The fact that your blog exists provides no guarantees that anybody is going to want to visit it, which means that learning how to drive traffic to your blog is a crucial step on the road to success for any blogger.
After all, whether the goal you set for yourself in your blog content strategy was to make money, establish a reputation as an authoritative voice, or simply to share your thoughts with the world, you’re never going to achieve that goal if people don’t actually stop by and check out your content.
This guide teaches you how to make that happen.
The success I’ve enjoyed in building a successful content website portfolio from $0 to several million dollars has all come down to knowing the most simple yet effective ways to drive blog traffic and putting them to work for my own sites.
Below, I’ll show you the 10 things I do to attract visitors to my content and keep them coming back for more.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog? 10 Simple Ways
Below, I’ll show you the 10 things I do to attract visitors to your content and keep them coming back for more. You will be amazed at the simplicity of some of the steps that you haven’t tried it yet for your blog; nonetheless, you had some of the ideas somewhere in your mind – but you were skeptical. And finally, when you are done reading the entire article, you are going to be thoroughly informed.
1. Do Your Keyword Research
There’s no getting around the fact that if you want people to visit your blog, you’re going to have to give them what you want.
You’re going to have to determine what questions your audience needs answers to and how you can provide those answers.
How do you do that?
Simple, you start with keyword research.
Think of a list of topics those interested in your niche might want to know about and come up with a list of potential keywords relating to those subjects.
If I was starting a food/cooking blog, for example, I might come up with the following keywords.
- Vegan recipes
- Low-cost homemade meals
- Healthy desserts
- Grilling and BBQ tips.
You can then enter each one of those keywords in turn into a tool like SEMRush’s Keyword Magic Tool to find the actual search queries that people are typing into Google relating to that keyword.
As you’ll see in the image above, if I take the first of my keyword ideas, “vegan recipes,” and type it into the Keyword Magic Tool, it shows me that one of the things people are looking for is vegan cookie recipes.
I can then expand on that to reveal related keywords and discover that one of the things people are searching for is how to make vegan cookies, so already, I’m learning what solutions people are looking for that I can provide.
You don’t necessarily have to use the SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool for this either. I put together this guide to the top five best keyword research tools to help you find the one that best works for you, but whichever one you use, the process will be the same.
Enter your keywords, look at what people are searching for in relation to each keyword, then use those search queries to help you come up with a list of compelling blog post ideas.
If you’re into all this and want to know more, you’re sure to find my ultimate guide to doing keyword research helpful.
2. Focus on the Quality of Your Content
Now that you’ve used keyword research to determine what your audience actually wants, it’s time to focus on how to give it to them in the form of high-quality content that provides answers and genuine value for readers.
There’s a lot to consider here, including:
A great headline should include three key factors:
- A targeted keyword placed in a relevant position
- A promise of a reward or value
- An emotive word that triggers a response and compels readers to visit your website.
With this post you’re reading now, for example, “how to drive traffic to your blog” relates directly to the keyword I wanted to target; the word “simple” creates an emotional response as it tells you that this is going to be easy and/or straightforward (and who doesn’t want that?) while the whole thing promises to reward you for clicking on this post by telling you how to drive traffic to your blog.
Well-Written, Search Engine Optimized Content
The meat-and-potatoes of your blog posts, the actual content itself should be well presented and easy to follow with lots of short paragraphs of no more than three sentences or less.
Use lots of subheadings to layout your content in a way that is easy to follow, and ensure that the tone of your content is suitable for your audience as the approach to writing an article about science or computer programming is probably going to be very different to the way you’d write a parenting blog.
Finally, be sure to use your keywords in the content itself, but use them sparingly, and only when relevant.
As a general rule, aim to include your main keyword:
- Once in your blog title
- Once in the first paragraph
- In one or two of your subheadings
- In the alt tag of one of your images.
- A small number of times within your paragraphs.
If you’re using WordPress, there’s an excellent plugin called Yoast SEO which guides you through each post that you make to ensure it’s effectively optimized for your keywords.
Add Optimized Visuals
Finally, it’s important to note that blog posts that contain images receive significantly more views than those with no visual components.
Your images should:
- Be relevant to the content and provide value rather than decoration.
- Be optimized to load quickly (see my guide to essential, must-have WordPress plugin for an image optimization tool that can help with this).
- Include alt-tags with at least one image’s alt tag containing your keyword.
The point of all this isn’t just to make your content look good for the sake of looking good. The point is to create content that’s so good people enjoy reading it. The more they enjoy it, the more they come back, and the more traffic you earn for your website.
If you need to know more about how to structure and present your content, here’s my ultimate guide on how to write a blog post.
3. Increase the Frequency of Your Content
After creating your content, the next big question that needs answering is “precisely how often should I post a blog?”
The answer is as many times as you can without compromising on quality.
After all, one really excellent, Grade-A quality blog post a week is better than five sub-standard posts any day.
That said, the more you can post, the better, as although there isn’t a lot of hard data on the subject, most blogging experts agree that post frequency can certainly have an impact on blog traffic.
When you think about it, that simply makes sense:
The more posts you have going out, the more opportunities you have to get found in organic search results, shared on social media, and to take advantage of other methods of getting eyeballs on your content, so the more good quality content you can share, the better.
4. Create a Mix of Evergreen and Hot Topic Seasonal Content
So far, we’ve covered what to blog about to drive traffic, how to do it, and when. Yet there’s one more factor we need to consider when it comes to how our blog content itself can help to drive more traffic.
That one thing is simply this:
The timing and relevancy of your content. In other words, whether the post you’re writing covers a topic that’s hot right now but might be of little interest months down the line, or whether it’s content that is always going to be relevant no matter how much time passes since it was first published.
The latter is what’s known as Evergreen content. That means it’s always “fresh” and useful for readers.
This very post is an example of evergreen content. Regardless of how many years pass after I publish this post, people are always going to want to know how to drive traffic to their blog, and thus, they’re always going to want to read posts like mine, ensuring an ongoing flow of blog traffic.
However, if I chose to write about this year’s Super Bowl Half-Time Show, that might be a post a lot of people want to read about right now, but a month or two down the line, most people will have forgotten about the show and thus won’t be checking out blog posts about it.
That’s an example of what’s known as seasonal, timely, or time-sensitive content.
Which is Better – Seasonal or Evergreen Content?
Having read the explanation above, you might be tempted to think that evergreen content is always going to be better for your long-term blog success.
To an extent, you’d be correct.
Evergreen content such as tutorials, tips, reviews, and ultimate long-form guides like the one you’re reading now should ideally form the bulk of the content for most blog niches as these are the posts that will people are always likely to be searching for and are therefore the ones that are going to continue driving much of your traffic months after you’ve posted it.
However, that’s not to say that seasonal blog content doesn’t have its place.
To go back to our earlier example of starting a cooking blog, seasonal content around Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes or alfresco dining ideas for the summer will still help to give you some short-term traffic boosts at particular points of the year.
If done well, this seasonal content can then help you to attract new, loyal readers and blog subscribers who will keep coming back for more, ultimately helping you to further improve your long-term traffic results.
5. Build an Email List
Getting your content right may be essential for driving traffic, but that still doesn’t mean that an exceptional blog post is going to be enough.
You’ll still need to get that blog post out there and let people know that it exists in order to drive traffic to it.
One of the most effective blog promotion strategies to do this is to simply start an email list and send your new content directly to subscribers’ inboxes.
According to figures from Constant Contact, independent artists, performers, and writers enjoyed one of the highest open rates from their email marketing efforts than any other industry, with 34.9% of their emails being opened by subscribers.
In other words, this stuff works.
Using any one of the tools featured in my guide to the best email marketing services, you can invite readers to signup to your newsletter (offering an incentive such as a free ebook is a great way to boost email subscribers) and then send out each new post to your growing list in order to encourage visitors to check out the content on your website and get a nice traffic boost in the process.
6. Share on Social Media
Alongside email, the value of social media as a tool for driving blog traffic should not be underestimated.
OptinMonster reports that 95.9% of bloggers share their content on social media simply because it’s a quick, easy, and free way to increase your blog traffic that actually works.
The trick here is to determine which social media platform is best suited to you and your blog.
Facebook is responsible for driving 65% of website traffic from social media, more so than any other platform, so in almost all industries, it’s worth at least having a Facebook presence for your blog and sharing your new content.
From there, you’ll benefit from paying close attention to your audience and where they hang out.
The crypto community, for example, has its strongest presence on Twitter, making it the go-to platform for bitcoin bloggers and the like. Those writing about careers, business, or marketing, may find that they get the best results from Linkedin, while fashion bloggers, artists, and creatives may find that they do well with visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
You might find it helpful to experiment with this particular blog marketing tactic. Try out different platforms and see what works best for you, ensuring that you tailor the way you post to each specific platform (consider how Facebook image dimensions are different from Linkedin or Twitter), and pay attention to which days of the week or times of the day bag you the best results.
7. Reshare Old Content
Your latest posts aren’t the only things worth sharing on social media.
Remember all that evergreen content I discussed earlier? If it’s always going to be relevant to your audience, then there’s no reason why you can’t continue to share it long after the original publishing date.
Of course, you may want to check that content first and update any out-of-date information like statistics or figures, but this is another simple and easy way to boost traffic with little effort.
It isn’t just your evergreen content that can be reshared. For example, you might want to also consider whether all those Christmas-themed posts you made last year will still be relevant again the next time the holidays come around.
8. Encourage Readers to Share Your Content
While sharing your own content is a great way to get your posts out there and start building your own audience, it’s no match for getting other people to share your content.
Think about it.
Let’s say you have 100 followers on Facebook. You share a blog post, and even an ideal world, the maximum number of click-throughs to your post that you could ever get is 100.
Yet if each of your 100 followers has 100 Facebook friends, and even just half of your followers shared your post, that’s 50 shares to a potential audience of 5,000.
OK, so I appreciate that these numbers may seem a little high, but the point still stands.
Encouraging others to share your content on social media helps you to reach an audience that you’d never otherwise reach.
This is where including social media sharing buttons on your blog proves invaluable as people can automatically share your content at the click of a button, though don’t underestimate how useful it can be to include Calls to Action (CTAs) on both your blog and social media posts encouraging other people to share.
9. Focus on Your Link-Building Strategy
When it comes to driving traffic to your blog, backlinks (links to your content from other websites) make a world of difference.
Not only can a well-placed backlink on a high-quality, high authority website drive direct traffic to your website as a result of people clicking on it, but it can also show Google that other websites see you as a valuable resource.
As a result, this can have a positive impact on your ranking in search engine results and boost organic traffic too.
With that in mind, now’s the time to start coming up with a link-building strategy and consider how you’re going to approach those third-party sites about linking to your content.
10. Use Push Notifications
If you’ve been on the web in the last couple of years, there’s a good chance that you’ll have visited a website that asks to send push notifications directly to your desktop or smart device.
On WordPress, you can use plugins such as OneSignal to create these push notifications and send them to your readers’ devices whenever you publish new content with the idea that visitors will click these notifications and head to your website to read what you created.
Frequently Asked Questions About Driving Traffic to Your Blog
Q1. How much of your blog content should be evergreen content?
Ans. For most niches, aim for 75% – 80% of evergreen content with 20 % – 25% of seasonal, timely content.around
Q2. Why is my blog not getting traffic?
Ans. There could be any number of reasons why your blog isn’t getting traffic, but the most likely reason is simply that you’re not giving audiences what they want, how they want it, and when they want it. In other words, focus on creating relevant content based on keyword research, formatting it in an appealing fashion, and posting consistently in order to improve your blog traffic.
Q3. How do I get traffic to my blog for free in 2022?
Ans. Generating quality backlinks and sharing your content on social media are among some of the best free ways to get traffic to your blog this year and, indeed, every year.
A Final Word of Advice
If you have a limited amount of time to work on increasing traffic to your blog, the 10 simple strategies above are the ones I recommend focusing on as they’re well suited to provide maximum returns for your effort.
Still, that’s not to say that they’re the only methods that work nor that they’re the only steps you can take if you’re really serious about growing your blog.
Along with everything I’ve mentioned above, you’ll also benefit from creating valuable tools that help your audience solve a specific problem, and giving those tools away for free/
This works two-fold, as not only do you get an initial boost of traffic when people come by to get that tool, but if it works for them, you also get the added benefit that those same people will keep coming back to your blog for more.
Likewise, contests, giveaways, and teaming up with other bloggers and influencers in your niche to create collaborative content can also prove effective.
Finally, never underestimate what a powerful tool your existing blog posts can be for generating new traffic-generating ideas.
Using a tool like Google Analytics, you’ll be able to analyze both the subject matter and post types (how-to’s, listicles, interviews, etc.) that generate the most traction for your website.
Look at what’s working for you and do more of that while phasing out anything which simply isn’t getting the results you need, and if that’s still not enough for you, you’ll find even more tried-and-tested ideas in my complete guide to effective blog promotion strategies.