A blog without traffic is like talking to yourself in the mirror. Not that there’s anything wrong with talking to yourself in the mirror. But let’s face it – it gets old quickly. This post is the first in my series on how to get blog traffic. You’ll find the links to the rest of the posts below.
Before we get into why your not getting blog traffic, let’s go over what exactly traffic is.
Unique visitors: Anyone who is visiting your site for the first time.
Visits: How many visits your site received, even if it’s not the first time.
Unique Page Views: The number of unique or individual pages a visitor viewed.
Page Views: How many pages a visitor viewed while on your site, including repeat visitors.
If you’re reading this you’ve probably been blogging for a while but your visitors and page views are not increasing.
In most cases, it comes down to three things –
1. You’re not blogging consistently
2. Your content sucks
3. You’re hiding
If you aren’t blogging on a consistent basis, your traffic is not going to be consistent either. You may have highs and lows instead of a steady flow. For me personally, this has always been my struggle and I’ve been blogging 10+ years!
Make no mistake, blogging consistently doesn’t mean you have to blog every day. Try to keep your pace the same each month even if that means you only post once a week (although I don’t recommend it – aim for at least every 5-6 days which is like six times a month).
Another reason your traffic might be low is that your content is boring, written poorly or has nothing particularly interesting to say. Nothing will make visitors run screaming from your blog quicker than bad content. The thing that makes this hard to identify is that most bloggers don’t think their content is crappy.
Ask 2-3 people you trust to read a few of your posts and give you some constructive criticism. Take their feedback and work on creating posts that people want to read.
You can also try something I talk about in my blogging course. Visit a few blogs that are successful in your field and read some of their posts – but don’t read as a reader, read as a writer. Pay attention to how they put words together. Notice how they describe something they saw or heard. Be aware of how you feel when you read their posts. What lessons can you take and apply to your own posts? Start with these blogs or google “Best (your niche) blogs”.
Best food blogs of 2014
Best travel blogs if 2015
Best DIY Blogs of 2014
The last reason why your traffic might be suffering is you’re hiding. Maybe you’re scared of people judging you or you’re afraid of failing – or succeeding. Try to push yourself out of your comfort zone (even just a little) to get out there. If for no other reason then that the people that need to read what you’re writing will have a hard time finding you, if they find you at all. Start small, with circles of people you trust and feel comfortable with and work on expanding that circle regularly.
In addition to the suggestions above, try these three traffic-building strategies.
1. Link to your own posts and to others
Linking to your own content within other blog posts on your site can increase page views by helping to navigate your readers to other useful content related to what they’re already reading. Also, by internally linking your best content it helps search engines by pointing them to content you deem valuable.
Linking to external sites helps you get traffic by getting you noticed by other bloggers in your field which may lead to collaborations and exposure for your own blog. It can also help your blog become a trusted resource for your readers by including valuable information. My personal experience using this strategy has been nothing short of amazing. Several years back when I was writing regularly on my unschooling blog, I linked out to other reputable related blogs on a regular basis. It climbed up the search engine results for my keywords faster than my other blogs and it received a page rank five.
2. Publish a comprehensive monster of a post about your niche
Write one that is so informative that other bloggers will want to link to it and share it with their followers. If you have a travel blog, write a post detailing everything someone would need to know about taking a cruise. Interlink to your previous cruise posts, use photos that bring your words to life, answer any questions your readers have about cruises, create a chart showing what cruises are best to take a different times of the year and share your own cruising experiences. This is also the perfect opportunity to link out to valuable cruise posts from other travel bloggers. Aim for 700+ words, run it through a spell and grammar check and share it wherever you can.
3. Make your site responsive across several devices
More and more, people are using their mobile devices to access the internet and one-third of all web pages are now being served to mobile phones. If mobile users can’t read your blog without pinching and scrolling, chances are they won’t come back. Check if your site is mobile-friendly with this free tool from google.
With some work and consistency, you can build your traffic up from where it currently is. Please share any traffic building tips you use in a comment below.
arcee miranda says
Love reading the tips! Will definitely do all your tips. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I’m becoming more conscientious about growing my blog—which is why I finally started a Facebook page for it! (https://www.facebook.com/TenThousandHourMama) I’m trying to become more involved in the blogging community in my city, too, which is also a lot of fun.
Jody @easypeasymom says
Thanks for the tips! As a new blogger this is great information to have. Thanks for sharing!
Some great tips here. I need to incorporate them into an action plan for my blog.
Thanks for these nice blog tips. Very encouraging! I’m currently working on these and others to build a larger following. Do you use email marketing or newsletters as well?
Gail Akeman says
I bellieve I do need to post more than what I do.
Thanks for the tips. I am new to publicly blogging (I’ve had personal blogs for years) and so I try and read all of the blogging traffic tips I come across.
Great tips, thank you! :o]
Ruth Zankich says
I think if a blogger is not looking at their traffic they are hurting themselves. For me because I do local travel I look at where my visitors are coming from and in my giveaways I ask a question as to what they would like to see more of. They get an additional entry, I get key information that I use to grow.
Melissa French, The More With Less Mom says
The next step after these is sharing that great content with linkies! Hello from Totally Terrific Tuesday.
Must Love Home says
Hi there Friend, you are so creative! Thank you for joining in at the Friday Favorites Link Party! I hope to see you there this week:) Christine -Must Love Home
Lisa Ehrman says
Thanks for this great post, filled with lots of terrific advice! I’m so glad you shared this post at Together on Tuesdays; we can all use blogging advice 🙂
Rose @ Walnut Acre says
Thank you for this very helpful post. Linking to other sites and sharing on social media have been huge boosts for me.
I am book marking this. I really want to increase my traffic in May.
Jenny @ Unremarkable Files says
Great tips, and thanks for the link to check how your page is displaying on mobile devices. Over half my traffic comes from iPhones.
Thanks for the helpful tips!
Tiaras & Tantrums says
I do all of these tips as well . . . but I do tend to forget to link back to previous posts. I used to link to others, but now with the ftc warnings, I am so leery!!
Great advice 🙂
Consistency is my weak spot. I’d like to keep to a once a week schedule, but I get sidetracked by client work.
Also, I haven’t been linking much to others, thanks for the tip!
Nikki Frank-Hamilton says
Ha! I hid for the first several years that I blogged, I just didn’t realize it. I blogged in a vacuum. I don’t think that I was ready for it all yet, there sure is a lot to blogging. But now I’ve caught up, figuring it out bit by bit. Thanks for the tips!
Vatsala Shukla says
Valuable tips, Joanne. I find just writing a blog post and hoping that people will find it still requires a bit of effort. Normally, when I publish a post, I also share it on the social media platform where my Ideal Clients hang out and then schedule posts via Buffer for other platforms. Of late, I’ve noticed a lot of traction from Pinterest so I’m now focusing on optimizing my images for Pinterest as part of the blog post planning.
Nathalie Doremieux says
Great tips! Consistency and high value for your target is a must!
Great tips! Very helpful and I think one of my historical issues is #3 – hiding 🙂
Great tips for building traffic. I know that I certainly visit most sites on a mobile device, and I expect a mobile-friendly version these days. Perhaps I’m just spoiled!
I have been working on the mobile-responsive part. Next I need to work on the site load time part and cross my fingers that my content doesn’t “suck”. LOL!
These are great tips! I found that once I started posting consistently six days a week things really picked up. Another thing that has helped me is really focusing on my images – people are visual and while we want them to read our words, an image that captures their attention is often a really good place to start!
These are great tips. I think another one that works for me is having good photos – this really draws people in and seems to hold their attention.
Great tip Kerrie!
Danielle K says
These are all great tips. I have a small blog and I noticed when I blogged often my traffic really increased. I need to get back to it 🙂
Yup – same thing with me!
Ashley S says
Great advice! I always forget to link to my own relevant posts :/
Thanks for sharing Joanne. I wish I could add some tips, but all I know, I’ve learned from you.