How to get blog traffic when you’re starting a blog for the first time?
Blog traffic is one of the hardest things to get if you are new to the blogging block. But I’m going to share with you a few ways that have proven to work for plus one way that I’ve “failed.”
Maybe not “failed”, but I wouldn’t call it a success.
And also, you’re about to find out what my favorite category of traffic is.
#1 Facebook Groups
If you’re just starting out and you just want to see some quick wins, Facebook groups are the quickest way to get traffic. Unlike Pinterest and Google, you don’t need to understand any SEO or how to optimize your post. Most Facebook groups have weekly promo threads that give you the chance to promote something from your site. This can be:
- A blog post
- A social media channel you want to grow
- An opt-in freebie you want to give away to grow your list
These are the threads that help you drive traffic back to your site. When I first started this blog, I focused most of my efforts on Facebook groups and Pinterest. The traffic between those channels came in pretty evenly with Pinterest leading a bit further.
The only downside to this is that you really need to go into Facebook groups and manually add your links. Don’t expect a lot of traffic at first. It really depends on who sees your posts. You’ll see on some threads of large Facebook groups that there are 300+ comments on one thread. If you think about it, most people won’t dig through hundreds of comments to read your posts.
That’s why you also want to add value in FB groups. Most FB groups’ hosts won’t like bloggers who just go in, drop their links, and run. I know it’s easy and tempting to do this when you feel like security isn’t watching. But by adding value, I really mean going through some threads and answering questions in relation to your niche.
I spent about six months on FB groups and I really began to notice a few names always popping up. The people who add value continue to add value and it becomes obvious.
Although there has been a slew of large FB groups closing down lately, I don’t see FB groups as irrelevant. But because large groups are hard and costly to manage, it makes more sense to close them down and focus on paid communities instead.
I’ve taken a break from FB groups, but occasionally still see traffic from Facebook, which is a bit strange to me. Nowadays, I focus more on Pinterest because I have way more traffic coming from there.
And that’s my next point.
#2 Pinterest SEO
If you use Pinterest as a social channel, I don’t know what to say. I use it as a search engine and optimize it with keywords. This means I use keywords I know people will search for on Pinterest when I create my boards, write my pin descriptions, craft my headlines, etc.
If you started your blog and not seeing the traffic results you want, I’ll start your FB groups and Pinterest SEO efforts at the same time. Unlike Google SEO, Pinterest works at a much faster pace.
Pretty much immediately, especially if you have content ready to promote.
If not, you want to write about 10 posts, design pins for them, and then start promoting.
A few things to keep in mind is that:
You want to keep your boards around the categories you want to attract readers too. This means make your personal boards a secret board or delete them altogether.
You want to clean up your pins and any pins that receive less than 3 repins, you want to delete. This will help your board to rank higher!
Convert to a business account and verify your site to enable rich pins
These are the basics of getting started. If you are serious about Pinterest, I would really take a crash course and spend at least a month optimizing your traffic. I know a month sounds like a long time and so many people talk about automating Pinterest like a charm.
But the reality is if you don’t intuitively understand how the platform works, which pins do well, and why they do well while others fail, you don’t know what to create more of and what to stop doing.
One of the biggest mistakes of automation is automating too early before you understand how something works. My traffic on Pinterest was taking off a few months ago, but I made the mistake of:
- Pinning too much
- Not removing myself from low-ranked group boards (this happens!)
- Not deleting my under-performing pins (this should be a weekly task)
#3 Google SEO
Google SEO use to be my favorite, but it takes much longer to build up. The platform has also been around for a longer time and the competition is much higher.
But with Google, you don’t need to spend time to create pins and join group boards, two tasks which take up a lot of time. And to join quality Pinterest group boards, you really need to spend time and write personalized emails.
To begin, Yoast SEO is a good plugin that walks you through what you need to do to optimize each blog post.
Yeah, each blog post!
I know it sounds like a lot.
And for no instant gratification, it’s easy to dismiss it.
If you read my post on how I batch my content creation process, that doesn’t even include SEO implementation. I do some basic SEO before I publish a post, but I go back to optimize it when I have time.
SEO isn’t fun for me either, so I like to do that type of work in batches.
Focus on growing your Google SEO, but know that it’s a long term game. It might even take up to a year to see results if you’re in a popular niche. I saw results of up to 30K per month after six months for a previous blog.
#4 Promoted Pins
I love promoted pins! It’s my favorite source of paid traffic. If I had to choose between FB ads and promoted pins, I’ll choose this.
However, I won’t recommend using promoted pins unless you’re growing your Pinterest account organically as well. I say this because once you promote a pin, it’ll continue to reach more people even after you stop the promotion.
I promoted a handful of pins back in May and June. I stopped the promotion in mid-July, but those pins continue to bring in traffic. One of those pins is still the most visited page on my blog now.
With paid traffic, you can automatically reach more people by choosing who you want to get your pins in front of. This means you can get it in front of more people without having it being repinned by others.
Promoting your pins will be much faster. The most engaged pins on my account are ones that were previously promoted.
(insert screenshot of a promoted pin)
I wouldn’t promote every pin you have or randomly promote a pin though.
So when should you promote a pin?
- To a post that has an affiliate link that has proven to make some sales
- A webinar
- Your own product
#5 Facebook Ads
I’ve only tried FB ads once when I’m writing this. And it didn’t go as well as I expected. I probably should’ve spent more time learning it, but I tried both promoted pins and Facebook ads around the same time.
I had some issues with some of my pins getting approved by Pinterest at first, but once I knew what I did wrong, my pins started taking off and I tripled my email list after it stagnated for two months.
So naturally, I stopped FB ads because it was too much to manage both platforms at once. I did get a handful of conversions but I can only say that I’d expected more.
FB ads seem to have taken over the Internet so it wouldn’t make sense not to include it on this list.