Traffic is the lifeblood of your blog. Without people reading your content, you have no audience and therefore no business model, so it’s important to take steps to get your readership up and keep it there as long as possible.
Here are 10 ways to generate traffic for your blog, some that you may already be doing and others that you should consider implementing in order to get your blog growing and thriving!
1) Make a plan
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It’s easier than it sounds—all you have to do is make sure every part of your content marketing campaign is connected. That means using social media and your website wisely, making sure everything fits together into a coherent whole that can create an audience for your content. Before you get started, take some time to map out all of your ideas, which will help generate more traffic for your site. And once you get going, keep evaluating everything so that you know what’s working and what isn’t. Use analytics tools like Google Analytics or just look at your web stats often; when something isn’t working like it should be, don’t ignore it!
2) Re-use old content
While it might not always seem like it, your hard work actually does generate traffic. If you’re looking to increase hits on a consistent basis, consider taking some of your older posts and adding relevant or interesting content. Take a look at what you have from a couple months ago and ask yourself if there are any topics people are still talking about or things that have changed since you first wrote about them. You can also try targeting previous posts at different audiences; for example, maybe you did an SEO post in 2012 but SEO has changed drastically since then. So update it with more recent information and republish it as a new entry in 2014. It may not seem like much—but every little bit helps!
3) Guest Post
Creating content for other blogs (known as guest posting) is an excellent way to generate traffic. It works especially well if you’re targeting a highly-relevant audience—like IT professionals or social media junkies—and your target readers are already reading those blogs. But it’s not just about generating visitors from those external sources; by adding links within your post, you can send visitors back to your own site while also giving yourself a natural boost in search rankings. For example, you might provide a link within your post that directs people who have read it on another site back to your original website, thus boosting SEO rankings and driving new traffic through search engines as well.
4) Create Lists
Creating top 10 lists is a great way to generate traffic, especially if you know your audience likes it. For example, if your website is about finance, Top 10 money saving tips will work well. If you sell pets, try writing about Top 10 cutest animals pictures of last week or something else that will increase your chances of getting ranked high by search engines. Lists can be in any format—just make sure they are easy and fun to read! You should create a list post every 2 weeks at least.
5) Use A/B Testing
A/B testing is a scientific method of determining what features work best on your website. By showing two versions of a page, you can collect data and determine which one drives more traffic, or if either one does better than another. You can use A/B testing not only on your home page but also individual pages within your site. While some bloggers prefer collecting email addresses via pop-ups, it’s worth seeing if an alternative design gets you more signups. If a pop-up doesn’t perform well during an A/B test, consider replacing it with something else. The goal is to make sure that any time someone spends on your site is as valuable as possible; be sure not just to look at traffic but engagement and conversions as well!
6) Cross Post to Other Sites
Cross-posting your content on other websites is a great way to attract new readers, but first you need an audience. If you don’t have an audience already, cross-posting isn’t going to do much good. It won’t result in new traffic—just a lot of angry commenters telling you that you should have started with their site instead of stealing their stuff. Instead, focus on getting real people on your list; then worry about building up your traffic. Once you have an engaged audience that trusts and respects what you say, it’s time to start sending them elsewhere.
7) Advertise on Facebook
If you’re new to blogging, it can be tempting (and easy) to write off influencer outreach. After all, established bloggers have built up tons of credibility—they must be successful and have plenty of traffic, right? In some cases that’s true, but don’t put too much stock in other bloggers’ numbers. If someone is seeing a ton of success on their own website or is regularly publishing guest posts on other blogs they may not have time (or may not even respond) when you contact them with a pitch. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth approaching—it just means you should do your research first. Check out that blogger’s social media accounts and see how many followers they have.
8) Advertise on Twitter
Getting your name out there and establishing a reputation on Twitter is one of the most effective ways of generating traffic. All it takes is a few hundred followers and you’ll soon see your visitor count start to rise. There are plenty of paid advertising programs on Twitter, but you should also look into search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns that allow you to market your site to relevant people in search results. Search engines like Google have been working hard at disentangling their advertising network from their search results; however, there are still some options if you really want high-value visitors coming through your site—just make sure they’re actually interested in what you have to say!
9) Email Marketing is Alive!
It’s easier than ever to reach out and connect with influencers in your industry. Take a look at LinkedIn and you’ll find that people are more than willing to share their information publicly. And with tools like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, reaching out is easy; so find an influencer in your niche and see if they are interested in working together! If they aren’t, there will be another one who is. Don’t settle; instead continue spreading word of mouth until you find someone who shares your passion!
10) Influencer Outreach Works Wonders!
If you’re looking to attract readers and build a following, there’s no better way than reaching out to influencers in your niche. An influencer is someone who can positively impact your visibility and chances of success by lending their voice (and their audience) to your content. Start by reaching out to big names in your industry on social media or with an email pitch and see if they’d be willing to promote something on their own channel. Don’t forget that bigger isn’t always better; it all depends on whether or not a potential partner aligns with your brand values!