Wouldn’t it be great if there was one super-fast guaranteed way to grow any blog quickly?
Well, let me break it to you: there’s not!
(And you shouldn’t believe anyone who tells you there is.)
However, there are plenty of tried and tested ways to get more traffic — targeted traffic rather than uninterested passers-by — to your blog.
I’m going to run through some of the most popular here, and explain what situations each method is best for. After that, I’ll explain what I’d focus on if I could only pick one of these methods.
- Comments and forums (I’ve lumped these together because they have a lot in common as techniques)
- Guest posts
- Social media
- SEO (search engine optimisation)
Warning: ALL of these techniques assume that you’ve got a good blog full of useful content. If your blog looks amateur or your posts are poor-quality, it’s a waste of time trying to get more traffic. Make sure your blog is in good shape first.
Comments and Forums are Great When You’re Starting Out
If you’re in the early stages of your blog (the first month or two, say), then the best method you can use to grow is to leave great comments on other people’s blogs and/or to post in relevant forums.
While neither of these methods are likely to bring you more than a few visitors at a time, they can definitely help you get from, say, 0 to 100 subscribers. They’re very straightforward, accessible methods: it only takes a few minutes to leave a comment, and you don’t need any special know-how.
Guest Posts are Great for a Burst of Traffic, plus New Subscribers
Guest posting – writing for someone else’s blog — is a brilliant way to get your writing in front of readers who are already interested in your topic. My experience with guest posts is that they normally bring in quite a bit of traffic when they go live, and that quite a few of these new visitors will go on to become subscribers.
You certainly don’t need to have a large or long-running blog in order to guest post: what matters is how well you can write. You’ll probably find, though, that it takes at least a month or two of blogging to get the hang of creating really good blog posts.
Social Media is Great for Consistent Traffic and Staying Connected
One of my best sources of traffic for my blog Aliventures is Twitter (you can find me as @aliventures there). That’s partly because I’ve got a fairly good following, but also because my posts get retweeted by other people. Also, some readers prefer to keep up with my posts through Twitter or my Facebook page, rather than subscribing to my blog.
The slight drawback with using social media to promote your blog is that it does take time to build up a following. (I definitely don’t recommend using any service that allows you to buy followers.) While it’s certainly still worth using Twitter and Facebook, if you only have 10 or so followers, you’re obviously not likely to get much traffic as a result.
SEO is Great for Getting Found by New Readers
SEO (search engine optimisation) means doing what you can to help your site rank well in Google and other search engines. Obviously search engine traffic is important — for some sites, it makes up almost all their traffic, though for others, they get most of their traffic through guest posts and social media.
However, with SEO, you’re always at the mercy of the search engines, and if they change their algorithms, your site might suddenly plummet in the rankings. While it’s definitely worth getting to grips with the basics of SEO, I wouldn’t recommend it as your only method of growing your blog.
So … what’s my verdict?
If I could only pick one method to use, I’d go with guest posting. It definitely takes time and energy, but it’s a much faster way to build traction than with individual comments — and you get much faster results than with social media. It’s also more in your control than SEO, and the link you get in your bio will help boost your SEO anyway.
What do you think? Would you pick a different method as your top one? Do you recommend something that I’ve left out entirely? Drop a comment below…
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