Today’s guest post is from Sally Miller, mom on a mission and an author of seven best-selling books. She’s also a blogger who has built up quite a following…I think you’ll love what she has to say! Take it away, Sally!
So, you’ve started a blog and now you’re wondering how to reach readers?
Maybe you’re new to blogging and this whole idea of getting traffic is a mystery to you. Or perhaps you’ve been blogging for a year or more and are struggling to get more than a handful of visitors each week.
I know how you feel. It’s frustrating when you see other bloggers whose every post seems to go viral, while your own site is barely attracting any traffic. You wonder, “what am I doing wrong?”
First, let me tell you that you’re doing nothing wrong.
In fact, there’s no one magic bullet to increasing your blog traffic. The real secret is figuring out the best formula for you and your blog. Let me show you what I mean.
Earlier this year, I interviewed 17 six-figure bloggers for a new book. I wanted to understand exactly why they were so successful.
What I discovered was that each blogger had a unique business. No two people used the exact same strategy. Yet they did all share some common traits.
I wrote about these traits in my new book, The Essential Habits Of 6-Figure Bloggers. In this post, I want to zoom in on one specific area. Because I know it’s something all bloggers think about.
I’m talking about how to get more traffic to your blog.
In the rest of this post, I walk through four traffic strategies used by six-figure bloggers. But before I jump in, I want to emphasize an important point. Not every method will work for you. And there are many variations of each strategy.
What you must do is try each one, adjust if you need to, and keep testing until you find your own magic sauce. Let me show you how.
How Six Figure Bloggers Get Traffic
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
All six-figure bloggers pay at least some attention to SEO.
Now you don’t need to become an SEO expert. But it’s good to master a few basics early in your blogging career. And it doesn’t need to be complex.
At the heart of an effective SEO strategy are keywords. These are simply what people type into search engines when looking for information. Keywords can be short, such as, “dogs,” or long, e.g. “how do you housetrain a puppy?”.
The longer keyword phrases are more specific. These are called long-tail keywords. Early on, you want to focus on long-tail keywords. There are many websites out there. And with all the information available, you want to deliver exactly what people are looking for.
You can find keywords using a tool like KW Finder or with Pinterest. Pick a topic and type it into the search bar on Pinterest. As you type, Pinterest suggests keyword phrases based on what you enter.
When you write your post, incorporate the keyword into the text (but don’t overdo it). You can also use the keyword in the post title, headings, meta description, URL, and image alternative text.
SEO is one of those things you want to get right from the beginning. But don’t expect immediate results. For a new blog, it can take six months or more to appear in the search results for a specific keyword.
So, you’re just going to have to trust the experts on this one. Incorporate some keywords into every post you publish and a year or so down the line you’ll thank your former self for implementing an SEO strategy.
2. Traffic from Social Media
Okay, SEO helps but it takes time. What should you do in the meantime?
Your next option is to drive traffic to your blog using social media. Many of the bloggers I interviewed have leveraged the power of social media to build a large audience. The two most popular platforms are Facebook and Pinterest.
But this doesn’t mean you should immediately create a Facebook and Pinterest account for your blog. You need to be a bit more strategic in your approach.
First, research the different platforms to see where your audience is hanging out, then pick one platform and dive in. No matter which you decide to use, here are some tips to help you promote your content.
- Experiment with post styles to see what type of content your followers engage with.
- Use your data. See which posts are performing (e.g. by sending readers to your blog) and look for patterns. Find out when your users are active and adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
- Use scheduling tools to help you schedule posts in bulk. This way you aren’t glued to social media all day long.
- Remember to build relationships. Respond to comments and join the conversation on other people’s posts when you can.
- Master one platform before moving onto another one.
3. Other People’s Audiences
SEO can be slow to take hold and social media is unpredictable. What else can you do?
We now come to one of my favorite ways to drive traffic to your blog. And that’s collaborating with other bloggers to get your ideas in front of new audiences.
There are many ways to collaborate. You can guest post, be interviewed for a podcast, do a joint webinar or workshop, or even write a book together (which is what I do).
For new bloggers, I recommend guest posting. This is where you write a post and someone else publishes it on their blog. You often receive a bio at the end of your post and can include a link back to your site. This way, readers who are interested can click through and find you.
While there are huge sites that offer guest posting opportunities, you may need to start off with smaller blogs. As you gain more experience, you can work your way up to blogs with lots of readers.
Not every collaboration is going to yield hundreds of new website visitors. But you’ll also gain by building relationships with other people in your field. Finding ways to help each other can make blogging a lot less lonely and much more rewarding.
4. Paid Advertising
The final method for increasing traffic is a more advanced strategy. But it deserves a mention because almost all the six-figure bloggers I spoke with use it in some form or other.
The strategy that most top bloggers use is paid advertising.
You only want to pay for advertising once you’re already making money from your blog. You must also have a clear picture of who your audience is.
If you start too early, you risk spending thousands of dollars targeting the wrong people and getting zero return on your investment.
Facebook advertising is a popular form of paid advertising for bloggers. Other options include Pinterest advertising, Google Adwords, and YouTube advertising.
In all cases, you must be clear on who you are targeting, what those people want, and how you are going to get a return on your ad expenditure.
Now Go Increase Your Blog Traffic
There’s no one way to get traffic to your blog. In this post we’ve looked at the four most popular methods used by six-figure bloggers:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Traffic from social media
- Other people’s audiences
- Paid advertising
It takes time and testing to find what works best for you.
Where one expert swears by Facebook you may find your audience hangs out on Pinterest. I enjoy collaborating with other bloggers. Other online business owners drive most of their traffic with paid advertising.
Keep exploring and you will find your own magic sauce. You have an important message to share and your readers are waiting to hear from you!
If you’d like to learn more secrets of six-figure bloggers, check out The Essential Habits Of 6-Figure Bloggers. You can grab it on Amazon right now for the discounted price of 99 cents. Don’t wait, the price will go up!
Sally Miller is a writer and coach who loves learning how stuff works, mastering new skills and sharing her knowledge with others. Since leaving her nine-to-five, Sally has published seven best-selling books on Amazon (and counting). You can find out more by visiting sallyannmiller.com where she talks about sharing your gifts with the world to make money from home doing what you love.