How to drive traffic to your blog

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Supercharge your blog with social media
Supercharge your blog with social media

When you first start a blog (and of course you’ve read my post on that), growing your fan base is hard. It’s virtually impossible to get Google traffic at first (unless you happen to have a magic keyword in your domain name). So you have to resort to what I’d call guerilla marketing and “seed” yourself on social media. So, let me tell you how to drive traffic to your blog.

Using guerilla marketing for my blog, I achieved 1,000 Twitter Followers within 6 weeks. Pinterest was harder for me to crack, but I’m hoping with my advice, you’ll find starting that easier!

Just remember that karma is a bitch. Don’t spam or use any other unscrupulous tactics to get traffic. It’ll come back to haunt you and the short-lived bump in traffic isn’t worth having.

Twitter

Despite its apparently flat growth recently, the micro-blogging service Twitter remains a major social media platform and one that’s very well suited to promoting your blog on. So, how to get followers on Twitter?

Before you start doing anything on Twitter, make sure your profile is optimized. Make sure you have a picture, even if it’s not you! And make sure your bio explains who you are and what you’re about. Check out @TheSIdeGigGuru for an example and follow me while you’re there J

However, getting your first 1,000 Followers is hard. Like most things, you seem to need some critical mass: you can’t get Follower’s because you don’t have Follower’s applies.

So, here’s my strategy for Twitter.

  • Follow lots of people. I followed 800-1000 every day. Some of the people you follow will kindly follow you back.
  • Make sure you follow people who you’d want to follow you back. The best way to do that is find other blogger’s in your niche and follow their Follower’s! Don’t follow a bunch of Xbox gamers if you’re into index investing!
  • Use an unfollow tool like Crowdfire or ManageFlitter to save yourself some clicking.
  • If you’re feeling brave and don’t mind risking getting your Twitter account locked, you can use like Robotwity, which is an extension for the Chrome web browser. I again want to caution you here: you can get your account locked and even shutdown for using automated tools which violate Twitter’s policies.
  • A lot of people now use TrueTwit validation. You’ll have to decide if you don’t want those people, or face authenticating every time you send a Follow request to someone using it. Authenticating involves clicking on a link in a Direct Message and entering a Captcha.

When I say follow ~1000 people a day, I mean every day. Every day you’re following new people and unfollowing people who never followed you back. To know who never followed you back, a tool like the ones mentioned is key. This will be a lot of work! I’m not going to say it was fun – my clicking finger got very tired. But it’s really the only way to do it without buying followers – and you don’t want to do that as they’re not going to be engaged.

One thing you should be aware of is that you can only follow a maximum of 5,000 people when you first start out. So you’ll be hitting up against that limit if you’re following the maximum 1,000 peole per day unless you’re aggressively unfollowing too.

I would strongly recommend using Crowdfire to automatically post some content to your account once you have some followers, unless you’re going to post 2-3 times per day yourself. It’ll automatically help find blog posts and images in your niche, and then post them at the best possible time.

Now that I’ve reached north of a thousand Follower’s I’m starting to find that my posts on Twitter generate a small amount of traffic to the blog. But that small amount of traffic is growing, and that’s huge.

For bonus points, make sure you hookup your WordPress to publish your latest and greatest blog posts directly to Twitter. Saves a bit of copy and pasting.

Reddit

Reddit also paid some dividends for me in terms of traffic. In fact, I’m still getting a small amount from a posting done weeks ago.

As a tool for getting the word out about your blog, Reddit is neat: it’s a collection of niches, after all.

But how do you get started promoting your blog on Reddit?

  • Find a subreddit that’s appropriate for your niche.
  • Make sure you have a post that’s well written and really speaks to the subreddit.
  • Make an introductory post with a little bit of background about you and why this post might be interesting to Reddit readers. Don’t just paste a link!
  • Remember that the more spammy your post looks, the less traffic you’ll get.
  • If you get comments, reply to them where appropriate. This is interactive, after all.

Obviously you can’t use Reddit on a daily basis (or you will be considered spammy!), but it’s good for introducing your blog to a larger audience and gaining some engaged users.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a search engine, not social media. And because of that it requires a slightly different approach.

Create a number of boards for generic subjects that you’re interested such as travel or cooking. Populate these boards heavily.

Whilst you’re doing the above, also populate the board for your blog. There will obviously be less posts to your blog board, but people will find you for your other pins and then follow you. It doesn’t matter it’s not your own content.

Facebook

I haven’t focused too much on Facebook yet as I don’t believe it’ll drive traffic at this point. I haven’t completely neglected it: I have a page and I post from WordPress and Crowdfire to that.

One of my blogging friends mentioned that Facebook Groups became a bit of a rabbithole for her, and I’ll heed that and not rush into anything.

Other Blogs

What if there was a way for readers of other blogs to find out about your blog? Well, there is and it’s very simple. But it does require work.

One thing people don’t realize about the links that are generated from your comment back to your blog (the ones people click on) is that they are considered NOFOLLOW links for SEO. You need a balance of NOFOLLOW and FOLLOW links for balanced SEO. So you’re actually helping your SEO as well as getting readers by making lots of comments.

Want to optimize this approach? Use something like an RSS reader to automatically get new posts so you can answer them quickly.

How to drive traffic to your blog

Having gone from zero to 1,000 Twitter Followers in six weeks was a thrill. If I’d had the tips above, I think I could have done it in less than a month. So hopefully you’ll be able to do just that.

Don’t forget that quality counts. The people who you try to influence need to be the right people.

I hope you enjoyed this article on how to drive traffic to your blog. Let me know how you’re growing your tribe? And if you need help, just email or Tweet me.

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