In the last two years I have been blogging, traffic has been the toughest area of gaining expertise. I am no expert and will always look to improve no matter which stage I am at. But I have really had a steady increase in traffic in the last 6 months with the following consistent actions. Here are the resources for increasing traffic to your blog.
I share each blog post to:
- Pinterest- Make sure you have a business account, doesn't cost anything to switch over. The pins that are long tend to do the best, but I do all sizes for trial and error sake. You can post as often as every half hour, but that is the most I would ever recommend. And this is only possible with an auto posting site, otherwise this is what you would be sitting there doing all day. Tailwind is my favorite for many reasons, but now I love them because they post to Pinterest and Instagram automatically so this saves me HOURS of work each month.
- Instagram– I get a lot more likes and engagements when I post somewhere between 5-10 posts a day. But this is going to be subjective for everyone. Depends on what you are posting and how big an audience you have, etc. Just remember that your posts will stand out more if you create square images for Instagram. I would try not to do duplicates here, but instead find and add up to THIRTY hashtags per post. Another reason I love Tailwind because they help you find relevant and popular hashtags.
- Twitter– I would be careful with this one too, try and make sure you only share each post once for the month. I heard you can be penalized, but am not sure how strict that rule is, and I don't want to find out eitiher. The better thing to focus on is adding relevant hashtags here too. Crowdfire is my hero for this platform. I feel like this app holds my hand through the process of becoming an active and successful Twitter participant.
- Facebook– this platform tends to be more of a socializing app. If you want to gain more traffic to your site through Facebook, running an ad promotion is probably going to be the most helpful. But I know many other bloggers who would disagree with me. This is just based on my personal experience. Facebook seems to be a perfect place to get to know your audience, ask them questions, offer them advice, etc. instead of trying to sell.
- Medium– My focus has not been on building my following here (like I should be, but my time is limited) but I have still gained a significant outlet of traffic through Medium. It is an awesome blogging platform that you can simply sign up for free, go to stories, import, paste the URL of your post you want to share, upload, and vwahlah. I have about 100 posts on my blog, and I have been slowly adding them here and am up to about 50 posts that I have shared. You can upload about 15 a day. This is a whole independent blogging community with their own search tool. So, for each post you upload, you will make sure you add good keywords/tags, and then you can read other cool posts and follow others to build your own following. People can read your post through Medium, or at the end of the post they can click through to your blog for more.
- Quora– This platform is new to me, but I signed up for free, have uploaded (by importing the URL) and so now my posts will be available through the Quora search database too. I haven't seen a big return on this one yet, but I JUST signed up and don't have many followers yet. Working on that one.
- Mix– This is another cool platform that is incredibly easy to save and link URLs from your blog…or any link you think is share-worthy. I would recommend downloading the Chrome extension because all you have to do is click the icon when you are on a page you want to share, pick which folder you want it linked to, and that is it. You will get a better traffic response with this one once you build your following a little bit too.
- Live Journal
- Amazines– you can use this platform for free or pay to become a featured author. I have only used the free account and have gotten a decent return for my investment of time. I feel like you need to be a little more tech advanced for this one, BUT once you get used to how you share your posts and create a link back it is worth the effort. This site will only be attracted to your posts by what you wrote about because there is no way to add photos
Related: Pinterest Help To Increase Traffic
Only once a month I submit my URL to search engines. I heard a rumor that you can be penalized or even banned if you do it more than that, and I don't want to find out.
Signing up for blog directories
This can help potential readers find you. There are a ton of them, and I would recommend using the free ones at first. If you want to pay for an upgraded service later you always can.
Keeping yourself updated with the constantly changing SEO world. Yoast Premium is what I use to help my SEO status currently (you can use the free version too).
If you sign up for Yoast's newsletter they will send you awesome emails teaching you about things you can do to improve your SEO.
There are simple things you can do with each page/post to optimize your SEO all on your own. Make sure all your photos have a title, alt text, and description filled in. The Title should be the title of your blog post. The alt text is going to be the message and hashtags that will make your life easier and be automatically applied to social media posts when shared. And the description gives you a chance to add more text with relating key words to help extend your reach.
If you don't know where you stand with SEO, it is important to see how you rank. This way you will know what you need to fix and will be able to see if your site is improving or not. Check out your ranking with Alexa:Get your Alexa score HERE.
Keywords take practice to find good ones that will reach your avatar, but also having the keyword be something you can use easily through your words in your writing. You want your writing to sound like and come through in a genuine tone to attract readers that will stick around.
The keyword density is a term you want to become familiar with. It is the amount of times your keyword appears in your text. You want your keyword density to be somewhere around 1-3%. So if your post is rather long, you are going to need to keep mentioning that keyword throughout your post, more times than if your blog post was rather short.
Acquiring back-links makes Google search build trust in your site, so this is something you can constantly build on. There are plenty of sites that say you can pay a certain amount for so many back-links, but that can be risky because you have no idea which links you will be attached too. Also, you can be penalized if the links have nothing to do with your blog or are linked up to spam. Moz is a tool where you can check your back-links for free and see how many you have a how they rate.
Make sure your text is fairly easy to read. Each paragraph having no more than 5-6 sentences. Make the text bigger for your headings, make your link text a little bigger (and bold) so it is easy for readers to see and click on. SEO LOVES it when you link related blog posts. As you are writing think about other posts that somewhat relate and leave a link (or a few!) throughout your post to keep your readers clicking on through your site. You can do this by simply typing “related:_______” and link the text, or you could create a pretty graphic through PicMonkey (or whatever photo editing app you use) and insert it in your text, then linking it to that relating post.
Need help creating awesome headlines? Once you have written your post, play around with words until you get a headline that you feel is a head turner. Determine your focus keyword (your MAIN and most important one) and start your research. You can start with the Google search bar. Just type in your keyword and different variations of it to see what is suggested.
Then, check out AdvancedMarketingInstitute to see where your favorite headlines rate at (you want to be 30-40% for a good one).
Here are a couple more websites that will help you find awesome headlines (but Google and Advanced Marketing Institute is are my favorite pair):
- BuzzSumo– this site will give you insight into what content is being shared the most on a given website or topic. So, this can help you come up with awesome headers or give you good ideas for content.
- AnswerThePublic– this site will help you figure out questions that the public is asking about on the internet based on your keyword. So, this one can actually help your content AND your headlines.
- Moz– to help you with keyword research, back links and general free SEO tool.
- CoSchedule.com– headline analyzer
Comment on the blog posts you read and leave a link back to your site or related blog post.
As fellow bloggers I feel like this is something we could all put a little more effort into doing. Honestly a lot of times (especially when doing thorough research on something) I completely space about leaving a comment to let the blogger know my support. So, this is a nice way to support your fellow bloggers and be able to leave a link back to your blog too. This will create community. Then when the next person goes through reading the comments, you will be available for them to check out your post or become your fan if they like what you said.
Add a way for your readers to save the post for later
This way if they find your post but don't have the time right then to indulge, they can easily find a way to come back later and read the full blog post. What I do is right above the blog title, I say something like, “Don't have time to read the post now? Save and bookmark for later” and directly below this statement I insert social media icons for Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Then I find the post through each one, copy the link and insert that link into my icon…if that makes sense.
I was really excited about Instagram because since I switched to a business account I notice you can click on your posting and get the COPY LINK. So, with this example you would copy your Instagram link for that particular post you are trying to make available to your readers for later, then go back to YOUR blog post, and insert that link to the Instagram social media icon you chose to use. I bought some pretty Rose Gold ones that I found on Creative Market and I love them.
Powered by Creative Market
Then you would go to Twitter, find that same post, copy the link, go back to your blog and insert the code into the Twitter social media icon to save for later.
Same with Pinterest. Click on the post, copy the URL, and insert into the icon you chose on your website giving your readers an option to save the post for a more convenient time.
The reason I love doing this with Pinterest is because then everyone is sharing the same post which will make the pin go viral quicker (instead of just another copy saved that will start from zero shares again). Same with Twitter. The same tweet will be getting retweeted and liked, so you will get a lot more engagement in the long run. And I have been saying “I wish I could save to Instagram” for a long time, and we can finally do that now. So, having the ability alone will help with your engagement there.
Tools to help you with all the posting between platforms
I realize this may all sound a bit much, and super overwhelming, and at first it is. The key is to create a habit of things to do when you post. And of course there are tools to help you get everything done giving you time freedom to create things that will be income producing for your blog. Here are the tools I use and recommend to those looking to increase their sharing and traffic:
- Tailwind– everything Pinterest and Instagram
- Crowdfire– Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Etsy, YOUR blog, YouTube, Shopify, Twitch, Vimeo, and 500PX. I had Crowdfire before they added all the extra accounts, so I really still only use them for Twitter and Etsy, but could utilize so much more.
- NextScripts SNAP (Social Network Auto Poster)– below is all the networks they will post to for you…warning it is A LOT…
Facebook – Autopost text, image or share a link to your profile, business page, community page, or Facebook group
Google+ – Post text, image or share a link to your profile, collection, business page or community
Instagram – Upload your blogpost's image to your Instagram account.
LinkedIn – Post text, article, image or share a link to your profile, group, or company page.
ok.ru – Autopost text, image or share a link to your profile or group
Plurk – Autopost to your account. Ability to attach Image to messages
Pinterest – Post your blogpost's image to your Pinterest board.
Twitter – Autopost to your account. Ability to attach images to tweets
VK.Com – Post text, image or share a link to your profile or group page
Weibo – Biggest Chinese Microblogging Service. You can post your messages and images
XING – Post text messages, images or share links.
Blogger – Autopost to your blog. HTML is supported
Flipboard – Autopost to your magazines
Instapaper – Autopost to your account
LiveJournal – Auto-submit your blogpost to LiveJournal blog or community. LiveJournal engine based website DreamWidth.org is also supported
Medium – Autopost to your profile or publications
Scoop.It – Autopost to your “Topics”. Ability to attach your blogpost to scoop. Ability to make “Image” posts
SETT – Auto-post to your Sett.com blog
Tumblr – Create a text post, image post, audio or video post on your Tumbler blog. HTML is supported.
WP Based Blog – Auto-submit your blogpost to another WordPress based site. Support for any standalone WordPress and WordPress.com, Blog.com, etc..
Diigo – Auto-submit bookmark to your account
Reddit – Autopost to your subreddits
MailChimp – One of the most popular email marketing tools. You can send your blogposts as email campaigns to specific subscribers
Line – Autopost texts, images, or links to your channel, group or chat
Telegram – Autopost texts, images, or links to your channel, group or chat
Yo – Send notifications to your subscribers
500Px – Post images to your account
deviantART (!) – Autopost to your blog. HTML is supported
Flickr – Autopost images to your photostream and/or sets. Tags are supported
vBulletin – Auto-submit your blogpost to vBulletin forums. Could create new threads or new posts
YouTube – Post messages to your YouTube channel feed. Ability to attach existing YouTube videos to posts
ALL of those are from Snap; so this one can help you grow your reach quite a bit.
The last thing I am going to talk about is a service like Mouseflow.
This service is a must-have because it is FREE, and gives you stats of who clicked where, recordings of visitors and what they took action on, AND it gives you heat maps so you can see the highly trafficked areas. Besides being awesome for what you are doing well, it can also solve problems. Like, is everyone going to a certain part of the page and always leaving? Maybe there is a broken link. Or some issue that you can figure out with the help of Mouseflow.
All of these things will increase your traffic dramatically if you are consistent.
Here is a quick review to do for each post by following these steps:
- Share immediately to: Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Medium, Quora, Mix, Live Journal, etc.
- Check your basic SEO tricks- make sure the article is easy to read, includes “related” links, all your pictures have their text and hashtags, and your keywords are distributed throughout your post.
- Add your “read later” options after your shares have been distributed
- schedule your post for later and repeated shares through your auto posting service
- check your Mouseflow stats to check on the stats of your posts…to see what is popular, and what could be improved…and maybe even fix technical problems.
Click on the picture below to print out a list of places to remember to post to:
***Remember, if you would like any part of this post printed out for future reference, just go to the top and click on the pdf print icon:)
These are the actions that I have consistently taken on the last 6 months and have noticed a huge difference, so I know they will help you too. The thing about blogging is that you never know which platform will love your content, so trying different ones out is the best way to go. These resources for increasing traffic to your blog are no accident, and I will stand by every single one of these companies because they all have a huge value. You just gotta choose which ones you want to try for now.
If you can think of anyone this post might help or just LOVED it please like, share and comment below. Especially if I missed anything. Love me some feedback!