So You Want to Blog? – Part V: Traffic

So You Want to Blog? – Part V: Traffic

This will be my last post of the little intro blogging series. I don’t feel like there’s much more to talk about, and plus no one actually came down from the heavens and gave me the blogging goddess crown… still waiting for that one. 😉

No crown yet! :/
No crown yet!

I could keep this post super short, because the best way to get traffic to your blog is very simple.

Write good content that people want to read.

I’m dead serious. You can spend all the advertising dollars in the world, but at the end of the day your blog needs to have something special about it to draw people back. I can’t even say what that something special is, because some days I feel like I achieve it and others fall pretty flat.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I will share the techniques that have helped me raise my blog traffic.

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Comment on Other Blogs

When you’re first starting to blog, your best ally is the blogging community. Venture out from what you know and read a ton of other blogs. Don’t leave comments just for the sake of commenting, but if you have something to add leave a comment with your name/blog name and URL. Us bloggers love feedback, and if someone took the time to leave us a comment we will usually mosey over and leave you one back! Plus, you might even make some really good blog friends. 🙂

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Utilize Social Media

Facebook is basically my #1 source of traffic. In the early stages of this blog, I would share a post here or there on my personal Facebook page. My friends liked them, and some started reading my blog. When I switched this blog to mostly equestrian focused, I decided to create a She Moved to Texas Facebook page so I wasn’t spamming non-horse friends with horse content. I invited my horsey friends to like the page, and started sharing all of my blog posts via Facebook. This makes it easier for non-blogging people to follow along with updates, since not everyone knows what a feed reader is.

Some additional marketing I’ve done through Facebook has been paid advertising. I ran one campaign to drive visibility on a clinic review post (Like the “Sponsored” posts you see in your news feed) and I’ve run two campaigns to generate “Likes” for my Facebook page. The great thing about Facebook advertising is that you can set very low budgets. I’ve probably spent $30 total over the course of a few years. You can also highly target your audience, so I was able to target Females 20-40 who had “Horses” as an interest. Yes, it sounds pretty creepy… but welcome to online marketing.

I don’t do any paid Facebook advertising these days, because my goals with this blog have shifted slightly and I feel like I get better traction on 100% organic.

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SEO

Remember when I wrote about blogging SEO? Well it’s really important to traffic. Good SEO is a fabulous way to get 1st time visitors to your site. Granted, many of these people (if you’re lucky) are going to read a little bit about the specific information they’re looking for and then move along, but you might get some life long readers.

Take a Chance 

I think it’s pretty impossible to design a post to go viral. If it was, everyone would be writing posts like that. Instead, I advise you to take a chance and write something that may or may not be controversial. It’s stuff outside the norm that tends to “go viral” whether it’s funny, beautifully written or controversial. My post on the sins of plus size riders was something that I had been wanting to write for months, but was a bit intimidated by the topic. I’m glad I did however, because that post went viral throughout the community and gave me a huge traffic spike for the day.

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Guest Blogging

I don’t do a lot of this because I tend to be selfish with my content, but guest blogging is a great way to expose yourself to new audiences. Aggregate blogging sites like Horse Junkies United and Horse Nation have huge audiences. If you write a post or two that gets a lot of views on a different site, chances are a percentage of the readers will look into your site and your blog. Just make sure you have your blog linked in an author bio somewhere!

Embrace the DIY and Pinterest Crowd

Okay, so not everyone is crafty but I am at least moderately crafty and I enjoy writing DIY posts. Part of the reason I like them is that it gives me blog content while doing a fun project, but the other reason is Pinterest! While Pinterest used to just attract stay at home moms and recipe junkies, there are now a plethora of users on there… so get in on that traffic! Most of the pins from my site are DIY related, but there are also original photos and non-DIY posts mixed in. This is yet another reason to fill your site with good, original images because an image pinned is at least a little bit of blog traffic earned!

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None of these tactics are sure fire ways to get blog traffic to your site, but if you do a little bit of everything you should see the numbers start to climb. Always remember to try not to compare yourself to others! If I compared my blog traffic to some other bloggers, I’d be pretty disappointed. Set a goal that works for you, and don’t sweat it if you don’t make it.

There’s a lot more to blogging than traffic!

13 thoughts on “So You Want to Blog? – Part V: Traffic

  1. This series has been super helpful! I know I got a ton of traffic on your Sins of Plus Sized Riders post just from commenting!

  2. I love how you consider yourself only “moderately” crafty. I think you are the amazing crafting princess of awesomeness!! =) Excellent tips.

  3. Thanks for this series! It has been helpful in my re-initiation into blogging. Also I think you deserve the crown. Love your blog!

  4. Thanks for this help, Lauren. I have shied away from Pinterest because I don’t think I’m even moderately crafty. But maybe I’ll try exiting my social media comfort zone of Twitter. Side Note: I wrote a piece that got picked up by Horse Collaborative “8 Reasons I’m Thankful for My Off-Track Thoroughbred”http://wp.me/p5Jl80-KY and although it went somewhat viral on their site (over 700 FB shares), it drove very little traffic to MY blog (Saddle Seeks Horse). I have very mixed feelings on whether I should try something like Horse Junkies, etc. again. It’s obvious my content resonated with people but it didn’t help my traffic at all. Sad face.

    1. Depending on the site, you can get traffic through them, but I’ve never gotten traffic from HJU, I don’t think. I’m one of their regular bloggers, and the way they do guest blogs and regular blogs just doesn’t give include a trackback link (though I am sure that if you asked, they would). However, were I to read an article I really liked and then see that it was written by a blogger, I would definitely click that link!! So I think it goes both ways.

  5. i’ve really enjoyed this series – thanks for writing it! i also like how you keep stressing the importance of making our own unique goals for blogging rather than following a specific path. there are quite a few things i *don’t* do for my blog that would maybe increase traffic or first-time-visitors (like anything else social media haha)… but i made those decisions with my eyes open so it’s ok.

  6. Agreed with the comments! I’m still working my way up to some of the other tips you give, like creating a FB page, but reaching out to similar blogs has been the main source of my traffic (and I’ve made some totally fantastic friends that way too)

  7. For me Pinterest is my #1 source of traffic because I have a very popular cowboy boot board and my tack boards do well too. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook but also can drive some traffic.

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