With the addition of CaffeinateAndConquer.com, I will have less blog, SEO, SEM and social media related posts here on BFC. If you dig that type of stuff, make sure you’re following Caffeinate and Conquer because I post new blog posts on those very topics every week along with videos, free resources, and e-courses.
However, on occasion, I will still bring some of that content over here to BFC (in an abridged version), and today is one of those days. I want to talk to you about some great ways to generate more traffic for your blog.
Maintaining a blog is a lot of work. I think anyone who has jumped into the blogging ocean realizes fairly quickly that this isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s time-consuming and it’s exhausting. But, if you can wing it, it’s 150% worth it. The problem I think a lot of bloggers face is finding an audience. The internet is FULL of so much content how the heck do you ever stand out and gain traffic?
I wish the answer were easy, but unfortunately, it’s a little more complex. The key to traffic is a layered approach. You should be implementing a handful of different methods to get traffic and shouldn’t ever rely solely on one method as we know that these methods can change. Today I’m going to give you 5 of my favorite ways to generate traffic, and hopefully, some of these will be new and insightful to you.
I know that these methods will definitely help you gain more traffic.
1. Use SEO Tactics
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the process in which websites are ranked on SERPs (search engine results pages). Every day bots crawl websites and take what they find from the content, the keywords, the images, and so on, and decide WHAT that page/post/website is about. It then uses that info to display posts and websites to someone searching for a specific keyword on the internet.
The sticky thing about SEO is the algorithm for ranking high in Google and other SERPs is constantly changing. Google alone changes the algorithm over 300 times a year, with big changes usually every 12-16 months. So, staying on top of SEO best practices can be challenging. There is currently a huge shift in the SEO world from being all about focus keywords to being more about quality, in-depth content. All that being said, there are some great practices you should be in the habit of doing to ensure your blog’s posts are easy to find for someone searching for that topic.
I recently shared an in-depth post all about 9 SEO tactics you should be using on your blog. These are some common SEO practices for blogging that you can get in the habit of doing to make your blog and your posts easier to find on the internet.
You can also check out my favorite SEO tools and download my SEO checklist for your blog posts.
2. Video Content Matters
Be prepared to hear me say this a lot, but you need to be creating videos for your blog. The use and importance of original digital video content is on the RISE. The consumption of video online increases by over 100% every year and statistic predict that by 2020 three-fourths of ALL internet usage on mobile phones is going to be video content. WHAT? That’s like…a lot. A LOT A LOT. If you’re not already creating video, you really should consider it for the future of your brand and blog.
Why is this great for traffic? Video is essentially a whole other platform in which to extend your reach. YouTube states that it reaches more 18-49-year-olds that any other broadcast or cable network – and that they do that on just mobile alone. YouTube is considered the 2nd largest search engine and brings in about 5 billion views A DAY. Additionally, more and more people are turning to video to answer their questions. 2015 saw a 70% increase in searches for “how to videos.” If you have the answer to questions your target audience is asking, video holds huge capabilities in your ability to reach a much broader audience.
Wanna know more? Try this video on 5 reasons you need video content for your blog.
3. Repurpose Content
If you’re a blogger, you’re creating awesome content all the time.
But, wracking your brain on Sunday nights on “what the heck am I going to post this week?!” is probably a common occurrence. At least, I hope it is and I’m not totally alone. Anyone?
While continuing to create new and fresh content is important for your blog and your creative process, you probably have some awesome content you’ve already done all the legwork on that you can repurpose. Once you start to compile a library of posts on various similar topics, you’ll find that you can repurpose this content in various ways.
The reason repurposing content is good is two-fold. One, it saves you time (yes.please.thankyou.) Second, by repurposing content into a different medium, you’re opening it up to a whole new audience. Say, for example, you wrote a totally killer post about “living in the city with a dog.” All the people who read your blog had the chance to read and enjoy it. And, if you optimize the post well for Pinterest, new people who like reading blogs could find it. But, what about the people out there who don’t read blogs? Say you took that content and repurposed it into a video? Or a podcast? You’ve opened yourself and this content you know a lot about to a whole new audience of people who watch YouTube or love listening to podcasts.
4. Pinterest, the second Google
I think many people picture Pinterest as another social media like Tumblr because you can have friends to follow and can interact with one another. But even though Pinterest has some social media like habits, it’s not a social media platform at all. Pinterest is an intuitive search engine with the ability to take a post and make it viral. It allows you to connect with people who like your kind of content and get in front of your target audience who might not have found you organically.
By optimizing your site for Pinterest and taking the time to generate a presence on Pinterest, you can squeeze a ton of traffic out of this impactful search engine. With over 100 million users and growing, this search engine has strong searching capabilities that can drive people back to your site. Check out my Pinterest Hacks Every Blogger Should Know to learn more about how to get the most out of Pinterest for your blog.
5. Two Words: Mailing List
I feel like I hear the same thing over and over again when it comes to starting a mailing list “I wish I had done this sooner!”
I totally get it, though, the thought of starting a mailing list has a lot of “stop points.” My stop points to not starting a mailing list were the typical ones:
What will I send to people?
Who will want to sign up?
I don’t have the time
Excuses, friends, silly excuses! You do NOT need a big following to have a mailing list. You don’t need tons of products or services that you’re selling to have a mailing list. A mailing list is your ticket into the inboxes of the people who love what you do and who you are – whether that’s 5 people or 5,000. Mailing lists allow you to stay front of mind of these people- your most invested audience. It allows you to let them know about new posts, announcements, and so on.
This past year I signed up for a bunch of different mailing lists, and I find that everyone uses them differently. Some people send an email every single day. Others send weekly recap type emails. Some send sporadically, only when they have someone to offer, sell, or promote. Some keep it strictly “purpose-based,” like: join this webinar, sign up for this class, come to this summit, buy this product. Others are much more personal, with emails that don’t always have a call to action.
You’ll find your own voice for mailing lists, but the first step is getting started. Go-to gal for all things blog Helene of Helene in Between has a great post all about how to create a newsletter for your blog. It’s a great place to get started if you don’t already have a mailing list. While you’re over there also check out her newsletter ideas – 10 newsletter ideas for your next email.
There you have it for your five favorite ways to improve the traffic of your blog. I hope you found this useful, helpful, and insightful. Let me know in the comments your favorite and most efficient way to increase blog traffic is! Don’t forget to follow Caffeinate and Conquer for more in-depth posts and content all about growing your online presence!