How to drive traffic to your blog? 6 smart strategies for 2020
1: Use e-mail marketing
When you start a blog, your primary means to get traffic to your website is to find new readers for your posts.
But as you publish more articles, building a list of loyal followers using e-mail marketing is just as important.
How to use e-mail marketing to grow your blog
E-mail marketing means that you collect e-mail addresses from your readers with their permission. Then, you use that direct contact channel to notify them about new posts or other topics per e-mail.
Your e-mail subscribers keep coming back to your blog, resulting in a steady stream of returning readers.
And, for an even stronger traffic boost, make sure to build a relationship with your most loyal readers.
The best mailing list tools for bloggers
I recommend you sign up and start building your e-mail list right away.
So which tools should you use then?
MailerLite is my go-to email marketing tool I use for all my blogs nowadays.
They’re so easy to get started with, too. If you’re new to blogging, you’ll love their easy, step-by-step video tutorials. They’ll show you the exact steps you need to take to set up your first email list properly.
The best part?
They offer a 100% free plan with powerful features such as segmentation and email automation.
If you’re looking to really break the bank with your blog in the long run, you should set up your email list automation with MailerLite right away.
2: Be active on social networks
According to Simon Kemp, people spend 1/7 of their time awake on social media.
Moreover, the total number of social media users has almost doubled from 2014 to 2019–in just five short years.
In other words, social networks are some of the best places to find new readers for your blog.
However, the biggest problem is to know where and how to find them. With dozens of platforms out there, which tools should you focus on?
Here’s what you should do:
Find your target audience
Start by finding your blog’s target audience. You need to know exactly who they are to find them in the right places.
Because the truth is:
You don’t want to waste your time on social networks that are irrelevant to your potential readers, right?
Therefore, find out where they hang out and spend their time online.
If you haven’t already, create a profile on 1-3 relevant social networks at this point.
Focus your effort on one social network at a time
Now, you shouldn’t start growing your blog traffic using all networks at once.
Managing and being active on even a single network takes a lot of time. You simply don’t have the resources to be active everywhere, especially if you’re new to blogging.
If you start with too much ambition and try to be active on all of them, you’ll end up performing well on none of them.
So, learn how to master a single social network at this point. (Ok, maybe two if you’re really passionate about social media.)
Whatever network you choose, focus on it 100%. Stay active, connect with your readers, and start growing your following.
Share your new blog posts right away
This is self-explanatory, but you want to share every new blog post on your social media profiles right away.
Start with the most relevant platform and make sure you share your content at the right time. Again, use your insights about your target audience:
- Where are they located?
- What time is it there?
- When are they most active on each social network?
You want to post your content at the best possible time, right? Usually, people are most active on social networks in the morning, around lunch time, and in the evening.
To save time, use a social media scheduling tool to share your posts automatically at the best time. This is the easiest way to know when your posts will get maximum exposure.
I schedule my Instagram posts with Tailwind in advance. The tool draws on a huge pool of user statistics to know when my followers are looking into their phones.
Make social sharing easy for your readers
Last but not least, you want to use social sharing buttons on your blog. This makes it easier for your readers to save and share your articles on their social media profiles. And this, in turn, means more blog traffic for you!
If you’re running a WordPress blog, you can add social sharing buttons using a plugin right away.
Here’s what you should do:
- Find a plugin (I use Social Warfare and Monarch)
- Download and install the plugin in your WordPress dashboard
- Activate the plugin
- Adjust the settings and choose the networks to show buttons for
If you’re new to WordPress, read my post with the best WordPress plugins for bloggers, too.
While we’re at it, now would be a great time to show some love and share this article
3: Use Pinterest to explode your blog traffic
Ok so I don’t normally play favorites when it comes to traffic tools. But Pinterest has earned a spot in this list, trust me.
You see, not long ago, I was struggling to grow my first blog I’ve had for a couple of years now.
My content was top-notch and I was getting great feedback from my readers. Google was already sending massive traffic to my blog – but I wanted more!
How I tripled my blog traffic in 2 months
At that point, I turned to Pinterest. I wasn’t a huge fan but everyone was saying how great it was working for them.
And because Pinterest is basically a visual search engine, I could make good use of my SEO skills. So I developed this Pinterest strategy – which I’m still using.
And guys, I’m not kidding here:
Within two months, my blog traffic grew by 200%.
Yep, my traffic TRIPLED in 60 days, all thanks to Pinterest!
How I used Pinterest to skyrocket my blog traffic
The biggest secret to success on Pinterest is consistency. Thus, to achieve great results, you need to pin new, relevant content every day.
Of course, I didn’t have that kind of time, so I used an automation tool called Tailwind.
Tailwind basically takes care of your pinning on autopilot. You schedule your pins in advance, choose how many times you want to pin daily, and you’re all set. The tool knows exactly when to pin your content to get as many eyes to see it as possible.
So, instead of having to spend hours every week pinning manually, I now schedule my pins for an entire month in advance. And it takes me 1 hour, tops.
Oh and here’s what happened to my blog traffic after I started using Tailwind:
If you’re not familiar with Pinterest yet, now is the perfect time to start! To help you save money, use this link to give Tailwind a try for free.
4: Link to other relevant blogs
When you’re short of ideas for great blog posts, why not write a response to a post on another blog in your niche?
This is a super easy way to create connections to other bloggers around your topic. Also, there’s a good chance that they will link back to your blog in return.
Here’s what you should do:
If you haven’t already, create a list of bloggers in your niche you’d love to connect with. Which blogs do you find the best tips and advice on?
Use this list consistently, but don’t overdo it. I usually use this traffic strategy 1-2 times per month.
How to find articles you should link to
Now, choose one blog and find their most popular posts. Usually, you’ll find their most-read articles in their sidebar or in the footer.
The more profesh way is to use Buzzsumo. It’s a free online tool for finding the best-performing blog posts for a given domain name or keyword.
First, enter the blog domain you’re targeting and hit Go:
Running a quick search for bloggingexplorer.com shows my posts that have the most social shares so far:
If my readers are sharing these posts as it is, I’m sure they’d be super interested in anything that adds to my content.
Makes sense, right?
What to do when you publish your blog post
When you’ve written your blog post, make sure you add a link to the post you’re responding to.
You can also get in touch with the blogger directly to let them know you’ve linked to their article. If they like what you’re writing, they’ll most likely share your post on their social networks, too!
And if that wasn’t good enough already, they may comment on your post or even link to your blog from theirs!
5: Comment on other blogs
Part of the beauty of blogging is the possibility to connect with your readers by asking them to share their thoughts by writing a comment below your post.
And this works both ways: you can comment on other blogs, too!
When you write a comment to a blog post, you can add a link back to your own blog.
This is an opportunity you should think about carefully before using it, though. Only leave comments that are useful and that add something valuable and interesting to the conversation.
Think about what else the readers should (or would love) to know. Is there something important missing in the article?
For example, you could share a personal experience that’s helpful for the readers. This is a great way to add value to list posts and how-to tutorials.
Also, if you see a question from someone else in the comments, you could write them an answer. (Unless, of course, the question is meant for the author of the blog.)
All in all, you should use this method with caution. When it comes to commenting on other blogs to promote your blog for a traffic boost, less is more.
6: Publish content regularly and consistently
Well this is kind of self-explanatory, but stay with me for a minute here.
Writing new blog posts is the very cornerstone of all methods you may choose to increase blog traffic. It’s the only way to ensure that your readers will find what they’re looking for every time they visit your blog.
So you might be asking:
How often should I publish a new post?
There’s no golden rule, but write as often as you can.
Just maintain a consistent blogging routine and schedule. Whether you publish daily or once a month, your readers will expect new content from you regularly.
How often can you write?
Start by figuring out how much time you can dedicate to writing new content.
Then, find the best time for writing when you can focus and be productive. Whether it’s 15 minutes daily or 4 hours during the weekend, it doesn’t matter. Whatever schedule suits you is perfectly OK.
If you have a full-time job and three kids you drive to soccer practice, ballet class, and basketball training every day, just be realistic with your goals.
Find a blogging schedule you can follow
It’s all about finding a writing schedule that you can follow. You don’t have to overdo it just to end up feeling overwhelmed with blogging.
Therefore, you need to find the right balance for both yourself and for your readers.
Don’t burn yourself out thinking you must post every day, but at the same time, consider how often your readers would like to hear from you.
Remember to focus on high quality rather than high quantity. Your readers will appreciate the former way more than the latter.