Wednesday, 29 November 2017

4 Quick & Easy Ways To Boost Your Blog Traffic

Whilst numbers certainly aren't everything, I think as bloggers we'd be lying if we said we said we weren't always trying to boost the amount of traffic coming into our blogs. It's perfectly normal to want to get your content out there, content that you've worked incredibly hard on. But as I very well know, getting it to your readers, or should I say potential readers can be a struggle and keeping them there is another story (maybe that one will be another future post). The blogging world is incredibly oversaturated; with new blogs and thousands of posts being created on the daily, combined with a mass of already well established bloggers in the world, just how is it possible to entice an audience to your posts?

I'm not expert; I don't have the numbers that the majority of your favourite bloggers possess. However, since both recently kickstarting this blog up and from previous experience, I've discovered a great deal about some of the most valuable apps to bloggers, as well as a few hints and tricks that have helped me along the way.

As my most recent discovery, I only began using StumbleUpon late last week. "StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that finds and recommends web content to its users". Have an interest in fashion? The app will recommend fashion related blogs and websites that have previously been uploaded by users. Like what you see? Then give it a like; the more likes, the more often it'll be recommended to other users.

Although I've had little experience and in all honestly spent little time on the app itself, according to Google Analytics (which I use over Bloggers inaccurate analytics), StumbleUpon has accounted for roughly 30% of my incoming traffic since Friday! Considering the fact that I'm still not one hundred percent certain in how to use the app and all I've done is upload five posts from my own site to StumbleUpon and follow ten other accounts, in my opinion this app can lead to significant boosts in your traffic with minimal effort. If you really work with and understand the app, imagine how big of a traffic source it could ultimately be!

In all honestly, I never quite saw the appeal of Pinterest. For years I'd heard about it, but couldn't see the benefit of it from both a personal viewpoint and in terms of my blog. It wasn't until earlier this year when I started hearing a number of bloggers rave about the usefulness of the app for bloggers and I myself threw my preconceived opinions out the windows and began exploring my options further.

If you've never seen the appeal of Pinterest for blogging, think again. With over 200 million monthly users, Pinterest can be an incredible source of traffic for all blogs alike. It's once again something that I need to invest a little more time in...and here's why:

I more so stress the importance of Pinterest when it comes to your own blog photography. If you've got blog photography that you're truly proud of, Pinterest is a fantastic tool to further showcase that photography (or infographics for another matter). I'm sure we all know the basics of Pinterest; you like a photo, you pin it to one of your many boards. Well, many users, myself included, will also visit the original source of the photo. Remember to also follow and save others users' pins; let people know you're there, are enjoying their content, and chuck in a few of your own images linking to your blog for you followers to see.

Certain photos do better than others. As they take up a greater percentage of the screen, (longer) portrait images perform significantly better than landscape images. And although not something I regularly do, photos with additional text also appear to perform very well too, acting as an easy way in telling the user what to expect without clicking onto anything beforehand.

Although small numbers to many, to further understand the importance of these platforms, see above a screenshot of the traffic sources for five of my visitors above. This was taken yesterday from my real-time (live) report on Google Analytics and as seen both StumbleUpon and Pinterest had brought in 3 extra readers for that particular moment in time.

Tag Companies
I've only recently realised the sheer importance of doing so, but tagging companies in social media posts can be crucial in boosting your traffic. Whilst it's not something that I've completely skimmed over during my years of blogging and YouTube, it's certainly not something that I've always done. Now I wouldn't say if you're completely slamming a company that you should tag them, unless you obviously want them to see that, but particularly when I'm talking about a company or one of their products in a positive light, I'm now sure to tag them; whether that's in the post, actual photo or both (on Instagram and Twitter). 

Coming from personal experience, I just this week tweeted about a new blog post which included a selection of cruelty-free brands within the main image. As you're able to tag up to 10 Twitter accounts within a photo, I took full advantage and tagged the likes of Urban Decay and Soap & Glory. Just minutes after tweeting, I discovered that Tarte Cosmetics (649k followers) had liked my post. Such an influential company within the beauty world, but whilst only a like, I don't think I'm incorrect in saying that it has certainly helped this tweet to gather the most impressions and most URL clicks than any other post for me throughout the month of November. This had also previously been the case with a Zoella Beauty photo on my Instagram account, which is still to this day my most liked photo! Many brands will also repost photos and retweet should your content be fitting for their social media accounts!

I'm never great at this; in fact I suck at this. Maybe it's because I'm trying to run my own YouTube channel, blog, multiple social media accounts and still somewhat have a life, but with that said, communication is so bloody important if you want to boost your blogs' traffic. Forget that; communication is so bloody important if you want to boost the interaction on your blog. There's nothing better to me than receiving a comment on my blog or latest YouTube video and hearing how much an individual has enjoyed reading/watching it. But it goes both ways. 

I'll hold my hands up and say I don't personally interact enough; whether that's conversations on Twitter or the comments section of a blog/YouTube video. Sometimes I'm just unsure what to say, worried I'll say the wrong thing, but a lot of the time I just forget. Let's work on this one together - every time we read a new blog post, let's comment, let's tell the blogger what we enjoyed about it or offer our perspective on the topic discussed, and let's pay the favour back if a blogger does just that on our own platform. If there's a tweet that we can reply to, then let's reply. This is more of a target for me personally, but communication does help improve traffic, as well as the number of visitors returning to see your content.

What is your best kept secret to boosting your blog traffic?

Lots of Love

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