How to grow a blog – if this question’s on your mind, you’re not alone.
Thousands of people start blogging for different reasons. Some want to show off their talents on social media or bring like-minded people together. Others try to monetize their sites and make their hobby profitable. All of the above is possible as long as there’s enough blog traffic.
This means acquiring a consistent group of followers to keep your site growing. There are many unique ways to generate traffic to your blog posts. Some are straightforward, and others are more unorthodox. But if the end goal is to generate massive page views, here are a few proven ways to go about it.
How To Guide Visitors To Your Site & Increase Blog Traffic
Use Social Media to Promote your Site and Drive Traffic
Get your site off the ground and generate traffic by using social media. Use all of your resources. Do you have hundreds of Facebook friends you haven’t talked to in years? Send them a quick link to your site and ask them to share it for you. The more people you get talking about it, the better.
LinkedIn connections can be a great way to get your site out, especially if it’s in an area that people know you’re an expert in. Make sure to curate your profile and have a professional look so that people will take you seriously. Sharing content on LinkedIn is powerful because it reaches many quality people. Yet, this is one of the most underrated social media strategies.
Twitter is another platform that reaches a massive number of people, and it’s available for free, at your fingertips.
Instagram is another response to how to grow a blog. As the newest social media outlet, it has quickly become a powerful tool to do targeted advertising.
Engage with others on the app by liking and commenting on their photos. Put your blog link in your Instagram bio and politely ask others to click on it. This is what we refer to as a “call to action.” The best part about social media is that the results can be instant, and you can advertise for free.
Make Sure Your Site is Visible to the Search Engines
In order to generate organic traffic from outside sources, you have to make sure that the search engines are crawling your posts to index them on the web. There are many ways to do this and the process can seem confusing. The first step to making sure your site is properly indexed is to go to Google Search Console (or create a Search Console account) and submit a sitemap of your content to Google. Sitemaps can be generated for WordPress websites using a few different plugins (Yoast is my favorite).
The best way to make sure your site is visible to the search engines and enjoys a large blog readership is to continue posting high-quality content that your followers like. Be sure to have some well-chosen keywords (long-tail keywords or other) in every blog post.
For more on search engine optimization (this topic is very deep), I recommend checking out the SEO section of our full guide on starting a blog.
Read and comment on other sites
Blogging is all about creating a network, and using other sites to your advantage is a great practice. Do research on others which are in the same niche as your own, and contribute! Introduce yourself either in the header of your comment or at the bottom. Share thought-provoking ideas to the discussion to catch people’s attention.
When other readers (the target audience) see that you have a site specializing in something very similar to what they’re already reading, you’ll see some visits coming to your site. Make sure to comment only on posts that have an audience similar to the one you want to attract.
If you start commenting on cooking blogs when you run a tech site, you’re going to have people coming in and exiting immediately once they see that your articles aren’t relevant. This creates a high bounce rate and poor ranking by the search engines.
When you comment on other posts, make sure to link any of your relevant articles that are on the same topic. This can bring like-minded people over to your page, and give them another perspective on what they are searching for. Getting quality backlinks or a link from another site to yours can bring you visitors and increase website traffic. This is called referral traffic.
You also want to link back to your old content and create internal links in any newly written posts when relevant. This can bring back traffic to your old pages and reignite interest.
Post content regularly
You absolutely have to update your site regularly! If people see the same posts every time they come in, they won’t return, and this will result in poor traffic.
Having a good content strategy means creating a set schedule, and dedicating time to writing. This could be done once a week, or every other day, depending on how much time you have. You can also get people to opt-in to an email list, so you can update them whenever you publish new posts.
Social media is all the rage nowadays. We mentioned social media outreach when we talked about promoting your site. After all, what’s great content good for if nobody can find and read it? Successful bloggers are vocal about their work.
Using social media is an excellent way can use it to grow your blog. Create dedicated social pages for your site. What does this mean? You can start a Facebook page with the same name as your site, a Pinterest board, and an Instagram account. Make sure to share articles as soon as they come out.
Do your best to optimize your content for each social media outlet. For example, you wouldn’t just post a link to your site from Instagram. Instead, you should add a nice picture from the site, a little blurb about it, and give a little taste of what the post is about.
This clickbait type of optimization gives users a feel of what they’re going to read, but not enough to just stay at the social media post. This is a great way to pique readers’ curiosity.
The unpleasant truth is that most people will just read the headline and decide whether they should continue reading your post or not. It’s super important that your headline be engaging. It should spark readers’ curiosity right off the bat and have them scroll down to the very end. The best way to create content that is ultra-shareable is to make the title creative and add a sense of urgency to it.
You have to know your audience and its interests so that you can create relevant content they’d want to share. Controversial writing or funny pictures tend to get a lot of shares. The only mistake to look out for is giving your target market irrelevant content.
Curate evergreen content
What’s evergreen content? This is the type of content that will be relevant over a long period of time. It’s usually not niche specific and isn’t focused on a certain date in time (such as elections or a trendy diet) so that it doesn’t expire quickly. These posts are incredible as content drivers, as they rack up a lot of traffic over time, and appear on the top of your blog search engine results.
You should try to create a few evergreen posts, which you can link to your newer posts in order to give them more relevance. This will help endorse your new content, as well as give your site higher stature on the search engine pecking order.
Reach out to Influencers
Many bloggers don’t go this route because it can feel awkward to reach out to someone cold – but if you can reach and come to an arrangement with an influencer, they have the potential to drive a lot of traffic to your website.
How To Generate And Gain Followers
Make your blog unique
The number one strategy on how to grow your blog is to convert readers into loyal followers. How do you do that? You have to produce unique content and stick to a niche. There’s nothing worse than reading a site that’s all over the place. If you’re going to write about fitness, for example, stick to that genre. Don’t jump from fitness to travel, to beauty, and cinema. Every site has a target market they produce content for. Your goal is to create high-quality posts that are specifically focused on your dedicated market.
Do some research through Google Analytics and figure out what your demographic is searching for. Based on those findings, create catchy headlines and original text.
Generate ideas by interacting with your followers
Pay attention to user-generated content and to what people want to read. Make sure always to add a comment section to your blog content. That way you can start a discussion about your posts, and see if readers find them helpful. If they don’t, feel free to ask what they’d like to see instead.
Your followers may often contribute and add insightful views to your thought process. Reply to them, ask them about the blog and accept their opinions whether positive or negative. Starting a discussion with your followers might give you great ideas for new content, as well as demonstrate that you care about keeping them happy.
It doesn’t take a lot to leave a reply!
Provide engagement, and add Call-To-Actions (CTAs)
Whatever you’re advertising or selling on your site, make sure you’re giving readers an option to take action. People are more likely to do something if you encourage them to. If you’re selling a product, ask them to try it out and see for themselves. If you’re posting a recipe, tell them to comment on how it turned out after they tried it and perhaps attach a photo.
People are busy, so you can’t rely on them to do something according to their own initiative. It’s best to help guide them towards action. Being informative in your posts, providing value to your readers, and adding multiple options for them to engage with your content will keep them coming back. Some ideas on how to engage are adding a “share” button for Facebook or a “pin” for Pinterest at the bottom of each article.
If you’re selling a product or post sponsored content on your blog, running a giveaway is a perfect way to get new followers to your site, and generate more traffic. People love free stuff. Giveaways can work by getting people to follow a couple of instructions in order to be eligible for participation. Those can be sharing your content on all social media platforms or signing up for your email list.
Giveaways can go viral very quickly, and guide new readers to your site. By having quality content, you’ll turn them into loyal followers and generate more hits.
Increase your exposure by using guest posts. This method will help you reach new followers, too. You can collaborate with other blogs, social media or video channels. Are you wondering how to do a guest post? It’s very simple – write content on someone else’s blog, and get your blog mentioned in exchange.
This works especially well if you’re marketing yourself and your professional expertise. If you’re trying to sponsor a product, however, you have to create valuable content around it. Otherwise, it will come off too salesy, and nobody likes that.
Create an email list
The email list is a crucial component to retaining your blog followers. Email subscribers will come back to your site every time you send them a letter with updates. The best way to get your email list optimized is by adding multiple opt-ins on your blog to have readers sign up.
Let your followers know how often the email updates will go out so that they don’t feel overwhelmed. You can choose to do a weekly or a monthly newsletter. Anything more than that risks appearing as spam.
Running a blog is a great way to keep all of your content in one place, and to talk to your followers on a more personal level. If you’re passionate about writing great, quality content and put in work, you could even make money blogging. Make sure to post high-quality content that provides value. Stick to a niche and listen to what your readers want.
Do your research and optimize for multiple keywords, including multiple calls to action. Tell all of your friends about your site on social media to get started, and you’ll be on your way to the front page of the search engine!