KATE’S BEST BLOG TRAFFIC TIPS
Ding dong the witch is dead!
Which old witch?
Well the crazy “you need to have millions of readers for your blog to be successful” witch. Obviously.
Now if you thought this was going to be a post about blog traffic tips, don’t worry (it totally is), but I just want to go on a small rant first (so please bear with me).
Why you actually don’t need more traffic on your blog…
You see everyone is so obsessed with getting more and more readers and viewers every single month. And you know what, even once you are getting hundreds of thousands of unique visitors on your blog each month, you’ll still be obsessed with getting more and more.
It really never ends.
And also it really doesn’t mean anything.
I know blogs who have ridiculously huge levels of traffic, but when they do a sponsored post or even offer a paid product, it absolutely flops.
And I know bloggers with very small amounts of readers, but they just happen to be crazy loyal and devoted ones. And everything they touch turns to gold (and everything they create or mention sells out).
Now, of course, the ideal scenario is to have a ridiculous amount of really loyal readers, of course (more on that below). But most bloggers spend so much time and energy on getting just anyone and everyone in the door as quickly as they can, they forget to actually spend the time creating, nurturing and providing value to the community around their blog.
So you end up stuck on that cycle of always having to know the latest tip and trick to try and get more and more new people to your blog every month (but 99% of them never come back, and then each month you have to do it all again). And you are also always at the mercy of algorithm changes and SEO updates too (damn you, Zuckerberg..)
And when you have days or months when you plateau or worse yet, go backwards, it can be really draining and discouraging (and usually most people then spend even more time trying to find some other secret hack or trick to get that useless traffic back… and so they spend even less time nurturing their community).
It’s a vicious and exhausting cycle. And it just seems crazy to me.
You spend all this time and effort (literally hundreds of hours), and your return is what, a few hundred extra dollars a month from erectile dysfunction banners on AdSense? Oh.. and it can all go away at any time too.
Yep… told you, crazy.
And it seems like I am not the only person who thinks so, because there is this whole “slow blogging” movement happening right now, which is not about creating millions of posts every week that are link-baity and SEO-d up to the eyeballs just to drive as many damn un-targeted viewers to your blog as possible (let’s leave this exhausting, expensive and totally pointless model to the poor, failing magazine websites now shall we?).
But instead, it’s about creating less, but better (and bigger) content.
Quality… not quantity.
Because traffic is not the goal anymore… readers are. OK?
So, hopefully, by now I have you all saying “yes, yes, screw the traffic what I want is more readers…”, right??
Great… now how do you get those?
Well I actually ran a one-hour live workshop on this very topic over in the Blog Squad Coaching & Blogger Community recently (it was pretty epic, my throat is actually a bit sore I was talking that much!), but I thought I’d share a few of my faves with you all here too (just cos I love ya… awww… yeah, I know!)
BLOG TRAFFIC TO READER TIP #1 – Give Value & Power/Pillar posts
Now first things first, as you should all know by now my number one rule for creating a successful blog is to find a niche that you can help, and then help them as much as possible (by creating valuable and useful blog posts, challenges, courses and other content both free and paid).
And in fact, this basic principle is working so well that a lot of bloggers are taking it the next step further, and creating “power posts” or “pillar content” around the biggest pain points for their readers, or specific topics that they can really jump in and become known for.
These posts are usually epically long (minimum 2000 words), and they are literally everything useful you know to help your readers with XYZ.
They can be everything from shopping & travel guides, to how to dress for a certain body shape or season, to how to set up a blog.
And it’s not just a high-level overview. It goes deep and specific (the more niche the better!).
And it always has some sort of content upgrade (more on those later if you don’t know what they are).
The aim of this post is a couple of things;
1 – It will be bookmarked as a resource to come back to by your readers, and really cements how valuable you are to them.
2 – It will be shared with other like-minded people who will find it ridiculously useful, and Google will love it (so it attracts more of the right people).
3 – It helps to position you as an authority on that topic.
4 – It gets people onto your email list (via that Content Upgrade / Opt-in bribe I mentioned earlier), and can also be an excellent first step in a sales funnel if you have a related product, service or even affiliate product you can offer.
Want to create your own power post?
Great! I have created a special check-list to creating power posts to build your tribe, including everything you need to do, and how to choose the best topics to start with.
And (of course), you can access it via the button below!
BLOG TRAFFIC TO READER TIP #2 – Put your best foot forward
It doesn’t matter how great your content is, if your blog design is a hot, confusing, mess (and worse… eek.. not mobile responsive) then you and your blog are going to land in the too hard basket.
Readers are lazy. You have to make it easy for them to fall in love with you.
Also, the standard out there these days is really high (plus it’s really not hard or expensive to make your blog look professional these days, so sorry but there’s no excuse!)
So this means you need to do a few crucial things.
1 – Please, please, please make sure you have a nice, clean and easy to navigate theme on your blog. This means easy to read fonts, non-clashing colours, a navigation bar/ menu that makes sense (look at other blogs if you’re not sure what should go where) and yes it is mobile responsive.
2 – Don’t forget to introduce yourself. A nice (well lit!) photo of you with a quick and snappy intro sentence or two in the sidebar, and also on the homepage goes a long way to helping readers create a connection with you (and this is one of the things that will take them from random traffic to new online BFF)
3 – Showcase your best content (and anything that has gotten lots of comments!) everywhere. This includes adding links to popular content in your sidebar, footer, on your about page, on any welcome emails you send, and even in your menu (I have my top 5 most popular posts in the drop-down menu under ‘Blog’).
4 – Update old but popular posts if you need to. Everyone starts a bit rough on their blogs. No shame in that. But if some of these older “rougher” posts are still driving a lot of traffic it might be worth jumping in and freshening them up.
You don’t need to go overboard, but maybe update the images (unless it’s the images driving the traffic of course!), making sure the post is formatted nicely and easy to read, adding links to other relevant posts you’ve written on your blog, and of course… adding a relevant content upgrade (which yes, I am covering below!)
BLOG TRAFFIC TO READER TIP #3 – Make It Easy For Them To Come Back
So they came, they saw, and they like you.
Awesome sauce, they are going to be fans for life now right?
Umm… no. Sadly not.
People have really short attention spans these days. Crazy short.
In fact, the goldfish are now making jokes about us!
And so even if someone who is your ideal reader lands on your blog, loves it (and you), they will still need some prodding to remember to come back.
And how do you do that?
Well… on the count of three everyone…
You get them on your list!
I know, I know. You’ve heard this all before. But it really is one of the best ways to be able to communicate with people.
And one of the best ways to get people onto your email list (right now), that works so beautifully with everything else I have shared today, is via a Content Upgrade (aka Opt-in Bribe).
Now all these really are is the next step, or some additional (and very useful) extra resource or piece of content to go with your blog post.
Need some ideas for awesome content upgrades? Click below to download my ultimate Content Upgrade Ideas List now!
(oh.. and for those that are playing along at home.. yes… there are two content upgrades in this post… can you spot them?)
And how do you create these awesome Opt-in Bribes?
OPTION 1 – CONTENT LOCK
Well my favourite way is via a content lock (like the one above, opt-in to see how it works) which I have added to this post using Thrive Leads (a WordPress plugin I am pretty obsessed with)
Basically, once you set it up, it gives you a special shortcode that you wrap around any content you want to be locked (aka hidden), until a person opts into your list. Once they have, then the “lock” goes away and they can access the link to download your awesome freebie.
Or, if that all sounds a bit too technical, no worries, I have another slightly easier option.
OPTION 2 – RESOURCES LIBRARY
If you don’t want to be fiddling around with embedding different content upgrades on different posts, or worse yet figuring out how to get your email service to send different emails (with links to each of the different free things!) then there is a sneaky cheats way around if.
First off you create a hidden page (you can password protect it if you like, or just don’t show it in your navigation), and on that page, you upload the download links, buttons etc.. to all your content upgrades.
Then, you simply add the link (and password if relevant) to that resources library into your “welcome” email, that gets sent whenever someone joins your list, and Voila, they have access to everything no matter where they signed up.
You will still need to embed some sort of opt-in box or link in your posts when you mention the content upgrades, but of course, you will only need the one (and you can just use it over and over). And yes, I still recommend Thrive Leads if you are looking for an easy way to do this (seriously, it rocks!)
But of course, as with everything in blogging, you can never just rely on one thing (even something as “stable” as an email list), so it’s good to also offer a few more ways for people to keep connecting with (and being reminded about) you and your awesome blog.
And these are some of my faves…
Other ways to keep the love alive:
– Start Your Own Facebook Group for your readers – I’ve seen these work for pretty much any topic, whether it’s sharing recipes, sales, asking for advice, giving support, doing some sort of group challenge, it doesn’t matter. Facebook groups (for now) are a great free way to not just communicate with your readers, but to actually connect and build a relationship too. Plus even better they can connect with each other too.
– Send them to your best social media platform – Pick the platform you are on the most, and get the engagement on the most, and once they’ve jumped on to your email list keep trying to send them there (the more places they follow you the more likely they are to see you content!).
– Start them on or suggest a challenge or free course – If you really want to make sure they remember you above all the other things they have signed up for lately, make sure that once they join your list you have a series of follow up emails (maybe one a day for the next 5 days), that are set up to introduce you, your blog and to give as much value as humanly possible.
You could even start them on a free 5-day course, or on an automated challenge which addresses the most common problem of your readers.
Whatever feels right for you (you just don’t want to be yet another weekly email to them… you need to make sure you are instead a welcome addition to their inboxes!)
*hint* I normally prompt people to join one of the above AFTER they sign up to my email list, in the welcome email. This means you don’t have too many conflicting calls to action (aka things you want them to do) on each page, and it gives them a nice next step which helps to build the relationship too.
Phew… OK… well I hope you found this “power post” relevant (and for those who are interested this post is 2296 words long… now 2300…. now… OK, you get my point!)
Have you got any other great tips to build your blog traffic? Let us know below!