A common problem that many new bloggers face is not having anyone reading their blog/website especially in the startup period of blogging (and even later).
I know all about the traffic issue because I’ve been there too!
Here are 8 easy free blog traffic tips I have discovered to overcome this lack of traffic!
1. Get self-hosted with your blog/website
What is a self-hosted blog/website ?
A self-hosted blog/website is one that resides on your own server. Most people, however, pay a third-party to host their blog, which opens them to all the benefits of a self-hosted blog.
Companies that provide hosting services are essentially companies, that rent out digital storage space to users to make running a blog/website possible.
Pros of a self-hosted blog:
- You have full control over your blog, including in its layout, search engine optimization, advertising revenue, additional functions, and more.
- You can install custom themes to brand your blog.
- You have complete access to your back-end files, which allows you to make any necessary code changes.
- Using a third-party host usually costs only a few dollars per month.
Cons of a self-hosted blog:
- It requires an initial investment.
- It can be intimidating to new bloggers.
What types of costs are involved with a self-hosted blog ?
Like with a free blog, any photos, domain names, and themes that you purchase will add to your costs. With self-hosting, you also have to invest in the cost of using a third-party host. The good news is that hosting can cost under $5 per month.
Who should use self-hosted blogs ?
Since self-hosted blogs look more professional and perform more functions, they are best for businesses. They are also ideal for the individual who wants to improve his or her professional appearance and boost the functions available on his or her website.
Therefore, if you want to run a business online I recommend that you start your blog the right way and get self-hosted from the start. This will give your blog so much more credibility, allow you to set up a beautiful & professional theme, allow you to have your own domain name which will be easier for your readers to remember and come back, and so much more.
2. SSL Certificate
The SSL certificate is one of the easiest items to check off.
With all the web security hacks that are making headlines people are keeping a closer eye on what websites they hand their personal information to. This is why Google has propped up the SSL certificate within their algorithm, ranking websites with it higher in their search results.
What to do: Most website hosts allow you to add on the SSL certificate to your yearly plan. These plans are not horribly expensive. Even some hosting plans will include an SSL certificate, which is one of the reasons why I use the hosting included in my membership at Wealthy Affiliates
There are ways to get free SSL certificates from reputable organizations such as Let’s Encrypt – https://letsencrypt.org/. I only recommend this for the highly tech-savvy people though.
3. Create Quality Content
ALWAYS create helpful, valuable content for your readers. Whenever writing a new post, thinking about how valuable this post is going to be to your readers should be your #1 priority. This will make your readers remember you and they’ll want to come back!
Therefore, knowing how to write content the right way is imperative for your online business’ success!
So let’s look at the 4 steps to write a perfect blog post:
1. Introduce a problem
People turn to the world wide web for answers or solutions to their problems. Popular questions like “how do I lose 10 lbs?” are asked thousands of times per day and business owners use content to draw readers in.
2. Introduce a solution
After hooking your readers by relating with them on their problem, introduce the solution (product or service) in a helpful way.
3. Give examples
Don’t stop at introducing your product or service, but show readers why it’s the best solution using real examples.
4. Close the sale
Convince your readers that you have what they need. If your reader is a first-time visitor, they might not be ready to buy just yet, but if you have good and valuable content on your website/blog, the visitor will come back another time, and next time they are more will to buy, because now you have started to build trust with the visitor. Building trust with your audience is the key to make sales with your audience.
These 4 steps should be applied to all of your content. Even if you’re not ready to push a sale in each blog post, grab your leads so that you can bring them back to your content.
4. Create longer blog posts and post less frequently
I noticed a big increase in my web traffic after I started focusing on creating longer posts. Not only are longer blog posts better for SEO, but your readers will love it too!
Your readers want details, they are not looking for quick suggestions or fluff content.
When your content is useful and provides practical information, your readers will trust your expertise (in your blog’s niche) and will want to share your articles with their friends. And word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertisement.
As Seth Godin said in his book Purple Cow, focus on the “sneezers”, make it remarkable enough for them to pay attention, and make it easy for them to spread.
I remember reading an article some time ago about “how to increase your blog traffic” and the author recommended posting new blog content 5 days a week. I tried this method, in hopes to grow my own readership, but my blog content took a turn for the worst.
Pumping out 5 new posts a week didn’t give me enough time to create the quality content that I wanted my blog to represent.
This was also during a time when I was still experimenting with different niches. Needless to say, writing 5 new posts a week didn’t achieve the results that I wanted.
I cringe when I look back on my 300-word blog posts and thought they were good enough for my readers. Writing just “good enough” blog posts was not what I wanted my niche blogs to represent, my readers, deserved better and also more quality content.
Instead, I honed in on a niche that I was passionate about and wrote longer blog posts (1,000-3,000 words in length).
I also stopped writing new articles 3-5 times a week and now only publish 1-2 new post per week (or less).
By creating longer content and posting less frequently, I have been able to devote more time to promoting my content, which has led to a huge increase in my blog traffic.
Again, it’s about working smarter, not harder.
5. Consistent Engagement
Every platform has different algorithms and programs that ultimately reward you for being a consistent user as well as penalize you for being inconsistent. So it is extremely important to be consistent.
This doesn’t mean you have to be on all the time – just try not to be active in big spurts and then inactive for big spurts. Consistency is important in the world of social media.
This is the same for posting on your blog. You will want to post consistently. Even if that’s only once a month, make it a habit. Don’t post three posts one week and then wait four months to post anything else. Readers and Search Engines want to read consistent blogs.
Therefore, Google loves when a blog has consistent fresh content. They don’t like if a blogger pumps out 10 posts right away and then neglects their blog for 3 months.
So, it’s better to be somewhat consistent (3 times a month) than not at all.
Therefore, in the beginning, you are maybe only able to handle writing and publishing one or two posts a week and that’s okay – Do it at your own speed and in a way you can do it on a weekly basis.
If you can do that, commit to it though and stay consistent which is the key to your online success.
6. Work with Pinterest
Learn everything you can about Pinterest. Pinterest is what gives most bloggers traffic, so believe me when I say you want to learn how to master it!
Why is Pinterest so effective to create traffic to your blog/website ?
#1 – Pins have a LONG lifespan
So you may not have known this, but pins on Pinterest can live for a very long time.
The average lifespan of a Facebook status is just a couple of hours while the lifespan of a Tweet at Twitter is just minutes.
But Pinterest pins are on a whole other level. Pins can live for months, even years (pretty crazy, huh?!)
#2 – 90% of visitors to Pinterest use the platform to shop or search for solutions
According to research, the majority of pinners use the Pinterest platform to shop or search for solutions.
This means that pinners are looking to spend money when they browse Pinterest and that could mean more sales, subscribers, and traffic for you.
#3 – Pinterest has a SmartFeed
Last but not least, Pinterest has a SmartFeed!
You might be wondering what the heck a SmartFeed is.
This means that the more popular a pin is through interactions, saves, impressions, shares, etc. the more likely it is to show up on someone’s feed!
If you work hard and stay consistent, Pinterest definitely will reward you.
Automate your Pinterest work
If you want to see real traffic to your blog/website through Pinterest you’ll need to post between 20 – 40 times a day on Pinterest. Don’t try to do this yourself manually and you will spend several hours per day pinning!
Instead, use a pin scheduler like Tailwind, and you only have to spend an hour per week to make your pinning.
You can try Tailwind out for free to see if you like it – Click Here
Tailwind has many features. The most helpful is the “tribes” feature helps you reach a wider audience than just pinning manually ever allows you to reach. There are also many other tracking functions so that you can see how well your pins are working.
When you “pin” on Pinterest, share your own content as well as other pins you find useful.
7. Join Facebook Groups
Join Facebook groups related to your blog niche and interact and create relationships with your potential readers. Then, promote your blog posts if the group rules allow it!
If you find the right Facebook groups for your niche, then Facebook Group can be a great traffic source for your blog/website.
Therefore, find a few Facebook Groups relating to your niche and start sharing your content on the daily threads. Just make sure to follow the rules, or risk getting the boot. Most groups have daily promo threads to share your links, but PLEASE make sure to engage with other users!
8. Email Marketing
Adding a mailing list to your blog/website is one of the most important steps to take if you want to build your audience and monetize your blog/website.
Your mailing list is owned by you. You decide how you communicate with it. You decide how often. You don’t have to try and beat an algorithm every time you share new content.
As mentioned email lists are important but you still have to consider open rates, getting people to click on links, promotion tabs in G-mail and spam filters.
But if you do your email marketing the RIGHT WAY, the results can often be consistently much stronger than organic social media results.