You have taken the leap and started your own blog. You have spent hours setting it up, making it pretty and writing those first few posts full of what you believe to be totally rockin’ content, and now you sit back and wait for those readers to come visit you in hoards. Except they don’t. Why is no one finding your blog?
When you consider the statistics, there are millions of blogs out there, many of which are likely based around the same blog topic as yours. One of the biggest blogging challenges is finding readers and driving traffic to your blog in those early days. So how do you get those readers there in the first place?
8 WAYS TO DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR BLOG
Before you expect to become an internet sensation, you need some great content. If you only have 2 or 3 posts, no matter how great they are, readers are not going to come rushing back in a hurry. They want all the information they are searching for all in the one place, so if you don’t offer great and varied content, it is time to sit down and get writing. Regular, good quality content is one of the basics of getting blog traffic.
If you want people to notice you, you need to create a brand for yourself online. This does not always mean perfectly coordinated colours for every image, but it does mean having some consistency across your blogging platform and social networks. This helps you to be recognisable online and it also builds a professional public profile.
If you have been blogging for a while, chances are you have heard of the need for a niche. While some very successful blogs have managed to juggle more than one niche, for most of us, having a specific niche can be a great benefit. This means being more specific in your content, so instead of blogging about organisation, you will drive more traffic to your blog by specifically focusing on home organisation on a budget, or a food blog that focuses on gluten free vegan recipes instead of all types of recipes. This also helps you to be found via search traffic.
Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is one of the top ways you want to be driving traffic to your website. This is traffic from people searching online and you popping up towards the top of those search results. SEO is a huge area and could be a whole post on its own, but a huge benefit is doing some keyword research, finding out what people are searching for in relation to what you are blogging about, and make sure you are covering those topics. If keyword research is completely over your head, even just typing your main blog theme into a search engine can help, as they will often give suggestions based on what other people are searching for. This can help you with finding new content for your blog.
5. Get Social
One of the biggest blog traffic sources is of course having a strong social media presence. Set up social media accounts using your blog name and branding, such as a Facebook or Twitter account, or if your blog is very visual, Instagram is a must. You may want to join every social network, or you may want to just focus on one or two really relevant ones. Share relevant content on your social networks that relates to your blog. This may include related content from fellow bloggers, funny images and everyday posts that help your readers connect with you, but it is also essential to share your own content too. Be sure to balance it so you are not just sharing your own articles, but this is a great way of getting your content out into the bigger wider web.
Blog commenting is also a very useful tool for driving traffic back to your own blog. Visit other blogs and leave meaningful, well thought out comments that makes them want to visit you. Don’t link drop and run. This is a big no no. Build relationships with fellow bloggers by visiting regularly and commenting and sharing their content. Making friends can help you out in the huge online world.
7. Use Analytics
Making use of an analytics tool such as Google Analytics is going to help you a lot if you want to build your blog traffic. Like SEO, it can be a heavy area to learn, but the benefits are huge. Use analytics to identify which of your posts are bringing in the most traffic, which can help you see what topics your readers want to know more about, to give your direction on future content. It will also tell you what your biggest traffic referrers are, such as which social networks are working best for you and where you need to focus your energies. Making some time each month to check out your analytics is going to help you up your game.
8. Take It Offline
Being found in the sea of blogs on the world wide web can be tough, so sometimes it can help you to take your networking offline. Attend blog conferences and networking events where possible and be sure to have some business cards ready to hand out. People remember other people better than they remember websites usually, so if you make a big impression, they are going to want to visit you online and driving traffic to your blog, even in those smaller numbers initially, is going to help you grow!
Holly Connors is a freelance writer and blogger at Simplify Create Inspire, with a focus on simplifying life, saving money and getting organised. She also writes a family travel blog with her husband. Holly is a mother of 2 with a career background in psychology, although more recently dabbling in the world of self-employment and sales, enjoying the less conventional side of earning a living. You can also find her on Facebook, twitter or Pinterest.