WordPress is a beloved Content Management System and blogging is a highly idolized profession.
The two are millennial-favorite elements of the modern online world, and when combined, can help people monetize their passion. As of some Internet reports, there are currently more than 440 million blogs in the world. That’s a lot, right?
The figure also points towards the mammoth online competition faced by all the existing blogs and even the new ones coming up. Since the viewership is divided among so many online resources, earning your blog’s fair share of traffic can be a tough task.
Driving traffic to a blog has never been an easy or low-cost (whether in terms of money, time, or effort) endeavor. Some of the world’s most amazing blogs follow a full-fledged guide in order to drive traffic to their WordPress blogs.
We have the guide for you, right here.
Make your blog blazing fast
By this time, probably everyone knows that if your blog/website doesn’t load within three seconds, the blog abandonment ratio will be high, and that isn’t favored by search engines.
A fast loading speed will make sure that your blog’s dwell time is substantial and that people readily visit your posts again and again.
Regular blogging is the key
Successful bloggers make sure that they put up stuff for their audience to see on a regular interval, as promised. When loyal readership begins to build on your blog, you will have to be disciplined by bringing up new content every time.
If you are someone who has a hard time maintaining uniformity, WordPress’ Editorial Calendar plugin can be your solution. This plugin helps you schedule your next blog post and if need be, you can have a look at whatever you have planned for the next week or month.
Publishing new blog content regularly will engage your followers when they come back to your blog looking for new stuff.
Produce rich content
Every other effort of bringing traffic to your WordPress blog will fail if your content isn’t worth the audience’s time and online attention. You need to master your niche and come up with good blog posts, videos, infographics etc. that are unique to their core.
Even if you are going to talk about something which has been excessively presented before by other blogs, make a point to strategize well in advance, produce rich content, use high-quality images and videos to garner attention and induce visual stimulation.
Incorporate internal linking
When your blog visitors land on a specific post or page of your blog, they might take away the information from that specific resource and leave your website.
Incorporating internal links, which point to other pages and content on your blog, will encourage visitors to follow those links instead and spend longer browsing your blog. This also boosts page views of your blog, helps your blog crawl and get indexed – improving your page rank.
You can also put up ‘Featured Posts’ on your blog’s homepage which is a great way of promoting an existing post that already has a high number of page views and comments. Since this particular post on your blog has its fair share of popularity, you can as well cash it a bit more.
‘Related Posts’ are another great way of encouraging internal linking on your blog, where the audience gets to read content related to a specific topic.
For example, if you just published a post ‘The best photo editing software in 2018’, you can link it to related posts such as the best free photo sharing websites and tips to edit your photos for free. WordPress’ Contextual Related Posts plugin is a great one to use for this: it automatically displays posts that are related to the current post, based on the post title and content.
Focus on your blog’s user experience
There is no denying the fact that the user-experience of a blog or any other online resource should be the top priority of a website/blog owner. Only when your visitors glide through your pages, will they really mean to value the integrity of your resource.
Here are a few pointers to help you upscale your blog’s user experience.
You can set up a page navigation hierarchy on your blog pages so that blog visitors are able to figure out their location on your blog and the way back to where they started to surf.
2. Don’t pester your audience with dead links and pages on your blog
These are plainly irritating and mess up with the impression of your online resource, no matter how amazing it is. Dead links are a big turn-off for the audience.
3. Keep testing
Keep testing your blog for any shortcomings, so that you can figure them out before your blog audience does.
4. Make your navigation seamless
Make navigation seamless so that your audience can move ahead with your blog the way you want them to. Hassle-free navigation ensures that your visitors will stay on your blog for longer, instead of getting frustrated and giving up.
5. Be smart with categorization
Let’s consider a scenario. If you are a lifestyle blogger, you will definitely be blogging about several niches under this large umbrella. It is always a good idea to not put up everything in a messy manner; instead, categorize it under different pages such as ‘Latest fashion’, ‘Celebrity favorites’, ‘Make-up’, ‘Latest trends’ etc.
6. Use a responsive design
Make your blog responsive so that users can access it from all of their mobile devices. FYI, 60% of all internet access is made through mobile devices. You can tap into a larger share of online traffic by using plugins such as WPtouch that create a mobile-friendly version of your blog.
Actively interact with your audience
If you want a loyal reader base for your blog and also sustain the existing traffic, make sure that you interact with your active blog audience regularly. The comment section on your blog posts is the biggest source of audience downpour. Whenever they drop by to put forward their opinion, provide a feedback, or simply praise your latest piece of work, always post a reply.
This is doubly applicable if one of your readers sends you an email or a query – don’t put off the reply. It will give your blog a big advantage if you’re seen as responsive and approachable, making your readers much more likely to share and recommend your blog.
Make an attempt at guest blogging
There are several debates pertaining to the success rate of guest blogging in driving traffic to a blog or website. Some think it’s worthwhile, others that it doesn’t work.
However, the fact remains that guest blogging earns your blog authentic backlinks. These backlinks will benefit your blog’s SEO, leading to increased visibility and traffic, and can also boost your reputation among your blogger peers.
Build an amazing email list and segment it well
A blog is driven by its subscribers and finding the right ones is quite a task. Building an email list is the right way to go about it.
For starters, create an amazing sign-up form and put it up on a landing page so that people know what they are expected to do. Once you have leads, you can review email marketing services available in the market and make a selection.
Once you have made the choice, you can begin your email marketing campaign to drive in traffic and leads.
Promote your posts
Once you have put up all the blocks in the right places, the next crucial step up the ladder is the quest to promote your posts for good.
A great promotion strategy involves well-rounded coverage in online spaces where your audience is present. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Announce your new posts through all your social media handles
- Send it personally to the people you know in IRL
- Create amazing landing pages to announce special blog posts
- Update and re-publish old blog posts
- Engage with other blogs and collaborate with their respective bloggers
- Enable sharing on all social media channels
SEO is the game-changer
Driving traffic to a blog is mainly about playing nice with search engines, and that could be done only through a well-thought-out SEO strategy. If you are new to it, installing the Yoast SEO plugin or the All-in-one SEO plugin can be your saving grace.
Don’t forget to target the right keywords and use them naturally in the context of your content. Incorporating low-competition keywords is a good strategy if you can, but don’t go out of your way to crowbar these in, as it can easily mark your blog out as spammy and earn a penalty.
- Optimize each and every element on your page/post: Meta tags, title, categories, meta description, SEO title, slug, alt image text, image optimization etc.
- Do not purposely over-stuff your blog with keywords – this is a black hat SEO technique that will get you on the wrong side of Google, and is irritating for your readers as well.
Make your blog trustable
Developing a trust factor with your audience always plays to your blog’s advantage in the longer run. A secure blog is better trusted by users and is open to monetizing opportunities. Installing an SSL certificate will provide that extra edge and secure your blog even more.
You can use the WordPress AkismetAnti-Spam plugin to fight spam so that users don’t have to put up with rubbish and absurd comments when they are going through it.
Badges and certificates are a great way to populate your blog’s trust factor amongst the online audience. They are reputation boosters and uphold your blog’s importance in the online viewpoint.
Understand how your visitors use your blog
Only when you understand how your visitors interact with your blog, will you be able to take corrective steps for anything that isn’t working for your blog or is bringing down your traffic.
Google Analytics helps you gain a complete understanding of the customer experience, search engine optimization, and marketing processes.
Most importantly, the vitality of your online blog is highly dependent upon the content that you put out for your audience to consume. It is not stupid if you run out of ideas or concepts.
To prevent this from happening, keep learning and looking for new ways to drive traffic by presenting amazing content. Content is king – always!
Building up a blog readership and (more importantly) sustaining it takes time. It can be frustrating at times, too.
But instead of being put off this amazing passion-driven profession, it is important to look for the right pieces of this jigsaw puzzle and precisely fit them together.
We hope our ‘tell-all’ guide helps you drive the right amount of traffic to your WordPress blog so that you can monetize the opportunity well and be successful in the blogging sphere.
Lucy is an experienced Web Developer and passionate blogger, currently working at WPCodingDev. Reach out to her for any query regarding WordPress website customization.