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So, you've started your blog, posted a handful of your first ah-mazing articles, and now you're ready to rock. You're ready to grow blog traffic and see those awesome readers mob your site.
But where is er'body? Where are all of your readers?
I feel ya. Driving traffic to a new blog can feel pretty dang overwhelming. Where the heck do you even start, right?
Well, after a boat load of trial and error, and an insane amount of research, I've discovered a few strategies that are pretty kick ass, if I do say so myself.
So, today I'll save you a little time and heartache, and show you what really works to grow blog traffic you've been craving.
Sound good? Okay, let's get this party started.
HOW TO GROW BLOG TRAFFIC
1. COMMENT ... WITH HEART
One of my fave ways to create true blogging relationships AND direct quality traffic to my site is by commenting on other blogs.
And when I say comment, I mean a real, honest to goodness comment.
A comment with thought and sincerity behind it.
Fake, little three-word comments come across as, well, fake. And really, a waste of everyone's time.
The point here, is to connect with other bloggers. Encourage them with your genuine thoughts and support. It's productive, and doesn't it just feel good to be kind?
Often times, a sincerely thoughtful comment will entice fellow bloggers to head on over to your blog (which you've left a link to in your comment).
Then who knows! Maybe they'll like your style, enjoy your posts - and boom. New subscriber right there.
Get to building those relationships. They'll be crucial for you to grow blog traffic and create a successful blog in general.
2. DON'T LEAVE YOUR READERS HANGING
If your reader has taken even a moment out of her day to comment on your blog post, then m'dear, please respond back.
In all honesty, I totally did this when I first dipped my feet into the world of blogging. I got super excited to see a comment on a post, and then just let it be.
*gasp* I know. Total newbie mistake.
And a huge one, at that.
Responding to comments is one of the key ways to foster relationships and a sense of community with your readers.
Nobody likes a one-sided conversation. Reply with a thoughtful response to build a discussion and bring them back for more.
It's amazing what that extra bit of effort can create. Plus, how awesome is it to develop relationships with peeps who enjoy all the hard work you've been dumping into your blog?
3. LOOKS MATTER
It may sound pretentious, but looks can be pretty freakin' important.
In my opinion, the design of your website can make or break a relationship.
You know the annoying saying about first impressions? Well, your blog often gets the same treatment.
If it's humdrum, clunky, or difficult to navigate, your readers may bounce before they even give your amazing content a chance.
Sucks, but it happens.
Invest in a quality theme for your blog. Some of the most beautifully designed themes I've come across are from StudioPress and Bluchic. They're all so clean and polished-looking. I currently use Bluchic's Victoria theme and absolutely love it.
Put some thought into your branding and design. Even little tweaks here and there can make a huge difference when it comes to capturing and keeping your readers' attention.
4. BECOME A SOCIAL BUTTERFLY
Here's a biggie. And I'm sure you've heard of it.
It's this little thing called social media. If you're not taking full advantage, then you gotta change your ways m'friend!
Because seriously, without throwing your posts up on social media, you're likely missing out on heaps of lovely blog traffic.
You could be cranking out some of the best content in the world and it may fall flat simply because you're not promoting it. Give your readers a chance to find you and share your awesome posts!
My favorite way to do this is with Social Warfare, a simple WordPress plugin. It makes it insanely easy for my readers to share my posts and pages all over social media with a simple click of a button. A definite must when you're hustling to get the word out about your new blog!
Some of the best social media platforms to pop your posts on are:
Yep. Tweet it for the whole wide world to see.
And do it multiple times while you're at it. One little tweet is likely to be overlooked or lost in the shuffle. Throw it out there a few times to make sure your followers get the opportunity to check it out.
And even better, make yourself some Twitter buddies.
Find some of your favorite bloggers on Twitter and follow them. Retweet some of the amazing things they post and include their username when you do it. They'll notice the love you're sending their way AND you'll have new quality tweets to share with your followers.
Again, it's all about the relationships, right?
Pretty much the holy grail of blogger social media right here.
Pinterest is a visual search engine full of pretty images and a wide variety of content.
If you haven't noticed, it's an uber popular way to share your killer content with millions of potential readers.
I pop pins into Tailwind for the week and set it on autopilot. Doesn't get much easier than that!
And then I use BoardBooster to schedule my own pins to Pinterest group boards multiple times each day for even more exposure on the interwebs. Promote, promote, promote!
I think the biggest hangup people have about Pinterest, is getting started. It can seem overwhelming at first, but it's really not so bad. Give it a shot, you totally got this!
And once you're set up, you'll kick yourself for not jumping on the Pinterest train sooner.
One of my favorite reads on getting started with Pinterest is from mom blogger, Elna, at Twins Mommy. She's got an awesome breakdown with 12 Proven Hacks to Grow your Blog Traffic Using Pinterest. Totally recommend checking it out.
I freakin' love Facebook.
It was my happy place when I first began promoting my blog.
Facebook groups are where it's at. Find yourself a half dozen good ones so you can share your posts, learn from fellow bloggers, and *shocker* develop new blogger friendships!
There are some great Facebook communities out there to help you grow your blog following, as well as other social media accounts like Twitter and Pinterest.
Grab yourself an awesome list of Facebook and Pinterest groups in my FREE Resources Collection to help you get started.
Feel free to check out my very own Facebook Group called Ladies Blog for Business. It's a comfortable place for Ladypreneurs to support and connect with each other. Stop by and check it out!
The work is already done for ya! Now just join the ones you fancy!
5. GOOD OLD SEO
You've heard about it, but are you doing it?
Getting that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) into high gear for each of your blog posts is cah-razy important. And it's often something bloggers tend to overlook. Either cause they just don't know the benefits, or because they hate taking the time to do it, like me. =)
But, it really should be done - especially when you're workin' those tail feathers to grow blog traffic.
So, here's a high-level checklist of SEO love to give to each of your blog posts.
1. Choose strong keywords or longtail keywords - These are words that people would likely use to search for when they want to find a particular blog post.
2. Optimize your photos - Name your image files with the keywords you are targeting for your post.
3. Use meta descriptions - Make sure to pop in a meta description for your post. This will be the brief summary displayed under your website when it comes up in search results.
4. Interlink your posts - Be sure to include links to your related posts. The idea is to keep your readers from leaving your website once they read your post. Try to entice them to stick around for another awesome article.
5. Edit your permalinks - Permalinks are the words at the end of a blog or website URL. I like to remove the date to make things flow a tad nicer. It just looks cleaner and more professional. And of course, helps improve those search results.
ARE YOU STUMPED BY SEO?
Learn how to easily attract quality traffic to your blog with a
FREE copy of SEO Simplified: An SEO Guide for Beginner Bloggers.
I'm also a HUGE fan of the Yoast SEO plugin. It provides suggestions on how to optimize your website and help it rank higher in searches. AND there's a free version, which is what I use. Good stuff.
AND if you're looking for even more ways to rank high with Google, snag a copy of my FREE short ebook, SEO Simplified: An SEO Guide for Beginner Bloggers. You'll find step-by-step guidance to get your website SEO'd like crazy.
Whelp, there ya go! My two cents on how to best grow quality blog traffic.
In the end it comes down to building those trusting relationships with your readers. If you want to watch your readership grow and thrive, you gotta put in the work. It takes lots of time and consistent effort to really see your website grow.
But it's totally worth it. Promise.
If you're looking for more blogging tips, tricks, and resources, check out my FREE Resource Collection below!
ARE YOU A NEW BLOGGER STRUGGLING TO GROW YOUR BLOG?
Kickstart your growth with my FREE Resource Collection of blogger guides, ebooks, and checklists to boost your audience and build your blog presence!