Hm, how do you get traffic to a new blog? That’s a question that only new bloggers would ask which means you’ve finally started a blog!
Good on you!
Seriously, I’m proud of you.
That’s a big step.
It means that you’ve decided to take life into your own hands and start making your own money.
Unfortunately, you’ve probably discovered by now that you need to bring traffic to that blog if you really want to make any money.
The fact of the matter is that you can’t have a business if you don’t have an audience and most of the time your own Mother doesn’t count. I love you Mom!
So the big question is how do you get traffic to a new blog?
It’s a good question to ask and one that I’ll answer in this post.
Over the years, I’ve helped a lot of bloggers generate a lot of pageviews. What do I consider a lot of pageviews?
For the sake of this post, let’s call a lot of pageviews AT LEAST 100,000 pageviews in a month.
Just to throw in a bit of proof here are some blog analytics from Members of Pocket Business showing you their recent stats.
And just to show you that I’m not someone that relies on past results to continue teaching, I’ve put together a case study for my own Home Decor blog showing you its progress over the course of 6 months.
So to put it lightly, I know my shit.
What you’re going to learn in this guide are both a both a long term strategy and short term tactics that can help you increase your blog traffic.
What’s the difference?
Let’s cover that first.
Strategy vs Tactics
To me, a system is something that you consistently do over time no matter what.
Tactics are the different tricks, hacks, methods, or techniques that you implement to get the most out of a system.
When you work within a system you do not compromise. You stick to the system and find tactics that will help you excel within the system.
So when it comes to blogging I believe in only writing high-quality content that will provide the most value for my readers. I don’t compromise that for short term gains.
With that system in place I need to find tactics that will help me get the high-quality content in front of as many people as possible.
Good because that’s essentially the whole system that this is based upon.
You Must Write High-Quality Content
This is the toughest part of blogging.
Getting traffic isn’t the toughest part.
Writing high-quality content that stands out from the crowd is the toughest part and it’s why so many bloggers fail.
I know, I know, if you go on Pinterest and search for content you’ll come across a ton of shitty content but that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to follow suit.
What that means is that you have an easier opportunity to standout from everyone else because when they are too busy producing content that nobody sticks around to read, you’re going to write content that is so great that people can’t ignore you.
While everyone else in the How to Blog niche is writing “guides” on how to start blogging by simply telling you to sign up for Bluehost, pick a domain, and then write about whatever your passion is, I put together a Blogging Master Workshop.
Would it have been easier for me to write a single post that simply walked through the basics of blogging?
Would it have helped me out in the long run?
Most definitely not.
Remember, I work within a system that is going to help me out in the long-term. I never want to be caught scrambling with my pants down wondering why things aren’t working so I put in the work early which allow me to relax later.
If you don’t want to put in the effort to write high-quality content then you should probably leave this guide and find somewhere else that simply teaches you quick hacks to get more traffic.
They Are the Most Important Person
The fact of the matter is that your reader believes they are the most important person in the world and they are right.
Whenever you talk to anyone that person believes they are the most important person in the world and for that reason they don’t like to waste their time.
Time is something they can’t get back so if they believe they’ve landed on a blog that isn’t going to help them then they will leave immediately.
It’s not hard to do.
A quick press of the Back button in their browser and they’re off to find somebody else that will help them.
I’ve spent so much time talking about this because I can’t tell you the number of times someone has come to me and asked why they aren’t getting more traffic and the only answer I could give them was that their content wasn’t good enough.
It doesn’t matter what Pinterest or SEO strategies you implement. If your content isn’t good enough then those platforms will not reward you in the long term.
There are not tricks around this.
If there were then everybody would be using them and we’d all be back in the same place again which is that we need to write high-quality content for our audience.
It Takes Time
If you’re just getting started with blogging then you might find it hard to write high-quality content. Hell, you might not even know what high-quality content looks like!
All I can tell you is that it takes practice. Nobody starts off out the gate writing masterpieces, but the beautiful thing about blogging is that nothing is written in stone.
A year down the line you can go back to your very first blog post and improve it if you want.
You can make it even better and get it to a level that you’re happy with because the truth of the matter is that when you push yourself to be better at blogging, you’re going to look back at your early blog posts and cringe.
However, I don’t want you to use this as an excuse not to publish. It’s important that you get content out there.
Nobody is going to go to a blog where nothing exists.
So have a bit of patience and take it one blog post at a time.
Down the road even with the world’s most awesome content you might find that other blogs get more traffic than you. It’s important to understand the reasons why this might be.
3 Reasons Why You Should Always Focus on Great Content
You might say that you get it by now. Great content is important but just to make sure we can get a little bit more into your head, here are 3 reasons why you should always focus on great content.
1. Great Content Brings Links
One of the biggest challenges that you’ll face with SEO and boosting your rankings in Google is getting backlinks.
Those are links that other sites use to link back to you.
The problem is that it’s getting harder for sites to find valuable content so there aren’t many links to go around.
However, if you focus your time on creating content that is valuable and worth someone’s time, then you’ve increased your chances of getting backlinks.
2. Great Content Is Easier to Promote
This one might seem silly because you would think that all content has the same level of difficulty with regards to promotion.
But what I mean here is that over time if you become associated with bad content then no matter what type of promotion you do with it, it just won’t work.
However, over time, if you develop a reputation for creating excellent content then you’ll find that you don’t have to as much promotion.
When you hit up other bloggers asking if they’d like to share your content with their audience then your chances of success become much higher if there is actually good content on the other end.
3. Great Content Lasts
Once you’ve created a great piece of content and it has gained traction then there is no reason why it should ever stop bringing in traffic.
If it does then it means either the content isn’t relevant anymore or other pieces of content have outgrown it.
Why Other Blogs Get More Traffic Than Yours
It can be frustrating reading a blog’s income report or see someone in a Facebook Group talk about the amount of traffic that they get while you are not getting anything close to that.
It’s easy to sit there and say that they got lucky, but nobody depends on luck to build their blog’s traffic.
Everything that you do with your blog has some kind of impact on it. That also means that everything you don’t do has an impact as well.
So why do some blogs get more traffic than others?
They’ve Been Around Longer
Sometimes it’s as simple as seeing that a blog has been around longer than others. Why does this matter?
It means that people have been given time to trust the blog (if it has good content).
It also means that Google has had time to look at the site and it’s content could be slowly working its way up the rankings.
The same applies to Pinterest.
No profile starts off strong from scratch unless they already have an establish audience somewhere else.
The fact of the matter is that you can’t deny time.
It takes time to do these things and that’s why it is important to get started as soon as you can.
Each day you wait is another day that it will take Google, Pinterest, and your audience to get to know you.
They Rank Higher in Google
This one is probably the most frustrating as you begin to work on your SEO and try your best to rank higher.
You’ll end up seeing content that you believe isn’t that great and you should rank higher than, but it’s important to know that it takes time.
There has been many times where I’ve looked at a blog’s traffic and wondered why they got so much. Then I’d do a simple SEO audit on their blog and notice that they rank highly for a ton of keywords.
They Promote More
The fact of the matter is that if you have two blogs with all things being equal then it’s going to come down to whoever promotes theirs more.
People don’t want to hear that but it’s true.
I’m not talking about the people that tends to spam their blogs wherever they go.
I’m talking about the person that works harder in helping others.
I’m talking about the person that is part of a number of different online communities serving their audience in the best way possible.
They might have a YouTube channel and Instagram account to further extend their reach.
They just do more to promote their blog.
Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea and think that you need to be everywhere at once.
That’s the complete wrong way to approach blogging.
Instead, what you’ll find is that over time you can automate a lot of your promotions but it’s going to take time.
Everything takes time.
They Have Better Content
You’re going to get sick of me talking about content but it’s important.
Your blog is nothing but content so you should expect the most important aspect of your blog to be the most important aspect of your blog.
Some bloggers simply don’t want to admit that their content isn’t good enough but you should always be looking at the other blogs in your industry and striving to be better.
If you want a secret of success then it’s to be in the top 10% of whatever you do.
I don’t know how to measure it which is fine because it just means I keep on reaching for it.
Okay, with all of that out of the way let’s see how you get traffic to a new blog.
How to Get Traffic to a Brand New Blog Starting from Scratch
Before you even think about promoting any of your content you need to understand who is your audience.
This might sound silly and something that you already know, but you’d be surprised at how many people truly don’t understand their audience.
If you’re a food blogger then you can’t just say that your audience are people that like food or are looking for recipes.
That’s too generic.
Maybe your audience is composed of busy moms that need to find easy recipes to make. If that’s the case then you wouldn’t promote your content to a community of men looking to build muscle mass.
Take the time to get to know your audience.
Once you know your audience then it will make promotion a whole lot easier.
So what do you do first?
Make Your Posts SEO-Friendly
Here’s the truth. It’s going to take AT LEAST a couple of months before you start seeing any organic (search engine) traffic for your blog.
So that means you want to get started as soon as possible.
While SEO is a much deeper topic than what is covered in this post I just want to point out some on-page SEO tactics that you need to ensure you have before you start promoting your content.
- Keyworded titles and headings. You want to make sure your blog posts have the right keywords in them and you also want to make sure to use keywords within the different headings of your blog post.
- Long-form content. People hate the idea of writing long content because they think people don’t want to read. The truth is that the people that don’t like to read won’t read your posts anyway. Google loves long-form content that is filled with information that would benefit their users. I’m not saying fill your posts with fluff. I’m saying don’t be scared of 3,000 – 5,000-word posts every once in a while.
- Interlink your posts. The name of the game isn’t necessarily traffic, but pageviews. The more pageviews you get, the longer people stay on your blog, and the more money you can make. One great way to do this is by interlinking posts meaning that each post that you write has at least one link to another post on your site.
And that’s it.
If you want to get started with the basics of SEO then that’s enough to get started for right now. However, I want to stress again that SEO is a much larger topic but I don’t want you to think that you can’t start preparing your content for Google on day 1.
And the most important part of getting traffic to your blog as it relates to your content is…
Learn How to Write Killer Headlines
The fact is that nobody is going to know if your content is good or not if they don’t click over to read it.
So you need to try your best to write headlines that invoke curiosity and make people want to click over.
You don’t want to get cute and make headlines that people don’t understand.
Take the time to study other people’s blog post titles to see what has worked well for them.
(Note: If you want to learn how to write headlines/post titles like us then check out The Simple Formula We Use to Write Titles That Are Irresistible.)
Once that is done you can start to look outside of your blog.
Find the Communities and Platforms Where Your Audience Is
This is why it is so important to understand your audience.
I feel like every single month people ask me if I’m active on Twitter. I ask them why should I be with my different sites?
They always say that Twitter is a great way to promote your business due to the number of users that there are, but is that true for every niche?
Not at all.
When people want information on blogging, Twitter is one of the last places they would go.
They would turn to Google, Pinterest, and Facebook first.
Twitter is a wonderful platform for certain things, but not all things.
The same can be said about Instagram and Pinterest.
Some platforms work better than others when it comes to promotion for your blog. What you need to do is understand where your audience is and meet them there.
For example, when I started to write about blogging in 2016 I jumped into a lot of different Facebook Blogging Groups.
However, I did not start to spam my content whenever I could.
Instead I participated.
This is the hardest part for most people when it comes to promoting their blogs on other platforms. They want to be able to drop their link and leave but what value is there for the audience?
If you want to grow your presence on any platform and in turn grow your blog’s traffic, then you need to become a valuable member of that platform.
You have to put in work on the platform before the platform does work for you.
This is important to understand because if you don’t bring value to the platform then you must know that there are plenty of other people that will.
When you jump on any platform and use it as a vehicle to serve people and you do so consistently then you’ll find that over time the platform rewards you.
However, if all you want to do is take then the platform will turn its back on you.
You don’t get to plant a seed and then expect an apple the next day from it.
Leave Your Blog URL on Your Profile
While you won’t get a ton of traffic from people visiting your profile and clicking on your link there is no reason why you shouldn’t include it.
Assuming you’ve written great content then that one visitor could be the person that shares your content with 1000s of other people.
Make YouTube Videos
I’m making a completely separate section for YouTube because it’s a completely different beast.
Video is no longer the future.
It’s the present.
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine on the planet. It’s where people go to find information about anything.
You should be on YouTube.
I can already hear your screams.
You don’t want to do video!
I don’t blame you, video can be terrifying, but if you want to see your blog as a long-term business then you need to use long-term strategies.
And YouTube is it.
What I love about YouTube and blogging is that there is so much synergy (oh god, didn’t think I’d ever use that word) between them.
For example, most people think that they should start a YouTube channel so that they can link to their blog in the description of videos.
While that is something that you should definitely do you need to think further than that.
Here’s what I mean.
Let’s say I just so happen to create a video on ways to get traffic to your blog. Then I embed that video into this blog post.
That means people can find the video both on this site and on YouTube. Double exposure!
But it doesn’t stop there. When people view the video here it adds to my engagement on the video which YouTube loves so they decide to show more people my video on YouTube.
Because more people are seeing my video on YouTube more people are coming to this site.
The more people that come to this site, the more people join my mailing list (we’ll get to this in a bit) and then I can send those people back to my blog whenever I write something new.
THE CIRCLE OF LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE.
Oh did I also mention the SEO benefits?
Google loves video. I’m sure you’ve done a search and seen video results pop up at the top.
What if my video shows up there AND my blog post?
How is that possible?
Well, if there is a video on my blog post and people decide to watch it then that increases time on page which is a metric that Google loves. What it means to Google is that people are finding your content helpful so then they want to show more people your content.
The more people that come to see my content means that more people see my YouTube videos which means more people subscribe to my YouTube channel which means my videos get promoted more which means more people end up on my blog.
My biggest regret is not getting into YouTube sooner.
Big mistake on my part.
Don’t let it be yours.
Start Your Mailing List and Use an Automated Campaign
One of the great things about having a mailing list that you can send out automated campaigns that make your life easier.
What is an automated campaign?
Well, let’s say you sign up to receive the PDF version of the Blog Simple Guide. What happens then is that you’ll get a series of emails from me that I’ve already written.
That means I only have to spend time writing the emails once and then they can be sent out to whoever joins my list for however long I want.
How does this help your blog?
Let’s say you’ve mapped out your reader’s journey so you know the different steps for things you want to help them through.
What if each step had a blog post attached to it?
That way you could write them a very helpful email and then also mention that they can find more information in this awesome blog post that you wrote.
Just because people sign up for your mailing list that doesn’t mean they never want to visit your blog again.
In fact, they are more likely to visit your blog again because they like you.
Your mailing list can end up becoming one of the most important tools for increasing traffic to your site.
Very rarely will people do things unless you tell them so don’t hesitate to ask people to share your content.
However, you better make sure that content is damn good and don’t ask them to share before they’ve been given a chance to read it.
Now when I say that you should ask them to share I don’t mean that you include those social widgets at the bottom of your post that nobody really uses and yet everybody thinks they do.
I’m literally saying that you should make it explicit in your blog post that you’re asking someone to share the post if they enjoyed it.
Oh, did I mention that it would be great if you could share this post with anybody that you think would find it useful? Thanks so much.
How Much Traffic Does Your Blog Need to Make $100,000 a Year?
I think this is the question that everyone really should be asking because if you can understand the answer that I’m going to give then you’ll figure this whole blog thing out.
To make $100,000 a year you need to average around $8,333.33 a month. Of course, this is before taxes but since taxes are different everywhere let’s just go with that number.
However, asking how much traffic you need to bring in to make that amount doesn’t have a specific answer and the reason why is because it depends on a number of factors.
For example, I’ve made over $11,000 in the first 4 months of a new blog but that’s because I was selling services.
I now make 5 or 6 figures a month because I sell products.
My blogs that only have ads on them so between $1,000 – $4,000 a month.
But let’s make up a solid scenario that everyone can follow.
Let’s say you have a blog and you get into AdThrive. After the first month you find that the blog is averaging $10 RPM.
(Note: RPM is a metric used to let you know how much you’re making per 1,000 pageviews so $10 RPM is $10 for every 1,000 pageviews.)
If ads are the only way you’re making money then you’d need to bring 834,000 pageviews a month to reach that magical $100,000 number over the course of a year.
However, I don’t want you to get discouraged because $10 RPM is on the low end. If you get it up to $20 RPM then you need 417,000 pageviews a month.
This becomes even less if you add in affiliate marketing revenue and products/services.
Let’s try another scenario but this time using products. Let’s pretend I have a signature course available for you to purchase.
Let’s pretend it costs $399.
That means over the course of a year I’d have to sell 251 copies of it to make $100,000.
That’s less than 1 copy a day.
How much traffic would I need to make that happen?
It really depends on how good my blog content is, my sales pages, and my email funnels. But let’s imagine a perfect world where each day I find the perfect person that would love this product.
Then how much traffic would I need?
251 people TOTAL throughout the year. That’s a lot less than the 9,996,000 pageviews needed for $10 RPM.
Of course, that’s a perfect scenario and perfect never happens, but if you do things right you’ll find you need much less pageviews to make the $100,000 that you want than you would strictly with ads.
The 4-Step Traffic Plan for a New Blog (or Any Blog)
Okay, we’ve covered a lot so far and you might be wondering how do you put it all together into a plan of action.
Great question so I think I should answer that.
Whenever I start a new blog here is the plan that I follow.
1. Find the Content
First, I start with content research to get a feel of how the niche works.
I need to understand what kind of content is working and what type isn’t. This will help me understand the level of content that I need to start with out the gate.
Of course I want every piece of content that I write to be the best of the best, but if I find that the majority of my niche is writing mediocre content then maybe I get most of my content to 80% of where I like to take it so I can focus on getting more out quickly.
However, if there are established players in the game with high-quality content already out there then I need to be sure I spend time creating high-quality content that is better.
For example, this post is massive because I want to provide you with the information that you need and I understand there is already great content out there about this subject.
There have been some niches that I’ve researched where the content was so good that I didn’t want to enter the niche because it would take me too long to get up to speed.
2. Find the Communities
Next, I need to find the communities around the niche that give me the best opportunity to promote my content.
In a perfect world, everything would work well on Pinterest, but that simply isn’t the case.
So where do I turn if Pinterest isn’t an option?
That’s what I need to find out.
3. Choose a Micro-Silo and Write (At Least) 10 Pieces of Content
Most bloggers start blogs and write content that is all over the place. We prefer that you learn how to break your site down into silos and micro-silos.
Think categories and sub-categories.
The goal is to fill a micro-silo up with content so that it can link to each other and become a mini-resource for your audience.
This has three main goals:
- Give visitors more content to browse. While getting new visitors is great, getting current visitors to visit more pages is even better.
- Help with SEO. When you have a silo/micro-silo going to work you end up with a web of content that links to each other in a contextual and relevant way. Search engines love that.
- Boost authority. When your visitors come and see that you’ve written a number of pieces of content around a particular content you automatically look like an authority on the topic.
At least one of those pieces of content will always be a mega-guide around the topic.
The reason for this is that you want to have an authority piece that you can get recognized for.
These take a while but they always pay off in the long run.
4. Launch and Promote
This is where you can get into the nitty gritty of tactics. I won’t do that in this guide simply because it’s going to be dependent on your niche and where you decide are the best places to promote.
Just know that things get a lot easier when you have awesome content that all fits together.
See This Plan in Action
If you’d like to see how we put this plan into action then check out our Bogoten Case Study.
System Over Tactics
You’ll notice that I didn’t talk about silly hacks or tactics that might last a week.
Everything above is based on the system of writing quality content and then finding smart ways to get it out into the world.
Traffic hacks and tactics are great when they traffic is being sent to content that is share-worthy.
It’s much easier to build up your blog’s traffic when you don’ have to do all of the work but if you don’t create content that people want to share then you’re on your own.
Nobody wants to be on their own.
What’s important is that you follow a system for developing your content so you aren’t left throwing wet noodles against the wall hoping that something sticks.