So how does one increase traffic to their blog?
While like most other people we started off by sharing links of our blog posts on theopinionatedindian.com on our personal social media handles, we soon realized that more needs to be done in order to cross certain thresholds of traffic & earn some serious money.
The following are strategies can help you drastically increase your blog traffic
1) Subject & Quality: What is you blog about? Are the topics so niche that very few people are interested, then you probably need to pivot into a blog which speaks about more popular topics. While we started off as a blog which speaks about finance, politics, entertainment & travel. We later pivoted to being largely a celebrity gossip blog.
Your blog quality & expertise over your topic makes a huge difference in terms of blog traffic. We highly recommend installing the Yoast SEO plugin if you are using a wordpress blog. Do remember to add images & highlight important parts of your article to keep the visitor interested.
2) Frequency: Our niche allows us to blog daily. Since celebrity gossip gets published on a daily basis, we are never in dearth of ideas. But if you are blogging about topics which don't give enough ammo to blog so frequently, you should aim at publishing at least one article every month. Anything more than will lead to your regular visitors deserting you. One article per week is the ideal frequency for blogs to get the maximum amount of traffic.
3) Social Media Strategy: We would strongly suggest creating social media handles & an email id specifically for your blog. This will help create a better connect with your followers.
Facebook: Apart from creating a facebook handle for our blog, we also created a facebook page. Both are not as simple as they look. While it is easy to get friends on your personal facebook handle, it is very difficult to get friends on your blog's facebook handle & page. The fact that we did not tell our friends about our blog added to our woes.
We started off by following a few entertainment pages & then randomly adding people who follow those pages. Luckily for us, several of them accepted our requests. We then added several of them to our facebook page as well. But the followers to our page weren't enough to make an impact.
We then had no option but to buy facebook followers. Buying followers to your page on facebook is very simple. You can buy followers as per your budget. You can even spend as less as INR 100 a day to get followers or maximize reach for your posts.
Unlike twitter, the followers you gain on facebook are real people. Facebook doesn't conduct purges either. But in our case the privacy laws issue ruined our plans. The reach of our ads & posts have taken a serious hit. Nonetheless we still do get a decent amount of traffic from our facebook pages. We still have most of our followers.
Instagram: If you are blogging about travel, photography or any other topic which gives ample scope for posting pics, it is imperative that you have an instagram account.
Again, getting followers on your blog's instagram account is very difficult as compared to your personal instagram account. But buying followers on instagram is a breeze & is less expensive as compared to twitter & facebook. There are companies online, who offer 1000 followers for INR 360 for your instagram account.
Whatsapp: Whatsapp is a good zero cost option to promote your blog. Do push your blog post links shamelessly on whatsapp groups you are a part of. Friends, relatives who send forwards en masse are your best bets. We all have friends or relatives who forward everything under the sun(especially uncles over 50) without probably reading it themselves. They are your brand ambassadors for free!
StumbleUpon: The most under rated source of blogger traffic is Stumble Upon which is now Mix. It is the second biggest source of free traffic to our blog after twitter. Do remember to post links religiously on this platform.
Pinterest: Pinterest is a great source of blog traffic. Almost 10%-15% of our traffic every month is through pinterest. But then again, your pins have to visually appealing. It works well for travel, photography, cooking related blogs.
YouTube: If you are good at making video content, YouTube is an excellent way to promote your blog. Although we haven't tasted much success from our YouTube pages ourselves.
Press Releases: After your blog traffic reaches a certain level, ad agencies & marketers will get in touch with you for publishing sponsored posts. They will either pay you for it or ask you to do it for free.
Remember to always ask for a fee & negotiate hard with them. But if they still insist on not being able to pay, then ask for freebies instead. Press releases are a very good source of traffic. The most read article on our blog - theopinionatedindian.com is a press release!
Forums: Forums like Quora too are a good source of free traffic. Do answer queries pertaining to your area of expertise & shamelessly post links to your blog in those answers.
Linking Other Blogs: If you already own a blog, which attracts decent amount of traffic, it makes sense to mention one blog on the other(like how we have been doing on this article)
Guest Posts: Do approach other bloggers in your domain for guest post gigs. This is mutually beneficial to both of you.
Paid Sources Of Traffic
Organic: SEO plays a big role in driving traffic to your blog. Almost 30% of our traffic is organic. 95% of our organic traffic is via google. We recently have started posting links on bing webmaster tool to increase our ranking in Bing search as well. Bing & Yahoo use the same platform. So if your ranking improves in Bing, your ranking will improve in Yahoo as well.
While you can buy a SEO package for your wordpress blog, blogger has no options on improving your SEO.
Blog Aggregators: Blog Aggregators are the best source of paid traffic. While there are many blog aggregators who let you submit blog aggregators who let you submit & promote your blog for free, it is the paid ones who really make a difference.
Paid blog aggregators are the biggest source of traffic to our blog.
1) Don't spend money on buying twitter followers. Twitter purges may result in all your paid follower accounts getting deleted.
2) If you are looking at making some money off your blog & your blog content is not very unique, has mass appeal, you will have to look at paid sources of traffic(click here to read more). Google SEO & paid blog aggregators are the best options.
3) Twitter is the undisputed king when it comes to free traffic.
4) Do remember to post regularly on StumbleUpon.
5) Do remember to install Google Analytics tool on your blog. Track it regularly to find out what is working for you & what isn't.
6) Install plugins like related posts, archives & most popular posts from your blog. Make these plugins easily accessible.
7) Do not miss out on opportunity for publishing press releases & guest posts.