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.
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 know how to create a blog, you’ll need to start writing 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.
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.
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!)
One more thing – make sure your blog is indexed by Google. If you want to get it listed on Google super-fast, check this step-by-step tutorial.
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?
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+:
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.
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.
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:
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