Let’s talk blog growth: Unless you’re blogging as a hobby–which, by the way, is awesome and get on with your bad self!–you probably want to make a little money from sharing your time and talents with the internet.
If you google info on growing your blog, you’re hit with dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of posts about “growth hacks” and tips and tricks to “game” the system. Those hacks might help you see a spike in growth, but it won’t be long-term, lasting, meaningful growth, the kind that gets you paid gigs. Instead, it’ll be temporary numbers jumps without any retention. And who wants that? We’re in this for the long haul, right?
OK, so how can you grow your blog’s traffic without resorting to smarmy, spammy tactics? I’m going to share with you my not-so-secret strategies to increase blog traffic without sacrificing one single part of yourself.
3 Steps to Increase Blog Traffic While Being True to You
- Create quality content. We can all slap up a ton of content, and some “hacks” suggest that quantity is key to ranking in Google. Maybe crappy posts with the right keyword density can get you ranked, but it’ll only be in the short term. Google is getting smart enough to see through crap. Plus, you need to write for readers, human readers. Create posts that deliver a service, that answer a question, that provide a solution to a problem. Those posts will deliver the best, most qualified traffic over the long term. Focus on putting yourself out there, researching your content, editing and proofreading every post, and knocking the socks off of your readers with the high-quality work you produce.
- Create quality content consistently. Despite what you read in these “growth hacks” posts, it really, truly doesn’t matter if you identify some mythical ideal time to post. Sure, there’s a ton of statistical analyses that say things like, “For business bloggers, Tuesday morning at 9 AM proved to be the highest-traffic times,” or whatever. But that doesn’t actually matter if you also have a solid content marketing plan (i.e. purposefully pushing your posts out on social, guest blogging, etc.). The more important thing for both your readers and the algorithm is consistency. If you can create one amazing post each month that’s thoroughly researched, carefully checked for grammar and style issues, and wildly successful, then post once a month. If you can do it weekly, post weekly. Just make sure you’re posting quality content on a consistent schedule. Web crawlers will know when to find you, and readers will rely on your updates.
- Follow your gut. This could easily be numbers one, two, and three because it’s so darn true. If a post topic feels icky to you, it’s icky. If a brand collab feels wrong, it’s wrong. If you’re not entirely confident in everything you put out there, don’t put it out there. Know your values, then make sure you choose opportunities and topics that align with your values. I have more on defining values coming in another post soon, but always, always, always trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. Don’t pursue it.
It really is that easy. If you produce your absolute best work on a consistent schedule, and if you post and promote only those things that resonate with your values, you are going to soar. It’s that simple. Readers want to connect with writers in this increasingly disconnected society. Writers who convey their authentic selves by doing great work that aligns with who they are? Well, those are the people who are guaranteed success!
As you can tell if you poke around this site, authenticity is a core value for me and something I believe in thoroughly. I’ll share my “why” of it all in a post soon, but in the meantime… I wanted to share that I’m working on finishing up my first-ever course that’s all about harnessing your superpower–your authenticity–to grow into a thriving, successful online brand! I plan to launch in the spring but wanted to give you a heads up.
Meanwhile, do you and do it well!