Best Tips Ever to Increase Blog and Social Media Traffic
Just in case you missed my “How to Start A Blog” post, let me just tell you, starting and running a blog is complicated. It is so much work – more work than I ever anticipated! And I am still figuring it all out. Driving traffic to your blog and conquering social media are two dragons that are difficult to slay (or tame). But there *are* a few things that I’ve learned along the way that I thought I’d share. Driving traffic to your blog and conquering social media are two dragons that are difficult to slay (or tame). Click To Tweet
1. Content is King
The number one way to make sure you’re gaining subscribers and readers is to have great content! Content, in the end, is what keeps readers coming back. This is one of the reasons why it’s good to have a backlog of blog posts before you start your blog – you won’t run out of content as easily if you have a bunch stored up!
Again, if you’ve seen my previous Pinterest post (at this point, my monthly viewers are up beyond half a million!), Pinterest is essential. You need to be promoting on Pinterest. Every single time I post, I make at least one pin for Pinterest. I post it on my boards. Then I post on my Group Boards. And oh, Group Boards are freaking important as well. I belong to around 50 Group Boards at this point, and those are key for promoting my posts. So join as many Group Boards that are in your niche as you can, and get posting!
Also key: having great Pins. I use Canva to create all of my pins, and Canva is fantastic.
3. Evergreen Posts
Evergreen posts are amazing for gaining followers. Basically, an evergreen post is a post that never expires or becomes outdated — kind of like how an evergreen tree renews itself every year without re-seeding. See what they did there? 😉 If your content is able to live on indefinitely and never expire, you’re more likely to reach more readers.
4. Facebook Groups
I honestly don’t know how I would have grown my blog without Facebook groups. They are amazing, and cover just about every niche and need you could imagine. There are groups for blogging, groups for just Pinterest, groups for just Instagram, groups for women only, the list goes on and on. And you need to be active in the groups. If you join and just sit there, nothing will happen. You have to participate in threads, put yourself out there, and promote yourself. Be sure to follow the rules of the group and the threads; you don’t want to be disrespectful of the moderators and others in the group. I liked Facebook groups so much, I created one! It’s called Blog Boss Babes, and it’s a blog and business promo group for women. I honestly don't know how I would have grown my blog without Facebook groups. They are amazing, and cover just about every niche and need you could imagine. Click To Tweet
Now even though content is really important for keeping your readers engaged, what do you think encourages them to come read your post in the first place? That’s right, the headline. In some ways, your headline is even more important than your post; you need to attract readers before anyone will read your content, right? The only way to do that (besides forcing your friends and family to read your blog (hi, mom)) is to write blog post titles that draw the reader in.
Oh, SEO. So simple, but so complicated. I’ve been researching SEO consistently for almost four years and I’m still not sure I completely understand it ;). Fortunately, there are plugins for that! My favorite is Yoast SEO, which is available in WordPress. If you haven’t installed it, you definitely should. Yoast will help you pick your keywords, tell you whether you need more images, make sure your copy is keyword rich, and even tell you how reader-friendly your text is. In a nutshell, Yoast makes sure your post gets noticed by the search engines like Google. It also has Social functions, and you can connect all your Social accounts via Yoast. It’s especially helpful for verifying Pinterest, and you can read more about that here. There’s a very simple process to help you know if your post is ready to go: You literally get a green light! Oh, SEO. So simple, but so complicated. I've been researching SEO consistently for almost four years and I'm still not sure I completely understand it ;). Click To Tweet
7. Publish a Newsletter
Okay, I’m not great with this one. My newsletter really only goes out when I have a new blog post up. But if you have the time, I strongly suggest sending out a newsletter to supplement your blog. It doesn’t have to be weekly; hell, it doesn’t even have to be biweekly. But a monthly (or more, if you have the time) newsletter just kind of filling in your subscribers on what you’ve been up to is a great way to engage your audience! And of course, don’t forget to send out an email when you publish a post, too.
8. Make a Freebie
Want subscribers? Give people something in return! People love free stuff. You could do a fun printable sign, a challenge, a workbook, a guide, whatever you like. There are tons of ideas floating around out there, just make it relevant to your content! If you give readers something in return, they are more likely to subscribe.
9. Guest Post
Guest posting is a topic that’s been debated a lot lately by bloggers. Some people say it’s great for helping grow your blog, others say it doesn’t make a difference. Regardless of what traffic it brings to your blog, what it definitely does do is establish a relationship with a fellow blogger, and those relationships are invaluable! And you can invite others to guest post on your blog as well. When you do that, the writer will also help drive traffic to your blog by promoting their post. It’s a win-win!
10. Build a Subscriber List
This goes hand in hand with making a freebie. When you give a freebie away, people subscribe to your email list. There are great WordPress plugins that you can use to build your subscriber list, including Email Subscribers, Sumo, Convert Plug – the possibilities are endless, just do a search in WordPress. Personally, I use MailerLite for my email list because it allows me to create landing pages for my free printables as well!
11. Work With Other Bloggers
Keyword: Collaborate. People think blogging is isolating, but in reality blogging is a very relationship heavy industry! Working with other bloggers to create some sort of group article can boost everyone’s traffic, so it’s beneficial to all the collaborators. It’s a strategy that works, and it’s also really fun to work with other amazing people in the industry!
Be sure you have your share icons set up on your blog! Again, there are tons of plugins in WordPress for this. I use Sassy Social Share, but there are a multitude of others that you can choose from. I’ve heard great things about Sumo as well.
When you post your blog, you should be promoting it on every single social media platform that you use. Facebook. Google+. LinkedIn. Reddit. Twitter. Instagram. Yummy. Pinterest. Whatever you use, make sure you promote. If you find it too overwhelming, try putting together a social media calendar where you can keep track!
14. Self Host
Guys, don’t continue to use free hosting platforms. Take the plunge and just buy your domain name. You will seem more credible, you will have more freedom, and it will be so much better for you in the long run. If you’re on WordPress.com, move to WordPress.org. There are several great options for self-hosting platforms, such as SiteGround and BlueHost.
15. Twitter Secrets
Twitter is a great way to drive traffic to your blog — if you know how to use it correctly. This is another area where there is a definite learning curve. Think about it, you work super hard on a blog post, publish it, then Tweet it. What happens now?
Tweet Multiple Times
Think about it this way, if you only Tweet one time, there’s a good chance that only a fraction of your followers are going to see that Tweet. I don’t know about you, but I don’t sit on Twitter scanning Tweets all day. Nobody does! So in order to get the most bang for your buck, so to speak, you need to send out several Tweets on the day you post in order to hit enough of your audience. I aim for four posts on the day that I publish, then one or two the next day.
Use a Social Platform
A lot of people like CoSchedule. For me, I use Hootsuite. These platforms allow you to schedule all your Tweets in advance so you’re not scrambling every few hours to send a Tweet out! Hootsuite has been an absolute live saver for me. When I first started blogging, I sent out maybe one Tweet per day. Now I’ve got four times that going out! It almost guarantees a greater reach, because you’re making yourself more visible. These services usually are not free (although both CoSchedule and Hootsuite offer free trials), but are well worth the investment.
You know how you spend soooo much time writing a blog post, making it entertaining, drawing your audience in? Tweet that sh*t! Give your followers a taste of what they can expect from the post, and they will be more likely to meander over to your blog and read the entire article.
Hashtag. Hashtag. #hashtag
Hashtags are not there for decoration. They help people find you! Make sure you’re using relevant hashtags for each post, and that you’re checking out what hashtags are trending. Then decide which hashtags belong in your Tweet. Use different hashtags for each Tweet you send out to promote your post!
16. Instagram Tips
There are few things more frustrating than posting on Instagram, gaining followers, then finding the next day that you’re down more than you gained the next day. The follow/unfollow game has become an absolute f*cking epidemic, and it sucks. And believe me, I’ve tried just about everything to grow my following, and I’ve experienced the follow/unfollow stuff just as much as the next person. I’ve managed to grow my Instagram to around 1,450 followers thus far (from 0), and it’s been steadily growing daily ever since I implemented these strategies.
Just make sure you space those posts out. Otherwise you might seem spammy, and people could get annoyed. There’s nothing worse than someone posting 10 photos in a row. But if you space them out, you’ll stay on people’s radar without being pushy. Post at different times of the day. A program like Unum or even Tailwind can tell you which times of the day are best for you to post.
If someone leaves you a comment, read it! Respond! People want to interact with you if they’re commenting on your photos; if you ignore them, there’s a good chance they’ll leave. And comment on other people’s posts, too. Honestly, people want validation – so give them some love! They’re more likely to follow you and could even lead to future collaboration.
Use a Platform
Like with Twitter, I often use Hootsuite to prepare some posts for the week on Instagram. It’s a little trickier, as I like to be more spontaneous with Instagram, so I usually don’t schedule as far out in advance as I do on Twitter. But having an Instagram post loaded and ready to go for the next day takes a lot of pressure off of me, especially when I have to work during the day and can’t always pause in order to put up a photo.
If you’re wearing an HM top, tag them! Brands like the exposure. But don’t over-tag brands, and most definitely don’t tag brands that are completely unrelated to your post. That’s a great way to get your account shut down. But if I’m doing a great makeup look and using Urban Decay and Too Faced cosmetics, I’ll tag them. You never know who’s going to see it!
Have I Mentioned Hashtags?
Guys, just like Twitter, use them. Switch them up. You can use up to 30 on every post, and I come darn close every time. Hashtags can be complicated because a) you want them to be popular but b) not too popular and c) not unique, because then people can’t really find them. And they can look a little. . . icky, so maybe hide them a bit. Either put a bunch of spaces between your text and the hashtags, or even leave them in a comment to your posts.
This sounds much easier than it is. Having an Instagram theme seems to come naturally to some people, but it’s still something I struggle with. A cohesive theme is absolutely critical to gaining followers. There are lots of ways you can go about choosing a theme. Some people use the same colors in their posts. Most use editing programs such as VSCO or Snapseed (or both) to edit their photos so there’s a cohesive “feeling” throughout their posts. Instagram is all about visual appeal, remember, so the more appealing your photos, the more followers you’ll get!
Post On Instagram Follow Threads In Facebook Groups
There are tons of opportunities to post to Instagram threads in Facebook groups – most blogging groups have chances to do this at least once a week. Sometimes it’s an account follow thread, sometimes it’s a like and comment thread for one post. Whatever it is, do it! And if there’s a follow thread, honor the rules and don’t unfollow the next day. It makes you kind of an a-hole. Treat others how you want to be treated. There used to be apps you could download to track who was unfollowing you; unfortunately, Instagram has blocked most of these apps, so none of them seem to be working these days. I used to unfollow those who unfollowed me, but now I try to just ignore my number and focus on my content.
That said, don’t follow people whose accounts don’t appeal to you. You’re more likely to unfollow them later, and that’s not great for anyone. Find what you like and follow those, and hopefully, they’ll follow you back!
I go back and forth with Instagram pods. Basically, it’s a message group chain on Instagram where everyone shares when they post something new. Those in the group are expected to like and comment on each other’s posts. While I like pods in concept, they feel insincere and I’m not sure if it actually helps the Instagram algorithm. As a matter of fact, if Instagram catches on that you’re doing a pod, they may shut down your account. The idea is that the more activity you have on your photo, the more of a chance you have of showing up in the “Discovery” section, and that helps people find you. But it’s kind of artificial traffic. Do you see what I’m saying? All that being said, if you’re newer to Instagram, it’s a good way to meet some new people and be supportive of others in your niche.
17. Facebook Fun
Facebook is another venue that I use to promote, promote, promote! Why use different all these social platforms to build your traffic? I’m glad you asked. Because different platforms attract different demographics and audiences. Just because you’re on Twitter, Facebook, Insta, Tumblr, etc. doesn’t mean that everyone in your audience is! Get it? It’s important to leverage all of them. So how do you use Facebook to promote?
It’s essential to have a page for your blog that’s separate from your personal Facebook page! Not only will it give you a way to compartmentalize your business and your personal interactions, but you also get access to analytics that you wouldn’t with your personal page.
Promote Every Post
On your brand page. On your personal page. In Groups. Everywhere you can. Make sure the people in your life know what you’re doing so they can support you!
Use Facebook Live
You know what people seem to like even more than photos? Video! Especially when you’re live and they get to see the real you! When you create a new blog post, schedule a Facebook Live video to talk about the post, and be consistent with your videos. Try to schedule them for the same day and time during the week so people can join you on a consistent basis. If you go live randomly, you’re less likely to engage your readers/viewers because they have to catch you by chance instead of knowing when you’ll be there.
And that’s all, folks! Those are just a few of the ways I built traffic to my blog and grew my Instagram. I hope those tips are somewhat helpful. Do you have some other tactics that have worked for you? Leave me a comment or message me here and let me know!