Traffic seems to be the one thing that people obsess over the most when it comes to blogging. In fact, it’s probably one of the biggest reasons people give for why they don’t start blogging. They’re afraid no one will come to their site.
People seem to constantly look for that “magic bullet” traffic technique… That one method that’s going to send them a windfall of traffic.
It’s true that viral traffic can happen overnight. However, you never know where it’s going to come from. It takes effort on many fronts to get that traffic flowing in.
To accomplish this, be everywhere with your content, don’t use just one single traffic source and sit back and wait… Create a system that works for you and follow it to the letter every time you create a new post.
Over time, you’ll learn which strategies are effective and which ones don’t pan out. You will need to adjust, add new strategies, remove ineffective strategies, and repeat. That’s the true trick to creating website traffic.
To help you understand what I mean, I’ve decided to share the strategy that Bradley and I use to generate a ton of traffic to every single new blog post we create.
In fact, chances are, you found this exact blog post as a result of our efforts with this strategy.
This strategy evolves. We remove ineffective actions and constantly add new actions as we learn them… For the most part, here is what we do with every single blog post.
I’ve broken it up in to 3 sections. “Standard”, “Above and Beyond” and “ROI (Return on Investment) Potential Tactics”.
The “Standard” tactics are what we use for every single post, no matter what.
The “Above And Beyond” tactics are what we use when we really really want the post to go viral.
And the “ROI Potential Tactics” are what we do when we expect a return from the post. They are paid strategies because maybe we’re promoting an affiliate link or maybe the post talks about a new product we’ve created. We will use paid techniques if we see the potential for a return on investment for the payment.
So here’s our blog post promotion checklist:
- Mail your list
- Post to Facebook fan page
- Post to personal Facebook wall
- Post to any relevant Facebook groups
- Share on Twitter account
- Search Twitter for relevant hashtags and @reply them
- Queue up a minimum of 4 more promotions using HootSuite
- Share on Google+
- Share on LinkedIn
- If you use an image, share the image on Pinterest
- Go to Google Alerts and look for relevant blog posts – Run alerts for the week
- Post to a minimum of 5 blogs linking to your new post – Entire week
- Create an image with a quote from your post, share that image on Facebook and Twitter – Ask for shares
- Create a quick YouTube video related to your post, put link to post below video.
Above And Beyond
- One Time – Create blogs on Tumblr, LiveJournal, Squidoo, and WordPress.com
- Post about most recent post to Tumblr (don’t copy – write a synopsis)
- Post about most recent post to LiveJournal (don’t copy – write a synopsis)
- Post about most recent post to Squidoo (don’t copy – write a synopsis)
- Post about most recent post to WordPress.com (don’t copy – write a synopsis)
- Create a post with your YouTube video on each of the sites as well
- Find 2 relevant questions on Quora, answer the questions and link to your post
- Find relevant questions on Reddit and answer them with a link
ROI Potential Tactics
- Boost post on Facebook
- Submit press release to PR Web about topic
Many of these things are self explanatory but I’ll break them down even more…
Standard Post Tactics
Mail your list: This one pretty much speaks for itself. If you know us by now, you know that we are huge proponents of list building with your blog. Once you have a list, you can mail your list whenever you create a new post and bring past readers right back to your site. We recommend GetResponse for list building.
Post to your fan page and personal walls: Every blog post that you make should be shared to your Facebook fan page and shared to your personal wall. The truth of the matter is, friends and family probably WILL be the first readers of your blog. That’s OK! Get them commenting and sharing to build some momentum.
Post to relevant Facebook groups: Find groups that are relevant to the niche that you blog in and, if it’s allowed, share your latest posts with those groups. If your post is relevant to a topic already being discussed in the group, share your post in the comments of that discussion.
Share on your Twitter account: Share a link to your latest blog post in a tweet or two. So many people tend to want to just focus on Facebook. However, we find that, while we get more traffic from Facebook, we get more engaged visitors from Twitter. The people that come from Twitter tend to stay on our page much longer and return to our page more often.
Search Twitter for relevant #hashtags and @reply those people: Find people asking questions on Twitter that your blog post could answer for them. When you find them, send them a reply and link to your blog post. This is SUPER effective because if other people have the same question, they may stumble across your conversation as well.
Queue up a minimum of 4 more promotions using Hootsuite: Hootsuite is a tool that lets you schedule up your Tweets in advance. I always go in to Hootsuite and schedule at least 4 more tweets for that same blog post to go out at different times during the day. People aren’t on Twitter all day. This makes sure you will get more exposure to your post on Twitter as the day goes on. I also like to schedule 2 or 3 tweets for older blog posts at the same time to ensure steady traffic continues to my older, but still relevant, blog posts.
Share on Google+ and LinkedIn: The idea is that you pretty much want to share your blog post on any social media accounts that you are active on.
Share on Pinterest: This one may no be relevant to everyone. If you use images in your blog posts, pin the image of that post to Pinterest. This works better in some niches than it does for others. For example, this is huge in fashion and in cooking type niches but gets a little more difficult and conceptual type niches like marketing and personal development.
Google Alerts: This is somewhat of a “ninja trick” or “growth hack”… Basically, you go to Google Alerts and you create an alert or two related to the topic of your recent blog post. When you receive emails about new posts on that topic, you go to those blogs and comment on them with a link back to your post. In fact, I made a quick video about this tactic.
We keep an eye on the topic for a minimum of a week (usually much longer) and continue getting the link everywhere.
Create an image with a quote and share it: This is a trick that I learned when Pat Flynn interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk on The Smart Passive Income Podcast… Basically, you take a great quote from your latest blog post, create a little image with that quote, and then share the image on all of the social media channels that you use. A great tool to easily create these types of images is called Canva.com.
Here’s an example of an image I made for one of my blog posts:
And here’s an example I saw Pat Flynn share:
These are super powerful because if people like and agree with your quote, they tend to share them on their social media channels as well. They establish your credibility as an expert and really get shared.
Create a YouTube video related to your topic: Once you blog post is finished, create a quick YouTube video that is relevant to your blog post. In the description of the video, link to the post. Anyone who finds your topic via a YouTube search will probably watch your video and then click over to your post to get even more detail. YouTube can be a MASSIVE source of high quality traffic.
Above and Beyond Tactics
The “Above and Beyond” strategy is something that we don’t do every time we make a new blog post. The reason being is that it is very time consuming. Instead, we might do this strategy once per month but do it for four blog posts at a time. However, if we’re doing a blog for the sole purpose of promoting affiliate products, like what I did for Easy Video Suite, we will do this for every post on that style of blog.
Here’s a video I made a while back that explains the steps of the “Above and Beyond” strategy.
The only thing that we have added to the list that’s not mentioned in the video is that we now also look for relevant questions on Quora.com and attempt to answer them, citing one of our blog posts for more info.
ROI Potential Tactics
When we talk about “ROI Potential Tactics” we are talking about posts that will generate us some income. Examples would be posts that directly promote affiliate products, posts that promote one of our products, or posts that promote one of our services. Basically, any post where we can directly calculate the money made as a result of that post we will use these tactics.
Boost Post on Facebook: Facebook gives you the option to promote your posts when you have a fan page. You pick your budget and hit the boost post button and the post will be seen by more followers.
Submit a Press Release: Writing and submitting press releases is a whole topic in itself and will require a whole blog post. Essentially you are writing a news article related to your post and submitting to various news agencies. The agencies that find it newsworthy will publish it on their site and in their publications. PRWeb is probably the most notable press release service.
And that’s about it… That’s our entire strategy for generating traffic to our blog.
I actually created a checklist in Evernote that we use every time we create a new post. We hit publish and then go down the checklist, making sure we do everything on the list to promote the blog post.
Maintain a strategy like this for every single post that you make and you will have floods of traffic to your blog much quicker than you’d think.
What did we miss? What traffic strategy would you add to the list? Which would you remove? Let us know in the comments below!