Ready to start getting some serious blog traffic? Today we are talking all about how to increase blog traffic so you can finally monetize your blog and grow, grow, grow!
Now before we dive into the world of traffic it’s important you understand that FIRST you need a website that is setup to actually make you money.
Unlike many other bloggers out there, I recommend you create your list building funnel FIRST, and even have some paid offers ready to go (these can be as simple as affiliate offers or something small like a $12 downloadable guide).
The point here is that there is no reason to focus on traffic if you don’t have a way to build your email list and monetize that traffic. Does that make sense?
So if you’ve set up…
- A website designed to convert (if not read this post, then this one)
- Have great useful core content targeted to attract your ideal buyer (even a handful of well crafted posts will work)
- A solid lead magnet that attracts buyers (if you don’t sign up for my Free Course),
- A plan to monetize (if not read this post first)
…then you are ready to dive head first into blog traffic.
TRAFFIC STRATEGIES IN 2020
This year, 2020, I’m focusing completely on traffic growth techniques for all my blogs.
I’ve decided to take a big risk and am dismantling my wellness website and breaking it into two separate niched down sites.
Breaking up my blog is strategic, I want to target my core audience thereby increasing conversions and eliminate the overlap of content, but it also means starting over.
So I’m right there with you in terms of focusing on what’s working NOW.
And since I want to get my sites growing as fast as possible I’ve spent a TON of time researching what’s working right now for blog traffic. That also means I’m sharing all those juicy tidbits with YOU!
In the last post, How to Get Traffic to Your Website FREE: 45+ MUST Know Options, I gave you a BIG list of 45+ places you can promote your blog, but the fact is you don’t need to be everywhere, you just need to be where YOUR target buyers are.
If you try to be everywhere you will exhaust yourself, and end up doing everything somewhat half-assed. So the key here is to invest in the areas where you are most likely to succeed.
Focus on the places and platforms where your people hang out and commit to those two or three spots.
OK BUT WHICH TRAFFIC SOURCE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
So at this point you are probably thinking, ok great but WHERE is that?
The truth is it’s different for every audience, BUT there are some places that work very well for almost every niche. And that’s what I want to focus on today. What will work for YOU.
Now the other thing to remember is that what worked five years ago will probably not work today.
In fact what worked one year ago will probably not work today.
Not only is there MUCH more competition, but the platforms have all changed.
Organic Facebook reach is almost pointless.
Instagram is completely different than it was two years ago.
Pinterest has changed so many things I’ve lost count.
So when you dive into your own research on what works for a particular platform make sure it’s CURRENT information. Otherwise it can end up wasting time instead of helping you grow.
Ok, without further ado here is what I’m I’m investing time and energy into for 2019 growth strategies, and what I think you should also consider to grow your own blog based business!
MY ROUNDUP OF THE BEST GROWTH STRATEGIES FOR 2020
Yes, I KNOW, SEO takes FOREVER, but the thing is if you don’t create content with SEO in mind from day one you will never rank. Not in six months or six years.
So while this strategy does take a bit longer to see results, the results you do get can be HUGE. Ranking on page one can propel your site to massive growth. And since it does take Google 6-18 months to rank a new site, that’s all the more reason to start NOW.
So this still is just as important as it ever was, but because of the level of difficulty in ranking along with the constant algorithm changes you shouldn’t put all your eggs in the SEO basket.
PROS: Can yield HUGE traffic is you can rank on page one (and even page two). Definitely worth the effort!
CONS: Takes 6-18 months to be ranked. SEO parameters are constantly changing so you’ll need to keep up and tweak your efforts as needed. Finding good keywords to target can be somewhat of an art and takes a bit of a learning curve.
RESOURCES: If you ready to dive into learning all about SEO here are the resources I’m using to make it work for me.
- MOZ Blog’s Beginner Guide to SEO (Free) – Moz Blog might be the authority on SEO (or at least a top contender) and they have created an amazing free resource for beginner’s that is constantly updated to reflect what’s happening in SEO now. It’s 10 chapters of SEO gold and an EXCELLENT starting point. Grab the guide here moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo
- Brian Dean’s Backlinko Blog (Free) – Brian’s Backlinko blog and email newsletter is PACKED full of actionable tips to help you rank your website as painlessly as possible. What I really love is that he creates matching YouTube videos for many of his posts so they are easy to consume. Check out the blog here backlinko.com/blog
- Mike Pearson’s Stupid Simple SEO Course ($$$) – I recently enrolled in Mike’s Course and feel like it was the big missing piece I needed to get this SEO stuff down. His course is very thorough and fluff-free. He also has also has a ton of worksheets and checklists to help you conquer SEO. His course is only open a few times a year but it’s a great buy if you can swing the few hundred dollars. Get on the waiting list here stupidsimpleseo.com
- Neil Patel’s Digital Marketing Blog (Free) – I’ve been loving all the free content over at Neil Patel’s Digital Marketing Blog. It covers everything from beginning to advanced, with a mix of video and text based content there is something here for everyone. Check it out here neilpatel.com/blog/
If you aren’t on YouTube yet you are missing out on a huge source of traffic. I ignored YouTube myself until recently, but all my research shows that YouTube is still a MASSIVE opportunity for bloggers and infopreneurs. In fact it’s has more potential now than ever!
First, YouTube is a wildly popular search engine (yes “search” because that’s exactly what people are doing), and you WANT to be where people are searching.
People who are problem solving are the perfect people to target because they are more likely to sign up and buy your offers.
Second, YouTube is still fairly untapped, people are scared of the learning curve and afraid to put themselves on camera and this higher barrier to entry means there is still PLENTY of opportunity for you to break in and stand out.
Third, Google has really pushed YouTube video results to the top of page one of search results, this means you might be able to take a fast pass to SEO gold using your YouTube videos. Two birds, one stone.
This is the platform I’m most excited about right now and highly recommend you consider it for your traffic efforts. I’ll be launching my YouTube channel soon and send you my results as they come in.
PROS: Lower competition within most niches means you can stand out more easily than on other platforms. As a search engine YouTube makes an excellent place to focus your traffic building efforts. Video helps your viewer feel more connected to you than just text based content.
CONS: Video based platforms have a higher barrier to entry, as you’ll need to learn the basics of video recording, editing, lighting, and the platform itself. It’s not as hard as it sounds but there is a learning curve.
RESOURCES: I haven’t yet invested in a course on YouTube, but I have pulled together a TON of free content and you can check out the massive list in this post, The ULTIMATE Guide to YouTube Resources for Growing Bloggers.
I’ll be brutally honest, Pinterest is NOT as easy to get traffic from as it was a few years ago. It’s also NOT for every niche. My wellness account easily got up to 1 million+ views in 10 months in 2016, whereas my new account is growing much more slowly (but steadily).
There have also been MANY changes to Pinterest to keep up with so this should all be considered when diving into the platform. Pinterest is a commitment, and can have a steeper learning curve than similar platforms.
Even so, I still think it remains a solid traffic option for most, but not all, niches. Wait, what, yep that’s right, Pinterest is NOT right for everyone.
I know every single blogger (who usually also has a course/guide on Pinterest) will tell you Pinterest is THE place for everyone, but that’s just not true. #truthbomb
The demographics don’t lie, Pinterest leans heavily toward women and feminine types of graphics and content. I used to manage Pinterest accounts and I had several clients, who despite doing EVERYTHING correctly, just couldn’t get traction on Pinterest, usually because their key demographic was not women.
In contrast women centric content, images, and niches did amazingly well. Go into any Facebook group for Pinterest Managers and you’ll see complaints of stagnant client accounts that just can’t get traction. The niche is almost always the problem.
So if your target demographic is women, and/or your content is within food, fitness, wellness, decor, fashion, DIY, parenting, home, garden, lifestyle, travel, work at home stuff, blogging about blogging, growing on social media, home finance, home budgeting, or something similar Pinterest may be perfect for you.
If you focus more on men as a target audience you may be better off sticking to a different source of traffic. That’s just the honest truth.
That said most of you reading will be perfect for Pinterest, so where to begin…
PROS: You can still get great traffic with the right niche and a detailed, focused, and consistent strategy.
CONS: Pinterest can have a steep learning curve making it frustrating for new users. Pinterest has rolled out a MASSIVE amount of changes and often with little to no announcement. Making things harder is that they often retract changes, basically changing their minds on a whim (this drives me crazy). Lastly there is now a TON of competition within certain niches and this make it harder to get your account growing.
RESOURCES: If you want to tackle Pinterest (and I still recommend that you do if you are in those target niches) then you MUST do your homework. Pinterest in 2019 has a TON of new rules, and accounts are being shut down left and right for things that were perfectly fine a few years ago. You’ll also want to invest in a scheduler, BoardBooster is long gone, and Tailwind is currently the only well-known game in town. I use Tailwind (affiliate link) to schedule about 70 pins per day, and use their Tribes to gain extra traction, this has worked out well for me and many others.
Since there is soooo much to know about Pinterest please stay tuned for my upcoming in-depth post, How to Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Blog. Better yet subscribe and get all the juicy details first.
The three traffic sources above are a fantastic start, but there are a few more honorable mentions that I wanted to share with you today because every little bit of traffic counts!
#4. Facebook Groups
While I have a love hate relationship with Facebook, Facebook groups (not to be confused with your blog’s main Facebook page) are still a great place to promote your content.
Go into Facebook and start searching for your target audience under “groups”, join the groups that make sense for your blog. Introduce yourself and start being helpful. From there you can organically mention your content as it comes up.
You can also join promotional groups where bloggers share each other. For a current list of Facebook groups I just pop into Pinterest and search “Facebook groups” and there are tons of lists available.
Instagram is GROWING FAST! If your blog is in a niche like wellness, fitness, food, gardening, fashion, lifestyle, home decor, parenting, homeschooling, spirituality, or travel then Instagram might be perfect for you.
I recently purchased this course, Instagram Launchpad from Brie at Go Rattle the Stars for help with growing a new Instagram account (not related to Blog Brand Hustle). The course is easy to follow and full of actionable info, I’ve already grown my account to 1000 followers in just a few weeks, and more importantly made some great connections.
Update: 5000 followers later…Instagram has become my primary way to grow my other (non-blog related) website. It has changed everything for me, if you are in any of the niches I recommended earlier and/or looking to connect with peers in your space Instagram is THE place to be.
This may not be a popular option because it requires that you invest in ad spend, but a carefully thought out ad campaign can skyrocket your traffic.
If you combine that traffic with an evergreen sales funnel you can make your ad spend back, and a handsome profit.
I’ll actually be running ads for one of my re-branded wellness website’s because the audience is so targeted. I’ll report back my findings when they come through.
There are three main areas I would consider for ads,
Facebook ads Instagram Ads, Pinterest ads, and Google Ads. Depending on your audience you might also consider YouTube ads, Twitter, other platforms or even investing in some paid influencer exposure. All of these can give you a huge boost, if you do them right.
The last post in this series, How to Get Traffic to Your Website FREE: 45+ MUST Know Options, has resources for each of these.
There are MANY ways to bring traffic to your site, but you need to have a solid strategy otherwise you’ll be spinning your wheels for little reward.
Be consistent, stay focused, target smartly, and make sure your website is setup for success!
I’m going to take a deeper dive into each of these traffic strategies in the coming months, and I’ll also be sharing my successes and potential failures to my email subscribers (so join below!).
If you want all the juicy tidbits and snag access to my free 5 day Lead Magnet Challenge,
There you have it! My roundup of the best growth strategies for 2020.
Until next time bloggy family!
Wishing you success and sending hugs!
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