So, you want smart ways to increase your blog traffic?
Who does not anyway? That’s the dream of every blogger because when you get more traffic:
- You get more social shares and your next blog post could go viral
- Your epic work could finally get discovered and appreciated by more folks out there
- You get more followers, more comments and new people on your newsletter
If that’s your dream, you’re in luck. This guide is for you.
I started this blog to walk you through all the aspects of blogging – from the tech side of building a blog to becoming an authority in your niche and earning some decent living.
And today we talk traffic.
In this massive guide of 4,500 words, you’ll find 101 simple and actionable tips with case studies and step-by-step instructions.
To help you consume it in bite-size chunks, I’ve broken the tips down into 6 categories.
Feel free to jump around with the table above or better read it from the beginning to the end!
Actionable ways to get traffic from social media
1. Use the untapped power of StumbleUpon
This lesser-known social media platform is often responsible for post virality. While the exact content ranking algorithm is a hush-hush secret, there are a few known factors to play in your favor:
- Big fat list posts (like this you’re reading) perform best.
- Crisp, large visuals.
- Easy-to-scan content with big heading and subheadings.
- Domain Authority.
- It’s best if your content is stumbled by another user.
Bonus tip: Paid promotion on StumbleUpon is really cheap and efficient. You can get 60,275 visitors for $128.90.
2. Create and share a SlideShare presentation
Convert one of your popular blog posts into an epic presentation and promote the heck of it for all the traffic you can handle. How?
- Draft an outline. One idea = one slide.
- Find attractive, relevant images.
- Did you know you can embed on your blog, links to SlideShare decks + CTAs to share it on other social media sites?
- Optimize your title, description and tags for relevant keywords and better discovery.
- Promote your SlideShare on other channels to get the most eyeballs on your content and rank it up to one of the “features” categories.
Further reading: SlideShare Traffic Case Study: From 0 to 243,000 Views in 30 Days.
3. Tap into Quora – the uber popular Q&A platform
Find questions relevant to your posts. Jot down a detailed, valuable and not ridiculously self-promotional answer and include a link back to your recent post. Subscribe to a pool of topics you are interested in to get notified about new questions instantly.
4. Become a seasoned Redditor
Dubbed as the front page of the Internet, Reddit can bring massive traffic to your blog… and a bunch of negative comments as well if you appear too self-promotional. Get to know the Reddiquette, follow the community rules, share only the best stuff and keep submissions to your blog as low as 1 submission per 10 other links if you don’t want to get slapped. Here’s what’s getting on the front page feels like.
5. Use Facebook ads to grow your email list
Spend under $5 per day and get over 500 subscribers to your newsletter. How?
- Craft the ad copy – enticing, personalized with a big image and clear CTA to get on your newsletter and receive an immediate reward (bait).
- Sharpen your ad targeting by finding popular Facebook pages in your niche with high engagement rates and set the system to target their fans.
- Measure and improve your ads performance. If you are doing everything right, your CPA should be under $3 in 48 hours. If not, split test your copy and refine your targeting.
6. Link to your new post from your Skype and WhatsApp status
It’s an easy way to remind anyone you’ve already connected with that you have something new on your blog.
7. Join Pinterest group boards
Want to gain more exposure for your visual content? You can create enticing, pinnable images with Canva and you can find a huge list of group boards, categorized by topics and Pin Groupie. Be nice, request an invite and follow the rules!
8. Syndicate your content on LinkedIn Pulse
to leverage your personal brand and attract new readers to your blog. You can add rel=canonical tag with a link back to your original post, which helps Google understand that this is just a copy of the original post.
9. Join relevant LinkedIn groups
Not sure where you can both share your LinkedIn Pulse posts and blog content? LinkedIn groups!
Just don’t get too self-centric. Interact with other people as well by commenting, liking and sharing their works.
10. Discover relevant Google+ Communities
Use a quick search on your Google+ page. Choose the most active ones and start engaging there!
11. Share your post at relevant content communities
Here are just a few very popular ones:
- Digg (General)
- BizSugar (Business)
- Inbound (Online marketing and everything in-between)
- Hacker News (General)
- Blog Engage (Blogging/Online marketing)
- Blokube (Blogging/Online marketing)
- Design Float (Web design and more)
12. Suggest your content on Scoop.it
This is a content curation platform, where you can create topic-specific boards, add content and pitch content suggestions to other curators. Pros: referral traffic, quality backlinks and social media exposure.
13. Mention your sources on Twitter
Quoted or referenced someone in your blog post? Now mention them on Twitter for further acknowledgement and additional social exposure.
14. Alternatively DM influencers on LinkedIn…
…to share the content where you have mentioned them or showcased the work they might feel interested in sharing. Be friendly and non-pushy. Everyone hates spammers and pitiful outreach messages.
15. Create a strategic Top Tweet…
…with a magnetic title and link to your newsletter/landing/about me page to capture more leads and pin it to the top of your Twitter timeline.
16. Join a Twitter chat
Those are usually held at specific times and days of the week and you can join and track the conversations by following a dedicated chat hashtag. You can tweet links to the relevant posts on your website, when a relevant question is up. Just don’t come off as spammy.
17. Join a Facebook group
There are plenty of groups based on all sort of interests. Just paste your keyword in Facebook search to discover those. After joining, read the rules and stick to them. Usually, there are certain days/threads where self-promotion is okay, plus you can always add extra value in the comment section by sharing a link to your post along with the answer.
18. Create your own Facebook group
Facebook groups are quickly replacing Fan Pages as those have lost their organic reach appeal after the recent algorithm updates. Start building your community around common interests. Then you’ll have a place to share your posts with no admin restrictions and receive great responses. Don’t appear too self-centric as you may turn-off some folks from the community.
19. Host a Periscope session
Periscope is a new kid on the block, gaining more and more fans. Announce a live stream session to your followers. You can mention posts/products you like if they are relevant to the questions asked. Here are some great ideas from HubSpot on how you can use Periscope and Meerkat.
20. Announce your content on Instagram…
…with a catchy quote and a CTA in the caption to check the link to the latest blog post in the bio.
21. Invite people who have shared similar content to check out yours
You can scout the prospects with BuzzSumo and afterwards outreach via email.
22. Create a social media posting calendar…
…reminding you the best times and dates to schedule your content for re-sharing while you’re sleeping or on vacation. Use Buffer to automate the process.
On Your Blog
Do these simple tweaks on your blog; get more traffic
23. Spice up your titles with proven content formulas that generate more clicks. Additionally, make sure they look good both in search results (50-60 characters) and across different social media networks.
24. Make your copy more scannable with eye-grabbing subheads
Use clear structure (bullet points, highlights, listings) and enticing visuals to illustrate the written concepts.
25. Interlink your articles…
…so that readers can easily discover related posts and spend more time on your website (and possibly share more posts).
26. Add Click-To-Tweet statements…
…to encourage more shares on Twitter in just one click.
27. Set up Twitter cards…
…with Yoast plugin to make your posts look more attractive and improve your CTRs numbers.
28. Add a Highlighter – a free app by SumoMe
It allows readers to highlight any piece of your content and share it on Twitter/Facebook with one click. Make sure you include your Twitter handle in settings to track and reply to the shares!
29. Create pinnable images and add a one-click share button…
…available as part of the SumoMe bundle or Social Welfare plugin. Additionally, you can create network specific blog-graphic to get displayed when your post is shared on Facebook/Google+/Twitter/LinkedIn.
30. Optimize social sharing for mobile
Mobile traffic already surpassed desktop traffic in 10 countries, including USA. Make it super easy for your mobile readers to share your content by adding big, mobile-friendly social buttons.
31. Embed a video…
…to increase the time on page and overall engagement rates – both huge factors for Google to rank your page higher in its search results.
32. Host a giveaway
Everyone loves free stuff. Decide upon a product your audience will love (or partner with a relevant brand), set up the entry requirements (e.g. share this post/follow you on social media, etc.) and encourage your readers to invite their friends for extra draw credits.
33. Add content upgrades
This is an enticing bonus (workbook, checklist, information resources) that your readers would love to get as a bonus to your content. Give it away in exchange for their email address to dramatically grow your email list.
34. Interview an influencer…
…either in a blog post or a podcast. Benefits:
- You establish a valuable connection in your niche.
- You leverage your online authority by being associated with a “big name”.
- You get a chance to tap into the influencer’s readership, as they will share their interview on their social media and possibly newsletter.
35. Invite guest posters…
…to gain free content and additional traffic from cross-promoting their guest submission.
36. Create a round-up post
The longer, the better – this is where you’ll curate the best resources on the subject. Outreach to everyone included for additional social exposure and traffic.
37. Publish a top-industry list
For instance, best resources/best bloggers/best Instagramers in your niche and afterwards outreach to acknowledge all the awardees.
38. Get some expert quotes…
…to back up your claims in the copy or create an expert roundup post featuring advice from the pros in your niche. Send out the published post to everyone mentioned.
39. Create evergreen content
This is a long-standing piece of content you can promote over and over again on social media.
40. Research low competition, long tail keywords…
…for your content. You can use Ubersuggest to find some interesting variations. Or here’s another great trick:
- Paste your target keyword in Pinterest search.
- Copy the URL e.g. https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=blogging tips
- Paste it in Google Keyword Planner tool at “Your Landing Page” tab.
- Enjoy new keyword suggestions that your competitors have no idea about! 😉
41. Create a quiz…
…like those silly, massively popular ones from Buzzfeed and encourage readers to share the results on social media. Quizzr is a free tool to help you with that.
42. Publish a controversial post…
…thrashing some conventional wisdoms or false beliefs or offering an unusual opinion on the subject. For instance: “Why only really dumb bloggers send email newsletters”. Now, hold on tight! There’s gonna be some heavy clashes in the comment section and on social media.
43. Create a custom 404 page…
…that will direct the lost souls back to some of your most interesting posts or to your blog page.
44. Ask your readers for tips and round them up in a post
Your audience will feel flattered, share the post and encourage more shy and passive folks to participate in comment discussions more actively.
Some breaking news in your niche? A new wild pop culture trend a.k.a. the Starbucks Red Cup just emerged? Great! Hop onto the bandwagon and publish a post with your commentary/opinion on the matter. It will likely attract a lot of eyeballs while the trend is buzzing.
From Other Websites
What if you could have other websites send you traffic? Well, you could
46. Bring value and open doors with better comments
Instead of writing “Great post, thanks!” and placing a link from your name, put more time into writing a really detailed, thoughtful comment offering additional insights to the post subject. Other readers will fall in love with you and click through to your website.
Again, high chances are the blogger may include and credit your tip in this post, plus check out your website. Additionally, it’s the first step to building meaningful relationships with the influencer.
47. Guest post the smart way
Don’t chase after links, but chase after referral traffic that sticks. Create a special landing page, explaining who you are and what you do with a CTA to your newsletter and include this link in your author’s bio when guest posting.
48. Earn links and referral traffic with Pingbacks
A lot of bloggers have those enabled in WordPress. Pingbacks are auto-notifications you receive, when someone mentioned and linked to your content. Here’s a very detailed guide by Ana Hoffman on how to use it to your advantage.
49. Republish your content
Did you know that some of the massively popular publishers including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Elite Daily and others allow republishing content from your blog? Yep, no need to waste hours on writing guest posts. Sarah Peterson wrote a very detailed guide to content republishing with a list of top blogs that syndicate content.
50. Participate in a Webinar/Podcast
Team up with another blogger and set up a co-hosted webinar, equally promoted to their audience and yours.
51. Use the guestographic method…
…to attract more shares and links to your latest infographic in 5 easy steps:
- Create an attractive infographic and post it on your website.
- Make a list of websites that write on similar topics.
- Reach out and offer them to check out your infographic (and possibly share it on their own blog).
- Offer an additional “bribe” of unique intro text to go along with the infographic on their blog.
- Get a contextual link in return.
Bonus tip: You can also pitch your infographic directly to some big name publishers, who tend to feature them often e.g. Business Insider Australia.
52. Earn links with Google Maps
Create a useful Google Map e.g. of the best vegan restaurants in your area. Next, add the author’s credits with a link to your website into the embed code. Post it on your website and encourage active sharing. You can earn links with the embeds.
53. Get interviewed in an expert roundup
Do you know another blogger, who publishes roundups? Reach out to them with a letter of introduction, highlighting your experience on subjects X, Y, Z and offer a quote.
54. Land free press coverage and quotes
Sign up to HARO (Help a Reporter) as a source and receive daily email of queries from journalists writing on relevant subjects. Shoot a quick reply with your “tip”, “quote” and background for a chance to appear in a top news outlet.
55. Pitch your story to an online magazine
Most online outlets accept submissions from freelance authors and offer a byline. Create an enticing story pitch and start targeting the desired publications. You can check out the requirements and rates at this database.
56. Pitch your story to a journalist directly
Find a writer, who has previously covered other personas in your industry or quoted them as experts. Outreach with a letter of introduction briefly describing what you do and what enticing story you can share. The best option is to:
- Find the names via Google News search.
- Convert results into a spreadsheet.
- Use Mechanical Turk to automate finding the contact details.
- Send out the letter.
Additional reading: Here’s a case study from Word Stream on how they landed a link from The New York times.
57. Repurpose your content and share it on other platforms
Find some of your most popular blog posts and give them a second life in form of – video, presentation, audio, graphics and more. Afterwards, share them on relevant platforms to drive more traffic back to your blog. Neil Patel has an incredibly detailed guide on content repurposing.
58. Publish an e-book on Amazon
If you already have plenty of good content piled up in your achieves, revive it and pack it into an e-book or give it away for free on Amazon Kindle.
By creating a limited free book offer, you can get a ton of links to it from freebie and special deals website. Make sure your ebook is action-packed with links back to your blog for all the traffic you can handle.
59. Encourage RSS-subscriptions
Feedly is the most popular RSS reader out there these days, so make sure you have a link to subscribe to your Feedly feed on your website and encourage readers to do so.
60. Add your blog feed to content aggregators
61. Share your content at relevant Slack Community
62. Secure a cross-promotion arrangement
Have you made some blogging friends? Great! Now offer them to cross-promote one another by mentioning you on their blog or in the newsletter. It’s a win-win deal.
63. Add your posts as Wikipedia references
Got a super-useful, insightful guide or a unique case study? Register at Wikipedia and suggest it as a reference for a relevant page.
64. Repurpose your content for Medium
There are two good ways to use Medium for max exposure:
- Find a popular, relevant collection on Medium and pitch them your story.
- Make a shorter version of one of your popular posts and re-publish it on Medium with a content upgrade. Promote the heck of it and watch your email list grow.
65. Write testimonials
Worked with a freelancer? Ask if they need a new shining testimonial for their portfolio website in exchange for a link.
Most people can’t stay away from their email for long. Turn that reality into traffic.
66. Update your email signature…
…and include a link to your website or a specific CTA with a link to your landing page featuring an irresistible bait.
67. Create an email course…
…for your readers to gauge their interest and advertise your product/services or brand new content in between the lines.
68. Send out your new posts…
…to the subscribers you have. Keep the copy short, sweet and add a bit of suspense to encourage those clicks! Your email subscribers should generate the initial social shares for your new content.
69. Ask your readers questions…
…to understand what type of content they want to read next and what additional value you can bring to them. The best content is the one people anticipate.
70. Encourage them to share your newsletter on social media…
…and promote it publicly yourself too to show the additional benefits of joining your email list.
71. Ask your readers what else they do read
This way you can discover additional guest posting opportunities or content syndication options, plus identify other influencers in your niche for collaboration.
72. Do a list post swap
The best way is to connect with someone, who has the same email list size as yours and make a deal to write one newsletter focused on driving traffic to one another’s website.
73. Email is your main tool for outreach
Always keep it on top of your agenda.
Google processes an insane 3.5 billion searches per day. Bite into that cake
74. Check and optimize your website speed…
…with PageSpeed Insights. A slow website makes Google send you less traffic.
75. Optimize your URL structure.
Instead of the standard lengthy /2016/12/01/my-long-blog-post-title-that-i-did-not-optimize/, use the short and catchy /awesome-blog-post/ structure. That could be set up in permalinks setting on WordPress.
76. Optimize your images
Make sure each image has a relevant alt tag + the image file name contains a keyword. Next, use an image-size plugin to reduce their weight without losing the quality. Your image-heavy pages will load faster.
77. Your blog should be mobile-friendly
If your theme isn’t responsive and mobile-optimized call a developer now! Google has zero tolerance for websites looking meager on mobile devices.
78. Optimize each of your posts around one main keyword…
…and use it strategically in the copy (in the first 100 words, in titles and subtitles). Yoast plugin can help you with that.
79. Review your links
80. Focus on quality link building…
…because quality is more important than quantity. Don’t spread your efforts on getting all the links possible. Instead, focus on those from relevant sites that will bring you referral traffic.
81. Optimize your meta titles and descriptions
They should include your target keyword, preferably at the beginning. Descriptions should be catchy and include a CTA if applicable.
82. Don’t place long blogrolls on the side bar…
…as they are known to reduce your site rankings. Same goes for footer links. Don’t feature all the recent comments there.
83. Find and fix broken links…
…with Google Webmaster Tools and pay attention to notifications you receive.
84. Write longer copies (1500+ words)
Those tend to perform better in search results and attract more social shares and comments as well!
Got some money to spend? Be sure to get the biggest bangs for your bucks
85. Facebook ads to lead the way
Apart from using Facebook ads to grow your email list (explained earlier), you can use them to boost your posts; lurk into user’s feeds or get highlighted in the right sidebar. Or just opt for the likes.
Here’s a detailed case study from Marketing Sherpa on how Facebook ads generated one company a 450% rise in ROI.
86. Twitter ads also work
Twitter ads come as “promoted accounts”, “promoted hashtags” and “promoted tweets”. Though the reach is definitely lower than with Facebook or Google ads, it’s still a great way to get some cheap traffic and new followers. Read this guide by Shopify on how to create your first campaign.
87. LinkedIn ads for professionals
If you are offering professional services, LinkedIn is a great platform to get some new clients on board. Check out this guide by Kristi Hines on setting up LinkedIn ads.
88. Pinterest ads are great to reach female audience
Pinterest has recently launched “buyable pins” and a number of other ad tools to reach their massive, mainly female audience (coming to the platform at the “buying state of mind” by the way). Check out their official guide to learn the details.
89. Instagram ads are great arsenals
Instagram advertising is really hot right now with brands reporting up to 350% rise in engagement. You can choose from the following call-to-actions: “Learn more”, “Install Now”, “Shop Now” and “Sign Up”.
Check out this guide from Social Media Examiner on how to create your first Instagram ad campaign.
90. StumbleUpon ads for virality
StumbleUpon can skyrocket your traffic stats, if you choose to promote the right type of content – catchy titles, attractive visuals and an irresistible bait to make people stick around for longer as users are jumping from one post to other rather fast on this medium.
Learn more on how to set up and optimize StumbleUpon ad campaigns in this guide by Today Made.
91. Tap into Google Search and Display Ads
Both options can drive you some much needed traffic, however if your website is in a competitive niche – the ads prices may run sky high. If you can identify low-comp keywords, the traffic would be pretty cheap.
This guide by Kiss Metrics will help you create your first ad campaign.
92. Swap Ads with Other Bloggers
Small-to-medium bloggers usually offer sidebar ad-swaps to blogs in the similar niche for free. Check out Passion Fruit ads to find prospects for swap and purchase.
93. Purchase ads from niche websites
More popular bloggers usually sell sidebar ad space to fellow bloggers. This is particularly true for travel/fashion and lifestyle niche. Usually the pack includes sidebar banner placement for a month + social media shout outs + in post mention.
Again, you can use Passion Fruit ads or make direct inquiries to target prospects.
94. Sponsor a newsletter
If you want to tap into someone’s larger newsletter, ask if the blogger offers many sponsorship options for getting promoted in their newsletter.
Such promotions usually bring great results if you choose to work with a person, who writes for your target audience. The conversion rates are much higher compared to banner or display ads.
95. Mobile ads
Considering the explosive growth of mobile ads, creating a dedicated squeeze page and directing some advertising to it can be a smart move.
The Secret of Successful Bloggers? They also network offline
96. Print blog business cards…
…with links to your website and social media handles. Additionally you can create a QR code leading to your homepage directly.
97. Attend a niche event and/or conference
Those are regularly held in different locations worldwide pretty much in any niche – from travel and fashion to personal finance and blogging. Don’t be shy about making introductions and swapping business cards.
98. Attend a meetup
Check out Meetup to find what’s going on in your area and try to make friends both with the hosts and other attendants. You never know what those connections may result into.
99. Host a reader meetup…
…either locally or at the place you are traveling to. Connect with your biggest fans on a personal level!
100. Host or co-host an in person workshop
Do you have an online course? Turn it into a shorter workshop and advertise it to your online readers and in the real world. Additionally you can invite another local expert on board to double the potential amount of attendees.
Scott Berkun wrote an excellent guide on hosting workshops. Be sure to check it!
101. Get invited as a local speaker. Reach out to local cultural spaces, coworkings and other places that hold interesting events in your area and pitch them your idea for a talk.
Back To You
You’ve just read a 4,500+ word guide. Good job!
Now, let’s get things cracking. Promise me you will try at least 6 traffic generation tips from the list and share the results in the comment section below!