You have completed setting up your blog and launched it with your best posts. Now What? How do you generate traffic to your blog? Where is the traffic google said will send your way? Day 10 into this blogging business but the only people reading your blog posts are you, your grandma and your grandma’s best friend. If you are not tenacious you will find yourself easily spiralling down into a ball of anxiety and later tell everyone in the world that people who claim to make money blogging are nothing but scammers. At that point, what you’ll have forgotten is that anxiety would be the only thing stopping you from researching on ways you can get traffic to your blog. A quote I have come to love is: To Earn, you have to LEARN. This simply means you need to be an everyday learner.
If you have been researching on FREE ways to get traffic for your blog, you will be happy that you chanced upon this post. I hope that you will learn something from it and encourage you to share more tips of increasing traffic to your blog in the comments section. Also, remember as a newbie you have to focus on cutting costs. This post will be keen on listing the FREE ways you can get more traffic to your blog. At another time, we will discuss about the paid for tools you can use but for now, let’s keep it FREE.
Below are tips of increasing traffic to your blog for free.
To put it simply, this is when you write original content and instead of posting it to your blog, you do it on another blogger’s, preferably one in your niche. In fact guest posting is a surefire way of increasing your SEO ranking, if done correctly. Besides increasing traffic to your website or blog, guest posting also positions you as an authority in your niche while improving your brand. It is therefore important to have a main goal in mind before guest posting. To find guest posting opportunities, I highly recommend that you get blogs that follow the following criteria:
- The host blog has an audience interested in not only reading your blog, but also sharing it on social media and commenting. As in the audience should show interaction with the hosts previous posts.
- The owner of the blog has active social media accounts.
You might be wondering, ‘How to find guest posting opportunities on the internet’. Real quick.
- Google search box
Key in Niche Keyword+Guest posting. For example if you want to do a guest post about weight loss, simply type ‘Weightloss+Guest posting’. Think outside the box when doing your searches. For example Niche Keyword+Blogs accepting guest posts. Hope you get my drift. The first page of google will give you the best blogs that accept guest posts.
Another way of finding guest posting opportunities is looking for guest posts by exceptional bloggers in your industry. In this case, simply type the name of a prolific blogger in your niche and add ‘Guest posts by’. Quick example, if your niche is in SEO, you can type ‘Guest posts by Neil Patel’. This search should lead you to all the blogs on which the blogger has guest posted on—blogs that will be good for you to post on as well.
- Social Media Search
When most bloggers do a guest post, chances of them sharing on social media, especially on twitter are very high. So, on Facebook or Twitter, search ‘Niche Keyword+Guest post’, and follow the links you find. The links will most likely lead you to blogs that will give you an opportunity to guest post.
- Good Old MyBlogGuest
This platform connects bloggers to other bloggers. It is a community of guest posters and host bloggers. All you have to do is sign up, submit your personal details and let the world know that you are looking for guest posting opportunities. Signing up is free. Just a by the way.
- Backlinks by competitors
Every blogger is looking for ways to rank high up in google and other search engines. This includes your competitors. To find out which blogs your competitors have guest posted for, easily search for domainname.com+guestpost. Replace domainname.com with your competitors’ real domain. Alternatively, you can use analytics.moz.com to search for the links to your competitors’ blogs.
It is important to understand that once you compile a list of blogs you would like to guest post on, you don’t just immediately start asking owners to host your content. Once your list of the hosting blogs is ready, do an analysis to find out:
- If other guest posts are attracting comments and shares from readers. If the audience in the targeted blog is keener on reading the owners blog posts compare to the guest posts, you may want to write that host blog off—atleast until the time you will need it.
- Type and level of audience. Does the host blog target advanced, intermediate or beginner?
- Type of content—whether detailed tutorials or lists. Whether specific or general concepts.
Finally on guest posting, you may also want to position your blog as a host. You can also invite other bloggers to post on your blog in order to keep fresh content coming. Because truth be told, it is a tad difficult to post content on your personal blog consistently leave alone guest posting. So feel free to have guest bloggers on yours as well, provided they offer valuable content to your audience.
Comment on other bloggers’ posts
Comments are your small resumes and can easily build or hurt your brand. While the end game to this is building traffic to your blog, you should not come off as a spammer. Be objective with your comments. Add value to the targeted readers. Don’t just type ‘great post’ and include a link to your site. People will only click on the link to see who the spammer is. Add value by adding on to what the post is about or by asking relevant questions. Whatever it is, just show that you have read and appreciated the blog post.
SEO- Search Engine Optimization
Honestly, I have tried to avoid this little but oh so important topic because I find it quite intimidating. All resources on this are jargon-speak and for the life of me I hope someone will explain this to me in a language a 2 year old would understand.
Why can’t I be the one to simplify this SEO topic for everyone else in my shoes?
SEO means Search Engine Optimization. This includes every activity you undertake in improving your blogs visibility on search engines. This helps in building traffic to your website organically. Organically meaning, you will never have to pay for search results—every single click you get on your blog is FREE FOR A LIFETIME. This is the best way to increase traffic to your blog and needs a lot of patience.
To optimize your blog, you should begin by choosing the best keywords for SEO. How do you choose the best SEO keywords? You do a research. Know how you type a keyword on Google only for keyword suggestions to drop down for your selection? That’s Google doing the suggesting for you.
After doing your keywords selection and before posting your content, optimize your entire website. To do this, start by choosing your niche and determining your level of commitment to it. Make sure your niche keyword is on your domain name, blog title, description, keywords, taglines, categories, blog titles and content. Have your homepage (and other internal pages) linking to other pages within your site. To optimize your entire site also include keywords in your permalink structures—instead of, for example, this https://yoursite.com/?p=12, have a neat one like this: https://yoursite.com/coolpage/. Do not make any changes to your permalink structure if your posts are already published. Broken links are the last thing you want your readers to experience.
Ensure your page loading time does not slow down your site by removing non-essentials like large images, music, unnecessary plugins etc.
Keywords for your images should be found in the image title, description, and alt. Link to other authoritative websites in your industry but do it sparingly to avoid high bounce rates.
Frequently update your site. Have inbound links form other blogs by, for example, guest posting. Do not change your domain name—the age of your domain name plays a huge factor in the optimization of your site.
Finally, let your work be humanlike. Readers should not feel like they are being communicated to by a robot.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are the main ones. You may be wondering, ‘What about Pinterest?’. Pinterest is a search engine like Google. But you are not alone–many people attempt to use it as a social media platform, play with it for a while as they try to figure it out then give up. But that’s a topic for another day. Let’s see how you can leverage the power of social media to draw free traffic to your blog.
You can post your content in groups related to your niche and on your personal profile and pages. Facebook can take a maximum of 10,000 characters and out of that, 480 words will be shown in the newsfeed and the rest will be viewed upon clicking the ‘see more’ link. This means the important stuff should be in the first 480 words. Keep in mind that posts with shorter words—say 50 words—perform better than longer posts. If your text is less than 480 words, then all characters will be visible in newsfeed.
To drive traffic from Facebook also capitalize on huge images, within Facebook ratios. For this to be effective, upload an image from your device and copy-paste your link on the text box. Be engaging with your comments while asking readers to expound on what you have shared. Remember, posting many times a day can make you look spammy, so, aim to post once a day, keeping in mind the best times for posting. Share your content on your pages, groups and profile at different times with different text—again, to avoid looking spammy. Finally, post your evergreen content after every 2-3 months, while mixing with other valuable content. Evergreen content is one that remains relevant for a longer period of time.
You may be in the category that doesn’t decipher how to use Twitter. You may also have lost hope in it because you have had 4 followers for the longest time. And those 4 never read your content because you rarely post. Twitter was the first social media platform to introduce @ handles and hashtags, for better networking and search options. It has a 140-character limit and posts with characters less than 140 work best. When you use 4 hashtags or more on your posts, the likelihood of them getting ranked for searchable trends is high. If you want to give credit to other twitter accounts, use the @handle.
What is likable about Instagram is that it enforces a human connection to you readers. Why? You are able to put your real face behind every content you post. This builds trust on a somewhat emotional level.
This is the second most powerful search engine after Google and boasts of atleast 3 billion views daily. 3 BILLION! Wow that’s something. Youtube can make anyone shine. But what do you want to shine in? You have to perfect what you want to show the world let the viewers who find your content have the confidence that they’ll actually be helped. So how do you generate free traffic from Youtube to your website?
- Have a compelling call to action. For example ‘Click on my website to learn more from this 3-part series’ or ‘To get free printable templates, click on the link to my website’.
- Use the description box to add your URL.
- Enable the call-to-action overlay function.
Thanks to this platform, professionals can network amongst themselves while looking for opportunities to grow—maybe grow out of the 9-5 routine. Do not underestimate the power LinkedIn has. In my opinion, I think it provides very promising kind of traffic to blogs mostly dealing with ‘Making money online’. If you are in this niche and know what you are doing, you will get serious subscribers from it. One powerful way of generating traffic to your blog from Linkedin is creating video content. It works like magic because you get to stand out as an authority in your industry hence building trust from your followers, who may eventually press the CTA button.
The Mobile-first Index
Let’s face it. We are in a mobile world. Chances are you are reading this from your phone. If you are, then, that includes many others.
Google introduced this algorithm in order to better rank sites optimized for mobile version compared to those optimized for desktop version. In the past, if you searched for anything of desktop, you would get search results optimized for desktop viewing and if you searched on your mobile, you would get results meant for mobile viewing.
Then Google changed its entire algorithm to mobile version. Now all searches, regardless whether on desktop or mobile, result in mobile versions. To check if your site is mobile-friendly, you can use this tool created by Google: Mobile-Friendly Test.
This is just about finding questions on platforms like Quora and providing answers to those questions—confidently. Like a pro. I would also suggest optimizing some of your pages with questions to increase search visibility organically and to feature in Google’s ‘People also ask’. Great tools for question analysing are Buzzsumo and Answer the Public.
Build your email list
The thought of building an email list felt quite intimidating for me but I kept reading from other authoritative brands in my niche that it’s important to create an email list from the day you launch your website. To send your subscribers to your site, you can email them a teaser of your new blog post and give them an option to click on the link leading them to the actual blog. To get people to subscribe, you can:
- Entice them with a strong incentive upon subscription—e.g. a free ebook on topics they are interested in.
- Customize your homepage into a huge subscription form.
- Add subscription pop-ups that last 10-15 seconds. The idea is not to annoy the reader here.
- Put a subscription box at the end of every blog post.
Create killer content
This is obvious, I believe. High quality content shows your readers that you know what you are doing and reduces bounce rates. I mentioned up there that bounce rates could positively or negatively have an impact on your SEO.
To create good content, what problem do you want to solve? What would you be interested in writing about? Also your type of content counts. By type of content I mean will your blog serve the ‘HOW TO’ demographic, ‘WHAT’ demographic, or ‘WHY’ demographic?
Another content marketing tactic would be having catchy headlines that promote clicks—the headlines should have a keyword. Add social share buttons to your posts—either at the top of the page or on the side, but not at the bottom. As you write your posts, keep in mind that Google has a preference for blogs with a minimum of 1500 words. Your 300 words will not cut it. Killer content would also mean evergreen content. Meaning content that will never lose relevance and will be shared through and through.
This post here shows you how to optimize your blog posts for search engines.
Many view Pinterest as a social media platform. No. It is, at its core, a search engine. Bloggers I admire swear Pinterest is the most powerful free traffic generator, especially for new bloggers.
Don’t be fooled by the colourful images you see. Those images are the windows to content created by bloggers all over the world. While it takes forever to get to page 1 of Google, Pinterest places your content in front of millions of viewers daily, if you work it right.
To be able to see results from Pinterest, start by creating a Pinterest business account, or upgrade your personal account into a business one. Now that your account is all set up, you will have a daunting task of getting followers. It is doable.
Create at least 10 of your own boards and ensure that each board title is optimized for searches. Boards help Pinterest figure out what your account is all about. If you, for example, create a ‘Pet Diet’ board, do not make a mistake of adding fashion-related pins on to it. Simply create a fashion board for your fashion content. Once your boards are all set, look for group boards in your niche.
Group boards are a good way of putting your content up for hundreds of thousands of viewership per day or month. To get into a group board you need permission from the owner. You can simply get in touch by sending a professional request message on Pinterest, or on email. Many will be happy to let you in, but to stay in, ensure you abide by all the group rules set.
Check out this basic guide on how to use Pinterest. And btw, if you want to hack Pinterest you may want to invest in a course.
Pinning regularly throughout the day also helps in building Pinterest traffic to your blog. It may be hectic doing it manually, that is why Pinterest partnered with Tailwind to help users with the scheduling. Many bloggers swear by the power of Tailwind in building traffic.
Check out this detailed guide on how to use Tailwind App for blog traffic.
Track user engagement with blog traffic checkers
The moment people begin engaging with your posts, you will need to know what they are looking for and which countries they are in. This data will help you create content with more user intent in mind. Google Analytics is by far the best blog traffic checker in the industry.
The best way of getting Google, Pinterest and other search engines to notice your traffic is by having great content and optimizing it with the user intent in mind. You can get traffic but can you keep it? Content is king.