HOW I LEARNED TO INCREASE BLOG TRAFFIC
August was a monumental month for my blog. August marked my blog’s half-year birthday, but that’s not the reason the month is so special. My goal for August was to substantially increase blog traffic. More specifically, I aimed to double traffic to my blog. Not only did I hit my goal, I surpassed it!
Before I get into the strategy I used to increase blog traffic, here’s a bit of background on my blog.
I started my blog in mid-February and initially focused on building content and developing a brand identity. I have been on a marketing kick for the last couple months because I feel my blog is at a good point, branding-and-content-wise, to really push my content out there. I was a corporate marketer in the B2B space for several years. I left my job in February to stay at home with my girl and then decided to start this blog. I learned an incredible amount about marketing while in the corporate world, but I have also learned a substantial amount of new marketing tactics since entering the blogging world. Though I have been able to implement some tactics I already knew from my marketing career, marketing a blog is different than marketing in the corporate world, so learning new strategies and tactics is always something I will be focused on.
- How to Start a Blog
- The Easiest Way to Set up Rich Pins on Pinterest
- How to Find Time to Blog when You’re a Stay at Home Mom
- 8 Things NOT to Do when You Start a Blog
- 4 Reasons Bloggers Should Use Canva
- How to Add Images to Your Blog’s Sidebar
That’s why, for the past few months, I have consistently been researching the best ways to grow my blog traffic using smart marketing strategies. I followed several bloggers who help other bloggers and entrepreneurs succeed, and I learned an incredible amount. I also did my own research and started looking at what other bloggers do to grow their blog traffic. I was always aware of the importance to have a good amount of traffic to a blog, but the question then became: why is it so important to increase blog traffic? What specific reasons are there for having high volumes of traffic?
WHY SHOULD I INCREASE BLOG TRAFFIC?
There are many reasons why it’s important to increase blog traffic. One of the most popular reasons is to hit the minimum threshold of required traffic stats for certain affiliates and ad networks.
If you’re a blogger who’s trying to become part of certain affiliate programs or be accepted into particular ad networks, having more traffic to your blog is critical. While some affiliates and ad networks don’t have minimum traffic requirements, others do – and many times those programs and networks pay more to their affiliates. And as bloggers, we are always looking for ways to maximize revenue.
One example of a company that has a minimum traffic requirement is Mediavine, which is an ad management company. As noted in their application, Mediavine requires content creators have at least 25k sessions/month to even apply. If you’re not near that number and you want to be partners with them, you’ll need to do some serious work to increase your blog’s traffic.
MY TRAFFIC STATS FOR AUGUST
Once September rolled around and I completed my monthly analytics report for August (this is something I choose to do every month so I can evaluate my blog traffic for the previous month as well as what tactics worked and what didn’t), I was thrilled to learn that I more than doubled my month over month traffic. I compared August 2017 to July 2017, and I learned that I increased my sessions by 130%, my users by 143%, and my pageviews by 160%!
I am ecstatic to say the least, but it wasn’t by chance that I was able to do this. I worked really hard to achieve this increase in blog traffic by implementing several smart new growth strategies. The reason for my success boils down to a trio of tactics that I implemented in August. The best part is that this new strategy of tactics ultimately fostered the ability to work less, which I’ll explain more below.
Here is my month over month data from July 2017 to August 2017.
As you can see, I more than doubled my sessions, users, and pageviews. My pageviews saw the most growth, with a 160% month over month increase.
WHY AM I SHARING THIS DATA?
You may be wondering why I am so transparent about my blog’s traffic and analytics. A couple reasons come to mind. First, I want to pay it forward. The reason I started a blog, outside of my need for wanting a creative outlet and my love of helping others create a beautiful home, was because other bloggers posted traffic and income reports. I could see the potential of starting a blog and how other bloggers got to where they are. I want to show new bloggers that it is possible to start seeing traffic (and in return, hopefully money!) come to blogs, even if they’re just starting out.
Second, I want to show other bloggers in the DIY/home decor space that it is possible to see a decent amount traffic relatively quickly. I have not come across a lot of DIY/home decor bloggers who post traffic and income reports, so if you’re in this space, I want to you know it is possible to increase blog traffic by implementing a smart growth strategy.
HERE ARE THREE TACTICS I IMPLEMENTED THAT HELPED ME INCREASE BLOG TRAFFIC:
- JOIN MORE GROUP BOARDS ON PINTEREST
The first tactic to increase blog traffic is to join more group boards on Pinterest. Pinterest group boards are so incredible, and I am so thankful Pinterest created them. They help bloggers grow a larger following, gain exposure, and promote their content to, in many cases, large quantities of people. It’s truly amazing that we as bloggers have this marketing luxury. From February 2017 (the inception of my blog) to July 2017, I focused a bit on getting added to group boards but not nearly as much as I should have.
You see, in July, I had an ‘aha’ moment, and I realized I wasn’t spending my time in the right places. I was so focused on growing all my social media platforms (side note – Pinterest is not actually a social media platform, it’s a search engine), that I wasn’t focusing enough time learning how to optimize my Pinterest strategy.
Here’s why that was a complete miss:
Similar to many bloggers, my number one traffic source is Pinterest! It has been that way every single month since I started my blog. I needed to be focusing on growing my number one driver of traffic first before I tackled strategies for (other) social media platform growth. I think that’s a trap that us as bloggers tend to fall in: we try to take on too much too quickly instead of focusing on doing well at one thing first.
That’s when I decided to take a step back and re-evaluate my blog growth strategy. My new plan for August was to continue to post on my social media platforms (I didn’t just want to fall off the face of the earth), but dedicate a much larger amount of my time learning how to optimize Pinterest.
In part of July and all of August, I asked to join so many group boards that I lost count. More times than not, I didn’t get a response from a group board owner after sending a request to join a group board. And that’s OK. I just kept chugging along and requesting to be on more and more group boards until group board owners started adding me.
It’s also important to keep in mind that not all group boards are created equal. Just because a group board has a million followers does not mean that it will be the best board for your content. I say that because your content could drown in a plethora of pins or your content may not be the right fit for a board. If you join a group board and realize it’s not the right board for you, don’t be afraid to remove yourself from that board. I have done it several times so I can focus on the boards that are working for me.
Right now, I am part of 60+ group boards and I also started my own. (BTW if you are in the DIY/home decor niche, I’d be happy to add you to my group board.) I started monitoring exactly which pins are getting repinned the most and from what boards.
- CREATE MORE VERSIONS OF PINS & A/B TEST
The second tactic to increase blog traffic is to create more versions of pins as well as A/B test. In conjunction with joining to group board to reach more people on Pinterest, I have also started creating more versions of pins, so that I can A/B test which ones are working. Actually, I’m more like A/B/C/D testing with each pin. The more versions of pins you create that lead to the same content will help in a couple ways.
- You can pin to the same group board more times without seeming spammy. If you start pinning the same pin over and over again to the same board, many times a group owner will delete you. In fact, several group board owners have rules against pinning a certain amount of times or pinning the same the pin over and over. You should always abide by the group’s rules or you risk getting removed from the group and consequently, being removed from reaching hundreds, if not thousands of people with your content.
- You can see what type of pins work for you. I have a good story for this point. I created a pretty pin of a chalk paint tutorial that I did. Here’s the pin:
I created another pin version that leads to the same URL:
To my surprise, the second pin blew the first pin out of the water. While my first pin was being pinned here and there, my second pin was being pinned left and right.
This is why it’s so important to have multiple versions of the same pin. I learned quickly that users like to see the ‘before’ and the ‘after’ shot, not just the ‘after’ shot. Knowing this helps me save time when creating new pins because I have a better idea of what resonates with my audience.
- INVEST IN TAILWIND
The third tactic to increase blog traffic is to utilize Tailwind.
This is probably the best advice I can give you: invest in Tailwind. I am incredibly frugal and only pay for technologies that I feel are imperative to successfully running my blog. Tailwind is one of those technologies.
My relationship with Tailwind didn’t start out strong. Let me explain.
Several months ago, I signed up for a free trial of Tailwind. I had read so many articles and posts about how Tailwind helped other bloggers achieve a large increase in blog traffic, and I wanted to see if I could make it work for me.
During my free trial period I started to learn how the technology worked and why it is so vital to have as a blogger. I would take a two-hour slot of time during the beginning of my week, sit down at my computer, and focus solely on scheduling my Pinterest pins. I scheduled several pins to be pinned to my boards and group Pinterest boards every single day. This ultimately helped me feel at ease throughout the week, as I didn’t have to manually pin everyday now that my pins were on autopilot – and being displayed to thousands and thousands of people, I might add. It was wonderful, but this wasn’t driving much more traffic to my website than previous months.
Why not? Well, I was simply replacing my manual work with automated work. I wasn’t increasing the amount of times my pins were being sent out, I was just doing it a different way. I realized that it wasn’t Tailwind that was the issue, it was my strategy.
That’s when I decided that in order to really grow my blog traffic, I needed to continually be scheduling pins, more than just several times a day. After my free trial expired, I decided to make the investment in Tailwind, despite my initial lackluster results, because I knew the potential of the technology when used wisely.
I decided to buy the year membership of Tailwind because it allows you to schedule unlimited pins. If you buy the monthly plan, you can only schedule 400 posts per month. The other reason it’s smart to invest in the yearly plan is because you ultimately get a 33% cost savings compared to the monthly plan. The annual plan is $9.99/month, or $119.88 annually. If you opt to buy the monthly plan, you’ll pay $15/month, or $180 annually. The fact that I paid less than $120 for an entire year to schedule an unlimited amount of pins is seriously a good deal. As I mentioned I am a frugal person, and while this plan isn’t that much, I still only invest technologies that are worthwhile.
After investing in Tailwind’s yearly plan, I dedicated time to learning how to optimize the technology. I started scheduling 150+ pins to go out every single day. Now, I wouldn’t recommend scheduling this many pins unless you are part of many group boards so that you can space them out. As I said earlier, you don’t want to look spammy. I am part of 60+ group boards so I am able to send out this many pins. Once I started doing this, I began seeing large increases in the amounts of traffic.
Here you can see a complete snapshot of my ‘average monthly viewers’ and ‘average monthly engaged’ on Pinterest during August:
Notice that I saw over a 200% increase for both stats above!
It’s incredibly important to understand that this is a domino effect. I am able to maximize my results because I look at my strategy as a trio of tactics. I need to continually join more group boards (and remove ones that aren’t working), create several pin versions, and then schedule my pins to go out consistently via Tailwind to see significant growth.
With this strategy of tactics in place, I am now able to work less and get more bang for my buck. My traffic is continuing to increase. Utilizing this strategy, I have already hit over 1500 pageviews just for the first four days of September! It’s truly incredible what technologies like Tailwind can do to increase blog traffic when used to their maximum potential.
If you want to invest in Tailwind to help you increase blog traffic, you can save $15 by using this link.
If you found this post helpful, please let me know in the comments!
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