It’s every blogger’s dream to get more pageviews. Whether we care about numbers or not, in the end, we all want to reach and help more people.
Back in March, I had around 300 pageviews. That was an all-time record for me back then. Now, I get that amount in a day (and some days a lot more than that!). I went from having 300 pageviews a month to a monthly average of now 18,000 pageviews. In the span of 9 months, I 60x my pageviews. But that didn’t happen overnight. That took a lot of efforts, but I’m happy to say that it paid off. So how did I grow my blog’s traffic?
I moved to self-hosted.
One of the best things I could have done to grow my blog was moving to self-hosted. I wasn’t sure I was ready to make the move, but in June, Abigail from Living the Gray Life told me that she had just bought her new domain and host and they were having a huge sale so I should definitely jump on board too! After some major trouble with my credit card (that got fixed quickly, but that involved me telling my mom about my blog and us fighting about it), I finally took the plunge! I launched my new blog on July 6th, 2016. I wouldn’t have been able to do it hadn’t it been for Abigail’s help. I’m definitely not tech-savvy, so I was a bit lost and confused with everything at first. But WordPress is definitely user-friendly, so once your site is created and you’ve moved your content, everything is a lot easier!
If you’re afraid to take the plunge, I say do it! Did you know that, if you’re on the free platform of WordPress, you do not own your content? *gasps* I was flabbergasted when I learned that. All of the hours I spent creating content for my blog, and I didn’t own any of it? You will also have more flexibility when it comes to what your blog actually look like. You can create or buy your own theme, and add plugins to make your blog look the way you want.
I know a lot of bloggers said it, but I will repeat it again. The #1 thing you should be focusing on if you want to grow your blog’s traffic is Pinterest, point blank period. This is where I get 80% of my traffic, and it’s the one thing I wish I had understood sooner as a blogger. I used to think that I could just pin any image to Pinterest and that it would bring new readers. WRONG. You need a Pinterest strategy.
I invested in Pinfinite Growth.
Back in August, I started thinking about buying Melyssa Griffin’s course. She was relaunching it, and I knew a lot of people swore by it. But I thought it was expensive and since I had just purchased hosting and a new domain a few weeks before, I wasn’t sure my credit card was ready to take that. After talking to Samantha from As Life Grows, I jumped into it. (I’m sensing a pattern here, haha)
Turns out, investing in Pinfinite Growth was one of the best investment that I could have made for my blog. Not only did my Pinterest following exploded (I went from 187 followers at the end of the month of August to over 2,000 followers in December), but my blog’s traffic grew alongside it. I implemented Melyssa’s strategies and it worked!
Honestly, if you’re still doubting whether or not you should enroll, DO IT NOW! It will really change the way you see Pinterest, and you’ll learn things that will explode your blog! (By the way, this post is not sponsored or anything, I just really loved the course!)
I created pins that convey.
In September, I went through a rebranding. While taking Melyssa’s course, I realized that I needed to work on my pins. While some of them were pretty and were bringing quite a bit of traffic, I wasn’t consistent with my branding. I had different pin looks that I used according to my mood, and that simply wasn’t working. How were people supposed to recognize my content if they couldn’t tell which pins were mine? I also thought my font was sometimes hard to read, which doesn’t really help either. So, I picked a color palette, chose my fonts, created a pin template using Canva, and got to work.
It took me a while to figure out what I wanted, but I can honestly say that branding my pins not only brought more pageviews to my blog, but it’s also a timesaver! Creating my pins now takes me about 5 minutes, tops. (And most of that time is used choosing the pin’s photo.)
To create pins that convey, you need a few things:
- Clear, easy-to-read fonts. You should pick 2-3 fonts for your pins (and your blog in general), and stick to that.
- A 800×1200 format. Optimized pins for Pinterest are large and long. And make sure your pins are vertical! Pinterest favors pins in that format.
- A keyword rich description. Always add a description to your pins! It’ll increase the chances of your pins being found in the search engine.
- A clear image. Grainy pictures that are not high-quality tend not to do well on Pinterest (or on any social media, to be honest).
- Your website’s URL. Don’t forget to add the URL to your website on your pin!
I applied for rich pins.
What are rich pins? Rich pins include extra information right on the pin itself, such as your blog post’s title, your website’s name, and icon. This makes it easier to direct users to the pin’s source (you!). Applying for rich pins is quite easy, and I’ve doubled my followers just by doing so! (I went from 579 to 1033 in a month.) Melyssa Griffin wrote a super easy-to-follow guide to help you set up rich pins if you need help applying!
I joined group boards that were relevant to my niche.
Here’s my secret when it comes to growing your traffic using Pinterest: join group boards! Group boards allow you to expose your content to a brand new audience! It’s an easy way to expose your account to other people who may not be following you. This is where my pins get the most traction.
While joining group boards is important, don’t forget that your group boards should be in your niche! So, in my case, I joined as many college tips group boards I could find, because that’s what I blog most about. There would be no point for me to join a fashion group board, for example, because my pins just wouldn’t fit in there.
How do you find group boards?
Visit people in your niche and see what group boards they’re in! That’s how I found most of my group boards. Once you have them, just follow the instructions (found in the board’s description) to join! If you can’t find any instructions, email the owner!
I became a business account.
One of the things that helped me the most with Pinterest was becoming a business account. Why? Because it gives you access to Pinterest Analytics! This allows me to see which of my pins are performing best, which of my boards are best performing, my repin rate, the click-through, my group boards’ performance… and so on! It even tells you what topics your readers are interested in and your readership demographics! It’s a game-changer for bloggers.
I encountered some trouble when I tried to become a business account, but Pinterest helped me fixed it in no time. It’s honestly not that hard or complicated to switch your account to business and it’s going to change the way you use Pinterest, I swear!
I got BoardBooster.
BoardBooster is THE tool you need to be successful on Pinterest! Would you believe me if I said I spend less than an hour a week on Pinterest, and yet I gain about 100 followers every week? That’s because I have someone else pinning for me! I discovered BoardBooster through The Swirl Blog, and I can’t believe I hadn’t been using it sooner! You also have a 100-day free trial when you sign up for Pinfinite Growth.
BoardBooster is a service that allows you to schedule and loop pins, clean your boards, and analyze your pins’ and boards’ performance! You can choose from different plans that start from $5 upward. Basically, it’s $1 for 100 pins. I personally use the $10 plan, which means I get 1,000 pins per month. I use mostly the looping feature, which means BoardBooster takes the oldest pins from some of my boards and repin them so they can reach more people. I also started using the scheduler to have some of my pins pinned to some of my group boards.
I definitely recommend BoardBooster! I haven’t used Tailwind or any of those other services, but BoardBooster is awesome. Just sign up for the free trial and you’ll see a huge difference! You won’t have to spend as much time on Pinterest and you’ll still gain hundreds of followers.
I joined Facebook groups.
I’ve mentioned how important Facebook groups are before, but I’ll repeat it again. Facebook groups are known for their daily threads that give you the opportunity to get yourself out there and find people with similar interests. Leaving your link in a thread ensures you’ll be seen by other bloggers, and that has helped me gain a lot of pageviews. I leave my links in threads every time I have a new blog post out, which helps get the word out there. It’s promoting without being sales-y. I have discovered many blogs through Facebook groups, and I like to think that other bloggers have discovered my blog through them as well!
Each group has its own set of rules. When you apply, make sure to follow them! Read the rules before applying or participating in a thread. There’s nothing I hate more than participating a thread when people don’t follow the rules. Also, not following the rules can get your link removed, or worse – you could get kicked out of the group!
Don’t be the kind of person who just leaves their link and runs. In order for a Facebook group to be beneficial, you have to participate as well! Comment on people’s posts, follow them on social media, share their posts… There are many threads that are for different purposes, so make sure you participate!
I interacted more with other bloggers.
Building relationships with other bloggers is so important, y’all. I used to underestimate how important it actually is. I wanted to build a community, or at least be a part of one, and yet, I barely never left any comments or promoted other people’s content. How could I expect people to come to my site and leave hundreds of comments if I wasn’t reciprocating the favor? So I started leaving more comments and participating in threads in Facebook groups.
Interaction with others helps to build a community, which means people will be more likely to comment and share your posts, making yourself seen by a larger audience. By leaving comments on other people’s blog posts, you should them that you care, which means they’ll be more likely to return the favor.
And, I don’t know about you, but I always make sure to check out my blogger friends’ new posts, even if I’m not always commenting. What tells that they are doing the same thing in return? 🙂
I started promoting across all social media platforms.
I know what you’re going to say. Amelie, duh! But hear me out. I used to not use all my social media platforms to their full potential. I used to think I could just dump my link on Twitter and on my Facebook page and people who come naturally to my site. WRONG! And what about Pinterest and Instagram? I pinned my post once or twice and left it at that. Once again, not very strategic.
Once I built a strategic promoting plan, I saw a HUGE difference in traffic! I started scheduling tweets using TweetDeck. I schedule tweets every other hour for an entire day (normally from 9AM to 7PM) on days that I have new posts out. I pinned my post to multiple boards (especially group boards) once the post went live, and continued to pin this post for a few days at least. I linked my blog to my Facebook page, so each time a new post is up on the blog, it posts it on my Facebook page as well. I started mentioning new posts on Instagram and used a call-to-action to incite people to click the link in my bio.
My strategy still needs to be worked on, but once I started using all platforms smartly, I watched my traffic grow.
I wrote more quality content.
Now, I’m not saying that my old content was bad. I do have some old posts that still perform pretty well (such as my finals survival guide). But if you go back to the very beginning of my blog, you’ll see that my posts weren’t necessarily the best. Why? Because they didn’t help anyone. I used to simply write about my experience, like my first week at university or my current skincare routine. While these posts may interest some people, they simply weren’t helpful. Now, I make it my #1 priority to help people and provide them information or tips to help them solve their problems.
I also started writing longer posts, therefore providing more in-depth information. Now, every post I publish is at least 1,000 words long (this post is over 2,000 words!) and I make sure that every word is important. I go more in detail and try to be as helpful as possible.
I used my analytics.
Your analytics are not only there to tell you how many people visited your website. There are so many other things your analytics tell you! I installed Google Analytics to my blog, and I don’t ever want to go back. While I love to know how many pageviews I have, what my bounce rate is, and how many people visited the blog, there are other features that you should check out and that will help you grow your blog’s traffic in the end.
I love to go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages to check what posts are performing best. You can then use that information to give your audience similar content! Is there a topic in those post that you went over quickly but that you could detail more? What could you write about that is similar to what you’ve posted? This is a great way to see what type of content works and what doesn’t so you can write more about it (or not, if it’s not working)!
I am definitely no expert, but this is what has worked for me so far!
What strategies have you implemented to grow your blog’s traffic?