It happens to the best of bloggers. You produce stellar content that’s helpful and easy to read. You even publish a blog post a week – or more – to prove you’re serious about blogging. You genuinely care about your audience. But sometimes, despite doing everything by the book, the traffic’s a dud. That’s when the questions start – am I good enough to be doing this? Heck, does blogging even work as a legitimate business model? Am I wasting my time?
If that’s you, let me clear the air by quoting Jon Morrow, “Each and every one of us decides who we are. No, you may not be ready to be a popular blogger now, but you can become ready.” Blogging works. We’ve seen a lot of proof around us for that. The problem is not blogging; it is doing things that don’t yield trust or traffic to your blog.
You see, a decade ago you could crank out a 300-word piece and get more content published, left, right and center. In those days, just having something published meant you could attract huge traffic. Because not many were doing it.
Gradually, the world caught up and more people started putting out better content. Longer, more in depth, more useful content. Bloggers started calling it “epic posts”.
Today, most of the world has caught up with “epic”. It’s no longer a differential point. It’s a given. The secret to attracting more traffic is doing what others are not doing, or unwilling to do yet.
And what if I told you it could be done in under 30 minutes with you exploring the following 20 tactics to get traffic from other websites?
- Bring value and open doors with better comments: Instead of writing “Great post, thanks!” and placing a link from your name, put more time into writing a really detailed, thoughtful comment offering additional insights to the post subject. Other readers will fall in love with you and click through to your website. Again, high chances are the blogger may include and credit your tip in this post, plus check out your website. Additionally, it’s the first step to building meaningful relationships with the influencer.
- Guest post the smart way: Don’t chase after links, but chase after referral traffic that sticks. Create a special landing page, explaining who you are and what you do with a CTA to your newsletter and include this link in your author’s bio when guest posting.
- Earn links and referral traffic with Pingbacks: A lot of bloggers have those enabled in WordPress. Pingbacks are auto-notifications you receive, when someone mentioned and linked to your content. Here’s a very detailed guide by Ana Hoffman on how to use it to your advantage.
- Republish your content: Did you know that some of the massively popular publishers including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Elite Daily and others allow republishing content from your blog? Yep, no need to waste hours on writing guest posts. Sarah Peterson wrote a very detailed guide to content republishing with a list of top blogs that syndicate content.
- Participate in a Webinar/Podcast: Team up with another blogger and set up a co-hosted webinar, equally promoted to their audience and yours.
- Use the guestographic method…: …to attract more shares and links to your latest infographic in 5 easy steps:
- Create an attractive infographic and post it on your website.
- Make a list of websites that write on similar topics.
- Reach out and offer them to check out your infographic (and possibly share it on their own blog).
- Offer an additional “bribe” of unique intro text to go along with the infographic on their blog.
- Get a contextual link in return. Bonus tip: You can also pitch your infographic directly to some big name publishers, who tend to feature them often e.g. Business Insider Australia.
- Earn links with Google Maps: Create a useful Google Map e.g. of the best vegan restaurants in your area. Next, add the author’s credits with a link to your website into the embed code. Post it on your website and encourage active sharing. You can earn links with the embeds.
- Get interviewed in an expert roundup: Do you know another blogger, who publishes roundups? Reach out to them with a letter of introduction, highlighting your experience on subjects X, Y, Z and offer a quote.
- Land free press coverage and quotes: Sign up to HARO (Help a Reporter) as a source and receive daily email of queries from journalists writing on relevant subjects. Shoot a quick reply with your “tip”, “quote” and background for a chance to appear in a top news outlet.
- Pitch your story to an online magazine: Most online outlets accept submissions from freelance authors and offer a byline. Create an enticing story pitch and start targeting the desired publications. You can check out the requirements and rates at this database.
- Pitch your story to a journalist directly: Find a writer, who has previously covered other personas in your industry or quoted them as experts. Outreach with a letter of introduction briefly describing what you do and what enticing story you can share. The best option is to:
- Find the names via Google News search.
- Convert results into a spreadsheet.
- Use Mechanical Turk to automate finding the contact details.
- Send out the letter. Additional reading: Here’s a case study from Word Stream on how they landed a link from The New York times.
- Repurpose your content and share it on other platforms: Find some of your most popular blog posts and give them a second life in form of – video, presentation, audio, graphics and more. Afterwards, share them on relevant platforms to drive more traffic back to your blog. Neil Patel has an incredibly detailed guide on content repurposing.
- Publish an e-book on Amazon: If you already have plenty of good content piled up in your achieves, revive it and pack it into an e-book or give it away for free on Amazon Kindle. By creating a limited free book offer, you can get a ton of links to it from freebie and special deals website. Make sure your ebook is action-packed with links back to your blog for all the traffic you can handle.
- Encourage RSS-subscriptions: Feedly is the most popular RSS reader out there these days, so make sure you have a link to subscribe to your Feedly feed on your website and encourage readers to do so.
- Add your blog feed to content aggregators: AllTop and Flipboard are two popular aggregators, featuring the latest posts from different publishers. List your feeds there to gain some additional exposure.
- Share your content at relevant Slack Community: You can find a list of niche relevant communities in this post on Medium or at Slack List. It’s another great way to connect with like-minded peeps and share your work.
- Secure a cross-promotion arrangement: Have you made some blogging friends? Great! Now offer them to cross-promote one another by mentioning you on their blog or in the newsletter. It’s a win-win deal.
- Add your posts as Wikipedia references: Got a super-useful, insightful guide or a unique case study? Register at Wikipedia and suggest it as a reference for a relevant page.
- Repurpose your content for Medium: There are two good ways to use Medium for max exposure:
- Find a popular, relevant collection on Medium and pitch them your story.
- Make a shorter version of one of your popular posts and re-publish it on Medium with a content upgrade. Promote the heck of it and watch your email list grow.
- Write testimonials: Worked with a freelancer? Ask if they need a new shining testimonial for their portfolio website in exchange for a link.
I want to challenge you to try these techniques. Of course, not all of them will work for you so pick and choose a handful and run with it.
Gaining new traffic sounds like a lot of work, but it’s worth every minute. And with the above tips, you can boost traffic in 30 minutes or less. You may not feel it happen immediately, but stay consistent. You’ll see the results.
Eventually, the more you do these techniques, the more trust you will build. Writing epic posts is no longer enough – you want the right audience to read them too.