So you have just set up your blog and published a few posts. But all you can hear is the sound of crickets. No clicks, comments or meaningful traffic.
That self published e-book, guide and online course is not selling like it should. That dream of a Caribbean holiday is on hold. Your significant other wonders why you are spending all that time late at night writing, tweeting and twerping but with nothing to show for it. Maybe it’s not time to give up the day job.
So…should you pack it in and give up the dream?
Blogging is not a “get rich quick” scheme and it has become a serious business that a few years ago was seen as only an activity for geeks and dorks. Some blogs and bloggers are now making some serious money. The Huffington Post (a blog) was sold for over $300 million and other bloggers such as Timothy Sykes, the Gothamist and Smashing Magazine are making 7 figures. But where do you start ?
Old fashioned high street retail businesses needed passing foot traffic to make sales. The greater the passing crowd the more money they make. Bloggers need web traffic.
So…how to get more blog traffic?
Here are 100+ tactics including social media, search engines, email, joint ventures and more… to drive traffic to your blog and websites.
1. Social media
The channels and networks you concentrate on will vary according to your business target audience. Lets look at the following tactics for building a global distribution network to reach prospects and fans.
It’s like building your own media company.
Growing your Facebook “likes” combined with fan engagement and contagious content that begs to be shared is one way of earning attention online and driving traffic to your blog.
Earned marketing tactics
Here are some tips for improving your organic Facebook reach by attracting more likes
Ensure your profile and “about” tab is clear and linked to your “owned” portal that displays your credibility and expert content
Run a competition that needs a “like” to enter
Ask open questions with a photo in your Facebook updates
Include a Facebook widget on your Website or blog in a prominent position that can be “liked” without visiting Facebook
Link to your Facebook page in your emails and newsletters
Create a custom tab using an app like Shortstack that provides free premium content for a “like”
Promote your content on Facebook to your Twitter followers by tweeting
Update your Facebook page several times a day
Provide a prominent icon on your blog or website that links to Facebook
Include your Facebook links on your free ebooks
Create and form a small group on Facebook, dedicated to sharing each member’s new article on their own specific day
Capture emails by setting up and running a competition in a matter of minutes using an app like Heyo. See the image below on how it looks
The tips above were tactics that didn’t need an advertising budget but time. If you want to accelerate the process then paying for advertising is also a viable method.
One of the easiest ways is to select “Boost Post” option after posting an update on your page that links back to your blog. In essence Facebook now has two types of options.
Custom audience advertising: Facebook’s Custom Audience features are virtually unrivalled by any other social medium. A Custom Audience is one a company can create on Facebook, by picking and choosing which targets to include. Custom Audiences comprise clients that a business already has a relationship with elsewhere.
Lookalike audience: Lookalike Audiences are another unique feature to Facebook’s marketing tools. A Lookalike Audience allows users to target a new audience that has similar characteristics to an already-known audience.
LinkedIn has advertising options and they include two key categories. Self service and partner solutions. For bloggers the realistic option is “self service” . Here are the two ways to advertise on LinkedIn.
Display and text ads: PPC display ads. These ads appear up in a number of places, such as the user’s inbox and on the side and bottom of the homepage. Self-service display ads give you the ability to include an image or video, as well as ad copy with a hyperlink. These can drive traffic back to your blog
Sponsored content: When creating an update, you have the ability to pay to have that update distributed to a larger audience on the LinkedIn network. Where other ads show up on the sides or at the tops of pages, sponsored content appears right in the user’s news stream, which will typically lead to more engagement. That update can include a link back to your blog and again more traffic.
Networking on Stumbleupon still works and join a “voting” group if you are looking to promote your article on there.
Triberr is a hidden goldmine for you to promote your newest article on and get a ton of social shares from it. It allows your whole group to easily share your article from your blog.
Create a well-designed slideshow based on the topic of your newest, published article and link back to your blog in the description and the slideshow.
Subscribe to the paid version of Slideshare and it will create leads for your blog
Link back to your blog in your account description
Organic search engine traffic can often provide over 50% of your traffic for free if you have a well optimized plan and strategy. So what are some top tips to bring free organic search traffic to your website or blog.
Identify the top 20-50 keywords and phrases that customers use to find your business (or your competitors)
Make sure that your website designer and developer includes those terms in the major headings in the site so that search engines can discover them
Create content that includes those terms
Make sure that the content is so good that people want to share it and link to it
Optimize the content on your website or blog using a plugin or tool that ensures search engines can read (crawl) those keywords
Promote that content on social networks so that people discover it and link to it
Allow other bloggers to syndicate or post your content on their websites that links back to your site or blog
Offer to guest post for major and influential blogs
Create valuable long form content that is 1,000 to 2,000 words or even more that is such a great resource people and bloggers have to link to it. Become the “resource” for your industry.
Make sure that your content is unique to your site when publishing.
The reduction of organic reach on social networks like Facebook (For more read “Why You Should Forget Facebook“), is making organisations reconsider their focus social media. It mean building not only your social media presence on other networks but also by building your email list.
So how can you use email to drive traffic and create online attention?
Earned email marketing tactics
Create a free ebook and offer it to anyone that subscribes to your email list
Turn your homepage into a massive subscribe form
Use a non-annoying pop-over which appears 20-30 seconds after a visitor hits your blog post
Use a pop-over that asks people to subscribe on exit.
Place a subscription box at the end of all your blog articles
Give amazing value in your writing
Create a strong incentive to subscribe
A/B test key elements
Build relationships with your current subscribers
When sending out your blog posts via email make sure you only include the first paragraph or excerpt that is tempting enough to make people click the hyperlinked call to action to read the rest of the article. An example is …”Click here to read the rest of the article“. Dont give them everything in your email.
Leadpages.net is a lead generation platform that provides easy to customize landing pages (and already optimized templates). The pages can capture emails and be connected to your email platform such as Aweber or Mailchimp.
What is important to realise is that the social web allows you to work with other bloggers and businesses to reach each others customers. These “Joint Venture” relationships will amplify and multiply your marketing. With internet marketing this is often called “Affiliate marketing”
Think about this for a moment. If you were able to work with 10 other bloggers who all had 10,000 emails each and you have 10,000 then you have just connected to a network of 100,000. That is an increase of 1,000 percent!
This has to be done with high quality content and must be done with care, credibility and trust.
“Your network is your net worth” – Porter Gale
Find and foster producing relationships with non-competitive and even direct competitors that sell to the same audience category as you with sizeable email lists and social networks. Bigger is better!
Create a compelling and irresistible offer that is easy for the partner to execute.
Market to each others email list
5. Content marketing
Content marketing is the new “black” when it comes to driving traffic. Its about attracting traffic rather than chasing it.
It improves your SEO (Search engine optimisation) for your blog and this drives “organic traffic when you are found in search results. It also leads to referral traffic when people find your content is so good they “hyperlink” back to your articles.
Content marketing tactics
Create tempting headlines that drive “clicks”. I can’t stress how important developing and continuing to hone this skill is.
Make sure you have social sharing buttons that are “very” visible at the top or a floating bar on the side. (Don’t hide them down the bottom)
After publishing, share your content in as many appropriate social networks as possible
Don’t forget that a lot of people are now reading posts on mobiles. Many people have large mobile phones (often called “phablets” because they sit in size between phones and tablets) and they can raed while travelling on the train bus or even on the beach.
Make it easy for people to share your articles when reading on a mobile
Create a mobile “app” for your site
Build your blog or re-design it with a “responsive” WordPress theme
Social proof is a concept that is as old as time. It has just begun to gain traction amongst online marketers as it explains a lot about the success of some online ventures, and the failure of others.
To put it simply:
“Social proof in a social media context is the theory that accounts that have high follower numbers are trusted and followed more often”
You have just read nearly 3,000 words and are overwhelmed. There are four key tactics you need to focus on when you have finished this post :
Create a free ebook and upload it to your blog and start building that email list from day one
Create the best content for your readers and promote it to your social and email networks
Build your followers on social networks
Optimize your blog and posts for search engines.
Blogging is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It takes focus, time and persistence. That’s why building it on your passion and purpose will provide the foundation for a marathon called “blogging”.
What about you?
Are you building a range of organic and earned tactics on a range of digital platforms that drive traffic without relying on paying for it? Are you paying for traffic? Is that Facebook or Google or somewhere else?
Do you have your eggs in just one basket? Is your Facebook activity a diminishing return?
Look forward to hearing your stories and insight in the comments below.