How To Promote A Blog and Increase Traffic
How To Promote A Blog and Increase Traffic
According to data referenced in a recent piece in the New York Times, titled “Blogs Falling in an Empty Forest”, approximately 95% of blogs fail; the piece, that analyzed several failed and “retired” bloggers, to understand why they quit, came to the conclusion that many blogs fail due to lack of readership.
Luckily, I’ve grown some blogs into 500,000+ monthly visitors (see image below) and I’ve literally tried every method on the the internet. However, I want to let you know that it didn’t happen overnight and it took a lot of testing, failing and starting all over again.
P.S. This article is VERY comprehensive at over 8,000 words; it contains 101 unique and practical ways to promote a blog and get traffic, with links to case studies, research, resources and tutorials when necessary. I believe this is the only guide you’ll need if you want to unleash an avalanche of traffic on your blog.
- Publish More Articles: One of the most effective, but often ignored, ways to get traffic to a blog is by publishing more articles; research from Hubspot has shown that businesses that publish 16+ blog posts monthly get 3.5 times more traffic and 4.5 times more leads than businesses that publish between 0 – 5 blog posts monthly.
Seven-figure blogger Neil Patel also revealed that his monthly traffic went from 46,134 visitors to 59,787 visitors because he increased content frequency from 1 article to 2 articles weekly.
No matter your niche, research has shown that publishing more content will always lead to an increase in traffic for you; increase your content frequency to 2 or more articles a week, and you’ll notice a significant increase in traffic to your blog.
- Publish Longer Content: Research has shown that Google and other search engines give preference to longer, comprehensive articles; research by serpIQ that analyzed top 10 results for over 20,000 keywords came to the conclusion that Google ranks content that have more than 2,000 words better than content with fewer words.
Research by Buzzsumo, in a partnership with Moz, which analyzed over 1 million articles, found that articles that are 3,000 – 10,000 words get twice as many shares and 3 times the links content that have fewer than 1,000 words get. The screenshot below shows the average shares and links articles analyzed get based on their word count:
In the Neil Patel article we referenced earlier, he also reveals that one of the top reasons why his blogs get a lot of traffic is because he writes in-depth and comprehensive articles; the average article on Neil’s blog ranges from 4,000 to 8,000 words, and the result is that he ranks for lots of long-tail keywords, which leads to significant traffic on the long run.
- Start an Email List: Ask most successful bloggers what the top source of traffic to their blog is and they’ll tell you that email is in the top 3. Highly successful blogger Darren Rowse always record a traffic spike (the kind that almost doubles his blog traffic) whenever he sends an email to his list about a new blog post (see a screenshot of one of his traffic spikes below).
Email is such a powerful medium for generating traffic that many bloggers vouch for it; the reason is simple, all things being equal, your email list will only keep growing and rarely decrease. Even more, unlike your blog traffic that can fluctuate, you have access to a database of the people on your email list and can always email them.
Here’s another screenshot from Neil Patel showing traffic to his new blog in 30 days from a list size of 3,612 visitors:
If you haven’t started building an email list, start now. Install the free SumoMe plugin and use their email list building options including the ScrollBar, Popup and Welcome Mat.
- Guest Blog: One of the fastest ways to grow your blog is by writing for other people’s blogs; in other words, you can look for a blog that is much bigger than yours and write an article for that blog. You’ll be allowed to have a bio that includes a link to your site in your guest post. This can result in a lot of traffic for you.
Here’s a screenshot showing the kind of traffic you can get from a guest post:
To make guest blogging work, try to only guest blog on blogs that are more popular than yours; look for blogs with tens, or hundreds, of thousands of subscribers and submit your guest post to them.
- Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines: Search engines are the #1 source of traffic for most established blogs. Just take a look at the below screenshot:
The above screenshot shows traffic to an authority blog in one month; you can see that out of 582,000 visitors, 476,000 came from search engines. That’s how powerful search traffic is; after all, Google is the biggest website in the world!
It’s important that you don’t ignore SEO; familiarize yourself with the concept of SEO and optimize your blog and your articles to rank well for relevant keywords in Google and other search engines.
- Comment on Other Blogs: The right comment on a highly authoritative blog can send you lots of traffic; identify the top blogs in your niche and start interacting and commenting on blogs on a regular basis. This will get the blogger and members of his community to notice you and visit your blog, leading to more traffic for you; you might even get a link, or invitation to guest blog out of it.
- Develop a Blogger Outreach Plan: Many bloggers fail to get traffic because they take a passive approach to blogging; if you simply publish your article, rest and wait for traffic to come then nothing will happen.
For every article you publish, make sure you have a solid blogger outreach plan; compile a list of dozens of relevant bloggers that you can email your article to and ask them to share or link to your article. This article is a good place to learn how to do blogger outreach.
- Feature Other Bloggers in Your Articles and Ask them to Share: One of the techniques superstar blogger Neil Patel uses to grow his blog is that of linking to dozens of bloggers inside his articles (according to him, his articles usually contain 100+ links) and then reaching out to the bloggers who he linked to letting them know that he linked to them. The result is hundreds, sometimes thousands, of shares per article and eventually lots of traffic back to him.
Regularly link to other bloggers in your articles and email all of them to let them know about your article; many of them will share your article, resulting in lots of traffic for you.
- Do “Expert Roundups” and Get Featured Experts to Share: How will you like to leverage the reach of 10, 20 or more experts in your niche to grow yours? Is this even possible? Yes, by doing “expert roundups” in which you interview a group of experts and ask them one or two questions to be compiled inside one article, you can massively boost your blog traffic.
Once your expert roundup has been published, ask all the bloggers featured to spread the word about it; the result of this will often be thousands of extra visitors to your blog.
A good example of an expert roundup is this article that features 32 bloggers who reveal their favorite site building platform; the result is hundreds of shares. Here’s another good example that got over 1,000 shares.
- Do Case Studies of Influencers and Get them to Share: Identify influencers in your niche with good reach, do a case study about these influencers and get them to share it. A good example is this case study of Quora influencer Oliver Emberton; Oliver shared the article on social media when it went live, eventually resulting in 100s of shares and thousands of views. The article also ranks on page 1 for his name in Google, bringing in long-term search traffic.
- Publish a Resource Article: Resource articles are exceptionally effective for boosting traffic to your blog, much more than the average blog post; this article on Digital Current shows that it’s possible to get 100,000 views per article by publishing resource articles, and that resource articles can get up to 10,000% more views than the average article.
The screenshot below shows the kind of traffic you can get from a single resource article:
- Feature or Interview Owners & Influencers of Popular Social Media Groups: There are several Facebook and LinkedIn groups with thousands and tens of thousands of followers; unfortunately, most people try to get traffic by spamming these social media groups, only to end up having their articles removed. A better way to get traffic from social media groups is to interview owners, or influencers, of these groups and ask them to share the article you feature them in. Even if they do not share your article, you can share it in the group yourself as a member of the group.
- Feature/Interview Owners of Popular Forums: Compile a list of the biggest forum owners in your niche and interview them; if possible, get them to participate in a round up post on your blog. Send them a link after your article has been published and encourage them to share it.
- Run a Blogging Contest: Host your own blogging contest and make it a condition that participants share your article on social media or blog about it; if possible, try to get some sponsors and have them blog about your contest as well. This will go a long way to boost your blog’s reach.
- Develop and Execute a Social Media Strategy: Simply creating social media profiles and sharing your latest articles won’t cut it. Develop a social media strategy by focusing only on key social networks, engaging with influencers and top pages, and, interacting in groups to grow your social media reach. Also make sure you constantly post updates, and regularly recycle old articles on social media; simply sharing your article once, or once in a while, won’t cut it. Most popular bloggers share links to old articles on their blog for years. Posting frequency should vary depending on the social media site; research shows that it is optimal to post twice daily on Facebook, thrice daily on Twitter and Google+ and 5 times daily on Pinterest.
- Syndicate Your Content to Top Blogs: Many top blogs and networks will allow you to republish your content on their site with credit back to you; most big blogs, including mega publications like Business Insider and Huffington Post, do it if they feel that your content is good enough.
Look for a list of publications and network sites in your industry that republish content and see if they’d like to republish your articles.
- Do Cross-Promotion with Other Bloggers: Find a blogger with similar audience to yours and see if you can do a “shout out exchange”; in other words, you mention them on your blog and they mention you on theirs. You can also promote them to your email list while they promote you to theirs.
- Submit Your Content to Blogging Communities: Blogging communities have existed for a long time and are a good place to get traffic; some notable examples are Bizsugar in the business niche, Blokube in the blogging and social media niche and DesignFloat in the design niche. Look for a blogging community in your niche that you can share interesting articles with and occasionally submit your articles.
- Promote Your Blog on Top Forums in Your Niche: Forums can also be a good source of traffic; many of the top forums in your niche probably get millions of monthly visitors, and many have hundreds of thousands of members, but you can’t simply start spamming the forums with your links. Instead, focus on making valuable contributions to the forum in form of ideas, response to other people’s discussions and being active in popular discussions; make sure to have a link to your blog in your forum signature, and you’ll notice an increase in your traffic.
- Create an Ultimate/Advanced Guide: An ultimate guide is designed to be the first and last article your readers read on a subject; due to their nature, ultimate guides are usually very comprehensive in nature. It isn’t unusual to see an ultimate guide that is 5,000 – 10,000 words.
As we saw earlier in this article, search engines favor comprehensive articles rank them better; people love them too, so they’ll share them massively. By publishing an ultimate guide, you’ll benefit from all angles.
Once you’ve published your ultimate guide, reach out to bloggers in your niche and ask them to spread the word about it.
- Include Social Share Buttons on Your Blog: Many bloggers fail to include social sharing buttons on their blogs and this is costing these bloggers social shares, exposure and traffic. While it is not clear to what extent, research shows that adding social share buttons to your page will lead to more shares of your content and as a result increased traffic.
- Publish Regular Infographics: Research shows that infographics shared on Twitter get 823% more retweets than images and articles. Neil Patel reveals that infographics have been so effective for him, often helping him catapult his blogs from no traffic to over 100,000 visitors monthly. In his words, old infographics generate more than 50,000 monthly visitors to one of his blogs.
You can promote your blog by creating good looking infographics, especially those that share important facts and statistics, and tell influencers in your niche to share it and republish it. You should also submit your infographics to several infographics directories.
- Publish Slides to Slideshare: Do you know that Slideshare is popularly known as the sleeping giant of content marketing. The reason for this is simple; over 70 million professionals use Slideshare, and it is one of the 100 most visited websites in the world. The good news is that you can use it to promote your blog.
In a case study, Ana Hoffman revealed that by publishing 9 presentations on Slideshare she was able to generate 243,000 views to her slides and over 1,400 clicks to her blog in 30 days; as a result, Slideshare became her second largest referral traffic. Now, that’s one great way to promote a blog!
Create your own Slideshare presentations too, using fewer words and visually rich images to communicate your points, and watch your traffic grow.
- Facebook Groups: Facebook groups can also be a good source of traffic and exposure for your blog but, unfortunately, many people fail to get results because they approach these groups in a wrong way and can barely be differentiated from spammers.
In a case study analyzing how he increased traffic from Facebook groups by 3,000%, Bruce Zhang revealed that the best way to get traffic from Facebook groups isn’t just to post your links; instead, make sure to use catchy text images as well as a compelling message that shows how people will benefit by reading your article.
- LinkedIn Groups: Similar to Facebook Groups, LinkedIn groups are a good source of traffic. Sharing your content with just your LinkedIn connections won’t send you traffic; instead, look for the top LinkedIn groups in your niche, join them and occasionally submit your best articles to them.
- Promote Your Blog on Quora: Exactly how powerful is Quora for promoting your blog? Quora superstar Oliver Emberton used Quora to launch a popular blog. Within 7 month of start his blog, he was already getting millions of views monthly. Oliver did this by contributing great value and being very active on Quora; eventually, this paid off in quality traffic that led to articles on his blog going viral.
- Look for Interview Opportunities: There are blogs and websites that are dedicated to interviewing successful people and showcasing their stories; if you have an exciting story or have a success that you can showcase, you can reach out to these websites and ask them to interview you. A good example is IdeaMensch, and there many more similar sites.
- Ask Podcasts to Interview You: Similar to being interviewed on sites, you can ask podcast shows to interview you; many podcasters will happily oblige if they find that you have an exciting story.
- Look for Opportunities to be Included in Link Roundups: Every niche has at least a dozen blogs that do weekly or monthly roundups; at the end of the week, or month, these blogs will publish an article with a summary of the most interesting content they read in a particular month. You can get some nice exposure by emailing these bloggers and asking them to include your article in their next roundup.
- Key into Major Events: A major election, death, birth, sports event, etc? Smart bloggers are creative, and as a result they know how to leverage happenings around them to boost their reach and influence.
When major events happen, lots of people tend to get interested and start searching for it on search engines and social media; by capitalizing on this and using an angle relevant to your niche, you can get quality traffic. Example: “What the Superbowl Can Teach Us About Successful Blogging” or “What the Election Debates Can Teach You About Success”, etc. You get the idea? No matter the event, you can tie it to your blog’s topic and capitalize on it to boost traffic.
- Blog About a Major Personality: So what does blogging about Obama, or Justin Beiber or some other major personality have to do with promoting your blog? In June 2010, Think Traffic published an article titled “The Diddy Guide to Constant Creativity and Relentless Marketing“; the result was a Tweet of the article by P. Diddy himself to his 2.6 million Twitter followers.
- Write Controversial Posts: Writing controversial posts, or attacking sacred cows in your niche, can be very powerful for generating traffic and boosting your exposure; this article on Shopify showed how publishing a controversial post can help skyrocket a blogger’s fame and traffic.
- Include Elements of Transparency: If done right, transparency can be a very powerful weapon for promoting your blog. Several top blogs and startups can testify to this; seven-figure blogger Pat Flynn is a good example; one of the techniques he used to accelerate his blog growth was publishing income reports. People were excited about his income reports, so they visited it en mass and shared it a lot; it is also widely linked to across the web. Startups like Buffer and Groove are also using this principle to grow their blogs and business; by being transparent, they get people excited about what they are doing and this leads to more exposure for them.
- Reduce the Number of Share Buttons on Your Blog: While we earlier noticed that including social sharing buttons on your blog can help increase traffic and social shares, there’s the paradox of choice factor to consider as well; research shows that giving people too many choices will ensure that they do not make any. In other words, having 10 social sharing buttons on your blog will make sure that your readers use none.
Smashing Magazine also noted that removing Facebook share buttons led to more traffic from Facebook, since readers now directly share their articles on their Facebook timeline instead of liking it (and shares result in more traffic than likes). So that’s consideration for a button you might want to remove.
- Promote Your Blog on Pinterest: Pinterest can be a great source of traffic to your blog and many bloggers have leveraged it with great source to massively boost their blog traffic; Mandy Wallace was able to take her new blog to 1,000 daily visitors hugely thanks to Pinterest.
Look for quality interesting images, and focus on using irresistible headlines and you’ll be getting quality Pinterest traffic in no time.
- Leverage Sound Bites to Increase Social Shares: According to successful blogger and psychology expert, Derek Halpern, “a sound bite is a short message, often no longer than 10 words, that describes the main idea of your content or sales message.”
Essentially, a sound bite is a persuasive summary of the message of your article that is easy to remember and easy to quote; because it is short and persuasive, people can, and will, share it, leading to more traffic for you. Mainly due to using this technique, Derek Halpern was able to generate 300 shares and around 9,000 hits for one of his article.
- Tweetables and Shareables: Similar to sound bites, Tweetables and Shareables help you get more traffic by encouraging people to share your content; a “Tweetable” is a message you highlight from your article and design to be shared on Twitter while a “Sharable” can be shared on any social network.
You’ve probably visited your favorite blogs to see “Click to tweet” embedded inside the article? Well, that’s a Tweetable.
Highlight key points all through your article and use sites like Click to Tweet to get people to share your key points. Below is a screenshot that shows a Click to Tweet in one of Michael Hyatt’s articles.
- Pursue Media Syndication Opportunities: Many top publications and media sites thrive on publishing a lot of content, and it isn’t unusual to see these sites publish 50 or more articles in a single day; of course, this is difficult to pull off and they have to rely on content from guests and other sources to meet their content schedule. To get around this, top media sites like Lifehacker and Business Insider republish quality content on other sites; often, they only feature content from experts but you can try to reach out to them to see if you can be a part of their content syndication program.
- Convert Your Blog Posts into PDFs and Submit to PDF/Document Sharing Sites: Convert your blog posts into a PDF and submit it to PDF sharing sites; make sure that the final PDF file includes your bio and a link to your site so that people know how to find your blog after they finish reading the PDF. Here’s a list of PDF/document sharing sites to start with.
- Start a Podcast: Data from Edison Research shows that there are more than 46 million podcast listeners in America; podcasts are quickly becoming the best way people consume content, because it makes it easy to consume content on a commute, while exercising and in a lot of comfortable positions. Boost your blog traffic today by starting your own podcast.
Here’s a good case study from someone who created a podcast that was downloaded by over 1,000,000 people; screenshot of his stats below.
- Convert Your Blog Posts into Presentations and Share Them on Presentation Sites: Turn your blog posts into Presentations and submit them to top presentation sites. Here’s a list of presentation sites to get you started.
- Publish a List of Power Users in an Industry or on a Social Media Site: Many of these power users will get an ego boost from this and will share your content on social media.
- Advertise on Reddit: Reddit is one of the biggest online communities, with an estimated 17 million monthly users. While many people are familiar with advertising on Facebook, Google Adwords and other PPC options, very few people pay attention to Reddit; surprisingly, Reddit’s CPM, at $0.75 CPM, is much lower compared to bunch of other social media sites.
- Advertise on Facebook: Facebook is increasingly becoming most brand’s favorite advertising platform, and rightfully so. Facebook has in-depth understanding of your audience and allows you to target your content to them; also, advertising on Facebook is 3 times cheaper than Google Ads.
- Advertise on Stumbleupon: With over 25 million users, StumbleUpon is one of the web’s biggest community as well as one of the cheapest places to advertise online. In a case study on his blog, Stefan Maescher revealed that he got 60,275 visitors to his blog by spending just $128.90.
The key to success with StumbleUpon ads lies in having shareworthy content, promoting it with a few dollars and letting it go viral on Stumbleupon.
- Sponsor a Blogging Contest: Blogging contests are being run every day, and sponsoring one can result in some nice traffic and quality backlinks for you; most contests will make it a requirement to blog about the contest and link to the website of their sponsors and this is where you benefit. Look for blogging contests of this nature and see how you can participate.
- Run a Viral Giveaway: Viral giveaways can have massive impact on your bottomline, and a good case study to this effect is Josh Earl, who was able to get 482,044 people to visit his blog and 187,991 people to subscribe to his blog in just 11 days. Now, that’s a phenomenal result!
If you’re struggling to get traffic to your blog, perhaps it’s time to start your own viral giveaway; look for a product that is in high demand in your niche and offer people an opportunity to win it by joining your giveaway. Let their chances of winning increase by inviting more people to join your giveaway.
- Join H.A.R.O: H.A.R.O, also known as Help A Reporter Out, is a platform that brings reporters and “sources” together; when looking for sources to quote in an article, reporters often visit H.A.R.O to find people to interview. If you have a relevant story that a reporter needs, then you might be mentioned as a source when the reporter publishes their article; just tell the reporter to mention your website in the article if relevant/possible.
- Join Communities where Bloggers Support Each Other (or Communities Where Bloggers Exchange Shares): There are secret bloggers club and websites that foster a community where members promote themselves; in short, every community member promotes each other’s content and benefit from the support of a massive community. Two good examples are JustRetweet and Triberr.
- Create a Viral FREE Report eBook: Create a high-value, concise ebook and make it available for free, no strings attached (don’t even ask for an email). Now, share that ebook everywhere you can and encourage readers to share it as well, be sure to include a bio inside the ebook. Corbett Barr did this in 2010 with his ebook “18 Months, 2 Blogs, Six Figures”. The result was that this ebook led to a massive increase in traffic to his blog, and lots of new subscribers.
- Run a Blogging Challenge: In 2013, Natalie Sisson was about to do a book launch and decided to run a blogging challenge; the challenge was a 30 Day Blog Challenge designed to coincide with the launch of her book, and she reports it to be the most successful initiative she’s ever ran on her blog. The blogging challenge led to a 100% increase in traffic, 1,000 new subscribers to her list and her book becoming a #1 bestseller the week it was published.
Blogging challenges can unite your community and make them passionately involved in your project, and this will always lead to more traffic to your blog.
- Run a Traffic Contest: Invite members of your community to promote your blog and do their best to send traffic to your blog for a whole month, award the people who send the most traffic a price.
- Publish Your Own 101 List: Earlier on we examined research that shows that Google favors articles that are above 2,000 words. Top lists of 101 items are usually very in-depth and comprehensive, and as a result they generate a lot of traffic; the fact that list posts get a lot of shares and traffic is backed up by data, and the Buzzsumo/Moz study that we referenced earlier shows that List posts get significantly more shares and links than other types of content. This is indicated in the screenshot below:
- Publish an Ultimate Link/List Roundup: Compile and publish an ultimate list of resources/articles on a particular topic; include as many relevant resources as possible and email all the bloggers you featured on your list and ask them to share your article.
Here’s a good example of an ultimate list/roundup of articles on how to get traffic from Mark Trueman, featuring case studies from 124 experts, which ended up generating thousands of shares.
- Leverage “Social Locker” Technology: One of the most creative ways to promote your blog is by restricting part of your content and making people share your article to access it; Will Franco did this by creating an article and adding a “social locker” to his article; the result of this was 11X more shares compared to the average article on his blog. The table below shows his results:
- Give Viral List Building a Shot: Prepare a series of incentives and design a viral list building system; start with a basic incentive that will be your opt in incentive, then offer people more attractive incentives if they share your content or invite a number of people to join your list.
- Convert Your Blog Posts into Podcast and Distribute to Podcast and Audio Sites: Research shows that an estimated 33% of Americans have listened to a podcast, and that a total of 2.6 billion podcast download requests were made in 2014. Seven-figure blogger Pat Flynn credits his podcast to be one of the top ways new users find his blog.
If you can’t start a podcast, you can record an audio version of your blog posts and submit them to podcast sites. Here’s a list of 8 sites you can submit your podcast to.
- Create Your Own Website Theme: Create your own website theme with a link back to your website in the footer; there’ll be a link to visit your blog on every website that uses your theme. Be sure to make the link nofollow so that it doesn’t give you problems with Google and other search engines. If you don’t want to create your own themes (can be a bit complicated), you can get some awesome themes from here and here.
- Create Your Own Website Plugins: Similar to having your own theme, create your own plugins and give people that use it an option to link back to your blog.
- Leverage Image Sharing Sites to Grow Your Reach: Image sharing sites like Flickr have millions of users, and this presents you with a great opportunity to increase your reach; take cool pictures around you that you own a copyright to, and publish them on these sites with a Creative Commons license on the condition that those who use them link to you. This will result in bloggers using your images and linking to you, and occasionally top media sites will use your images and send you some quality traffic.
- Effectively Leverage Email Signatures: Many of us interact with hundreds or even thousands of emails every month; these are some nice eyeballs for your blog, and you can convert them to readers by including a link to your blog in your email signature.
- Focus on the Mobile Experience: Research shows that the number of mobile internet users has now exceeded the number of desktop internet users. Google also recently made an upgrade to their algorithm that favored sites that were optimized for mobile users and that penalized sites that were not optimized for mobile users. Some sites lost as much as 46.6%of their search traffic due to not having a mobile-optimized site while some gained as much as 30.1% traffic by having a mobile-friendly website.
Something as simple as optimizing your blog for mobile users can give you a traffic boost, so make sure you have a website that is focused on a better mobile experience for your readers.
- Leverage User Generated Content: Forums, comments and other types of user-generated content can be big wins for your blog; Mizzou Alumni Association was able to boost their site traffic by 15% while Chobani experienced a 225.9% increase in revenue by leveraging the power of User Generated Content.
- Have a Keyword Research Strategy: Many bloggers enjoy lackluster search rankings and, as a result, poor search traffic due to not having a keyword research strategy; do you research keywords before publishing article on your blog, or do you just publish new articles? Incorporating a keyword research strategy into your content marketing strategy will go a long way to boost traffic to your blog.
- Publish a Controversial Response to Top Bloggers and Thought Leaders: When an industry leader publishes an article, or says something, that you disagree with; publish a response on your blog explaining why you disagree with the industry leader. Most industry leaders will share your article, especially if your response is well-thought out and informative.
- Be an Influential Blogger’s Success Story: While most bloggers struggle to get traffic, authority bloggers with hundreds of thousands of readers go over and beyond to send traffic to people who can validate them; if you take the advice of a popular blogger and get results from it, he will happily showcase you to his audience and send traffic back to you.
- Ask Experts to Contribute Advice to Your Article: One very effective way to unleash an avalanche of traffic on your blog is by asking experts to contribute their advice to your articles; this is especially effective if you’ve written an ultimate guide to a subject, or a long list of article with a lot of points. Identify key experts in your niche for various points and ask them to give you their input; include their input inside your article and let them know when it goes live so that they can share.
This technique is highly underutilized, but it’s so powerful that Jimmy Daly of GetVero was able to get 36,282 people to read a single article on his blog.
- Constantly Refresh Old Posts: One of Google’s ranking factors is content freshness, and this reportedly affects as much as 35% of Google searches; this supports research from Hubspotthat shows that blogs that publish 16+ articles monthly get 3.5X more traffic than blogs that publish less than 4 articles monthly.
One way to benefit from Google’s freshness algorithm is by publishing more articles on your blog, while another way is by updating old articles; review articles you published months and years ago, eliminate outdated information and bring them forward. This will impact your blog’s search rankings and lead to more traffic.
- Proper SEO Slug/Permalink Structure: Do you know that your blog’s SEO slug/permalink structure can go a long way to influence your search rankings and traffic to your blog. The best SEO slug is the one that includes your title in a descriptive way, while removing unnecessary words like verbs.
- Proper Site Structure: Just as a good SEO slug is important, it’s also important to have a proper site structure; make sure your site structure makes it easy for search engines to index your content. Make sure that every page on your blog is indexable, and have an archives page or sitemap that will make it easy for search engines to crawl your content.
This KISSMetrics article shares practical tips to help you create a site structure that will enhance your blog’s SEO.
- Deep Internal Links: Internal links are an essential part of your on-page SEO, and quality internal links will impact your rankings in the search engines. Make sure you regularly link to relevant pages and articles on your blog.
- Improve Your Headlines: Do you know that a simple headline change can result in a massive boost in traffic to your blog? According to Copyblogger, on average, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline but only 2 out of 10 will read your content. This is why it is very important to learn how to write better headlines and put serious effort into your headlines.
A case study that demonstrates how much of a difference the right headline can make was featured on Lifehacker; a New York Times article was originally titled “How Companies Learn Your Secrets” and it only managed to get 12,902 views. The very same article was republished on Forbes and retitled “How Target Figured out a Teen Girl Was Pregnant before Her Father Did” and got a whopping 680,000 views. That’s over 600,000 more views than the original articles, and that’s interesting considering that The New York Times is a much bigger site than Forbes. The difference in traffic was solely due to the headline.
In revealing why their articles go viral, Upworthy revealed that they write at least 25 headlines for every post they publish, they test the best ones and go with the very best one; if Upworthy, a site that gets over 87 million visitors monthly, does this, you have no reason not to.
- Enable Trackbacks on Your Blog: Anytime you publish a new article on a blog hosted with WordPress, it gives you an option to enable comments and trackbacks; a “trackback” is an automatic notification sent to any website you link to, allowing your link to be featured in their comments section as well if approved.
If you link to top blogs in your article and you and the blogs you linked to both have trackbacks enabled, a link to your article will appear in their comments section; this will ensure people seeing comments on their blog can see a link to your articles, and it’ll eventually lead to more traffic for you.
- Link to A Lot of Authoritative Sources: Google uses a lot of factors to rank websites, including how many links points to a website, but very few people know that Google also ranks you based on how many people you link to.
If your website constantly links to authoritative websites and resources that are relevant to your niche, Google will assume that you’re a good and authoritative resource in your niche, and they’ll rank you better as a result; this, in turn, will lead to more traffic for you.
- Invite Others to Guest Post on Your Blog: Guest blogging on other blogs is indeed a powerful way to get traffic and gain exposure to your blog, but inviting others to guest post for your own blog can be equally powerful.
If you invite others to write for you, especially if they have a much bigger reach than you do, they are more likely to share their guest post with their readers. The result of this will be more traffic to your blog.
- Start Paying People to Write for You: There are websites that regularly publish lists of sites that pay writers, and these lists occasionally get tens of thousands of views and hundreds of links thus making them highly authoritative. By offering to pay people to write articles on your blog, and emailing the publishers of these lists to include your website, you’ll be getting an instant boost in traffic and an authoritative backlink.
- Offer Incentives to People Writing for You: A technique that can give you a massive boost in traffic to your blog is incentivizing contributions to your blog; whether you pay writers for articles or accept guest posts, you’ll be able to get more traffic by compensating people whose articles become your most popular post or get a certain number of views in a month.
Below is a screenshot showing how The Penny Hoarder does it; for a blog that gets about 2 million unique visitors monthly, they definitely know what they are doing.
- Email People With Lists of Blogs that Accept Guest Posts: There are hundreds of lists of different blogs that accept guest posts online, and many of these lists are read by thousands of people weekly; if you accept guest posts on your blog, email these bloggers and ask them to include your blog on their list. This won’t just result in some nice traffic and potentially quality contributions to your blog, but it will also yield an authoritative backlink that can help your search traffic.
- Listen to Your Readers: Sometimes, you’ll notice that certain articles on your blog will become big hits while some will barely get read by anybody; oftentimes, the reason for this has to do with demand for the topic an article covers. If an article is in high demand, it’ll do a great job of promoting itself and traffic will only keep increasing; if an article has low demand, promotion you do will yield minimal results.
Ask your readers what content they want to read about the most, and create your content based on popular demand.
- Analyze Your Blog Traffic: The key to blogging success lies in identifying what’s working and doing more of it; once your blog starts to gain traction and get some readership, start paying special attention to your blog traffic to see what kind of content is getting the most views. If you notice a trend with a certain type of content, do more of that type of content and you can be assured of increased traffic.
- Don’t Ignore Basic SEO: Many bloggers ignore basic SEO, and they eventually suffer from it. Most successful bloggers get as much as 50% or more of their traffic from search engines; taking the right measures when it comes to SEO can double your blog traffic within a short period of time.
Things like using the right title tags, having a catchy description, ensuring that your site is easy to navigate, etc, can lead to a significant increase in traffic to your blog.
- Write for the Scanner: Research shows that on average, most web users won’t read more than 28% of words on a website; in other words, while having longer, comprehensive articles will help your search engine rankings it won’t increase the chances of your content being read; the more people read your content, the more people will share it and the more traffic you will get. The solution to this problem is to write your content for scanners.
Using headings and sub headings, bold, italics, numberings and bullets, you can make your blog content more presentable and scannable, and as a result boost traffic to your blog.
- Only Offer Partial Blog Feed, or Customize Your Feed: If you own a blog, you’re most probably allowing people to consume your blog content through feed readers; a great way to capitalize on this to boost blog traffic is either by offering partial feeds, or by customizing your feeds in such a way that you can include a note and link to your blog/article below the feed. The benefit to doing this is two-fold:
- It gets readers to come directly to your blog; this increases the likelihood of them sharing your article, thereby leading to more traffic for you.
- It ensures that you get attribution when your content is being scraped; a lot of sites scrape content via feeds without attribution, and this isn’t good if there’s no way for you to get credit back to your blog.
- Use Images in ALL Your Blog Posts: Research shows that articles with images get 94% more views compared to articles without images. Make sure every article on your blog include one or more relevant and appealing image, and this will significantly boost traffic to your blog.
- Retweet Old Articles: Research shows that only 1.4% (and I suspect that the actual number is much lower) of your Twitter followers will engage with your Tweet; the question is, what happens to the remaining 98.6% of your followers who will not see your Tweet? How do you get their attention? The answer to this is to constantly retweet old blog posts.
Many successful bloggers routinely share old articles, and it isn’t unusual to see a blogger sharing the same article 30 – 50 times in the span of a few months; this ensures that people who did not see your content at first will see it later down the line.
- Master the Best Time to Post: Research shows that the success of a viral campaign can be influenced by the time that campaign is started as well; a study by BuzzSumo that analyzed over 100 million articles came to the conclusion that the best day to publish an article is on a Tuesday, and that articles published on a Tuesday generally get up to 3X more views than articles published on Sundays.
Find out the best time to post an article on your blog and use this knowledge to effectively promote your content.
- Join Bundle Offers to Expand Your Reach: Occasionally, there are events such as Only72 that offer a bundle of products for a limited period of time at a discount price; the time limit and discount is the appeal of this, and it isn’t unusual to see hundreds of thousands of people hearing about the offer and thousands of people taking advantage of it.
If you have a product, reach out to organizers of these events and ask them to include your product; you’ll be increasing your reach due to the cross-promotion other, often more influential, participants and affiliates will do.
- Do Solo Ads: A “solo ad” is an email newsletter that only contains an ad; so if someone emails their list and a recommendation of your blog or product is the only thing in that email, that’s a solo ad. Solo ads can be great for boosting blog traffic; find relevant bloggers in your niche with good email lists and offer them a fee in exchange for sending an ad to their list about your blog/email list.
- Take Advantage of Local Media: The online and blogging craze is so high that many people now fail to realize the power of offline media. Seek out radio presenters, TV presenters, local magazines and newspapers in your country and ask them if they want an expert in your capacity. Due to the blogging craze, fewer people are disturbing them than used to be; this increases your chances of actually getting coverage, resulting in a boost in your brand image and blog traffic.
- Give Affiliates 100% Commission to Your Products: If you have a product, it’s much easier to get traffic to your blog. Identify influencers with a big blog and email list, especially if they have no product, and offer them 100% commissions for every sale of your products that they make. Make sure you get all buyers of your product to subscribe to your email list, and you win; you win because those buyers might not otherwise know about you, but now they are readers who have bought a product you created.
- Sell Your Products on Promo Sites at a Massive Discount: While it might not look like a win to sell your products on sites that offer products at a massive discount, it can be a big win if this suddenly exposes you to thousands of new people; find sites of this nature and offer your product at a discount. Make sure people are required to sign up to your email list before they can access your product.
- Leverage Kindle Free Promotion to Boost Your Reach: If you sell an ebook, you can also leverage limited-time Kindle promotions to boost your email list; Tristan King was able to get 600% more people to download his ebook by leveraging Kindle’s KDP ebook promotion system, and that gave him a nice boost in readership. Here’s a list of 76+ places to submit your free Kindle KDP ebook promotions.
- Leverage Hashtags When Promoting Your Articles on Social Media: You can also boost your readership by using #hashtags when promoting your articles on social media; by using relevant hashtags, you’ll make your content discoverable when people search for content in your niche, and you’ll also benefit should an hashtag you use become trending around the time you used it.
- Submit Your Blog to Blog/Website Directories: While not as effective as they used to be, blog and website directories can still be a good source of traffic. Being listed in some blog and website directories can also boost traffic to your blog. Here’s a list of free website directoriesyou can submit your blog to.
- Rewrite Some of Your Articles and Post them on Article Directories: Article directories are not as effective as they used to be, but you can rewrite some of your articles in minutes and have them distributed to article directories. Make sure you include links to your blog in these articles.
- Identify Top Community and Q&A Sites in Your Niche and Participate Regularly: Sites like Quora, Yahoo! Answers and other niche-specific communities and Q&A sites can be a good source of traffic. Participate in relevant popular discussions and occasionally include a link back to learn more on your blog.
- Get Your Blog Listed in Google News: Being included in Google news can result in a massive boost in traffic to your blog, especially if you’re first to cover major events. If you cover news-related stuffs, be sure to apply for inclusion in Google News.
- Translate Your Blog Posts into Other Languages: Translating your blog into another language is an effective but little-known way to boost traffic to your blog; this works because translated versions of your blog will start to rank in the country-specific search engines of the languages you translate into. Neil Patel reported a 47% increase in traffic to his blog by translating his blog into 82 languages (screenshot below); translating his blog didn’t cost Neil anything as he used the Transposh plugin.
- Create an App for Your Blog: Create an app for your blog and submit it to Google store and Apple store; regularly invite your readers to download your app and feature it on relevant app sites. If more people download your app, Google will start showcasing it to more of their readers and this will boost your traffic.
- Organize Events in Your Area and Tell Attendees to Visit Your Blog: Organize offline education events in your area in partnership with schools, churches and communities. Make your events entertaining and educative, and invite attendees to read your blog.
- Create an Industry Survey and Make the Results Public: Invite your readers to answer a survey about topics of major interest to your niche, publish your survey results and create an infographic about it. Email bloggers in your niche to notify them about your survey results and ask them to write about it.
- BONUS: Make your website faster: Research shows that a one second delay in website loading time will result in a 7 percent loss in conversion, and that slow websites cost the U.S. e-commerce market $500 billion annually. Not just this, but you’ll also lose 40 percent of visitors to your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. If your website is slow, then you’re already losing half your visitors. Make your website faster and watch your traffic increase significantly.
What other techniques do you have for promoting a blog/generating traffic? Kindly share in the comments section 🙂
P.S: If you need more help or guidance, feel free to leave a comment below. And if you have your own strategies to drive traffic to your blog, don’t be shy to share 🙂