Great post, thank you so much for the information! Finding good topics to write about and even writing compelling blog posts are not the end of the line as I thought they would be; so I was left wondering where the hordes of readers were. The time you took to address the many different ideas on how to increase traffic not only give me some great ideas but leave me with inspiration that simply writing the blog post isn't enough. Thank you for your efforts and what a great read and resource.
Perhaps even more valuable is referencing the content of others. The biblical expression "give and ye shall receive," perfectly applies on the web. Other site owners will often receive Google Alerts (or, if they're using Moz, they might get Fresh Alerts :-) ) or look through their incoming referrers (as I showed above in tip #5) to see who's talking about them and what they're saying. Linking out is a direct line to earning links, social mentions, friendly emails and new relationships with those you reference. In its early days, this tactic was one of the best ways we earned recognition and traffic with the Moz blog and the power continues to this day.
I think you have created a great example today on how to increase not only new, but return blog traffic. Revisiting and updating outdated content and republishing it is a great way to get existing users to come back to your site. I wasnt around Moz in 2007 when the first version of this post was published. If I was and remembered that content It would have been one more reason for me to check this post out.
As you can see, there's all sorts of great insights to be gleaned by looking at where visits originate, analyzing how they were earned and trying to repeat the successes, focus on the high quality and high traffic sources and put less effort into marketing paths that may not be effective. In this example, it's pretty clear that Facebook and Twitter are both excellent channels. StumbleUpon sends a lot of traffic, but they don't stay very long (averaging only 36 seconds vs. the general average of 4 minutes!).
The above image comes from Everywhereist's analytics. Geraldine could have given up 18 months into her daily blogging. After all, she was putting in 3-5 hours each day writing content, taking photos, visiting sites, coming up with topics, trying to guest blog and grow her Twitter followers and never doing any SEO (don't ask, it's a running joke between us). And then, almost two years after her blog began, and more than 500 posts in, things finally got going. She got some nice guest blogging gigs, had some posts of hers go "hot" in the social sphere, earned mentions on some bigger sites, then got really big press from Time's Best Blogs of 2011.
However, like we talked about at the beginning, this is not a comprehensive list of everything you should be doing to drive traffic to your blog today. You should be testing out the strategies that you think could work well in your blog niche—and if one does work, put a lot of energy into getting as much traffic from the channel as possible (until it doesn’t work anymore).
Another simplified traditional traffic generation model for circuit-switched data as well as packet data, is the Poisson process, where the number of incoming packets or calls per time unit follows the Poisson distribution. The length of each phone call is typically modelled as an exponential distribution. The number of simultaneously ongoing phone calls follows the Erlang distribution.
For this strategy of how to drive traffic to your website, the most important thing is finding a publication with an established base of readers. It doesn’t have to be a big name like Forbes or Entrepreneur–which will be impossible to land in the very beginning anyway. What you should focus on, is finding something that fits with your style and niche, but is still somewhat approachable in size. This’ll help you build your brand, get more recognition for the name of your blog, connect with interested readers and look great for networking possibilities. And if you play your cards right, you’ll unlock a new channel for driving traffic to your blog in the process.
Most importantly though, remember that Pinterest is a community just like any other social media, so make sure you’re active, connecting with others in your niche and re-pinning others’ content too. If you’re just shouting into the void by only sharing your own images, you’re going to have a hard time gaining traction and figuring out how to drive traffic to your blog from the platform.
Those engaging with your company online via mobile devices need to have the same positive experience as they would on desktop. This means implementing a mobile-friendly or responsive website design to make browsing user-friendly for those on mobile devices. It might also mean reducing the length of your lead generation forms to create a hassle-free experience for people downloading your content on-the-go. As for your social media images, it's important to always have a mobile user in mind when creating them as image dimensions are smaller on mobile devices, meaning text can be cut-off.
I noticed you wrote that people could feel free to re-post the content with a mention or link. I recently had a large directory type website take a dozen or so pages of content from my website and put it on a dozen or so pages on their website (along with content from other businesses) with a mention of my business (but not a link back to the pages that the content came from).
Target your "advertising." Try to promote your blog in places around the internet where people who would be interested in your blog are likely to be. If you write a post you think a friend of yours would particularly enjoy, let him or her know about it. You can even adapt you signature for different forums. If you blog about gardening and post on a forum about roses, put a link in your signature to a category or tag with all of your rose-related articles or a link to your best article about roses.
There’s definitely a lot you can experiment with when it comes to generating more traffic! My advice would be to take it slow, focus on just testing one or two channels at a time and working hard to get some results with them… only move on to new traffic experiments as you exhaust strategies that’ve previously worked well for you too. Right now I’m focused on helping students through my blog content & courses, and not taking on new hands-on projects with other bloggers at the moment—just advising 🙂
Try to find groups on Facebook that are super topically relevant to your niche—and join the ones that have a lot of engaged members who appear to be within your target audience. Like on Reddit though, you’ll want to focus on engaging with the community by liking and commenting on others’ posts and building up a rapport for weeks (or months) before ever promoting your own content and trying to use the group to drive traffic to your blog. Group moderators are well-versed in spotting members who are there to shamelessly self-promote.
People look up instructional videos online for everything these days—from how to replace a screen on their laptop to how to make a website and seriously so much more. Even with just a small number of tutorial videos on my own YouTube channel so far, I’ve been able to drive traffic to my blog in a very meaningful way from the platform (especially for the relatively small time investment to create a video compared to writing a 10,000 word article).
Consider having a guest blogger. If you’re able to link up with a fellow blogger in your community, contact them to guest blog on your site. They’ll post the link to your site on theirs, bringing in a whole slew of new readers who otherwise might not have discovered you. Further, they might return the favor and ask you to guest blog for them. Before you decide to ask someone to be featured on your blog, create a rubric or set of questions you plan on asking them. Having a blog post outlined for them will make them much more likely to accept your offer.
Respect other websites. People get very annoyed when it's clear that someone is using their website solely to promote a different site. If you're going to blog walk, make thoughtful comments on articles you found interesting. If you're posting in forums, read the rules and participate in discussions. Don't post just to get another link to your blog out there.