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How to Get Traction with Your New Blog

Posted By Stacey Roberts 19th of January 2017 Blog Promotion, Build Community 0 Comments

How to Get Traction with Your New Blog - you can't have a blog without readers! | ProBlogger.net

This is it. This is your year, you say.

You’ve been tossing up the idea of starting a new blog for ages now. You read blogs, you love the idea of blogging, you may even want to earn some extra cash on the side, and you’ve thought “I could totally do that!” You may have even read last week’s post on WHY you should start a blog and found yourself all fired up.

You may even have gone so far as to think of a name, organised a domain, or claimed your social media accounts but something’s always held you back. If one of those stumbling blocks has been thinking “but who will read it? There are so many great blogs out there, how will they even notice me?” (and let’s face it, I think plenty of people feel that way!), then I’m here to help.

How to get traction with your new blog

We all start with zero readers. We all start with zero traffic. Anyone can write a blog, but it’s what you do with it that counts.

Think about who you’d love to read your blog and find out where you think they might be. Then go get yourself noticed!

Assess your social media situation

  • Social media is crucial when it comes to finding readers for your blog. The thing is to figure out what kind of social platforms will work for your blog and your potential readers. Want to stick to Facebook and Instagram? Do that. Will LinkedIn and an email list work better for you? Put your attention there.
  • Think about whether you need totally new accounts or if you can revamp your existing ones.
  • Follow both people who inspire you and people you think will be interested in your content. Engage with them (I can’t stress how important this bit is, but more on that later!). Think about what kind of content will work on these platforms that also represent you and what you’re about. These are the platforms where you share not only your own content, but items you think will be interesting and useful to your followers so they know you’re the real deal and will stick around. And hopefully not just stick around, but recommend you and your blog to their friends!

Call in favours

You’re ready for your blog to be seen – so consider the people you already know who might be interested in what you’re doing, and let them know!

  • You can email your first (or favourite) post friends and co-workers who might like your stuff and invite them to read and share with their friends.
  • You can share on your personal Facebook and Instagram pages that you’ve taken the plunge into blogland.
  • Tell people you meet who might be interested, chat about it at the water cooler or the school gate (or both!), let it be known you’ve started a blog in your conversations – you might be surprised at how many people will be interested and ask more questions about it.

How to get traction with your new blog | ProBlogger.net

Thoughtful promotion

I know, I know, it’s exciting to finally have a blog and you’re keen for everyone to read it. The thing is, over-eagerness can come off as spammy if you’re not careful (don’t worry, we’ve all done it! Just don’t keep doing it!).

Be considerate of how every day, everyone is bombarded with requests to read this, go there, do that. Even you! So put yourself in the shoes of your potential readers and understand what kind of calls to action would suit them. This can be real trial and error so try not to be upset if what you’re experimenting with doesn’t work, you will figure it out! Things to think about include the frequency of your posts on your social channels, your wording, the imagery, how much of it will be your content as opposed to sharing the posts of others, that sort of thing. Don’t just thrust your posts under people’s noses and hope it works.

Every platform benefits from a slightly different approach, so try to make it useful and relevant for each of the audiences you have or are trying to grow in each area.

Facebook

Join Facebook groups that focus on blogging, or are in the niche you write about. Don’t just spam their wall with your offerings, though – read the rules and play by them. Often there will be a specific day you can share your work, or specific threads in which you can do so. Be a team player and visit some of the other blogs too – don’t just drop your link and run!

Facebook pages almost seem like a law unto themselves, and I’ve spoken to plenty of folk who’d rather avoid it altogether – although they know they shouldn’t. Ignore your potential readers on the biggest social media platform in the world? Not totally a good idea!

Again the key is experimentation here, it’s almost impossible to guarantee a course of action that will work without taking into account your content, your motivation, and your audience. Try different times and different content and monitor the reaction. Do more of what your audience likes!

Instagram

Instagram is a visual beast, and therefore your blog promotion should suit that. You can use a picture from your blog post to advertise you’ve published one, and don’t forget to make use of Instagram stories to go into further detail – you can scroll through your post, give a brief explanation of what’s on there, and do a behind-the-scenes story about how the post was put together.

Hashtags are a fabulous way of not only sharing your content with like-minded people but also finding new inspiration. The trick is to use them well – they don’t work so well on Pinterest, LinkedIn or Facebook, but are vital on Twitter and Instagram. Don’t spam, don’t hijack hashtags that aren’t relevant to you, and on Instagram, pop the majority of them in your first comment, especially if you’re looking to use the maximum available to you.

Pinterest

Pinterest is exceptionally image-driven, so put your best foot forward on there. Pin your own content and other people’s content to specific boards and re-pin what you like. Join shared boards and abide by the rules of pinning your own content. Pinterest can be a fabulous traffic-driver if you use it well – try reading 4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic to Your Blog.

Online groups

Find other groups on other platforms you think will be useful. LinkedIn groups, Google Plus Circles, Twitter chats, Pinterest shared boards, forums – I can guarantee you will find places where folk of similar interests gather elsewhere on the blog that you can join.

Again, abide by their rules and avoid the impulse to be spammy. Get to know the people and culture of the group and figure out where you fit in.

How to get traction with your new blog | ProBlogger.net

Make use of the small spaces

  • Your email signature can definitely do with a link to your blog, both your blog’s email and your personal email.
  • Your Facebook Page has plenty of places to include a link to your blog, but you might want to add your Facebook Page to your personal profile’s “work” section, which will then show up on your profile, and maybe even let people know in your “Intro” section that appears under your profile picture.
  • It goes without saying that a link to your blog in each of your social media bios is vital! But again, think of your personal accounts as well as your blog accounts.
  • You can replace your profile photos with your blog logo.

Take care of basic SEO

It sounds frightening to plenty of newbie bloggers, but SEO can be a real boon if you pay a little bit of attention to it straight up.

If you’re on WordPress, you can download a plugin that will help you navigate your way through post SEO – we use Yoast, and it is user-friendly. We also have a resident SEO guru, Jim Stewart of Bloggers SEO, who talks us through the foundations and writes helpful posts decoding the mystery of search engine optimisation here.

But basically, if you want your blog to be found on Google and other search engines, think about they key words of what your blog is about, and also each post. Make sure you use these key words in your post titles, somewhere (naturally) in the post, and in the images of each post. Yoast will help you add a post blurb and will point out places you might have missed.

Get involved

Blogging is ultimately a community of people, creators and readers alike. It’s people you’re dealing with and in that case, you have to be approachable, open, and personable, not only to your readers, but other bloggers.

Read and interact with other blogs on their platforms and on social media. Leave thoughtful comments that might spark others’ interests enough that they’ll click over and see what you’re about. Be a visible and genuine addition to the blogosphere.

You can join blog linkups or challenges, or start your own. Answer your readers’ comments, and don’t be afraid to share other bloggers’ posts in your posts or on your social media. Getting involved is one of the best, fastest, and most rewarding ways of getting your blog in front of interested people.

A little bit of gumption and old-school hustle will help you find readers for your brand-new blog – almost anything’s possible! But it will make the difference between a lonely blog lost in the vastness of cyberspace, and a thriving hub of like-minded people. And the longer you wait, the longer it will take to put yourself on the map.

About Stacey Roberts
Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama, follow on Pinterest for fun and useful tips, peek behind the curtain on Instagramand Snapchat, listen to her 90s pop culture podcast, or be entertained on Facebook.
  • Hi Stacey,

    Aside from messaging and all the other important things required, building a community is vital to the success of any new blog.

    When I started Unveil the Web in 2014, the blog was green. I had owned a web development company for seven years at that time and I knew things needed to change for both me and my clients, so I sold the company and moved on to a newer pasture.

    I never needed to blog and wasn’t interested in it prior to 2014.

    The first thing I did was start researching people to connect with and provide value for. I joined Facebook groups, blogging groups and all kinds of places where I could build relationships with bloggers in my niche.

    I didn’t focus for a while on SEO… just networking and value.

    It was a greater success than I could have imagined.

    I really saw this as the emphasis for your post. Get engaged, provide value, and start building relationships that are mutually beneficial.

    It’s amazing how much you can learn from one another.

    ~ Don

    • Totally agree! It’s not what you know, it’s who you know – and who feels like your blog is valuable. Definitely focus on the content and the community before SEO, but I do regret having to go back over 7 years of content now to fix it!

    • This is very useful advice. I think it’s important to know someone who is already successful at this to get a steer in the right direction. In the case that you don’t know anyone who is already blogging at successful at it then finding these kinds of posts can steer you. I have been wanting to buy my own domain for years but only fooled around on blogspot not taking my blogging seriously. Slowly though I am getting to where I want to be, step by step.

  • Thanks Stacey.
    This post is very informative and encouraging. As a startup tech blogger, i have learnt that actually most of the measures you mentioned here are very important in a bid to build a community of readers/followers. The idea of using social media and to be specific, facebook groups is a great one. Not forgetting to mention about forums where i have personally managed to drive some good traffic at least for the last 2 months when we launched our blog.
    Thanks for sharing!!

  • Hi Stacey,

    Good post!

    And yes, it IS people, real human beings, we are dealing with. All my struggles rested in fears I was not connecting with humans, but instead, trying to manipulate numbers on a screen so I did not run out of money and traffic and readers. When I embraced this fear, I engaged people 1 to 1. On my blog and through social media.

    I also decided to love the process of building a blog. To have fun too. It felt like I was starting over, both when I created my new blog in 2014 and when I had a sort of resurgence a few months back, getting clearer on my direction, clearing out many fearful energies and doing things primarily for fun on the blogging front. Thank goodness I did :)

    Thanks for the helpful share.

    Ryan

    • I can’t recommend enough to really engage with your readers. In a world where blogs are a dime a dozen and everyone is trying to get you to buy something on social media, standing out by being genuine and approachable is the way forward.

  • Hey Stacey,

    People are really into sharing their ideas and experiences with their blogs. Everyone is up for blogging.

    Starting a new blog is easy but it’s hard to find the readers.

    The social media platforms are the best places to connect with more people. Sharing your thoughts on Facebook can be helpful.

    I have always considered Twitter as one of the best tools to engage more.
    Thanks for sharing the guide with us.
    ~Ravi

    • I have noticed over the years that Twitter hasn’t worked as well for everyone as it did four or five years ago. For example, it’s great for the ProBlogger content, but less great for personal blog content. It’s such a changing landscape and it’s so trial and error what works for your niche!

  • Sam

    Great post Stacey. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my first four months blogging is that it’s a grind. The most important thing is to stick with it. It doesn’t happen overnight – but your blog views will increase and your subscriber list will grow, as long as you put in the effort.

    • Totally, it’s a marathon, not a sprint! Not everyone will be an overnight sensation. Trying hard every day and never giving up is a winning combo.

  • Hi Stacey,

    There are lots of ways to get traction for a new blog today.

    Regular relevant blog commenting is one of the best ways to achieve better exposure without going the paid route.

    If one do this with sincerity and for the love of it, it could make a very big difference.

    Thanks for sharing, and happy new year.

    • I think it comes quite naturally when you find blogs you love and want to engage with. And you get the benefit of exposure and community for your own blog!

  • I think the most important thing when starting a new blog is persistence in adding new content. Most new bloggers give up too soon before seeing the results. It takes time to build a quality blog that people will like and search engines respect.

    • Yep i’d agree with that, I’ve seen too many blogs abandoned before their time! Google will only really sit up and pay attention when you’ve established yourself.

  • Thanks for the great post.

    I am using Evernote to manage my projects. In details, I am using Evernote to create outlines for my 3 Indonesian blogs and my ebook projects, to clip articles from my favorite blogs (Problogger is one of them), and to create to do list (daily, weekly, and idea list). To be honest, Evernote helps me to get things done.

    • Oh I love Evernote! I’ve been using it for years. It helps me organise not only my working life, but my private life too.

  • Hi Stacy,
    Social Media is now a part of every blogger promotion strategy, but having a great headline make big difference in success with social media.
    Connecting with influencer via social media or their blog makes everything easy.

  • I’ve found that just learning the basics of SEO can have a HUGE impact on traffic. Even though my site isn’t that large it’s started getting traffic from lots of “long tail” keywords.

    I focus on 3 main things

    Relevant keywords in the Title for EVERY post.
    Natural use of Headings tags (H1 and H2 especially)
    A compelling meta description to improve click throughs.

    Of course ultimately it’s about creating great content. Otherwise what’s the point of getting visitors in the first place.

  • Hey Stacey,

    Yes, you are totally correct – everyone comes in this field with no readers and no traffic but according to performance he or she shall get enough reader and traffic to their blogs.

    Effective blogs have potential to maximize our online brand visibility, today everyone who belong to business – engage in crafting effective content for their products and services for its promotion.

    Now-a-days, due to vast users of social media; it plays vital role in promotion of our blog post, services and it provides us opportunity to thrive healthy relationship with mass.

    It can be an effective way to introduce our company to new prospects without hitting them over the head with banner ads, spending a ton on advertising, or forcing promotional messages in social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn etc. Eventually, thanks for sharing your worthy thought with us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

  • Hello Stacey,

    Great Post. Social Media really plays a great role to find some quality readers for your blog. Bloggers now focusing more on Social Media sites for better user engagement and brand up your blog.

  • Hey Stacey

    Awesome read and is a question I hear often!

    Start the wheels turning, get excited (not spammy) and show passion, people will feed off your energy!

    I always say that interacting with others is a great way to catapult your blog. If your new blog is live then look at ways to feature the works of others.

    I do this on my blog by featuring tips from others that I have found on my travels. You can add these as quotes and link to the source. These show your audience what you say is true, good for social proof.

    Once your post is live simply reach out and ask the influencer for some feedback. Most will share your content but if your two pushy or you sound like a template, well, you can forget it.

    Mentioning folk in your posts is the best way to get traction, build trust and start a flourishing relationship with the influencer.

    Thank you for sharing!
    Joe

  • I agree with the instagram. The Reason I am saying this that Hashtags helps alot to gather targetted audience. I personally prefer bloggers to be active on insta and share relevant pictures that your audience love. Use trending hashtags and see the magic. :)

  • The worst part of a blog is getting it established and gaining the first regular readers and followers. After that they multiply and things become easier. In the past it was far easier to get listed in Google and to enjoy the traffic from them but nowadays it is a lot more difficult to get those listings. The most important thing is that you keep trying and don’t get despondent and give up.

    • I agree, I feel as though it’s much harder these days than it was years ago. But not impossible! Keep on keeping on, even though it feels overwhelming. Honestly, the best sign of success I’ve seen is when people continue blogging after others have stopped.

  • Tracy,
    Very timely suggestions for me!
    As a starter, I find writing, working on social media, commenting, seo etc… when all being done alongside, a bit too overwhelming. So I’ve devised a strategy for myself. I’ll focus on one of each of the useful ways you mentioned at a time till I’m sailing well and THEN move on to the next. I’ve started with my major focus on pinterest, because that’s where I think my folks hang out. It’s so tempting to know about other goodnesses but I guess I need to learn patience with persistent effort!

    • Thoroughly good advice! Start small and nail it before you move on.

  • connecting on facebook with people is one of the best way to get traction,If we keep writing good content and fresh content it will be get shares organically upon sharing on our profile.

    I used twitter in the beginning with hashtags,but now the reach is so slow since many people start using the method without any actual-related content

  • Thank you Stacy for a great article, Problogger has been a favourite of mine for some time now. Especially the podcasts.

    I’m really new to the blogging world and I’ve been through loads of videos, podcasts and research over the past 6 months, so I’m still in the shallow end of the pool as it were.

    I’ve been really lucky in that my initial social support network has been my family, being open with them about this new enterprise has been a great confidence booster. But I’ve decided to let the brand be in the public eye rather than my personal profile.

    So my question is how would you go about social networking without using your personal profile? Wouldn’t putting the brand out there as the spokesperson be seen as a little pushy? Still focusing on providing quality in the content though of course.

    • Easy! don’t use your personal profile! Create one for your brand and use that. If need be, share your brand profile on your personal profile, but keep the two separate if you feel that will work better for you. If you’re not going to get out there and “push” your content as your brand, who else will?!

  • I started my blogging journey last month and I’m trying to get readers from Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Very, I will engage on other social media.
    Social media very helpful for new blogger to get readers than Google at starting period.

    • Good luck! And remember – it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

  • Hi Stacey,

    I really liked the idea of calling in favors. I’ve had a personal development blog for a couple of years. But it was more of having a blog for myself where I could share my thoughts and journal.

    Anyway, I recently decided to dive 100% into the blog. But even though I’m sharing the content on my personal wall I never wanted to ask people to share my blog posts. But thanks to you I’m going to do that with my latest post.

    I want to write something like

    “Thanks for everyone that read my article. This has been my most successful article to date. It makes me really happy :D

    If you found this article helpful and learned something, and if you want to help me with my business. I would be grateful if you shared this post with your friends.

    I have a hard time asking for re-shares. But if you think it will help your friends, please do. :)

    Also feel free to comment on what you liked (or disliked) about the post :)”

    Can you spot any mistake I’m making, or have any other feedback?

    • I think simple is usually best, and ask for what you want – you can’t go wrong with being honest!