25 (Free) Ways to Increase Blog Traffic
Looking for ways to increase blog traffic? Here are 25 ideas that have helped many bloggers (including myself) along the way!
A Million Ways To Get More Pageviews
When you’re a new blogger, nothing can seem more daunting than figuring out how to send people to your site. You know, so they can actually read your work. 😉
Though there are a ton of ways to get more traffic to your website, it can be easier said than done.
Every blogger has different goals for their blog. Fitness bloggers might want to sell workout plans or share recipes. Or they may just want to build a community for accountability on their fitness journey.
They may just be venting with the hopes of connecting with one special person out there that they have something in common with. You know what I mean?
No matter what the overall goal is, one thing will always be true: there is no point in blogging if no one sees your site.
Getting more page views to your site is important!
Whether you are selling or just writing for fun (or some combination), you NEED people to see your site. And in general, more page views = more opportunity.
No blogger can really argue that!
If you’re new to blogging, you may not yet understand the possibilities that are there for you.
Your blog has SO much potential! From schedule flexibility to financial freedom, your blog is like a big, giant, open door into a new world of possibility. I seriously believe that. Starting a blog is the best thing I’ve done for myself.
See how I’m using my blog, goals included, here.
But once you’ve decided to start a blog, how do you send people there? You’ve already invested the time in setting it up and writing some great content. What’s next?
If you JUST started your blog, this is a checklist made for you and you alone. It will help you make sure that everything is ready for that blog traffic we’re all after.
For the rest of you, who have your blog up and running, get ready. We’re about to dive into ALL my favorite ways to get blog traffic. Note: This post contains affiliate links.
25 (Free) Ways to Increase Blog Traffic
If there’s ONE thing you need to do to help see an increase in blog traffic, this is it. Link to other posts or pages on your blog wherever you can. Moreover, make those links open in new windows.
This will help your page views go up and ensure that your pages are open longer. So go back through your old posts and link to any new content you’ve added! You can see several examples earlier in this post.
2. Focus on SEO.
That’s “search engine optimization,” for ya. It’s a way of making sure that you write in a way that helps search engines accurately match searches to your writing. So if you write a post about upper body workouts, you want to make it clear to search engines that your post is about that.
In my opinion, the easiest way to do this is with a plugin like YOAST SEO, which will hold your hand through SEO best practices for each post or page you write. No matter how you do it, don’t overlook SEO!
3. Submit your sitemap.
Help search engines know you exist by submitting your URL and sitemap to them. You can generate a sitemap easily with many WordPress plugins (I’ve just been using JetPack).
Submit your blog URL to several search engines for free here, or use Google Search Console to add your sitemap and verification manually. Search engines will evaluate your content and try to help searchers find you.
4. Put your “about” page to work.
Firstly, make sure you have an “about” page. See mine here. Then make sure you have somewhere to send people once they’ve been there. Chances are that if they’ve actually read this page, they want to know more about you!
Share your best content by linking to it right then and there! You can end your page by saying something like, “Thanks for stopping by, here’s a blog post to help you get started blah blah.” You get the idea.
5. Make use of your sidebar.
Feature your most recent or most popular posts using those widgets on the side. I like to feature the ones I HOPE more people would visit, not necessarily the ones people are already seeing.
There are plugins to help you feature posts, but I just like to put my featured image thumbnails on the side. The images are linked and open on a new page.
6. Build your email list.
If someone opts into getting emails from you, they are already showing interest in your blog or brand. That means that if you send them an email, they are actually likely to open it and read it!
So use that to send people links to your latest blog posts. The best way to build an email list is by offering the reader some sort of freebie or value in exchange for their information.
I have used every email system in the books and so far my favorite is MailerLite. You can try it free using my link, so what do you have to lose?
I credit much of my blog success (previous and current) to Pinterest. If you are blogging for a primarily female audience, you’ll want to be focusing a lot of your time on this. Seriously!
It’s so important that I wrote a post just about using Pinterest for blogging. Think of Pinterest like a visual search engine. You absolutely need a Pinterest account just for your blog. Trust me on this one!
With a business profile on Instagram, you can share your blog homepage or post URL on your profile. The more people that follow you, the more people likely to find your blog. This is a no brainer.
Instagram is probably my biggest struggle, so I’m using Tailwind to help me choose good hashtags and schedule posts. If don’t have Tailwind (see banner) and you’re using Instagram for health or fitness, here’s a post I wrote about hashtags to use for Insta growth.
I’ll be honest: the strategies involved in using StumbleUpon for blog traffic are still a mystery to me, but I do know this: I have had up to 5,000 page views in ONE day just from StumbleUpon.
That easily makes SU worth having. Sign up for a StumbleUpon and start playing around with it today. Add your pages and make sure to support other bloggers in the same way.
Obviously one of the hugest marketing platforms out there – plus it’s free. If you’re not on FB, you’re behind. Your blog needs a page just for your posts and links.
Start getting those “likes” and you’ll also start getting page views. Plus your amazing content is most likely to go viral on this platform. See my FB page here.
11. Facebook blog groups.
There are FB groups out there just for bloggers. They are aimed at helping you troubleshoot technical stuff, connect with others in your niche, and grow your blog traffic. There’s no reason not to use these. I recommend this group to get started if you’re a boss babe.
12. Your own FB group.
Different than a page, Facebook groups are more like communities. You can make them private and only those who request to join (and are approved) can see posts. For example, I have a private group just for Ironwild Fitness readers/fans.
In the group, we can have private discussions and make deeper connections. The people that join this group are more likely to read my new blog posts and keep coming back than people who just came across the blog.
Because of that, I can share posts or resources knowing I’ll see some blog traffic from the group.
Much like with StumbleUpon, FlipBoard is a strange territory for me. It has also earned me up to 5,000 page views in a SINGLE day, but I don’t know exactly what made that happen. I’ll take anything I can get though! If I were to describe FlipBoard, I’d say it’s a combo between SU and Pinterest. Follow me here.
Contrary to what other bloggers might think, Twitter is NOT dead. It may not send me loads of traffic every day, but it does send me traffic EVERY DAY. Plus, at least 50% of the influencer work I do (making money on the blog) has something to do with Twitter. Get yourself a Twitter profile and follow me here.
Bloglovin’ is just one more place to feature your blog posts, and I’d describe it like an old-school RSS feed mixed with something like FlipBoard. Create a profile, get active, and start seeing a little boost in traffic.
If you’re not on YouTube, you’re missing out. I’ve only recently started a channel, but according to my stats, people are looking at my videos. (Not many, but still.)
If you’re handy with a smartphone or camera, spend a little time developing a presence on YouTube and you’ll start to see an increase in blog traffic, too. (I plan on developing mine more in 2018. Whoop whoop!)
17. Good ole’ business cards.
Sometimes it feels weird trying to reach complete strangers in the virtual world for page views. Get some business cards made and start dropping them in public places – it’s good, classic marketing.
If you start to see a boost in “organic” or “direct” traffic, that means your business card strategy is likely working. Since I’m planning on having a brick-and-mortar business (gym) under the same name as my blog, this is a no-brainer.
18. Link parties.
Link parties were especially popular when blogging was new, but they still exist and they still help people find you. They take a little work, but on top of sending people to your blog, you’ll find new blogs to follow.
It’s a fun way to connect with bloggers in your niche. It’s no longer one of the best ways to increase blog traffic, but it still works for connecting.
19. Tailwind scheduling & Tribes.
I LOVE TAILWIND. I use it for Pinterest primarily, but just started using it for Instagram, too. With Tailwind, I can ensure that my Pins are circulating all the time, meaning that Pinterest users are actually seeing them.
More eyes = more blog traffic. I absolutely love their new Tribes feature and I am 99% sure that I can blame Tailwind for this upward trend in my Pinterest growth:
20. Post to Google+.
Of course you should be using Google to spread the word about your blog. Word is that Google favors it’s own social platform, so if your posts are added to Google +, they are more likely to show up in a search. Try it out!
21. Comment on other blogs with your complete profile visible.
When you set up your blog, you’ll want to complete your profile. A complete profile will show up when you reply to comments on your own blog as well as others.
Use Gravatar to set up your picture (like my little pink thumbnail), and if you’re in WordPress, go to “Users,” then “Your Profile.” Fill EVERYTHING out and make sure there’s a link to your own site.
That way, when you comment on other blogs, readers have a quick way to visit you. Example:
22. Use share buttons.
Making it easy for people to share your work is essential to good blogging. I use SumoMe to add share buttons and opt-ins to my site, and it is so simple.
There are a lot of tools available and I’ve used many, but I think SumoMe is the best for newbies and has the most features for when you’re ready to take things to the next level. There’s a free version but the paid version is definitely worthy.
23. Make your images super share friendly.
One of the most important ways to increase blog traffic. We are in such a visual time, and if you think about it, most social media platforms are based around images.
In fact, even on FB, where images are optional, posts with visuals or videos are favored.
Not only do they catch the user’s eye, they are rumored to be favored by the algorithms that are in place. That means that Facebook is more likely to show your posts to more people if you have images.
The same is true for Twitter. Plus, since Pinterest is a HUGE deal in blogging, you need to make sure that you have images for that. I make ALL of my images (infographics, Pins, featured images, Insta pics, etc.) in PicMonkey.
Since I’m not a photographer and I don’t want to learn or invest in elaborate editing software, it is absolutely the BEST bet for me. If you want something simple to use, you’ll definitely want to try it.
24. Make all of your outbound links open in new windows!
One of the easiest ways to increase blog traffic!
Any time you link to another website on your blog, you want to make sure that the reader isn’t just leaving your site. This is important! Make sure that readers stay on your site (even if in another window) by making your outbound links open in new windows.
This will increase the average time readers spend on your site, and make it easy for the reader to come back and keep reading. Over time, this will help you gain rank in search engines, which leads to more blog traffic.
25. Ask friends and family to follow you and share.
It seems weird, I know. But your family and friends are probably more than happy to help spread the word about your blog. So just ask! It’s free blog traffic, after all.
What are your favorite ways to increase blog traffic?
Are any of these new to you? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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Such an amazing post, thanks for sharing these tips and tricks! Excited to try out StumbleUpon and am already using Tailwind.
No problem Masha! Good luck!