You have been doing everything right, writing content frequently, promoting your blog on social media and other channels and yet you don’t have a lot of traffic. There are multiple sites that tell you tricks to increase blog traffic – some genuine others sham. You might have heard how writing longer posts and updating fresh content daily will help or using the right keywords or picking a niche. All those are valid tips. Much more valid in the longer run. But today, I will give you some handy tips that work in the short term as well. And as is true for any other business, while you need a solid foundation for the long run, you also need some short term gains to keep the push going.
Also, if someone is selling you guaranteed hacks to increase blog traffic, please don’t fall in the trap. Yes, there are legit ways to increase your traffic, most of them common sensical. So please don’t spend $20 on an e-book that says it can guarantee 100% increase in blog traffic. Let us look at some tricks to increase blog traffic and how it helped me triple mine in 2 months.
As I write this post, this blog is only 81 days old. Not a lot of time, you would say for me to write this post. And I agree. I am no guru here. All I can provide are some logical and practical tricks that worked for me.
Following are the traffic stats of my blog for the first month.
I got 699 visitors. Not great, but decent for a 1 month old blog without any paid marketing. Social media traffic (~70%) was the primary source for these visitors. As is true of any new blogger, I was hungry for people to see what I have posted. Hence, I joined a lot of relevant groups, for example, travel groups for my travel related posts, financial independence groups for posts on financial independence. And that is the number 1 trick. Social traffic can be a pretty good source of traffic. You never know which post will become viral, and what better place than social media for virality.
However, I also noticed that life of a post shared on social media is very small. At best, a day. Hence, there were peaks on a few days when I shared interesting posts in some groups on other days it was a lull.
Second month wasn’t too different from the first both in terms of traffic and my strategies. Following are the traffic stats of second month.
However, one thing that I did do in second month was to comment on similar websites and leave my URL. Some websites, allowed the URL to be a backlink others didn’t. Hence, I also started to get some referrer traffic. Not much though but anyway it does help to have backlinks from established websites.
I also noticed that while I was being ranked in Google, it was at page 15 or so, which is a blackhole in web search world. But what to do, all I have heard is that it takes a lot of time to be ranked up in Google search. So should I just wait and keep posting diligently? I didn’t think so. While age of a website has some weightage to be ranked up in Google but I am sure the traffic has a vital role to play. Hence, this becomes a chicken and egg problem. If you don’t get listed high up in the search results you won’t have a lot of traffic. And if you don’t have a lot of traffic, Google won’t push you up. But what can I do, after all I am an individual blogger with no marketing budget. How can I get more traffic?
The initial couple of weeks went by with same strategy. And of course, same result. But something happened to my traffic at the end of 2nd week.
As you would notice, it just sky-rocketed relative to prior months. Of course, 300-400 visitors a day is not a big deal for people who have been blogging for a year. But for a blog in its third month, it was. After all, I got the same number of people in 2 days that I was earlier getting in a month. The dominant source for all this traffic is search (64% of traffic).
What changed – that led to increase in blog traffic?
What changed was that I watched a movie. Yes, a movie. My wife and I went for a bollywood movie called De De Pyaar De. While the movie is good and you should watch it, something interesting happened there. One of the shooting location in the movie was a beautiful resort somewhere in Himachal Pradesh, India. Both, my wife and I, being the travel buffs we are, were discussing which resort is that, after the movie. I went on Google right after the movie to search for it and was not able to find the result till around 10th page.
That is when it clicked me. If I write a post on this topic, then there is a good chance that I can take early mover advantage and get ranked high up on Google. And that is what happened. If you look at the screen shots below, this blog post of mine gets ranked 2nd on the first page for most of relevant search queries. And that too in 4-5 days after I made this post live. Following are the screenshots of my post link in Google search for different search queries:
My learnings and tricks to increase blog traffic
In summary, following are my key learnings and tricks to increase blog traffic.
- You are not unique – When I thought about the resort that was used as a shooting location in the movie described above, I thought. “yeah, that is just me. May be no one else wants to know”. How wrong was I. Remember the following thumb rule : “If you have thought about it, others have thought about it”. We, as humans, pride on our individuality and thinking that we are different. But we are more alike than we are different. What you are thinking, chances are someone else is also thinking the same or has thought about it. That is why you don’t see something being invented daily. Hence, if you think of something, go ahead and post about it. Chances are, people are looking for it.
- Be an early mover – This is in continuation of the above point. It is great to think of something and post it for people to find. But what is better is think of something and be among the first ones to post about it. Doing this, you can be fairly certain to rank high in the Google Search. The best way to do this is to keep yourself updated with current happenings. If you keep yourself updated, there will be a lot of opportunities of new content that will present themselves.
- Keep posting – Sometimes the post we think is the best, hardly gets any eyeballs. And the post which probably took us 5 minutes, gets hordes of people. That does not mean that you should post anything and everything. The idea is to keep posting about things that are relevant to the theme of your blog. Also, one post is not likely to continue driving traffic forever. I am sure that the traffic from the post I made on shooting location for a De de pyaar de, will reduce. The idea is to keep finding such material for short traffic boosts and to improve reputation on Google. But also post material that is around the fundamental idea of your blog.
- Don’t underestimate Social – Social traffic might just come for a short while, as long as your post is visible to people. However, it is still an important source of traffic especially when the blog is new. It is a great way to increase visibility of your blog and to get initial traffic that helps build some reputation with Google Search.
And that is it my friends. I would keep on posting my learnings as I learn new stuff about blogging. Till then, happy blogging.
Pro-tip: You can also use answerthepublic.com to find relevant keywords that people search for around your topic.