Blogs are awesome! They’re amazing for showcasing your brand, your expertise and pre-selling your audience on your products all at the same time.
But unfortunately for most bloggers, getting traffic is a difficult task.
The good news is that there is a way to get consistent traffic to your blog without having to pay for it.
I use a combination of SEO, social media and viral marketing to get traffic to my blogs and have boiled it down into a “blog traffic formula” – a “checklist” if you will, that I follow to set my blogs up for a steady flow of traffic.
So let’s dive into my 5-step formula for getting free traffic to your blog.
Enjoy this short post and if you get something out of it, please share this post with your Facebook and Twitter friends!
1. Publish highly relevant and interesting content… and do it often!
Firstly, for anyone to want to click and head to your blog in the first place, you need to have a draw-card. And that draw-card needs to be quality, educational and or entertaining content.
Readers don’t come to your blog just for fun, they want to learn something. And if you can entertain them at the same time, you’re really going to win them over. Publish content that gives your reader a ‘Secret’ or a leg up in whatever they’re trying to achieve.
The reason for publishing content regularly is to help you with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), because apparently, Google likes sites that publish often with fresh content. Also, if you have a following, they’ll expect new content on a regular basis also.
2. Write Blog Post Titles (Headlines) that Get The Click Without Using Clickbait
Before anyone even comes over to your blog, they’re going to see at least the title of your post. So, the title is 99.99% the deciding factor in whether or not they’ll click and come check out your post in the first place.
Your title needs to hook people like no-body’s business – just like a good headline does on a sales letter or on a newspaper. If it doesn’t grab their attention and pique their interest in about 3 seconds, you can pretty much kiss your chances of getting them to click good-bye.
So take some time to write a clever headline that sells your blog post, without it sounding too OTT (over the top).
You mean Clickbait? Well, there are various degrees on how clickbaity a headline is, so be careful when using anything that sounds like pure Clickbait.
3. Encourage readers to comment and share your post on Facebook and other Social sites.
Even if you have the world’s greatest “cat costume” article that every cat owner needs to read, you still need to encourage your readers to share your post. A simple line at the start or end with a ‘call to action’ will do the trick.
Something subtle, like…. “If you found my cat costume idea interesting, please share this page with your friends! I have social share buttons below so please use them! It only takes a second to share it!”
You want engagement on your blog post also, which goes towards social proof. More comments and more shares means the thought that “look at all the reactions to this post – it must be good!” is brewing in the minds of the reader. Nothing like a bit of social proof to get more people taking action.
4. Optimize your blog for the Search Engines.
Do the best on-page SEO optimization that is possible. Install the All-In-One-SEO plugin for your WP blog (or the Yoast seo plugin). They’re both free – but you only need one.
Use it to customize your Blog Title, Post Title, tags, keywords, and description for your posts. Don’t forget to use Custom permalinks too (which you’ll find in your WordPress settings).
Add ‘Alt’ tags to your images and rename the images to make them SEO friendly. It’s a few extra steps, but I know I love getting free traffic from Google, so it’s worth it.
Don’t stuff keywords into your title and blog post article. The ‘keyword density’ rule often changes, but I always make sure to include the keyword once in the blog post title and 2 to 3 times in the body of the article, and sprinkle some related keywords in there too.
A few more on-page SEO pointers not to turn a blind eye to are: page load speed, mobile responsive, SSL certificate, “About us” page, and Author reputation.
5. Get backlinks to your blog.
A.K.A. Off-page SEO. With the SEO ringmasters (Google) changing it’s rules more often than I change my underwear, it’s hard to keep up and stay compliant with the current rules about ‘backlinks’.
The general rule to follow is – backlinks still work and are important but you need quality backlinks. Junk (usually the ones you buy cheap) ones can harm your site and prevent it ranking in the search engines.
Some safe and easy ways to get backlinks to your blog posts is by posting them on your social pages like FB, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn etc. Another word for these kinds of backlinks is called “social signals”.
With a ‘social bookmarking’ service like Social Adr
you can get a lot of legit ‘social signal’ backlinks automated with a pro (paid) account.
Another way I like to get backlinks is to post comments on other people’s blogs and include my website URL or page url in the website field when I submit a comment.
There is a plugin called “CommentLuv
” (which may or may not be installed on this blog at the time of you reading this) which gives the commenter the chance to leave a backlink to their blog post or site or any url they like.
CommentLuv users understand that by having it on their blog, they’re inviting blog commenters
to their site to leave a backlink. This is beneficial for both ends. The blog owner gets a new visitor and a fresh comment, and the commenter gets a backlink.
You can find blogs in your niche with the Commentluv plugin installed by using a special search term such as one of these:
- Keyword + “CommentLuv is Enabled”
- Keyword + “KeywordLuv is Enabled”
- “Long Tail Keyword” +”CommentLuv is Enabled”
Doing that search (including the quotation marks) will return a handful of pages in your niche that will give you (potentially) guaranteed backlinks.
If that search doesn’t give you enough, here are some other search terms to use to find non-Commentluv blogs that allow comments.
“Add new comment” + “your keyword here”
“Leave a comment” + “your keyword here”
“Leave a reply” + “your keyword here”
“Post a comment” + “your keyword here”
Because the “Backlinks for SEO” rules are pretty stringent and change often, there are other factors to keep in mind when choosing blogs to target for backlinks. Factors such as PR (pagerank) – the site needs to have at least a PR1, avoiding sites considered to be in a ‘bad neighbourhood’ topics like adult (porn, viagra, sex products), gambling, casinos, escorts, online poker, etc.
Also if there are too many comments/links on the page already (2 pages of comments for blogs and 5 pages for forums), then it is a red flag and you should avoid them. There are a few other factors as well, but generally, you want to avoid poor quality (in the eyes of google) and irrelevant sites, and only go for high quality, relevant sites for your backlinks.
So, there you have it. That’s the basic ‘formula’ for getting traffic to my blogs. I could go into a whole lot more detail, but you probably don’t have 3 more hours to spare scrolling down this page!
The next thing is for you to take action! I recommend trying to check all the things off on this list for best results. Think of it like making a pizza – you need all the ingredients to make it zing!
Like this post? If my 5-step blog traffic formula has given you some ideas, please share this post with your friends so they can know this stuff too! Also, leave a comment and tell me your thoughts.