Without readers, your blog isn’t going anywhere. But as your traffic levels grow, you’ll find that it’s easier to get new readers – and with more people to share, retweet and post about your content, you have more chances to get in front of new audiences.
Even big bloggers, though, need to think about traffic: those shares and retweets and links won’t always happen on their own.
Whatever stage you’re at with your blog – whether you’re just starting out or you have thousands of visitors every month – these tips will help you get more traffic, fast.
1. Write a Shareable Post
Most bloggers agree that the “if you build it, they will come” advice doesn’t really apply – there’s lots of great content out there that never gets read. Even so, content is where you should start before looking for more traffic.
Write a great, compelling post – one that delivers real value. Make sure you have an attention-grabbing headline (throwing a number in there usually works well). People love to share amazing content, so the better you can make your post, the more likely they are to tell all their friends.
2. Pay Attention to SEO
If you see yourself primarily as a writer, you might be a bit nervous about SEO (search engine optimization). Perhaps you’ve come across sites that were optimized in such a heavy-handed way, the content became almost unreadable.
SEO doesn’t mean cramming keywords into your post, nor does it mean having a degree in computer science. By paying attention to the basics – like having keyword-rich headlines, interlinking posts, and getting links from high PageRank sites (see #6) – you’ll find that your search engine traffic goes up.
3. Use Your Email Signature
Your email signature is a great place to let people know about your blog. It gives you an easy way to include a link to your blog in every single email you send – without having to remember to do so manually, and without seeming pushy or demanding.
You might want to simply link to your blog, or you might link to a specific post, page, or other resource. By changing your signature around occasionally, you prevent the people you email regularly from becoming blind to it.
(Many forums also allow signatures, and these too are a great place to put a link: do check the forum guidelines, though, for any rules on whether or not you can put links in your signature.)
4. Leave Great Comments
Although commenting on blogs will only usually bring in a trickle of new readers, it’s a great way to grow your blog in the very early days – when even five or ten new readers can be a big boost.
When you comment, make sure you’re adding something relevant to the discussion: people will be much more likely to click through on your name, and the blog post author will value your contribution.
Don’t use keywords in the “name” field for your comment: use your real name. If you feel you want to add more, you could use your name followed by your blog’s name (e.g. I might be “Ali Luke – Aliventures”).
5. Ask for Shares / Retweets
Some bloggers worry that it’s somehow “wrong” or “needy” to ask their audience to share their posts…but this can hold them back from getting more traffic. Plenty of bloggers, big and small, will say “Please retweet” or “If you enjoyed this post, please share it.”
Make it easy for people to share your posts, too. If you’re tweeting a link and asking for a retweet, make sure your tweet is short enough that people can add a “RT @yourname” (if that’s how they prefer to do retweets). On your blog posts themselves, have a Tweet and/or Facebook share button.
6. Write a Guest Post
One of the very best ways to get an influx of targeted traffic is to write a guest post for a blog in your niche. (This also boosts your SEO by giving you an inbound link from a high PageRank site).
Your guest post should be your very best work – that way, it stands a good chance of being accepted. Make sure you use your bio and especially your link to full effect: try linking to a particular post or resource rather than to your blog as a whole, as this gives people more of a reason to click through.
Have you been successful with any of the above methods…or do you have a seventh tip to add? Let us know your experiences, and your ideas, in the comments.