It’s no secret.
We all want more blog traffic.
For some of us it helps grow our business. For others it offers that warm and fuzzy feeling when we open up our Google analytics dashboard.
Every day more and more content is produced, and people have to make a choice.
Your readers make a choice about what to read, and what to forget about.
This means we need new and unique ways of attracting people to our blog and keeping them around.
Here’s where your traffic is coming from;
Now let’s look at 4 things you could be doing to get more traffic from these sources. Plus 12 free tools (because who doesn’t love free things?) that will help you get there.
Make your content shareable
Social media is a primary driver of engagement, traffic and exposure for your blog.
Whether it’s used as a medium for engaging a new audience, or to allow your followers to share your hard work, you can increase traffic with a few social media tricks.
1. Co- schedule
This nifty tool helps you create those excellent ‘Click to Tweet’ boxes that brighten up your post.
When you have great content you want to help your readers share it and co-schedule makes it that much easier (and it looks good).
Oktopost is a very easy to navigate post scheduling tool that helps you plan and automate your social media shares from multiple user accounts.
It gives you time to focus on more interesting details such as analytics and measuring the impact of your social media presence for generating leads.
If you are looking for a different platform to get your content shared, you should consider Scoop.it.
Just like other social media platforms, the aim is to share interesting content to a community, which can then be shared with one click to other networks.
Be organized with project management
To run a a successful blog you need to be organized.
If your team is small, you need to make sure you are covering your targets within a certain period. And if your team is large, you need to make sure everyone is working in sync and not duplicating each other’s work.
Your organization’s style is picked up by your audience and when it’s done well you build trust in your industry.
It might take time to set up in the beginning but it will increase your traffic in the long run.
Trello is a great option as a task management system which is organized through the use of boards and cards.
It’s not over complicated and its visual task display is popular with its users.
If you are sick of having multiple calendars without being synchronized, then this cool app is a great addition to your project management tools.
You can combine calendars with your colleagues so that you know where people are and help you develop an editorial calendar between everyone.
It’s available on all mobile devices so it can keep you up on the go.
The basic package is free which provides a ‘workspace’ that you can access on all devices.
Collect, brainstorm or write, Evernote is a great tool to help grow your creativity and manage your content creation.
It can be a bit tricky to navigate at first, but they have great tutorials you can follow, like the one below.
Make impressions with your images
One of the first things a reader sees on your site is the images you use.
That first impression is crucial when you want to increase traffic, attention and investment.
When you have quality images that are relevant to the content, you are more likely to get people clicking through to other pages on your site.
An alternative to Pixabay or Flickr, this platform has over 20 categories to choose from and thousands of high quality images.
There is a good chance you can find what you’re looking for at PliXS.
No membership is required and their easy download process makes it a good image finding option.
Looking to jazz up the pictures on your site?
This excellent tool will get you creating infographics, graphs and shareable images that will help increase traffic to your blog.
It has an easy to use interface and allows you to upload your own images or use their own stockpile.
People love sharing quotes.
Whether it’s your own or another thought leader in the industry, you can create attractive, and most importantly shareable, images with quotes.
Recite has different creative layouts to choose from, which will get people to share your content and bring your blog more traffic.
Here’s an example from Mr.Branson (cool right?):
Get to know your audience
To really get down to understanding what your audience want, you have to ask them.
This strategy is becoming more popular with content creators to make sure they provide the type of posts that their readers are looking for.
From surveys to attending events, there are various methods you can use to better understand your audience.
When you’re on a budget, this is one of the free alternatives to try out when getting to know your audience.
This tool lets you have unlimited questions and responses, with an option to export the results.
11. Social Mention
A great way to do a quick analysis of a subject or specific company.
By knowing if a certain topic in your industry is trending you can create content that is going to drive that audience to your blog.
Getting feedback from users is getting much harder.
Having a feedback widget can help in getting important data that will help develop your site.
There are many paid versions, but this tool is a free option for those wanting to try out this strategy.
These are just a snapshot of the tools you can use to drive more traffic to your site.
Digital tools are always changing, so don’t try and use them all. Find the ones that fit for your site and learn how to use them in the best way possible.
Podcasting provided by Odovox.com
Did I miss something? What free tools do you use to get more blog traffic?
Guest Author: Shirley Pattison is the content marketing editor at imonomy, an in-image advertising company for online publishers. Shirley loves everything about content and blogs both at work and in her free time. If she’s not writing, you’ll find her at the beach with a good book. Connect with the team @imonomy or say hi to Shirley @ShiProjects