After reading dozens of blogs avidly for weeks before starting this blog, I’ve been fooled into a perception of a brilliant and easy lifestyle, bright white shots taken at ease, beautiful outfits and makeup collections sitting in the perfect formation of a flatlay, a laptop sat on a coffee table next to an equally aesthetic coffee cup and fashion magazine, all pristine and perfect. Followers flooding in by the minute, likes and comments common in their notifications, social media accounts filled with subscribers and crisp white themes, people on the blog at every hour of the day, soaking up the elegant fonts or the beautiful photography or the plentiful posts, all written to the point of perfection and so well crafted a published author would be impressed.
And, after starting my own, I have realised that is not the case. Only a handful of the thousands of blogs in every niche will be able to live that lifestyle, and the rejects will be suffering from loss of sleep after writing until midnight because their own pageviews are falling, struggling to take photographs because everything you own is suddenly incredibly unappealing, and refreshing the page on their laptop every minute in the slight hope of seeing a sudden spike of new followers.
I currently fit into the latter section, typing away in the hope of attracting new readers, downloading app after app of social networks to increase my shares, scouring Pinterest for inspiration along the way. But blogging is fun. I blog to escape the real world, to share my thoughts and feelings, to connect with people who have similar interests to me and to have fun. After all, I love to write. Writing is yet another escape that allows me to really forget any stress I have over school, any petty arguments with that one fake friend, any problems at all. Sharing my writing and letting other people read what I have to say is such an amazing thing and it is definitely worth the daily disappointment that actually, no, your stats haven’t spiked and you haven’t received another thousand subscribers overnight. The reality is you have a few loyal followers who read each and every post (thank you, because that means a lot!) and another few that press the like button that WordPress favours so much occasionally, and then a whole lot of readers who seem to stumble upon your website as if by accident and leave just as quickly.
How to make people visit your blog, really. In a few blogs I’ve had in the past, I expected people to flood in as soon as it was published and the first post written. Ten posts later, I’m left confused as to why if I’m lucky I’ll get 5 pageviews and 2 visitors a day. Here’s what I changed this time around to get more traffic, more engaged followers and comments, likes and pageviews!
1. Start posting! Contrary to what I just talked about, promoting a blog with no posts is going to get you nowhere. I often start complex promotion after publishing 5 posts, but make sure to create social media accounts and add the link of your blog to the website section (more on that later).
2. Decide on your target audience. For example, mine is lifestyle and beauty bloggers, as well as mental health bloggers.
3. Create a beautiful site you would want to visit, and limit the number off widgets you have to avoid annoyance with any potential visitors.
4. Submit your blog to online directories – specifically blog directories. I do around two a week, as they go a long way, but only use free ones. They are still useful and will allow people to find you more easily, generating higher amounts of shares and more pageviews.
5. Make friends. Join groups on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook and start conversing with similar bloggers.
6. If you’re using WordPress, follow similar blogs on the Reader tool, and use this as your main access to liking, sharing and commenting their material. Do this frequently, as the love you give will be given back to you! Make sure to follow bloggers with more followers than you, too, to gain extra traffic if they share it with their following.
7. Comment and leave a link back to your blog on many other blog posts, ranging from popular bloggers to unknown bloggers.
8. Have social share buttons everywhere! Use these to gain shares from anyone feeling generous; the more the merrier.
9. Have at least one Follow button and one Subscribe button.
10. Try to get a long email list by having Subscribe buttons close to recent posts or the homepage. Having subscribers boosts pageviews as they are notified via email each time you post.
11. Keep writing frequently, labelling your posts and always including keywords in the descriptions. This will allow Google and other search engines to find your site and that specific post and then other people can also have easier access to what you write. Do this with every single post and page you publish.
12. Decide on one or two social media outlets and then concentrate on establishing a presence on those before expanding and trying others. If you’re interested in focusing on Instagram, read Instagram 101: How I Gained 1k Followers In A Month to get more detailed analysis of the app and how to grow your following fast, for free and without any stress (it was actually pretty fun!).
13. Share expertise and be useful! People like when you offer advice or knowledge on topics within your niche, plus it makes your content much easier to share.
14. Establish a theme and profile photo which you use as much as possible; my own profile photo is pretty much everywhere on my socials, especially Instagram. Having a theme keeps people interested and maintains a professional and stylish look.
15. Use hashtags EVERYWHERE!! Try not to overdo it and go crazy, but using hashtags on Instagram can increase your engagement rates by 78%. That’s big!
16. Follow people within your niche regularly and make sure you aren’t following a large number of people or brands who may not be relevant to you and your blog. Keep your following a little under or almost the same as your followers rate to encourage people to follow back but discourage spammy accounts.
17. Post high quality photos and remember that having good content and quality means higher share rates, higher chance of becoming successful and a better shot at growing your traffic and followers.
18. Following on from number 15, use relevant and quite small hashtags – go for those with under 500,000 uses as they will give you a higher chance of being seen and are also better for likes and engagement. Make sure to vary your hashtags from time to time; view my post with a FREE list of 150+ Hashtags For Bloggers.
19. Engage!! This is the best tip I can give you and will really boost your share and engagement rates as well as being the key to quickly growing your following organically and easily.
20. Post frequently; people get bored quickly, and it means your SEO and exposure will bring visitors flooding in.
21. Try giveaways, competitions, shout outs and other types of engaging content to allow your followers the chance of winning something, increase exposure and build relationships with other bloggers.
22. Be friendly and grow a small number of blogging ‘friends’ by reaching out to people with similar accounts, preferably in the same niche/s and asking questions or simply saying that you like their account! Bloggers are usually super friendly and I have built relationships with many across lifestyle and beauty niches, as well as being in groups that support similar bloggers and provide a place for advice and help. Blogging pods are a great way to gain loyal followers, as the idea is to alert a small group of around 5-15 people when you post so they can comment and like your photo, and you do the same when they share content.
23. Try to work on completing your blog’s brand name, brand design, blog design and around 10-20 blog posts before doing marketing and promoting. However, if you want to be ahead of the game for when you are ready, start an Instagram account and simply put half an hour of work in everyday, just following some relevant accounts and sharing some pictures. When you’ve finished your blog posts and design, you can then properly promote on as many platforms as you’d like. Instagram is definitely a good way to start and it will guarantee you some followers and views before you’ve even started on other places such as Facebook.
24. Create backlinks by searching high quality backlink generators and then providing your blogs URL and getting SEO results very quickly. Be careful to only submit your blog to sites with good ratings, proper information and high quality backlinks as having a lot of low quality backlinks pinged to your site can reverse the action you’ve taken, lower your Google ranking and make it work against you instead of with you.
25. Take a day out and improve your photography skills with some professional backdrops and cute products or outfits you want to share. Prepare for dozens of inspired blog posts after this photoshoot and also better Google rankings and share rates if you have higher quality photographs. Further, you can spice up your socials with some personal pictures and grab some new followers.
26. Take another day to refresh the design of your blog and switch things around a bit. By simply adding a different header or swapping text font, you can change up the look quite significantly and make a mark without spending money on professional design (but yes, that’s another good option). Pinterest offers a huge range of freebies, from blog headers to personalised text styles to colour swatches.
27. Build relationships with as many people as you can, whether they’re influencers, bloggers, brands or just people within your niche. Having links or friends can mean you are able to get more opportunities or even just some good advice that will boost your blog’s growth.
28. Create a logo for your blog and brand this everywhere – you can use it for Facebook or Google page covers, email users, profile pictures and for any courses you create. This allows people to remember you and your blog and instantly connect it with the image whilst looking very professional and smart.
29. Submit your blogs to forums, groups and anywhere else that will generate genuine traffic. Not only will you get a reward in the form of hundreds of targeted readers, people can also find your site on places that aren’t considered link drops or spammy.
30. Have a WordPress follow button (if you’re on WordPress) on the sidebar and on a footer; using themes that support both widgets is essential to growing your email list.
31. As well as the follow button, you should have an external page that allows people to subscribe using their email address. I did this with Mailchimp (and yes, it took some getting used to) which was relatively easy but gave me good results, and it definitely grew my mailing list. Link to the external page in some useful places and include the link on social media bios to increase exposure.
32. Experiment with other things – the best thing about having a blog is that you literally cannot run out of opportunities. I like to mix things up and try new things (look anywhere on this list) to see what works best for me and how I can personally grow my blog.
33. If you love your writing and you’re wanting some more email subscribers, create a course or eBook and then offer it to your readers for free in exchange for their emails. This is beneficial to both parties, so make sure you write about something others would be interested in. If you want to create a course, I recommend using CourseCraft as the whole function works well and is simple to use, but it starts to charge after a certain amount of people download it, so be careful and look around before settling to one site.
34. Engage, comment and build relationships with those in your niche, as they are the most likely to share, promote and help your blog when you need it. It will also increase your visibility with more social shares.
35. Use features such as the Instagram widget on your blog’s footer so people can instantly follow and support you on other sites. Don’t spam and use this for every social media but I would advise social buttons for your main platforms, an Instagram and Twitter widget if you use both of them frequently, and links to social medias that are relevant to the content of posts; e.g, there may be links to my socials in this post as it features social media promotion and my page may give examples of techniques I use to grow my blog and its traffic.
36. Rather than doing a little of every single traffic building technique out there, simply start off with 3-5 techniques or platforms and build on those first. I started with Instagram, Pinterest, backlink generators and online forums, all of which allowed me to get quite a targeted audience whilst improving the visibility of my site as the SEO hacks started working. Once you’ve mastered that technique and gaining traffic from it no longer requires daily assistance, broaden your reach and add a few extra strategies. This way, if each new blog post sees 100 hits from each strategy or site, you could gain around 2000 hits easily.
37. Moving on from the previous tip, try SEO! This has been one I’m a little hesitant to try but many bloggers and experts in the field swear by it. My research didn’t do a lot for my blog but finding out the correct way to get into Google’s first page of results for searches related to your blog or any specific posts will greatly increase your traffic.
38. Stay active but keep the quality high; make sure to maintain a similar writing style throughout the entirety of blog posts and your whole site, partly so visitors can get a real sense of who you are and how you write. This is another thing that will set you apart from others so embrace it!
39. Although I could be called controversial here, stick to one or two niches. I’d say four is definitely the maximum; you can’t write about four very different subjects at a very high standard. This not only confuses readers as they clicked your link hoping to see health but actually see beauty and fashion and only two health-related posts, but it also stops you from writing as many posts for each category.
40. Be you! Share personal stories and advice that will build a bond between you and your reader, plus increasing trust. It might also get you some genuine comments from bloggers who can relate to what you’re saying. After I shared How I Cope With Anxiety, my engagement levels shot up and many bloggers commented or emailed with genuine responses, which was amazing. Being you and telling people about yourself is the easiest way to grow your blog.
I hope this answers your questions as to why your blog may not be getting the traffic flow that you expected and how to fix this. Remember, as with all good things, it does take time to successfully grow your blog and direct thousands of people there, so start slow and expect little as you go. If you have any more ideas, tips or suggestions, please leave them below in the comments, or tell me if this helped you and your blog! I love to hear from others and if I have helped.