I'm back for another installment on my blogging series today. Be sure to check out my first two posts in the series, How I Make Money Blogging, and How to Start a Blog if you missed them. Today I'm going to be talking about how to get traffic to your blog. This is obviously important because as a writer, if no one is reading your work, then what's the point? I feel like this is the biggest strength for me and my blog. My social media may fall short very often, but I feel like I definitely do a pretty decent job at getting readers over here despite that. So today I'm going to let you know how I do it!
As a little experiment, last year I launched a fashion blog for 30 days that I didn't tell anyone about. I didn't write about it here, I created a secret Instagram for it, never posted anything on Facebook, and still got 300 pageviews that first day, and 10,000 pageviews that first month. So either that was a fluke, or my tricks do work. I wound up deleting the blog because I'm not a fashion blogger, and I just was recycling fashion posts from this blog over there, and was purely doing it for experiment sake, but these tips really do work in my opinion.
1. Comment on Other Blogs: This one is huge. By commenting on other blogs, you're creating a network with other content creators in your niche, and other people will see your blog comment, and this will also kickback traffic to your blog. When I write comments, I be sure to read the entire article, give a well thought out comment, and then sign at the bottom like this:
Leaving my website there will provide people a link back to my site. There is a lot of controversy as to whether its right or not to plug your blog at the bottom of the comment but I do it. I won't leave a link back to my site if I personally know the blogger, or if I know that it really does bother that particular blogger. I don't have a problem with it over here, but if I've done it to you and it bothers you, let me know :)
I find blogs to comment on by going to Bloglovin' and browsing through the blogs that they have for each of their categories. I've scoured through the best of the best in DIY and Crafts, Family, and Lifestyle. I'm currently following 300 bloggers and comment on about 50-70 blogs per day. That may seem excessive, but the traffic kickback is worth it to me, and this is my job, so for me its advantageous.
Also, be sure to interact within the blogging community. Not only commenting on other people's posts, but actively engaging and commenting back to people who comment on your post. I notice that when I comment back, and engage with my readers they're more likely to come back and read more posts. There are about 10 or so ladies that I know regularly read my blog and I love emailing back and forth with them and keeping the conversation going.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This is another huge one. What this means is optimizing your posts for higher ranks within the search engines. Right now Google is my number two traffic source for my blog. That is amazing to me, and it really happened with little effort.
The first thing I do is change the file names of the pictures that I upload to my blog. When the picture comes out of the camera it gets a default name of "IMG_8743" or something to that affect. People aren't going to be searching for that on Google though, so I change the file name to something searchable. For instance, if I'm writing a brownie post, I'm going to change the file name to, "Best Brownie Recipe", because that is something that someone is likely to Google, and will therefore get your post a better shot at getting noticed.
The next thing I do is make the title of my post something searchable as well. I see a lot of times on fashion blogs people titling their posts obscure things like "Mint for Days...", or "Pleats and Poppies", but those aren't things that I would personally be searching for. Instead go for titles like "The Mint Pencil Skirt", or "3 Ways to Wear a Striped Dress". Those in my opinion will have a far better chance at being seen.
My third trick I do for SEO is changing my permalink. You can do this on blogger by looking in the right sidebar before you go and publish your post. You'll see a permalink button. Click that, and once again, make it something more searchable, and shorter if you can.
3. Social Media: This one is another big one, but unfortunately isn't my strong suit. Facebook is currently my number one traffic source because I solicit my daily blog posts to my personal Facebook friends, along with my blog's Facebook page. After that I always publish my posts to Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
4. Blogger Traffic Sites: There are sites out there that specifically exists for bloggers to submit their content to. The three biggest ones that I use are FoodGawker, StyleGawker, and CraftGawker. The unfortunate thing about those sites (And TasteSpotting that I also use), is that you have to have super high quality images. You submit a link to your site, with a picture from your post, and a brief description, and then they have people that monitor the site and they will either accept or deny your work entirely based off of the quality of the image that you submit. Not all of my food posts get accepted, but most of my fashion and DIY posts do. This gives me a very dramatic spike in traffic for about a week and then it dies back down to normal for a while. But imagine how great your traffic could be if you were constantly submitting high quality images again, and again. These websites are gold in my opinion.
Other sites I submit my work to that don't require approval by website administrators are Reddit, StumbleUpon (a HUGE traffic source for me!), My Recipe Magic, and tumblr. Be sure to follow the site rules though because if you post only your own content too much they'll block you and then the big traffic party is over. Hence why I no longer get traffic from Reddit #wompwomp
5. Your Email Signature: I setup my email signature so that whenever I send an email the very bottom always says:
I leave this on there because it draws attention and people want to see this thing that I apparently write and own. This isn't a massive traffic source for me since 90% of my emails are blog related and people are contacting me about my blog that they already read, but when someone from church, or the doctor's office, or someone else emails me, that little signature is there nice and proud with a pretty little link back to the blog, and sometimes it gets clicked and turns into a new subscriber, And it's nice because you do it once, and then you never have to think about it again.
That's all I have for today! Let me know what blogging tips you have and how you get more traffic to your site in the comments below. I love writing about blogging because I truly feel so blessed by all the opportunities that I've been given this past year, and if I can offer any knowledge to someone so that they can get those same opportunities than I feel like I'm paying my blessing forward. If you ever have any questions please feel free to ask. This blog would literally be nothing if it wasn't for little bits of help that I've gotten from Janssen over the last couple years, so please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you!