You've seen the surveys, the questionnaires, and the blog posts: Today's bloggers' biggest struggle continues to be growing traffic to their website and how to effectively do it. Growing your blog's traffic after all is the only real way that you're going to start seeing big results in your business–whether that be through monetization, partnerships, or promotions.
We've taken notice to this issue in the last year and have come up with a way to help bloggers all over the world uncover how to grow their traffic without the headache of figuring it out themselves. We're so thrilled to officially introduce and share with you our newest IFB eCourse, Traffic for Bloggers!
Growing Traffic: The Basics
Once you have the formula, growing your traffic isn't all that difficult. It all comes down to an easy-to-learn 6 step process. In our Traffic for Bloggers course, we'll give you that exact process to implement within your own business right away. Check out each week's step-by-step lesson plan and how you can start to grow your traffic in the next few weeks!
Step 1: The Psychology of Blogging
This week's lessons dive into why you blog, why your readers are reading blogs, and how you can match your content with their needs. We focus on standing out in a very crowded blogosphere, and what you can do to increase engagement on your posts. We have several action steps that will take you through all of our information and help you create a meaningful plan that you can act on. It's not difficult, but it's meaningful and it gets results.
Step 2: Understanding Your Audience
For this week, we dive into understanding and creating User Personas. This allows you to humanize your audience and create better, more targeted content that you know will get them engaged. We go through the ways you can learn from your existing traffic, and how to create goals for yourself and your audience.
Step 3: SEO – Part 1
For week one of the SEO saga, we look at what SEO is and isn't. Which parts you need to focus on and which ones to ignore. We cover onsite vs. offsite SEO so you can have a firm understanding of what drives the needle, and how Google interprets all of these things. Lastly, we cover the importance of links and how to not get them, while touching on things like CTR, article length, and other analytics metrics to watch for. Most people are scared by SEO, but we break it down to simple ideas that will get you the biggest results.
Step 4: SEO – Part 2
For this week, we'll explain keyword research and how to use it to grow your organic traffic. We discuss our favorite SEO tool that does 90% of the technical stuff for you. And lastly how to rework your old blog posts so they're as valuable as your next blog post. These draw upon internal tests we've been working on for the past year and we know they work and will increase your traffic faster than any other thing you can do.
Step 5: Social and Sharing
How to choose the right social networks for you, and why having too few may be better than having too many. We discuss how to get others to share your content, and how you need to approach the content to make people emotionally ready to share it. Finally, we discuss which tools we use and why we feel every blogger should be using them.
Step 6: Email Marketing
This is something that everyone needs to be doing, and we break down years of experience so you can understand the right way to do it, and the right way to encourage people to join your list. We'll discuss the tools to use and the emotional appeal necessary to make your email list a traffic creation tool.
Growing Traffic: Unique Ways
During my 3 1/2 years of blogging, I’ve discovered some unique ways to grow my site traffic and increase my blog’s Google Analytic stats, especially in terms of “pageviews” and “unique visitors.” When working with brands and in order to display your blog’s popularity, you want to pay special mind to the amount of monthly pageviews and unique visitors your site receives.
Pageviews determine the amount of times your site loads in a given period of time, from a frequent or new reader; while unique visitors refer to the number of distinct individuals requesting pages from a website during a given period of time, regardless of how often they visit.
Even though the pageviews number will always appear larger, it's the unique visitors number you want to strive to increase most often. Why? Because this statistic represents each new visitor coming to your site. As more visitors frequent your blog, the more your site will be seen and potentially bookmarked for future viewing. As a result, your pageviews number will increase.
When a brand reaches out with the inquiry to work with you, they typically look at both your site’s visitors and pageviews to determine the popularity in your blog. To gain in popularity, you want to focus your blog’s efforts towards gaining a following from a related audience that would be interested in the content you’re promoting. For example, if you have a fashion blog then gaining followers with either a fashion blog of his/her own or an interest in fashion to begin with would be your target audience to grab the attention of.
So what are the techniques behind growing your Google Analytic stats and gaining site popularity in the right audience? It’s all about sharing your content with the right people & in the right places.
Here are three successful ways you can start to grow your website's traffic:
1. CAPTION WISELY ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Besides sharing your content on social media, there are ways to heighten your actual site traffic by sharing on social alone. It starts with how you caption your posts! The trick is always leaving room for more information to be desired. The best way to trigger interest is in the form of a “question” or “cliff hanger” that can be further answered by visiting your site.
Facebook: one of the easiest ways I’ve captioned each of my posts is by copying and pasting the first two sentences of my blog post content and then cutting it short at the end; leaving “…” rather than completing my written thought. This shows the reader that there’s more information to be revealed and most often, will lead to the clicking of your link to follow up on what you were “about to say.”
Here’s an example of trying to trigger some sort of interest by cutting the sentence short:
Instagram: this platform can be a little harder to caption because you don’t want to overwhelm your followers with tons of words. So how do you maintain the focus of your post and still entice your followers to view your site for further details? Instead of cutting a thought off that triggers a sense of question, try to caption in a way that suggests you’re “revealing the secret” to something that can only be read on your blog post.
Here’s an example of an Instagram caption that hints my post has the solution to dressing a certain piece of clothing:
Of course, I don’t do this for every post but keeping it short is definitely the best way to caption. Ways to keep the focus in a short caption includes the topic of the post itself in the caption, sometimes in a straight up manner or through the use of humor.
Here’s an example of an Instagram with the topic in focus, plain & simple:
And here’s example of an Instagram captioning my mood as well as the giveaway opportunity available that can only be entered on my physical post:
Bonus trick: Make reading your blog post on your social media a simple task to perform.
When I share my daily posts on social media, I start by including “Today on To Be Bright” or “today on tobebright.com” within my caption to indicate the information is fresh. Then I remind my followers that the link to read my blog post is available to click on; including it physically in my Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest caption and including [link in bio] for my Instagram posts.
2. WEEKLY BLOG LINK UPS
At the end of each of my blog posts, I’ve included an italicized mini blurb listing a series of random text that changes with each day of the week. This is where I “link my post” with other fashion/lifestyle bloggers that are hosting a Blog Link Up Party on their own sites.
When you “link up” on another blogger’s site, your content is then shared with that blogger’s followers as well as other bloggers who share the same passions that you post about. For example, all the blog link-ups I participate in are fashion/personal style related; but there are plenty of blog link-up parties for every type of category out there! You just have to Google search wisely.
In the image below, the “Arrow” shows how most Blog Link Up Parties appear on posts, showing multiple submissions that are linked to other blogger posts that can be accessed by clicking the thumbnail. In the rectangle you can see how I show my link up lists at the conclusion of each post I want to share.
Linking up with other bloggers is very easy and normally requests just two tasks to join the party. 1) following the host(s) on Bloglovin’ and 2) linking back to their blog link up on your own post – this is why I list & embed them at the conclusion of each one of my own posts.
Once I started doing this, my Google Analytics sky rocketed and I started getting daily comments too! Which leads me to another tip to maintaining readers…
3. RESPOND TO YOUR POST COMMENTS
Responding to your comments is a great way to build and maintain a frequent reader following. When you physically respond to someone who took the time to comment on your post, you show a personalized approach that is received warmly, depending on the response given of course. Personally, I always say to take the high-road if you receive a negative comment and don’t delete it unless you definitely should. But for all those positive comments, your reader/commenter will see that you value what he/she has to say and therefore, will instinctively want to visit you more.
WordPress users: There’s a plugin that allows you to reply to your comments AND let your reader know you responded; this is accomplished with “Comment Reply Notification.” An email is sent to the reader when you’ve replied to his/her comment directly, showing you saw what they had posted to your site and most likely influences the reader to visit and comment again.
These tips just touch the top of the iceberg when it comes to SEO, but they should be easy enough tips to help you learn and understand SEO better and help increase traffic for your site. If you're ready to learn more or you're just really stuck on how to use SEO to your best advantage, check out the IFB course Traffic for Bloggers! It takes a deep dive into how you can start to use SEO tricks to grow your traffic dramatically.