A few ways that helped kick-start my blog to actually grow traffic and bring in a consistent income.

5 ways to increase and grow blog traffic

In the last year, I’ll just tell you, I have been pounding the pavement… I spent a year pretending to be a food blogger. I got better at food photography, and I gained a few pounds, but the traffic was creepin. Just a slow grow and though I had lots of recipes take off on pinterest, I still just didn’t see the huge growth that I know some of my other blog friends had seen in a short amount of time.

I also realized that I wasn’t made to post about ONLY food. My brain, and weight, couldn’t take the pressure to make something incredible all the time. I still cook and bake a lot, but I have less patience with 2 kids to stop and photograph every one of them. And I’m more than ok with the pace I’m on now. The blog world USED to be about creating a specific niche so your followers would know what to expect, and back when people checked specific blogs daily, that made lots of sense. Now, every blogger will tell you that 80% of their traffic is from Pinterest. It just is. And then maybe Facebook, and THEN maybe from random checkers or google searches. And different content will do well on different platforms. This means, your content needs to be SEO optimized even MORE than the need for you to be cornered into only posting about this or that. It doesn’t hurt of course because you will also need to grow a newsletter audience, and THOSE readers DO appreciate some consistency, but in general, most of your traffic is coming from a link they saw elsewhere.

The following are the things that actually helped me to grow, significantly. If you are looking to increase your blog traffic and see some growth on your site, here’s a few things I’d recommend you do:

1} Just sign up for BoardBooster. It’s literally the #1 change that changed everything for me. I will be creating a tutorial or two for you on how to use it, but before any of that, just trust me, and check it out. It’s insane what you can do on that simple web application. Now, it helps to have very pinnable content. My girl Jen from Carlsbad Cravings taught me about this. She’s got herself over 1.3 million monthly page views. {In the 15ish months she’s been blogging} It helps to have amazing food and photography like she does, but even for me who has a few great shots and some BP {before photography days}, it still nearly doubled my views and saved me HOURS of time.

Along with Board Booster, you HAVE to be submitting your content to multiple group boards. Pinning and pinning to your own boards, even with a decent following, is just not going to cut it. Your content needs to get in front of new eyes and DIFFERENT followers to get traction and see lots of repins and click-throughs. I use pingroupie.com to help find relevant boards and try to add new boards each week. When I do add them, I add them to BoardBooster right away, so I can get my pins regularly posting to them, and by their rules {1-2 pins a day…etc.}.

2} Be VERY choosy about what sponsored content you post, and how you post it. This is for 2 huge reasons: 1} I have learned that while I get requests to write a post about this or that all the time, I am extremely selective about what I’ll actually write about. Why? I WANT TO BE REAL. I don’t want to turn into a commercial and have you so turned off by reading my fake voice that you say out loud, “Wow, that chick is such a huge sell-out. She literally ONLY wrote this cause someone paid her to.” And that’s just not the case. I have partnered with lots of companies that I knew less of than others, and posted reviews of products I didn’t before use and given real reviews, but for the most part, I write about what I truly love and use and want others to know about. If your blog is fashion-based, or lifestyle…etc., reach out to smaller companies {like mine!} and say, “Hey, I like your company and your products and here’s what I can do for you!”  Then be sure and let them know what you can bring to the table {Your social reach, your photography, exposure at a conference…etc.}. Reason 2} Nearly any company or brand that you partner with, whether they paid you or compensated you with product, will likely want to use your images or share your post somewhere. If you play your cards right, you just need to send them a link and a few photos, let them know what you said about them, and they’ll help spread the word. Imagine if 1/2 of your content was getting lovingly shared for you by other brands with larger audiences? Yeah, that’s nice.

3} Be collecting emails and sending a newsletter. I gain new email subscribers every day. My emails are not sent daily or even weekly, but some of the bloggers I follow– do, and I read every one. You can set it up to pull your post every day from an RSS feed, or write a personal one with just a few highlights. Just be sure you are communicating with the people that want more from you! Sure, most blogs have around a 25% open rate on their newsletter {I made that stat up, but it’s a good estimate}, so when you start your newsletter, you’ll lose subscribers while you gain them, and lots of people will delete them, but once you have a substantial list of subscribers, you have a consistent list of readers who will actually click over and check out what you are offering them. So be sure that what you are giving is more than what you are asking of them, and your readers will start to click through.

4} I recently hired a Virtual Assistant. It hasn’t been long at all and I already know she will help me reach goals.  There is SO much to do as a blogger and a business owner, and I was getting burnt out. I need more eyes and ears in my corner of the interwebs to really make it sing. I CAN’T do it alone! {Whoah does that feel good to say out loud!} She’s amazing and helps to grow each of my social media accounts and keeps content flowing on all sides. She even helps scout out new group boards and other bloggers or brands to collaborate with! So far, I have loved having less stress and a few things off my plate. I pay her monthly just after I get paid out from my advertisers so it’s covered by the income I make. I can always give her more to do and add more hours once my budget increases, but like my business, most of the income goes back into growing it, and it is one of the better investments for sure!

5} My content has changed from me to you. I don’t only post reviews and guest posts, and I haven’t eliminated all personal and lifestyle posts either, but I will say that my outlook on creating content has changed dramatically in the last year.  I have invited lots of bloggers to collaborate with me, to share my page views and traffic with other growing bloggers, and to share even more behind-the-scenes information and tricks about bloggers and entrepreneurs that I get asked and people really want to know! I have to say, having others help create content means I have a) MORE great content {which is huge}, and it means b) I have that much more help to SHARE that content!  I am also enjoying just making more connections. It is slowly becoming a huge part of my brand to help promote other amazing women doing great things, and I love meeting them anyway!

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