How To Start A Blog, Part 4: How To Get Traffic and Followers
It’s no fun running a blog and not getting any traffic or followers, especially if you want to make money from your blog. Visitors don’t just appear from nowhere. You have to put in the effort to attract them. There’s no magic key to getting traffic, but there are a number of things you can do that should attract it over time.
Write High Quality Posts
The better and more informative or entertaining your posts are, the more likely they are to attract visitors over time. Short and sweet rarely does the job.
Search engines seem to like longer posts better on average, but don’t drag a post out longer than it needs to be. You’ll drive your human visitors away, and they’re more important than the search engines. Ideally, you want your target visitors to consider you a valuable resource. Even better is if you can get other bloggers to see the quality of your work and consider you a resource they can link back to.
Try to post at least once a week. Don’t assume you have to stick to a certain number of posts per week – quality is better than quantity. If you have nothing to say at the moment, so be it. Just remember that every time you post is another opportunity to build traffic.
Learn To Write Interesting Headlines
The first thing people will see from your blog posts is the headline. Make it relevant and interesting. I don’t recommend the clickbait style headline. Too often those aren’t accurate, and many people find them annoying. Learn to write headlines that are relevant and get attention.
Asking questions is a great way to get people to participate on your blog.
Encouraging people to ask you questions will help you learn what people want to know from you, even if they email you the question rather than ask you directly on your blog. I’ve turned common questions into blog posts many times.
People like stories. They add interest to what might otherwise be a dull post. Share personal stories as appropriate and let your visitors see who you are.
Promote On Social Media
Promote your posts on social media. Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Facebook are popular choices. Instagram is another option, but they only allow you a link in your profile, so it’s more difficult to promote individual posts. Many find it worthwhile, regardless.
Post regularly, and do not only post self promotional items on your social media accounts. Share interesting things others have shared and interact with other users when possible. It’s called social media for a reason.
Make it easy for visitors to share your posts on social media with the Shareaholic plugin. If you can get others to promote you on social media, your work will spread much more quickly.
I like Hootsuite for sharing my posts. It allows me to schedule posts for Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook. It can even handle Pinterest if you use Tailwind. For Twitter, it’s best to share each post multiple times over several days rather than just once. This is much easier if I can schedule my posts. It’s also nice being able to schedule everything at once rather than having to come back at what I think will be a good time to post something.
Other bloggers, even in your same niche, are not just competition. They can become friends. You will each have your own takes on your subject.
Comment on their blog posts. Most allow a link in the form you fill out to make comments, and that may lead people back to your blog. Be informative – don’t just say “good post.” If you have something to add, not only will their readers notice you, the other blogger may as well.
You can also contact them on social media and offer to share each other’s posts. This will expose your work to another audience.
Another reason to network is so that you can find blogs that will allow you to share a guest post on their site. You may be able to reciprocate and have them post once on yours. Once again, this exposes your work to a new audience, and can help drive traffic to your site.
Make sure to link to relevant information in your blog posts. Don’t link only to your own work; link out to other blogs too. Linking to your own work is important to keep people reading on your website. Linking to the work of others allows you to give the best information possible and can bring you to the attention of the sites you link to. Search engines also like sites that link out to high quality sites – it helps show the quality of yours as well.
- How To Start A Blog, Part 1: Why Blog?
- How To Start A Blog, Part 2: Brainstorming
- How To Start A Blog, Part 3: Starting A WordPress Blog
- How To Start A Blog, Part 4: How To Get Traffic and Followers
- How To Start A Blog, Part 5: How To Earn Money From Your Blog
- How To Start A Blog, Part 6: Should You Add Video Or Podcasting?
- How To Start A Blog, Part 7: What Else Would You Like To Know?