I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: visitors are oxygen. Without traffic your blog will stop breathing! In this post I’m going to help you not only breathe but flourish by outlining how to increase blog traffic.
As I go through each of these methods, I’ll provide links to specific strategies or useful information I’ve posted on SideGains to help you achieve this goal.
A Note on Blog traffic
Let’s be clear about it… traffic should be your number one priority. Of course you need content on your blog… lots of it and high quality too.
But without visitors your blog is nothing more than a journal!
Sadly blog traffic is hard won. There are no shortcuts and no secrets to growing traffic other than time, effort and patience.
However, it is entirely possible to increase traffic to your blog by applying strategies to make it happen.
So how do you do it?
5 Tips on How to Increase Traffic to a Blog
There are many different strategies for increasing blog traffic. For the purposes of this post I’ll be looking at 5 of the most common and effective ones:
- Organic Traffic
- Paid Advertising
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Offline Advertising and Promotion
Some of the lines between these traffic generating techniques are blurred though, since some of them span one another.
1. Organic Traffic and SEO
The holy grail for most bloggers, organic traffic is thought of as free traffic. That’s to say you don’t pay at the point your blog posts show in an organic search result or whenever anyone clicks a link therein.
But there is undoubtedly a cost to growing organic traffic. It takes (usually) your time and effort to increase traffic from this channel and if you don’t believe this is a cost, then good luck to you!
Your time is a resource… and it’s a finite one at that.
When you start a blog you’ll need to work hard to build high quality content for it (no small task in itself) and then work to promote it so your blog posts will appear in organic search results for the terms you’d like.
But how do you promote your blog posts to increase organic traffic?
I’ve mentioned that high quality content is the foundation, but without backlinks you’ll never get anywhere in most blogging niches.
Backlinks are signals to search engines like Google and Bing that your content is valuable. As a general rule, the more links to your blog, the more likely it will appear high in the search results for your desired search terms.
Not only this but the greater domain authority a linking site has, the more power and influence that link will have on your placement in search results.
While building backlinks is a relatively straightforward process, it takes time and effort to do properly and requires its own post to do it justice.
I’m currently working on an article about link building, so I’ll link to it from here when it’s ready.
2. Paid Advertising
There’s more than one way to skin a cat and while SEO offers a potentially huge source of blog traffic it takes time to grow.
Paid advertising on the other hand can drive traffic to your blog immediately… but like it says on the tin, you have to pay for it!
Unlike SEO, paid online advertising works immediately because you leapfrog organic search traffic by paying for it. You create ads on a platform, set up targeting rules and schedule them to run.
Paid advertising can take the form of:
- Or a combination of all of them
Where can you run paid advertising?
Simply put, absolutely everywhere!
Many of the platforms you already use have programs that enable you to run advertisements:
- Google Ads for Google searches and Google’s network of publishers in the AdSense network.
- Microsoft Advertising for searches in Bing
Each platform works slightly differently than the other, but the basic concept is the same: you step over organic results based upon algorithms and step into a more select paid program, which gives the pages you’re promoting more visibility.
Paid advertising however is not for the faint hearted and you’ll likely only run ads to promote your blog if you have processes in place to monetize your blog traffic.
Find out how much PPC costs.
Most new bloggers will be rightly nervous about paying for ads, sponsored tweets or promoted pins just to get visits without monetization strategies and mechanisms in place to make a positive gain from advertising spend.
Nonetheless it’s worth knowing that paid advertising can certainly help to increase blog traffic if you’re in the right place monetization-wise and have some money to invest.
Paid advertising can also be highly effective if you want to grow your email list with a compelling lead magnet… and email lists can become a gold mine for traffic.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is something that many new bloggers leave to one side. They may be aware it’s important, but the lust for search traffic often takes precedence.
I understand this since it’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario: you need traffic to get email subscribers.
However, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start trying to grow an email list from the get go. When you think about it, it really does make sense to do so.
The moment you start adding to an email list, no matter how small, you can begin building a closer relationship with people who’ve visited your blog.
Don’t be deterred because you only get 20 visits to your blog a month right now… you might be able to persuade 1 of those visitors to sign up to your newsletter.
Of course you might not be able to generate much revenue with 1 or 2 new subscribers a month, but you may be able to start developing a very strong relationship with them to bring with you on the road to hitting 10,000 subscribers.
Email Marketing is a Powerful Way to Increase Blog traffic
Email marketing is still ranked as one of the most powerful channels, due to the fact that your email list contains people who are warm to you:
- They visited your blog previously.
- Signing up to your newsletter was a decision THEY made.
- They may have received value from you as encouragement to sign up.
The Data and Marketing Association’s 2020 Marketer Email Tracker report, shows that 75% of marketers believe email marketing is their most effective channel ahead of social media and search.
These are people who can see with the businesses they work for how important email marketing is.
Even if you’re not able to put into place automated email sequencing or sophisticated affiliate marketing driven mail shots, it doesn’t take much effort to create a bi-weekly summary of your recent blog posts to get the ball rolling.
This alone can help people to remember you and return to your blog to check out what else you’ve been up to.
Of course you need to encourage people to sign up to your newsletter before this can happen. To do this, you’ll need a service to manage your list and a method to nudge them towards signing up.
Email Marketing Services
Use a free email marketing service to get started… there are many from which you can choose:
Each of these providers offer free packages to get you up and running and you won’t need to pay a bean until you reach around 2,000 subscribers.
I use Mailchimp right now but you could choose any free provider to get started, build a signup form and start growing your list.
Why not start today? Get a free mail service account and start sending a monthly newsletter with a summary of your latest posts and / or interesting links you’ve found?
It’s madness not to try to increase traffic to your blog through encouraging subscribers to pay you a visit once in a while.
4. Social Media Marketing
The rules for growing traffic on almost any social media platform are pretty much the same: you must be active on the platform and engage with other people.
Whether you’re spending time on Twitter or trying to build a following on Instagram, engagement is the number one thing that will get you noticed by others: it’s not called social networking for nothing!
When you engage with others you’re networking. You engage by liking, sharing and commenting on the content others publish, and if you do it consistently over a long enough period people will begin to notice you.
This is a step on the ladder to increasing your blog traffic. When people begin to notice you they’ll start paying attention to your content, engaging with it and amplifying what you’re saying.
This ultimately leads to traffic growth, especially if the people who engage with you have large audiences.
See more posts on social media marketing.
Over time with consistent engagement and by publishing quality content on your social media accounts you can build a loyal following who will possibly visit your blog and share links to it.
When people start sharing links to your blog that’s when traffic from social media can begin to flourish.
I won’t lie to you though, since like many other traffic growth techniques it takes time to build authority and a following hanging off your every tweet, LinkedIn post or Pinterest pin.
But it is possible for anyone who engages regularly and consistently with thoughtful and valuable input.
Looking to Grow in Pinterest?
Check out my 3-step sociable Pinterest Marketing Strategy to add a boost to your Pinterest marketing efforts.
5. Offline Advertising and Promotion
You don’t only need to think about online channels to build traffic: offline channels can help get your name into the public consciousness and drive visits to your blog too.
Do you have something newsworthy to talk about? Why not let your local newspaper know about it for a local feature. Perhaps a local radio station might be interested in picking up the same story?
How about local business directories where you could pay for advertising? Or even classified ads in your local newspaper?
Okay these methods might not result in a big increase of blog traffic, but maybe it’ll encourage someone to sign up to your newsletter.
That person could turn out to be your biggest fan. Maybe they’ll engage with you in social media. Perhaps they’ll write about you on their blog and give you a backlink.
Or perhaps your local newspaper or radio station might link to you from their websites.
The point is, something small can make a big difference. There’s an old English proverb that underlines this perfectly:
From little acorns do mighty oaks grow.Old English Proverb
Even relatively tiny things have the capacity to grow into something much bigger. The smallest touchpoint in your strategy to increase blog traffic might make the difference you need to see an impactful increase in visitors as time passes.
Summary: How to Increase Blog Traffic
I’ve listed 5 ways how to increase traffic to your blog:
- SEO and organic traffic
- Paid online advertising
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Offline Advertising
Each of these channels has the potential to increase your blog traffic but it likely won’t happen overnight.
Work on strategies to increase your reach in these channels and over time this will surely result in traffic growth.
That’s all for now.
What are your thoughts on this post? Do you have other ideas on how to increase blog traffic? Drop me a comment or question below and let’s talk about it.