5 Things I Did to Explode My Blog Traffic
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Have you ever wondered why some bloggers seem to get massive blog traffic right off the bat, while others languish forever with barely any traffic to their site?
I know that it’s SUPER FRUSTRATING to put in all that effort to write a great blog post and get…crickets. But I also know that it’s possible to turn things around
Here are the 5 things I did that exploded my blog traffic:
1. Make things personal
I could have been anyone when I first started blogging about money. In fact, the few people who did leave comments on my blog mostly thought I was a guy. Maybe a day trader? (No and no.)
I was anonymous, because I was really afraid of what my happen if I put myself out there. Would I lose my job? Would people wonder what made ME qualified, when I had lots of debt? What would my family think? You name it, I worried about it. This is really common.
Eventually, I bit the bullet and put my name and photo on my site. I started writing more personally too, sharing stories from my own life and giving my own perspective instead of the same old same old.
You know what happened?
My traffic increased, and my subscribers doubled. That’s it.
People want to read what YOU have to say. That’s why they’re on your site. You can help them in some way that no one else can, no matter what topic you’re writing on. So be brave, and be yourself. Let people see your face, learn your name, and get to know you.
2. Get to know other bloggers
Being “out” as a blogger meant that I could get to know other bloggers. No more lurking on forums or in Facebook groups. I started participating. I joined relevant groups, and later went to conferences where I talked to tons of people.
When your friends are bloggers, they understand your goals because they have similar ones themselves. Who else is going to be excited for you when you have a post go viral, or understand when you’re frustrated about the latest algorithm change on x social network?
It’s easier to help each other out, whether that’s sharing key posts on social media to try to drive more blog traffic, linking to your site because you’ve got awesome content, or answering questions about how to use Google Analytics. (Plus, bloggers are awesome! And we all like to recommend our friends, right?)
My Pay Off Debt app even ended up getting featured in the Oprah magazine because of a request someone had in a blogging group!
All of that added up to additional blog traffic and exposure for my brand. (If you’re thinking “well of course: Oprah!” note that I actually got very little traffic from the article, because the traffic went to the app store instead. I’m still giddy about having had the Oprah feature though!)
3. Write better headlines
I used to really, really suck at headlines. (I’m still working on them today, in fact, because I’ve seen exactly how powerful having a good headline can be.)
When I first started blogging, some of my actual headlines were:
- Don’t Wait For the Right Time
- Making Molehills Out of Mountains
- Making Things Easy As Pie
Can you tell what those posts are going to be about? Would you be interested in reading them?
I’m betting the answer is a resounding no! (I don’t even know what they were about any longer, and I wrote them.)
Enticing, clickable headlines make a huge difference.
If your headlines could use some improvement too, get this book by Ray Edwards and do what he says to do regarding headlines. Practice, practice, practice. Test out at least 3-5 headlines for every post. (CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is super handy, and free.)
Headlines are not the thing you do last when writing a blog post. Headlines are the most important part of a blog post.
It’s better to have an amazing headline and a crappy blog post than a crappy headline and an amazing blog post. Why? Because no one will read your amazing blog post if it has a crappy headline. (Of course, it’s even better to have an amazing headline AND an amazing blog post. That’s the goal.)
4. Use Pinterest
Using Pinterest the right way is by far the #1 thing I did to explode my blog traffic. I never would have imagined that articles about money would get shared on Pinterest, but they absolutely do. I’m closing in on a million visits to my personal finance site that came straight from Pinterest.
If you’re not using Pinterest already, no matter what your niche, you’re probably leaving a bunch of traffic on the table.
I’m biased of course, but I highly recommend starting things off right foot with my Pin Mastery course, especially if you’re either new to Pinterest or aren’t getting the results you’d hoped for from it. Creating the kinds of images that will stop the scroll on Pinterest will make things SO much easier by getting you more repins and click throughs. (You can check out my other Pinterest courses here too.)
Either way, do not ignore Pinterest if you are a blogger. Pin daily, to both your own boards and any group boards you may be on. You don’t have to do a ton of pins each day, but pinning frequently does help. I do anywhere from 3-20 pins a day, and they’re almost all automated.
5. Focus 80% on promotion and 20% on content creation
Writing good content matters, but despite what you may have heard elsewhere, “create good content” is not going to magically bring thousands of visitors to your site or get you highly ranked in Google.
Creating good content and then letting people know about will.
Even if you have the greatest blog post in the world, if no one knows about it, they can’t read it.
You’ve got to promote the heck out of your content to get people to see and interact with it. Way more than you think you ought to or maybe even feel comfortable doing. You’ll get used to it as you see the results.
(Remember to make sure your headlines are amazing. Promoting your posts can also be a great way to quickly test headlines, because you can see which ones get more clicks.)
When I say promote your posts, I don’t mean this:
- Write a post
- Put it on social media
- Write another post
- Put it on social media
I mean this:
- Write a post
- Put it on each of the social media platforms you typically use
- See how it did
- Tweak the headline & copy you shared it with if necessary
- Put the improved version on the social media platform that works best for you (for me this is Pinterest, by far) and see if your post does better with its new headline
- Tweak again if necessary
- Keep putting it on the social media platform that works best for you again and again, at non-spammy intervals, mixed in with other content from both your own site & others.
- If your post is for something time-sensitive or important, ask your friends to help share it, and pay to play after it’s gotten as much organic reach as it’s going to.
- Write another post or revamp a really old post. Promote that too, along with continuing to promote your existing posts at non-spammy intervals.
When I started focusing at least 80% on promotion and 20% or less on content creation, my blog traffic went WAY up. Remember to do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.
Keep at it, and your blog traffic will grow!