October is when I celebrate my blogiversary. Six years this year!!! Woot, woot!!! I like to take this time to share my story as well as resources and information that have helped me get to where I am. Blogging full-time with more than one million monthly pageviews, over a half a million social media followers and averaging about $8,000 monthly. (One of my main sources of making money on the site is through ad networks like Yahoo. You can sign up for their ad network here.) I constantly reiterate that this, all of this did not happen overnight. Its been 6 years in the game and I just recently reached many of these milestones within the last 2 years or so.
I recently did a workshop for a Las Vegas blogger group on How To Increase Your Site’s Traffic. Here are many notes. You are welcome to share this post (not copy and paste on your site) and ask any comments you may have in the comments section below. I will do my best to answer them.
If enough people are interested I will also do a Google Hangout to answer questions. You can sign-up here.
Building Traffic is all about developing a strategy to provide the best content for your readers & search engines.
I started www.naturalhairrules.com in Oct. 2008. After 5 years of blogging, I starting to see a real increase in traffic and revenue. Before these tips I was receiving about 30,000 page views a month or less. I currently receive more than 1 million monthly page views.
The key to driving traffic is creating great, sharable content.
Create an Google Analytics account. Study it!!! You need to know where your traffic is coming from. (Is it coming for search engines (which one?), Pinterest, Facebook…) What percentage is organic search engine traffic? Focus your promoting efforts on these places.
What are the keywords or search terms that bring people to your site? Much of this information is available within your WordPress & Blogger Dashboards. But Google Analytics will provide better exporting & longer ranges of data. Include these keywords in your posts.
Answering these questions will help you create good content that will encourage sharing and repeat visits.
More keyword research…
You already know what search terms are bringing people to your site.
Use Google Adwords: Keyword Planner to find other popular related keywords or search terms to write more posts for your audience.
Example: If your popular keyword is oatmeal, write a variety of oatmeal posts: Crockpot Oatmeal, Strawberry Oatmeal, History of Oatmeal & etc.
Submit your site map to search engines i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo. There are plugin that create site maps and SEO apps that ask for your site map, but it wasn’t until I submitted my site map to the varies search engines, that I really saw them indexing my site in searches. Now I receive about 10,000 visits per day just from search engines. My site also ranks higher for various keywords or search terms because of this.
You can submit your site map to Google using Google Webmaster Tool. This also allows you to verify your site. How to Verify Site & Submit Sitemap here
If you are self-hosted, install SEO By Yoast. Use your keyword research!!! Use a variety of keywords for your post. Don’t over use the same keyword. For example, I don’t use ‘natural hair’ (even though it’s the site’s main focus) or any other keyword for every post. Keywords vary based on the topic or main idea of the post. For this posts, my Focus Keyword is ‘pageviews’
Interlink posts together. For example if you have something related your pending, hyperlink that post. Use related post plugins or widgets. You can also just type: See Also or Read More and then hyperlink to the related post(s).
Write List Posts i.e 12 Ways to Build Website Traffic or Posts Series (but make sure people know when to expect the next post in the series). 20 Natural Hair Hacks is a list post that has been shared many times on various social media sites.
Create a Posting Schedule and Stick To It (Be realistic)
When I was blogging more as a hobby, I knew I wanted to post or publish a blog post at least once a week. I was committed to that. So committment that I usually published 3-5 blog post a week.
After this became my full-time gig, my posting schedule was on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then I had an ‘aha moment’ where I realized Mondays just don’t work for me. So know my post schedule is now Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Let your readers know when you’re posting schedule is!!! You will see an increase in traffic on your posting days.
Create an editorial calendar or have a monthly focus. This will help take the stress out of writing new content & help you create a better marketing flow for content. For example its November so you should be working on or already have you Holiday blog post ideas.
Take time to create your traffic plan.
I, personally, take the month of December to focus on my traffic strategy plan & editorial content calendar for the new year.
Be patient with yourself… It takes time to strategize & implement your traffic plan. But you can do it!
Read more of my blogging tips here.