I’ve been blogging for almost seven years.
Aside from homeschooling my kids, working on this blog business is how I spend my days.
(It’s often how I spend my nights and weekends during busy seasons too.)
AKA Design has seen decent growth in those five years.
But last year, I really found my blogging groove.
As a result I grew our blog traffic by over 350%.
And being the sharer that I am, I want to share with you what worked for AKA Design, so maybe you can put some of these ideas into practice on your own blog.
I want to show you how to grow blog traffic too!
1. Post Consistently
This one piece of advice is a big one.
Honestly. I was actually given this advice about two years ago. But I didn’t really believe it. I didn’t put it into practice.
I shouldn’t have procrastinated.
Whether for you posting consistently means posting once a week, three times a week or every day, be consistent.
Post on the same day(s) every week. Post at the same time each day you publish a post.
If you send out an email each time you post, be sure it goes out at the same time every time.
You will see results!
2. Build Your Archives
Early in 2014, I switched to a blog theme that allowed me to sort my archives into thumbnail photo links.
I can break those down into large categories that I link to my menu bar, and sub-categories that appear on each archive page.
This really let me see which categories needed filling out and which ones perhaps already had enough content.
The other thing that organizing my archives this way showed me was that I needed to create more “evergreen” content – content that would be relevant regardless of when it was read.
Aside from my weekly Link Party post, I stopped referring to the weather, life happenings that were time sensitive, etc. This has helped my content stay relevant long after it’s published.
Work on creating an archive full of posts that are easily searchable and that really focus on your blog’s feature topics.
3. Improve Your Photography
I’m totally embarrassed at many of the photos I shared on the blog in the first few years I blogged.
(I’m pretty sure a lot of bloggers are.)
Every little improvement in your equipment and skills gives your readers more eye candy to look at.
And you better believe that blog readers want eye candy!
Here are some resources I highly recommend for improving your photography skills:
Tasty Food Photography – a fabulous little ebook with great tips for food photography (duh!), crafts and step by step detail photography.
Shoot Fly Shoot – video series that goes step by step through using a DSLR camera as well as how to use photoshop.
I also recommend getting a handle on photo editing software of some sort asap. This course on Photoshop changed my blog pictures forever!
Your equipment makes a difference too. A decent camera body and a couple of lenses are key.
Here’s what I’m currently using:
Although I’d love to add this lens.
There are many more nicer cameras too. This is just what I’ve got right now.
4. Post More Often
I know there are several bloggers out there recommending that traffic can increase (or at the very least remain the same) if you post LESS frequently. Some even go so far as to say they only post once a week.
The more you post, the quicker you can build your archives. The bigger your archives the more reason readers have to stick around and come back.
The more you post, the more times you will be in front of your readers with new content.
This is especially true in the DIY/Home blogging niches where readers want new projects, new room tours, new eye candy more frequently than in many other niches.
Figure out how often you can practically post. Consider contributors, link parties, shopping posts, image posts, etc. to make publishing quality content easier for you.
Then post at least that often.
5. Collaborate with Other Bloggers
Collaborating with other bloggers can be as simple as two bloggers sharing each other’s home tour or as complicated as an organized and sponsored blog hop with 20 other bloggers.
It can be a one-off event. Or it can be an ongoing collaborative series.
Start small. But start.
Approach a blogger that may be about the same size as you. Maybe a blogger that has a similar style to yours. Join a Facebook group for bloggers. Use the #followfriday hashtag to share a blogger you like on social media.
Brainstorm original ways to work with other bloggers. Do a blog hop. Create a house tour.
By sharing the talents of other bloggers you create good feelings and become known for having an eye for talent.
Collaborations benefit everyone. Collaborations allow for more traffic to your site because each blogger is exposed to new readers and followers.
So by collaborating your traffic is almost guaranteed to grow!
6. Share on Social Media
I’ve heard some bloggers say they just want to blog. They don’t want to be bothered with social media.
Unfortunately blogs don’t exist in a bubble these days and the actual blog is just one part of your online blog business.
The more you share your content, others’ content and other things on social media, the more traffic your blog should gain as well.
There are some great plugins you can use to automate some social media sharing, leaving you free to respond and interact with followers rather than getting bogged down with posting manually.
I like to use Nexscripts SNAP because it makes it stupid easy to share new blog posts across ALL social networks with a photo! Easily post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other networks each time you publish a blog post. You can even add hashtags (great for working with brands) and tag others.
Also, perhaps to beat a dead horse, pretty photos are also key on social media. Instagram followers especially want pretty pictures.
7. Find Your Tribe
No one understands your blog business better than another blogger.
You need a handful of bloggers around you who get it.
This is another tip I got ages ago. But I thought I could manage on my own.
My blog life is infinitely better because of my blogging tribe.
The first step is to get to know other bloggers. Read their blogs. Comment. Share their relevant content on your social media channels.
Start a Facebook group for your tribe. Make it secret, closed, whatever. Just have a place to share your ups and downs.*
You’ll be so thankful for that group on many occasions!
*I fully believe in tribes. But remember that anything you say online is “out there” and public even in a closed or secret group.
Bonus for DIY/Home Bloggers: Shop Out Your House Tour
Every one loves a house tour.
House tours have pretty pictures, design and DIY ideas. What’s not to love?
So package up your house tour:
- Put it together as a blog post, with beautiful photography and descriptions.
- Save it as a draft in your own blog’s backend.
- Google “blogger house tour” to see who’s been featuring house tours.
- Email a few bloggers and ask if they’d like to feature your tour.
- If you get more than one yes, make sure you change up the first paragraph or two so that each tour isn’t identical (to readers and to Google).
Try to do this a few times a year with seasonal tours.
Before you know it, you’ll be driving extra traffic to your own blog because of a packaged tour!
So those are the tips I put into practice last year to grow the traffic to AKA Design.
Are there any of these you don’t already do and could? Or do you have other ideas that have helped you to grow your own blog traffic?
For MORE ways to boost your blog traffic, my friend Abby has created a free guide. Get it by clicking the image below.