So you started a blog. You designed a website that defines you and it’s beautiful. Every few days you look at your page just to admire your work. And you should be proud, because you built something. You’re crushing!
What isn’t as exciting though is your page views. You’re writing great content, but no one is seeing it. It’s a little demoralizing at times. But you’re determined to figure out how to capture enough eyes to foster engagement. So you did a search to figure out how and it brought you here. It brought you to the blog of a random fiction author you’ve probably never heard of.
Now, the questions are: how did you get here? And how can you replicate the path you took to get here for your own post content? If you’re looking for the answers, you’ve come to the right place.
Tip #1 to Increase Blog Traffic – Take Stock of Your Skills/Knowledge and Help Solve a Problem
Before I explain this tip, let me tell you the reason I’m posting this kind of thing at all on an author blog. A few days ago, a person who enjoys my books mentioned they were struggling to build viewer traffic on their book review blog. As someone who has been blogging for several years now with moderate viewership success, I had built up a decent amount of knowledge on the subject. So I shared everything I’ve learned with them.
And everything I’ve learned includes all sorts of things I would have loved to know when my journey began. So in the case of this post, the problem that needs solving of how to increase blog traffic is clearly defined. It is a problem which I know for a fact people want to know how to solve, because I wanted to know it.
Now, it might seem like what I’m saying here is that the only way to get traffic is to post “how-to” or educational posts. This could not be further from the truth. The majority of my posts, for example, are bonus content or updates related to my books. What problem do those solve? Well, they solve a problem for my current readers who are thirsting for fun, supplemental information on the worlds I build, after they’ve read my books. A cooking blog, on the other hand, solves the problem of how to cook a meal. And a book review blog solves the problem of telling you which books are most worth investing your valuable time in. If that’s a problem you have, I know a great book review blog for you here!
Tip #2 – Use Search Engine Optimization
So hopefully you have now defined the problem your post solves. And we both know your post solves it better than any other post on the entire internet. But unfortunately it’s not me you need to convince, it’s the search engines. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in handy.
SEO is a process of designing your posts to optimize their searchability, based on specific search terms. For example, with this post, the problem we discussed in step #1 was figuring out how to increase blog traffic. The goal then is for search engines to easily identify my post as a key source of information on this problem. This is done by including the relevant term(s) in everything from the title, to subtitles, paragraphs, slug (link), page description, etc. You can see here how many times I’ve referenced “blog traffic.” This tells search engines how important blog traffic is to this post. And anyone looking for info on blog traffic will certainly be able to access info on blog traffic here. Not every post needs to be this obnoxious with references to your keyword, but you get the point.
As for your search term, be as specific as possible.
If we refer back to our cooking blog example, you don’t just want to solve the general problem of needing something to cook. Think about what the specific meal you’re posting about is good for. Is it great for the person trying to impress on date night? Or is it better for someone looking to cook out? Is it a recipe that requires a lot of time and effort? Or is it something to make in a hurry?
In the case of a book reviewer, is yours a more in-depth reviewing style suited for the curious reader? Or is it more about being entertaining? Is the book you’re reviewing a tried and true classic? Or is it a hidden gem like the Civilands series for the risk takers looking to explore a new world before anyone else does? These are all questions that will define a specific type of person who needs your post, and the terms they would use to try and find it. The more specific the terms, the better.
Once you figure out your specific keywords, a huge help in getting the technical formatting stuff down is downloading an SEO plugin. My website is set up on WordPress and I use a WordPress plugin called Yoast SEO. Yoast rates the optimization of my posts and provides tips for specific things I can do to improve it, which are usually very simple tweaks. If you don’t use WordPress, just search “SEO” on your plugins and I’m sure there will be alternatives as well. And if you are familiar with SEO plugins on other blog sites, comment them below!
Tip #3 – Utilize the Knowledge/Network of Others
Back to tip #1 on solving a problem – maybe you’re having a hard time taking stock of your skill set or knowledge base. Or maybe you aren’t struggling with this in general, but there is something additional you don’t know yet and want to learn. If so, you can learn about it by posting about it! But how can you post about something you don’t know?
This brings us to my most popular post ever on my blog, “How to Get Your Story Read on Wattpad.” You can probably guess from the name what the problem is that’s being solved.
But for some background
Wattpad is a social media type site where you can post serial stories and people can react with comments, likes, etc. It is a site I ultimately decided not to use. However, when I was first exploring it, I saw several stories being posted with many views and interactions. So I wondered the same thing everyone who uses Wattpad wonders: how can you best use Wattpad to increase your story reads/interactions? As mentioned, I hadn’t used Wattpad at all at this time, so I had no idea how to answer this question. But lucky for me, there were other users who did! I soon reached out to one of the popular users and sent them a bunch of interview questions to post about on my blog. These were questions I had, which came from my own desire to learn more than anything else.
The rest is history. Years after publishing this interview, it continues averaging several views per day. The networking effects of cooperating with successful people in your field is one obvious benefit of this. Another though is you are learning something you wanted to learn. But instead of keeping this golden nugget to yourself, you are also helping others solve the same problem they too are facing. Just be sure when you take this approach to show appreciation for the person you’re interviewing. Promote them as much as possible and express gratitude for their time.
Tip #4 – Join Communities that Face Your Problem and Share
For this final tip I didn’t want to just say the obvious, “share on social media,” and I won’t. A far better strategy is to find and become a part of a tight, already established community or to seek to create your own. The platform could be social media, an email list, a texting group, etc. The choice comes down to whatever is the most convenient/comfortable. As long as the community is catered specifically to the problems you and your tribe are seeking to solve, you’re in the right place. A few examples would include a book club for a book review site, or a cooking group for a cooking site.
One major thing to avoid…
If you do join an already established group is to spam your blog posts. This should go without saying but it’s rude and will most likely get you removed. When the question you’ve solved arises, share away. Your knowledge is needed and to not share it when it’s sought out would be downright selfish. But do not self promote in an obnoxious manner without first proving that you belong in the community.
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today. Hope you found this post helpful! Leave a comment below with any additional knowledge or thoughts on the subject. And if you did enjoy this, feel free to subscribe to my blog with the form at the bottom of my webpage. Happy blogging and happy reading!