It's a question that every blogger asks: how do you drive traffic to your blog? We often read stories of mega-bloggers who rake in hundreds of thousands of unique visitors each month, and wonder how in the world us little guys can get a piece of that awfully good looking pie? Well, I have spent so much time reading, learning and making serious strides and have seen my traffic grow immensely over the last handful of months! Want to join the gang? Read on!
This post may contain affiliate links but they are all products that I use and love!
I should preface by saying that growing a following and increasing your traffic is not fast or easy. Anyone who tries to sell you on a 24-hour fix is lying to you, so if you're expecting to go from 0 to 10k in a matter of days… you're in for a big surprise! Blogging takes time and commitment. It took me many months to really get a grip on the best ways to get my name and content out there, and I am still learning!
So, don't expect to post an article and wake up to see that you've broken the internet if you aren't putting your best foot forward and putting these tips into action!
1. Invest In Your Education
What, I have to spend money to get people to read my stuff? Well, yea… if you want a lot of people to read your stuff. This doesn't mean go out and drop tons of money on custom web designs and advertisements – it just means that you need to spend money on resources that will help you learn the ins and outs of blogging, affiliate marketing and traffic growth. If you want genuine traffic that keeps coming back for more, you need to actually understand what they want, how to get them, and how to keep them. The more you learn, the more you can optimize your blog to drive traffic to your blog and maybe even earn some cash while you're doing it.
That's why I finally bit the bullet and took Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing with Michelle Schroeder. I'd been eyeing this course for months after hearing so much about it but I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend the money. Let me tell you, I honestly wish I took it MONTHS ago, because it's already helped me in so many ways ! The course is quite honestly one of the best investments I have made in my blogging education, and I refer back to it regularly!
The course breaks down everything from the fundamentals of affiliate marketing, to niche-specific programs, to how to specifically implement each strategy to maximize (and speed up!) your affiliate income potential. Actual gold-mine, but would you expect anything less? I mean, she makes $100k a month and has been featured in Forbes… she clearly knows her stuff!
*From Thursday, October 26th to Monday, October 30th (ends at 11:59 p.m. PT), use coupon code FALLSALE2017 to get $28 off the course! It isn't often that this course has discounts, so take advantage while you can! (It is only applicable to the one-time payment option)
2. Identify and Stick To Your Brand
As you think about who you are and what you want your blog to represent, think about what your blog should be called, what your theme would look like and what you can offer your readers in terms of content. Consistency is key, and so is your overall look and feel. For example, if you still have the [.wordpress] in your domain name, and you want to have complete ownership of your brand and content, it may be time to make the transition to a self-hosted blog. Doing so will also allow you to monetize! You can very quick and very easily get your blog set up with companies like SiteGround and truly begin your branding journey. I recently made the move from GoDaddy to SiteGround and am actually floored by how much better it is – the up-time, the customer service, the affordability, everything!
3. Join Facebook Groups and Engage, Engage, Engage
I cannot begin to tell you how much Facebook groups have helped me grow my traffic and my following. I am a member of quite a few, all of which offer a variety of ways for members to get the word out about their content. From general blog share and comment threads, to social media platform-specific threads… there are so many ways to boost your traffic. Just be sure to show your fellow bloggers some love by reciprocating if you're going to drop a link! I regularly participate in these groups, particularly on the repin threads. My Pinterest traffic grew 7 times larger in a matter of 2 months, largely due to the blogging community repinning my content and helping me get the word out about my posts!
Want to know my favorite Facebook groups to boost your traffic and grow your social following? Sign up below to get my FREE list of the best Facebook groups for blogs!
4. Join Pinterest Group Boards
You probably know by now that Pinterest is THE most popular platform for getting unique traffic. Pinterest operates like a search engine and is used by millions of people on a daily basis. How do you reach these people? By pinning the s*** out of your content. But not only on your own boards – on group boards! You can track down some amazing group boards in Facebook groups. In these groups, multiple people contribute to the same board, thus increasing your reach potential! It can get a little overwhelming trying to keep up with your repins, though, especially once you are a member of a good handful of groups, so you should also considering joining Tailwind, a pin scheduling app. It saves so much time and optimizes your schedule so that you are pinning at the best times of day!
Update: I HIGHLY recommend the eBook Pinteresting Strategies by Carly from Mommy On Purpose, if you're looking for seriously useful tips on blowing up your Pinterest traffic and maximizing your use of group boards. She offers so many honest tips and tricks and doesn't try to sell her tools as a “guaranteed” way of getting traffic, like many courses and eBooks promise to do. You'll learn how to properly optimize your pins (new and old), the best ways to drive up your repins, how group boards do and don't work, and so much more.
5. Grow Your Email List
We all want readers that actually like our stuff, right? Those are the people who are going to keep coming back for more, making that New Users vs. Returning Visitors graph on your Google Analytics change from mostly blue to mostly green. Well, how are those people going to know when you have awesome new content available for them, or when you have big news to share? By gathering their email addresses and looping them in! I recently switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit which has easily been one of the most effective decisions I have made. This is largely because I have a lifestyle blog – I write about a lot of things! ConvertKit allows you to create as many forms and lists as you want so you can tag and group different subscribers. Example: someone who likes one of my recipes and opts in after reading one may not want to hear about my blogging tips. They just want the food!
If you really want to identify your readers, drive traffic to your blog and rapidly grow your email list, I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you give ConvertKit a go-around! Don't be another blogger who one day writes, “I wish I started growing my email list sooner!”
6. Increase Your Social Following
We all want to have a lot of followers – the more followers you have, the more likely you will be to get more! And the more likely you will be to get the all-important traffic to your blog when you post about a new article. To grow your social following, you need to post on a consistent basis so people know they can trust you, and you need to engage with others. Not just anyone though – engage with people in a similar niche because they will be more likely to enjoy what you have to say! Comment on their posts, and reply to others when they engage with you!