthusiasts and fans.

      Let me know if I can help you further,
      Mike

  5. Thanks Mike. A friend and I actually learned how to start our blogs from this site. My blog is up and running and I’m going to use the tips you’ve shared here to get more traffic.

  6. Arya Wiryawan says:

    Hi Mike!

    Thanks for the advice. I just posted my fifth post today (in Indonesian). Tried your advice to ask friends about my blog and it worked. They really give me honest suggestions. I got a promotion from a similar blogger like me too, it really boost the traffic.

    Thanks again.

  7. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for all the advice- I’m seriously considering getting my own blog up and running as soon as possible!
    Would you say it’s more important to have a decent amount of content already prepared and ready before launching, or just go for it?

    Thanks again!

    • Hey,

      I think it’s not that important to have a lot of posts ready while starting, just make sure the first ones are good. That way you’ll get the early readers to come back and read it regularly:)

      You can list 5 topics that you can write about after the launch, it helps to stay on the track.

      Hope that helps,
      Mike

  8. Tanya Jackson says:

    Hi,

    I’ve just published my very first blog. about two weeks ago, in the gardening niche. Thanks so much for these great simple tips.. I’ve already tried a couple out.

  9. Great list, Mike! Simple, straight to the point, and actionable. This doesn’t only help those who are new in blogging. Actually, I have a 2-year old blog and have revamped it a couple of times already. I’m definitely using your tips to promote it to get more traffic.

  10. Hi Mike,

    Thank you so much for all your info. I started my blog about a month ago now and am really happy with how it looks. At first I told myself it is just for me and it doesn’t matter about visitors and I wasn’t confident about my writing abilities, but now I am thinking maybe it would be nice to get some feedback. I have looked at you info on increasing your traffic but to be honest with you I am not very techie, so some of the lingo I don’t understand. I will do a lot more research on it though to find out what they all mean.

    With regard to the social media, I am so unconfident, with my blog at the moment, I really do not want to tell my family and friends. I would rather test the water first, lol, then maybe when I get some feedback (hopefully good) I would start telling people. I am sure a lot of people feel this way.

    Going back to the ‘blog lingo’, have you done a glossary because I think this would really be helpful for people like me.

    Thanks again for your blog because your style of writing has made it easy for me to get started.

    Jane

    • Jane, thanks for the kind words :)

      I’m glad my blog guide has helped you to get started. Unfortunately, I haven’t done a glossary yet, but it’s definitely a good idea. Thanks for the tip.

      If you have any problems/questions – you can always feel free to get in touch with me.

      Mike

      • Jane, I read your response I just wanted to encourage NOT to be intimated! I’m not very techie either, but I did a lot of research based off the information Mike shared in this blog… I knew NOTHING absolutely NOTHING about blogging and still have a long way to go, however my blog is up and running thanks to the information provided here!

        Mike also has a blogging course I suggest you to sign up for. In lesson #3 from the blogging course, I received an email regarding “Fear of Failure” – this email touched a lot of areas for me and helped me get over some hesitation I had myself.

  11. Thanks for the tips, Mike! I’ve been (intermittently) blogging for a couple of years, and have recently gone from Blogger to WordPress when I revamped my site. I’m hoping to start – slowly, but surely – driving some more traffic, and definitely appreciate the advice, especially in regards to SEO. Thank you again for sharing!

  12. Great article. I agree with your tips. I’d like to expand on one of them. You mentioned writing well organized paragraphs and this is very important. But also, I think nothing turns a reader off more than having great content, but having to read them in huge chunks. Space out your sentences (which you have by the way). That way it is broken down in easy to read bits. Easy on the eyes too.

  13. Frankie says:

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for info, I just started blogging in the beginning of May. I haven’t start “promoting” yet, because I am still in the setup phase with all the design, social media updating, commenting and subscription stuff. There is definitely a lot of work ahead for me and your suggestion with the promoting techniques really save me the hassle in the future.

    I will try them out once I have everything going and let you know how it works out.

    Thanks Again!

  14. Really great post – extremely useful.
    I have just started a new blog site for assistants, providing them with resources and tools to help them exceed in their careers with the aim to hopefully build a network of assistants that regularly communicate so we can share ideas and support eachother – all promotion is done via Twitter at the moment.

    This post has given me a number of tips which I plan to use immediately and hopefully this will bring in traffic to my site.

    Thanks a lot Mike!

    Tianna

  15. Thank you for this article, I hope it works! :)
    I just started my own lifestyle/fashion blog so if anyone is interested have a look: http://www.sophieagnes.com
    Thank you!

    Sophie

  16. Hi Mike,
    Thank you so much for all the great info. This is the first I’ve heard of broken linkbuilding. I plan to check that out!
    And I’ll be back to read more.

  17. Thanks for all this helpful advice! I’ve managed to get a decent audience with my blog so far (I began in July 2013 and there were over 110,000 views on the site last I checked with Blogger), but more tips on growing the audience are always welcome!

  18. This is exactly what I was looking for.
    Thanks a ton Mike!

    Honestly, it took me an hour reading this post – because I was trying out each and every tip and literally doing it on the other end.
    I recently started two blogs using WordPress.

    After an initial peak traffic, the site traffic dramatically fell down. Now that I got these tips, I am confident that I will get my blogs back on track.
    Practical, down-to-earth tips!

  19. Thank you for such an informative article. I’ve been blogging every day for about 4 months now, and I think at this point it has become a habit. As a result, my next goal is to share my blog with a larger audience, and your blog contains many useful tips. I look forward to trying them. One of my concerns is that my blog is all over the place in terms of what I write about, and I’m not sure if it is better to have a specific theme to blog about, or if the variety of topics is OK.

    I wish you continued success!

  20. This article was exactly what I needed! Two weeks ago I started my first blog and now I’m wondering how to receive more readers. Well, I guess with these tips I’m good to go!

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