6 Easy Steps to Huge (free) Blog Traffic, I'm Not Sure #3 is Even Legal! (with infographics!)
Blog traffic is talked about like it’s some kind of ancient secret of the Pharaohs, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, there are proven, simple methods you can use to get more traffic to your blog and I know a lot of them, after all, I’ve launched over 50 blogs on various topics through the years and some are still getting traffic, sitting dormant for two or more years. In fact, I’ve racked up over a million views between my blogs and that’s with some that have only ever had one
experimental post that got a half dozen page views. My current blog is only 6 months old. I recently relaunched after having trouble with GoDaddy’s hosting service, onto the Blogger platform where my site operates free of charge. So, here they are!
*For the record, with only six months on this site and a domain name that is only three years old, I get several hundred hits on every post I build. This increases over time and I am now regularly getting more than 300 visitors a day and growing, not bad for a personal writing site. By this time next year, I can say from experience, I will be getting a thousand to five thousand page views per day at my current growth rate.
Step Number One To Building Huge Blog Traffic
Get a custom domain name. Even if you follow my example and move to Blogger, pretty much the only free hosting site that allows high traffic blogs to continue without paying, you need a name. Why? Because MarkRMorrisJr.blogspot.com is too much to type and it looks cheesy. So, how do you go about choosing this awesome website name? MSB New Media says, no one knows your serious until you define and protect your brand with a custom domain and I tend to agree. I have several.
- · Mine was easy and if you are a writer/consultant/personality of any sort, I suggest you follow suit. Sure a catchy name is great, but personal name recognition? That’s priceless.
- · If you are running a more traditional business, consider a name that contains one or more of your central keywords. People will know what you do, and it helps with SEO, too.
- · Keep your name short. In my case, I just used the form of my name I use on all of my published books. Short and sweet, no more than 4 words at the most, 2 is better and 1, if you can find the right word, or make one up, “Travelocity” is a good example.
Step Two to Building Huge Blog Traffic
Keep your site simple. No flash video, no long-loading carousels. Make sure your site comes up in four seconds or less on most devices. If it takes longer than that, it will lose you traffic. Some of you are testing yours right now and just realized that it sucks. Fix it. According to Kissmetrics, your bad site is costing you visitors, in fact, if it takes more than 4 seconds, 25% of them are walking away here’s a few things you can to keep it simple once it loads.
- · Choose a bold header! Mine right now is a huge vintage typewriter graphic that gets a lot of comments and has my name in huge letters.
- · Make your navigation easy to find and follow, make sure if I read your headings, I will know where they lead. No mysteries here, people won’t play your guessing game.
- · Put your most important information first. Since I want reads, I have my blog posts front and center with only a few other options. I have not added my “services” page back in for freelance writing, but the site still gets me jobs.
Step Three to Building Huge Blog Traffic
Every time I read this step in a blog post, I think, why did you add this? Everyone knows this! WRITE QUALITY CONTENT! So, I am going to attempt to define this a bit more and tell you why you need it. First, it’s not about your vocabulary, grammar, or spelling, those are all a given. Your content must be useful to someone besides yourself and your SEO strategy! Darren Rouse and the team at Problogger had these tips to share.Read their tips here!
- No one shares crap. There, I said it. No one cares about your internal struggles, unless you’re funny, no one cares about your business discovery unless it can help them. Think this thought before you push “PUBLISH” Why would anyone in their right mind share this? If you can’t come up with an answer, it does not belong on your blog!
- · Give the audience great information. Go above and beyond. Find resources and graphics and make movies and music videos, and build tutorials and make them really awesome and if you do all of this in a niche people give a shit about, some of them will show up. Not all, but maybe a lot, if you keep doing it.
- · Make it stand out! You don’t have to be the best, or even better than most. You just need to be different and stick to it. If you do funny, do it big. If you do data, share away. Whatever your thing, make yourself stand out. I help. Really. Email me about anything writing or marketing online and I will send you some resources. I will.
Step Four to Building Huge Blog Traffic
Share it. That’s it, that’s the whole step, right there. There it is, share the ever loving hell out of it. Don’t worry that you’re being spammy, because it’s useful and people who are going to like your stuff will love you for it. Those that don’t, were never going to and they like making rules about people like you. BREAK THEM! No, don’t really be spammy, only share where you are asked to share.
- · Every post you write should be shared in multiple places, including your own personal social media.
- · Buy ads if you must, but understand, they are becoming less and less effective and are not the best means for building sustainable organic traffic, plus they are expensive!
- · Here is a list of 20 hot social networks, as of April 2016, some of which you probably thought were dead, but aren’t and others you never heard of. Start sharing!
Step Five to Building Huge Blog Traffic
Automate your sharing. Yep. You need to set up a system that takes your blog post and puts it in front of a thousand viewers before the ink is even dry. Make yourself ubiquitous (look it up) that is how you get known. A few here, a few there and pretty soon it feels like everyone is talking about you! TADA! Just so you know this is not my own personal vendetta, PCmag published this list of 100 IFTTT recipes for bloggers. Go get it.
- · Use tools like IFTTT or Zapier (I prefer IFTTT and it’s FREE) to automate a ton of sharing so that every single blog post builds back links and gets in front of your potential readers.
- · Set up a social media dashboard to automate sharing in places these tools can’t reach (like Google Plus) and don’t be afraid to tweak and repeat your posts. I have some short stories that get dozens of hits a week after months on my site.
- · Guest blog, post articles, do interviews and otherwise make yourself known. Leave links to your blog content as you go like a trail of bread crumbs. Make sure they are on topic and useful and they will be welcome.
Step Six to Building Huge Blog Traffic
Don’t screw it up. Well, engage your audience and build it bigger by being genuine. (Which means don’t screw it up) This is known as “platform” building and it is what sets the pros apart from the amateurs. If you want more traffic, do steps 1 through 5 on a regular basis and then get in the habit of engaging your audience and encouraging those in your niche. According to social times, sharing others content is the first step to engaging on platforms like Twitter!
- · Be active on social media for at least some time every week. Every day is better. Automation helps, but you need to be responding to comments, likes, RTs etc personally.
- · Engage in conversation and like other people’s work too! Share if it’s appropriate to your audience. It builds your authority and your reputation as a member of the community, not just a talking head.
- · Try to be the person you needed when you first got started. Or the author you'd want to be a fan, or a generous consultant who helps beyond their bottom line, etc. Be nice, it comes back to you.