If you want to attract real targeted traffic to your blog, you first have to ensure that your content is compelling and useful enough.
You also have to ensure your content resonates with your target audience. In other words, your message is clear and your content helps to solve what ever problems your readers may have.
One last thing, you also need to ensure your content is reasonably well optimised for search engines.
But here’s the thing.
Too many bloggers are obsessed with creating more and more content.
Too many bloggers also believe that they have to focus on doing nothing else other than SEO.
The more search engine friendly content they can create, the better right? After all Google is where the traffic’s at.
But actually bloggers don’t need to create more work for themselves. They don’t need to keep busting their chops trying to create more content in order to increase blog traffic and readership.
Relying on one single traffic source to your blog?
Listen, I am fully aware that search engine traffic is critical to a blog’s success, I get that really I do.
I wouldn’t be in the business of blogging and creating passive income if I wasn’t driving good search engine traffic to my blog.
But here’s the deal, there are far more effective ways in this world to get your blog noticed. You don’t have to and shouldn’t rely on one single traffic source for your blog, namely Google traffic.
We all know the consequences of relying on one single traffic source for online business growth right, it’s not smart.
I learnt that harsh lesson a good few years ago actually when all I focused on was getting search engine traffic. Then Google Penguin happened…
Here’s a snapshot of what happens after one year, when you rely on one single traffic source to your blog. When Google decides to change it’s rules, we bloggers and online business owners have to suffer the outcome.
Real blog promotion
Blog promotion is something a lot of newbie bloggers fail to understand the importance of. Sure quality content creation is very important, but marketing and promotion is just as if not more important.
Have you heard of the 80/20 rule of blogging?
Derek Halpern from Social Triggers believes that blog writing should take about 20% of your time. The other 80% of your time you should be focused on doing blog promotion.
Writing blog content should take 20% of your time. Blog promotion should take 80% of your timeClick To Tweet
I think that’s a pretty smart strategy myself, and it’s something that I’ve been leaning towards doing more of lately.
And yes, my business continues to grow, traffic and revenue continues to increase.
In fact since spending a lot more time doing marketing and promotion, and less time writing new content, I’ve been getting more comments and engagement, more social shares and all the rest of it.
I did a small experiment over the last 5 weeks where I’ve been spending a lot more time doing marketing and promotion, and less time writing new content. The results have been phenomenal.
If you look at the screen capture below, you’ll see the difference in number of comments and social shares, compared to the previous posts where I didn’t pay as much attention to marketing and promotion.
So you’re probably now thinking, how do you get your blog noticed and your traffic souring through the roof without Google or SEO?
Well if you’re ready to learn, we’ll get started with 5 powerful ways.
1. Build that email list
How many times have you heard that? You’ve got to have an email list, you’ve got to build an email list…
Sounds like boring old generic advice right?
So I hesitate to ask, are you building your email list?
You want to know how I get folks flocking to my latest blog post, reading, sharing and commenting?
It’s very, very simple, I send out an email newsletter letting them know there’s a new post on my blog. Ta-da!!!
That’s right, more generic advice, and here’s the thing…
Probably one of the biggest mistakes many bloggers make when starting out even today, is that they don’t start to build their list at the same time.
John Chow from JohnChow.com is amongst five other famous A-list bloggers who admit this to be their biggest mistake in this powerful expert roundup post published on blogician.com
Here’s a screen capture of what he wrote.
Don’t become another another blogger to admit the same mistake later down the line, build your list now!
Here’s an interesting statistic for you:
- 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year, based on a promotional email. Source.
That means if you’re not building your email list now, you’re potentially missing out on traffic and more importantly sales to your blog. Don’t waste another minute and get started.
And if you’re wondering at all, no you don’t have to sell your liver to the black market to start list building, in fact to get started all you’re going to need is the following:
- A powerful list building tool for your WordPress site.
- A very enticing freebie offer. Folks love freebies, especially if they’re extremely valuable.
- A reliable email marketing service provider.
- A well designed, conversion focused lead generation page and pop-up forms.
Recommended reading: 20 Actionable List Building Tips For Bloggers
2. Guest blog like a pro
According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 6% of bloggers publish original content as guest posts. Meaning the rest of the time bloggers prefer to make their blog the central hub for valuable information and awesome content.
Regardless of this, guest blogging is far from dead. Guest blogging in fact has to be up there amongst some of the greatest ways to get your blog and content noticed by new audiences, and of course guest blogging is great for driving some serious traffic too.
Guest blogging for SEO?
Its definitely harder to get the results you want from guest blogging as far as SEO and backlinks is concerned, but it can still work effectively to some degree. A few years ago it was definitely a lot easier to submit a couple of guest posts and get massive SEO returns back, long gone are those days as Google is a lot smarter today.
On the point of guest blogging for search traffic, Bamidele Onibalusi was able to increase his search engine traffic by a whopping 342.45% using guest blogging. He shares his full case study in this post.
The benefits of doing quality guest blogging however goes beyond SEO and gaining some backlinks for traffic.
Writing for other blogs is your opportunity to shine as an authority blogger. It’s your opportunity to tap into a new audience network and share your knowledge, expertise and experiences.
It’s also your opportunity to promote your own content and drive referral traffic back to your blog, helping you build your own blog community.
So how and where do you even start with guest blogging?
Well if you’ve never done this before, to begin I would recommend you start following a few blogs. Here are some other tips and pointers to keep in mind:
- Follow no more than a few blogs you like, and read their content as frequently as possible.
- Get a real feel of the writing style and vibe the blog is putting out through it’s content, and the comments too.
- Add value by leaving useful and meaningful comments on those blogs frequently.
- Connect and establish a relationship with the blog author and other readers of the blog, that’s very important.
- Follow the blog author on all social media outlets.
- Frequently share the author’s content on your social network profiles.
You see the key here is to win the trust of the blog author, and make it increasingly likely, for him or her to accept your guest posts when you finally pitch your ideas to them.
If you just go straight ahead and pitch your guest posts to a blog, way before you’ve even learned anything about the blog or the author, be prepared to be left disappointed.
Here are some tools you might want to consider using to help you find quality authority blogs to guest post on.
- NinjaOutreach (Recommended)
Recommended: My latest traffic workbook contains useful printable worksheets, cheatsheets and checklists to help you stay organised with your guest blogging marketing efforts. Check it out here.
3. Do blog commenting the smart way
Blog commenting is another way in which I get folks flocking to my blog.
I have two people in this industry to thank for reminding me just how powerful blog commenting still is today.
I gave up on blog commenting a long time ago you see, and a while back I read a fantastic and inspirational article on AdrienneSmith.net by a blind blogger called Maxwell Ivey.
In fact Maxwell and I created a connection through simple blog commenting. You can read his inspirational post here.
Max’s blog post really blew me away, and it forced me to admit the fact that I underestimated the power of blog commenting.
Blog commenting as a link building tactic is borderline useless as far as I’m concerned.
Blog commenting as a strategy for connecting with people, getting yourself noticed and for promoting your blog and content is powerful.
Here’s a quick list of what to use blog commenting for:
- To connect with other like minded bloggers and influencers in your niche.
- To share your knowledge, expertise and experiences.
- To drive targeted referral traffic back to your blog.
Blog commenting and guest blogging are two old school strategies, that are still by far the best ways to connect with people, build online relationships and get your blog noticed online.
So how can you achieve all of this with simple blog commenting?
Simply by doing one thing and one thing only!
By providing incredible value.
And providing value by the way isn’t achieved by commenting (or spamming) on 20 or 30 blogs per day. It’s achieved by commenting on no more than 2 or 3 blogs per day.
Each comment you leave on other blogs has to be meaningful. Imagine you’re writing a mini guest post if you like, just keep thinking of ways in which you can provide value to a piece of article, or ways in which you can extend a conversation on a topic.
If you can do that on every single blog you visit, read and comment on, just think of how many people will want to come back and visit your blog and hopefully do the same for you.
Sherman Smith runs one of my favourite blogs on the subject of online business and entrepreneurship. Without sounding as if I’m blowing my own trumpet, below is a classic example of a well constructed comment I left on one of his recent blog posts.
As you will notice, it’s not just a spammy one sentence comment like you see on many blogs, but a comment that helps to promote engagement and foremost, adds value to a conversation.
If you want to use blog commenting to drive traffic and readers to your blog, keep this mini-checklist in the back of your mind, or bookmark this post.
- Always address the author by his or her first name.
- Write about why you agree or disagree with the topic being discussed in the post.
- Share your thoughts, experiences and beliefs.
- Add additional value, mention something that hasn’t already been covered in the article.
- Sign off thanking the author for a great piece of writing.
In addition, here are some basic but essential guidelines for doing blog commenting:
- Always use your real name.
- Don’t spam by dropping links in your comment, or by writing self-promotional jargon.
- Always check back to see if the author has responded with any questions, so that you can answer them and keep the conversation flowing.
Recommended Reading: 19 Types Of Blog Posts Proven To Drive Comments, Social Shares And Engagement
4. Network and outreach like a boss!
Blogging isn’t just about creating great content, it’s about making those all important connections, networking, building relationships and serving a loyal community right?
Networking and reaching out to influential folks in your industry are some powerful tactics for getting word out about your blog, your content and much more.
93% of marketers are seeing increased brand visibility through influencer engagement strategies!Click To Tweet
Illiyanastareva.com shares an interesting statistic: 93% of marketing pros are getting results in increasing visibility, through influencer engagement strategies!
A lot of bloggers however, are somewhat confused about networking or doing blogger outreach (often known as influencer marketing). In all fairness, where does one actually network to find blogs to collaborate with, as well as find traffic and readers for their blog?
You may or may not have come across sites like Inbound.org, BizSugar.com or NinjaOutreach and BlogDash even. Well if you haven’y, these are all platforms in which you can join and network with other great like minded folks in your niche.
In addition, you can use many of these sites to help promote your own content and find new readers for your blog.
With BlogDash for example, you can potentially reach out to many the 200K bloggers registered on the site.
NinjaOutreach also has 25 million websites in their database and growing. This is a fantastic site for finding blogs, bloggers and influencers to connect with and network with.
If you’ve never networked or done influencer marketing before, now’s the time to start learning and reaping the benefits.
You can either outsource this service of course, or check out what these top bloggers have to teach you about doing blogger outreach.
For networking, check out these following power sites and platforms:
- Various Google+ Blogging Communities
- Various Facebook Blogging Groups
- Buzzsumo (For finding key influencers to promote your awesome content)
Recommended reading: 23 Smart Bloggers Share Their Favourite Methods For Promoting A New Blog Post.
5. Dominate social media
Finally, social media can really help you drive traffic, increase readership and attract customers to your blog.
As of right now there’s a staggering 1.65 billion active users on Facebook (source).
The chart below taken from SproutSocial, shows that the average American spends around 40-minutes per-day just on Facebook. With Twitter following with 34 minutes and so forth.
But here’s what I’m thinking to myself.
Chances are you’re already using every social platform under the sun to promote your blog content right now, and there’s quite a selection these days right?
So how’s it all going for you?
What’s working and what isn’t? Considering many of today’s social platforms are now pay-to-play.
How to dominate social media without being everywhere, and without spending a penny!
Well almost without spending a penny…
When I say dominate, I don’t mean for you to literally be everywhere, on every God-given social platform available. That’s simply not possible nor is it effective.
What I mean is to dominate the platforms that are already working for you right now.
Workout where your target audience is. Which social platforms they’re mostly on, and which are giving you the best possible traffic and ROI, and dominate those platforms like a boss.
Create an effective content schedule, grow your fan base, share content that’s both useful and content that will promote further engagement.
To help you get the most from your social media promo campaigns, I’ve created a useful series of printable social media planners that comes with my blog traffic strategy guide. Be sure to download it and make good use of it here.
Here are some recommended tools you can use to help you make your social media marketing work.
- SocialWarfare (Install this amazing plugin on your blog)
- Kred (Social influence score)
Smart bloggers don’t just rely on one single source for generating traffic. And you should most definitely not put all of your eggs in one basket, meaning relying on SEO or Google alone for blog traffic.
You don’t need to waste a ton of money on ineffective advertising either, because there’s plenty of other tried-and-tested methods out there for driving targeted blog traffic.
If you’re just starting out and want to get more traffic, more readers, subscribers and even buyers to your blog, I hope that reading through these five tips in this post has been more than helpful.
Take one of these tactics and make it really work for you before moving onto the next, I’d love to hear what results you get from them.
If you’re a seasoned blogger, and perhaps a particular technique or strategy has been working for you, and of course if you’re willing to share it, please leave a comment below. Share some of your hot tips and experiences with us.