Friday, September 12, 2014

5 Simple Tips That Tripled My Blog Traffic

In February this year, my blog traffic was about 500 visits per month. I wasn’t bothered by this because, although I wanted to reach out and have a positive influence on people, I’d never put in a sustained effort to make it happen.

Six months later, this site now receives over 1700 visits per month, and growing. This is mostly the result of just 5 simple changes I made.

1. Settled on a theme

I started this blog on New Years Day, 2010. In the beginning, my readers were mostly friends, or people I’d met online. 

The visitors trickled in while I spent the next three years dithering over how to develop it into some kind of theme that incorporated all the things I was passionate about – wellness, spirituality, business, self-development... 

Sometimes I posted, sometimes I didn’t – it was all very vague and relaxed.

It wasn’t until late last year, in a moment of inspiration, the words “Be Extraordinary” flashed before my eyes and I knew I’d finally found a “theme” for my site. 

I redesigned the entire site myself, including the header. Being technically-challenged, it involved several months, and a lot of trial and error, before I was happy with it. In February, it was finally ready and I began my next phase of growing my blog…

2. Set a Posting Schedule

I set myself a schedule of posting new articles twice a week – Tues and Friday. I stuck with that for months until my personal situation meant I had to take care of other priorities for a while.

When I re-launched (unofficially) this site back in February (after I'd redesigned the "look" to my satisfaction), I only had a handful of articles fully written and ready to post. In hindsight, I should have had a lot more so that I always had a selection of back-up articles ready, if my circumstances became difficult or I was busy with other things. 

You live and learn, hey?!

3. Changed "Most Popular Posts" to "Most Popular This Month"

On the sidebar of this blog, I had a section titled “All Time Favorite Posts”. These were the ten most viewed articles on the site. These rarely changed and I saw no problem with that, after all, I wanted new visitors to be exposed to the articles which others found the most interesting.

Until I heard Tim Ferriss point out that doing this offers nothing new and interesting to keep first-time visitors coming back again. 

I decided to try changing the “All-time Favorites” to “Most Popular This Month”. When using the blogger platform, this is as simple as going into the widget and simply checking a different box. 

The sidebar now changes every few days as newer posts surpass others, but some of the all-time popular ones still make the list, too.

4. Started doing my own links to “Related Posts” rather than leaving it to a plug-in.

Long time readers may remember that I used to have a section at the end of each post called “Related Posts”, complete with little thumbnail images. This was done using a 3rd party plugin.

I was never really happy with the links which were used by the plugin. To me, they seemed random and often didn’t have anything to do with the article they were attached to! So I deleted the plugin and began choosing the articles myself and adding the links manually. 

Sure, it takes up an extra 5 minutes of my time, but it makes the site more relevant to readers and people are likely to stay on the site for longer.

5. Started a dedicated Facebook page and posted to it regularly

The Be Extraordinary facebook page doesn’t have a lot of followers, but they’re a caring, supportive bunch! I try to update the page at least once per day. If I’ve just posted a new article on the site, I’ll share a link to that, or if not, I’ll post a thought or a quote.

 I find that Facebook allows a more personal connection with readers than, say, Twitter. I have more than double the amount of Twitter followers, yet rarely do they click on links back to my site, whereas Facebook is consistently one of the top referrers to this blog.

I recently began using Pinterest but, since I'm still learning how to use it properly, I can't say how effective it will prove to be.

The thing that keeps me motivated is not the fact that my blog traffic is growing. What really excites me is that I have an opportunity to touch more people's lives and inspire them to live to their full potential.

PS. If you are new to blogging and want to learn from a pro (he has several sites, which receive over 100,000 hits per month, each) I highly recommend Problogger's 31 Days To A Better Blog

1 comment:

sanjith said...

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