15 Little Tricks To Get More Blog Traffic

Do you find yourself looking for new ways to drive traffic to your blog? Have you tried different tips and tricks to boost traffic only to find the same low stats every day? If you are like me, you are doing everything possible to increase engagement on your wonderfully written blog posts, but are coming up empty.

Today, I’d like to give you 15 little tricks that will help boost your blog traffic.

15 Little Tricks To Get More Blog Traffic

1. Write in first person

One of my biggest pet peeves when reading other blog posts is when the author doesn’t write in first person. Many bloggers make this mistake and as a result come across as less personal. The key to connecting with your readers is to write as if you are having a personal conversation with them.

2. Share multiple times

If you don’t already have a blog post schedule, now’s the time to make one. Share your content on a regular basis – new and old. Social media changes by the second so you want to make sure you expose your content to as many eyes as possible on a regular basis. Don’t spam your readers! There’s a big difference between spamming your readers’ email boxes vs regular promotion.

3. Post 3-4 times per week

Putting out new content 3-4 times per week will show your readers that you blog on a regular basis and are actively responding to feedback. Some bloggers will say they only produce 1-2 long posts per week, but it’s also a good idea to mix it up and share a few shorter posts. Focus more on the quality of the convent versus the word count.

4. Join Facebook groups

If you aren’t already a part of Facebook groups aimed at blogger promotion, now’s a great time to search for some in your niche. Be aware of the rules and participation requirements for the groups you join. There are many out there with strict rules and will ban members who don’t follow them. Start by joining my own group, Blogger Share and Promo Group.

5. Be active on social media

Social media is a gold mine for bloggers wanting more traffic. If you are not very active on Facebook or Twitter today, you are missing out on a potential boost in traffic. Create a Facebook page for your blog and share your blog content on it. Share your content across all of your main social media platforms and be sure to respond to comments immediately.

6. Link to other posts on your blog

I make it a rule to try to link to at least 2 of my older blog posts in every new post I write. Why? You connect your readers to more valuable information and keep them on your site longer. The longer a reader is on your site the more likely he or she will share your content.

7. Use a mobile-friendly theme

If you are using WordPress, you can filter down to only the themes that are mobile friendly. The majority of readers today are accessing your content through a mobile device, so make it easy for them to navigate your site. If you aren’t sure if your theme is mobile-friendly, pull it up on your phone and test it out.

8. Email your subscribers regularly

If you don’t already have a place for your readers to join your mailing list, take the steps today to get it set up so that you can begin sharing your content with your subscribers. I personally use MailChimp because of its wide variety of features and ease of use. Depending on your subscriber size, you may have to upgrade to their paid plan. One great feature of MailChimp I like is that it can send a list of all of the posts you published for the week to your subscriber list.

9. Comment on other blogs

One of the great ways to get your name out there is to simply read other blogs in your niche and make genuine comments on posts that interest you. Not only will you network with other bloggers, you’ll get the chance to share your own content with their followers.

10. Share with family and friends

Most of us probably don’t realize that there is a great source of traffic right at our fingertips. Our family and friends are great people to not only read and comment, but pass on the good content along to their friends. Just imagine if everyone in your family shared your content with their friends how much traffic you could get from it.

11. Ebay

How many of you have thought of eBay as a platform to draw in traffic to your blog? If you are one that sells products on eBay on a regular basis, simply add your blog URL with more information on the product for sale so that your customers can make an informed decision (and send you traffic!).

12. Join Blog Linkups

Blog linkups are regularly scheduled events created by bloggers for other bloggers to meet up and share their content. Many times, the link ups will have specific themes for each week/month.  Joining a link up means you share your content with other participating bloggers, thus increasing exposure to your blog. If you do join a linkup, read the participation rules and make sure to meet all of the sharing requirements.

13. Guest Post

If you haven’t provided guest posts up to this point in your blogging career, consider making it part of your regular blogging routine. Guest posting is a great way to have your content shared with many readers.

14. Host a Contest or Giveaway

One of the best (and fun) ways to draw traffic to your blog is to host a contest or giveaway. I periodically get emails from brands asking if I’d review a product for them and write a blog post about it. My usual response is to ask for a 2nd product that I can use as a giveaway item. Sometimes I reach out to brands directly and ask if they would be willing to provide one or two items for my giveaway. Make sure you are giving away quality products that people are interested in.

15. Create a video

Videos are a great way to get your face out there to your readers and allows them to hear your voice vs the words on a page. If you already have a ton of great content, you can take the post and turn it into a video tutorial or casual conversation. Create a YouTube channel and make sure to include a great description to draw in more search traffic.

Your turn

What tips and tricks do you have that have helped you grow your blog traffic? Share in the comments below!

ComboInk’s November Deal

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ComboInk's November Deal

How many times have you run out of printer ink only to find the replacement cartridge is more than buying a new printer? It’s just not right. We print a lot of random things in my house. It seems like we are running out of ink every month. The last thing we want to do is spend $50 every month just for ink cartridges.

I discovered ComboInk earlier this year. ComboInk specializes in quality printing cartridges, laser toner cartridges and printer accessories at deep discount. Their high-volume, online business model allows them to deliver amazingly low prices without compromising their quality.

Every month, ComboInk shares a deal for me to pass along to my readers. This month, they are offering 11% off of your entire purchase using coupon code 2TX11OFF.  They are also offering free shipping on all orders over $50.

I love buying my printer cartridges through ComboInk because not only am I saving a lot of money from not buying them at regular pices, but they also come with a one-year warranty.

I’m happy to share many deals with you like this one from ComboInk! Have you ever shopped with them?  How was your experience?

How I Fool People Into Thinking I’m a Good Pianist

I started piano when I was only 5 years old, and that was over 33 years ago. People have always told me that I’m talented at the piano. I was even voted “Most Talented” in my senior class in high school.  I’ve played for countless weddings, church services, recitals, and competitions over the last 33 years. I can’t tell you how many people say, “You’re so good!” or “I don’t know how you do that!” It’s all B.S. I’ve been fooling you all. Yes, I do love the piano and music with a passion, but I’m nowhere near close to good.

Mom, are your eyes wide open yet? Are you thinking that you wasted thousands of dollars on my piano lessons over the years? Well, no, you didn’t, they helped, but my level of understanding of the piano I learned myself and by listening to professionals for decades.

You must be wondering how I fool people into thinking I’m a good piano player. You are in luck! Today, I’m going to give you all of my best kept secrets and tips that help me mask my musical inabilities. Ready to get started?

How I Fool People Into Thinking I'm a Good Piano Player

1. Throw away sheet music

Sheet music is for wimps. Throw it away. You really don’t need it. All it does is get in your way and distract you. To be anywhere near a descent piano player, you need to train your ears, feet and hands, not your eyes. Your eyes should be focused on your audience!  Besides, sheet music is rarely exactly like any artist plays it. The artist is not usually the one who captures the notes on the page. Most of the time, computer software does this today.

2. Practice how you perform

If you want to be good at anything, you need to spend time practicing. The same holds true for the piano. My number one goal during practicing? Practice the way I’d perform it in front of 20,000 people. My goal has never been 100% perfection. It’s impossible. No piano player will ever play a song without making some type of mistake. What separates good musicians from bad ones is that they mask their mistakes. I don’t stop if I mess up – ever. Would I stop in front of a stadium full of fans if I hit E sharp instead of E flat? No. Always keep going. I fool people by acting like it was intentional and move along in the performance.  I can guarantee most people would never know that I made a mistake. This is the goal. Trick them into thinking it was played correctly. *You can fool non-musicians pretty easily, but it’s easier for other musicians to pick up your mistakes because they are trained to listen closer than the average person.

Always practice at performance speed. Never, ever, ever, EVER slow down a song when practicing. My college-level piano teacher would turn over in her grave if she heard I do that. She always taught me differently.  Why do I do this? If I learn a song at a slower pace, I’m going to get comfortable performing it at that speed. When I go to speed it up, I’m going to have to get comfortable again. Learn it at performance speed right away. It’s one less thing you have to pick up later on in practicing.  By practicing at performance speed, I teach my hands where they need to go on the key bed, how fast or slow they need to get there, and what fingering I need to use to get there on time.

3. Learn all you can about scales and chord progressions

The people who think I can play anything by ear have been fooled. How do I do this after hearing a song once or twice? It’s simple. I learned my scales and chord progressions many, many years ago. I paid attention and studied music theory. 90% of every song out there has a very simple chord progression. Take, for example, “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett. The main chord progression in that song is: D G A D. That’s it! If you can play 4 chords, you can play “Margaritaville.” All you’ll have to do after that is improvise in between chords. This is simple to do if you know your scales. BASIC MUSIC THEORY, folks!

4. Be aware of your what your hands are doing

If you are playing a fast song, the natural tendency is to tighten up your wrists. While it may be natural, it’s not the way you want to teach yourself to play fast. You want your hands to be loose. If I stuck my hand under your arms while you are playing, I should be able to jerk them up from the keys with ease. If I feel resistance, you’ve tightened up. It takes practice training your mind to constantly monitor how your hands are arriving to the keys.

Your hands control more than the keys. They control dynamics. If I want to play softly, I want my fingers to arrive to the keys slowly. In contrast, my fingers should arrive to the keys much faster if I want to play loudly. The trick here is not to bang on the piano, nor should your fingers do all the work. Use your wrists to help achieve the dynamic you’re wanting. Your fingers should never be flat to any key. Always play with a curved hand position.

5. Listen to professionals

My music idol, Billy Joel, is a phenomenal piano player. He always argues that he’s not a singer, but a songwriter. I happen to disagree with his statement, but I digress. I can play many Billy Joel songs on the piano simply because I’ve made it a habit of listening to his greatest hits and trying to mimic them.  Billy does a lot of things not many other musicians can, but he’s a good example to follow if you want to learn piano.

If you are going to listen to a professional and try to repeat it on the piano, make sure you add your own style to the song. Billy Joel’s Piano Man is iconic, and only Billy can give it the magic it’s had for over 40 years. This doesn’t mean that you can’t perform it. I’ve performed it a few times before, but I’ve thrown in a little bit of Jeremy’s music style while trying to keep the spirit of the song Billy intended it to have.

Another piano player I’ve listened to over the years is Sir Elton John. It’s no coincidence he and Billy toured together. Elton has a style completely different from any other musician – Billy included. Listen to how Elton fills in between the chord progressions. It sounds difficult, but it’s not. He’s made it art form, but he’s really just applying basic improvisation.

6. Record your performance

Now that we are in the age of smart phones, making videos of ourselves is so easy. I don’t like watching myself on video, nor do I like hearing my recorded voice. But, if you’re looking to improve your performance, record yourself performing. Make one recording of just your face when you are singing. Are you closing your eyes too much? Are you singing with your nose instead of your diaphragm? Make a second recording of your hands as you perform. Your arms should not be limp during performance. Are your hands right over the keys, or are they too far away? Make a third recording from behind so that you can watch your posture. Don’t slouch when performing. Not only does it look lazy, but it makes it more difficult to reach all areas of the keyboard.

7. Share your recordings with family and friends

Facebook has made staying in touch with family and friends so easy. If I wanted to share a song with them 15 years ago, I had to either perform it live for them, record it on an old-school tape recorder (horrible recording device for a piano, by the way!), or I had to buy a portable mixer and record to a CD. Today, I can simply record it on my phone or tablet and upload it to Facebook. It’s a great way to solicit feedback. I do caution you on soliciting feedback from people you know. They usually will give you good feedback because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. These are the people you want to ignore. When you post your video, make sure you point out that you want detailed feedback vs “that was great” or “you sound good.” Those types of comments don’t help you improve. Ask for feedback about dynamics, tempo, vocals, etc. If you ask for specific feedback about certain aspects of your performance, you’ll get it.

8. Perform on Facebook live on a regular basis

One thing I’m getting ready to try is performing a few songs on Facebook live. If you are tight on time and don’t have anywhere to play a gig regularly, Facebook live is a great place to try a live performance and get feedback. A live performance is a live performance, whether or not you are face-to-face with a crowd, or virtually over the web.

9. Find your favorite keys and stick with them

I didn’t intend for the header to be a joke, but I actually have one of my E keys on the piano sticking right now, so it kinda worked itself into a joke. There are certain keys I don’t play in for one reason or another. I steer clear of keys like B major or D flat. While I can play in them, they just feel awkward to me. I remember telling my mom I hated playing in E flat, but now I play a lot of songs very well in E flat. E flat is one of those keys that’s easy for me to remember all of the progressions. I can’t necessarily say the same for B major.

There are some keys that I feel 100% comfortable playing in, while other keys just give me nightmares. I don’t know why it worked out that way, but it did. If I ever attempt to perform live in the key of B major, it means someone’s holding me hostage and forcing me to do it.

10. Learn some classical music

Yeah, you read that right. Learn some of the classics: Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin. This does violate my first rule of no sheet music, but you aren’t doing this to perform. Classical music is a musician’s dream for learning different fingering techniques, playing with various tempos, executing the perfect dynamics, etc. I HATED having to learn and memorize classical music in high school and college, but I still am able to apply what I learned back then to the music I play today.

11. Write your own song

Write a song. Even if it sucks, write it anyway. I don’t care if it’s a basic song with only 3 chords and cheesy lyrics. Every musician needs to write at least one song – even if they aren’t a songwriter. Writing your own music gives you the freedom to be creative. While I also love playing cover songs, there’s nothing like sitting on stage performing your own music. I’ve done it before and had a blast doing it. You want proof that I did it?  Check out my 2004 Album, “Walk With You” on CD Baby. LOL yeah it’s terrible. I mean, HORRIBLE. I recorded it myself and playing all the instruments on it. It’s awful, but I did it!

Are you convinced yet?

I hope I’ve convinced you that I’m not some musical genius, but I have gotten really good at hiding the bad and bringing out the good. If I can do it, so can you. So, the next time someone comes up and tells me I’m good, I’ll know that my secrets worked.

It’s really fun to play the piano, and I hope to one day take an open mic stage or perform a full concert on Facebook Live.

Do you play the piano? Tell me about your experiences in the comments section below. I would love to read them!

 

Enter to Win an iPhone X from Puls!

All of my blog posts may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

Enter to Win an iPhone X from Puls!

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Enter to Win an iPhone X from Puls! Terms & Conditions Apply

Snuggle-Pedic Kool Flow Pillow Review

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Snuggle-Pedic Kool Flow Pillow (Queen Size)

Snuggle-Pedic Kool Flow Pillow Review

Who doesn’t like to sleep? That’s why I was super excited when the great people at Relief Mart contacted me with an opportunity to try out the pillow for free.  I’ve been sleeping on this pillow for about 2 weeks now, and I am very pleased with the results. Before I got this pillow, I was sleeping on 3 old pillows.  My new Snuggle-Pedic takes the place of all 3 of these!

I’m really enjoying my pillow so much because it’s not only the perfect size for my big head, but it’s also really soft. I can also reduce the level of stuffing inside the pillow for my liking. How often do you get to say you can customize your pillow?

Today, I’m going to give you a brief overview of the pillow and its features, as well as my opinion on the quality of the product. Keep in mind this post contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.

Features:

  • Kool-Flow™ Soft and Luxurious, Extra Breathable Micro-Vented Cover Made In The U.S.A. with 43% Visose of Bamboo, 56.4 percent Polyester, .6 Percent Lycra keeps you cool all night long!
  • Shredded Style Combination Memory Foam Pillow That never goes flat! Fully Machine Washable
  • Made in USA Certified Bed Manufacturer Using Eco-Friendly Biogreen® , in addition to using CertiPUR-US® certified foam
  • Conforming Shape Orthopedically Supports the Neck For Side, Stomach, & Back Sleepers Hypoallergenic & Dust Mite Resistant. Rolled & Vacuum Sealed For Eco-Friendly Shipping
  • 90-Day, No Hassle refund guarantee & free customizations. Industry leading 20-Year Warranty!

My Opinion:

I don’t buy pillows much. In fact, the pillows on our bed today are the pillows we bought when we got married in 2004. I was delighted to try out the Snuggle-Pedic pillow, and it did not disappoint me. My wife tried it last night…and I don’t think I’m going to be able to snag it away from her haha! That’s ok, though, these pillows are affordable enough that we can replace our entire set of pillows!

I love our Snuggle-Pedic pillow and will definitely be buying more for the family. I rarely get enthusiastic about something like a pillow, but I actually get excited to put my head down on it every night. It truly has helped me sleep better without waking up to reposition my pillows.

One amazing feature is that you can remove or add stuffing to the pillow to create the perfect comfort level. Some people like a firm pillow, while others like it softer. With the Snuggle-Pedic, you don’t have to worry any more about waking up at night to reposition and refluff your pillow. This amazing pillow keeps it form which helps you stay asleep.

I was very surprised that it came tightly wrapped in plastic. When I opened it up, it quickly took it’s shape and was ready to sleep on in just a few minutes. No other pillow I’ve bought ever came wrapped up like that!

Snuggle-Pedic Kool Flow Pillow

I highly recommend the Snuggle-Pedic for all members of the family. I’ve slept better and woken up more refreshed than I ever did before with my older pillows. With their affordable price, 90-day guarantee, and 20 year warranty, now’s the best time to get your hands on one. They also make great holiday gifts!

Where to buy:

Snuggle-Pedic pillows can be bought through Amazon. I’ve included my affiliate links to purchase them below. If you are looking for a particular size, they come in king, queen, full-body, toddler and kids, and standard.


What To Do When You Can’t Come Up With Blog Post Ideas

All of my blog posts may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission. Thank you for supporting me!

You really have the itch to write a new blog post and you are in front of your computer ready to go, but there’s one MAJOR problem. Nothing’s coming to mind. Have you ever experienced this? Believe it or not, there are things you can do to keep you completely busy even when you have writer’s block.

Your blog is like a house. It needs maintenance and tender-loving care every once and a while. When you are busy cranking out the blog posts, it’s easy to overlook other tasks necessary to keep your blog running and drawing in traffic. Let’s take a look at some of those things today!

What To Do When You Can't Come Up With Blog Post Ideas

1. Update old blog posts

Hey, some of the crap I wrote years ago is probably outdated. Those posts may still be drawing in some traffic, but the level of engagement has dropped tremendously. A good rule of thumb is to updated your blog posts every 6 months. Chances are, you’ll see increased engagement, and you’ll show your readers you want to keep the information you are sharing to them updated with the latest information.

2. Spend the day promoting across social media

Pick 3 posts you’ve written that 1) you really love and 2) get a lot of traffic. Share these posts across all of your social media accounts. If you participate in Facebook groups, spend time sharing these posts in your groups and engage with other bloggers.

3. Check for and repair broken links

Wait, what? I have good links on my site! No chance they are broken! WRONG! You’d be surprised, especially if you have been blogging for a while, how many links were good at the time you published a post, but have since broken. It happens. There are numerous free websites that will scan your site and report broken links. My favorite site is Dead Link Checker. Simply enter in your site’s URL and in a few minutes you’ll have a list of every broken link. Depending on the number of broken links, this will take some time to clean up, but it’s worth it!  Keep in mind that Dead Link’s free service only checks up to the first 2,000 links, so if you want to check more, you have to sign up for their auto-check service ($110/year)

Broken links not only damage your credibility and reputation as a blogger, but they also damage your site’s rankings in search engines. Trust me, this is a task you’ll want to complete regularly. Again, I shoot for every 6 months, but you can certainly do it on your own schedule.

4. Update your resources page

Please tell me you have a resources page. It’s one of the most critical pages on a blog – especially if you participate in affiliate marketing. I make it a habit to update my resource page every month, because I’m always coming across new products, websites, tools, and resources that I want to share right away.

5. Update your WordPress theme and plugins

New versions of WordPress themes and plugins are released all the time. Important security patches and enhancements can protect your site from vulnerability. Make it a habit to update these items as soon as the new versions are released. You can check for updates through your WordPress dashboard.

6. Backup your site

I hope you have a regular site backup installed on your blog. I can’t imagine what I’d do if nearly 2 years of blogging just disappeared. WordPress blogs can get hacked. It happened to me!  I use a free plugin called Updraft Plus Backup/Restore. There are premium options to this plugin, but the free options are sufficient for what I need. I save one daily backup of my files to Google Drive. Some plugins will save directly to your wp-content folder, but I advise against this in case the folder is unavailable, or is damaged – trust me, it happens!

7. Check your sidebar content

Take a few minutes periodically to check the content in your sidebar. If you have expired ads, remove them or replace them. Not sure what to put in your sidebar? Read my recent post: 8 Things You Should Include In Your Sidebar.

8. Check your comments queue

If you use WordPress, chances are you might have some comments pending your approval. This is a good opportunity to make sure there aren’t any legit comments sitting there. Be careful, as there is almost always going to be at least one spam comment. Delete the spam and approve the legit comments.

9. Update your media kit

By now, as an experienced blogger, you should have a solid media kit. If you have one, but haven’t touched it in months, now’s the perfect time. I strive to update my media kit monthly, but with everything going on at once, sometimes it goes a little longer. By keeping your media kit refreshed, potential customers and partners get your most accurate information.

10. Update your social media profiles

How long has it been since you updated your social media profiles? Bloggers depend on social media to connect with readers and fans, so to have an outdated profile is actually a step backwards towards building credibility. Whatever you put in your social media profiles, make them consistent. You can also take this time to disconnect from any social media accounts you don’t use. Spend time updating only those accounts you post to regularly (and maybe send out a post telling your readers to check out your new profile!).

11. Update your “About Me” page

One of the most important pages on your site is your “About Me” page. Make sure the information in your about me is up to date. Remember, your “About Me” page should be about how you can help your readers – and not your life story. Check out my “About Me” page (and feel free to provide any good or bad feedback….I can take it!).

12. Respond to feedback

Whether it’s an email, comment, social media post, etc., timely responses show your readers how engaged you are in your blog’s success. Take this time to monitor everything you need to respond to, and make sure your responses are valuable to your readers. Did a reader share a great idea with you? Give them credit through a tweet or a Facebook mention.

13. Update your posting schedule

If you don’t have a set schedule, and just post whenever, now’s a great time to create one for your blog and social media accounts. Planning ahead is one thing many of us don’t do very well, but could save us a lot of time in the long run. I know some bloggers who live by their schedules, and would be lost without them. I’m not quite there yet as I blog 2-3 times per week, maybe more, but could benefit from a set schedule. If you have a Pinterest account, there are free scheduling templates out there. Go grab one and put it to use!

14. Scour social media and news sites for ideas

If you’ve done all of the above, why not generate some ideas for new blog posts. One of the ways I do this is to see what’s new on social media and in the news. You’d be surprised as to how many ideas you can get just from one site. If you follow other bloggers, maybe check out what they’ve written about, and write a contradicting post about it, or write a spin-off of their topic. It’s easier to find topics to write about than you think. You just have to put a little effort into it!

15. Write an e-Book

By now, I think I have more than enough content to convert into an e-Book. The good thing about doing this is that you aren’t coming up with new ideas. You are taking your existing ideas and converting them into an easy-to-read eBook. If you have a lot of content, creating several eBooks on different topics can also keep you busy. Make sure to notify your readers on how they can purchase a copy whenever it’s ready. I recommend Blurb to help design your eBook!

Take that, Writer’s Block!

You don’t have to be less productive whenever you have writer’s block. With these 15 ideas, you are sure to stay busy, but at the same time, your blog will continue to stay refreshed, which only adds to its success!

Do you have any other ideas on how to be productive when your brain isn’t?  Share them in the comments!