Starting a blog is one thing, but actually sending organic traffic to it is another.
In a pure numbers sense, increasing blog traffic has never been more difficult. The number of blogs on the Internet only continues to climb every day, with each one being a new competitor for blog traffic.
In reality, getting traffic to your blog has never been easier. The fact is that 99% of blogs produce garbage content that has no chance of ranking high in search queries. If you’re producing quality blog content, you’re really only competing against a few hundred sites — if that.
So don’t fret; you can skyrocket search traffic to your blog with the right mindset. Let’s find out how:
Before you even think about building blog traffic, you have to make sure you have the fundamentals down. In this section, we’ll make sure you’re ready to rock.
A. Are You On WordPress?
Pay close attention to this advice, because I desperately wish I had known it when I first started.
You see, when I first launched my first website, I started with Wix because I thought it was so amazing. Wix really is great and all, but it’s just not the platform for blogging. Neither is Squarespace, Weebly, or any other website builder.
Those SaaS website builders have their uses (such as eCommerce), but WordPress is the king of blogging. Full stop, no exceptions.
If you’re not on WordPress, you’re going to find a serious limit on your blog’s growth.
B. Do You Have a Good Host?
Once I finally realized my mistake with my website builder, I rushed to move everything onto WordPress. I was in the clear, right?
Wrong. The host I picked was garbage.
My website ran slow. My interface ran slow. The UI was clunky. The support was unknowledgeable and of questionable linguistic ability.
Just talking about the speed aspect; speed matters a ton. Firstly, because Google now factors it in with website quality. Secondly, it has a significant impact on user satisfaction and sales conversion.
I solved this by moving to CloudWays, which was a breeze. Digital Ocean via CloudWays is hands-down the best service provider in the WordPress space. I will always be thankful to them for saving me from that previous hosting nightmare.
You don’t have to pick that particular web host, but do yourself a favor and take the time to find a good one.
C. Does Your Website Look Good?
To be clear, I’ve seen some pretty nasty websites with UI from 2007 that rank pretty high — so I suppose this isn’t THE most essential topic.
But it is important.
I’m not going to lie, I think my website looks pretty darn good.
And yes, you best believe it makes a difference. Not just with users, but with websites I am petitioning to feature my content.
When they visit my website, my image of professionalism will have a huge impact on their decision to accept me or not. This is because my image of professionalism will largely derive from the state of my website — both visual and otherwise.
You’re going to find that sort of thing pretty important for scaling.
How Do You Get More Traffic to Your Blog?
As I said, most blogs out there don’t have any hope of getting meaningful traffic from search engines.
Why? Because their approach is completely wrong. They just hit “publish” on some mediocre content, assuming that blog traffic will roll in naturally. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work.
The key to growing your blog traffic quickly and effectively is to build your blog like a business. You can’t blog like it’s 2008; the game has changed. You need to have a tactical approach to every facet of your blog, from keyword research to link building.
Below, I’ll clue you into my greatest tips to increase traffic to your blog quickly and effectively. Let’s get started:
1. Create Epic Blog Content
The most important part of building traffic to your blog is creating quality content. It doesn’t matter how many links you have or how long the post is; it’s not ranking if it’s cruddy.
Whenever you create a new blog post, you should always create the best article on that subject. You should understand what information searchers need, provide it, and expand upon it.
I don’t need to elaborate on this too much, but it’s absolutely critical that you have quality content that provides genuine, unique insight rather than being just another blog in “XYZ subject.”
Content quality is actually the #1 most important factor that will determine your SERP rankings — yes, even over the backlink presence I commonly stress. Why? Because it’s not 2008 anymore.
Google doesn’t just care that websites are pointing at you; it cares about what’s actually on the page. Is your content of amazing quality? Are you genuinely helping your readers? Are you providing insight that no other website does? Do all these things well enough, and you can actually rank without backlinks.
I genuinely feel that my blog stands out in its content and presentation. I go the extra mile to help my readers and do so in an entertaining way. If you need blog post ideas, SEO tools like Surfer are great for creating content strategies.
Writing for Search Intent
The best articles in the world understand what their user is searching for, AKA their search intent. For example, let’s search for “best web hosts.”
Immediately we see articles listing out web hosts quickly and sequentially:
This tells us searchers are looking for quick summaries of the top web hosts that can be evaluated quickly. If they weren’t the best answer to the user query, then they wouldn’t be ranking page one.
2. Build Domain Authority
Domain authority (DA) is a metric developed by Moz to quantify the influence of a given website based on the quantity and quality of links it has.
This is because search engines use a similar metric to determine the authority and reliability of a given website. If a search engine sees that your website is receiving mentions from other high-quality websites, it figures yours must be high-quality too.
Therefore it’s essential that you build your domain authority as fast as possible. Not because the Moz score directly influences your placement in search results, but because it correlates with it.
Writing guest posts is the single most reliable website to build quality backlinks quickly, even for new blogs. It’s how I skyrocketed my domain rating from 1-41 in two months just starting out.
The concept is simple: write quality content for other blogs, and they give you a backlink in return. Here’s my recommended process for securing your first guest post:
- Create a fully-fleshed LinkedIn account
- Use your LinkedIn account to find the content managers of blogs with a DR of at least 50
- Use Hunter to find their email and add them to a list of leads
- Create an email campaign using a personalized email template
When you first start out, your response rates will be relatively meager. Don’t take it personally; you can’t blame busy content marketing specialists for not wanting to waste time with newbies.
However, once you start building a respectable guest blog portfolio, your odds will increase rapidly.
For example, when I first started, barely anyone responded to my emails. However, once I built an amazing guest post portfolio, my “yes” rates skyrocketed (and continue to climb)!
Broken Link Repair
You can build links by “repairing” the broken links of other websites in your space by offering to replace them with your own.
For instance, let’s say you’re in the horse care blogging space. You’re reading another blog discussing horse braiding when they link to someone else’s article about mane conditioner.
But there’s just one small issue: the link goes to a 404 “does not exist” error.
That’s where you come in and offer them the link to your article on horse mane conditioner.
See where I’m going with this? Whenever someone in your niche has a broken link, let them know and offer to fix it with your content. You can use SEO tools like Ahrefs to find these opportunities.
3. Perform Keyword Research
Reaching targeted traffic doesn’t happen by accident. At the core of an intelligent content marketing (AKA blogging) strategy is keyword research. One of the biggest SEO mistakes I see is people creating articles haphazardly with no keyword strategy.
In keyword research, search terms are found and analyzed to find out how people are using them in order to repurpose that information for SEO. In your case, that will be finding keywords that you have a good chance of ranking for relative to your website’s authority.
If you’re just starting out, I highly recommend you target long-tail keywords with lower competition. If you can write high-quality blog posts for these keywords, you can find a reliable source of blog traffic early on.
Keyword Research Tools
To effectively perform keyword research, I highly recommend you use specialized tools, such as Ahrefs, Semrush, and Spyfu.
This will make the process infinitely easier, rather than combing through raw data by hand.
Using these tools, you can easily see relevant data for any given keyword, making it much easier to build an actionable content marketing strategy for your blog.
4. Use Rich Visual Elements
Everyone is a visual learner to some extent. Incorporating visuals into new blog posts can increase engagement exponentially and help leave the user satisfied that they’ve learned something.
If your blog post captures readers’ attention, that will naturally increase blog traffic as Google takes note of your higher engagement rates. Infographics, bulleted lists, videos, or even decorative photos can help you reach your target audience more effectively.
As an added bonus, quality visual content tends to be shared on other sites, leading to natural backlinks to your own blog.
5. Write Amazing Headlines
Simply put, your blog post titles need to grab attention effectively. Attractive headlines will enjoy high click-through ratios, while boring ones will get ignored and lose rankings.
When writing your blog post titles, always seek to invoke an emotional response. Buzzfeed is famous for writing clickbait headlines that users just can’t help but click on.
Silly? Nothing wrong with that if it works — just make sure to include your primary keyword.
6. Add Internal Links to Blog Posts
As you create new blog posts for your site, always remember to link to other relevant articles in the content.
Believe it or not, internal links are just as important as external ones. This is because the number of internal links a given page has will tell Google how important it is. If a blog post has no internal links, it’s considered an orphan page and may not be indexed at all.
If you’re reading this, then your blog is — at its core — created to make money for you. That’s why I call it a “blogging business” rather than just a “blog.”
Now that we know the ingredients of a great blog, let’s find out how to turn it into a source of income (which is what you’re ultimately looking for when you want to rank highly).
Affiliate marketing has become the primary source of income for bloggers for the past decade or so. Good affiliate programs can turn your popular blog into a full-time income source.
Affiliate marketing’s not complicated. All it consists of is you taking a commission on a sale of a third-party product via an affiliate link or special code.
To get your feet wet in affiliate marketing, I highly recommend you start with Fiverr’s affiliate program.
If you’re wondering what Fiverr is, they’re a high-quality freelancing marketplace. They have services in every single category you can think of, so you should be able to find programs to sponsor no matter what your blog topic consists of.
Traditional Banner Ads
The classic monetization method! Display are visual ads that are displayed in predetermined sections of your website.
Thanks to modern dynamic ads like Google Ads, it’s easy to make lots of money with these due to their adaptive nature.
For example, if your user was previously searching for razer blades, they may see razer blade ads on your website. When they click on it, Google will compensate you for making that possible.
Simple! Just make not sure to spam them all over your website, as I often see.
Further down the line, you may receive offers from brands looking to leverage your influence for advertising.
The exact mechanics of this vary. They may want you to include links on a few of their articles or display content on certain pages.
Just be sure you’re only choosing reputable brands. If you choose to run ads for regulated content, you may get in hot water with your advertisers, affiliate programs, or even your payment processor.
If you choose to run just plain old junk content, your viewership may lose respect for you. Be very careful! Also, consider hiring a third-party agency to ensure you’re receiving adequate compensation for your sponsorship.
If you’re an expert in the field you’re blogging about, you can easily set up an immediate income by leveraging that professional experience in the form of consulting.
For example, Ryan Robinson is a prominent authority in content marketing. He sells his expertise in the form of consulting for upwards of five figures per client.
For another example, let’s say your blog is about Human Resources (HR), you can easily sell your knowledge in the form of HR consulting to companies of all sizes. The possibilities are endless.
Selling Digital Products
Just as easily as you can link other people’s products on your blog, you can link your own.
For example, check out how Hunter.io sneaks their product into their article about the best time to send an email:
See how they integrated their email finder into one of their blog posts? Just write your expert-level content and sneak your own product into there — it’s that easy.
Of course, your blog might also be a part of your eCommerce store. In that case, you’re probably already doing this.
Another way to leverage your professional expertise, online courses allow you to sell your knowledge to as many people as you can convince them to purchase it.
You can hire educational video professionals to help you put all your content together effectively on an online platform such as Thinkific or Kajabi.
Growing your blog into a profitable franchise will take some serious work, but you’ll be well rewarded if you’re successful. However, you’re going to have to prioritize smart work over hard work to come out on top of your hard-working competition.
If you commit to it and follow my advice above, you can find success. If you have absolutely no idea where to start, see my article on how to create a blog business.
Now, get out there and make some waves!