15 Clever Ways to Get New Blog Traffic

Hey bloggy friends! This is a mini challenge, that was created for blogging rockstars who are part of the Biannual Blogathon Bash. If you are joining the Blogathon you’ll be eligible for prizes for completing the challenge {January 24-26, 2014} – but even if you’ve missed it, it’s still a great resource for anyone! If you haven’t joined the Blogathon yet and you’re reading this right now, join here – Biannual Blogathon Bash. It’s not too late to join :)

15 Clever New Ways to Bring Traffic to Your Blog

Quick background about me – I’ve been blogging for 3 years now, full time. I started this bloggy-adventure with the goal of it being a business – a way for me to make money from home while being here with my brand new baby. I have poured crazy amounts of time, effort, money, and heart into growing this site. I’ve read a zillion books, subscribe to a million email newsletters, follow a babillion sites – all just to keep growing, learning, and moving ahead. But, all that work has paid off { I was able to quadruple my traffic last year!} – since now The Mister works for me, and together we run this site, plus some other projects – together, and it allows us to both work from home. I’m extremely passionate about helping others do the same thing, so I hope that if you’re a newer blogger, these tips can help you ramp up your own business too! If you have questions, comments, ideas, or any other feedback – feel free to leave a comment on this post, tweet me using the #Blogathon2 hashtag, or post it to my Facebook wall. I’ll do my best to help!

  • 1. HomeTalk: This is a great site to use if you do any type of creative, DIY, or outdoor projects. You set up an account, and can add your blog and social media links into your profile. Then, when you have a project you post on your blog, you can share it on HomeTalk too. You simply add a few photos, a basic description and steps, then link to your blog post for people to get more details. It’s a very fun site, and even though I only have one post on their currently, I get good traffic from it. You can sign up for HomeTalk here, and if you’d like to connect with me, this is my profile - I follow everyone back too :)
  • 2. Group Pinterest Boards: We all know that Pinterest is kinda the king of traffic these days. There are lots of ways to use Pinterest effectively: Make sure every post has a pinnable image. Use good keywords to describe your pin, and make sure that you make the description a “teaser” – something that makes someone want to click through to learn more. Example: Instead of, “Tips to use what you have to organize your office,” say something like, “Surprising household objects you can use to organize your office – click to see what they are!” If you’re mentioning a brand or another blogger in the post you’re pinning, be sure to use the @ symbol to tag them in the pin, so they’ll see it, check it out, and probably repin it. And – GROUP BOARDS! These are a fantastic way to get your pins in front of new audiences. There are several ways to join one: Start your own, by converting an exisiting board. You can then invite other friends and bloggers to pin to it, or even add a note in the board description that says, “If you’d like to be added to this group pin board, email me at youremail.com.” Or ask around, and find some great group boards in your niche to contribute too. Everything pinned to those boards goes out to your own followers, as well as ALL of the followers of the other contributors too. Win!
  • 3. Pinterest Inspired Sites: I found a big list recently from Blogging Concentrated, that lists a ton of cool sites that are sort of like, Pinterest’s cousins. The idea is similar – adding and sharing cool content that you find online, categorizing it, and making it easy for others to see and share too. I’ve just started using a handful of these – but definitely see some awesome potential. And really – the more places you post your content, the better. I think of it as doors – the more links to my site are out there in new places, the more “doors” there are that lead to my blog.
  • 4. YouTube: If you post a video to YouTube that’s connected to a blog post you’ve done, be sure to link that post in the About section. {See an example here: Nature’s Sleep Memory Foam Mattress Review.} Be sure to use strong keywords, and any relevant hashtags too. The keywords make sure more people will find your video, and the link in the About section will then drive them to your blog.
  • 5. Freelance Writing: Ok, at first this totally seems the opposite of bring your own site traffic, right? But, I do freelance writing on several sites, and use that work to drive people to my own main site. Example: 8 Frugal Recipes for Fall. I did a slideshow on my Frugal Living Examiner column, filled with photos of my own recipes, and each one links back to Sunshine and Sippy Cups. I get paid for every page view on Examiner.com, plus bring traffic to my own site. Cool, right? You can use this link to join Examiner {this is my referral link. I get a bonus if you join and write for a few months, but it also helps you get approved faster when you tell them that I sent you. If you’d prefer not to use my referral link you can just visit the main site and join too :)} A couple more great options that I’ve been working with are SkywordSquidoo, and HubPages. You can use your articles on any of these sites to link to your own content, and get paid for it! Sah-weeeet.
  • 6. Instagram: I’m a total Instragram junkie, and use it daily. But while this one is super fun, it’s not as obvious on how to use it to drive traffic. The first step is to fill your profile out completely, so that when people check it out, they’ll see a link to your blog and social media pages. Then, think of something you can share that your readers would be interested in – if you post recipes, share pics of recipes in progress. You can then use tags like #ontheblog, and remind people to click the link in your profile to see your newest recipe post. {It’s a debated topic, but from what I’ve heard, most people do not like to see post links right in an Instagram post.} If you post fashion, share a #WhatIWore post daily. If you’re a travel blogger, be sure to show cool things people have to check out in different locations. The more interesting you are, the more unique photos you share, the more people will want to click through to your blog posts to learn more.
  • 7. Recipe Promotion: Recipes are H-O-T right now. I’m not even a big recipe blogger – I have about a dozen or so recipes, and they’re all on the quick and easy side. But as I’ve been putting new effort into promoting all of my old recipes, I’m seeing major results! My faves are ChefThisUp.com and Foodie.com; but I also have a big long list of places to submit your recipes here: 30+ Alternatives to TasteSpotting and Foodgawker. {But, I need to update that one, I’ve noticed a couple of the sites don’t exist anymore – sorry!} You can also apply for Rich Pins on Pinterest, to make your recipe pins stand out more.
  • 8. Facebook: Ok, I know that Facebook isn’t the great catch that it was years ago. It’s kind of like a boyfriend who’s let himself go, doesn’t really pay attention to you the way he used to – you keep thinking about leaving him, but part of you still hopes he’ll change. I know. And, I’m not here to give you tips on getting better Facebook page interaction – that’s a whole ‘nother story, and it seems to change every other minute. But one thing that I see people miss every.single.day is not using their personal Facebook page to help bring blog traffic. I can’t count how many times I talk to someone online, read a great comment on a bloggy FB page like SITS Girls, and click through to that person’s profile to see where they blog…. And they don’t have a link in their About section! That’s a total missed opportunity. {Not sure what I mean? Check out my personal profile, and see how I link to Sunshine and Sippy Cup’s Facebook page in my info under my profile pic, and then I have my websites listed in my About, too.} And, by adding it in there, more of your friends and family will see it too, which may lead them to clicking over to check it out. Also – obviously we don’t want to spam our friends with blog posts on our personal pages. But every once in awhile I think it’s great to share a cool recipe, craft, or interesting story you’ve written. You may convert some of your friends to regular readers!
  • 9. Public Speaking: There are a lot of different ways to do this – not just speaking at conferences. You could teach coupon classes, share parenting tips at a local MOPS meeting, help lead events at your child’s school. By sharing your area of expertise, you set yourself up as an expert, and people love when someone teaches them something new. Once you’ve caught their attention and piqued their interest, be sure to have lots of business cards ready, so they can reference you again later. And tip: Give each person 3 business cards – one for them, and 2 for them to give to friends.
  • 10. Real Life Marketing: This one takes a little investment in supplies, but can be a really fun way to get people interested in your site. Make t-shirts, hats, or hoodies that feature your blog logo, tagline, and site link – wear them often, and give them to friends. Pin your business cards to every one of those community boards you see around – colleges, mini-marts and grocery stores, or other gathering places. Depending on your niche, there are other great places too – church, bookstores, daycares, libraries, etc. Have any friends who are local business owners or managers? Ask if you can leave a stack of your cards on their counter for customers to grab as they check out. Print out flyers with some basic info about why people should visit your blog – pin them to light poles, hand them out at events. Have stickers printed – give them out – have people slap your logo and link all over the places: binders, car windows, office supplies, etc. For the cheapest prices and best deals, check out the freebies and deals from VistaPrint {right now you can get 250 business cards for just 10 bucks.} For awesome quality and cool products, I recommend Minted {that link gives you my referral discount of $25 off your first order, awesome right?} or Moo.com. {The stickers and mini cards on Moo rock.}
  • 11. Social Bookmarking Sites: Ok, I know a lot of you have probably used StumbleUpon. If so, you might remember a year or two ago, when we used to sometimes get StumbleUpon “explosions” – those could bring hundreds of thousands of pageviews sometimes. Amazingness. Those days seem to be over, since they’ve made some changes to the site. But, it can still be an amazing long-term traffic driver. Even when I had gone about 6 months without ever being active there, I got a few thousand page views a month from old posts, so it’s definitely worth using consistently! {Here’s an awesome post on how to use StumbleUpon – it has great tips whether you’ve been using it for awhile or are brand new to it. And you can follow me there if you’d like: Meagan Paullin.} A couple other sites I’ve been using lately too are Digg and Delicious. One thing to keep in mind – you don’t want to only be adding your own content. Add lots of other cool stuff, be active there, don’t seem spammy by just adding your own self promotion.
  • 12. Flickr: If you take a lot of awesome photos, add them to Flickr, with a Creative Commons permission. Then, as people use your photos on their own sites, they will be giving you credit, and linking back to you – which can be a super easy way to bring new faces to your site!
  • 13. Freebies: Can you offer something free? Like, a free ebook when people sign up for your emails? Some super cute free printables – for holidays, homeschooling, making a planner, organizing, meal planning, or printing recipes? If you have a freebie, it obviously brings more people to your site to get it, gets shared a lot as people tell their friends about it, and can encourage people to take an action you want – like signing up for email subscriptions. And, you can use those freebies in another way – share them with other bloggers who promote free stuff. Find some friendly frugal bloggers {or me!} and send them an email to let them know about the free stuff you offer on your site. Many of them would be happy to share that with their readers, which connects you with more new traffic.
  • 14. Email Signature: This is a must – make sure you have an email signature. You know, the info that automatically fills in on all emails that you send out? Make sure it has the link to your site, maybe some social media links too. There are tons of ways to do this, depending on who you use for email. You can just log in and make a text-style signature using the email providers tools {and here are some tips on creating an email signature.} Or you can use one of the million-zillion tools out there to help create one, like WiseStamp. I use a signature on even my personal email – you never know who will take a minute to come discover your blog :)
  • 15. Sponsor Events: This is another one tied in to your local area. And, it doesn’t have to mean big bucks. Some options: Sponsor your kid’s Little League or other sports team – in most areas that gets your company name on their uniforms, and other recognition. This summer I sponsored some prizes for a local Jeeping group’s big annual event, and got my logo on all of their t-shirts and materials. There are lots of ways to do this: Are you a foodie? Talk to local restaurants about helping put on a fun theme night. Talk to your PTA group, local charity, Eagles Lodge, VFW, or other community group and see if there’s a way you can help out with an event and get your brand showcased too. Lots of non-profits look to donors to help fund their events, and always give recognition to those who help. As you help out locally, you’ll build awareness of your blog and brand, and the people you help will definitely tell their friends to check out your site too. Plus, anything you spend is tax deductible too. See more ideas here.
  • Now….. Onto the CHALLENGE!!!
  • If you’re here for the Blogathon Challenge, the task you have to do for a prize entry follows below. If you’re seeing this too late, you can still feel free to ask questions, or do the challenge and leave me comments anyway. I do the Blogathon twice a year, and am never able to complete all of the challenges, and always come back to the ones I missed later – just for the bonus of making my blog better. :)

Mini Challenge: Pick at least 3 of the ideas I shared in this post, and use them. Leave me a comment telling me which ones you used, why you picked them, and what kind of results you think you might get. And – if you have more cool ideas to share, leave them in the comments!

For more Blogging and Social Media tips, follow my Pinterest board - it’s updated daily. And stay tuned – MeaganPaullin.com will be ready to launch soon, filled with tips to help you rock your online business!

 

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Comments

  1. I’ve completed quite a few. I’ve just applied to Examiner.com, I signed up for Instagram today, All of my emails have my site as the signature, and I’ve used Youtube a bit in the past. Finding places where I can guest post or write articles is a little tricky for me as I write about canoeing/camping in Algonquin Park but I’m trying :).

  2. I do some of these already. I have an Instagram have Facebook, and use social bookmarking sites. I need to work on my email signatures today. I’ve been meaning to do that for awhile but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I used to have some but got a new computer and haven’t set up everything on my new mac yet. I am going to sign up for HomeTalk because I have done DIY in the past and will probably do more in the future. It sounds like a great site. I am going to get some Vistaprint cards. I have been wanting to do that for awhile, also. I am going to do the recipe promotions, too. I have some recipes and post them every once in awhile. I think I might sign up for Examiner but I am nervous about Freelancing. I am not sure if I will be good enough at it.

  3. What an awesome post, I am SO glad I decided to visit this challenge! You have such a wealth of information here that I hardly know where to begin with implementing many of them.
    I love recipes and often feature them on my blog so I am absolutely visiting every single suggestion in that category. I have an email signature, it is attached to my blog, but not social media, which I now am going to add. I am also going to check out all of the freelance writing sites you have mentioned and sign up. Have also been hearing a lot of buzz around Rich Pins and I am going to apply to that also.
    Have also pinned this post so I can keep referring back. Thanks so much for sharing all of this really great information.

  4. I actually do quite a few of these! I do Pinterest like crazy, and have actually gotten a lot of traffic from there. I recently started utilizing StumbleUpon more but I haven’t really seen a lot of traffic yet. I hope as time goes on, I will.

    As far as home promotion, I sort of have started on that. I had fridge magnets made (through a review) and send them out with giveaway prizes and I even sent one to my aunt as a surprise when I had to send her something. I don’t get out often because our car doesn’t work but as soon as it does, I plan on leaving magnets and business cards on the boards for people to pick up. Maybe I’ll even leave one in a library book (since our local library doesn’t check books for bookmarks or anything) for the next reader.

    I wish I could do Instagram, but because I don’t have one of those new fangled phones, I can’t at the moment. I’m hoping to either win one or get one later this year then maybe I can become an Instagram junkie!

  5. Ok so I do quite a few of these on a regular basis, and I have seen my traffic jump jump jump. So for this challenge i have:

    - added some people to a round up board on pinterest to make it a group board and gather traffic
    - joining up with hometalk – never heard of it before
    - going through your list to promote some of my recipes on those sites.
    - also I am doing a round up which usually rocks the traffic for me…and others on the list.

  6. Amazing post with tons of ideas, many I’ve never heard of. I love the idea of public speaking and especially the idea of handing out 3 business cards to each person, genius!

  7. Thanks for hosting this mini -challenge and offering up some great new ideas! I do use instagram already (although probably not to its fullest potential so I should work on that). I also have my website URL on my personal FB profile and in my e-mail signatures. I am definitely going to check out Home Talk though and look for some group pinterest boards to participate in. I had one post that did awesome because of pinterest around Christmas and I’d like to see that happen a lot more frequently — for me 600 views in a day on one post, 3 days in a row was a miracle and I want the feeling of that happening again so group boards may become my best friend if I can find some. I also signed up for Stumbleupon last week, but need to learn how to really use that too so I’m off to read the post you linked to on that right now…..

  8. I totally have wisestamp with my blog in my email signature and someone told me they read my blog..totally forgot it was there!

  9. I definitely do a lot of these suggestions and feel they are well worth doing. I utilize the email signature, marketing in person, and also get quite a bit of traffic from Stumbleupon. Thank you for sharing these great tips.

  10. AWESOME list! I def. need to promote my recipes more. Also, going to check out wise stamp now. THANKS!
    Kas

  11. I do a few of these already, but I’ve added a recipe to Foodie.com and I’m in love! I just started using Pinterest too but haven’t been tagging my photos so I will start doing that. I’ve just started making my images pinnable so this is a big learning curve.

    I’ve seen some more activity on Pinterest the last few days and I’m sure that armed with these new tips, I’ll see it even more.

    The only thing is making sure to spend time on platforms that deliver traffic but in order to do that you need to use them, but then how long do you use them before deciding they aren’t working. All these social media platforms can be a time suck. LOL

  12. I JUST started on instragram this week, I like the #ontheblog hashtag idea as I was not really sure how to connect the two

  13. I am working on Pinterest and Instagram (was already on there, but learning to use it to bring traffic), I edited my website links on my Facebook page (I already had my sites on there, but forgot to add my new blog–thanks for reminding me!) and added a signature on my email (again, I had a signature with my website on it, but I really liked WiseStamp and how it linked to all the social media). I also leave my business cards all over the place. When I was working as a newborn photographer in my local hospital, I used to slip my card or a postcard in with the coupons I gave the moms. I love the stuff at VistaPrint! I had a car magnet on my van, but a couple of weeks ago, it totally disappeared! I’d love to try t-shirts and I am planning on teaching a crochet class soon. I’m going to look into Examiner and StmbleUpon and I am planning on offering some freebies. Thank you for the great ideas!

  14. Great post!

    1. I just signed up for some relevant pinterest inspired websites to learn and use.
    2. I’m going to try and use the pinterest group board idea more! I’m already part of a bunch – I just never think to use them.
    3. A freebie plan is in the works!
    4. One day, I’d like to move into speaking/youtube videos – but not now.
    5. Off to update my email signature :)

    Another idea is to network w/ other bloggers w/ similarities to yours and share each other’s posts.

    Thanks for the ideas!

  15. Love this post. I generally do Pinterest, Group forums, FB (blah!), Twitter, Instagram, SU and at times YouTube. Really want to try out those Pinterest type sites and freelance writing.

  16. Love these suggestions! Thank you for sharing them. I have signed up for HomeTalk and am working to figure it out. I have, also, updated the description on a few of my Pinterest boards to open them up for contributors and will go through those I am already connected with and send invites to pin to the boards. I am definitely going to look into sponsoring events – I have been wanting to find different ways to take my blog into my community. Thanks for the ideas – can’t wait to come back and report my success :)

  17. Great advice. I pinned it to me “Best Blogging Advice Board”: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/82050024435311987/

    Did all of these steps together quadruple your traffic?
    I’m especially looking for tips to increase my local (Atlanta-area) traffic.

  18. Great tips! I finally decided to join Pinterest. I think I can figure out some ways to make it useful for both Sockets and Lightbulbs and my Adventures In Montreal blog. Good point on making sure the links are on my personal Facebook profile. I’ll make sure that’s done and I’ll be creating email signatures. I found a friend’s tumblr from her email signature.

  19. These are excellent tips! I write for Yahoo! through the Yahoo! Contributor Network and I also blog for The Huffington Post – both have been great for bringing traffic back to my site. I will certainly check out Examiner too. I want to get more comfortable using sites like Stumbleupon and Reddit so I will read up on them and try to figure those out – seems like a great resource to generate traffic. I’m also going to step up my Instagram and Pinterest efforts.

  20. So many great tips/suggestions!

    I updated my Facebook page so my blog address shows in the about box! And evidently I forgot to change the info for my new blog address on my personal Facebook profile, so that’s fixed too!

    I signed up for HomeTalk. I’m not sure it’s the right fit for my blog, but I’m going to try it and see how it goes. If anything, it might push me to come up with new designs that are more for homes than people.

    I also updated my Instagram. Changed my username to match my blog name and updated my profile. Now to start using it more. And to use the #ontheblog hashtag when appropriate.

    I’m still uncertain about the social bookmark sites like stumbleupon. But am going to look into them and see what that’s all about. And I’m going to check out the Pinterest inspired sites too and see what they’re like.

    I’m hoping to see a little more traffic to my blog…especially if I start using Instagram regularly and include some blog-related photos. And maybe it will drawn in a few more Facebook likes too.

  21. You start by saying “so I hope that if you’re a newer blogger, these tips can help you ramp up your own business too” … don’t sell yourself short, Meagan, there’s always something to learn! I’ve been blogging for several years (hobby more than business) but I still picked up some awesome tips! Thanks for sharing!

  22. I just started my website so I’m still just working on the design and getting content uploaded but I bookmarked this to come back to later. Thank you for all the great tips! You are awesome!

  23. Great post, and I’ve saved several more from you that I want to read! I set up WiseStamp, started posting to StumbleUpon, and I added my blog URL to my Facebook profile. I’m also going to edit my YouTube video descriptions to include links to their respective blog posts. Thanks for a great mini challenge and lots of ideas!

  24. Thanks for the great article and tips! Home Talk, Group Pinterest Boards, and Recipe Promotion are among the ideas I am focusing on from your article!

  25. Just saw this post and I’m glad I read from top to bottom. :) Thanks for sharing and I’ve bookmarked your blog too. Keep it up!

  26. I have only been blogging a couple of weeks – this information is fantastic thank you so much. I found you via pinterest and have pin this on my Blog Stuff board. http://www.pinterest.com/mama2five2013/

  27. I am such a big fan of your site – Thank you for all these wonderful tips, they have helped me more than you know with helping my clients.

  28. What an amazing resource! I’m currently looking to do just this; I’m so glad I found this post. I’m bookmarking you right now! Checking out the Blogathon too. Thanks!

    • Meagan Paullin says:

      The Blogathon that this was a challenge for is over – BUT there should be dates for the next one, coming up this summer. It’s always SUCH a fun event :)

  29. I just came across your blog and found this to be some great info. I do use Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter with Pinterest being the best traffic source for me. I need to update my email signature. I have posted a couple of things on instagram but never really thought of it to get traffic, maybe I should update my info and start posting more to see what happens.
    Thanks for a great post!

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