Hey, you know the deal, I gotta tell you that this post contains affiliate links.
I haven’t been a blogger for long – just over 1 year to be exact. In that time I’ve learned a lot of what to do and what NOT to do. There are 8 specific steps you can take today to make your blog’s traffic increase light-years ahead of where it is today. I’m really excited to share these 8 steps with you today in hopes that you will experience the same success that I have.
Increase Word Length
It’s been proven that Google, as well as the other search engines out there, love longer posts. But, you shouldn’t just focus on hitting 1,000 words per post. If your content doesn’t help anyone solve a problem, or provide a wealth of knowledge, what good is word count? Specific examples and specific directions lead to more blog engagement.
I challenged myself as a part of my New Year’s resolutions to write posts with a minimum of 800 words. The posts where I’ve hit or exceeded this target have seen higher engagement and page views. Rather than throwing together 2-3 500 word blog posts per week, I reduced my blog posts to 1-2 longer-crafted posts focused on real engagement.
When I reviewed my older blog posts, I quickly came to notice that the shorter blog posts still did ok, but they weren’t ground-breaking. I was lucky to get 10 views on them. Occasionally, they would see higher views, but not to the extent that my longer posts get.
Make the Sharing Process a No-Brainer
Have you ever been to another blog post and tried to figure out where the share bar was? You read some super cool content, but now have no easy way to share it. Bummer, right? It is YOUR job as the author to make it a breeze to share content across multiple mediums.
Since I use WordPress to run my blog, I rely on Shareaholic buttons. Shareaholic is a simple WordPress plugin that makes sharing content across dozens of social media accounts so easy. I use the float buttons on the left side of my blog and make it easy for readers to click and share. It shouldn’t be harder than that. If readers are having to scroll to find your share buttons, click on a drop down menu, or even go to another page, you’re set up to fail. MAKE IT SIMPLE!!
Focus on Pinterest
Pinterest is by far my most engaging social media account. Not only do I share a lot of other content across multiple boards, but every time I create a blog post, I’m posting it to one or more Pinterest boards.
Join group boards and become a collaborator on boards that fit your niche. You’ll find that repins will easily quadruple with the use of automatic scheduling apps such as Tailwind or Boardbooster. Yes, there is a fee to use these services, but it’s worth it in the end. For a small price, you can dramatically blast traffic well beyond where you ever thought was possible.
I spent all of February doing nothing but reworking all of my images to be friendly for Pinterest. I had hundreds of blog posts – but all of them got worked over again. Making your images Pinterest friendly is key to seeing higher engagement and repins.
Oh yeah, and please don’t set up a Pinterest account without creating matching cover photos for all of your boards. It’s worth it! It makes your account look professional, clean, and consistent. Do it. No matter how much time it may take.
Content is Key
No matter what else you do to your blog – whether it be a new theme, shiny banner ads, or slick widgets running down the sidebar, no one is going to give a rat’s ass about your blog unless you write useful and helpful content. This is why it’s so important to pick your niche right away and go with it. Writing on a slew of various topics and not keying in on your niche will set you up for a very useless blog. As a matter of fact, there are a few blogs I’ve unsubscribed from over the past few weeks for that reason. Some bloggers are just spitting out crap every day just to post. I guess that’s OK if you aren’t trying to build a brand. Quality vs quantity is ALWAYS better!
So, I’m going to give you a challenge for reworking your content. Go back through each post and find at least 2 more ways to present the content. Did you know that some blog posts can easily become videos or slide shows? Creating your content in more than one medium GREATLY increases the opportunity to increase views. Try it!
Cut out Crap
We all have crap on our blogs that we know isn’t the best content. If you are unable to find use for it, or rework it into valuable content, hit the DELETE button immediately. I went through every single blog post over the course of 30 days, and deleted the crap off of my blog. You want to put your best foot forward every time you create a post.
I had a weekly linky party that wasn’t getting much attention, but took a lot of time to manage and schedule. I cut it out of my regular posts and opened up more time to try newer and better things. Of course, what works for me may not work for you. If something is drawing in a ton of views, by all means don’t cut it out. Be smart about it!
Reviews and Giveaways
I’ve hosted a few giveaways, and I can tell you there is a lot of interest in FREE STUFF! If you don’t have a product of your own to offer, don’t cry. I’ve reached out to multiple companies to request free stuff for the purpose of an honest review and giveaway. Sometimes the company may not respond, sometimes they may say no, but most of the time you’ll get some sort of sample.
When I wrote my latest review of Candy Club, I emailed my affiliate marketing contact to ask for a free box of candy to review. They gave me what I asked for, and as a result, I was able to draw in a lot of attention to that blog post. And, the candy was absolutely delicious too!
Product reviews should be written in such a way that readers feel your honesty. Just because you get a free product to review doesn’t mean you have to be 100% positive about it. There are going to be times when you get a really crappy product to review. It is your responsibility to share your experiences and opinions with your readers. If you give them fluff on every review, they will move on to another review. Be honest, be candid, and be detailed!
I can’t tell you how much impact being a part of Facebook groups and Pinterest boards has been in growing my network of blogging friends and boosting my traffic. One of the best ways to get your name out there is to respond to comments, form friendships with niche bloggers, and be a friend to all of those on their blogging journey as well.
I run my own Facebook group, Blogger Share and Promo Group. As I have transitioned to more of a blogger about blogging vs a blogger about parenting and sports, I’ve been able to join specific groups of like-minded bloggers to share content and swap advice. The information I have gained from these groups is so valuable! By the way, it’s a small group right now, but I’m always welcome to adding new members.
Remember when I was talking about Pinterest above? Well, I also have a group board called Blogging Tools and Tips. I’ve grown from a few pins to over 2,200 pins with over 40 collaborators. Make it a point to always follow every member of your groups and to welcome them. Be the one that opens up that first line of communication. The more ideas that are shared, the better we will all become at blogging. Make it intentional! And, who doesn’t like their content to be shared?
Don’t Ignore Your Email List
Uh oh, I may be guilty of this one. I haven’t done much with my email list yet. I have about 60 subscribers, but right now they only get emails when I post something on my blog. I think I’m hesitant to do much more than that just because I haven’t had much experience using subscription services. I signed up for MailChimp and have a simple subscription form on my sidebar, but my goal is to really use my email list to drive affiliate sales and grow my following.
Hit the Ground Running!
I hope these tips are beneficial to you. They have been so incredibly important to me as I have grown my following. If you ever have any questions on any of the tips above, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you continue to succeed in your quest to high traffic!