Blogging 101: Ways To Increase Traffic to Your Blog

Hey readers!

I thought I’d start a post on Tuesdays (where possible) with some tips for bloggers (and I know there’s a lot of you out there) based on things that Kristy and I have tried, that we find works really well.

I don’t profess to be any sort of expert when it comes to this type of thing, but I can say that in the two and a half years that this site has been running, I’ve experimented a lot with different things via the trial and error method. I’ve fallen on my face sometimes, and then gotten back up and tried something new, and through process of elimination I have a better idea of what my readers respond to, as well as what tools work really well for our site and what software we prefer to use over 0thers.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll talk about different topics depending on what it is you’d like me to talk about, and the aim is that you find this information useful and not have to waste as much time as I did figuring this out yourself!

This week I am going to share with you some very real ways to increase traffic to your blog

As a book blogger, you might not care about the amount of traffic that comes to your site. Or you might. For me, it’s not about being a popular blogger, but it’s more to do with myself. I always try to out do myself. If you’re not constantly striving to do better, then in my mind, you’ll never improve. Self-improvement is absolutely huge to me, both in the blogging world, but offline also. I am always enrolling in new courses or trying to learn as much as I can about anything I can, so it’s natural that my online self would be the same! Over time there’s been some days that I have done things differently and as such you’ll get more visitors to your blog.

1. Post more than once a day.

I don’t know how you’d go long term doing this, because between Kristy and I we have plenty of content for each week, but probably at this stage, not enough for multiple posts per day. That being said, on days where we HAVE posted more than once per day, the traffic goes through the roof. This is due to the blog being hooked up via networkedblogs.com (There are plenty of these types of services out there – wordpress even will do this for you if you want, but I use Networked Blogs). Basically what that does, is anytime Kristy or I post, Networked Blogs will pick up the new post via our feed, and will automatically update my twitter account and facebook account letting our readers know we have posted. And if people are interested, they’ll wander over. The more you post, the more of these alerts go out to people and logically, the more visits you’ll receive.

2. Post original content regularly

Probably the one thing that people can start doing immediately. By original content, what I mean is that memes will only drive a certain amount of traffic. Don’t be afraid to be selective about the ones you want to participate in. Kristy and I currently only participate in two memes out of the we will post in a week. The first, Stacking The Shelves, is one we really enjoy because people are genuinely interested in seeing the books that other people receive. I know that I love seeing other people’s hauls and so this one is a really good one to partipate in. The other one is WWW Wednesday. Now I’ll be honest. We don’t get a lot of hits out of this meme. But I continue to do it, because I really enjoy it. It’s good to know what your bloggers are reading, have read and are planning on reading coming up. Bloggers do this in different ways, but we do ours on Wednesdays.

The posts we do every other day of the week are original content. We aim for two reviews a week (Mondays and Thursdays). Tuesdays have always been a little up in the air, but I feel like this post will be a regular feature on a Tuesday. Fridays is our Feral Friday discussion day, where Kristy and I discuss a burning topic. And Sunday is our original feature Tattoos Inspired by Fiction.

If you aim to post at least once a day, and original content that can’t be found elsewhere, you will build on a loyal readership. People like coming to places where they know they’re going to read something a little bit different.

I can tell you now, that just in the last 8 weeks since implementing Feral Friday and Tattoos Inspired by Fiction, we had an extra 2,000 hits to our blog last month alone. Not solely because of those two features, but I can see they had a huge part to do with it.

3. Giveaways

I know not everyone can afford to have a giveaway on their blog, especially the type that comes out of their own pocket. They ain’t cheap! But let’s get real. Giveaways = hits. You may not like this, but it’s the truth. Since implementation, BNR has pretty much always had a monthly giveaway at any time. I pay for those giveaways each month, which works out anywhere from $40 – $60 a month in prizes. I am fortunate enough to be in a position where I can afford to run these, and I genuinely enjoy being able to giveaway free books to people that do continue to support the site. And in return, I get a lot of the same people coming back, and not just for the giveaways, but they become really loyal readers of the website, and of course, this means traffic.

Now if you’re not in a position to offer giveaways due to financial issues, it’s not all lost. If you have good relationships with publishers, there’s no harm in asking if they’d be willing to help you host a giveaway, you might be surprised with what they say! Kristy and I have some amazing relationships with the Aussie publishers, and from time to time they’ll allow us a giveaway on the site, but usually they come with terms and conditions, like that it’s available in your country only, which is fair enough. This might be an avenue you can explore!

4. Consider a co-blogger

I bought Kristy on board this year, not for hits (I didn’t realise it would even have an impact)… but because I was going through a terrible reading slump that threatened the existance of this site. I was about to close the doors in May but thought about this avenue first. And the unexpected thing that has come out of this is that our readership has grown. It makes sense when you think about it. Two twitter accounts, two goodreads accounts. Two people posting reviews, commenting, networking….. twice the readership in theory.

I think it’s actually been a wonderful experience having Kristy on board. Kristy and I have a lot in common but also two different voices and interests… and this has only added to the diversification of this website. Not everyone is going to love me and my “online voice”, and by having Kristy around, she’s appealed to people who previously wouldn’t have visited this site. It’s definitely something to consider! The added benefit is that with two people working on the blog, you have more time to put into posts like these. ;)

 

So there’s just some tips that you can consider. Some things you can implement immediately and some things you could consider if you’re ready to go to the next level. I will post more things like this in the coming weeks, and I’ve got lots of other ideas about things I’d love to share. But more importantly, if you have a question or something you want to know more about, let me know in the comments below, or email me at booknerdreviews@gmail.com and I will address the things you want to know more about in upcoming blogs!

What do you think?

  • Thanks for sharing Melissa, some great, practical tips for getting more hits! Great to meet another aussie blogger. You guys should get Bloglovin so I can follow you :)

  • Hazel says:

    I’m a fairly new blogger (three months and counting!) so I really appreciate tips like these! Thank you so much for sharing them! I’m trying to live up number 2 and I might be doing number 3 soon. Hopefully, things go well. :)

  • Oh I love reading blogging tips! Thank you so much for this, Melissa! :)
    I want to comment on one thing though.
    ‘Original content’ is mentioned a lot in blogging tips but I actually find it kinda hard to think of a really original one; everytime I think of something, other bloggers already have it on their site :\

    • Melissa says:

      Oh absolutely! I should maybe have talked about that a little more. I will be honest. I have really struggled with this in the past. But original content could even be you writing an opinion piece or discussion piece. People want to see something original that you’ve done – traffic wise it brings in more than just participating in memes for instance.

      Think maybe about the bloggers you follow, and why you follow them? Every blogger I follow offers me something different and unique. And different is what wins. :) It’s not easy. It really isn’t. But it’s about continuing to brainstorm and eventually you’ll find something!
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

  • Jen says:

    Awesome! This is a great feature to have and seems likes it’s going to be very helpful in my future. Thanks ladies!

  • I love your tips! I agree on all of them and have tried all except the co-blogging and posting several posts per day. I just like blogging by myself, and I don’t work well with partners or groups. For posts, I try to post one a day only because there’s so many days in a year that I don’t have time to make 2 or 3 post a day and have it all go up on the same day, you know? But I’m glad it brings you more visitors :D

    leigh

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you Leigh! Co-blogging is polarising. Some like it, some don’t. I am a bit of a control freak and I didn’t know how I’d go with it, but Kristy has been wonderful and she has balanced the blog out… and I’ve relinquished a lot of my control (scary but worth it!). But I also understand wanting to be a sole blogger too!!
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

  • These are all amazing ideas. Being a (somewhat) new blogger it’s so cool seeing more experienced bloggers share what works and what doesn’t. While I don’t entirely care about the numbers/followers/comments/etc., it is still nice having a representation of your hard work. Thank you for sharing!

    • Melissa says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed this! I don’t see the point in keeping these things a secret. As one community, it’s nice to be in a position where you can discuss and talk about these things with other bloggers and help each other out. :D Hell, someone might comment and tell us a better way to do things too, and that’s entirely welcome! Sharing ideas is a wonderful thing.
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

      • Andreea says:

        Great post!

        You are so right regarding the giveaways. That’s how I found your blog. I just googled international giveaways and your blog showed up.

        Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your blog and I am glad that I found it.

        Greetings from Germany,
        Andreea

        P.S. I will follow you from now on!

  • Nara says:

    Some great tips there! I think the most valuable one is number 2. Having some sort of interesting content will definitely draw the most people to your blog! And they’re more likely to comment and actually interact with you as well. I guess giveaways would probably draw in more, but I feel that it’s not the same :)

    Also, *facepalm* I don’t know how I missed that you were Aussies. I even entered your Aussie only giveaway but somehow it just didn’t click. I must be completely blind haha

    • Melissa says:

      I agree with number 2 being the most important one. That’s the minimum we strive for, since it’s not always realistic to post twice in one day. Posting something original I think will generate discussion and that’s the thing I enjoy the most about running a blog, is talking to other people who love books too!

      Definitely agree that you get traffic, but fickle traffic with giveaways. That being said, the benefit is more so hat people discover your blog for the first time, and some people will then return and become regular visitors that contribute. There’s a pro and con to everything though!

      haha!! Aussie as!! I am from Geelong and Kristy is from Tassie. :) We love Aussies round here! I visit your blog regularly too btw via bloglovin. :)
      Melissa recently posted…Cakes Inspired By Fiction #1 – Harry PotterMy Profile

  • Alice says:

    Awesome tips :) definitely ones I will keep in mind.

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