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5 Actionable Tips to Grow Your Blog’s Traffic

This is a guest contribution from Scott Purcell, co-founder of Man of Many.

People often speak in very broad terms when giving tips or suggestions to improve blog traffic.

We may hear unspecified suggestions, such as: “be active on social networks” or “partner with other blogs”.  If you are attempting to launch a new blog it is likely to prove difficult and frustrating putting these things into practice, and all too often with limited success if not implemented properly.

One of the reasons I believe the 30 Days to a Better Blog is so successful is that it gives you clear, actionable and step by step advice regarding WHAT TO DO.

It seems that it’s all too rare these days.

So while the five tips below may not be a set formula that works for everyone, at the very least we hope they give you some ideas or inspiration to use on your own site. These steps below helped us grow our blog Man of Many from zero to over 100,000 page views in only three months.

Let’s jump in.

1. Participate in Group Boards on Pinterest

Images are vital to our blog. Typically it is the visual imagery rather than the descriptions or written content that attracts visitors to Man of Many. Consequently, obtaining maximum reach with images of our feature products via social networks is essential to generating hype around our blog and reaching as broad an audience as possible.

Everyone knows Pinterest is absolutely golden for bringing in traffic, but it can often prove difficult to build up a following in initial stages of usage.

If you Google “Group Pinterest Boards” you are bound to find a few Group Boards related to your blog or niche. These Group Boards are a great way to share your posts with a targeted demographic, rather than simply starting from zero with your own board. Group Boards can often already have a large following (usually 1,000+ people) which can provide an excellent starting point for generating interest.

Usually the page description will contain an email address for you to contact if you would like to contribute. Alternatively just leave a comment on one of the pins requesting that someone invite you.

Steps

  1. Google “Group Pinterest Boards” or go to http://www.pinterest.com/pingroupboard/
  2. Press Ctrl+F and search for keywords on the page related to your niche.
  3. Contact the Group Board owners to request to contribute.
  4. Share your content with a new community.

Pros

  • Easy and quick to implement.
  • The audience fits perfectly in your niche and is hyper-targeted.

Cons

  • Your pins can be drowned out by others if the board is active.

 Alternatives

  • Start Group Board of your own and ask others to contribute

2. Automate Your Social Network Sharing

A big problem people many face is the significant amount of time it takes to individually upload an image, write a title and share the post on all of the social media networks you may wish to utilise (of which there are many!).

To simplify this process, we have been using a free WordPress add-on called NextScripts Social Network Auto-Poster. As soon as each post is uploaded via WordPress, this tool automatically shares the featured image (or whatever content you like) with your social networks.

The plug-in can publish nicely formatted messages to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogger, LiveJournal, Delicious, Diigo, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Plurk, VKontakte, WordPress, and Tumblr accounts.  You can even customise the accompanying description, links to your page or title and even set a delay to sharing on your social media accounts. Best yet, there’s no annoying “Shared via NextScripts.com” or “Posted by SNAP for WordPress” messages as the posts will be 100% white-labelled and come directly from your own account.

**EXTRA HINT** Nextscripts can be used to share your content with Group Pinterest Boards as well but requires a Pro Account (see point #1 above).

Steps

  1. Go to Nextscripts and follow the clear and well laid out instructions here: http://www.nextscripts.com/installation-of-social-networks-auto-poster-for-wordpress/
  2. Customise how you want your posts to be shared using the plug-in. Think about if you want a Title? URL? Image? Tagline?

Pros

  • Hugely time saving and efficient to achieve maximum social reach with your posts.
  • Very little maintenance required once set up properly.
  • Extra options to set delayed, random or repeat postings.

Cons

  • Less personal than well crafted and unique posts.
  • Posting to Pinterest and Google+ requires a pro account.

 Alternatives

3. Set up Profiles on other “Product Sites” and Upload your Content

A lot of our traffic comes from other “product or sharing sites” that are very similar to Pinterest. You can simply set up profiles on each of them and usually include a URL (+1 for link-building!), and share your posts or use them as a place for research and inspiration.

Examples of such sites (in order of traffic generation for Man of Many) are: Svpply, Tapiture, Gentlemint, The Fancy, Allmyfaves, Springpad, Punchpin, Manteresting, Stasham, Storemate, WeHeartIt, Wanelo, Polyvore, Lyst, Sumally, Gimmebar, Nuji, Lookk, Likabl.es, SocialBro… and the list goes on (do some googling for your niche!)

Steps

  1. Go to one (or all!) of the URLs mentioned above.
  2. Register your profile. Make sure to include your logo, URL, description etc.
  3. Install the Bookmarklet. Most of these sites will have a bookmarklet that you can easily drag up to your bookmarks bar in Chrome or Firefox in order to easily share your posts. I keep all of mine in one bookmarks folder.
  4. Go through each of your blog posts and click on the bookmarklet to share your content.

 Pros

  • Allows you to share your content with an entirely new and broad audience.
  • Extra opportunity to share your brand/logo/URL on your profile page and provide an in-bound link.

Cons

  • A lot of these sites tend to be very product or fashion focused.
  • Can be time consuming and difficult to build an audience unless you remain active.
  • Certain sites require extra info like price/colour or categories which can get annoying

**HINT** Open your posts up in a few tabs and use Ctrl+Tab to work through them quickly with repetitive tasks or clicking.

Alternatives

  • Fiverr / AirTasker / Task Rabbit / Amazon Mechanical Turk – Get someone to share your content on these networks or other for you (at a cost)
  • Search for other social networks or forums related to your niche.
  • Got a spare PowerPoint, PDF or Keynote slidedeck lying around? Why not upload it to Slideshare with a few links back to your target site.

4. Share your Competitions with other Comp Aggregators

When you run a competition on your blog, make sure you do not just share it with your Facebook followers or social networks. Sharing it with a wider community via Competition Aggregator sites can be an excellent way of pulling in some extra traffic to your blog.

There are veritable smorgasbords of them online where you can submit your competition and include a backlink to your site.

Steps

  1. Set up your competition page and make sure you have a set of Terms and Conditions (these can easily be amended from other blogs running similar giveaways).
  2. Simply Google “online competitions”
  3. Check out some sites where you can register
  4. Share your competition URL with the site and make sure to include appropriate descriptions, links to the T&C’s or any extra information.
  5. It does not hurt to also tweet a link to this page as well as the post itself.

Pros

  • Competitions, if done correctly, can be used to build engagement with your site (comments, sharing, collaboration)
  • Many brands will be willing to do a giveaway for free in return for promoting their product.

Cons

  • Certain countries may have different laws/regulations when it comes to running competitions.

5. Submit Your Blog to Startup Review Sites or other Blog Directories

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” – Jay-Z, ‘Diamonds From Sierra Leone’.

Just because you run a personal or part-time blog, it doesn’t mean it can’t be thought of as a business.

A lot of people are unsure where to start with promoting their blog other than sending it to their friends and family. We initially focused promoting Man of Many on other fashion blogs or related sites, but it often proved difficult partnering with them, having such a small following in the early stages.

A beneficial alternative we discovered was although we were not your typical “start-up”, many entrepreneurial sites and directories were willing to cover us, or at least allow us to submit a profile which was critical to building sustainable traffic and SEO.

Steps

  1. Prepare written information on your blog in a word document so that it is easily accessible to copy over when you are signing up to directories. This will include the usual information like Name of Company, Site, Address etc, but you will also need a short description (or tagline), a longer description and answers to questions like who is your ideal customer or what makes you unique? While it might take a bit of time in the first instance, it will be a thousand times easier to copy it over than type it out each and every time you are submitting your site.
  2. Prepare an image file containing logos, screenshots, and author profile pictures and keep it updated.
  3. Work your way through this list of sites to submit your blog to: http://productivewebapps.com/blog/list-of-places-to-submit-and-promote-your-startup-or-site/ (Disclosure: I also wrote this article).
  4. Register to the sites and copy over the appropriate information for your profile.
  5. Once it is posted it is always nice to share or tweet out a link to the profile as a thank you.

 Pros

  • Extra opportunity to market your brand/logo/URL and provide an in-bound link.

Cons

  • A lot of these Startup or Directory sites tend to be very tech focused.
  • Can be time consuming working through the list.
  • Not all sites will accept your submission.
  • Certain sites charge for submission but most are free.

Alternatives

  • Many companies that will perform SEO and directory submissions services for you but they often prove very expensive.
  • For $47 Submit Your Startup will submit your site to over 30 of these for you (No affiliation).

Conclusion

One thing to note with all of the tips listed above; none of them will work if your content is not of the highest standard, engaging, exciting or useful to readers.

In the blogging business Content Is King and there is little point in sharing your content with people unless you have something of value to offer in a flooded market.

So over to you, share your best actionable tips in the comments below with step by steps (if you can!) or let us know if you found the tips/ideas helpful.

Scott Purcell is the co-founder and fashion editor of Man of Many (manofmany.com). Man of Many is a men’s lifestyle and product review website dedicated to showcasing the latest in men’s products, culture and style.

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Comments

  1. Stephan says:

    Very nice tips that you have here.
    I think Pinterest can be considered a best strategy, you can make a lot of relationships here and find your potential clients also.
    thanks for your sharing.

    stephan

  2. Susan says:

    I just loved this post, I think all the points except point 4 and 5 is easily doable. Infact I have done Pinterest part already. Social Network Sharing point is just awesome, It usually take 2 hours of time for just sharing blog post on multiple social networking sites. Could you please elaborate more on “Share your Competitions with other Comp Aggregators”

  3. Pavel says:

    Good post. Actually, automated sharing is not something new, rather must, but it’s good to single out Pinterest groups, usually it’s not considered as the main source of new traffic. The disadvatage of this method that in some countries Pinterest is yet to reach the positions it has in the USA like in Russia and some other countries of the region.

  4. Dare says:

    I know of a start up blogger, who achieved an organic Google traffic of 6,670 in two months and an Alexa rank of 4 within 4 months.

    One of the strategy he employed was using buffer to automate his shares to social networking sites and he also became active on blog networks, community with similar niche.

    In addition, its important to include Guest posting and professional blog commenting as strategies needed.

    • You’re entirely right Dare, I think it’s important when guest posting to focus on equipping your target market with useful content. It’s key to creating a community of new readers/customers.

    • Shawn says:

      Well said

  5. Vukasin says:

    Great tips. I’m glad that Problogger is actually giving step by step guides and tips. I’m following this blog for quite long and I simply can’t tell one bad word for it.

  6. I had to bookmark this! I love how you laid out the steps so they are easy to follow.I just started using images and its true a picture is really worth a thousand words.Thanks for the automate tips I have been looking everywhere for those

  7. Oh wow! There’s plenty of new tricks and tips to learn from this post that I’ll have to bookmark this and try it out later on

    I was expecting the usual boring tips of A, B, C that I’ve read hundreds of times elsewhere but these are golden :)

    I’m only sharing to Twitter + Facebook at the moment but I should spend more time trying to share and try out elsewhere. Pinterest didn’t hit me (probably because there’s not much interest there for tech-focused pictures)

  8. These are unique and interesting tips for increasing traffic to my blog, thanks for sharing!

  9. Troy Spro says:

    Thanks for that Scott.

    Food for thought for me on many things, especially to automate part of my posting processes to free up more time for writing.

    Between your ideas and a few others from Darren’s last posts I won’t be having much free time over the weekend!

    I guess that’s why we keep on coming back here to Problogger, thanks again.

  10. K Roy says:

    Thanks for this great article and this article help us to getting better rank in Google and increases website traffic.

  11. Josh says:

    Nice job here. I need help with Pinterest. I keep putting it off. I keep hearing that it is a good tool, and I do have an account, but never actually use it. I need a good kick in the pants to get me going.

    I’m going to bookmark this and come back to it when I have more time (with the kiddos today, and they are beating on each other something fierce!).

    Thanks,

    Josh

  12. I’m really motivated by this post. Thanks for sharing this..

  13. Edson Hale says:

    Our attitude also counts a lot to bring traffic on our blog. In may case I simply visit Q&A sites once in a week and reply the questions related to my niche as much simply and as much to the point as possible to impress the questioners. In return I find most of them visiting my blog. But their number is not as much huge as you from the five actionable tips you mentioned here. Obviously they can bring awesome results if we follow your guidelines and give time to do it.

  14. Gavriel says:

    Some interesting ideas to build traffic. I could definitely use that! Thanks :)

  15. Salman says:

    Excellent tips … I have found that participating in pinterest group boards and setting up profiles on other product sites very useful.

    Thanks for the share!

  16. Nadine says:

    This is pretty perfect timing. I’m about to launch a Guest Blogging contest and didn’t know how to advertise it. The only plan I had in mind was to put something up on Odesk and Freelancer.

  17. Steve says:

    This is what we call great information for start-up bloggers and looking for traffic. And also once can get quality backlinks with these methods… So one of the good way to start a blog and promotion via this method!

  18. Lakhyajyoti says:

    Long and interesting post. Learn several new things from the post. Surely I’ll submit my blog to various startup review sites. Thanks for the share.

  19. I just loved this post. Realy nice and informative article. Superb job :)

    Thanks for sharing among us

  20. Tom says:

    I connect with 5-10 people a day on facebook who are struggling with some of the programs I’m involved with. Will spend some time asking questions, and direct them to answers that I either wrote myself (blog) or direct them to a resource.

    Once I’ve built up some rapport, I’ll invite them to look my fan page, where they get links to more resources–primarily driving them back to my blog.

  21. Carlos says:

    Great information! Thanks… I didn´t know there are pinterest group boards! I´ll go check them out! Although my blog is mor information oriented than image oriented…but gonna check it out anyway…Thanks.

  22. dojo says:

    All great ways to drive more traffic. I’d also add: get involved into the other blogs’ comments section. There’s a lot of good quality traffic to be had, not to mention you’re an active member of the blogosphere.

  23. David says:

    Great post. I am already experiencing varying amounts of success in increasing the traffic on my blog and by implementing these tips I hope to further increase my blog’s readership.

  24. Ryan says:

    I have to say that RSS feeds are a bit confusing these days. Simply because there are so many, and so many abandoned. It’s hard to measure whether or not they are useful, especially if you’re blog is young. I think nothing will pay off better than interacting with your community. The community that is built around an already existing niche. Where you can share ideas, contribute, learn a lot, and best of all naturally grow and find your place amongst your community.

    The content syndication definitely makes life easier than having to post a link on every website you intend to share your latest materials.

    One should also engage their email subscribers, however possible, on a personal level.

    For example: If you’re list is young you can send emails directly from your personal account or just write personally crafted emails. Upon reaching a level that is too populated, perhaps try to answer as many queries as possible directly.

    Anytime you use a personal touch you blog will benefit exponentially!

    Ryan

  25. Hello Scott, how are you?

    Option 1: wow I am surprise pinterest came first in your list, that makes me feel I should invest some effort on pinterest. Option 5: I think its ideal to submit to start up sites, but may I ask a question please? Can one submit a blog to the sites on the link you gave, or its just app and websites only? Thank you.

    Regards,
    Emmanuel Obarhua

  26. What a great compilation! I didn’t know Pinterest had group boards now, and the idea about automating sharing of posts through social networks is great. I don’t have much time to post about new updates in my blog, and through that app, it can save me a lot of time.

  27. Hi,
    I have a decent number of followers in my Pinterest profile but never took it as a source for building traffic. Thanks for the awesome tips. Will definitely try to follow them.

  28. Yeah!! Social Network helps us to Take huge traffic on your blog.

    and this helps to Famous you Brand in Public, this also helps to do publicity.

    but dear i saw that google Adsense does’nt wants more over traffic from Facebook.

    m’i right ?

  29. Lisa Mills says:

    Awesome post and chock full of great stuff! I definitely have plenty to add to my to-do list this week! The WordPress plugin sounds like exactly what I’ve been looking for. I spend way too much time individually posting to social media sites.

  30. Thanks for an excellent article. I never thought of pinterest group boards. I will definitely try that. I have personally found traffic from youtube to be very reliable in terms of conversion rates and bounce rates. It is by far better than the traffic I get from search engines. One just needs to take advantage of the various tools that youtube provides such as adding annotations to encourage viewers to click your links.

  31. Great post… However, I tend to stay away from blog directory submissions and automated posting features. Directories are really a thing of the past. They used to be searched by humans but then they turned into quick ways to get a back link. Nowadays, they are not as needed. Google doesn’t even use DMOZ anymore so that should say quite a bit about the future of directories. Automated posting is easy and can help with time management…however, like you said, it isn’t very personal. If this blog article auto-posted on Facebook, chances are it would say “5 Actionable Tips to Grow Your Blog’s Traffic” and then the link to the article. That is fine but, wouldn’t this look better? “What actionable methods do you use to grow your blog’s traffic?” and then the link to the post. However, I use automated posting though I try not to but I also make sure I socially ask questions as well to mix things up and keep it real. Thanks for writing this great article… :)

    • This couldn’t be more true Shawn. The great thing about the plugin is that you can edit the text you’d share on Facebook directly from the wordpress interface. It appears directly below on the Edit Post page and you’re free to change the comments and personalize them as you’d like. It would hopefully still save a lot of time rather than individually visiting the sites themselves. I guess it depends on what you are going for on your blog. Glad you found it helpful!

  32. Gokhan says:

    At last what you have mentioned in your conclusion is the real key. Quality content is very important. It has to appeal the audience in order the readers to be interested. And especially the title and the beginning of the text should really be attractive in order to keep the reader to read all of it. Including your key clues at the very beginning, will interest the reader more, and you will be able to transfer the information what you want the readers to catch, after they have read it all.

  33. These are some nice tips and I’m always looking for other ways to promote my blog more. Yes, I do agree that content is king. If you’re not offering any value then you blog is not going to get the amount of traffic you want.

    I’ve been blogging every other day, sharing tid bits on how to grow your blog. Now I want to focus on really making each post more valuable by blogging once a week, and start focusing more on promoting it. Right now I use buffer, networkedblog, and tweetfeeder to help promote my blog. I also share my work in facebook groups and I plan on getting back into promoting on different blogging sites like BlogEngage, Blokube, and Bizsugar. These extra tidbits on this post gives me more options. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Excellent post. I agree with all your points of getting and increase blog traffic. Pinterest, Stumbleupon and some other Social networks are really powerful to get a lot of visitors.
    I believe that you can increase your blog traffic easily by working on Social Media and Search engine optimization. It is free of traffic.
    Thanks a lot for great post :)

    Howard

  35. Himanshu says:

    Very nice tips..
    I already know about Pinterest group board but don’t know how to join them… As per your link, I will find my niche related group and join it to promote my blog content..
    In last 3 months, I have already did lots of hard work on my blog.. And got 25000 Alexa rank within 3 months.. It’s an achievement for me.

    I have already organized 3 giveaways on my blog but not got such a great audience for it which I expected.. I will follow your tips to increase my blog traffic.

  36. Ankita says:

    Interlinking is important to decrease the bounce rate of blog. You can also embed videos so that visitors stay more time on you blog. These tricks can increase the page views and SMO is also one of the best way to grow traffic of your blog.

  37. Paul says:

    Great info, thanks for the great work

  38. Adeel Qamar says:

    Really nice and effective tips to get more traffic.I have used dlvr.it and Twiiterfeed for automation of social media sharing. I think that every body should use social media at its first preferences as Search engines are mostly relying on social media statistics.

  39. Trust says:

    Great blog post.

    I it’s a new way to reach to your target audience, I will use your tips for my blogs.

    Thanks

  40. Mimmo says:

    Hi Scott,

    I’m a huge fan of ProBlogger.net and this post Scott. Thanks for the intel. The social sharing is the plugin I’m going after first. Then I will test out the rest. Hope you come back with more guest posts.

  41. Hello there! I simply want to offer you a big thumbs up for the excellent info you have right here on this post. I am coming back to your website for more soon.

  42. Conner says:

    Google complicated it penalties everywhere !!!

  43. Mody says:

    Social media are the new backlinks !!!!!!

  44. Arthur Burlo says:

    These are what I call actionable tips! Getting traffic, as far as I am concerned, is the toughest part of running a blog. Anything else, I think I have mastered very decently.

    I am going to start implementing this strategy right away and share the results soon. There is one statement in the article that struck me though: There is no point in sharing poor-quality content. To which I add, that there is no point even in sharing high-quality content no one is interested in.

    Before implementing these strategies, some research into the demographics of the targeted audience could be useful too and yield better results.

  45. Béatrice says:

    For the first tip, how do you contact the owner of the group? Also, very interesting post!

  46. Nicole Webb says:

    Thanks so much for this Darren. Really useful information, especially tip # 5 and listing all of the potential sites. I am already on a few but have made it my mission to sign up to one a day.
    Cheers,
    Nicole
    PS Love all of your posts… always extremely helpful for a newbie ‘non-techy’ blogger like myself. ;)

  47. Nikhil says:

    Really ! Difficult to believe that we can get big traffic from pinterest
    Usually my Traffic comes from Facebook groups ! I joined big groups in my niche and posted regularly in them . I noticed that i started getting friend requests from people in those groups .
    This way , I established a loyal readership for my blog

  48. Nathan Brook says:

    Your article is so good and your all information is very interesting and helpful for newbie blogger. I am also newbie blogger. Thank for sharing this article

  49. Lucy Brown says:

    Great information for start-up bloggers like me who are feeling low and looking for traffic badly. Thanks