Let’s shoot straight for just a minute. If you don’t market your blog, it will fail (at least until you learn to market it). The best content in the world will never do anything if no one sees it in the first place. People have to see it before they can fall in love with it.
Fortunately, there are plenty of FREE ways that you can get bucket loads of traffic to your site. You should never have to spend money to market, if you’re doing these correctly. Let’s break some of these down so you will know how to get traffic to your blog.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The concept of search engine optimization is simple. With SEO, you’re trying to create blog posts about topics that people are already searching Google and other search engines for. If you can line your site up to what Google is looking for, they will include you in their listings (in a high location) so that you can get a steady stream of traffic to your blog.
People who are good at developing traffic through SEO have two main skills:
- They use keywords (words that people search Google for) in their blog posts.
- They create blog posts that get shared and linked to by other sites.
Both of these skills can be learned, and they aren’t that difficult.
A few months ago I wrote an e-book for bloggers who are in creative niches like photography, DIY, crafts, etc. While I wrote it for that specific audience, the message of the book will help any blogger. If you want to learn how to create solid, keyword-based blog posts so that you can get traffic from Google and other search engines, give this a read: SEO For Creative Bloggers™. No matter the niche of your site, it will teach you how to do SEO like a pro.
You can get gobs of traffic from social media and on top of that, social media can amplify your SEO results. As more people share and talk about your blog on social media, Google will take notice. Each social platform is different but they can all provide you with a lot of traffic. In order to keep this lesson from reaching 3,000,000 words, I’m going to link you to some of the best resources on the web for learning how to best take advantage and benefit from social media.
Please keep in mind that not every successful blog uses every social media platform! I’m not a huge Twitter user, but I do a lot on most of the other platforms. You have to figure out what works best for you and go for it!
- The Complete Guide To Setting Up The New Facebook Page Design
- 6 Proven Ways To Grow Your Facebook Page Likes
- Getting More Facebook Likes And Search Traffic
- The Beginner’s Guide To Twitter
- How To Grow Your Twitter Audience (infographic)
- 10 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Blog With Twitter
- 7 Tips For Driving Targeted Traffic With Twitter
- Twitter Marketing Hub
- Getting Started With Google+
- The Marketer’s Guide To Google+
- Grow Your Google+ Page With The Power Of Sharing (Outside-The-Box ideas for growing your audience on Google+)
- Why Google+ Is The Best Platform For Content Marketers (So true and if you’re a blogger, you’re a content marketer)
I used to think that networking was hard. Now, I think it’s easy because I learned about a secret sauce. What’s that secret sauce? Networking with people who are close to your level.
If you are constantly trying to network with the biggest players in your niche, it will always feel impossible. Mainly, because it IS impossible (almost). But, that isn’t necessary!
A few years ago I figured out that I didn’t have to know the biggest players to be super successful. I just needed to get to know the people who were closer to my level. That way, we could grow together and truly help each other out. Once you get to higher levels yourself, it’s easier to network with people whose blogs are at higher levels.
Networking has many benefits but the biggest benefits are related to how you can help each other to promote your blogs and blog posts. Think about it this way – if you can only promote your work to your own audience, you will never get the results that you could if your work was promoted to multiple audiences, even if those audiences aren’t that big!
Networking with other bloggers is as simple as reaching out. Find other blogs that are similar in size to yours and start commenting and interacting with the people who own them. Those relationships will pay huge dividends.
One big mistake that I see people make often is that they are way too selfish in their relationships with other bloggers. Try your best to help your network out. Share their work and help them to grow. More importantly, get together and talk on a regular basis about what’s working so that you can all grow your blogs together.
Additional Resources To Learn Blog Networking:
- How To Promote Your Blog Through Networking
- Two Ways Women Can Network More Effectively (I’m not a woman, but this is SUPER interesting)
One of the best FREE ways to get residual traffic to your blog is by putting content in places where people are already looking for it. YouTube and iTunes are your biggest opportunities for making this happen. I recently started putting content for The Blog Builders on both of those places and the results have come really quick.
Note: There are plenty of successful blogs who don’t have presences on these platforms. But, they are great tools for helping you to reach higher traffic levels.
How do you get on YouTube and iTunes? You create a podcast and videos! Here are some resources that you can use to get started on these platforms:
- How To Start A Podcast – Pat’s Complete Step-By-Step Podcasting Tutorial (this is a very complete resource – I used it to get my podcast started. Thanks Pat!)
- How To Grow Your Audience And Market Your Podcast (Podcast Answer Man)
- HOW TO: Get Started Marketing On YouTube (expands into a list – very complete guide really)
- 7 Little Known Tricks That Will Get You More YouTube Views
Getting Subscribers Via Email And RSS
Don’t let anyone tell you differently – getting subscribers through email and RSS is THE most important way to help your blog to grow. You need people to be happily subscribed to your blog. If they are, they can come check out your new content, every time you post. On top of that, you can let them know about announcements such as product launches or new social media platforms you’re on.
This is a whole different topic altogether, but it’s a LOT easier to make good money with your blog if you have a lot of subscribers.
Here are some really awesome lessons that you can use to learn how to improve your subscribers by email and RSS:
- How To Get A Ton Of New Subscribers To Your Blog
- How The Feature Box Increased Our Blog Subscription Rate By 51.7%
- 10 Effective Ways To Get More Email Subscribers
Additional Resources For Developing Blog Traffic
You do NOT have to get everything right to have a tremendously successful blog. In fact, I have had blogs grow fast and be super successful when lots of things weren’t right at all.
No single blog is truly great at everything! The blog your looking at has many missing pieces right now and it’s doing really well for me. When I fix those pieces, it will be better but it’s going well as is! I’m focused on improving it a little more every day and that’s how you make gains.
If you get started today and improve as you go, I think that you’ll find success sooner than you thought was possible.