Driving traffic to your blog

One of the biggest reasons so many new bloggers end up failing is because they start with a TON of enthusiasm…

“I’m going to write a blog post every day for 30 days and really start driving in traffic quickly!”

Don’t get me wrong, that initial burst of excitement and drive is encouraged… but it needs to be harnessed and used in the right way.

If you want readers to consistently come back to your blog, you need to give them a reason to.

Consistency is one of the least celebrated, yet most important aspects of starting a successful blog. And that doesn’t mean you need to commit to a lofty goal like publishing every single day your first month.

Being consistent starts with setting realistic goals that you can reliably expect yourself to deliver on each day, week, month.

And there are a couple reasons why consistency is key. Writing consistently:

  1. Sets expectations with your readers: People know when to come back and check out your blog and will check in regularly for new content.
  2. Sets expectations with yourself: It can be easy to get out of the habit of publishing regularly if you miss a couple days. However, if you decide on and commit to a schedule, you know when you have to publish. We all do better with a few deadlines in our lives.

Not only this, but publishing consistently helps you test and understand what types of content work with your readers.

You might have a ton of ideas and enthusiasm, but over-committing is the easiest way to kill both of those.

Instead, you should commit to the minimum amount you want to publish—say once or twice a week—and stick to that religiously.

If you can’t write a 1000-word post every week then write a 500-word post instead. Just make sure you’re consistent.

If you want to dive into the next lesson of the course without waiting until tomorrow… at the bottom of this email, there’s a link you can click on that’ll accelerate you up to tomorrow’s lesson right away.

4 proven ways to drive blog traffic and attract your first 1,000 readers.

But there’s one last piece of the puzzle that hardly any other bloggers openly talk about: Promotion.

What do you do once you’ve hit publish? How do you actually get to that elusive first 1,000 readers?

Well, this is the exact reason I’m hired by top brands—to not only write in-depth content for their blogs, but to teach them how to promote their content and drive new readers.

So you’ve launched a blog… How do you drive traffic now?

It’s a question I hear time and time again. And it’s one that separates the great blogs from the ones that are only read by your mom and a few spam bots. If you’re looking to drive traffic and build a successful business from your blog, you need to know how to promote your posts. In fact, I’m a strong believer that you should spend as much time promoting a post as writing it.

Here are a few of the best ways to start sharing your posts and getting in front of new readers.

1. Social media

The obvious first place to turn to is social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, Instagram, Snapchat. Whichever platform best suits your niche and your audience is the right one for you. And that’s an important note.

There’s no point in trying to promote your blog posts on every social media platform.

Instead, look for the ones that give you the best return… which may require some experimentation.

The key thing here is to experiment and see what works for you.

Each social network naturally appeals to a certain niche and a certain type of reader. This is a pretty broad statement, but generally speaking, here’s what works best on each social platform:

  • Facebook: Videos and curated content
  • Instagram: High-res photos, quotes, and Stories
  • Twitter: News, blog posts, and GIFs
  • LinkedIn: Professional content and career news
  • Pinterest: Infographics, step-by-step photo guides, visual content
  • Reddit: Comments about topics in your niche

It’s a lot. But luckily there are lots of tools that can help you manage your social media posts throughout the week.

In fact, with the right tool, you should be able to promote all your posts across social in just an hour or two a week. Here are my favorites:

  • Buffer: One of the easiest ways to schedule social shares in advance for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Their browser plug-in is also great for quickly adding interesting posts you find to your social promotion queue.
  • Hootsuite: If you want something a bit more in-depth, Hootsuite is a powerful social sharing, scheduling, and monitoring platform. It’s probably a bit too much for a beginner blogger, but is a worthwhile option to check out once you start to grow.
  • Gain App: If you work with multiple people on your blog, Gain is a great tool for collaborating and controlling who posts what from your account. It’s a bit more expensive, but their workflows can save you a ton of time.

2. Forums and message boards

Sometimes just throwing your ideas out into the social media void isn’t worth it.

Instead, being a part of targeted forums and online communities can give you a way better return on your time. If you find the right ones… Look for a topically relevant group to join.

For example, if you’re starting a business or entrepreneurial blog, you might want to try posting your blogs to:

Facebook Groups (Entrepreneurial):

  • Freedom Hackers Mastermind (39,000+ members)
  • The Smart Passive Income Community (28,000+ members)
  • The Joyful Entrepreneur (37,000+ members)
  • Heart-centered, soul driven entrepreneurs (16,000+ members)
  • Coaches, Authors, Entrepreneurs (13,000+ members)
  • Women’s Entrepreneur Network (32,000+ members, women only)
  • Super Hero Entrepreneurs (10,000+ members)

LinkedIn Groups (Entrepreneurial):

  • On Startups (626,000+ members)
  • Future Trends (474,000+ members)
  • I love Startups (248,000+ members)
  • Entrepreneur’s Network (33,000+ members)
  • Band of Entrepreneurs (26,000+ members)

Reddit Sub-Channels:

  • r/SideProject
  • r/Entrepreneur
  • r/Startups
  • r/BusinessHub
  • r/MutualCollaboration

Remember though, these aren’t just places to dump links to your blog posts.

You need to provide value before you ask for anything in return. So start by building relationships and engaging with people there.

You never know, you might come up with some great blog ideas in the process.

3. Guest posts and blogging on sites like Medium, Quora, Linkedin, and others

One of the best things about starting a blog of your own, is that bloggers love to help each other out. And guest posting on other relevant blogs is one of the best ways to connect with an already established audience.

For starters… try reposting your blog posts on Medium—a site that’s free to use for readers and writers.

You can even look for a Medium Publication that’s popular in your niche and submit your post to them, thus surfacing your content to thousands (in some cases millions) of readers. There’s also Quora—a question and answer site that lets anyone respond to user’s queries.

Lastly, if you’re more business-oriented in your blog posts, you might want to post them on LinkedIn.

The key point to all of this is that you want to look for places where your audience is and be there.

Whether that’s other blogs, communities, or social platforms.

4. Using an email newsletter to grow your audience

One of the best forms of promotion for your blog isn’t to other audiences, but rather to your own (once you’ve built one, that is).

An email newsletter is probably the most powerful way to keep readers engaged and excited about the work you’re doing and one of the things you should set up as soon as you start your blog.

I don’t want to spend much time on it right now, since you probably don’t have an email list today, but it should be a key focus in the long-term with your blog.

Building your email list is relatively easy once you have regular traffic coming in.

Simply put a signup form in your posts and across your site, offering special content for people in return for their email address.

If you have a blog post about how to book cheap travel to Europe, create a free checklist, book, guide or course people can get to help with their packing or planning, in return for giving you their email address.

With my blog, I use the incredible email marketing tool, ConvertKit to manage the 50,000+ subscribers on my blog.

I send my community an update whenever I post a new blog post, have a resource I want to share, or when new podcast episodes go live—and this now ensures my content will quickly be seen by thousands of people right off the bat.

This has by far been the biggest driver of growth and revenue for my blog, and something I can’t suggest enough.

Bonus: 4 more creative (proven) ways to grow your blog’s traffic

Outside of promotion on social and email, guest posting, and joining communities… there are a few other techniques I’ve personally used to grow my blog audience very quickly:

  • Interview people in your niche: There’s nothing better than learning from famous people in your niche. Not only does interviewing them help you build a relationship, but other people reading your blog want to hear from them. You can use these interviews for blog posts or even start a podcast like I did with The Side Hustle Project.
  • Network with other bloggers or mention their blogs: Early on, you want to get on other people’s radars. And one of the best ways to do that is to mention other relevant bloggers and blog posts on yours. For Austin Belack, founder of Cultivated Culture, that meant linking out to relevant blog posts and then emailing the blogger and saying “Hey! I mentioned you in my most recent article. If you think it’s worthy of a share, I’d really appreciate it. But if not, I’m happy to keep sharing yours.” This drove the initial 50,000 to 60,000 readers to his blog.
  • Talk to people about what you’re doing: It might seem too simple, but tell the people around you what you’re doing. Get excited about your blog and share the things you’re working on. As Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking told me: “Maybe it’s just your friends reading you to start, but you should be responding to every comment and going out and commenting on other blogs. This is essentially your industry and these are your coworkers.”
  • Learn from other top bloggers: If you don’t feel ready to connect with other bloggers in your space, at least try to learn from what they’re doing. For Silas Moser, one half of Chasing Foxes told me, you should study people who are good at what you’re doing: “Look at what works for them and see how you can use it. So many people told us ‘you could never make money from a blog.’ But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are tons of successful bloggers out there that you can learn from and see what they’ve done and apply that to your niche.”

What it all boils down to is being excited and engaged with your content.

If you want people to read what you’re writing you need to give them a reason to. Write exciting content, connect with people in your space, and enthusiastically share what you’re working on.

content courtesy to Ryan Robinson

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