When The Times Are Slow…
In my last income report I was complaining a little about not having reached my goal of generating the amount of visitors I wanted on my site for November.
I also mentioned that this month (December) will be even harder to reach that goal, because December is one of the toughest months of the year for website traffic.
You can read more about the seasonal trends of traffic and other insights on my post of traffic analytics here.
Although I am aware that I will probably not reach my goal yet again and I am fully prepared for a defeat, I still love a good challenge and I will try to achieve it anyway.
In order for you to be able to conquer this tough month and grab it by the horns, I will share my most used tactics for generating traffic on my blog.
Doing a little research on the side and looking at my own traffic history, I narrowed down my most effective methods to generate traffic.
Here’s what you can expect to learn:
- Obvious techniques
- Some less obvious ones
- How to use all of these
- Long term traffic success
- Beat winter with a smile
Hopefully you enjoy this post and manage to achieve your goals for your own blog!
As I don’t like to invest more money into this business, I’ll only share tips on how to get more traffic to your website for free. After all most paid methods are dodgy.
The last time I used Adwords I spent a fortune with no real success, which scared me off a little.
The best was to generate traffic is to post articles consistently.
The more you write and the more content you produce, the more your blog grows.
Even if you aren’t on Googles top 3 searches, you are more likely to be found organically if you have 500 posts compared to 5.
Each post you write has thousands of keywords you might not even be targeting, which other people might type in search engines to find answers on your website.
Therefore it is important to just continuously post articles and to write these naturally. If you force keywords in, it will only cause a negative effect.
Use social media daily!
I spend about 20-30 minutes on social media just to connect with people and get more exposure.
When I write a new posts like this one, I spend a good hour to get my content out there.
To get more followers means getting more potential readers on my website and potential readers equals more potential conversions.
You can link back to articles more than once. Some sources say you shouldn’t link more than 6 times but personally I find that there’s no limit really.
I’ve seen my traffic grow regardless of how many times I’ve tweeted the same link. Each time I tweet I get at least 1 click so that’s fine with me!
The chances of the same person seeing your tweet twice is very slim. Even if he did, I doubt he would unfollow you for a link he’s already clicked on.
Google+ is another great source for social media traffic. Make sure to post your articles there.
However, instead of just posting it publicly and sharing it with your friends and followers, try using communities.
Obviously your article must be related to the community as well. If you’re blog is about dogs behaviors, maybe you would like to post in the Cesar Milan community.
The chances of people actually reading your article is much higher.
Make sure to integrate yourself with the community first, before posting tons of your content in it.
I also typically recommend not to post more than once a day on Google+.
Look for active communities as well rather than ones where no one is posting or you see a lot of spam.
For other social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook a great headline and a fitting image can make all the difference.
Make sure to have nice images suited for each platform. Try free image sources like Pixabay for instance.
Last but not least, make sure to simplify sharing your content for people, by including social share buttons on your website.
As you can see on my site there are some at the top, bottom and the side on every page of this blog.
If your content is great and share-worthy, you might miss out if you don’t include these, as people often forget to do it manually.
The Harder Options:
So far I’ve included fairly easy methods which I use daily to increase my traffic.
The next few are slightly harder, not in the sense that they are hard to do, they just require a little more effort and time.
Using email lists is a perfect way to get traffic straight to your blog. You directly invite people that enjoyed your content to begin with, to read your posts, be email.
Now the reason it isn’t quite that simple, is that you still have to write catchy subject headlines to grab their attention.
Additionally you have to hope they actually go read these. Most importantly, you have to generate a list first.
Obviously there are certain methods to increase your chances, such as asking your list what type of articles they’d like to read, ask them leave a comment etc.
However, asking your list to read the newest post usually generates a few clicks here and there, which wouldn’t have been there otherwise.
The bigger your list is the more clicks you’ll get.
The other very effective method would be to Guest post.
Guest posts are often neglected due to the amount of effort it requires. But if you think about it, it requires a little more effort than writing your own post.
Basically you can copy a post you’ve already written on your blog, re-word it and add more quality to it.
This quality can vary from content, images, links etc. Just make sure it’s a ton better than your own blog.
Guest posts are a very powerful way to fuel your traffic.
Of course you need to build relationships first before asking people to write articles for their own blogs, but nevertheless the reward is very powerful.
The Not So Obvious:
As well as writing guest posts, you can accept them on your own blog.
Why would you do that?
For one, it replaces the need for you to produce content and as we learned above, the more content you have the more chances you have of people finding you through keywords on search engines.
On top of that, besides your own social media posting, the author of the post will do their best to promote their content.
This will give you a new audience from his followers and more exposure and traffic to your blog.
So not only do you save time by not writing the post, you also get free traffic.
Connecting with bloggers in your niche.
I’ve mentioned that guest posting requires you to establish connections with other bloggers first.
Not only should you be doing this for guest posts, but also for general traffic. I noticed that a lot of my traffic came from actively commenting on other blogs.
Besides the fact that you also learn new methods to implement on your blog, you can also contribute by commenting and leaving valuable input.
People sometimes tend to read your comment and look up your name on search engines.
A great plugin that sometimes redirects to my latest posts is CommentLuv. Certain bloggers have these. You might enjoy using it for your blog.
Besides commenting on their blog, you should also occasionally mention them in your posts. Link back to their blog when possible.
If you do this regularly they will notice it and share your content. The more influential the person is, the greater their audience.
Let them know that you mentioned them as well, either through Twitter or email and they will be thankful to see you recommending their posts.
Using the Skyscraper Technique!
As for mentioning other bloggers, there is one technique that is incredibly effective and it is called the Skyscraper Technique, by Brian Dean.
To explain it in a nutshell:
- You basically re-write a post that already gets tons of traffic and social shares.
- You then include a lot more of similar content (e.g. “top 10 tips for cooking” can be re-written by you as “200 tips for cooking”) and make it a lot better.
- Then you get in touch with the sites that shared or linked to the original posts and let them know you wrote a similar article which is better.
- These sites then replace the backlink to the old article with your new one.
Of course he explains exactly how to approach this, which keywords to use, how to find relevant articles and so on.
Linking to older posts on your site not only improves your SEO but it also keeps your readers longer on your site, therefore decreasing your bounce rate.
The lower your bounce rate the higher it gets valued by search engines.
You might have noticed that every so often my writing turns blue and links to a relevant article. That’s what you need to do as well.
Obviously only link to these articles when it makes sense.
Word of mouth!
There are certain occasions where you will end up in a group and meet new people or talk to friends who will ask what you do.
The next reaction they have, is to check out my website to see what how that makes money.
A useful tip to not let them forget, is to hand out a business card.
It’s one thing to mention your blog and wake someones interest on a night out, but it’s another for that person to remember it the next day and actually check it out.
That’s where business cards come in handy.
Leave an impression in Forums.
Similar to making connections with other bloggers and commenting on their websites, you can do the same on forums.
The more you comment on forums and add valuable advice, the more you will be noticed. Eventually people will fall on your site.
Don’t spam the forums by dropping your URL constantly. No one likes a spammer.
No Correct Formula
As you see, there are numerous ways to boost your traffic in hard times. You can’t rely on just one specific type if you want tons of traffic.
My recommendation is to do all of these.
Maybe not every day but if you mix it up, you have a lot of roots branching out to grab all kinds of people from different audiences.
I’m always on the lookout for new innovative ways to get more traffic. But these have proven to consistently grow mine.
If you have any additional powerful methods, please share them below in the comment section.
Hopefully you enjoyed this article. If you have any questions or want me to explain anything more thoroughly, you can also comment below and I will get back to you!
Thanks for reading,