If you’re a new blogger, you know the feeling of pouring your heart and soul into your website, only to hear crickets. While you could get lucky and gain traffic without having a strategy, it’s extremely rare for that to happen. In 2020, the internet is a saturated place. In this post, I’ll show you 5 great sources of organic (read: free) traffic every new blogger should consider.
How long does it take to get traffic to a blog?
It depends on what sources of traffic you’re focusing on, but for the most part, getting traffic doesn’t happen overnight. It may take months to start seeing a real spike in your traffic.
Blogging is definitely a long game, but it pays off like crazy if you’re patient and have a good strategy.
How much content should my blog have before I start bringing traffic to it?
Quality over quantity. The amount of content you have doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re written quality content. Even if you do bring traffic to your blog, your audience must be interested enough in your content to stay and come back. Bringing traffic to a subpar blog is a waste, so focus on the quality of your content rather than the amount of posts you have.
Two Kinds Of Traffic: Paid vs. Organic
Website traffic falls into two main categories: paid and organic. Paid traffic essentially means ads, or traffic that you pay for. This could include Google ads, Pinterest ads, or Facebook ads among others. Organic traffic refers to people who land on your blog naturally, without you paying for it.
Paid traffic is generally reserved for brands who have products to sell, since they’re able to make their money back while also gaining long-term customers. So if you have a blog rather than an e-commerce store, you would essentially be throwing money away on traffic that won’t amount to very much for you.
This is why I don’t recommend paid traffic to bloggers. Personally, I’ve used nothing but organic traffic for my own blogs, and my main blog receives 650,000 monthly pageviews to this day.
Paid traffic definitely has a pro over organic traffic: it’s instant. You pay for an ad, and as soon as people click it, they land on your website. Organic traffic is much different because it takes a longer time to build. Nevertheless, it’s free, and you’ll be getting targeted readers who are much more interested in your content. If you’re doing it right, you’ll also be getting consistent traffic for years. It won’t stop as soon as you turn off the ads.
How To Get More Organic Blog Traffic In A Nutshell
I’ll be going over all the main sources of traffic you can use to grow your blog, from SEO to social media outlets and beyond. These are all sources I’ve used, tweaked, and studied since I created my blog.
From Search Engines (Google)
Let’s start with my favorite: traffic from search engines. I also believe this one to be the most important, because it’s so targeted. People use search engines. They type in a phrase. A list of websites pops up. They see your blog and they click it. Boom! If you’re able to get your website to the top of that list, you’re getting massive traffic (depending on the search term).
Why am I only mentioning Google and not Bing or other search engines? Because about 92.17% of the world’s internet users use Google. Bing is next with 2.78%, followed by Yahoo! with 1.6%. This means that, as bloggers, we should optimize for Google and disregard other search engines.
When I say “optimize”, I’m talking about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Essentially, this means doing everything you can in order to make your blog rank for keywords (or if you’re new: to make your blog show up in search results for phrases people type into Google).
SEO is a whole other can of worms, but I can give you the basics. First, there’s on-page SEO, which means making sure your website and blog posts are good enough for Google to consider showing your pages in search results. Then, there’s off-page SEO, which means doing everything you can in order to get backlinks, mentions to your blog, and social cues.
If you have an SEO strategy, and your on-page and off-page optimization is on point, you’ll get massive traffic. Keep in mind that SEO is the most difficult traffic strategy to tackle, especially if you’re a new blogger. But when done right, it has amazing potential.
I have a lot of love for Pinterest, because it’s one of the tricks I used when I first started blogging, and it works tremendously to this day. If you’re artistically-inclined like I am, you’ll love making graphics and using your creativity while growing your blog.
Wanna know one of the coolest things about Pinterest? You can get traffic to your blog without having a big following. And by that I mean, even if you have as few as 0 followers. By using Pinterest groups or tailwind tribes, you’re able to leverage other people’s audiences and get your pins in front of their people. There are countless Pinterest groups for every interest and demographic, so you can apply to relevant ones and post your pins there for all to see.
If you want to use Pinterest to gain traffic, you’ll need something like Tailwind to schedule your posts automatically and keep track of your stats.
The downside of Pinterest? The bounce rate for traffic coming from Pinterest is usually in the 90%-or-higher range. This means that they’re not as interested in your content, and are less likely to stay on your site and becoming loyal fans.
Nowadays, Instagram in itself has become a blogging platform. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a website, or a personal blog. Instagram is a good extension of your blog, but it should never replace it. Don’t build your house on someone else’s land! Rather, use Instagram to bring people to your main hub, which is your blog.
Since you can’t link directly to your blog, and you only have one link in your profile, how do you do this? There are several ways.
- Good: You can use a link aggregator like “link tree” which allows you to link to multiple places.
- Good: You can link to a custom page which contains information and links specifically for your Instagram audience.
- Good: You can use the “swipe up” feature in stories if you’ve reached 10,000 followers, which allows you too link within your stories.
- Great: You can use your profile link to get people on your mailing list rather than simply linking to your blog.
If you’re big on Instagram, I definitely recommend you start collecting emails and venturing outside of Instagram. There’s a lot of potential in your website and your mailing list.
There’s more to Facebook than just your Facebook page. Of course, the most obvious way of getting traffic from Facebook is to post links to your blog directly on your page. The problem is, if you page doesn’t have a million followers, only your aunt and your cat will see your post.
What’s the solution, and how can we actually get traffic from Facebook? There are a few better ways.
- Making sure your blog has visible and inviting sharing buttons on every post. Make it easy for others to share your posts, and it will make a much bigger impact than you sharing your own post to a ghost town — or even if you do have a million followers, the more shares the better.
- Join groups and tactfully link to your content. Facebook has dozens of groups for every topic or interest you can think of, and more. If you’re actively taking part in the conversation and being genuine, you’ll be able to introduce yourself and link to your content. Many Facebook groups won’t allow self-promotion, so make sure to follow the rules.
From Your Mailing List
I’ve mentioned the importance of having a mailing list over and over again. The beauty of capturing your audience’s email is that they’re not longer a one-time visitor. You now have the option of emailing them a link to your new post, and there’s a good chance they’ll visit your website again.
If you email your mailing list regularly with new content, the traffic adds up, and you might gain some loyal fans in the process. It also forms a chain reaction: they might, in turn, share your content with their friends, which has the potential of bringing you even more traffic.
I hope this post was helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments and I’ll do my best to get back to you.