Traffic! It’s one of those words that I do not like much, for it almost begs us to forget that those stats represent actual people.
But… but… I know that one of the main reasons we blog is to be read by other people, so this makes it important to gain more followers, to receive feedback, to feel as if what you blog about truly matters to other people.
That’s why I compiled a list of the eight best ways to increase traffic and gain more followers for your blog.
1. Write better content
This is usually skipped by most of those who write about gaining followers. As if the actual quality of your content is not that important.
The best decision you can make regarding your blogging is to focus 90% of your attention on the quality of your posts. Don’t be lazy, don’t rush it. Do your research. Sit down and write the best possible post that you can write. Every single time.
Mindset tip: Sometimes, when we’re not receiving the type of feedback we expect, we tend to slack off. After all, why spend an insane amount of time and energy to write the best possible post for it not to be read by other people. Don’t do this! Please. Do your best even when it feels as if no one reads your posts. It’s the biggest difference maker, for a lot of people give up way before they quit blogging altogether. They give up in the mind, they lose hope, they lose motivation.
2. Be consistent
Consistency is one of the most important aspects of blogging.
It’s important to give your readers a reason to come back. Also, being predictable is actually a good thing. Figure out what your readers like most, and update your site regularly with new, unique, and useful content that will interest them. Don’t forget to make your content interesting by:
- Using videos, infographics, or photos related to your post.
- Using whitespace. Most people don’t read; they scan. They want instant access to the information they are looking for. So make your posts easy-to-read by using short paragraphs and lists.
3. Social Media
There are two different aspects to this:
- Social Sharing
- Social Media Platforms
Social sharing is a fantastically effective strategy that can get you more readers for your WordPress blog. You should allow sharing of posts on all social media platforms available, whether you have a presence there or not. Let people reblog your posts, share them with their friends.
Word of mouth is still the best way to increase your readership.
Social Media Platforms. Figure out what are the platforms you enjoy most, and create a presence there. Share your posts on your pages. Build that online presence, offer people an incentive to follow you there as a means to staying in touch with you.
4. Add A Newsletter Signup Form
A newsletter is a fantastic way to bring repeat visitors to your site. It allows you to grow your relationship with your readers by sending new updates with a personal touch, and sharing valuable content.
However, keep in mind that it’s important to send something useful and interesting rather than just distributing a newsletter full of advertisements.
Newsletters should be sent out on a regular basis to familiarize your target audience with your site.
You shouldn’t send an e-mail every time you post new content. A weekly e-mail should be more than enough. Possibly share a “Best of the Week” from your blog, sharing the best content of the week with your newsletter subscribers.
For my newsletter I use MailChimp. It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Of course, there are different options out there, such as:
5. Use Categories, Tags, and Enable Related Posts
By far, my most important referrer is the WordPress.com Reader. A lot of people follow certain tags in order to find relevant content among the 20 or so million WordPress.com blogs. Using tags makes it easy for new readers to find your post.
You can use up to ten tags in order for your post to appear in the Reader.
Do no underestimate this. A lot of people spend a lot of time there. A lot.
Also, categories make it easier for your followers to spend more time on your blog. Possibly find that amazing post and then want to share it with everyone they ever met. Also, you should enable related posts, which can be done in Settings – Reader – Show Related content after posts. This way people will spend more time reading your posts, while also ensuring you still drive traffic to your older posts.
6. Be A Guest Blogger
Although some say that guest blogging is not the best of methods, it’s still a great way to encourage more readers to your site. In order to maximize its benefits, you should only guest blog on sites relevant to your blog’s topic and make sure the site you’re writing for provides quality content.
Sometimes, when asking other bloggers to guest post on their site, you may receive a negative response. Or no response. Don’t be discouraged with early rejections. When it comes to Internet marketing, persistence does pay off.
7. Make friends
This is probably the most misunderstood advice. Finding a way to network with fellow bloggers and build rapport with them in the hopes of influencing them (and some of their readers) to visit your blog.
I wrote that sentence and felt like my soul was leaving my body.
No. Just make friends. Read the kind of stuff you genuinely enjoy, follow blogs you find interesting, and comment if you have something to say. And never, ever, ever, ever ask people to visit your blog or add links to your blog in your comments. That’s called spam and even though not illegal, it is frowned upon.
I almost never approve comments that include links to the author’s blog. I could edit the links out, but I prefer to just delete the post altogether. Why? Because they simply commented on my blog in order to get met to visit theirs. It’s disrespectful.
8. Perseverance and Patience
Some of you are going to be mad about this, but these two are valuable tools in gaining more followers. Manage your expectations, and if possible, let them go altogether.
And then persevere, have patience, do your thing over and over again, write quality posts for a long period of time, longer than others.
Going viral is one of the most harmful concepts. Overnight successes rarely exist. And the odds are so low, that… you shouldn’t even count on it.
What you can count on is you slowly, ridiculously so at times, growing your audience. And for that you need patience.
This is not a sprint, but a marathon.