So, you started a blog and now you’re ready to get some fresh eyes on that baby! In this article, we’re taking a deep dive into growing your blog traffic and attracting your dream clients to your site.If you read the first article in this 3-part series on Becoming a Blogger, you already have a solid understanding of who your target audience is and what they need from you.
You can brush up on part one, How to Start a Money-Making Blog, right here.
Knowing who your target audience is will be the first step toward growing your blog traffic. Once you know who you’re writing for and what you want to help them with, we can get to work on a growth strategy.
HOW TO GROW YOUR BLOG TRAFFIC
There are only 3 things you need to do to grow your blog traffic.
Seriously. Just three.
We’re going to break them down in this article and show you just how simple this process is.
THING ONE: WRITING GREAT CONTENT
This is where it all begins, my friend.
You know who your target audience is and you know what kinds of things they’re searching for online. And now, it’s time to create some great content that fills their needs.
Fact: lots of great content leads to lots of great blog traffic.
What qualifies as great content?
The easy answer: content that serves your target audience and helps them solve their problems, answer their queries, or reach their goals.
If I’m looking for a recipe for loaded potato soup, and I find a great recipe that my family loves, I consider that great content.
If I’m trying to start a blog and I find a comprehensive guide that shows me exactly what I need to know in simple terms, I consider that great content.
It’s allllll about serving your target audience.
How can you figure out what your target audience is searching for?
Do some keyword research.
Keyword research involves analyzing different keywords and keyword phrases that people search for online. Keyword research tools will show you how often people search for this topic, what other bloggers are writing about this topic, similar keywords, and how competitive the term itself is.
I use and love Keysearch for this research work.
To get started, you’ll simply head to your research tool of choice, type in the keyword phrase you want to write about, and see if it’s something people are searching for.
You can type any phrase into keysearch and it’ll show you an estimate of how many searches that phrase gets every month and how competitive it is.
Here’s an example.
Another option: typing a keyword phrase into the Pinterest search bar and seeing what alternative keywords it recommends (some accounts no longer have this feature).
They will pop up right under the search bar.
You can also go straight to Google to research ideas for great blog post content.
First download and activate the Google Chrome extension Keywords Everywhere. Then go to the Google search bar and type in any phrase.
It will bring up search results for that phrase and a wide variety of similar searches. The first page of Google also includes a snippet of ‘similar questions or searches’.
Gather all of this information and use it as inspiration for your own problem-solving content that you want to create.
Note: great content isn’t about what WE want to write. It’s about what our audience wants to read.
Great content is also easy to read and digest. Most people are reading your blog posts on their mobile devices, so it’s important to make sure your content is optimized for small screens.
Doesn’t matter how awesome your blog post is, if the font is too small or cluttered, no one is going to read it. They are just going to click right out of it!
Tips for easy-to-read blog posts:
- Make sure you use a large sans serif font. You’re usually safe with size 18px or larger.
- Keep your paragraphs short. 2-3 sentences max. This creates a lot of white space around your text, allowing it to ‘breathe’ better.
- Break up your text with helpful images, bullet points, or color boxes.
HOW MUCH CONTENT?
Now, how much of this ‘great content’ do we need to have on our blog in order to start seeing growth?
The honest answer: it depends.
Depends on your niche, the quality of your posts, your topics, the virality of your content, etc.
But as a general rule, the higher the volume of amazing blog content, the higher the chance of gaining blog traffic quickly.
Think about it: if blogger A has 5 great posts about fishing on their blog and blogger B has 150 great posts about fishing on their blog, who is going to be seen as a bigger authority?
Definitely blogger B.
Building up that content library takes time, but this is definitely what we want to focus on during the early stages of our blogging career. It will be time well spent!
Now, how do we get this great content in front of our target audience?
This is where your optimization comes in.
THING TWO: OPTIMIZING YOUR CONTENT
Having a ton of awesome blog posts is a great start, but it won’t mean much unless people can actually find those blog posts.
That is why we need to include search engine optimization (SEO) in our growth strategy from day one.
There are 3 areas of search engine optimization that we need to learn:
- Technical SEO
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
Let’s do a quick rundown on all three of these important areas of SEO.
KEY POINT: Search engine optimization (SEO) is an absolute essential if you want to grow your blog traffic.
Not the fun stuff, in my opinion.
Your technical SEO includes optimizing the way your site is laid out and how it functions, so that search engines can crawl and index your posts and pages.
Some important parts of your technical SEO:
- An SSL certificate
- Responsive theme
- Fast site speed
- Structured data
- An XML sitemap
Now, I’m no technical-SEO expert. Not by a long shot! I’ve just taken a lot of courses, read a lot of books, and worked with several SEO specialists to get my sites in tip-top shape.
If you’re just getting started and the idea of technical SEO overwhelms you, just remember to take this one step at a time and ask for help when you need it.
Your Technical SEO is very important, and doing things the right way will help you to grow your blog traffic much faster.
Start with your SSL certificate. Your website host will usually provide this for free, so contact them and ask them to help you get it site up.
A secure site is an essential from day one!
Second part of your optimization strategy.
Simply put, on-page SEO has to do with the way your posts and pages are crawled and indexed by search engines.
We need to two main things here:
Make it easy for Google to understand what our blog posts are about, so they can find the right place for our posts in search results.
Make it easy for readers to interact with our site, so that they keep sending those ‘good signals’ to Google, telling them that our site is awesome.
That’s right. The whole point of optimizing your blog posts is making sure that they’re easily readable for people and for search engines, so that you can get found in search engines.
Some important parts of your on-page SEO:
- Well-organized content
- A focus keyword (or keywords)
- A title that contains the keyword
- A subheading that contains the keyword
- A meta description
- Optimized images
We want to make it easy for search engines to figure out what the post is about, and well organized content with clear keywords and keyword variations are a big part of this.
Optimizing your posts for search engines is only part of the puzzle. We also need to make sure that our posts are reader-friendly.
Remember, since most people are reading your blog posts on their mobile devices, we need to make sure that it’s easy for them to interact with our site.
The longer they interact with our site, the better we look to Google. So, make it EASY for them to interact on your site.
Some helpful tips:
- Break up your text and make it easy to read
- Make sure the font is readable
- Include images where applicable
- Interlink to other helpful articles
- Encourage them to comment or visit another page
Your off-page SEO involves all of the things that happen OFF of your site that affect how search engines view your site.
This includes your domain authority. Domain authority is a number between 1 and 100 that estimates how authoritative your site is in the eyes of search engines.
The higher your domain authority, the better chance you have of ranking for competitive keywords and getting seen on page one of search engines.
HOW TO INCREASE DOMAIN AUTHORITY
To increase your domain authority, you’ll need a strong link profile.
This means that you’re receiving high-quality incoming links from other websites (known as backlinks). There are a few ways to get quality links back to your site:
- Creating great content that people link back to naturally
- Using Help a Reporter Out
- Writing Guest Posts for other sites
All of your SEO efforts work together to serve your reader, help Google understand you, and ultimately get more traffic to your blog.
Bottom line: if we create helpful content that our audience is looking for, and we optimize the heck out of it, we can get blog traffic!
THE BEST SEO RESOURCES FOR BLOGGERS
We’re just scratching the surface of SEO and there is much to learn.
For now, just keep in mind that your blog posts need to be well organized, helpful, and user friendly. Your website needs to be secure, mobile responsive, and the site speed needs to be as fast as possible.
For more detailed SEO training, check out the resources below:
- Easy On-Page SEO – e-book by Debbie Gartner
- Easy Backlinks for SEO – e-book by Debbie Gartner
- Stupid Simple SEO – course by Mike Pearson
- 30 Day Traffic Challenge – e-book by Chrissy Carroll
The sooner you can master SEO on your blog posts, the faster you’ll be able to build up your organic blog traffic!
THING THREE: MARKETING YOUR CONTENT
Remember how I said that there are only 3 things you need to do to grow your blog traffic?
Yep, I meant it!
Now, you have the great content published on your blog, you have your site and your posts optimized so that people can find you on search engines, and all you need to do is get your marketing strategy down.
The organic traffic you get from search engines is great!
It’s usually the most valuable traffic, because people are typing their queries into Google and your blog is popping up with a solution right when they need it.
However, we shouldn’t discount the value of all the other platforms where we can actively market our content!
In this article, we’ll focus on the three big ones:
These are 3 free and easy platforms that you can use for marketing and driving traffic back to your blog!
MARKETING ON PINTEREST
If you didn’t know this already, Pinterest is a visual search engine (kinda like Google).
And if you can get your content in front of people that are browsing on Pinterest, it can lead to A LOT of free blog traffic for you!
Here’s how it’s done:
You’ll create pin images with an image editing tool, like Canva. Then you’ll upload those images to Pinterest and attach your blog post link to them. Everytime someone comes across your pin images and clicks on them, it will lead them back to your blog.
Free blog traffic, baby!
Here are some helpful Pinterest articles that will get you started with Pinterest marketing:
Your mission should you choose to accept it:
Start creating Pinterest pins and publish them on a regular basis. If done right, it can lead to some serious blog traffic!
MARKETING ON FACEBOOK
Facebook is an incredible tool for growing your blog traffic.
Firstly, everyone and their mama is active on Facebook (more than ONE BILLION people, in fact)…which gives you the opportunity to get your blog in front of a lot of eyes.
Secondly, you have several different Facebook channels that can drive traffic back to your blog.
Some of your options:
- Personal Facebook profile
- Facebook business page
- Facebook stories
- Facebook groups
- Facebook ads
Of these options, the most effective FREE way that I have found to boost my blog traffic is using Facebook groups.
You can engage in other Facebook groups, providing value to other group members and leading them to your resources and solutions when applicable. Or you can start your own Facebook group!
Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
Join some Facebook groups in your niche and get involved in the conversation.
Be helpful. Share valuable resources, when it’s allowed. Do market research to make sure you’re serving your audience to the fullest extent.
MARKETING VIA EMAIL
Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about how to grow your blog traffic with email marketing.
Email marketing is an incredible tool for your blogging goals. In most cases, it provides the highest Return on Investment (ROI) compared to any other marketing tool.
With email marketing, the goal is to build a healthy list of subscribers that look forward to:
- Hearing from you
- Learning from you
- Reading your blog
- Sharing your stuff
- Buying the things you recommend.
It takes time to grow and nurture this kind of audience, but it is time well spent!
To get started, you’ll want to set up an email list.
You can do this for free through MailerLite or MooSend (these are called email service providers).
This email marketing tutorial will walk you through everything you need to know about getting set up!
After setting up your email list, you’ll need to design a subscribe form so that people can ‘opt in’ to your list. You can place this form on your blog or share the form link anywhere online.
This tutorial on growing your email list shows you exactly how to set things up and start gaining email subscribers.
Once you start building that email list, you’ll see the power in every single email you send!
As long as you are focused on serving your target audience, and you provide a lot of value in your emails, people will keep coming back and opening them.
Pro tip: end each email with a call-to-action, even if it’s something simple, like ‘check out the latest post on my blog to learn about XYZ’.
GOING BEYOND GROWING YOUR BLOG TRAFFIC
So, there you have it.
The three things you absolutely must do if you want to grow your blog traffic.
- Write helpful content that your target audience is actually searching for. This includes keyword research.
- Optimize your website and your blog posts so Google can rank you and people can find you.
- Market your blog wherever your people are spending time online, including places like Pinterest, Facebook, and email.
It will take some time and effort to do these things, of course. Most good things take time and effort.
The good news is: once you start building up some quality blog traffic, you’ll be able to help more people, make more money, and have more impact on your audience.
It’s so important to look beyond the numbers, to stop stressing about analytics and page views, and focus on serving your people.
Filling their needs and solving their problems.
That’s how we build impactful businesses!
We put all of this time and effort into growing a targeted audience, boosting our blog traffic, and attracting our dream readers…
What the heck do we do now?
Now, it’s time to start thinking about your monetization options!
Our next stop on the road to becoming a profitable blogger: figuring out how to monetize your blog!