1. Create Great Content
Maybe the best way to attract and retain readers to your blog, but also possibly the most difficult, is to create great content that people want to read. You can follow every other tip on this list, but if you aren’t creating quality content, it is going to be nearly impossible to sustain a good level of traffic to your blog.
Do your research to get a good idea of what your audience wants to read, and then come up with your own unique viewpoint or angle of approaching the topic. If you can keep readers engaged, you’ll steadily get more visitors to your blog.
2. Make it Easier to Find
If you’ve spent any time reading up on how to grow your blog, you’ve likely come across the term search engine optimization (SEO). So what is SEO? Basically, SEO includes steps you can take and things you can do to make your blog easier for potential readers to find online when they’re searching for the topics you’re writing about.
There are a lot of different things you can do to optimize your blog for internet searches. Search engines like Google use complex algorithms to power their search results, and they take a number of factors into consideration. It’s important to spend some time making sure that your blog is optimized for each in order to show up as high as possible on the list of results.
You can read a more in-depth guide to SEO here.
3. Make it Look Good
It’s very possible that readers will make a judgment about your blog before they actually read anything. A well-designed blog that utilizes images and is laid out in an easy-to-read way is more likely to grab readers and get them hooked on your content.
4. Post Regularly
Creating a posting schedule and sticking to it is very important if you want to get more traffic to your blog. Sure, some people love surprises, but when it comes to posting on your blog, an irregular schedule can turn off readers, or make them forget about you.
There is a lot of content on the internet, and it’s hard to carve out space in people’s schedule to spend visiting your blog; you want to make reading your blog a regular part of their routine. Posting on the same day or days of the week, and even at the same time on those days, increases your chance of hooking readers and increasing page views.
5. Read and Link to Other Blogs
Reading and interacting with other blogs is not only a good way to generate ideas for new topics to blog about, but it can also help drive traffic to your own blog. Participating in reader discussions on other blogs and linking to them are both good ways to draw attention to your blog. If people find your comments insightful or interesting, they may decide to visit your blog to see what else you have to say. And, if you link to relevant posts on other blogs, there is a good chance those writers will visit your blog to check out your content.
6. Utilize Social Media
Meaningfully increasing traffic to your blog can be tough without using social media. Depending on the content of your blog, certain social media sites might be better fits than others, but widely used ones like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter are likely to offer great opportunities to increase hits. Not only will advertising your new posts on these platforms keep your current readers informed about new content, features like sharing and hashtags can attract brand new visitors to your blog.
While those big social media platforms we mentioned can potentially generate a lot of interest in your blog, don’t overlook smaller, niche social media sites that fit well with your particular content and readers. Generally, the more niche a community, the more active its members are, and the more likely they are looking for more great content in their field of interest.
7. Use Your "Real-Life" Connections
Some people are reluctant for one reason or another to share their blogs with friends and family. However, not including the people closest to you in your blogging endeavor is a big missed opportunity. With friends and family, you’ve already cleared the most difficult hurdle: finding people who are interested in and care about what you have to say. They could become some of your most loyal readers and are possibly more likely to share your content on their own social media pages than other readers.
8. Internal Linking
There’s a good chance that there will be a lot of recurring common topics or themes in your blog posts. When possible, and where it’s relevant, link back to previous posts you’ve written that relate to your new post. Readers might be interested in diving a bit deeper into that topic, and this is a good way to get more views on posts that may have gotten buried in your blog under a pile of newer content.
Backlinking, which is when another website links to yours, is one of the most effective ways to increase traffic. However, as is probably expected, it is not easy to accomplish. If your blog is in its early stages or still growing, it can be difficult to get other page’s attention. You’re going to need to be proactive, and there are a few ways to do that.
- Take the place of inferior content - There are online tools that can help you find which sites link to popular posts. If you think your content is better than what they are linking to, contact whoever manages the pages pitch your blog as a better alternative to link to.
- Update broken links - This is similar to the previous method, except rather than inferior content, you are looking for broken links that go to pages no longer in existence. The owners of the pages likely don’t want to be linking to dead content, so if your blog is good, there is a good chance they’ll be interested in linking to yours.
- Guest post on other blogs - A different route to take is guest posting on another site. Here, you write a post for another blog, which will then link back to your content on your site.
10. Encourage User-Generated Content
Maybe you’ve heard people say, “Never read the comments.” This is usually said in reference to people arguing or trolling in the comment sections of news articles, blog posts, or Youtube videos. The truth is, though, people do read the comments. A lot of people. Lively comment sections in blogs can generate huge amounts of traffic. While most bloggers don’t want their page to be a negative environment, if you are able to attract enthusiastic, engaged, and vocal readers, you can see a significant boost in traffic. Comment sections often result in readers coming back to the same page multiple times.
In addition to comments, things like reviews, guest posts, and virtual Q&A sessions can also increase page views.
11. Optimize Load Time and Mobile Compatibility
No one wants to wait a long time for your page to load. Each second that ticks by without your page loading greatly increases the likelihood that someone clicks away, or “bounces”, from your page, possibly never to return. You want to make sure to take the necessary steps to decrease the load time for your page. This can include reducing image sizes, streamlining code, limiting ads, and more.
Additionally, it is very important that your blog displays and loads quickly on mobile devices, which are becoming an increasingly large driver of internet traffic.
12. Alert Readers of New Posts
Whether you use social media, email alerts, or some other method, keeping your readers informed about new content is critical. Even if your blog has become part of their regular routine, people can be busy, forgetful, unorganized, or distracted, and you don’t want to rely on them checking back in regularly to read your new content without a reminder.
13. Organize Your Posts
If your blog is just a long string of posts stretching across numerous pages, it is very easy for great posts to get buried and never seen again once they drop off the front page. Maybe a post you wrote six months ago is just as relevant and useful today as it was then, but the chances of someone clicking through page after page and randomly finding it are pretty low. But, if you organize your posts with a system and give your readers an easy way to access them, you greatly increase the chances of those old posts continuing to generate traffic for months (or longer).
A clean, streamlined menu for your blog that includes a handful of topics or types of posts, with relevant posts linked under each section, can be a great way to achieve this.
14. Analyze Your Traffic Statistics
If you want to increase your traffic, it’s a good idea to know where you stand. There are numerous online tools that can give you insight into the traffic reaching your pages. The better idea you have of who is visiting your blog and how and why they are getting there, the better equipped you will be to come up with a plan to attract and retain more readers.
The most common among these tools is Google Analytics. This is a free tool offered by Google that gives you all kinds of reports on how people are interacting with your site.
15. Stay Informed
The internet is always changing. While some trends and truths last longer than others, there is always something new coming around the corner (or already here!). Staying up to date with the latest technology, tools, trends, and topics will better position you to keep increasing traffic for your blog, even as the landscape quickly changes. You don’t want to get stuck using outdated methods or formats. Combining still-relevant, tried-and-true strategies with emerging ones is the best way to make sure your blog continues to grow.
While these aren’t the only ways to increase traffic to your blog, they are some of the most effective. Depending on your particular situation, all of these may not work for you, but there’s a great chance that thoughtfully incorporating some of these tips into your blogging will help your blog become more popular, attracting new readers and keeping old ones.