How to Promote Your Blog and Get More Visitors/Traffic

Getting visitors to your new blog might sound a bit tricky at first. No wonder many bloggers get stuck at this step.

Luckily, I’ve grown some blogs into 500,000+ monthly visitors (see image below) and I’ve literally tried every method on the the internet. However, I want to let you know that it didn’t happen overnight and it took a lot of testing, failing and starting all over again.

blog_traffic_growth

On my homepage I promised this guide will be an all-in-one resource for beginners, so I felt it essential to include 10 ways to get more traffic to your blog. Without further ado, let’s get the ball rolling.

 

0) Content is KING – Put effort into your content

This should be your number one task from the beginning. Once you’ve created your blog, 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.

 

1) Social Media – Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest

Many bloggers suggest that people use all the mainstream social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. However, they don’t tell you how to get more traffic with them. In this guide, I’ll show you how to do that.

  • Step one: Sign up for Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest with your blog/brand name. For example, if your blog domain/name is “DealingWithMess.com” then you should set up a Twitter account named @DealingWithMess.
  • Step two: Integrate them with your WordPress blog. You can create pinnable images with this Pin It Button plugin. To display your twitter feed and/or follow button, use this plugin. For Facebook, the best option is to use Custom Facebook Feed.
  • Step three: Add social buttons below/above your blog posts and pages. For that, you can use any of those plugins: Social buttons plugins.

I know it seems like a lot of work, but this is a great way to get started. Just install the plugins and you’ll see how much more easily shareable your blog will be.

 

2) Start participating in forums/hangouts

Another great way to get more exposure to your blog is to start communicating with other like-minded people. Just look for forums that are somewhat similar to your blog topic and be active on them.

In short, add your blog link to your bio (on Quora) and in your signature (on forums) and you’re basically set.

Next, take 20-30 minutes each day to comment/give advice on boards and forums. How much traffic would you expect from this method? I’d say 100 visitors per day can be quite a realistic goal at first.

Add your blog to forum signature

 

 

3) Optimize your blog for search engines

Most blog owners don’t optimize their blog for search engines and this is a HUGE mistake. Why? Well, you’re missing out on free traffic that Google can bring to you.

Did you know that every day 1 trillion search queries are being typed into Google? What if some of those search queries end up on your site? Awesome, huh?

To start optimizing your blog with search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) – you’ll need to install the Yoast plugin.

Here’s a thorough guide for tweaking the Yoast plugin – How to Install and Set up Yoast plugin (2000+ words!)

 

4) Do some link building

Changing your blog settings and installing Yoast was your first step towards getting more blog visitors from search engines. However, there’s a whole science behind that. In short, to get more search engine traffic to your blog, you’ll need 3 things:

  • 1) Great content – I’d say write blog posts of at least 1000 words and also link out to relevant sources that give value/facts to your readers (you can use WikiPedia).
  • 2) Social shares – Facebook likes, shares, tweets and other social metrics. The more the better, obviously.
  • 3) Incoming links – If a blogger named Jason linked to your blog from his resource page, Google will see you in a better light. So get in touch with other webmasters/bloggers and see if some of your content could provide some value to them, thus they are potentially more open to give you a link from their site/blog.

I did a lot of research and found 3 awesome articles for those 3 factors. Check them out and give it a go!

For creating awesome content that search engines love, check backlinko copywriting lessons (ha, it’s free!)

For getting more tweets, likes and shares check out Neil Patel’s methods on this.

To start linkbuilding to really ramp up your SEO game, have a look at this Moz Guide.  (it’s 20k+ words long and I’ve personally used it).

 

5) The old and (still) good Guest Posting

Guest posting has been around for a while and it’s still an awesome way to get more traffic and visibility to your blog.

This strategy is a no-brainer to say the least, but I’ve given you some steps to get it going (smoothly and the right way):

  • A) Find a blog in your niche (Just type “keyword” +”blog” in Google)
  • B) Get in touch with their webmaster/owner (use their Contact page)
  • C) Ask them if they would be interested in an awesome guest post about X topic (keep your email short and sweet)
  • D) If they say Yes, go to step E). If they say No, move on and find another blog.
  • E) Start writing your guest post (and make sure it’s damn good!). Add some information about you in the Bio section and be ready for new visitors.

I used the exact same email conversations 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

I know that Matt Cutts (head of Google spam) told us we should reduce guest posts, but he also mentioned that meant guest posts that are solely made for links. What if I told you that the links you get from guest posts isn’t the most important thing?

Proof: A couple of months ago I saw Brian Dean guest post on the HitReach blog about 101 linkbuilding lessons. I loved it, and I started to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Furthermore, I became an active reader of his blog and I actually bought his course that he was pitching to me.

What did Brian accomplish with that single guest post? In short, he got me on board – as well as many other folks who turned into loyal readers and even buyers.

Should you do that as well? YES!

 

6) Make a public announcement on your social media profiles

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.

 

7) 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.

 

8) 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.

9) Become active in Your niche/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.

 

Paid ways to get more traffic to your blog

While search engine traffic, guest-posting and participating in communities takes your time, it does not involve spending any money. Below I’ve included some ways to generate more visitors via paid channels.

I highly recommend you try out free methods first, but if you want to take a step into the paid traffic world, see the options here:

 

10) Buy ad space

One of the ways to attract more visitors to your blog is to use the BuySellAds.com site. It’s a place where you can see all (not all, but the vast majority) of the sites that offer banner advertising.

Keep searching until you find something relevant to your blog and give it a go. For example, if you are running a tech related blog, use “technology” keyword to find relevant blogs. You can also use “Refine Search” for a more specific search.

 

11) Try out Google Adwords

You must have seen some ads when you’ve typed a search query into Google. Something like this, perhaps:

adwords_google

Well, this is called Pay Per Click advertising and it’s brought to you by Google Adwords. The good side of this is that you can get unlimited traffic (sort of..), but you’ll need to pay for every click (somewhere between $0.50 to $2.50).

If you think you can generate a positive ROI (return on investment), then give it a go.

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 :)

Question and Answers

  1. Ashwin

    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!

    • Mike

      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

  4. Setor

    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.

  5. Arya Wiryawan

    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.

  6. Liss

    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!

    • Mike

      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

  7. Tanya Jackson

    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.

  8. Irwin

    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.

  9. 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

    • Mike

      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

      • Shon

        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.

  10. 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!

  11. Maris

    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.

  12. Frankie

    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!

  13. 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

  14. 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!

  15. Sathya

    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!

  16. 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!

  17. Cami

    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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