27.5 percent in 31 days, to be exact. Friends, I actually grew my blog traffic more last month than I did all last year, and I didn’t spend a dime. That’s pretty incredible. And what’s even better is my traffic is continuing to grow. So, if you’re staring at your blog, wondering how to give it a healthy jumpstart, trust me, I’ve been there. And I continue to think of new ways to breathe life into the Spirited community I’m nurturing. But it all started with making a few changes.
So let me show you in three quick tips how I grew my blog traffic by almost 30% in 31 days. Sound good? Then keep reading!
HOW I GREW MY BLOG TRAFFIC TIP #1: I BLOGGED 3 TIMES PER WEEK
If there is one word I would use to describe my blog’s 27.5% growth in just 31 days, I’d have to say it’s consistency. Posting to your blog regularly gives readers a reason to come back. I admit, last year I wrote about 1-2 times per week, but there were periods where I didn’t post at all. And my blog traffic decreased. Whatever momentum I gained was lost when I stepped away from the blog for an extended period.
Yet blogging all the time can be draining, and I don’t advocate cranking out content just to hit publish. Quality still matters. I have found that writing about several interconnected topics three times per week allows me to publish regularly, which I love to do, and all without getting burned out, a common reminder that we’re human. So, each month I write:
- A Side Notes & Shenanigans post that details what happened behind-the-scenes that month. These posts help me share content that just doesn’t fit in other blog posts. These posts also give readers a glimpse into our family’s lives when we aren’t blogging.
- About nine to 10 recipes. I plan out when the recipes will go live, and I try to mix and match tricky recipes with easier recipes so I don’t get overwhelmed.
- A kids’ activity post. One of my most popular recipes on the blog isn’t actually a food recipe. It’s a recipe for Rainbow Rice used in sensory play. Who knew? Well, thanks to Google Analytics, I do! And now I know Spirited readers like food recipes and activities for kids to enjoy.
- A technology or “how to” post. I’ve learned a lot the hard way. 🙂 And now I’m sharing what I’ve learned to hopefully save you a bit more time. For example, I wrote a “how to” blog post that details how to change the font color of your headings in the WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg Editor. While it is a long post, writing it was a different pace than, say, writing a recipe post. And it addressed a simple but frustrating problem I ran into that I suspect others have too.
HOW I GREW MY BLOG TRAFFIC TIP #2: I IMPROVED MY BLOG’S SEO
Once I started writing on a regular basis, I realized it was time to up my SEO game. And when I did that, I grew my blog traffic steadily. But if you’re wondering specifically how I optimized my SEO for free then let me highlight two actions I took:
Google predictive search. When I started thinking about the blog posts I wanted to write for the upcoming month, I started typing keywords into Google to see what searches populated. From there I learned what popular searches people were using to find content like mine. And then I used those keywords to inspire how I titled and wrote about my recipes, activities, and how-tos. I even got inspiration for topics I could write about but hadn’t considered yet!
Pinterest predictive search. Pinterest is not a traditional social media platform. But it IS a search engine, and you can use it like one. I used the same technique for Pinterest as I did for Google to figure out what keywords were the most popular on the site that I could then use to write Pinterest-friendly blog posts. And what is popular on Pinterest may not be as popular on Google. Working between the two gives me variety and the opportunity to reach readers in more than one way.
What I learned: While I often had the right idea for keywords, blog post titles, and overall ideas, I didn’t necessarily always have the words in the right order. This made it a lot harder for me to be findable on the web. Now I know it’s better to write about “gluten-free recipes for dinner” or “dairy-free chocolate desserts” than to always write in blog posts that “recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free.” The truth? How many people actually search for that last quoted phrase? Probably not many!
HOW I GREW MY BLOG TRAFFIC TIP #3: I POSTED TO SOCIAL MEDIA DAILY
I am not going to lie. I’ve always had a love-burnout relationship with social media. But I did see noticeable growth from Facebook and Instagram when I made a point to post at least once per day. But how do you do this while still maintaining your sanity and savoring unplugged time? Let me show you how I do it:
Facebook. I use Facebook’s scheduler to create posts and time stamp them for sometime in the future. It’s a free feature on Facebook’s business pages (as of this writing), and one you should try if you haven’t already. You can always go back and edit or delete posts, if needed. And your scheduled posts will go live without you having to manually click a button. Set the time and forget about it!
Instagram. For this social site I use Tailwind. I LOVE Tailwind because it populates popular time slots when my posts are most likely to be noticed. And I can plan out as far as I want.
HOW I BROUGHT ALL OF THESE EFFORTS TOGETHER
It’s a lot of work to run a blog. However, it was significantly easier to do all of these steps when I worked from a monthly planning/editorial calendar. There is definitely something different between planning and doing. Reflecting on last year, I realized I had trouble switching from Planning Mode to Doing Mode. By planning out blog posts and social media posts before the month even starts, I have more time to DO. My mind is clearer, I’m more adaptable, and I can pivot quickly if I need to make changes to what I had planned. And when I start to feel frazzled, I go to my planning calendar and check what I have written down.
If you’re wondering the types of information I include on a monthly calendar, here’s a brief rundown of what I write (outlined and filled in before the start of each month):
- Blog post titles documented on the days I plan to publish them.
- Email campaigns to those signed up to receive communications from me. I might write down an email subject or theme, depending on what I have planned.
- Daily social media posts. Yes, I do this for the entire month before the next month even starts. Then I adjust as necessary once the month gets going.
- Goals I plan to achieve that month. I set up one Big Hairy Audacious Goal for three months and then set mini goals or action steps each month to achieve that BHAG.
HOW I GREW MY BLOG TRAFFIC BONUS TIP
At the start of the new year, I set one specific goal to increase my traffic by about 46% within the first three months. And I decided that every stinking effort I put into my blog for those three months had to be tied to meeting that 46% growth goal. Everything else would have to wait. After all, not everything gets to be first.
Not only did I reach the goal, I actually achieved it by the second month. And I do genuinely think that by setting such a specific goal gave me the laser-focus I needed to actually achieve it.
And there you have it! Three quick ways I grew my blog traffic 27.5% in 31 days! Be consistent in your efforts. Set one goal at a time and tie every action you take to achieving that goal. You got this. You can do it! I believe in you! ~ Morgan