Almost every blogger aims to grow their blog and reach a larger audience. Unfortunately, most new bloggers don’t know much about promoting a blog when they are just getting started. The good news is you will learn pretty quickly if you are consistently involved and working at promoting your blog. Here are ten things that I have learned to be true from my experience.
1. Building Significant Search Engine Traffic Will Take Time
New blogs generally take several months, at least, before they gain enough trust from search engines to produce any type of significant flow of traffic. If you are planning to focus on search engines as your primary source of traffic, you would be well advised to also focus on some other sources of traffic, especially in the early months.
Building a blog that is search engine-friendly is critical if you want to maximize search traffic, so take care of that from the start and focus on creating great content that others will talk about and link to.
2. Not All Traffic Is Equal
No two sources of traffic are quite the same. I get a good percentage of the traffic at my blog through social media, and I can attest to the fact that social media traffic is generally less responsive and less likely to stick around than visitors from most other sources. Focusing on stats without looking at the true results can cause a bit of an illusion. Sure, visitors are great, but are they leaving after being on the blog for 30 seconds and never returning?
Search engine traffic is highly sought after because these visitors are actively looking for what you have to offer. But other types of traffic have strong points too. Visitors who are referred from another blog will generally be more responsive since they have been recommended by someone they trust. Every source of traffic has pros and cons, so try to take these things into consideration when you are promoting your blog and analyzing the results.
3. Consistent Posting Is Key
Most bloggers need to keep publishing new posts in order to keep traffic at a certain level. Some bloggers are able to generate large amounts of search engine traffic to older posts to the point that traffic will be fairly sustained without new posts, but this is pretty rare. New posts keep subscribers coming back, they keep social media votes coming, and they keep adding new pages to search engine indexes.
Posting consistently doesn’t mean that you have to post every day, it simply means that you need to publish content on a regular basis, whatever that may be. Almost every blog that successfully draws traffic is publishing new posts with some consistency.
4. Consistent Traffic Is Almost Impossible
Although posting needs to be consistent to keep traffic levels up, that doesn’t mean that it will keep traffic levels consistent. Every blog has ups and downs and two days are rarely the same. This is a natural occurrence and it should be embraced or else it can become very frustrating. Make sure that you enjoy the times when traffic is high, and keep on plugging away to get through the slower times. Blogging would almost be boring is traffic levels didn’t fluctuate like they do.
5. Repeat Visitors Should Be the Goal
Yes, it’s great to see an impressive number of unique visitors arriving at your blog, but how many of them will be back? Repeat visitors are the lifeblood of blogs. Subscribers, of course, are most likely to keep coming back, so focusing on subscribers is typically a good thing.
Repeat visitors will not only help to improve your overall traffic flow and stats, more importantly they will be your most responsive visitors in terms of comments, social media votes, sales, and just about anything else. As they keep coming back and reading your blog, you will be earning more of their trust and your network will grow.
6. Links Help In Several Ways
Building inbound links is a priority for most bloggers, and for good reason. They drive click-through traffic from other blogs, they increase your exposure around the blogosphere, and they help to boost your search engine rankings. Link building is often prioritized because of search engine rankings, but the other factors should not be overlooked. If you blog in a competitive niche, recognition and exposure will be critical in convincing visitors that they should pay attention to you. Getting a few links from respected blogs can help with search engine traffic, but the added credibility that you get can be just as important, especially for newer bloggers.
7. Balance Is Important
Diversity in traffic will help you to avoid losing a huge percentage of your visitors if something unforeseen happens. Search engine rankings are not permanent, especially with Google being so ready and willing to penalize blogs who they feel have violated their guidelines. If you rely too heavily on search engine traffic you could find yourself losing a big portion of your traffic at any given time.
Also, social media traffic is extremely inconsistent, so just because you have been getting decent traffic doesn’t mean it will continue. The best approach is to spread things out and focus on growing traffic from several sources rather than just one. That way you will always be safe and you won’t depend on a particular source for your livelihood.
8. Smaller Sources of Traffic Shouldn’t Necessarily Be Ignored
Not all sources of traffic will send thousands of visitors, but that doesn’t mean that they are not valuable. For example, participating in forums is likely to drive some traffic to your blog, but not tons. However, those visitors can be very valuable because they have met you or learned from you through the forum and they’ll be more likely to subscribe and become a loyal reader.
Likewise, leaving comments on other blogs will bring some traffic, but it is rare that any one comment will bring a lot of visitors. Still, this traffic is valuable because many times they have clicked through due to something that you said catching their attention.
Don’t simply assume that traffic is measured only in terms of numbers. Smaller sources of traffic have been instrumental in building many successful blogs.
9. Networking Is Critical
All successful bloggers are surrounded by a strong network of other successful bloggers. This is something that I didn’t really think much about before I started blogging, but I quickly came to realize the importance of networking.
A strong network will provide you with friends and colleagues that can be a help when you need some advice, they can provide links to your blog, they can give you social media votes, they can be an inspiration and encouragement to you, and they can even wind up being your partners in future projects. Being a strong networker is all about being willing to help others and being proactive in meeting others.
10. Blog Traffic Can Be Bought for Relatively Little Money
If you are interested in getting some extra promotion or growing your blog quickly, there are a number of affordable advertising options that will drive real traffic to your blog. Pay Per Click ads can be very effective and inexpensive (depending on what words and phrases you bid on). StumbleUpon advertising is another option. You can purchase their traffic for just $0.05 per visitor. Even banner advertisements on other blogs can be relatively cheap. Running an ad for a month or more will give you exposure to a new audience and if you were to calculate a cost-per-click it is usually pretty low.
I think when it comes to posting you have to be consistant. I don’t think you have to post everyday but at least a couple times a week. but if you only post a couple times a week just be consistant at that. imo you shouldn’t post everyday for a month then once a week after that…. although I guess any posting has to help.
You also have to spend times building links. outsourcing contenet is pretty cheap you can buy a couple article a week and spend time promoting.
I’m reading alot about blog promoting which is how I endend up here. looks like quite a few articles here i can use.
I’m starting a new blog, and I’m definitely seeing what you mean by search engines taking a long time to trust your site.
As a new blogger, I’m getting over 50% of my traffic from facebook friends. I definitely need to work on getting the other connections going.
As a fellow blogger, I think this list is very solid. One thing I’ve noticed when I was reading the comments is that a lot of people were asking about SEO. Quite honestly, your top 10 makes a solid base for SEO, adding emphasis on point number 5. You actually need to give you readers something they want or need. Basically, help your blog stand out by making yourself different and relevant.
All right, thanks a lot for the top 10 and have a good one.
Blogging these days isn’t too different to running a website – the search engines will ignore new blogs for months and without any links from other websites you’re unlikely to be found.
jo oliver says
I am so lost on the inbound link thing. I try to drive traffic to my blog, but so far I only have about 15 regular readers. I don’t really want random traffic. Any advice on how to gain regular readers that are actually interested in the blog subject matter?
Scott @ Finding The Keys says
Social media does help build your blog, but there is also an underbelly.
I’ve had terrible social media experiences where I discovered that a very known and respected blogger was actually stealing ideas and concepts from other blogs, recycling them and presenting them as their own. You couldn’t exactly call it plagiarism and yet, it was a form of stealing. The sad thing was, she had a very successful blog that still operates today.
Eryaman hali yikama says
Good information and good way your blog post. Good luck blogger man.
Consistently posting is key. Also, blogs should try to attract returning visitors by creating sticky content.
Jeremy from We Took The Bait says
I’m a bit reluctant to use banner advertising. In my experience, it doesn’t seem very good at targeting. For example, on one social networking site with banners, I saw an advertisement for a local band. The particular advertisement chose me, I assume, because I live close to the area where the band is based. That’s it. No delving into my favorite artists to see if I like bands with a similar sound…. nah, I live close by, that’s good enough reason to put a classified post on my page.
Perhaps the band in this case would have better luck searching for groups of fans of a musician or musician that they had previously drawn comparisons to, and sending a message to members of that fan base?
It’s a lot of work, but works a lot better than paying a nickel every time someone clicks your link and stays on your page for 30 seconds or less.
Excellent post. It is all too easy to get hung up on the SEO stuff. Produce good content regularly and the people will come but think in terms of months not days.
Stats wise try to work with moving averages rather than individual days these will tell you a whole lot more and will give a useful prediction curve to measure against.
I had one set of numbers that looked all but random then graphed them with a 30 day moving average and the line was a perfect sine wave.
Again thanks for this – love posts that take me away from looking at the tree and back to observing the whole forest.
eve @ letters to breathe says
My blog is pretty new, about three weeks old, but I have been ‘blogging’ for several years, only recently trashing my old (profitable) blog and starting over with a whole new ‘idea’. I just hated my old blog at the end.
Anyway, the new blog has had a pretty good response, in terms of traffic, I am getting an average of 80 uniques a day, not nearly enough, BUT those 80 uniques visit 3.67 pages a visit, I have a bounce rate of only 2.44% and am getting a decent amount of repeat visitors. (only 86.5% are NEW visitors)
I am stuck now though, this blog isn’t like my old blog, the old one was a mommy blog, it was pretty easy to promote- and I am still getting ‘mommy’ traffic, but that is not who I think I should be targeting… you know? I think I would get better submission rates and comments from another group of people. I am just not sure where to best promote it or to who…
This comment turned into a book- I am so sorry! I really just meant to say it was an awesome article, and I love the blog LOL I got wayyyy carried away- regardless, I would love your thoughts on what I have mentioned!
Thanks (BTW- this article was third on google when searching for blog promotion!)
Nice tips I guess, haven’t tried all of them out so what do I know. Anyway I am posting on here because I want a link to my blog. I make watercolor paintings and submit them daily. They are pretty. You should check it out. And become a repeat visitor. I’ll start putting semi entertaining information after posts.
Great tips Steven!!
Blogging and new media will continue to grow in importance and prestige because it gives people a larger marketplace of ideas to shop from, a larger platform to affect change in the world and because it is so important in promoting engagement and thoughtfulness.
Thanks a lot, and keep up the good work!!
Medyum OÄŸuz Hoca
Cassandra Whiteley says
Thanks for this post – it is just what I need to help me promote my new blog.
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hey good no nonsense tips…really helpful
Posting consistently is quite a problem if you struggle to find new content or news to blog about. Especially when you’re trying to build traffic with a new blog/website from scratch. I’m trying to keep post coming at least once a week but sometimes let it lapse to 12 – 14 days.
VerÃ³nica Gran says
Thanks a lot!!!!
Youre blog is a very useful tool. Thanks for sharing!
This article is very helpful, the idea of posting consistently is where i struggle most, there are just times when i draw a blank or just don’t have time, guess that is something i should work to improve in.
Scott Zagarino says
Great read. Will keep bookmarked for sure. Thanks.
Great tips!! some thing for me to think about and act soon. do you have anything on SEO? mail me.
Thaks alot for the interesting article
thanks for sharing this. i hope my blog will grow in few months.