21 clever ways to attract more readers and boost blog traffic this year

21 clever ways to attract more readers and boost blog traffic this year

Pssst…want to increase blog traffic?

If you have a website, chances are you spent some good money on it. Right?

And now you might be asking – how can I make this thing work better?

It’s like trying to work with a slow Internet connection: it’s sort of working, but also frustrating. Well, let’s fix that by looking at your blog.

Your blog is where your customers spend time. In fact, visitors to your site will spend anywhere from 300% to 1,000% more time on your blog pages, compared to anywhere else on your site.

It’s like any conference you attend. There might be a tradeshow or people selling from this stage of other conferences to sign up for. But, for any of those opportunities to have success, they first have to have people show up.

So, it makes sense that if you want more traffic to your site, you start with your blog.

In this post, we are sharing 21 ways to increase blog traffic. Today.

Some of these should be obvious (we wanted to get to 21, so we left them in), some might require a bit of technical help and many are super easy peasy. 

Let’s jump in…

  • Start with an audience Avatar
    • Who is your ideal reader? In marketing lingo “avatar” or customer profile defines your ideal customer, or multiple ideal customers and the problem you are helping to solve for them. For example, a financial planner might want to attract both individuals nearing retirement and couples who own a home in the local city who don’t have a retirement plan.
  • Discover topics your audience wants
    • Your audience – or target market – want to know you know them and you have a solution to their “problem.” If you are a financial planner, you can help them plan for retirement. If you are a relationship coach, it might be an article about using your phone when dining out. A good place to start is with questions your clients have asked you. Each question can be expanded into more blog topics as you build out your content calendar.
  • Refresh and republish old blog posts

    Look for blog posts that readers love to spend time on

    • Refreshing and republishing old blog posts is one of our favorite strategies for building more traffic. Those old posts are rich with search engine links and, done right, will outperform anything new that you publish. The trick here is to look for posts that have high “dwell time” (average time readers spend on the post) and to super-charge, the post with rich keywords, improved writing for smartphones and promoted links to your “revenue” pages. We can do this for you! Contact us today to learn how for about $3/day we can make this happen.
  • Start building your email list today
    • We talked about the importance of building your email list in this post. Your email list may become one of your most important assets. You own it, unlike any social media channels. And you can reach the InBoxes of your followers where those emails could be read even 3 weeks later (unlike a Tweet or Facebook update).
Those old posts are rich with search engine links and, done right, will outperform anything new that you publish. Click To Tweet
  • Do keyword research to focus your writing
    • Keywords are how organic searches (when someone searches the Internet for a solution, like “gardening supplies”) find you.
    • You can use keywords in your headline, subheadings and text copy. But stuffing keywords in just for the sake of SEO is bad form and makes your post less attractive and less likely to get shared.
    • Using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a great place to start to find long-tail (low competition, higher conversion) keywords. After that, include those phrases as a natural part of your writing.
  • Build your first Content Calendar
    • Your Content Calendar is like a map of where your blog content is taking your readers. You can create a simple spreadsheet of topics and dates or build your calendar in WordPress using the free Editorial Calendar plug-in.

Your Content Calendar is like a map of where your blog content is taking your readers. Click To Tweet

  • Write more often
The increase in publishing schedule increased our traffic

    • More content translates into more reasons to come to your site. At Blogworks we increased our publishing from two to four times per month and saw a nice spice in our traffic. You don’t always have to publish long-form articles. Options include a quick video, an infographic, book reviews, or just a quick thought.
  • Use guest posts on your site
    • A neat way to increase blog traffic and save time is to invite other experts to submit a guest post on your site. You get the content and your guest gets to promote their article – it’s a win/win – like this one from Lauren Sergy.
  • Write guest posts
    • While you have a guest writer for your blog you can use that time to write for other blogs. Your author’s bio can help you increase blog traffic. This is a great way to get exposure to bigger sites and to position yourself as an expert.
  • Keep readers on your posts longer
    • It’s great you are getting some readers to your blog, but are they sticking around? Readers who stay longer are more likely to share your post on social, write comments – even join your list. Use a writing style that encourages readers to keep scrolling and stick to one problem you can solve.
It’s great you are getting some readers to your blog, but are they sticking around? Click To Tweet
  • Learn to write amazing headlines
    • A great headline can attract more readers and intrigue them enough to stop scrolling and dig into your content. We recommend you write your headline last, but also write multiple headlines. In this article, we show you five ways to quickly discover that perfect head-turning headline.
  • Use Google Analytics to find hot posts and promote them more
    • Sometimes you need to lift the hood and have a look at the engine – in this case, we’re talking about that scary thing called Google Analytics. Once you know the basics, you’ll also know how to quickly pull out the information you need without getting lost in the weeds. One of our favorite stops is Behaviour > Overview this chart shows us our top traffic blog posts.
  • Add internal links to your revenue pages
    • Your blog should direct readers to your products and services. Just like a store showroom or trade show, you need to invite your visitors to learn how you can help them. A quick exercise is to review past blog posts and include more links to your “revenue” pages.

  • Regularly share your old articles on social media
    • Sometimes the old is new again – like with your older blog posts. Our favorite strategy is to regularly share the most popular posts on our social channels – regardless of how old they are. A quick visit to Google Analytics (#12) will show you which articles are pulling in the most traffic.
  • Promote your posts on Social Media
    • This should be a no brainer – you need to use your social channels to reach more readers. Your blog has everything you need to get attention: important topics, a catchy headline (right?) – even an attention-grabbing image. We recommend (we can do all of this for you) promoting your new article immediately but also continue to promote your most popular articles (like this one that we originally published in 2017.)
This should be a no brainer - you need to use your social channels to reach more readers. Click To Tweet
  • Install click-to-tweet
    • The old, manually-loaded “Click To Tweet” was a neat way to get readers to quickly fire off a tweet to point people to your post. But now there’s a better version, cleverly called Better Click To Tweet. This makes it easier for you to create the tweet as you load your new post into the WordPress editor…You might have noticed a few of those throughout this post.
    • Once the plugin is installed, a bluebird will appear in your editor menu bar. Highlight and copy the text you want to be tweeted, click the bird, paste the text where asked and you’re set.
  • Publish your article on LinkedIn
    • This is a no-brainer that can get you lots of attention. LinkedIn allows you to publish your article directly onto your profile. Once you have published your final post on your site, simply copy/paste the article onto LinkedIn. Remember to invite readers back to your site and to invite comments. Note you can only publish articles from your computer’s IP address (not from a VA or agency.)
  • Publish your article on Medium.com
    • Just like putting your blog articles on LinkedIn, Medium is a platform where you can easily reach a bigger audience. It only takes a few minutes to create your profile and to publish your first article. Be patient, you will need some time to attract your followers.
  • Add images, charts, infographics, and video to your blog

    • Depending on your topics and your audience, you might want to “dress up” your posts with more media content, like infographics, screenshots, illustrations, additional pictures – even video. Keep in mind that a large and growing percent of your audience will be reading your blog on their smartphone and heavy use of media content might affect their reading experience.
  • Include experts in your blog posts
    • A fun way to grow your community and to increase blog traffic is to invite experts to contribute to a blog post. This is often called a “roundup” post. The idea is pretty simple: come up with an interesting topic, reach out to experts for their comments, ideas or best practices, compile the article and then encourage your contributors to share the article.
  • Do something crazy
    • Sometimes you need to take a risk to get attention. Your blog is a great place to take a risk and test your market reaction. You could write about a topic your audience is worried about (like this post about boring content), or be a contrarian (like this post challenging the assumption that starting a business is a great idea.) or even poke fun at your readers for something they know they need to change (like this post about being a drama queen and procrastinating.) 

There you have it – 21 ways to spice up your website and increase blog traffic. Now it’s time to pick one and get started!

Enjoyed this post? Got another 5 minutes? Here are 3 more of our most popular posts all about writing blogs:

10 surprisingly simple tune-ups to make your blog sexy
5 brilliant ways to start your blog post with a bang
9 blog topic ideas your audience will love

Article Author

Hugh Culver

Speaker, author, athlete and founder of BlogWorks. I speak and write about getting stuff done and the art of growing younger.

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