There was a time when paid advertising was the norm for almost anyone blogging for a living. Even today, we can’t deny that it’s still a practical monetization method. Furthermore, it can turn into an opportunity for building partnerships with other brands while tracking the preferences of a given audience. As there are other ways to increase blog traffic, one critical question arises, though: Is it really worth the effort?
First of all, the general consensus is that beginners and modest blogs lose more than what they earn through ads. A blog usually becomes lucrative only if the number of pageviews is around 100,000 per month. That’s also what it takes to become eligible for some of the ad monetization networks. Easier said than done. But there’s an even more alarming problem: People are fed up with ads.
They don’t want to see intruders constantly interrupt their reading experience on blogs and websites. Because let’s face it, that’s what banner ads and other pop-ups keep doing. Blog visitors get rid of such annoyances simply by exiting the page and never coming back. Some others take additional drastic measures by using ad blockers. The statistics speak for themselves: In 2021, approximately 43% of internet users worldwide admitted they were using one. And this has been a noticeably growing tendency over the past few years.
So what’s the solution? There must certainly be other ways to increase blog traffic, wouldn’t you agree? Our article is here precisely to show the main alternatives to ads for your blogging activities. Let’s unfold them together.
Let’s start with the basics. Indeed, email marketing is one of the veterans of the sector. Rest assured, though, that it’s still not old enough to be totally given up. Easily accessible, it doesn’t require much to be carried out. The likelihood of any setback is quite negligible. In sum, what we have here is a handy option for those who want to increase blog traffic without taking much risk.
You don’t necessarily need to run an entire email marketing plan from A to Z. What we want is rather a gentle push for your blogging strategy and income. In other words, your blog is the destination, and email is the road leading to it. Creating a newsletter can fit this objective like a glove. If done properly, it would probably be enough to stay in touch with your contacts on a regular basis. Take note of the following in order to make your newsletter become a traffic booster for your blog:
Build a relevant email list
Select recipients who are likely to have an interest in your blog’s theme. There are several ways to collect the contact information of a target audience. Lead magnets are one of them. They include various kinds of special offers, free trials, surveys, tutorials… Subscriptions and post-purchase fill-in forms can also make you gather email addresses.
Use your own domain name as an email address, if possible.
Although not mandatory, this would make your emails more professional-looking. This is also one of the tricks for avoiding spam filters.
Present your blog as the pivotal point of your newsletter.
The ultimate goal should always remain the same: attracting people to your blog. Write your (always high-quality!) content accordingly. Formulas such as ‘Visit my blog for further details’ do work well.
Social Media For More Blog Traffic
That’s right. Social media can increase blog traffic. How? Generally speaking, social media channels and profiles are like the portfolio of their owners. They supply a favorable environment where you can talk about what you do in a dynamic and colorful manner. Especially for those of you who feel comfortable on those platforms, this can be a terrific traffic nurturer. Your followers may be eager to know more about you, thus willing to explore also your website and blog articles. Don’t forget either that all those networking services are mostly based on a grapevine principle. Your content has the opportunity of getting double-promoted by other users through reposts, retweets, and other shout-outs.
That being said, the whole game requires some subtlety. Don’t get carried away. Build your audience patiently. Keep in mind that it’s not only about sharing your blog content frenetically. You have to aim for genuine, long-term connections (and even affection). Respect the basic rules of reciprocity and courtesy. Show your interest in your audience’s posts and interact with them. Stay present and participate in the specific pages and sections where your actual or potential followers are active.
Another important aspect is about mastering some posting rules. These vary from one platform to the other. For example, you may post a dozen tweets per day on Twitter. But it’s usually better not to be so exuberant on other services such as Facebook or Instagram. You should also pay attention to the ideal posting days and times. Here again, each platform has its own habits and tendencies. Make sure to check them out.
Collaboration With Influential Figures
Yes, we say influential instead of influencer. No misunderstanding here. It’s totally fine if you choose to collaborate with social media influencers. It’s even one of the best moves to make for anyone wanting to increase blog traffic through social platforms. There are even dedicated online tools that aim at facilitating your search. Impact, Upfluence, trendHERO, Mediatoolkit, and many others are here to help you find influencers directly from your niche. Their search system is designed in a way that delivers answers tailored to each particular inquiry.
There’s one commonly encountered mistake, though. Most people tend to believe that influencers only operate on social media. Wrong. That’s why we prefer broadening the term influencer to influential figure. There are indeed many powerful and popular individuals who are not necessarily ‘sociomediatic’ whatsoever. They may not have an account on Instagram or Twitter but be nonetheless known by many. Like whom? Well, think, for example, of all those big-time entrepreneurs in some leading industries. If your blog’s general topic is somewhat related to their fields, then why wouldn’t you arrange an interview with one of them? You may publish a video or transcription of the interview on your blog and encourage people to view it. The more influential your interviewee is, the better will be your traffic potential.
Long story short, the idea is to make famous personalities support your initiatives. They can act as references that would increase the visibility and authority of your blog. The choice of the method is up to you and your interlocutor. Together you may decide on the most suitable ways to promote your content.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Using SEO to drive visitors to your blog could be another good substitute for ads. The practice in itself is a little more demanding. But with some careful planning and attention to a few details, it’s totally doable. Actually, it may even yield more sustainable results. SEO-based data have indeed the merit to match the particular queries of web users. This is mainly due to a calculated usage of keywords. So once you have determined your target audience, you should conduct a sort of statistical research. The goal is to capture the topics, words, and expressions that might be of interest to your future followers. When you know exactly what they are looking for, you also automatically know what to include in your blog posts. Here are some basic tactics:
Follow keyword popularity over time
There are several tools to track past and ongoing tendencies. Google Trends is one of them. Enter your search terms and see how they are doing. You may refine your search by countries, time periods, and categories. Notice that some generic search items like online marketing demonstrate certain stability in time. But when we type more specific terms like iPhone 13, there’s an unsurprising pic in September 2021 (release date of the product).
Explore keyword pools
You may find your keywords and phrases for free in some databases like Wordtracker or Google Search Console. You may also go for paid and more sophisticated options such as Semrush.
Deepen keyword information
If you want to back your keyword strategy with more complex clues, there are a bunch of tools to help you out. With AnswerThePublic, your seed keyword will generate a set of questions associated with it. As for SE Cockpit, it will give you extremely detailed metrics regarding the levels of traffic, competition, etc.
Here’s a point that some people wondering how to increase organic traffic tend to miss. Yet it’s a shame to deprive oneself of all the conveniences that those plugins have to offer. Seriously, why not simplify the job with those almost all-in-one solutions? They can indeed enhance your blog with so many comprehensive functionalities. In order to see which ones, we have investigated some of the best WordPress plugins on the market. We give you some takeaways below:
Think of it in the broader sense of the term. In effect, a structure is the assemblage of multiple factors. Say, your XML sitemaps. Let high-end plugins like All in One SEO and XML Sitemaps take care of them effortlessly. These literally act like spokespersons and inform search engines about your blog’s internal state. Everything is constantly kept up-to-date, which increases your chances of getting indexed more easily. Don’t be afraid by the term high-end: The examples we mentioned offer services for free.
Respeaking of SEO, you are in good hands with Yoast SEO, Rank Math, or (again) All in One SEO. Looking for a quick evaluation and correction of your descriptions, titles, and other content details? Here you go. These tools analyze your blog thoroughly and make all the necessary adjustments to align it with SEO requirements.
You know that shares are like online word-of-mouth and have the power to increase blog traffic dramatically. With MashShare and Monarch, you can add sharing buttons in different areas of your blog. A handy function that allows your visitors to share your posts on various social media platforms.
Flexibility for mobile devices
Let’s not forget mobile-friendly plugins like WPtouch and Hummingbird. Now your blog can invite itself onto your audience’s smartphones and tablets thanks to super responsive themes.
Did you say, ‘Can one’s own skills boost blog traffic?’ Excellent question. Regardless of all the helping tools available out there, you (and only you) are the captain of the ship. The major part of the load is on your shoulders. Even though plugins and other gadgets can touch up your blog, you are responsible for its core essence. Without your personal ideas and style, all the rest becomes just pointless.
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The first thing to do is pretty obvious: Find something to write about. Something to throw yourself body and soul into, something in which you would really like to invest your potential in the long run. Always aim for continuity and consistency. It’s best to keep going within a specific topic or niche instead of scribbling some bric-a-brac that changes every time. Besides your personal preferences, don’t forget that those of your target audience should also weigh on your decision.
Speaking of your readers, make sure to give them something… readable. We mean it. Don’t hesitate to take some classes if you feel the need to improve your writing skills. We also strongly recommend the usage of online grammar and spelling checkers. The classical introduction/body/conclusion format is another goody to go for. A summary or tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) at the end of your posts can also ease things for your visitors.
Some bits of ‘ergonomics’ may help increase blog traffic as well. So make your readers feel comfy. Include some facilities, such as a search bar or links to your other posts. Create a comment section where visitors can give feedback or share their opinions. This would ensure a more interactive ambiance while also allowing you to collect ideas for your next articles.
How to promote your blog in as many places as possible? Well, what if one of those places was another blog than yours? Welcome to the ever-growing guest posters club. Ok, not thrilled right away by the idea of writing on other people’s sites? Then you may think of it as a warm-up session. This can indeed serve as an awesome preparation for your own blog.
Here’s why: First of all, there’s a solidarity aspect. As you contribute to enriching someone else’s (or a company’s) blog, there is a high chance they return you the favor. They may pay you for it and/or help you out with your own projects. Not to mention the opportunities related to link exchanges. Indeed, your host can make you get backlinks to your blog for free (and – hopefully – vice versa. Remember, reciprocity is often the key).
Other than those, guest blogging can open brand new doors for you. Imagine working with an already well-established blog from your industry or at least similar/complementary fields. This would mean reaching out to an already available audience, right? If you manage to capture their attention with some good content, they would probably be curious enough to visit your own blog too. It’s also a learning and trust-building process. You grasp additional blogging strategies in a different environment while also demonstrating your abilities.
Increasing Your Blog Traffic in a Glimpse
Ok, it may not always be as ‘glimpsy’ as we wish it was. Choosing the right strategies to increase blog traffic is just the first step. Then you have to follow them up, ensure tangible results regarding your goals, and be persistent. The easier part is that nowadays, many tools such as plugins are at your disposal, mostly for free. Combining them with your own blogger skills and some effective partnerships will pay off eventually. Yes, even without spending a penny for ads.