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10 Actionable Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic

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17 Apr 2020

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10 Actionable Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic Header
One of the biggest challenges facing most bloggers today is getting consistent traffic.

Even if you’ve created content that resonates with your audience and targeted the right keywords, your post may not be ultimately rewarded with traffic if you don’t have the right content promotion strategy in place.

In their brilliant book Traction, Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares reveal the 50 percent rule in business, which goes something like this: spend 50 percent of your time on product and 50 percent on traction.

By following the 50 percent rule, companies have a better chance to succeed and avoid the common traps that force most businesses to shut down.

In order to run a successful blog, we need to follow the 50 percent rule in implementing a content strategy as well.

By spending 50 percent of your time on content creation and 50 percent on content promotion, your blog has a better chance of succeeding amidst stiff competition.

With this rule in mind, let’s take a look at ten actionable ways to increase your blog traffic.

10 Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic

1. Build an Email List

One of the most effective ways to gain consistent traffic for your blog is by building an email list.

An email list can be one of your biggest assets, as it allows you to create a deeper, more personalized relationship with your readers and increase repeat traffic to your site.

Whenever we publish a new piece of content at 99signals, we send an email alert to over 10,000 people who’ve subscribed to our blog.

With the declining organic reach on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it’s now more important than ever to build an email list for your blog.

Building an email list is not as complicated as it sounds.

At 99signals, we create content upgrades for some of our most popular blog posts.

A content upgrade is a bonus piece of content that complements a topic the reader is already interested in.

Put differently, a content upgrade is a bonus resource you create in order to obtain the user’s email address.

Here are a few examples of content upgrades you can offer to your visitors:

  • eBook
  • Checklist
  • Webinar
  • Case Study
  • Course

Once you’ve created a content upgrade, you can strategically place opt-in forms within the blog post to encourage readers to access your bonus content in exchange for providing you with their email address.

At 99signals, we created an eBook on link building that we offer whenever we publish content related to link-building or SEO.

Using this guide as “gated” content, we were able to capture over 2,000 email addresses in 2019 alone.

You can do a similar thing on your blog and create content upgrades for your best performing posts.

2. Answer Questions on Quora

Since its launch in 2010, Quora has grown steadily to over 200 million monthly active users.

Quora is also one of the most underutilized marketing channels to get traffic for your blog.

Type a question on Google and a Quora page with answers to the same query will almost certainly be in the first three search results.
Quora Broken LinkThe best way to generate traffic from Quora is to answer questions in your niche.

But here’s the problem: Without doing the proper research, answering questions on Quora will likely lead to zero results and a ton of wasted time.

This is where SEO tools come in handy by helping you determine which questions on Quora have the potential to drive traffic back to your site.

Tools such as SEMrush and Ahrefs can help you discover questions worth answering on Quora.

If you have an active Ahrefs subscription, here’s what you can do:

Type “Quora.com” in the Ahrefs Site Explorer search box to get traffic stats and other SEO metrics for the site.
Ahrefs Quora

Next, click on “Top pages” to view the pages that get the most organic traffic.

Here, you can type in the keywords that are associated with your niche to see the amount of search traffic they get from Quora.

Once you’ve identified the pages that get the most search traffic for your topic on Quora, you can start providing answers to these questions.

Make sure your answers are insightful and always link back to the original post at the end of your response to drive quality referral traffic back to your site.

3. Publish Long-form Content

Long-form content ranks better on Google. Several studies have proven this over the past few years.

An Ahrefs study analyzed rankings across 2 million keywords and found a strong correlation between content length and higher search rankings.
Ahrefs Number of WordsLong-form posts also attract more backlinks and resonate more with readers. As such, longer posts generally tend to get more shares on social media.

Consider this study by Buzzsumo and OkDork, which found that long-form posts get more shares on social than short-form posts:
Content Length Shares

Bottom line?

Long-form posts rank better in SERPs and get more shares. 

There’s no consensus among marketers as to what constitutes a long-form article, but it’s generally accepted that they are articles with more than 1000 words.

According to WordStream, long-form posts refer to articles of 1,200 words or longer.

When creating long-form content on your blog, it’s crucial to target the right keywords with a good balance between search volume and keyword difficulty.

Therefore, it’s not ideal to target long-tail keywords because of the low search volume. Instead, focus on mid-tail keywords with low to medium keyword difficulty.

Use a tool like SEMrush to determine the keyword difficulty score of keywords that you’d like to target in your content.

4. Create Micro Content

A typical long-form article contains a cluster of facts and statistics that can be converted into “micro-content” and shared on different social platforms.
Gary Vaynerchuk is an expert in creating micro-content out of long-form pieces of content.

Gary Vee Microcontent(Source: GaryVaynerchuk.com)

Here’s what Gary Vaynerchuk typically does:

  • First, he selects one long-form piece of content — usually one of his keynotes, videos, podcast episodes, interviews, or daily vlogs. Gary Vee calls this “pillar content.”
  • Next, he repurposes his “pillar content” into 30+ short-form pieces of content aka “micro-content” — blog posts, images, quotes, mashups, GIFS, etc.
  • And finally, he distributes all of that content on all the relevant platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Quora, Twitter, and so on.

By following this model, Vaynerchuk has generated over 35 million total views for his content.

We can apply Gary Vee’s content model to each of our long-form blog posts.

For instance, one long-form blog post (pillar content) can be converted into unique pieces of micro-content consisting of images, quotes, videos, vlog, podcast episodes, etc.

Here are all the places you could be sharing your micro-content to reach a wider audience.

5. Design infographics

If you’d like your posts to be shared more on social media, you have to create visual content that resonates with your target audience.

When it comes to visual content, infographics are your best bet.

According to HubSpot, infographics are liked and shared on social media 3x more than any other type of content. Infographics can even increase your traffic by 12%.

At 99signals, we have an in-house designer who designs all our blog graphics and infographics, but we also use Design Pickle from time to time.

You can subscribe to Design Pickle’s basic plan for $399/mo and get a dedicated designer for your blog.

But you don’t need to worry if you don’t have the budget to hire a dedicated designer.

With free design tools like Canva and Venngage, you can design visually-appealing infographics in a matter of minutes.

You don’t need to have any prior design experience.

You can choose from any of their pre-designed infographic templates and fill in the right information to create an infographic that complements your original content.

Once your infographic is ready, you can share it on Pinterest and Reddit to boost traffic to your site.

You can even submit it to any of these infographic submission sites or try Brian Dean’s guestographic link building method to obtain authority backlinks for your blog.

6. Create Interactive Content

If you’d like to differentiate your content from that of your competitors, you need to create interactive content.

Here are 3 of the most popular types of interactive content:

  • Quizzes
  • Calculators
  • Polls

Interactive content has become increasingly popular in the last few years. In fact, the most-read story on The New York Times website in 2013 was a quiz.

Creating interactive content is not as difficult as it sounds. With do-it-yourself content marketing tools like Outgrow and ion interactive, you can create interactive content such as quizzes and polls in just a few minutes.
Outgrow

These interactive pieces can then be added to existing blog posts on the same topic to increase its value.

Here are some interactive content examples from my blog 99signals.

We created each of these via Outgrow:

7. Syndicate Your Content on Medium and LinkedIn

LinkedIn and Medium are two popular platforms you can use to syndicate some of your best performing posts and expand the reach of your content.

Case in point: Buffer republished some of their older blog posts on Medium, which resulted in a 1,215% increase in views.
Buffer TrafficYou can do the same by republishing some of your older posts and reach a whole new audience for your content.

That said, it’s crucial that you keep the following things in mind in order to maximize the results you obtain from these platforms:

  • Change the title of your article
  • Link back to the original post (at the start or end of the article)
  • Tailor your content to the platform by changing the tone and voice
  • Occasionally publish original content to provide exclusive content to your Medium and LinkedIn followers

8. Share Your Content on Reddit

If you’re looking to expand the reach of your content outside traditional social platforms, Reddit is your best bet.

Reddit is one of the most vibrant communities online, with over 430 million active users, and there’s an enormous potential for marketers to drive relevant and highly engaged web traffic.

Having said that, you need to be careful while posting your links on Reddit.

Self-promotion is heavily frowned upon on Reddit, and you can be downvoted to oblivion if you ignore community guidelines and post links to your content.

The best way to get the most out of Reddit is to be an active member of the communities (called subreddits) you join and take part in any relevant discussions that are happening there.

Soon enough, you’ll earn respect from other members, and you can start sharing your content whenever you feel it adds value to the discussion.

Even then, I’d advise you to follow the 80:20 rule — post links to third-party content 80% of the time, and the remaining 20% can be devoted to links to your blog posts.

If you need help getting started on Reddit, here are 25 of the best marketing subreddits you can join.

9. Share Your Content in Relevant Online Communities

Online communities are the perfect hubs to promote your content as you already have people who share a common interest in one place.

Growth Hackers and BizSugar are two of the most popular online communities for marketers to share their content and have an engaging discussion with other marketers.

But marketers and bloggers are not just restricted to these sites. You can also join:

  • Relevant Facebook groups
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Slack channels
  • Marketing forums

Before sharing your content in an online community, it’s essential that you read the guidelines and do some research on the kind of discussion that typically takes place.

Self-promotion without doing any research will get you zero results and will most likely get you banned from the community.

So make sure you take an active part in the community and contribute to the discussions there from time to time.

10. Write Compelling Headlines

Even if your content is unique and does true justice to the topic you’re covering, a weak headline will derail all your efforts.

This is why it’s vital that you spend enough time crafting the perfect headline for your articles.

Upworthy, a site dedicated to positive storytelling, suggests that we write at least 25 headlines for every piece of content we publish.

If you need help in creating compelling headlines for your blog posts, you can try CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.
Coschedule Headline AnalyzerThis free tool calculates the strength of your headlines by analyzing its overall structure, grammar, and readability.

It also provides recommendations on how to improve the headline score to make it more appealing to your audience.

Final Thoughts 

Follow these ten tactics, and you should witness steady growth in your web traffic.

Did I miss any of your favorite techniques?

How do you ensure your blog gets consistent traffic?

Let me know in the comments below.

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10 Actionable Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic

SANDEEP MALLYASandeep Mallya is the Founder & CEO of Startup Cafe Digital, an award-winning digital marketing agency in Bangalore, India. He is an active member of the startup community, having worked with several early-stage startups and accelerators. He also runs 99signals, a popular SEO and online marketing blog. The blog currently features 200+ in-depth articles, how-to guides, and actionable tips on a wide range of online marketing topics.

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