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But How Do You Get More Traffic?
Welcome to Part Two of the Grow Your Traffic Series! Miss Part One? Check out 7 Ways To Optimize Your Posts To Grow Your Traffic.
Now that you’ve optimized your posts to keep readers once they get to your website, how DO you get people to your website?
There are endless ways to get people to your page, from word of mouth to social media to SEO.
Grow Your Traffic Tip: Tell People What You’re Doing
A lot of times, especially when you’re starting new, it can be awkward, uncomfortable, embarrassing even, to talk about it. And it can be especially to talk about it with people you love, and whose opinions you value.
But instead of treating those people like someone who will look down at you, mock you even, why not think about them as the greatest vehicles for helping you promote your platform. Even if you don’t think so, your friends and family have a ton of connections, a ton of people that they know who would LOVE to know about the thing that you do.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to grow your traffic is just by telling them. Post on Facebook that you have something new and awesome going on. Link them to your website. Ask them to sign up for your email list and spread the world to all their friends. Send them to your social pages.
Let them help you grow your platform. Not all of them will, but if you have 1,000 friends on Facebook, at least a couple will. And 1-5% of your friends list supporting you is a much better conversion rate than the zero people who would share your work if you don’t tell them about it.
I know, I know, easier said than done, but there’s no harm.
In fact, after so long of keeping my business content separate from my personal Facebook content, I finally bit the bullet (before publishing this blog post, in fact) and shared a post from the Quest For $47 Facebook page to my friends and family.
And I didn’t die!
If I can do it, you can do it too. I mean, that’s why the You Can Do It Too Newsletter exists, if not to show you all, that if I can do it, so can you.
Grow Your Traffic Tip: Great SEO
One major aspect of getting traffic is to use good SEO to rank higher on Google.
SEO is super critical to gaining any long-term success on any side hustle. What is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s the process of getting organic traffic from search engine results.
Now, know from the outset that this, like many aspects of blogging, is playing the long game.
The higher you rank in Google, the more likely people are going to come to your website organically. What does that mean? It’s when someone searches for something in Google, like “how to grow your traffic”, and they find the top post, the top suggestion from Google’s algorithm, and click it. That’s organic traffic, and to get organic traffic, you have to have great SEO.
Now, the algorithm that Google uses, is top, top, top secret. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few tips and tricks out there to ensure that you’re working in the right direction. A blog post with good SEO has a lot of aspects to it. And take it from someone who’s learned the hard way, it’s not about banging out a blog post and throwing it up willy nilly.
To write a blog post with good SEO, you need:
- A central focus keyword
- A few sub-keywords that relate to your focus keyword
- The post needs to be at least 300 words long (though anything longer than 1000 words is your best bet)
- It needs properly attributed images (as mentioned above)
- It needs inbound AND outbound links
- Short sentences
- Good grammar – if you’re not a strong writer, I highly recommend using Grammarly, which is a free editing tool.
- And short sections
That is a very broad overview of what goes into good SEO. If you’re not sure how to start, add the Yoast plugin to your website. It’s free, and it’ll give you a lot of eye-opening knowledge about what is and may not be working in your post.
Grow Your Traffic: Leverage Social Media
Another aspect of traffic is leveraging social media. Millions upon millions upon BILLIONS of people access social media websites every single day. The key is finding which platform works for you. For me and TheFakeRedhead.com, my NUMBER ONE traffic provider is Pinterest. Yes, Pinterest. It’s not all crafting, recipes, and wedding inspiration, because Pinterest is, at its core, a search engine.
A giant search engine with pretty pictures.
According to a post I saw from Rachel Ngom of RachelNgom.com, the half-life of a Pinterest pin is 1,600 times longer than a Facebook post. What does that mean? That means that people can see something on Pinterest that you posted days, weeks, months, even years ago.
On Facebook and other social media platforms? Not so much. If you’re looking for advice on Pinterest, Rachel’s website has a ton of fantastic resources.
Grow Your Traffic: Bonus Pinterest Tip
Because Pinterest is so important to getting free traffic to your website, I’m going to tell you how you can get YOUR READERS to do the work for you.
By including the pin you created for your blog post IN your blog post.
I do it for all mine, because if someone comes across my website and decides they want to Pin my post, all they have to do is click the Pin It button that pops up in the corner of the image (that’s from the Pinterest PinIt Button plugin, which is FREE). So now, one of my readers is going to pin it to their Pinterest account, where their followers, who may not be MY followers, will see it, and can potentially re-pin it and spread it around the platform, allowing others to reach my website.
And that means more traffic to convert into an email subscriber and potential paid product purchaser.
Another way to kill it with your Pinterest game is to sign up with Tailwind, which is the best of Pinterest’s approved schedulers. With Tailwind, you can schedule your pins to go out at the best times for your niche, so you ensure that the people you want to see your pins are most likely to be on the site and active.
Tailwind also features Tribes, which are groups of curated content that you can include your pins in, and your tribe-mates will share your content, helping you grow your platform even faster.
Grow Your Traffic Tip: Pick Your Platforms
Not every person is on every social media platform all the time. I know I’m not. In fact, ever since I cut down on how much time I spend on Twitter, I’ve felt my sanity rapidly return to me.
You shouldn’t worry if you’re only active on certain platforms. I’ve said it a ton, and we all know that most of us don’t have all the time in the world to work on out side-hustle.
That’s why they’re called side-hustles, and not full-time jobs. And even if they become full-time jobs, then you’re still not going to want to focus on every single social media platform, because that’s basically like working a full-time job, and the point of doing this is to have free time to live, not time to live while stuck scheduling posts on the internet.
Pick the platforms your niche will do best in AND that you like. If you can’t get a handle on Instagram, then don’t worry. Focus your efforts on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest instead. Find what works for you. The rule of thumb is pick two platforms to really give your all in, and automate a third. Three platforms is an amazing reach, without spreading yourself too thin.
And that means you may have to experiment. Don’t forget to check your Google Analytics to see where your traffic is coming from, and make your decisions on which platforms to continue to work on from there.
Grow Your Traffic Tip: Have An Email List
This is the MOST important. If you don’t have an email list, you won’t be able to really grow and nurture your traffic.
But what if I have 100,000 fans on Facebook? We all know that Facebook can change its algorithm on a WHIM. And they have. Long before I started blogging, I followed a ton of pages and I would see their content every day, pretty much right after they posted.
And then…it stopped.
Why did it stop? It wasn’t because the people who run those pages stopped posting. What happened was Facebook changed its algorithm.
Online businesses that were leveraging Facebook to get people to their website or to their products took a huge hit. A MASSIVE Because of that, instead of all 100,000 fans seeing their posts, it’s knocked down to a fraction of that. Three percent if you’re lucky. People have to actively search out Facebook pages to see what the newest content is, and it’s NEVER in order.
That’s why you need an email list. You OWN your email list. Your email list isn’t going to change its algorithm on a Wednesday, and on Thursday only a third of your list will see your emails. You are most likely to get traffic (and income) from the people on your list.
Haven’t started your email list yet? There’s no better day than today. Click here to get two weeks of Convertkit. Want to know why I switched from Mailchimp’s free platform and invested in Convertkit? Check out this post.
Grow Your Traffic Tip: Something Important To Keep In Mind
Don’t try to do everything at once. You don’t need to roll out your website and your Facebook group and your Pinterest account and your Instagram and a monthly newsletter and your free and paid ebooks and and and and and all in your first 35 seconds of blogging. That path leads to overwhelm and exhaustion and ultimately, to giving up, and no one wants that.
Start things off as slow as you need and scale up. Sure, it may feel a little like you’re shouting to the void early on when you’re posting to very little following, but that’s okay. Those early posts can easily be updated and repurposed and revived in your newsletters and in roundup posts that you create further down the line. Not only that, but as I said at the beginning, those posts are going to be what really helps you build your SEO credibility.
Establish yourself first and remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. All those established bloggers out there had to start from the beginning, just like you did. They didn’t all appear on the web as successful as they are now, because we are all not Athena, springing fully formed from Zeus’ head.
Take famed course creator Melyssa Griffin, for instance. She was pulling in consistent six figures through her very successful courses (including Pinfinite Growth, List Surge, and Blog to Biz Hive) before she created her podcast, Pursuit With Purpose, last year. I’ve taken a bunch of Melyssa’s courses in the past, and without them, I would not be the blogger and side hustler I am today.
Take your time. It’ll come to you.
Grow Your Traffic Tip: Start Your Side Hustle Today
Have a lot to talk about, but don’t have the website to guide your readers to? Now is the perfect time to get started.
Now is the perfect time to take my free email course, where I teach you how to plan a year’s worth of blog content in just one day. This training takes away all the mystery behind figuring out what you’re going to write from week to week and helps you plan the ultimate in blogging content that your audience will absolutely love.
Don’t forget to get hosting (plus a free domain) for as little as $3.95/month through Siteground. You can read why I choose Siteground to host my websites in my post, 6 Reasons I Host My Side Hustle On Siteground (And You Should Too).