Are you stuck in a rut, feel you are blogging your guts out for no return? Well Sally has listed over thirty amazing tips on how you can improve your blog traffic and most of them will just take a couple of minutes to implement. It’s definitely worth taking the time to read the post if you are serious about getting people to read your posts.
Over to Sally…
Once you have written some great blogging content it is natural that you want lots of people to read it. Here we are giving you some tips, on how to get your content read by a larger audience.
How can you let people know about your amazing blog posts if you don’t have a ready-made audience or a huge following on social media?
1. Share a Post with Us. We might be biased *cough*, but if you’re a Foodies100 member, sharing your posts couldn’t be easier. Tweet us @Foodies100, join in with our Linkies, write a guest post – there’s lots of opportunities to get involved. You can also just email email@example.com if you have an idea for a post.
2. Join our Facebook group: The Bulletin Board is a great place where we share paid campaign opportunities, but it’s also where our editors look for contributions to the recipe round-ups and crowdsourced posts we share. Make sure you join!
3. Join in with Linky posts: A Linky is a nice way to meet new bloggers, as many people joining in with a Linky will visit the other blogs taking part. Warning – this will only work if your entry to a Linky is genuinely interesting enough to make new visitors stick around!
4. Create an email newsletter: one of the best ways to boost your readership is to encourage your visitors to subscribe to your content. Sites like Mailchimp and Constant Contact make it easy to share regular updates with your followers, showcasing your best posts and recipes. If you use WordPress, consider a plug-in like Greetbox to encourage subscriptions.
5. Use a Facebook page: Twitter is great for reaching the sort of people who already read blogs, but Facebook is better for reaching non-bloggers, in our experience. A good Facebook page, shared and liked by your real life friends, will score you lots of new readers. Be sure to follow this post for tips on making the most of your Facebook page.
6. Make Twitter work for you. Almost every blogger is on Twitter and uses it to promote posts. But are you making the most of the opportunity? Research from link shortening company Bit.ly shows that most clicks on links happen between 1 and 3pm on weekdays – so share your posts then. Links posted after 8pm tend to get lower results, and anything posted after 3pm on a Friday is likely to sink without trace.
7. Stumble. Frequently. StumbleUpon is all about Internet serendipity. Register with the site and it will show you random web pages it thinks you’ll like. As a blogger, you should register and stumble your own content – the StumbleUpon community is absolutely HUGE and stumbling posts on topics like photography, Internet tips and tricks, comedy and tutorials will bring in scores of new readers.
8. Share your posts with brands. If you write a review of a product, be sure to share the link with the brand in question. Post a link to your review on their Facebook page. Tweet them. Ask them if they’ll consider sharing your post on their blog. Some brands have hundreds of thousands of followers and likers, and getting brands to promote your blog to them is a BIG opportunity.
9. Add your blog to your email signature. How many emails do you send a day? 50? 100? Your email signature is the quickest, easiest way possible to tell those people about your blog using Wisestamp enables this easily.
10. Use Instagram. Posting, tagging and sharing photos on Instagram is a great way to reach new readers, who may not be bloggers. Consider posting pictures that promote your latest post, but also post random pictures of your day, pictures from events you attend, and special days out. Don’t forget if you are on Instagram, you can follow us (@tots100index).
11. Comment on other blogs. Commenting on other blogs is the tried and tested way of getting new readers – people reading the comments on a blog post you found interesting are likely to find your blog interesting, after all. To turbo-charge this approach look for blogs that use CommentLuv, which allows commenters to leave a link to their most recent blog post at the bottom of their comment.
12. Focus on headlines. People reading on the Internet don’t (usually) settle down on the sofa for a good, long read. They scan, and hop from page to page, until something captures their attention. So make your headlines GREAT. Make them short, make them relevant and use key words people are likely to be searching for. Puns, song titles and single-word titles might be creative, but they’re not audience-grabbers. Aim for 7 words per headline, max.
13. SEO, SEO, SEO. It’s obvious. If you want people to find your blog through search engines, you’ll need to do a bit of SEO. Don’t panic. It needn’t be technical, it needn’t be time-consuming. Having a relevant title, using keywords in your posts, and giving images smart and relevant tags will boost traffic, as will using an SEO plug-in such as Yoast or All-in-One SEO. Check out this post for more quick SEO tips for bloggers.
14. Be consistent. As awful as it might sound, high-traffic blogs are those that have a consistent ‘brand’. If you consistently blog about the same sorts of things – or about different things in the same sort of way – then you’ll become the go-to blog for that sort of content. Readers come back if they know what they’re going to find on your site.
15. Everyone loves a list. Remember how we said readers on the Internet have short attention spans? (what do you mean, you’ve forgotten?) Well, people love lists, because they’re easy to read. Top tens, five important tips, 50 great ways to… Consider posts where you can pull together lots of your other posts, or link out to lots of resources across the Internet to save people looking for them.
16. Volunteer for media opportunities. Being in the press is a great way to get new readers – especially if you can persuade the journalist to include a link to your blog in their article. Have a media page on your blog with links to places you’ve been featured, if appropriate. And if you’re REALLY serious about getting into the media, then register with sites such as Expert Sources, where journalists go and look for subject-matter experts.
17. Join Facebook groups and communities. Yes, there are Facebook groups for bloggers, but Facebook also has thousands of other groups for people who like books, or baking, or badgers (probably – we made that one up). Search for them, join them and make connections. By this we mean chat to people and offer advice and mention your blog if relevant. Don’t ever barge into any online community with, “I’M HERE! NOW READ MY BLOG!” unless you want to be ignored.
18. Make it easy for people to share. There are loads of sites where you can get ‘sharing’ buttons so people can share your content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks. Make sure you use them, and make them easy to find!
19. Use search-friendly permalinks. It takes approximately 2 seconds to change your permalinks and once done, your traffic from search will increase enormously. Basically this means changing your blog settings so that post addresses look like this: www.myblog.com/recipe-for-christmas-cake and less like this: www.myblog.com/12-11-11-post145. Check out your blog settings to make sure you’ve got this box ticked.
20. Court controversy. If there’s one thing we know about human nature, it’s that there’s no quicker way to get thousands of people on your blog very quickly than to start a heated debate. If you’ve got the nerves for it, feel free to blog about how awful the customer service at Tesco is, or why you hate your mobile phone provider. Take that celebrity to task for wearing fur. But remember the rules – snark only works if you have a sense of humour, nobody likes a bully, and libel laws are very real. So be opinionated, but also be fair, honest and try to retain your sense of humour at all times.
21. Submit press releases. Done something amazing? Why not shout about it? You can submit a press release to a press release distribution site for just a few pounds, and it means nice new backlinks to your site and potentially lots of new readers. If you win an award, climb a mountain, launch a recipe book or anything else noteworthy, check out sites like Response Source and consider writing your own press release.
22. Use analytics. We’ll be honest. Google Analytics confuses us. But one reason for looking at your stats from time to time is to see which of your posts are most popular with readers. Armed with the knowledge that your readers want to know more about plus-size fashion and kitchen design tips, you can write more posts like those.
23. Submit your best posts to Reddit and Digg. These sharing communities are perfect if you have a BRILLIANT post that deserves a wider audience. Don’t use it for every post, though, or you’ll quickly get a reputation for spamming.
24. Use business cards. When you go to any blog-related event – be it a conference, launch, press conference or similar – distribute business cards liberally. Some bloggers also leave business cards in their wake on a daily basis, in hotel rooms, on trains… always worth a try!
25. Respond to comments. When you respond to blog comments, you look like a nice person. This is more important than you might think when it comes to turning a on-off visitor into a regular reader.
26. Collaborate. If there are blogs you admire, consider approaching the blogger and asking if they’d like to collaborate on a project. You might jointly hold a themed week of content, collaborate together on a recipe video, which you both promote to your respective audiences.
27. Host a competition. Competitions are a FAB way of reaching new people, especially if you list your competitions on popular competition websites such as Moneysavingexpert and Loqax. Those visitors might not stick around, but you never know!
28. Showcase your top articles: one way to convert one-off visitors into readers is to showcase your best articles. Create a set of links in your sidebar to your most popular or most commented on posts, or use a word tag cloud to show readers at a glance what your site is about.
29. Pictures, pictures, pictures. The Internet is a visual medium, and is becoming ever-more so. Add pictures, make pictures, share pictures. If you can’t take great photos, use a photo download service – check out Unsplash, DepositPhotos and Shutterstock, all of which are great image libraries.
30. Guest Post. If you’re a new blogger, one of the biggest things that depresses your search rankings is the number of links pointing to your site. One of the most useful ways to do this is by posting on other sites. Consider whether there are community sites you could write for, or whether you can swap guest posts with another blogger in your niche. Just be sure to keep your posts useful, relevant and unique – anything else and they can look spammy.
31. Don’t give up and have fun! This is perhaps the most important piece of advice there is. If your blog is interesting and fun to write, then don’t give up. It might be 12 months or more before your blog starts to get a regular audience. It might be even longer, but remember you only need for one post to go viral on a social network for your blog’s popularity to leap overnight – keep plugging away, write your blog in a way that is genuine and fun for you, and it’ll happen!
Do you have any other tips to add? We would love to know if you have a new way of drawing in readers.