When I first started blogging in the mid 2000s, there was a lot of “virtual tumble-weed” blowing across it for the first few years. Hardly anyone read it.
That was quite disheartening.
Writing a great blog post can take time and effort and it’s hard to stay motivated when you know hardly anyone’s reading it.
Thankfully I discovered a number of highly effective ways to increase blog traffic.
By implementing these tactics I quickly grew my blog into one of the most heavily visited small business blogs in the United Kingdom.
Ironically in 2011 I had to stop blogging due to a change in personal circumstances—and I’ve only just started blogging again properly in 2021.
(It’s not all bad. In those those ten years I co-founded a number of businesses which—with the help of Internet Marketing—quickly grew into multi-million pound companies, but that’s a story for a different day!)
Anyway here I am in 2021, starting my blog up again… with hardly any traffic.
Here are my stats for the last three months (it’s the 14th March 2021 at the time of writing this)…
So the bad news is that my blog is currently only getting about 90 visitors a week. That’s very low traffic volume for my industry.
The good news is that I’ve not done anything to drive traffic to my blog! Those numbers were purely organic, not as the result of me doing anything.
The December 2020 spike you can see at the start of the graph was the result of me sending an email to my list to announce me resuming my blogging activities – I didn’t send any more emails after that.
The only thing I’ve done over the last few months is published one new blog post every weekday—I’ve deliberately not done anything to drive traffic to my site.
(Publishing one new article every weekday for a few months sounds like a lot but my secret is that I had hundreds of blog posts and content on the old version of this website. Some of those old posts were too outdated, but many of them were still relevant, or only needed moderate rewriting to bring them up to date so I could republish them.)
Anyway, going back to the topic of me not actively promoting my site yet—I didn’t want to start driving traffic to my blog until it had a decent quantity of blog posts, because I teach content marketing.
I think it would be kind of ironic if I started teaching content marketing before my own website had any decent content on it!
Anyway, mission complete!
I’ve written and posted 34 blog posts over the last few months, so now I’m ready to once again start promoting my blog.
So with that in mind, today I’m going to share exactly how I’m going to do that!
The following five tactics are what I used to do back when my website was one of the most popular small business blogs in it’s niche, and these still work like gangbusters today.
I’m going to publish my stats in a few months time to show you how much difference these five tactics make, so if you want to see what happens make sure subscribe to my blog using the form at the end of this article.
And that brings me nicely onto the first blog traffic tactic, which is quite possibly the number one most important blog traffic tactic of them all..
1. Accept Subscribers.
Encouraging new first-time readers to return to your blog in future is one of the — if not the — most powerful ways of increasing blog readership.
The easiest way to encourage return visits is to add a form at the end of each blog post, asking visitors to subscribe to your blog if they enjoyed the article.
Here’s an example – this form is fully functional – try it and see what happens…
(NOTE: Hit the BACK button on your browser
after submitting this form to continue reading.)
Subscribe to my blog and I’ll reveal my ‘secret’ web site statistics as I use these 5 powerful traffic tactics to boost my blog audience…
When a new first-time visitor subscribes, they’re automatically added to your email marketing service provider’s database, and you’re then able to send them an email each time you add a new blog post.
In this way you’re ‘recycling traffic’.
Instead of people only visiting once and never returning, you can instead invite them back, again and again.
Over time you will build up a large email database, and the larger it gets then—providing you regularly email your subscriber’s with useful and entertaining information—your blog readership will grow too.
And of course… if your blogs are promoting either your own products and services or affiliate promotions then your sales will, axiomatically, grow too.
It’s not rocket science.
The key is quality writing combined with consistent publishing, supported by good systems (make sure you use a great email marketing service provider—that’s super critical.)
Offer Sign-Up Incentives
One key thing about having a sign up form more tip about offering blog subscription —offering a strong incentive can more than double the rate at which people subscribe.
In other words instead of just saying ‘Sign up to my blog’ your subscription form should say ‘Sign up to my blog and I’ll send you a free copy of my book’ (or whatever you can offer which is useful and relevant.)
Taking this a step further — change your incentive with each blog post, so whatever you offer is relevant to the blog post they’ve just read.
The more reason you give someone to sign up to your blog, the more people will do so.
And don’t forget to…
Ask Your Existing Email Subscribers
If you already have a list of email subscribers, you should ask them if they want to subscribe to your blog too.
It’s unlikely that all of the people on your existing email list will subscribe to your blog the first time you ask them, so you also want to schedule occasional reminders to anyone who has not yet subscribed.
Tell them what they’re missing out on — be specific…
- What do you blog about? (The subject matter.)
- Point out it’s totally free, even to subscribe.
- How will they benefit by subscribing?
- Mention the incentive(s) if you offer any.
- If an industry figurehead has endorsed your blog be sure to mention that!
2. Announce Your New Blog Posts on Your Social Media Channels
This suggestion seems so obvious, yet surprisingly few businesses do this. Announcing a new blog post and providing a link to it on all your various social media channels is the very least you can do.
Going a step further, go through your blog post and look for short snippets and sound bites which you can then repurpose and post across your social media channels, again with a link back to your blog.
Your short snippets can be drip-fed over a series of days weeks or even months, and fantastic services like MissingLtr can even automatically scan your blog posts for sound bites and will automatically drip feed them on your social media channels.
3. Comment on other blogs & forums.
Commenting on other blogs is an easy way of increasing readership of your own blog, because people who read your comments may end up clicking the link you give, and therefore end up on your blog.
The same applies for forums relevant to your industry.
If you spend time on there being helpful and answering people’s questions, people may spot and click the link in your signature, (which is the text that appears underneath your name whenever you post a comment).
(In a future article I’ll explain how me and my renewable energy business partner used this tactic to generate millions of pounds worth of enquiries within a few weeks. But again that’s a story for another day!)
So, that brings me onto blog traffic tactic number four, which is is to …
4. Look for guest posting opportunities.
Some blogs openly welcome guest authors — where you write and submit an article that is then published on someone else’s blog. This single tactic along can drive huge volumes of traffic to your own website if you get an article published on a high traffic third party website.
The key thing with this tactic is you want to end your guest post with a resource box – that’s a small bit of writing about you, along with a link back to your blog. That’s where people who enjoyed the article click to read more from you.
And this leads us onto the final and definitely most powerful traffic tactic, which is…
5. Strategic Alliances.
Strategic Alliances — also called Joint Ventures — are one of the fastest ways to get huge volumes of traffic onto your website in a very short space of time.
If you can set up a Strategic Alliance with another business that already has a large list of email subscribers, then you could literally get thousands of new visitors to your website within 24 hours.
All your Strategic Alliance partner has to do is send an email to their subscribers recommending a free tool or resource on your website.
Providing your Strategic Alliance partner has a good relationship with their email subscribers, and providing the resource of yours which they recommend has a high perceived value — then a high percentage of their subscribers should click the link and end up on your website and join your email list.
Then as explained in traffic tactic number one, above, once they’re subscribed to your blog you can email them a link every time you publish a new blog post.
Now the reason WHY your Strategic Alliances would do this promotion for you is simple – you can either offer to pay them to run the promotion, either per subscriber acquired — or it could be you track the subscriber they send to you and then you pay them a percentage of whatever their subscribers buy from you in future.
(There are online services which can automatically do this tracking for you.)
Or my favourite way to form a Strategic Alliance is simply to offer to return the favour.
In other words, if they agree to promote you to their list, you can say you’ll return the favour and promote your subscribers to their list at some point in the future.
It almost sounds too simple, but I’ve personally witnessed a new business become a multi-million pound success story within a single year after formation using this one single strategy.
It’s incredibly powerful when done well.
Now in terms of increasing your blog traffic, you do this indirectly.
The link in your Strategic Alliance partners email should not go to your blog – it should go to a special kind of sales-lead generation web page, (called a lead page for short).
When their subscribers click the link and arrive on your lead page, they enter their name and email address to access whatever is being offered on your page—and in doing so are then automatically signed up to receive your future blog updates.
And it’s your regular blog updates which over time will increase trust and loyalty and turn those new subscribers into paying customers and clients.
Now it’s beyond the scope of this article to explain all the nuances of setting up Strategic Alliances, but for the time being you just need to think about who you know who will promote you to their email list, in return either for a payment or simply in return for you agreeing to help them at some point in future?
This tactic was how I first drove more than a thousand new visitors onto my original website when I first got started back in the mid-2000s, and quickly became one of the most highly visited blogs in my niche in the United Kingdom.
I’ll be using this tactic myself over the coming months so I hope you’re able to join me and set up one or more Strategic Alliances yourself.
These are just a few tactics I and other professional bloggers use to increase our blog readership.
Try them out for yourself and see what happens.
If you would like to hear more about the various things I’ve mentioned in this article make sure you subscribe to my blog. (Of course you knew I was going to ask, didn’t you! 😉
See you again soon,