We’ve been receiving many emails lately asking us how we grew our traffic to over 30,000 unique visitors / month. So, we figured we’d write a post to answer that question. We’re still learning and improving, but here are some ideas which have helped us along the way. Hopefully they will help you build traffic so that you can sustain your travels with your website!
1. Create A Resource
Alright, we’ve all heard this one before, but it’s a good place to start! Write something useful that people are likely to link to (also known as “pillar content”) and you’ll see your blog traffic grow naturally. Our Goat Guides are our main traffic source and we believe they are a useful resource for readers. In our experience, long, detailed and USEFUL posts with lots of H1 tags, images and font decoration do very well in search results. Make sure you link to your pillar content from other posts within your blog, as well as from external sources.
2. Do A Guest Post Bomb
This is a big traffic deal maker and it’s our best secret for boosting blog traffic. This idea was first brought to me by Adam Costa of Travel Blogger Academy and it’s absolutely brilliant. Everyone knows that to get your name out there, you should write guest posts. But the real secret is to write 20 guest posts and request that they are all published on a specific date. Do this a few times and you’ll create a buzz that will sky-rocket your blog’s traffic. Link back to your new pillar content from the guest posts and hopefully you’ll retain more visitors!
**Goat Note: Matt Cutts of Google recently warned against guest posting as a form of boosting blog traffic because of recent spammy practices. It is still commonly believed, however, that honest, well-written guest posts are Google Safe.
3. Focused Comments
Every blog help program out there will tell you to comment on other websites every day for at least an hour. This is a good tip, but it’s much more useful to focus your comments on a particular topic and link them back to your pillar content. Get 50 people coming to your new resource from comments that are relevant and you’ll start retaining some comment traffic.
4. Post on a Schedule
Get the WP-Editorial Calendar Plugin (if you don’t have it already) and schedule the same amount of posts each week. Google likes consistency and new content. Like to post 3 times a week? Schedule everything on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and make sure you publish at a time when most of your readers are online. Posting randomly won’t help your SEO at all and you may not see an increase in your blog traffic, even if you post often. Get it down on a schedule!
5. Make Videos
Google loves a post with videos. Google owns YouTube and gives higher ratings for posts with videos embedded in them. There are loads of easy-to-use editing programs out there like Final Cut Pro and iMovie for Mac, or Movie Maker and Adobe After Effects for PC. After you’ve mastered the basics, create your own YouTube Channel and start uploading your creations for the world to enjoy and watch your blog traffic grow!
Looking for ideas? Check Out Our YouTube Channel!
6. Rock Up Social Media
You’ll need to get your blog on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and any other social network you can handle. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it. Dariece has recently been growing our Twitter following by about 1,200 people / month. Social marketing is still one of the most commonly used practices for boosting blog traffic.
7. Create a Newsletter
If you haven’t done this already, it’s very important you do so. Mail Poet (formerly WYSIJA) is a great newsletter plugin and the paid version gives you plenty of extra features. We have a newsletter go out every Monday and we can see significant spikes in our traffic at the start of each week. This is a great way to remind people of your blog, but just make sure that it’s easy to sign up from your site and that you make it clear that you’re not trying to sell anything. An email address is a very personal thing and you should cherish each one that you receive from a reader. Make sure you send them interesting content each week and they’ll keep coming back.
Want to see Mail Poet in action? Sign up for our newsletter now![wysija_form id=”1″]
8. Trickle Feed Old Content
This is a great tip that goes well with #7 on this list. Once you’ve set up a Newsletter, create a set of autoresponders or trickle-feeds that will send new members your best content periodically over time. Every time someone signs up for your newsletter, you can have a set of 10 or 20 emails that will be sent to them in a series for the following weeks. This way, new subscribers aren’t just receiving your new posts, but your best ones from the past as well!
9. Make an Attractive “About Us” Page
If you look at your blog’s traffic stats, likely one of your most read pages will be your About Page. When readers get to a new site that they find interesting, they like to find out the story behind the bloggers and exactly what the blog is all about. Once they click on the About Page, you have about 10 seconds to grab their attention before they click away to another blog… so you better make yourself look good! Make sure you are to the point and explain exactly what your blog is about and HOW IT CAN HELP THEM!
10. Hire A Professional Designer
This one took us a long time but it’s definitely worth it. We hired Scott Eldo of EldoWebDesign.co.uk and we’re very glad we did. We believe our site looks much better and we’ve seen significant improvements in the loading times as well. If you want your site to look professional, have a professional design it. Mike Richard of Vagabondish.com has often said that a redesign is both a blogger’s most expensive and most fruitful investment. People will stay on your blog longer if it looks professional and is easy to navigate.
Advertisers are more likely to pay you for space and content if your site is visually appealing and Google will always give preference to sites that are well tagged and easily indexed. A designer can help you with all of these aspects and more and after a redesign you’re likely to see a better click-through rate, more pages/visit and an overall increase in blog traffic.
Now Start Boosting Your Blog Traffic!
These are just some of the tips we’ve found useful for boosting our blog traffic. If you take just one thing away from this article make it the Guest Post Bomb. This is a powerful weapon and if executed properly, it can truly accelerate your traffic and make those lines in your Google Analytics Dashboard head skyward. We’ve been receiving a ton of emails on this subject and we’re happy to help! We’ll be posting more articles about how to create a successful blog on Goats On The Road so stay tuned!
We found these tips useful. What have you found boosts your traffic the most? Please share below and we can all help each other build better blogs!