We’ve all been there.
You launch a blog and create great content and then you wait anxiously, obsessively checking your blog stats and waiting to see a drastic boom in readers.
This process can get tiresome.
Your scenario could vary: maybe you’re dreaming of overnight fame or a life as a professional blogger. Maybe you just want someone, anyone really, to read the post you just spent four hours writing.
Whatever your reasoning may be, you’re not alone if your blog traffic is less than what you hoped it would be.
Many bloggers who start new sites expect a boom and get a trickle of traffic instead and, if you’re not careful, this drastic difference between expectation and reality can easily cause bloggers to become frustrated and disillusioned.
Most new bloggers struggle with this issue and, fortunately, there are many effective ways to boost your blog’s traffic.
Read on to learn more.
What Really Brings In Blog Traffic?
Blogs exist for different reasons, including but not limited to conveyance of information, building of community, encouragement of conversations and production of revenue. If your blog is getting a good deal of traffic, it’s a safe bet that your site is meeting the needs of the readers you’re targeting.
The 3 Pillars of Blog Traffic
People who read blogs often want the following things:
If you want people to visit your blog, you have to provide them with something interesting, thought provoking, helpful or exciting. Nobody is going to keep coming back to a site that features dull, dry, poorly written posts. Because of this, interest is one of the primary driving factors in creating blog traffic. It doesn’t matter at all who your target readers are as long as you seek to provide them with interesting content they can relate to.
Does your content provide something of value to your readers? If not, this may be one of the reasons you’re not getting much blog traffic. Value can mean a variety of things depending upon who your readers are and what they want, but one of the easiest ways to increase blog traffic is to provide value in your content. How-to articles are valuable, VIP updates are valuable, coupons and promotions are valuable and high-quality, niche-related content is valuable. Readers who get something from a blog are far more likely to keep reading and to tell their friends about the page.
Would you continue to visit a page that featured the same, boring post for six weeks? Most likely, the answer is “no” and you can bet your readers feel the same way. One of the best ways to boost your readership is to maintain a consistent web presence. Aim to add a new blog post at least once a week and consider sending out automated emails to your subscriber list when you do. Striving for fresh content is a great way to keep readers interested and expand your fan base quickly.
And Here Are 7 Key Steps to Boosting Your Blog Traffic
1) Create Great Content: Audit What You Have, & Ask Yourself Is it Great?
Although running a successful blog is about much more than simply writing well, crafting great content is by far the most effective way to expand your reader base and garner more blog traffic.
Crafting great content means using proper grammar, writing well and knowing who your audience is, but it also requires a mind for strategy. Being strategic in your blog-building efforts means that you’re seeking to meet a specific need for readers. Blogs are used by readers primarily for education and entertainment purposes and, either way, it’s important to give readers what they want.
If your blog is an educational platform, check out websites like Quora to see what readers like yours are curious about and then write posts that answer their questions. If your blog is an entertainment blog, watch the social and political climate for current events worth writing about or seek to provide humorous, relatable commentary about your niche-topic, like Brittany Gibbons does on her smash-hit parenting blog, Brittany Herself. By being hilarious and empathetic, Gibbons creates content people want to share and, as such, she’s made a name for herself in the blogging world.
Also, auditing what you have is a really good way your blog has what it takes to bring in traffic. It might be time to delete some fluff that may be too low quality, and could even be pushing people away.
2) Make Content Shareable
Once you’ve got great content, how do you get more people to read it? The main trick is to make your content as social as possible, meaning that you need to optimize your blog content for social media sharing. When you take into account that 74% of American adults are on at least one social media site, it becomes clear why this is important.
While it’s great to have a high-quality blog, a blog that isn’t shared across social media is going to have a very difficult time gaining readers simply because it’s not hanging out the same place the readers are. Although people do many different things online, 28% of most people’s daily online time is spent on social networking sites, which means you better get thee to Facebook.
In order to better promote your content across social media platforms, it’s wise to take simple steps such as adding a “share” button to your blog, doing some analytics research in order to share content when your audience is most active online or adding an image to a blog post and sharing it on Twitter.
Additionally, it is important to be active on a few different social media sites, such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. This allows your readers to find you on their favorite social media site and interact with your content in the way that is easiest for them. Additionally, once you’ve begun to garner shares on social media sites, it’s important to keep up with and participate in the conversation in order to further increase your presence and reach. You can do this by commenting on other blogger’s comments, answering questions on Quora, joining niche-related forums, asking for comments or emails from readers and taking surveys.
3) Pay Attention to Your Design
Even if you have the best blog content is the world, nobody is going to read it if they can’t navigate your site. For this reason, it’s important to pay attention to blog design and ensure that your site is laid out in a way that offers a user-friendly experience.
Readers should be able to locate content quickly and easily (installing a search bar is a great way to facilitate this) and navigate their way around your page without stress. For individual blog posts, links should be a different color than the rest of the text and headlines should be offset using bolding and header fonts while big blocks of text should be broken into lists or small sub header sections.
The secret to building a beautiful blog site is that the template should be clean and simple, the layout should be uncluttered and easy to navigate, the home page should be one column and the overall feel should be unique and warm.
4) Optimize Your Blog for SEO
If you want to drive more traffic to your blog, this is one of the most important steps. Unfortunately, it’s also the step that most bloggers skip because it seems too difficult. Trust us, though, it’s not and skipping out on SEO only hinders your blog.
Currently, Google processes 3.5 billion search inquiries every day and that number is only rising. This immense amount of traffic can be a serious advantage to bloggers who properly optimize their blog content. Although SEO may seem scary on the surface, there are plenty of great guides to optimizing your content for SEO.
According to SEO-giant, Moz, “20% of the effort and tactics to make your content optimized for search engines will yield 80% of the value possible.” That said, go forth and don’t be afraid of SEO. Proper utilization can have a profound effect on the success of your blog.
5) Be Really Cool About Your Images
Images are a highly shareable form of visual content. Visual graphics, be they images, infographics or memes, resonate with the human brain much quicker than text-based content, evoking quicker response time and a greater connection. That said, blogs that feature images are much more likely to garner shares and attention than those that do not.
To increase the readership of your blog, begin including high-quality images in your posts. Be cool about it – don’t be the average joe.
This will instantly boost your blog’s shareability.
6) Use Links
Everyone appreciates links – including but not limited to search engines, readers and other bloggers. When you’re writing a post, make an effort to include links back to your other blog posts as well as to external sources that have a high domain authority ranking.
These links work in several different ways: first of all, they make your text more visually interesting and help readers interact with and learn more about unfamiliar concepts or external sources. Secondly, links provide a shout-out to other high-quality blog sites, which builds kinship and provides you with valuable contacts for further blogging endeavors.
Other site owners can see your links to their sites via Google Alerts or a simple look at their blog site’s top referrers. When your links are high quality and you’re using great anchor text, links are a great way to earn points in the blogging community and inspire other bloggers to link to your site, as well, which provides both sites with more readers and a larger reach.
7) Embrace Guest Blogging
When it comes to increasing your blog’s traffic, guest blogging is a tactic that can’t be overlooked. Writing guest posts for other sites and accepting guest posts onto your site is a great way to build community, provide value to a new set of followers and build relationships with fellow bloggers.
When you’re just starting out, it can be tough to position yourself for guest blogs but, many times, it is as simple as reaching out to a blogger you admire and pitching a guest post. The worst that can happen is that the blogger will say no and, if this happens to be the case, don’t get discouraged.
Leverage your friends, family and personal connection for guest blogs and keep offering your writing skills to blogs you admire. At some point, you’ll land a few guest blogging opportunities and your traffic will most likely increase.
Building Blog Traffic: It’s Possible and You Can Do it!
Building blog traffic can seem like a difficult task but, truly, it comes down to a few simple skills that anyone can master. By ensuring you’re offering great content that is interesting, valuable and consistent, optimizing your blog content for social sharing and SEO, providing a great layout, adding images to your post, utilizing high-quality links and making an effort to give and receive guest blogging, you can be sure that your blog will see an uptick in traffic.
Although it may be a slow progression, it pays to avoid becoming discouraged. Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme and, as long as you’re creating great, reader-focused content, you’ll achieve blogging success.