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Four Simple Traffic Strategies for a Post-Panda and -Penguin World

This guest post is by Lisa Angelettie.

For many years, there were bloggers who could follow a few basic SEO rules, publish a post, wait for Google to spider and rank it, and watch the traffic flow in.

In fact, many of these bloggers made a living primarily from the incoming traffic that Google sent them. All that rapidly and dramatically ended for many businesses after Google’s Panda and Penguin updates.

Did these bloggers commit an online business blunder? Absolutely. How many times have you heard that you should never depend on one source of traffic to your website? I know I’ve heard it about a million times over the years, but the reality is that a lot of bloggers don’t really know how to actively get traffic to their sites from other than the search engines.

Here are a few blog promotion essentials to get traffic flowing to your posts from a variety of sources and none of them have anything to do with search engines reliance.

1. Share posts on your social media networks

Bloggers have one big advantage that many business owners who started years ago don’t, and that’s the leverage of social media. After you’ve written and published your post, naturally, the very first thing you need to do is to announce that post to the folks in your social media networks. Remember, though, that if you write a post at 2am, you’ll want to wait to announce it to social media sites when your followers are most active.

The social sites that have been proven to generate traffic include: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Make sure that you have included social media sharing buttons on your blog, too—many bloggers still haven’t. WordPress now offers social media integration through their WordPress plugin Jetpack, you could use Wibiya’s social media sharing bar or try a variety of other free social media WordPress plugins available at WordPress.org.

One more note: I can’t talk about social media without talking about SEO. One can influence and improve the other.

Search engines like Google have been saying for a long time now that social signals matter when it comes to search rankings. So the more you build up your social influence with more tweets, more likes, more shares, and more pins of your content, the more likely Google is likely to view your content as authoritative and rank it accordingly. The Bing search engine now includes social influence ranking tool Klout in their social sidebar.

Bottom line: if you’ve been avoiding it or playing around with it, it’s time to get serious about becoming more social.

2. Announce posts to your circle of influence

This is a strategy that many bloggers avoid like the plague. One of the cool things about blogging is that you can write what you want, when you want, and try a lot of cool things on your blog without having to get anyone’s approval.

Unfortunately that “alone on an island” approach doesn’t work when it comes to getting actual readers to your blog. It takes a village to raise a blog!

Identify and build a circle of people who you can let know that your blog post is live and will share it with their lists and their social media communities. The circle doesn’t have to be big. Even if you only know two people, that will put your content in front of a lot more eyes than doing it all on your own. These could be friends who also blog, coaches you’ve worked with, or alliances you’ve made on social media.

To communicate with my circle of influence, I created a very small private group on Facebook, invited them to join, and now we announce each other’s articles there so we can easily share and link to them. There are also a few other more prominent bloggers who I send a personal email to and they share my content. One blogger recently mentioned me to his list which resulted in over 142 confirmed subscribers to my list over a 48 hour period. That’s great for one email!

Think of two people you could reach out to today and ask them would they be willing to enter a mutual blog promotion relationship. Most bloggers are going to say yes.

3. Promote posts on blogging communities

I use to think blogging communities were a waste of time. I was wrong. Many of the bloggers who are getting major traffic to their sites are very active in blogging communities and have been for a long time. These are the types of like-minded people that you want to meet and start building relationships with.

  • Promote their content on these communities.
  • Friend them on the communities.
  • Share their posts on social media.
  • Write guest posts for them.

When you do, you’ll begin to become a part of a “clique” of bloggers who support and champion each other.

Communities that are my favorites include BlogEngage.com, Bloggers.com, Inbound.org, FamousBloggers.net, Blokube.com and ViralContentBuzz.com.

4. Announce your posts to your list

The biggest ambassadors of my content are my email subscribers, but oddly enough, a lot of bloggers forget all about this. Some bloggers have tunnel vision and are only worried about “new traffic” coming to their sites, but an essential source of traffic to any blog is return visitors.

Return visitors clearly enjoy your content and are much more likely to give word-of-mouth referrals, share your content to their social networks, comment on your posts and act on any call to actions you may have included in your articles.

To get subscriber traffic, make sure that you offer ample opportunities and incentives for visitors to opt into your list: top of site, right sidebar, after posts, in guest posts, etc.

It’s also important to give subscribers more than one opportunity to read your posts. For example, I send out a newsletter that features one new article on my site at the top of the week, but then I send another email towards the end of the week giving a wrap up of all the articles that have been published on the blog in the last few days. This helps ensure that I get regular return visitor traffic to my site every week.

What are some of the blog promotion strategies you use to drive more traffic to your site? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Lisa Angelettie is a copywriting and content marketing strategist who teaches entrepreneurs how to make more money with web content. Download a copy of her free eBook Publishing Guide or visit her site for more tips like these.

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Comments

  1. Samuel says:

    Excellent article Lisa!

    That’s right. Our promotion is more than just getting traffic from Google.

    That is why it is important to invest time into your social media marketing.

    Do well on the social media sites today and you will do well :)

    Everything was good!

    • I agree, I really enjoyed this post.

    • mohit says:

      Yes,You are right Samuel,Social Media is most important and In my case my most of traffic is from the social media sites only and specially Facebook.

      • shubham says:

        Ohh…Mohit your most of traffic is from Facebook.Can you please share some tips with us to get more out from there.

    • One of the things I did @shubham was to publish an article and promote it in my general stream AND to specific groups in Facebook & LinkedIn, as well as promoting it to Twitter and Pinterest (if appropriate). I took a look at my statistics over the next 7 days to see where I saw the most traffic AND how long that traffic stuck around (checking my bounce rate, pages viewed, etc.) . Then I made the decision of which SM platform I would spend my energies on. You’d be surprised what site is sending you traffic – it may not be Facebook.

  2. Matt Brennan says:

    You’ve got to keep the people you know and network with in mind! Good post.

  3. Thanks for this article – it got me thinking about methods I hadn’t considered before – like blogging communities. I actually have had quite a bit of success with Youtube – I post weekly Tarot reading videos and Tarot deck reviews and I get most of my traffic from that. I also get a lot of traffic from facebook and other sources, but Youtube has been the best – its definitely worth trying, particularly if what you offer has a visual component to it.

    • I can see how YouTube would be a great traffic generator for Tarot reading. Like you said, any “visual” business should be leveraging the power of that traffic powerhouse! Thanks for reading Tarot Girl:)

  4. Eric says:

    This is a fantastic post, and I am taking some really good ideas. I must admit I really like the idea of a private facebook group of private network. I like that idea a lot!

    Also you have mentioned a few blog communities that I have not heard of yet so I will for be checking those out!

    thanks for sharing,

    Eric

    P.S. if you have an opening in your private group look me up! :)

    • Hi Eric,

      Thanks for reading today. Hmmm, I’ll keep you in mind when I think we’re ready to make the commitment of adding a few new members to our group:) Have an awesome year!

      Lisa

  5. Tawanna says:

    Great advice as always Lisa! (Sorry if this is a repeat but think my comment got erased). At any rate, my To Do List continues to expand from your useful articles. I especially like the advice on using private FB groups with like-minded reciprocating SM friends to help promote posts as well as the bit on sending a personal email to people of influence and the community suggestion as well. This is a concise and to-the-point post with easy tips that can be quickly implemented. Thanks again!

    • Thanks so much for taking the time out to read my articles Tawanna. I think the personal email has been one of the most powerful strategies that I’ve used that I could instantly measure and see results. Some people run from emails, but they are still very much a great way to build solid relationships on the web.

      Best,
      Lisa

  6. Gerald Weber says:

    Lisa,

    Thanks a million for the Viral Content buzz mention. We are always working to improve the platform and we have a lot of cool updates on the way. Please let us know if you have any suggestions to make the platform better.

    Thanks again! Sharing your post now! :-)

    • Hi Gerald,

      Viral Content Buzz is one of those communities that I kind of didn’t want to put in the article because I LOVE how folks there are like-minded, serious entrepreneurs. Not spammers. Sometimes I really want to keep the best stuff hidden for a while!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Lisa

  7. Will Peters says:

    Good advice. Especially the part about blog communities. I plan to try them out. Thanks.

  8. Krista says:

    I love this blog.
    I have a question. I’m in the middle of converting my website to wordpress. I also have a blogger blog that promotes my website.

    My plan was to import blogger to wordpress and then just move my website info into the pages in the same wordpress.
    Now I’m wondering if it is just best to leave the blogger blog abandoned so I continue to have all the links that point to my website.

    Once the website is switched to wordpress, I could just start blogging there and leave the blogger blog without new posts. What do you recommend? I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot.

    Thanks,
    Krista

  9. bbrian017 says:

    Hi Lisa, smashing post. I’m a huge fan of the social media sites you shared, being the owner of Blog Engage I wanted to personally thank you for adding our website into your recommendations. I’ve been working on the blog engage community now since 2007 and I really appreciate the mention. It’s great you think highly enough to mention us in your post, I’m honored.

  10. Jon @ Wibiya says:

    Lisa, great post and thank you for the shout out for Wibiya. We are always innovating and have a series of awesome updates coming over the next few weeks. We would love to connect and hear your ideas/feedback. Please feel free to be in touch!

    Sincerely,
    Jon

    • I can’t wait to see what’s in the pipeline for improving Wibiya Jon. I just love your intuitive social media bar. I highly recommend it.

  11. Michael Sato says:

    This is definitely one very helpful post Lisa! Thanks for your information about blogging communities. I don’t know much of them, so the sites you listed here are a great start.

  12. Andy says:

    Yep!
    That’s true!
    So, no deep SEO involve and still get more traffic!

  13. Been a long time member of Blog Engage and being this community also shares your articles on their Social Media so it’s a double win, since it reaches more audience across many networks. Don’t underestimate the value of +1′s on articles, they will help articles Rank higher for people in your networks and will no doubt give an advantage at some point. Google will favor their own rating/ranking system than others I think.

    • That’s a very good point Justin. I’m definitely not abandoning good SEO principles and common sense tells us that +1′s on articles will no doubt help our positioning in Google – I’m just urging folks to not depend on search engines as the sole traffic generator as many bloggers have in the past. Thank you so much for reading:)

  14. Rahul says:

    very nice tips to boost up traffic thanks for sharing..
    this tips are very helpful i will also apply on my blog

  15. Ehsan Ullah says:

    Nice strategies Lisa, I think that publishing a post and sharing it to some of your inactive social media accounts isn’t promotion. You have to have a big following in order to get traffic from social media and to have a big following, you’ve to follow some strategies that could be another long post.

    In my opinion, one of the best strategy to get loyal readers and visitors is to build relationship with other top bloggers in your niche who already has big following and readers and convince them to send traffic your way.

    • Hi Ehsan. No, sending out posts to inactive social media accounts would not be very fruitful at all. I hope that everyone reading this article gets that, and yes reaching out to other bloggers is critical in leapfrogging from obscurity to high visibility.

  16. Clint says:

    Social media today is INCREDIBLY easy to use, with the potential to be viral in attracting readers. One of my favorite strategies is to make a dedicated Facebook page for whatever I’m promoting and go for that as a main platform for allowing everyone to not only keep up to speed but share with their own networks. It’s a great way to create a dedicated community that ties into Twitter as well.

  17. Hi Lisa, great article! I need to start learning about social media markeing and applying all you have wrote about here.

    Do you offer blog posting services? I checked your website, but couldnt make out if you do a service where you will write for a blog (ongoing) and also do guest posts on behalf of that blog for other blogs?

    I am looking to hire someone like you for my project this year – let me know. Thanks again for a great article!

    • Hi John
      No, I do not ghost write for bloggers but I will write guest posts. Feel free to reach out to me via email. Thx for reading:)

  18. John says:

    Excellent tips, But i think you have forget about few main points that is unique content, Unique content will save you from Panda hit and if you want to save your website from penguin update then we must keep on changing the anchor text of our back links. More anchor text, then there are more chances to get save from penguin hit. :)

    • Well my post was about traffic generation rather than Seo and back linking strategies which I could spend another 1000 words on:) I hope that everyone even bothering to blog in this day and age is using unique, well written content and you’re right about varying anchor text – but again that’s another topic for another post. Thx for reading:)

  19. Michelle says:

    Weirdly, I’ve found social media sites haven’t worked for me for any of my websites so I stopped using them. When I did that, and spend the time I was wasting on social media sites linking to my sites actually WRITING more and better articles, views increased exponentially :)

    • Hey Michelle,
      Spending a ridiculous amount of time on social media, gathering tons of friends you don’t know, etc. is a complete waste of time. I hope that when people read this article that they get the whole “Circle of Influence” concept. It’s about selectivity. I carefully have selected and nurture certain relationships via email, social media, or through in person networking and simply lean on those relationships when it’s time to spread the word about an article I think I did an especially good job on. Of COURSE it goes without saying that first and foremost the content has to be worth reading and sharing. That’s what I’m all about! Thx so much for reading and contributing to the conversation:)

  20. Kelly Green says:

    Great article Lisa! When I started blogging my main goal was for Google ranking, but now there are so many other ways to generate traffic it’s easy to overlook. Thanks for the tips!

  21. Dean Saliba says:

    I’ve been promoting my posts on Facebook (500+ friends and a fan page over almost 600) and Twitter (almost 4000 followers) and I’m lucky if I get one person checking from those sites a month! I’m obviously doing something wrong. Does the time of day make a difference?

    • Hi Dean. There are so many factors when it comes to social media. First, it can be a numbers game and so as your network grows you will see more results Second, the quality of your content also matters. It has to “move” people enough to share it. Time of day can also make a difference. I have tested that and found my “sweet spot” but it is different for everyone. So you have to test that for yourself and figure out what time most of your network is online. Finally, don’t forget to “ask” for people to share your content. It’s funny how people forget that. You’d be surprised what people will do if you simply ask.

  22. Melissa Hall says:

    I have to agree 100% about social media posting. I made a fan page on Facebook and within hours had dozens of likes! Now I’m more motivated to post blog articles and keep everything up to date. Thanks for your great ideas.

  23. Nikki says:

    For those who aren’t seeing much return from social media, maybe try doing some hashtag research. At hashtags.org you can search keywords to see at what times of day they have the most Twitter activity. It’s also useful for determining which hashtags are most talked about, so you can add them to the tweets with links, and possibly be seen by more than your followers.

    Just a suggestion. :)

  24. Garima says:

    What an excellent post! SEO and SEM is constantly changing and evolving. One more point I want to say that any website’s strategy should not be to get only social media share, but make site social too. Keep site presence everywhere for example: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and any other social media site which is relevant to your niche.