Traffic and generating pageviews are the foundation of a successful blog. While high traffic does not necessarily mean high income, it’s extremely difficult to generate a high income without high traffic. I know how frustrating it can be to see others around you achieve such great numbers while feeling like your content is just as good, if not better.
Eventually I did figure it out and was able to grow my first blog to 300,000 pageviews per month and sell it for six figures in just 18 months. Here I want to share 10 tips I learned to increase traffic so you too can achieve similar success.
Disclaimer: Through no additional cost to you, I may be compensated from affiliate links included in this post. Learn more here.
10 Tips to Increase Blog Traffic
1. Add a call to action to share your post
One of the simplest items you can do on this list is to add a call to action asking the reader to share the post. What I generally use here is “If you found this post helpful, please share it on Facebook or Pinterest” and then followed by a Pinterest-optimized image. I’ve seen others use a phrase like “Sharing is Caring” or “Pass it on”, there’s even a plugin, Social Pug, that allows you to add a pop up when the user reaches the end of the post with share buttons that encourages the reader to share on social sites of your choosing.
2. Invest in a Social Sharing Plugin
Many of you have probably already taken this step. But if you haven’t, get on it. A good social sharing plugin is fundamental to any blog and will easily pay for itself each month. Many opt for a free option, like Shareaholic or AppSumo, but I’ve found it essential to use a plugin that allows you to choose a custom Pin Image.
A custom pin image is important because when a reader clicks the Pin button on your site, you want to ensure they are selecting the image that you know will result in the most re-pins and the highest click through rate (CTR).
Another key feature is the ability to set a Pinterest description for not only your post but also each image within the post. A description that contains keywords is essential to getting Pinterest traffic as it tells Pinterest what your post is about. The two plugins currently on the market that provide this are Social Warfare and Social Pug. I use Social Pug here at Grow Blog Grow but have used Social Warfare in the past as well and have liked it.
3. Make New Pins for Your Posts
Seems simple right? By making new pins for your top 10 or 15 posts, you can provide a jolt of traffic right away and boost traffic long term if one, or more, of the pins really takes off. With the way Pinterest’s smart feed works, if a user clicks or saves one of your pins, more and more of your pins will show up in their feed. So, simply having one of your pins “go viral” will boost up all of your other pins as a result.
But not so fast on just making new pins. Before you do, make sure you fully understand what sort of pin design works best for your audience by calculating your previous pins’ click through rate (CTR). Once you’ve done this, you can make new pins using a similar style and your traffic will really take off.
4. Revamp some of your old content
Writing brand new content isn’t always the easiest thing to do, and sometimes it’s easier to revisit an old post that underperformed and revamp it. Start by comparing these posts to your most successful posts.
You want to try to determine what your readers like. While this will be specific to your blog, here is a list of metrics you can look at:
- Did the post solve a problem?
- Did the post have a specific tone? Supportive, humor, serious?
- Did the post contain pictures? Video? Infographics?
- What was the format? List form, short paragraphs?
- How reader friendly (or mobile friendly) is your writing?
Another benefit of doing this, is that Pinterest prefers fresh content over old content, so when you’re done make sure to update the post date and also create a new pin image and pin description.
5. Build an Email List
Pinterest followers and Facebook likes are great, but ultimately those platforms control how often they show your content to your followers. When someone joins your email list, you have full control over how often you contact them. Email is a great way to bring a surge of traffic to your new posts and down the road your email subscribers will become some of your most loyal customers.
If you haven’t created a lead magnet, this should be one of your top priorities. A lead magnet is a freebie you offer to your readers to incentivize them to sign up for your email list. I’ve seen so many bloggers (I was one of them!) just add a form that says “To get updates about new content, sign up for my list” and then wonder why they’re almost getting no signups.
Experiment with different ideas to entice people to sign up for your email list. Some ideas include a free email course, printable planners, powerpoint templates, and e-books. The possibilities are endless and what works for you will really depend on your niche and your audience.
6. Increase your Email Opt-ins with A/B Testing
This tip goes hand in hand with tip 5. To increase traffic via your email list you not only need to have an enticing lead magnet, but you also need forms within your posts that convert. With my last blog, I took the exact same lead magnet and tripled my daily signups by A/B testing my opt-in forms.
A/B testing, if you’re not familiar, is the process of comparing two slightly different options to determine which converts better. For opt-in forms, my favorite way to A/B test is by using Thrive Leads. With this plugin, you can create beautiful email forms (regardless of which email provider you use) and automatically A/B test them to determine which converts best.
After just a few weeks of testing, you’ll undoubtedly have increased your conversion rate, and thus increased your amount of daily signups, meaning you’ll have a larger email list to inform about your new posts.
7. Tailwind Tribes
Tailwind is a fantastic service in that it allows you to schedule your pins to be pinned for weeks or months at a time and at the optimal time. What’s also great is that the base premium option also comes with Tailwind Tribes.
Tribes are mini-communities that Tailwind created to basically replace Facebook share groups. What’s great about Tribes are that the moderators can actually monitor whether you are reciprocating and sharing other people’s pins after asking them to share yours.
In the base Tailwind option, you are allowed to join 5 different tribes and to upload 30 pins per month. They also provide analytics so you can ensure you’re optimizing your 5 tribe memberships. You can pay for optional “Power Ups” to increase these limits, but for most bloggers this should be plenty to provide a nice traffic boost.
8. Tailwind SmartLoop
Another relatively new feature of Tailwind is SmartLoop. This feature allows you to configure a list of boards, and select a group of pins, and then it will automatically pin to those boards at regular intervals. This is a great feature to allow you to consistently pin your old posts while avoiding spamming your group boards.
The base Tailwind plan comes with 250 SmartLoop posts, but those get consumed extremely fast so I highly recommend purchasing the “Unlimited” SmartLoop Power Up. This investment will easily pay itself off due to the resurgence in traffic to your older posts.
9. Focus on SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is something you’ve likely heard about numerous times, and that’s because it is so important. If you’re in your first 6 months of blogging, I wouldn’t worry about this too much as it truly takes 6-12 months for your posts to even have a chance of ranking highly on Google.
Once your blog is a little older, however, search can be one of your most important traffic channels. Search traffic, otherwise known as organic traffic, is important because the readers are generally highly motivated customers. Someone who searches “best vacuum cleaner” on Google is much more likely to purchase a vacuum cleaner than someone who simply stumbles across the same post on their Pinterest feed.
So what steps can you take to improve your SEO? Here’s a basic list:
- Improve your site speed
- Ensure your site uses https
- Add a meta title and meta description for each post using YoastSEO
- Write long, resourceful posts that keep people on your site (aka improve your bounce rate)
- Improve your social shares (see numbers 1-3)
- Work on building backlinks
SEO is a long process and won’t result in the same sort of viral traffic boosts like Pinterest, but if you focus on these things over time, you’ll generate a steady foundation of organic traffic to your site each day.
10. Brand Outreach
The final item on this list isn’t really for new bloggers as it requires a decent social media following (preferably Instagram here) or a sizable email list (5-10k+). If you meet one (or both) of these criteria, you can try reaching out to brands to work with them. If increasing traffic is your goal, you can ask to:
- Write a free guest post on their blog linking back to your site
- Host a product giveaway on your Instagram
- Send an email to your subscriber list mentioning their products
If you don’t ask for compensation, brands will generally be pretty receptive to your request and these can be a great way to generate traffic as brands will often promote your post or giveaway to their own social media followers. Brand outreach is also a great way to build backlinks (mentioned in number 9).
Get out there and boost your traffic
After reading this post, you’re fully equipped with the tips needed to boost your traffic. Start at the top of the list and work downwards. Some will pay off quickly, while others like SEO, may take more time.
If you have questions on any of the points in this post, ask in the comments and I’ll be sure to reply.
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