Traffic is the main assert of a blog. Driving more traffic to your new blog is one of the toughest parts of blogging. In actual, it doesn’t happen overnight or immediately. It definitely requires good amount of hard work and patience.
Blogging is all about sharing information to others, not just sharing its more about networking, helping & caring. As a new blogger, you must understand that blogging is a long term online business and if you think blogging as a short term activity, very soon you will get disappointment. There are lots of factors involved in this process right from blog design, writing, optimization, marketing, branding etc.
When I first started blogging, I expected everything to happen immediately. I expected 1000’s of visitors every day, I expected to make 1000’s also.
In reality, it took 2 years for me to hit 1000 visitors per day on BlashO.
Later, for the next 2 years I took break from blogging and lost almost all my traffic.
Today, I am in the process of re-building that lost empire and this time, I am expecting to grow even bigger. In this article, I will be covering all those methods that I am going to use to bring back even more traffic to my blog. This also helps beginners who are looking seriously to grow their blog.
- Before getting into the topic, you should always keep in mind that without traffic, there is nothing in your blog. Traffic is the source of growth and it is the source of blog income. Without traffic, you cannot achieve your blogging goals.
This is a huge topic and I won’t be able to cover everything in a single article. Hence I am breaking down into 3 parts. That means, I will be focusing on 3 different methods of traffic generation.
- Part I – Blog Traffic from Search Engine
- Part II – Blog Traffic from Social Media
- Part III – Blog Traffic from Referrals
When I started blogging, the major focus at that time was towards Google only. I was fully dependent on Google for all of my blog visitors. My blog ranked well on Google and also, on Yahoo. Of course, there were repeat visitors who had subscribed to email lists and interestingly, I am able to keep the E-Mail list grown still today.
Later, social media boomed and it is good that now I have yet another traffic source to pull visitors. I am confidence to pull search engine traffic where as I am feeling little less with social media. Basically, I am a shy fellow and I don’t even use facebook personally.
From my recent study what I understood is that, I can very well interact with related people using the “brand name” instead of personal name especially with facebook. That’s really boosting my confidence. I also built twitter followers with my name only; there I have around 1000+ followers.
Let’s get into the traffic generation methods…
Part I – Blog Traffic from Search Engines.
Search engines are the major source of traffic for any blog. This blog gets about 80% of its traffic from search engines especially Google, Yahoo. Also, it is strongly believed that search engines traffic is the most quality traffic because searchers are people who are seriously looking for information.
- The whole industry is complicating this concept of search engine optimization (SEO).
I always look things simpler and do simple things only.
I believe in simple is powerful.
So how to get more traffic from search engines in a simple way?
SE’s Are Stupids (Because of SEO).
The first thing you have to understand is “Search Engines Are Stupid“. This is my argument that search engines are not intelligent to analyze a site. For that reason only web-masters are optimizing their sites for search engines. Yes, if search engines are well intelligent, why do we need SEO?
However, we have to accept this fact and optimize our pages for search engines.
I also respect it.
Okay, our first step is learning SEO. I am not going to take a lengthy class today instead I would simply recommend you read Google’s SEO guide for beginners, a nice guide every new blogger must understand. This guides you on how to write content and design your site optimized for search engines.
Don’t hear anyone’s advice; just understand from Google’s guide only.
Optimize your Blog Design (for Users).
The first step to generate search engine traffic: optimize your blog design.
- You don’t need to optimize your design for search engines.
- Instead, Optimize it for Users, your valuable visitors.
Few of the factors to consider in optimizing blog design are:
- Have an easy to navigate layout.
- Your page should tell its purpose on first look.
- Highlight post titles and important headings using H1, H2 etc. tags.
- Improve the loading time of your blog. Make sure it is not testing your visitor’s patience.
- If you are not using WordPress, I strongly recommend you to create a blog using WordPress, you can refer here.
I am using Avada WordPress theme, it has lot of options to easily customize the blog design without touching source code. It loads faster.
You can also find decent themes from Elegant.
I don’t recommend using a free theme because premium themes are generally coded with extra care and important, you get frequent update on improvements, bug fixes.
I use All-in-one-seo-pack WordPress plugin to optimize the page titles and descriptions. This is a free plugin but constantly updated. Make sure you are using the Rewrite Titles, No Index Category/Tag features.
Rewrite title option – helps to have only the title clearly mentioned on homepage, posts, other pages.
Noindex option – helps tell search engines not to look certain pages [I don’t honour category, tag pages]
Use XML SiteMaps.
A sitemap is a file which tells what all the pages available in your blog. It actually sorts the pages based on the recent date/time. So if you publish an article, it appears on the sitemaps. Sitemaps are food for search engines; it finds new information easily through the given sitemap.
- WordPress users, use this Sitemap plugin which builds sitemap & pings search engines whenever there is an update. It’s free and also, constantly updated.
Now whenever you publish an article in your blog, search engine will get to know about it immediately.
- You can also use Robots meta plugin to tell search engines not to look specific blog posts, pages (in case, if you don’t want certain posts/pages to appear on search results).
Write Content – Useful, Consistently.
Writing content for your blog is the on-going activity which goes through out the life cycle of blogging. You must write articles that should help your visitors in some way or it should solve their problems. Always make sure you are focused on your blog topic.
So far I have wrote 600+ articles in this blog, you can see my archives.
Few of the points, I used to follow while writing for my blog:
- Before writing, decide the purpose of blog post
- First, write the title before writing the actual content
- Aim to write articles of length 1000+ words (not necessary, if you convey the message correctly)
- Use Sub-headings in the article.
- Use Bold, Italics wherever required.
- Use bullets by listing down the important points, improves readability.
- Have introduction, conclusion of the topic with “targeted keywords” in those paragraphs.
- More important, have the right keywords on the title and in the actual content.
Have a writing schedule and stick to it. Keeping your blog with always fresh information makes search engines to come back again & again. It also makes the visitors to come back looking for more information.
- Keep on writing useful information consistently. Your blog gets more traffic naturally from search engines.
Further, you can read my detailed guide on:
Importance of Blog Mentions Around the Web.
Search engines not just look for information inside your blog. It also looks for information about your blog around the web.
Basically, it looks for “what others are speaking about your blog”.
- Links from other sites pointing to your blog homepage or a post/page.
- Words about your brand name mentioned on the content somewhere.
- Social media shares that tells, how real people are reacting to your content.
I strongly believe, Search engine like Google ranks a web page based on these 3 factors apart from content quality.
Now you have to focus on these 3 factors.
- Get links from other web sites pointing to your blog.
- Spread good words about your blog and your brand name.
- Share your great content on social media sites and get likes, tweets, +1’s.
Few more simple tips to gain links pointing to your blog:
- Write guest post on a popular blog in your topic and link your blog in that post.
- Leave comments on blogs related to your topic. Learn comment marketing tips.
- Join related Forums and add your blog link to your signature, participate in discussions. Learn forum marketing tips.
- Share your best content on facebook, twitter again and again.
- Having useful content in your blog naturally gains you incoming links from other sites and also, social mentions.
Getting more traffic from search engine is a long term process; it takes time and happens naturally as your blog gains that “Authority”.
Be patience. Keep working.
Traffic floods-in from Google.
Part II – Blog Traffic from Social Media.
Social media network tools are emerging like anything and its a great Internet evolution. Yes, the advancement in the social technology and how people are addicted to such social media tools? the growth is really tremendous. Every year the percentage of social media users are growing in great extent.
When it comes to blogging: tools like Twitter, Facebook are playing a major role especially in building networks around your blog and to drive traffic.
Many of the blogs are getting major share of traffic from these tools. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ are the major networks as of today, apart from LinkedIn, Pinterest.
You have to focus only on these networks. Don’t bother about any other social networks.
It also depends on your blog topic or market.
If your target audiences are more professional then LinkedIn is must. Similarly, if your blog topic involves lot of images you can focus on Pinterest or Instagram.
Otherwise, you can simply focus only facebook, Twitter and Google+.
You can see the below chart from wearesocial which shows, how far you can utilize these networks (statistics on the number of active users).
Facebook has the most number of active users followed by Google+, Instagram, Twitter.
Yet another stats from thinkpragmatic.com which shows again facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ are the major social networks for content marketing.
Hope these data helps you to quickly decide on, what are all the networks to be focused.
If you are not focused, I am sure you will be wasting all your time.
For my blog, I focus mainly on facebook, Twitter only. I am also planning to improve my social interactions in near future.
Lets see, how you can quickly bring traffic from these major social networks to your blog.
First of All, Increase Your Social Followers.
Once your social pages (facebook fan page, twitter pages) are ready, the very first thing is to increase your followers or fans.
- With Facebook, you need to get more number of Likes from people who are interested in your market.
- Similarly, with Twitter you need to have followers who are all interested in your profile or topic.
Having good number of followers around your pages are important that you can make them to engage, when you post.
For example, if you share a blog post on Facebook, you must have people to Like that blog post – otherwise, there is no meaning to have a social presence.
That’s the hardest part of it.
In fact, my blog is lagging on that too.
Few of the quick techniques to increase your social followers:
- Show Popups and Convert your Visitors to Followers – Lightbox Popups are always being an innovative tool. The idea is to show a popup and ask your existing blog visitors to Like your facebook pages and to follow you on Twitter, Google+. By asking every visitor, you can easily convert your existing blog visitors to become social followers. This also expands to more readers on your social page.
- Reach Email Subscribers And Convert Them to Followers – You might be already offering email subscriptions through your blogs. The idea is to ask your email subscribers to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.
These 2 techniques can simply make wonders in giving a quick bump in your social followers count from your existing traffic.
Buying Likes, Followers – Is it worth?
If you want to quickly show that you have a decent number of followers – you can go for it.
However, they are not much worth because those purchased likes, followers are may not be related to your blog topic. Hence, you can just show some numbers but there won’t be any active interactions from those social profiles.
A recent study on facebook Likes conducted by adespresso.com finds that Likes purchased are useless and there are no social reactions, when compared to Likes got through Facebook Ads.
You can refer the below infograph that shows more details of that study.
- If you want to quickly increase your Likes, you can go for facebook Ads.
- Similarly, for increasing Twitter followers, you can use the Twitter Ads.
You can buy Likes/Followers to quickly show that you are grown up, so that when you promote your social pages, you can quickly attract new real followers.
Its worth for beginners.
Networking To Get Blog Traffic.
Blogging is not only sharing information, its about networking too. Networking with similar people, creates more exposure or visibility to your new blog.
Simply, search Google for the top bloggers in your topic, follow them on Twitter, Like them on facebook. You can also contact them through email or by adding comments in their blog.
Further, you can interview them and compile it in your blog, as a list of famous bloggers. I am still to improve from this aspect. Today, I am not much networked with other like minded bloggers. I have the plan to make that happen soon.
I am fully focusing on the content generation and to bring back my Google traffic to the same level from where I took that 2 Years break from blogging.
Also, I am working to make this blog into a “concept” like: “create – blog – grow”.
Earlier, I was only focusing mainly on “make money” stuffs but now putting this “concept” into place, I am more focused on my goals. I know my target audience and I know, “why I am blogging?”
I am clear.
I am focused.
I am yet to get networked with similar bloggers.
How To Naturally Grow Your Social Followers?
Lets see few simpler, yet powerful tips to grow the size of your social follower which in turn helps to get more traffic to your blog in a natural way.
- Automatically Tweet your new blog on Twitter.
- Make your new blog posts automatically appear on your facebook fan page.
- Use Hootsuite, IFTTT the free tools which helps to do this automatic posting – more tools here.
- Apart from automatically posting your new blog posts, you can share articles from other similar sites on your pages/profile. Make sure you share only content that are relevant to your topic. Share cool looking images, videos, info-graphics.
- If you are find time, you can also manually search keywords in Twitter search and Facebook Search, find people who are similar to your market and connect with them.
- Share only relevant information to others. Interact.
Do this every day (or 5-6 times a week) and over a period of time, your network will grow bigger.
Further, you can create your own Info-graphics or videos and publish it on your social pages. Write a blog post about it. I am yet to explore on these stuffs. Presently, I am looking for a free tool to create info-graphics.
As your fans/followers increases, more interaction happens on your social pages and more people will be visiting your blog.
In simple terms:
Did you find this blog post useful? Please Share it !
Increase your number of followers/fans.
Engage them by sharing only relevant information.