One of the questions I’m often asked is how to get traffic to your blog once you have some posts worth showing off. Followers and traffic are two of the most sought after commodities on the Internet, so it’s no wonder it’s still a bit of a challenge for most. Here are my tips for getting more of both, and remember: slow and steady wins the race, unless you go viral!
1. Get Social
Using social sites represent a way to start getting people to visit your blog, because ideally if they like what they see they’ll pass it onto some friends with a similar interest. There are new social networks popping up all the time, so don’t get overwhelmed by the thought of posting to them all. Focus your efforts on the heavy hitters and you’ll get enough results to turn your blog into a success. Facebook creates a sense of community for your site, while Pinterest provides eye candy that lures visitors, and Twitter is a way to keep them updated on new posts without being annoying.
Facebook – Facebook may be struggling a bit to keep its users, but it’s still the best way to develop a base of fans that want to keep up with the content you’re putting out. Treat your fan page with the same care you treat your site, and only put up eye-catching pictures and helpful content.
Pinterest – The ultimate “look what I found!” website. Pinning your awesome pictures to Pinterest is one way to get some initial traffic. Creating boards and getting in with some group boards is the next step, which can really boost the amount of people you see coming over from Pinterest.
Twitter – Twitter has grown in popularity recently, and it’s a way for your followers to keep up with your new posts, and can also be another voice for your blog. You can give your tweets a bit more pep than you can with your posts, showing a more playful side to your site.
2. Email Marketing
You may be wondering “how can email marketing increase my traffic if I’m collecting email addresses from people that are already at my site?”. The answer is that you’ll be getting those same visitors to come back to your site, essentially boosting your traffic numbers with repeat visitors, and building a relationship with them.
Here’s my strategy for email marketing that works: Ask for their email address either directly or by offering them something free in return. Send them very useful emails that they should enjoy if they are interested in the topic of your site. These emails should contain links back to your site so that they’re tempted to come back and check it out. Enough return trips to your site and you’ll become a regular staple in their life.
Aweber – This is a way to manage all of the email addresses you collect, and send professionally formatted emails to their inbox as a group email. There are a ton of email marketing services like this one, but I’ve found AWeber to be the easiest to use effectively.
3. Viral Content
When it comes to traffic you just can’t beat the phenomenon of your content going viral. The huge swell of traffic is enough to make anyone’s heart race, and that feeling can be addicting. There are some sites that have a higher likelihood of producing a viral effect than others. So far I’ve noticed that these three give you the best chance of hitting the tipping point where things get a little crazy. Crazy good, that is
StumbleUpon – The concept of StumbleUpon is that users share their favorite sites they’ve found, and the more people that rate a site favorably, the more they’ll recommend that site to others who might be interested. Getting your site out to the StumbleUpon community is one way to boost traffic, potentially in a viral way.
Reddit – Reddit has a very active and intelligent community of users, and they can singlehandedly turn your blog into the hottest thing going. Even if they only send a bit of traffic your way, it’s still a good idea to build up your reputation there, as their support can be a big help later.
YouTube – One viral video on YouTube and you might get more traffic than you bargained for. It’s not an easy thing to make a viral video, and it’s more an art than a science, and involves a bit of luck, but if you’ve got a good concept for one, follow through on it and see what happens.
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