I’m getting a lot of e-mails lately where people who have just started a blog 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 post 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 do things right from the beginning you will start receiving some traffic and it WILL start to increase over time. I’m suggesting you to follow those 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 decent traffic flow.
1) Create good content / well-written blog posts
This should be your number one task from the beginning. Write compelling and interesting blog posts. In case you are having writer’s block or just don’t know what to write about, then I suggest you to check my post: 101 blog post ideas
Furthermore, make sure your blog posts consist:
- 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 to get more traffic to your blog).
- If possible, add images & videos – people love to browse with their eyes.
- Bullet points and well-organized paragraphs are all parts of a good blog post as well as outgoing links to different authority sites/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.
Once you have at least 4-5 compelling blog posts or articles you might start considering 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 in-process and there’s not much to read. Perhaps I should come back later.”
For further reading: How to write killer posts that attract visitors
Conclusion: Content is the king. You might drive thousands of people to your blog, but if there’s not anything to read, they will leave & 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+ :
P.S: Right after I published this on Google+ account, I started to receive feedback which was excellent!
Conclusion: The first few readers are probably your friends. Make sure you let them know about your blog so they could give you feedback for improvements.
3) Ask a small favor from your close friends
Pick 5-10 friends and send them a short and personal message to ask for a share. You can send this through Facebook as well, but I personally think that e-mail 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.
I launched my new blog called [YOUR BLOG NAME] yesterday where I cover [YOUR TOPIC OR INDUSTRY]. I’m asking for a small favor 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 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:
Once you have found the contact details, send them a quick email like that and see if you get a response:
The second useful way to reach people out personally is via twitter. 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:
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.
— 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 towards your content which may result in a huge spike of traffic. On the best day I received approx. 1000 visitors from Twitter all alone.
5) Look for important people in your industry/niche with different tools. 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 that are active and somewhat authorities in the blogging niche. Now, do some research about them.
Check their blog, posts, tweets and see where you can step in and add value with your comments and discussion. There are several other tools for that as well, for example Klout, Twello, Tehnokrati and more.
The easiest way to start interacting is posting VALUE-ADDING blog comments to popular posts. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pick not too old articles and also the ones where you feel you’re competent to say something.
Keep your eye on their social media activity, re-tweet their updates and answer their questions. Connections don’t come over-night and 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 when you become an authority also.
6) Start participating in forums and blogs that are similar to yours
Another great way to start receiving traffic from different sources is becoming active in all sorts of discussions that are relevant to your blog. Here’s what you should do:
1) Become an active member on 2-3 forums that have a lot of members. Start sharing your opinion on different boards/threads and don’t forget to add your blog link in your signature. I used this strategy 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
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 to other blogs that already have some sort of audience. In that way you literally “steal” readers from different blogs. However, make sure you don’t “spam”, instead you should leave meaningful comments that actually attract others to read your own blog.
Conclusion: Getting into discussions is not time consuming, but very efficient way to drive lase-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”. In that way you can get 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:
- Good content
- Links to your site from other blogs/resources
- 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. In case they don’t FIND your content by themselves, you have to build relationships and use e-mail outreaching (See step 4 – 5 again)
For further reading about Search Engine Optimization, I suggest you to read those articles/blogs:
Beginners Guide to SEO (Moz)
Guide to SEO (SearchEngineLand)
Out of the box SEO (Brian Dean)
Want to be an authority? (Bing)
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 all covered in the links above).
P.S: If you need more help or guidance, feel free to leave a comment below. In case you have your own strategies to drive traffic to your blog, don’t be shy to share