7 Things You You Should Be Doing for More Blog Traffic

7 Things You Should Be Doing for More Blog TrafficA week or so ago, I asked my email subscribers to tell me their problems.

Well, not just any problems – but the things that they felt were holding them back from being successful with their blog.

The #1 answer I got was “I NEED MORE TRAFFIC!!”

Well, there are lots of things you can do to get more traffic, but some of them are better than others. The secret isn’t just in the raw numbers, what you really want is to build your community.

I’m gonna go over that distinction more in future posts – BUT…

It is true that in order to build a community, you do have to get traffic!

So today I’m going to give you some ideas you can use. This aren’t simple little things; you’re gonna have to roll up your sleeves and put a little work into it. You want to pull in the right kind of traffic, and then you want to convert that traffic into followers.

Here are 7 basic steps that will get the ball rolling and start getting you traffic into your blog.

 

Feed the Spiders

7 Ways To Get Traffic Now - Google SpidersWhile you’ve been focusing on how many readers you have coming to your blog, there’s another type of visitor you might not be as aware of – the search engine spiders, also known as “searchbots”.  The good news is that if you post on a regular basis, the spiders will like your blog naturally; much like a real spider loves a fresh fly, the search spiders love fresh content.

Once the spiders find your blog, they look at it as a new feeding place and will come back frequently to see if there’s any fresh stuff laying about. The more often you post, the better they like it. As they find your new posts, they start doing their little calculations to decide where you belong in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Google and the other search engines know that readers love fresh content – so the more fresh content you have, the better your ranking will be.

You can help your rankings by making sure you use strategic keywords and phrases.  Keywords are the terms people use when they search for something.  You want to make sure you work in some long tail keywords, because they have less competition in search.

A keyword might be “chicken” – but a long tail keyword phrase would be “30 minute meals with chicken thighs”.  You’d be hard pressed to rank a word like “chicken” in the SERPs – think how many millions of times it’s used on the internet! But because there are bound to be fewer sites using that exact long-tail phrase, you’d be much more likely to rank and be found by people who search for it.

Building a Buzz Via Word of Mouth

One of the best ways to get traffic quickly to your site is through word of mouth.  It doesn’t even matter if your site is really new – because people care more about quality than authority when it comes to spreading the word.

So – how do you create that buzz? First, create content that is so kickass that people can’t believe you’re just giving it away for free.  And then, make sure people have a way to share that content. 

Thsocial mediaere are tons of tools – plugins – you can add to your blog that make it easier for people to share. Look at the bottom of my post – I’ll wait here….  Back? Ok 🙂  Those round sharing buttons are from a plugin called Jetpack that I think just about every WordPress blogger uses.  It’s SUPER easy to use, and you can set it up to allow people to share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest;  to sites like Tumblr and Reddit, or even straight to email.

Remember up there where I told you to feed the spiders by blogging consistently? Well, despite that, you should never put quantity of posts ahead of the quality. If your content sucks, people don’t stick around to read it – they bounce right back to wherever they came from.  The number of people who do that determines your bounce rate – and if yours is high, the spiders will realize your blog isn’t providing value to people and your position in the SERPs will start to fall.

 

Submit Your Site To Google

Google Webmaster ToolsThis is mostly important when you’re new, and new people are usually the ones that have no idea they should do it.  Google allows you to submit your site to make sure it’s been indexed.  When we say “indexed”, basically, what we mean is that the spiders have seen it, figured out what it’s about and added to the big directory – the SERPs.  You have to be indexed if you want to get any search engine traffic.

If your site is brand new and hasn’t been indexed yet, then go to Google Submit and submit it, simple as that.

Next, you’ll want to register for an account with Google Webmaster tools. Whenever you publish a new page or post, log in and click on your site name. On the left menu, click on “Crawl”, and then “Fetch as Google”.  Enter your new URL to have the the Google spiders run out and “fetch” your new page.

Once it’s done, you’ll get a status update – then you’ll choose “Submit to Index”. You can also use this to have Google recrawl a page or post that you’ve made changes to. It’s not really necessary if the spiders are crawling your page regularly – but if you’ve made a major change, you may want to do so just to get it changed quickly in the search results.

 

Forums and Signatures

chat buttonIn these days of Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, it seems people have forgotten about using the old school forum as a source of traffic.

And it’s a shame, because it’s one of those things that still really works, even after all this time.

The key is your signature. In many forums (but not all!) you’ll be able to add a signature file which, as the name suggests, adds a signature to the bottom of any posts you make.  Your signature needs to be something really groovy, that makes people want to click on it – like a free giveaway or some kind of teaser line.

There’s a fine line to walk here – if it’s something too over the top, it might not be allowed. Look at other people in the forum and see what kind of signatures they use,  and then create yours accordingly.  Some forums will have a post where they spell out their rules on sigs, so take a look around for that, too.

So you’ve joined a forum (in your niche, of course!!), created a swell signature…  Now what?

Participate. Just like driving traffic with social media, you need to reach out and connect with people. Be helpful, answer questions, post helpful threads and be active. If you’re seen helping people out and giving good information, people will want to click on your link and learn more about you, to see what else ya got.

Also – like social media – you don’t have to spend all day in the forum! Pop in, answer a couple threads, maybe share something new, then leave. Forums can be a HUGE time suck if you let them – it’s very easy to pop in for “just a minute” and lose half the day. Be purposeful – go in, do what you need to do, and get out.

 

Tweet It

For such a tiny little thing of only 140 characters, a tweet on Twitter can pack a powerful punch if done right. The key is finding the right balance of business and personal tweets.

twit birdIf all your tweets are business related, people tend to turn it off. People joke about how Twitter is all people talking about what they had for lunch, but the truth is, your followers DO often get a kick out of reading the mundane details of your life. That’s the very stuff that helps you build a relationship.

Of course, every time you add a new post to your blog, you should tweet it out with the appropriate #hashtags.  Try using the Google Chrome extension Rite-Tag to find the best tags for your posts. It will help people interested in your topic find your tweet and follow you.

Follow other people in your niche; use the search to find people who’ve been tweeting about it. Comment on their tweets, and don’t forget about the “favorite” – you can get a lot of follows from people simply by favoriting their tweets.

 

Facebook It

facebook_notesEven though Facebook is going through some serious changes, it’s still king. Throw a stone up in the air, and I betcha when it lands, it’ll hit somebody with a Facebook account, that’s how popular the site is.

Create your own fan page or group for your blog and start commenting on other people’s pages. Much like with forums, the key here is building relationship. You can find some amazing groups of like-minded bloggers who are happy to share your page, your blog posts and more.  And really, it’s the ability to easily share information that makes Facebook so amazing.  It’s the easiest way to get something to go viral.

If organic sharing isn’t working for you, you can consider boosting or promoting your posts on Facebook. This gives you the opportunity to share your posts with thousands of other people who may be interested. It’s easy to do and can be done with as little as $5 to start – it’s a great way to start learning the ropes of paid advertising.

 

Comment on Other Blogs

Commenting on other people’s blogs is a great way to connect with people and to get your links out to the world. But you have to do it right, or you could wind up being labeled as a…. SPAMMER (gasp!.. NOooo!)

Boring blog commentsDon’t worry though, I’m gonna tell you how to do it right 😉

Start out by finding blogs in your niche by searching for your keyword. You can use the search tools to limit your search to only show recent posts, that’ll help you find fresh content. Look for sites that are getting plenty of comments.

What you’re specifically looking for are blogs that let you leave a post URL with your comment – It will ask for your name, your email and then will have a third spot for an optional website. For our purposes here, we won’t waste our time with Facebook or Disqus comments, and personally, I don’t even like leaving comments on Blogger blogs.  (I do for my friends – that’s a whole other situation – but we’re talking ’bout getting traffic here, not hanging with our friends).

Do NOT post random, boring comments like “Nice post” or “Thanks for this information”.  I will hunt you down and smack you with a flounder. Read the post and think of a way to add to the conversation, for heaven’s sake.

You want people to click on your link and come to your blog, right?  That’s the whole point of this! So offer some insight that makes other people go “Well I’ll be danged, that is one pithy comment! I want to go see more of what this gal has to say!” and then click on your name and come to your blog and fall in love with you.

You will not get that kind of response with “Great post”.

 

Go Viral

viral productsI know, I make it sound so easy, don’t I.  Going truly, massively viral is a rare thing – but you should write every post with that goal in mind.

But I’m not really talking about that kind of viral here… I’m talking about something a little more subtle.  I’m talking about creating something – something of value, something that people can’t believe you’re giving it away because they would have gladly paid for it.

This isn’t something you want to cut corners on – when you create something like this, whether it’s a infographic, a PDF or a video series, you have no way of knowing how far it’s going to travel, and if it’s crappy, that’s your reputation being damaged forever, because there are no takesy-backsies once it’s out on the interwebs.

So let’s say you’re going to create a PDF with the intention of it going viral:

  • Don’t make people jump through hoops – the goal here isn’t to get people on your list. This is to get yourself known and bring traffic to your site. Have hyperlinks to your site or opt-in forms inside the PDF, yes – but give it to people for free and encourage them to share it with all their friends.
  • Don’t worry about how long it is.  Make it as long as it needs to be in order to be freaking amazing. Whatever you choose to write about, be thorough.
  • Images, pictures, graphs whatever – not as important in this – but make sure that the formatting is correct and that the grammar and spelling are checked and double checked.
  • Pour as much effort and value into your freebie as if it were going to be a $1000 product to sell on your blog. We are going to impress the bejesus out of people with this thing, and they’re going to say “Holy crap, I’ve got to send this to Barbie!” or “I’ve got to post this on my Facebook page!” or “I’ve got to retweet this RIGHT THE HECK NOW!”
  • Again – tell people to share it. Let them know this is free for anyone who wants it and they are welcome to send it to every single person they know who might be interested. Plant the idea in their head like a little worm.  They might not think of it on their own, but if you tell them to, they’ll be like “Oh yeah! I bet Barbie would love this!”

 

 

Consider Writing a Press Release

You might think that press releases are only for big companies  – but there’s no reason for you not to use them with your blog.

There are a lot of things you can write a press release about:

  • Launching a new service
  • Introducing a new product
  • Launching – or relaunching – a blog
  • Announcing a contest
  • Offering a new free product
  • Introducing new blog team members or co-writers
  • Participation in an event
  • Media appearance

 

I think you get the idea.  There are literally hundreds of sites out there to submit your press release to for free, and if it works for you, you can pay later to upgrade for even more exposure.  What’s really groovy is that press releases get ranked by Google and can definitely help generate long term traffic for you.

If you aren’t sure how to write a press release, just remember that it should be written like news story, not like a blog post. You want the important info at the beginning, give your contact links later. I know this is something that’s really new (or even unheard of) for a lot of people, so I found an article that has great info on it and a list of 20 free places to submit your press releases – Free Press Release Distribution

 

It can take awhile to build a healthy stream of traffic to your blog, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen overnight! The only secret to success is to keep creating kickass content that brings targeted traffic – and then focus on turning those visitors into loyal readers!
The Take Action WAHM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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72 responses on 7 Things You You Should Be Doing for More Blog Traffic

  1. Thank you so much for all of this excellent information, Kelly. I have heard of crawlers, but I didn’t know what they were. I also didn’t know anything about submitting my site to Google. As far as sharing on social media, I do try to do a little bit of the 3 I have chosen. I certainly don’t put all of my eggs in one basket. Pinning & sharing this one. Thanks, again.
    Heather @ My Overflowing Cup recently posted…7 Things To Keep When Money Is TightMy Profile

    1. Pinterest has been my overwhelming #1 source of traffic ever since I started this blog. Even though I’ve been been working hard on other methods, it still hurts to see Pinterest changing!

    1. I did when my site was really new – but now I figure that I’ve been posting often enough that the spiders know to check here regularly. The only time I would now is if I made some really significant changes to a page or post and wanted to make sure it got changed in the SERPs quickly.

  2. Kelly, it’s like you read my mind and answered all my questions. The info on feeding spiders and press releases were the missing ingredients I needed for my blog recipe.

  3. Thanks, Kelly, you are always inspiring to me. One thing, though. Why don’t you like to leave comments on Blogger blogs? Is it harder to do? I hope I don’t have Captcha on. Horrors. Best wishes, Linda Crafts a la mode

    1. Oh, no – I don’t mind leaving comments on Blogger blogs generally speaking – only in the case when I’m specifically looking to leave a link. But when I’m visiting my blogging friends or just leaving a comment because I loved a post, that’s no problem at all 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jessica! (And for anyone that hasn’t seen it, Jessica’s recipe that she’s linked here is AMAZING – go check it out! )

  4. Nice post. Just Kidding. But really, so helpful and informative! The perfect help or reminder to new or older bloggers. Thanks for taking the time to type it all up and not just a simple word or two but to actually tell about each one! Well written!

    1. Haha 😀 Thanks, Janelle – I figured with so many people looking for information, it wouldn’t hurt to go into a little bit more detail.

    1. Once it’s been up for a while, Google will find it on it’s own – but when you’re just getting started, it’s smart to give it that little kick start.

    1. I have to come back to my own posts sometimes to remind myself what I should be doing – there’s a lot to keep up with!

  5. I loved the article and have been doing a lot of the things that you suggest. My big problem is consistency. I tend to let myself get sidetracked and overwhelmed by my list of things to do. Plus, I don’t have a good work flow – do this, then this and then this. I’m all over the place.

    My question is how do some commenters get the recently published link at the end of their comments? I LOVE that!

    Oh wait, I see it popping up on the bottom of my comment screen – but it’s never been there before when I’ve commented on other blogs. How did it show up?

    Thanks,
    Shannon
    Shannon recently posted…Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars – Brady’s Cooking AdventuresMy Profile

    1. I know what you mean, Shannon – it can be hard to stay consistent. I think the biggest reason is that we try to do too much too fast, and just get overwhelmed – it turns into gridlock and we don’t get much of anything done. One thing that can help is to pick one thing on your list, then set a timer for 25 minutes. Work on it for that long, then take a break. If 25 minutes isn’t long enough to finish it, do it again. Giving yourself that deadline actually helps your brain stay focused better, because you feel like you’ve got an ending time instead of feeling like the task is endless. I wrote a post a while back about dealing with distractions that might help – http://wp.me/p4lVqQ-32

      The link at the bottom is from the CommentLuv plug in – anytime you see it installed on a blog, you should be able to leave your link like that.

      1. You even leave pieces of golden tips in the comments, Kelly. Thank you.

        I’ll be implementing what you suggested into my way of working.

        One thing that I’ve been doing is writing down what I have to do everyday then uncheck them when I’ve actually done it. It helped me a lot.

        Regards,
        Samuel
        Samuel recently posted…Use This Brilliant Way of Marketing to Reach New HeightsMy Profile

      2. Thanks so much, Samuel. I love your checklist idea, I do the same. If you’ve got a lot of actions that you repeat every day, you can print up a list and laminate it for a reusable list. Just use a dry erase marker!

  6. Wow! I’m so glad I found your post. I still consider myself a new blogger (since May 2014) and I have so much to learn. Using the methods you mentioned will help so much. Some I have done others I have not (like forums) and will definitely turn my focus more to certain areas. Thanks for sharing this info with the world!
    Heather recently posted…Quick & Easy way to Make Pom PomsMy Profile

    1. I’m so glad you found it helpful, Heather! I try to have a mix of information so that there’s something for everyone, no matter how long they’ve been blogging, but I really love helping new bloggers the most!

  7. Thanks for this! The tips on feeding the spiders and the reminder about being able to submit to Google (and other search engines!) were great tips. I’m new to the blogging game — glad to come across resources like yours 🙂
    Andrea recently posted…Some good reads this weekMy Profile

  8. Thanks for this great information, Kelly. I especially like the idea of getting involved in a forum, sharing useful information, and using a signature to drive traffic to your blog.

    A couple of people mentioned that Pinterest is changing. Could you explain that?

    1. They’ve changed the way that they’re sharing pins to your followers, Gaye. Before, when you went to the front page of Pinterest, you would see pins from everyone you follow, in chronological order. Now, they’re doing things a bit more like Google, and tracking your interests to (supposedly) show you things that you would find more interesting. That means that while your pins used to get shown to all of your followers, now it’s only shown to some – kind of like Facebook. When they first made the change, I saw a big decrease in my traffic from Pinterest, but it seems like it’s bounce back this week – we’ll see how it goes in the future!

  9. Feeding the spiders is the one area I need to focus on. Providing fresh content on a regular basis is difficult for me. My full time job zaps all my energy. By changing my thinking to “feeding the spiders” this will help me stay challenged. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Carol recently posted…Decorating the Foyer For Fall 2014My Profile

    1. The good news is you don’t have to blog every day – once or twice a week is plenty if that’s all you can get to. Sometimes, it can be easier to write a couple of posts on the weekend and then schedule them to go out during the week. It’s all about finding that schedule that works right for you. 🙂

    1. And that’s where your building your email list comes in, so you can “capture” your visitors and start a conversation with them 😉

    1. I know! About 2 weeks ago, I joined a new forum a couple of weeks ago, and I’m seeing people come from there even though I haven’t even got a signature yet (you have to be a member for a certain length of time first). But I did get a link to my home page on my profile, and people are clicking through from there.

  10. Prior to beginning my blog in July of this year, I had no idea that you could actually submit to Google. I’ve been learning a lot of things over the past three months and I still have plenty to learn, but it has been so great to have my own place to share my thoughts. I know that getting traffic takes time – that’s probably the toughest part!
    Tori recently posted…Weekly Wardrobe Wishlist: Round 12My Profile

    1. I know – Google submission is something really that new bloggers need to know about, and they’re the least likely to know! Usually by the time anyone figures out they can do it, Google has already found them anyway.

  11. Thanks for providing even excellent ways to consistently generate
    targeted traffic Kelly!

    If anyone were to consistently apply the seven potential target
    generating strategies that you suggest Kelly, that certainly
    begin to notice a dramatic increase in their daily traffic!

    Let’s hope if nothing else, they pick just out one or two proven
    strategies to begin with and master them as best they can and just slowly
    incorporate some additional strategies as they go!

    Great job as usual!Thanks!
    Mark recently posted…Who Says You Can’t Learn Three Powerful Marketing Lessons From A Really Bad Personal Relationship?My Profile

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