Not sure how to get blog traffic? Questioning whether people don’t like what you have to say, or if your content is not valuable? Pondering why you write the same sort of stuff as other bloggers but don’t get nearly as many readers to your website?
Not to worry, my bloggy friends! I will explain some of the problems causing your low readership and offer solutions to get your awesomeness exposed, STAT!
How to get blog traffic
Promote your blog.
Find your niche.
Find the right cadence.
Balance content and ads.
Monitor load times.
Let’s take a look at each one of these steps in detail to learn how to get blog traffic. Hint — you can’t expect it to grow on its own!
1. Promote your blog
The sad reality is that building a blog doesn’t mean you will magically get readers. Think about it — how can anyone read your brilliant prose if they don’t know it’s out there? When was the last time you stumbled upon a fantastic movie or television show? More often, it comes up in conversation. You hear someone talk about it with excitement, then you go watch it and fall in love with it. Unless you hear about it, you never know to look for it.
And therein lies your solution. Shout from the rooftops that you have web real estate! Promote your blog on your social media channels, tell ALL your friends, and maybe do some guest blogging. Then, once you have gotten the word out to everyone you can, ask others to tell everyone they know.
What is the worst that can happen? Yes, someone can say no, or simply not respond. But if you never ask for the share, the answer will always be no.
2. Find your niche
People like it when you keep it simple. They want to know exactly what they are getting themselves into when they come to your page. If your blog lacks a roadmap, it’s not only challenging to navigate — it’s hard to figure out what to come back for the next time.
So, niche it down, baby. Remember, the goal is to attract readers who are interested in something and keep them coming back. Your niche can be a little broad, but don’t make it too broad. Also, don’t draw in readers with your niche and jump to a new one without warning.
For example, let’s say your blog is about horror movies. If you start writing about every type of film except for horror movies, why would a horror-movie buff keep coming back? They will pull a Mike Myers and cut you from their life, man! No one wants to watch their readership die. The horror! The horror!
3. Publish consistently
Once you do start getting some readers, you have to keep posting quality content to give them an incentive to return. For example, you tell your readers to “stay tuned for next week’s discussion of all the ways to prevent foot fungus,” but you don’t deliver. How will your readers ever know how to keep the grossness off their toes? They will dump you and move on to another blog that does answer the question. You’ve lost your true love forever.
Just as no one likes to get all excited with the first date only to never have a second, don’t tell your readers to return for a piece on green toenails and refrain from giving them the goods. People like consistency. They want to know that if you tell them new posts will be available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, new posts are indeed available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
4. Find the right cadence
As your readership grows, you might need to increase the number of days you post each week. But don’t go overboard. Let’s say you have a couponing website with time-sensitive posts. Your readers will expect that you constantly post new information because they know that new coupons come out daily, sometimes hourly. However, there is no reason to post every 20 minutes about hair dye. Not only will you run out of subjects to write about, your audience may feel overwhelmed by too much information.
Keep your readers coming back — with genuine interest — by spreading out your goodies across several posts. Just because you know everything there is to know about your subject doesn’t mean you have to post it all at once. Draw it out into sizable chunks, enticing your reading to return again and again.
Pro tip: Plan a series of related posts. Tease each upcoming article in the preceding post to get readers excited about what’s in store.
5. Balance content and ads
When I visit a site that is cluttered with ads, I flee. And If I really get into the first paragraph of a post only to be greeted suddenly with a pesky pop-up that will not close, I leave. Oh, how I loathe those websites that make me watch a 30-second ad before getting to what I want to read. Ahem! I’m talking to you news websites!
Yes, I prefer a site with no fluff, just the news. But I get it — you need to monetize. And that’s fine. Just don’t lose site of your actual content in all the advertisements and spam. Find a balance that will work for both you and your readers. Besides, there are plenty of other (more meaningful) ways to make money blogging.
6. Monitor load times
You know the type — buffering, more buffering, oh, wait! It’s finally loading! Nope. Still buffering. And now I am bored. I am done with your site. That’s how quickly a potential reader can abandon your site. Forever.
If this is an issue with your site, read this post. It will walk you through the issues you might need to address, including external APIs, too-large image files and crappy web hosting.
Recap — How to get blog traffic
I hope this post has provided you with some ideas as to what might be preventing more readers from visiting your site and how you can avoid blog traffic jams. To recap:
- Avoid a “post it and forget it” approach to blogging. Promote the heck out of every blog post. Here are some tips to help with that.
- Stick to topics related to the niche you’ve chosen.
- Establish a consistent, reasonable publishing schedule.
- Limit the amount of advertising content on your site; instead, look for other ways to make money blogging.
- Keep close tabs on page load times. Be sure to compress images and host with a reputable company (ahem, GoDaddy).
Until next time, fellow bloggers … May your pageviews and income from blogging reach new heights!
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Also published on Medium.