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The OCD Handbook on How to Get Blog Traffic Part 1

If you build it, will they come? Your sweet grandma will, but not me because I don’t know it exists. This guide will show you how to get blog traffic. Millions of people are blogging on every possible topic imaginable. Slapping a new blog online and waiting for readers doesn’t work anymore. Learning how to get blog traffic is just as important as learning how to write great content.

This is part one of a series of posts on traffic techniques to grow your blog. If you follow every advice, you will fail by spreading yourself too thin.

Study my list, pick a handful that might work, and try it out. Put real effort into your picks. Give it some time to see what works and remove the ones that don’t.

Different blogs need different methods. If you’re publishing short stories without photos then Pinterest and Instagram are probably not the best sites to leverage for traffic.

The Evergreen Method on How to Get Blog Traffic

One thing that never fails is discovering where your readers hang out and then just go hang out with them. Do it naturally. Don’t act like spammers who are simply there to leech off the community. Participate and contribute.

Want to learn how to start a blog? Check out my step-by-step tutorial.

Which social media site, forum, and other blogs does your audience frequent and interact with each other? Do your research and make a list. For each site on the list, see if they allow:

  • commenting
  • post submission
  • guest blogging
  • or any other way for you to be heard

Prioritize the sites that do allow you to do those things.

Publish More Often But Don’t Publish Crap

The top blogs in the world can’t afford to be perfectionists. In blogging for traffic, good and high quantity is better than great but low quantity.

With a busy publishing schedule, you will need more ideas. To help you publish more often, Check out 101 Blog Post Ideas to Kick Start Your Content Calendar.

Think of your favorite TV show. If there’s one episode per week, you’ll watch once per week. If there are two per week, you’ll watch twice. But if there are three then it’s probably diluting itself and you’d stop watching eventually.

Your blog will see an immediate traffic bump from publishing more often, but posting crap content will kill it just as quickly. Rushing to publish is a common mistake. Click here to learn other mistakes made by blogging experts.

Publishing On Your Competition’s Day Off

Schedule Your Posts People read more on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. That doesn’t mean the rest of the week is useless.

If you are neck and neck with your competitors, when they take breaks on weekends, you should be posting something.

With WordPress, you can write content for the entire week then set each post to publish at a specific time. Beyond post scheduling, WordPress has many more features that makes it the number one blogging platform.

Guest Blog

Guest blogging is finding the person with the biggest microphone and asking if you can use it too. Imagine someone with 1000 times more readers giving you the platform to get their reader’s attention for a short time. That’s guest blogging.

Everyone recommends guest blogging. It works. But to get real results, you need to do it right and do it often.

  • Write high-quality content. Someone is willing to give you exposure. Don’t disappoint them.
  • Take a genuine interest in helping someone better their site. Ask them for a guest blog opportunity.
  • Don’t spam the article with affiliate links and links back to your own site.
  • Simply ask for a by-author link at the bottom of the article.
  • Guest blog more than once and on more than one blog.

One blog post will not do, not even ten. Try 50 to 100. Yes, it takes time to pitch the site owners for guest blogging opportunities and some will reject you; it takes time to write high-quality content and it hurts to not save it for your own site. But! Do you want traffic or not? Even if you’re a superstar. The world doesn’t know. Pay your dues and rise above the rest.

Automatically Push Your Blog Posts to Twitter

For beginners, trying to get traffic from Twitter back to your blog will not be very productive, but this needs to be a part of your routine. For WordPress blogs, there are many plugins that can help you automatically tweet the blog post title and link it to back to the actual article. Check out “WP to Twitter” plugin by Joseph Dolson.

WP to Twitter
  • Install the plugin
  • Follow instructions to connect your Twitter account with the blog. (It’s best to dedicate a separate Twitter account to blogging. Don’t use your personal Twitter account.)
  • Craft great blog post titles that people want to re-tweet.
  • Use popular Twitter hashtags related to your blog topics. Don’t try to be cute or set new trends with hashtags. Look for popular hashtags and hop on the wagon.

Write Better Titles and Headlines

How to Get Blog Traffic - Write Better Headlines

This is easier said than done, but it’s a must. We live in a world where people retweet and spread articles without even reading the actual content. All they pay attention to are the titles. You need to study successful bloggers and how they craft titles. Each blogger has their own formula. Try a few different ones to see what works for you.

Look at titles and headlines that get many retweets. What is it about those titles that get people to share it with their friends? Copy their formulas for your own blog. Once you learn what works then be creative with it.

Anticipate Trends and Holidays

Anticipate Holidays

Say you’re a month or two from Christmas. Tie the Christmas theme to your upcoming blog posts. When Christmas comes around, search engines and other sites will pick up the blog posts by the time people are ready to do Christmas related searches.

Don’t just sprinkle the word “Christmas” in your blog or talk about it in a roundabout way. Whatever the trend, theme, or holiday is, make it the primary focus and write your blog topic around it.

Study the Stats and Write Articles Accordingly

Study the Stats

Whether you’re using site statistics from your web hosting control panel or from Google Analytics that you have integrated with your WordPress installation, look for key phrases people are using on search engines to find your site.

It’s best to use Google Analytics:

If someone searches for “how to get blog traffic” and Google somehow sends that person to your site, they will leave upon arriving when they can’t find what they are looking for. Since you know what happens. For the next person, you want them to stay by writing a blog post on “how to get blog traffic”.

Of course, you can’t do it for every phrase. Pick phrases relevant to your blog and phrases you want to get traffic for.

Before Blogs, There Were Forums

Forums still exist and going strong. It’s where like-minded people discuss their chosen topic. If you’re writing about recipes, find a cooking forum and join the discussions.

Some forums allow signatures similar to email signatures. Use that space to link back to your site.

Don’t spam the forum with your links. Simply participate in discussions. If you’re a good member of the community who contributes valuable responses, people will naturally follow the signature link back to your site.

Email Your Grandma

Email Your Grandma

Just kidding. Grandma is sweet. Don’t bother her with your silly blog. But really, you can start the journey by telling everyone you know the blog exists. If you write a blog post and no one reads it, is it really online?

Contribute useful answers on Quora.com

Join Quora

Quora.com is a question-and-answer site. The best answer rises to the top. The good thing is Quora has tons of traffic. Do your research, become an expert, look for questions related to your blog, and contribute great answers. If it’s relevant then link to your blog within the answers.

Check Your Site 404s

This is another check-your-stats tip. Dig into the web hosting or Google Analytics statistics for your site. See how people coming to your site and what page they tried to access, but doesn’t exist. If it’s relevant to the blog topic you’re focusing on then create that page. Use the “Redirection” plugin to redirect the not found page to the newly created page.

Don’t forget to make it a “301” redirect.

Become An Expert

Everything gets better if you focus on becoming an expert at what you’re writing about. Other blogs will actively seek you out to guest blog for them instead of the other way around. Readers will naturally come back to your blog because you are the authority on the topic.

What’s next

You are now armed with a few techniques. Pick a handful that might be helpful towards getting traffic to your blog. Put in real effort and give it some time. Discard the ones that don’t work for you specifically. Come back to The Blogging Buddha for part two on how to get blog traffic. And if you’ve discovered your own techniques on how to get blog traffic, do share with us in the comments.

I’m Mike Brown the founder and editor of TheBloggingBuddha.com. You can learn more about me here and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn. If you want to learn more about how to build a website using WordPress then Join the Blog Creators & Marketing Academy.