Starting a blog is a serious business and can mean serious cash, but not without consistent traffic! I remember the feeling of working so hard on my old blogs – creating awesome content every single day – only for one to two people to visit my page. Talk about frustrating! When I learned these blog traffic basics, things started to change.
Here’s how to get your first thousand visits to your blog – the same tips I used to get more than two thousand visits to Pretty Little Grind in its first month after launch.
Blog Traffic Basics: What is Blog Traffic?
Blog traffic is the number of people visiting your blog each month.
This means that blog traffic does not include people who see your content on Pinterest or Facebook but do not click through. A person must be on your website for their presence to count towards your blog traffic.
There are two kinds of blog traffic: organic and paid traffic.
Organic traffic refers to any traffic that comes naturally to your blog. Simply, it is traffic that you do not pay for. Organic traffic can come from Google searches, Pinterest pins, or a YouTube channel if you have one.
Most bloggers focus on building organic traffic, and there are a few reasons for this. First, organic traffic is free, which is the best option for many baby bloggers.
Secondly, organic traffic is the best way to build a business and a strong brand. Blogs that pay for all of their traffic will have trouble maintaining their numbers. They are constantly paying for ads to hit their traffic goals.
Blogs that focus on generating organic traffic can easily see what kind of content performs best, and create more of the same. This is how bloggers build a brand that resonates with people. The clearer their brand becomes, the more organic traffic they generate and the easier it is to make money blogging.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sponsoring a Pin or a Facebook ad from time to time. I’ve definitely done it to help grow my email list! But learning how to build organic traffic is one of the most essential blog traffic basics you can learn.
Blog Traffic Basics: First Steps
Step One: Build a Foundation of Good Content
The first step to generating traffic might seem straightforward, but it’s one that many people skip! The very first thing you need to do as a beginner blogger is create content.
Focus all of your energy on creating your first ten blog posts. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure each blog post is between 1,200 and 2,200 words. Long-form content performs better on Google and Pinterest!
- Stick to your niche! Your first 25-50 blog posts should be strongly tied to your niche. This consistency will help establish your blog’s brand.
- Interlink your posts. Since your posts will be in the same niche, it shouldn’t be hard to add links to your other articles within each post.
- Add relevant stock images/graphics. Use Canva to create engaging graphics for each blog post. Ideally, you want to add an image every few paragraphs.
- Check your work with Grammarly or a similar editing service. Grammar and spelling errors are distracting and will cause people to bounce from your blog!
It’s challenging to drive traffic to a blog without content. In your early days, most of your focus should be on writing excellent blog posts.
With my past three failed blogs, I always tried driving traffic before I had a solid foundation of good content. I’m here to tell you that to do this is putting the cart before the horse. It’s a good way to get nowhere fast!
When you have at least ten quality blog posts, it’s time to move on to the next step in blog traffic basics.
Step Two: Prime Your Posts for SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It basically means making your posts more accessible for people to find through search. Google and Pinterest suggest articles to people based on what keywords they are searching for. Because of this, it’s important to know what keywords your blog post is about.
Both Google and Pinterest have different criteria for how they rank posts and articles. There’s a lot to learn about SEO on both platforms, but today, we are sticking to the basics!
WordPress has a great plugin called Yoast SEO. If you don’t have it installed on your blog, it’s the first thing you want to do!
Yoast SEO evaluates your post as you write. It uses criteria like the length of your post or the number of times you used your keywords to give your post the green light, orange light, or red light.
I never publish a post until I have earned a green light from Yoast.
Step Three: Utilize Pinterest
Pinterest has long been hailed as the Holy Grail of organic blog traffic. They’re not wrong. No blog traffic basics list would be complete without discussing the best practices of generating Pinterest traffic.
If you’ve never used Pinterest before, it is a pretty and simple search engine. It uses images and graphics to suggest content to people instead of Google’s ranked list form.
To learn more about Pinterest basics, read this article.
Steps for Increasing Blog Traffic with Pinterest
- Create a business profile
- Set up rich pins/claim your domain
- Design (tons of) beautiful pins
- Schedule your pins on Tailwind
- Join group boards
- BONUS: Are Pinterest ads worth it?
Create a Business Profile
Most millennials have been using a personal Pinterest account for several years now. (I think my account is about eight years old!) There’s no need to create a new Pinterest account for your blog unless you really want to. Pinterest makes it easy to convert a personal account to a business account.
You want a business account instead of a personal account for a few reasons.
- A business account gives you analytics about the performance of your profile and your pins.
- You can connect your blog to your Pinterest business account
- You can sponsor pins and run ads from a business account
- A business account gives your blog and your brand more credibility.
Set Up Rich Pins
The idea of rich pins intimidated me for a long time because I had no idea what it meant. Allow me to simplify!
Setting up rich pins means getting your blog domain verified by Pinterest. After Pinterest has verified your blog, it can pull your blog title and blog post images directly from your website just by plugging in your URL.
Rich pins is an easy way to build credibility on Pinterest and get your Pins in front of more people.
Design Tons of Beautiful Pins
There is one rule you should always remember when it comes to Pinterest: fresh content above all!
Pinterest has made no secret that its algorithm promotes fresh pins more than any other criteria.
So what is a fresh pin, exactly?
A fresh pin is a pin with a new photo on the pin graphic. That’s it! The text overlay and pin description can all stay the same as long as the image has been changed up.
For every blog post that you write, you should create 5-10 pins for Pinterest. That may seem like a lot, but trust me on this one. The more new pins you can create, the better!
How do I design a pin?
Most bloggers I know use Canva. I use Canva as well because it is the most comprehensive, easy-to-use design tool on the internet. The free version is utterly amazing, and I didn’t upgrade from it for more than a year! Canva also has a whole library of pin templates that you can use when designing your own pins, and an extensive stock photo library for your use.
But let’s be honest. Not everyone has the time or energy to create hundreds of gorgeous, viral-ready pins.
That’s why I use Pinterest Pin Templates from my friend, Erica, at Queen Bee Bloggers. She is an actual genius when it comes to creating clickable content that stands out on Pinterest. All of her templates are completely customizable, too!
Erica has created an entire library of 100 Pinterest Pin Templates that you can use for any blog post. Again, these templates are 100% customizable on Canva. I use these templates every single week and get great results on Pinterest.
You would think that such an extensive resource would be hella pricey, but they are an actual steal at $8 for the ENTIRE COLLECTION. I know, right? Get them HERE and start creating viral pins right away.
Schedule Your Pins on Tailwind
I know I probably sound like a broken record. Every blogger everywhere is talking about Tailwind for Pinterest, and there’s a good reason! Tailwind works.
You see, you can’t just pin hundreds of posts on Pinterest one day and nothing at all the next. Generating traffic from Pinterest requires consistent pinning over time.
Tailwind is a scheduler for Pinterest. What this means is that you can schedule your Pinterest to automatically pin 5-7 times a day at peak traffic times. I usually schedule out my pins 2-4 weeks in advance. This frees me up to do other blogging tasks, while my Pinterest traffic grows in the background.
There’s also a great feature called Tailwind Tribes that allows bloggers in the same niche to share each other’s content 1:1. Most beginner bloggers can quickly grow their monthly Pinterest views with just a few weeks in Tailwind Tribes.
Tailwind also offers extensive training for beginners. Check out their Pinterest training here.
Join Group Boards
A group board is a board on Pinterest that is shared between multiple Pinterest accounts. Any of the collaborators can add their pins to the board to be repinned by others.
People like group boards because you can essentially “borrow” someone else’s audience and get your content in front of them. More exposure means more chances for repins, and more repins means more clicks to your blog.
Some bloggers avoid group boards because they can be annoying to get into. This is because there is no button on a group board that allows you to apply. You have to go through other methods like emailing the group board leader, commenting on their Pins, or sending a DM through Pinterest.
To find group boards in your niche, try using PinGroupie.
Pinterest Ads: Are They Worth It?
One of the perks of having a business account on Pinterest is the ability to sponsor your pins. Of course, any traffic you get from a sponsored pin is paid traffic rather than organic traffic, but that’s not always bad.
Personally, if I’m going to invest in ads, it is 100% going to be on Pinterest. I have generated hundreds of visits to my blog with just a few Pinterest ads here and there. The platform is far less competitive than Google or Facebook and allows me to target exactly the kind of reader I’m looking for.
The biggest reward in doing this is that I grew my email list more quickly than ever before. I built my email list from 0 subscribers to nearly 50 within a two-month window. This was from a combination of paid traffic and organic traffic, all from Pinterest.
At the end of the day, only you can decide what marketing strategy is best for your blog. However, if you have ad money built into the budget, I recommend Pinterest ads before anything else.
Whew…that was a lot of Pinterest pointers in a short amount of time! Feel free to shoot me an email if you would like to see more Pinterest-for-blogging content.
Looking to Become a Pinterest Pro? Enroll in Pinterest Traffic Avalanche Today!
The Don’ts of Blog Traffic Basics.
It may seem like we’ve covered a lot here today. Trust me, I’m over here sweating at my keyboard. In reality, we’ve only scratched the surface of SEO, Pinterest, and organic traffic.
Still, the information I’ve provided you with today are the exact tips I used to generate over 2,000 page views in my first month with Pretty Little Grind.
Before you go, let’s discuss the don’ts of blog traffic basics.
DON’T rely too heavily on social media. Social media exists as a way for you to connect and get real with your audience. Most of the time, they do not want to be bombarded with posts about your blog. It’s totally okay to let them know when you have new content, but don’t use Instagram and Twitter as your primary strategy for driving traffic.
DON’T worry too much about Google SEO. Google is hugely competitive, and it’s unlikely that you, as a new blogger, will be on their radar for quite a while. Focus more of your energy on Pinterest as you slowly build credibility with the powers-that-be at Google.
DON’T overthink it. It’s easy to get in your head about numbers. I fall into that trap all the time! The best thing you can do is keep creating great content and working Pinterest as best you can.
DON’T ignore your analytics. Pinterest and Tailwind analytics have great information about your best (and worst) performing content. Look for what’s working and do more of that. Give your audience what they want and make your brand even clearer.
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