32 Insanely Easy Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic (For Free)

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increase website traffic

32 Insanely Easy Ways to Boost Blog Traffic for FreeHey friends! Today I want to talk about ways to increase website traffic and get incredible visibility so all your hard work pays off and your blog gets found by more people.

Traffic is a biggie when it comes to blogging. The reason is that if you want people to get to know and love your brand, and ultimately, become customers, they first have to know your business exists.

It’s like you need a signpost to draw their attention to your business…and in the blogosphere, traffic = signpost.

Truth is, blogging is a lot of work. When you see the rewards come in droves of traffic, you want to roll up your sleeves and keep the momentum going, no?

On the flip side, when your blog traffic plateaus or even goes down, it can kill your enthusiasm for blogging altogether. We don’t want that to happen.

In this post, I’m sharing strategies that have helped me increase my blog traffic so that you can increase the traffic to your website too.

Before I continue, I should tell you the one thing I did that made my traffic take a nose dive.

Nothing.

Yep, I said it. I did nothing. Didn’t promote my posts after I published them. Just let them sit there. And my blog traffic dropped fast. I know this because my traffic was on the rise and I thought Good, I’m able to drive traffic to my website on autopilot now and I can ease-up on content promotion. Let’s just say lesson learned!

Ease up on content promotion = take down my signpost = no traffic. Which is pretty much the gist of it.

There’s a whole lot you can do to get blog traffic without spending thousands of dollars on advertising. You just need to understand the traffic sources available coupled with these techniques to double and triple your page views every month.

Let’s dig in.

32 Insanely Easy Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic (For Free)

1) Build your following

Decide which social media sites you want to lean on and work to build a following on those platforms. Social media will be a huge source of blog traffic if you approach it right. Spend some time actively engaging on those sites and sharing other people’s content as well as your own.

I cover more on creating an effective social media strategy in this post.

2) Social media profiles

Give your website a boost in traffic by making sure you include your website’s URL in all your social media sites. You’ll be amazed at how much traffic this can drive to your website.

3) Post on social media regularly

I know we’re all busy. Still, posting regularly and frequently on social media is going to make a huge difference in your ability to build a following. Of course, we can’t be on social media 24/7, and scheduling tools will automate your posts, so you’re always active without being active. Make sense? My favorites are BoardBooster, SmarterQueue, and Buffer. There are many others that will suit your needs.

4) Post frequently + consistently

The more original content you share, the more blog traffic you can get from social media and search engines. Updating your blog regularly also helps readers get to know you and keeps them coming back for more.

5) Focus on one audience

Still wondering how to get traffic to your blog?

Pick a lane and stay in it.

On the superhighway of blogging, it can be tempting to switch gears and write about many different topics. The more you can focus on one topic for one specific person, the easier it will be to build your audience and attract your ideal customers.

Focusing on one topic will also help Google understand what your business is about, which means your posts will appear in search results. This one’s a biggie. You want that when people look for important terms related to your business, you’re up there on page #1.

I also find that by focusing on just one topic, I spend more time doing what I should be doing to build my business, and less time getting distracted and checking my junk email.

Related: How to Choose Your Blog’s Niche and Focus

6) Add social share buttons to your blog

Share buttons are what you see at the end of this post. Image share buttons are what you see when you hover over my blog post image. If you’re using WordPress, Shareaholic and SumoMe are two popular share button plugins.

While you’re at it, why not install the Click to Tweet plugin and add some tweetable quotes in your post? All of these are subtle ways to encourage people to share your post, giving you more visibility.

7) Use basic SEO

When people enter important terms into search engines, you want them to see your blog post. Learning some basic SEO will help you optimize your posts for search engines and improve your chances of being ranked higher.

If you’re ready to up your SEO game, my SEO guide for bloggers is a great read.

8) Set aside time to promote your posts

I know it takes what seems like forever to write posts and if you’re like me, you’re tempted to call it a day once you hit publish.

Please, friend, don’t be like me! As I mentioned above, promoting your posts consistently is what’s going to help you get more eyes on them.

After pouring your heart into your content, you owe it to yoursef to put it right in front of your audience.

I cover some ways to promote your post in the next steps, but for now just know that in the same way you put aside time to write your posts, you need to set aside time to let the universe know about them. If you write your posts on Mondays and Thursdays, set aside time to promote them on Wednesdays.

Related: How to Get a Massive Amount of Stuff Done Each Day

Get Traffic to Your Website After You Hit Publish

Ok, now for the good stuff. The steps I’m listing here are like a blog post checklist of things to do after you publish your posts to drive traffic to them.

Here are the steps I’m covering here:

  • First, share them on social media
  • Next, schedule additional shares, tweets, and posts
  • Then, add them to bookmarking and content curation sites
  • Then, add to more blogging platforms
  • And finally! Yes, try paid promotions (they work)

Let’s walk through each of these.

I. FIRST, SHARE THEM ON SOCIAL MEDIA

The first thing to do once you publish your post is to share it to all your social media accounts.

As a rule of thumb, I have accounts on most platforms, but I am not active on all of them. That would be humanly impossible! Still, more social media accounts means more eyes are on your content, so it makes sense to create profiles on as many as possible.

9) Pinterest

Pinterest is my #1 traffic source of blog traffic, so I’m pretty obsessed with it. What many people don’t realize is that Pinterest is more than a social media platform. It is also a search engine, which is huge. If you want your content found, you need to make sure you share you it here. Every time you publish a new post, make sure you pin it to Pinterest.

Because Pinterest can be such a huge boost in traffic, let’s take a look at some other things you can do to give your posts an extra boost.

Make sure you create a pinnable image, which just means a vertical blog post image that includes your brand elements (logo, icon, URL) and the title of your post. This will be the image people see in their Pinterest feed, and as they repin your post, this is the image they will share.

Add a description to your pin image so that when people share it, the description is there with it. The description should include the title of our blog post plus any other descriptive keywords that people might use to search for your pin. And of course, a call-to-action.

Here’s an example:drive traffic to website using social media

See how the title is in there, plus some additional keywords and a CTA? That’s what your description should look like too.

Related: 14 Ways to Get Massive Traffic from Pinterest

10) Twitter

Twitter has helped me increase website traffic so I spend a lot of time on this platform. It’s my second biggest source of traffic, right behind Pinterest.

With Twitter, you can load-up on the tweets. Tweet a link to your post right after you publish it. Then use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule more tweets throughout the day and coming week. Make sure you include hashtags and change your tweet text so you don’t look like you’re spamming!

11) Facebook

You may be using your personal profile for updates or you may have a branded business page. Either one is fine. Just make sure you share posts here too and work to build your following so your content reaches more people. Even though organic reach is a ghost of days gone by, Facebook is my #3 source of traffic, and I have only a handful of fans. There’s definitely something to it.

12) Facebook Groups

Groups are Facebook’s secret sauce, so join some and share, share, share! Don’t be spammy and share only links to your blog. There’s an etiquette to Facebook groups and what makes them so great is that you’ve got real people sharing tips, asking questions, and helping each other. That’s how you want to approach groups. Join a few where you feel like you can contribute (and even learn). Then, if you see an opportunity to share a post or maybe someone has a question that your post helps answer, you can share your link.

Always check the group rules. The group admin will provide guidelines and let you know when and if it’s okay to share promotional links.

I plan on putting together a spreadsheet on Facebook groups in a future post. Let me know in the comments if this is something you think would be useful and I’ll hook it up.

13) Instagram

I confess, my brain has room to tackle one beast at a time and I’ve been a Pinterest girl ‘til now. I’m just getting started with Instagram and shared my first post there today. Woo! You’re probably way ahead of me on this one, so if you have any epic tips on how to build a blog audience on Instagram, please do share.

Stay tuned for updates on my IG journey…

By the way, have you tried Planoly? I really am in love with this Instagram scheduling tool. I’ve only used it once, but if I’m being totally honest, I was dreading Instagram because I couldn’t figure out a way to share images from my desktop instead of my phone. Then, poof! Along comes Planoly, breaking it all down for me.

Watch out Instagram, here I come.

Update: I now have over 2K followers and am getting decent traffic from Instagram. Not more than Facebook, but I expect that as my followers increase, the traffic from Instagram will exceed my Facebook traffic. Fingers crossed!

14) Google+

Google+ is worth posting to, not only for social traffic, but because it is a Google site, which means being active on Google+ can help your posts rank higher in search results.

15) LinkedIn

If your audience is on LinkedIn and you have a decent following, you’ll want to share you posts there too. It’s not a huge traffic driver for me, but hey, it all adds up, right?

16) LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn has groups much like Facebook where you can share your posts. If your people are on LinkedIn, why not poke around and join a few groups?

Before their latest update, it was super easy to share to groups. All you had to do was post your update, select Share to Groups, and then select your groups. Now you have to share your post manually to each group, which is a bummer. Who said promoting a blog was easy?!

17) LinkedIn Pulse

I know many bloggers get decent blog traffic by reposting on LinkedIn Pulse. A while back Mike Allton got 4,000 page views from one post alone (more than double his normal LinkedIn traffic at the time). I’m definitely excited to try it, and think you should too!

II. NEXT, SCHEDULE YOUR POSTS

18) SmarterQueue

Love, love, love this new tool! I’ve been using it for the past few months in a quest to find the perfect scheduling tool. I use it to share evergreen posts to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. My organic traffic has noticeably increased since I started using SmarterQueue. The price is perfect at $20 a month (up to 4 social accounts).

19) Buffer

After I share my tweet in step #10, I’ll use Buffer to schedule about 15-20 more tweets during the first week to give them an initial spike in traffic.

Note: I was hoping to replace Buffer with SmarterQueue, but alas, not yet! I’m hangin’ in with Buffer because I share other people’s content via Feedly and IFTTT, and Buffer integrates seamlessly with both of these.

20) BoardBooster

This is another magical tool. I have easily doubled my website traffic with BoardBooster. I only wish I’d started sooner… I highly recommend that you give it a try. Follow step #9 to pin your post, and then use BoardBooster to schedule additional pins.

III. SHARE TO BOOKMARKING SITES

Create accounts on these free website submission sites to get traffic to your content.

21) StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a content discovery site where people “stumble” different web pages to find things that interest them. Add your post here and include tags to make it easy for people to find it.

Be careful bit ti over-share your posts. Stumblers don’t like it when you only post from your website. Instead, sttumble and “like” other pages or manually add pages for others to stumble.

Let’s say you save a pin to one of your Pinterest boards.  Grab the URL from the pin and stumble it. Try to go for at least a 10:1 ratio, meaning that for every ten posts you share from other websites, you share one of yours.

Note: StumbleUpon will drive traffic to your website, but it may not be sticky traffic. Because of the way the site is structured, bounce rates can be high. Make sure you capture people’s attention right away so that they read through your post.

22) Reddit

Bloggers beware! Reddit is one seriously intimidating platform. What I mean by this is that redditors can smell spam about a thousand miles away. Your account will quickly get banned if you don’t adhere to subreddit rules, so please be careful here. They can also be very direct (aka: school of hard knocks) with their comments. You need to be thick-skinned, but we’re fearless bloggers, so we got this…

Curious about subreddits? They’re just like Facebook groups. No biggie there.

Now for the real question: Can Reddit really help boost blog traffic?

I’m not sure yet, to be honest. I’ve seen amazing traffic and I’ve seen very little blog traffic. I’ve also been banned from some subreddits. So, while I’m on the fence with it, it’s worth adding your posts here too because the boost in blog traffic is noticeable and makes a difference. Reddit traffic tends to convert pretty well.

You just have to be very careful with your approach to adding links to your posts. Best practice is to approach subreddits the same way you approach Facebook groups. When you come across a post or a question where you can help, include a link to your post within your comment.

23) BizSugar

I’ve been using BizSugar for about 3 months and am just starting to see some traffic from it. Like any other platform, the more you share, the more visible you become, and that’s when the magic starts happening.

24) Hacker News

If you blog about entrepreneurship, Hacker News will get you traffic. Plus, it’s so easy to submit your posts. Just share the link and a title, and you’re done!

25) Growth Hackers

If your blog has anything to do with growth hacking, startups, or tech, Growth Hackers is another place you can share your posts.

26) Scoop.it

What can I say about Scoop.it? First, it integrates with Twitter, so if you have a following on Twitter, you can hit the ground running with a decent amount of followers on Scoop.it too. To add content, either set up an RSS feed or add your posts manually, which is what I prefer to do. This way I can add specific tags to each one.

27) FlipBoard

Love, love, love! This is my new fav…don’t ask me why, I couldn’t tell you! It probably has to do with the design of  the feed looks. I find that I want to spend time on FlipBoard, which is how you should approach each platform. If you love a particular site, dig in, friend.

You may have to give each one a solid try before you call it. I originally thought BizSugar was a waste of time until I started getting comments and traffic, so you never know! Now, I love it.

You just have to hang in there long enough with each one before you decide which ones to stay with.

No doubt FlipBoard is a keeper for me. Does it boost blog traffic? Yes, sirree. I’m seeing some decent blog traffic from it already, plus I love spending time on there. Win, win!

28) Inbound.org

Like HackerNews, people on Inbound are excited to help each other. If you blog about content marketing or marketing at all, this is a great place to share your posts.

 

IV. FORUMS + OTHER BLOGGING PLATFORMS

29) Quora

I’ve gotten decent traffic from Quora, and surprisingly, a number of clients. Quora is a Q+A forum where you can find and answer questions on just about any topic. The trick on Quora is to provide detailed answers with a link to a relevant post, which will increase your website traffic.

30) Tumblr

Re-post your content on Tumblr. I like the visual aspect of this platform. I didn’t pay much attention to it at first, but have noticed more and more blog comments from Tumblr, which means it’s driving a decent amount of traffic.

31) Medium

Medium is a blogging platform, like WordPress or Blogger, where you share “stories”. Stories is Medium speak for posts. I haven’t tapped into how to increase my website traffic on here yet, but trust me, I’m working on it!

Medium is designed to be a standalone blogging platform, so it’s best to republish your entire post. The downside is that you’re not directing readers to your website, so getting traffic has been tricky. I’ve been experimenting with including excerpts with a link back to my original post and will keep you posted on my results.

One thing that’s cool is that you can build a mailing list directly on Medium by adding a sign-up button via Rabbut. So far, I have zero Rabbut subscribers, so I have my work cut out for me. 🙂

32) Bloglovin’

Create an RSS feed and add your blog to Bloglovin’. This is another one I’m on the fence with, but it’s easy enough to add your feed, so what have you got to lose? Make sure your post images include an enticing description, which I’m sure you’re doing already for Pinterest, but just note that your featured image description is the one that will be added to Bloglovin’.

Also, you may want to consider including only excerpts from your posts (in WordPress: Settings/Reading/Summary) rather than the full post itself. I use the full post and am so tempted to try the excerpt to compare traffic.

V. PAID PLATFORMS

Still want to know how to get more traffic? Time to pull out your wallet, friend.

If you start small, limit your daily budget, and test ad copy, images, and landing pages, you can drive a decent mount of traffic for less than $10 a day.

33) Facebook Ads

Yes, they’re worth it.

Before you start with Facebook ads, you need a rock-solid strategy. In other words, make sure the post you’re promoting includes a content upgrade or CTA to encourage sign-ups. Or, run your ad to a landing page with your freebie, challenge or email course, you get the gist.

If you’re a superhero, which of course you are, you’ll include an option to purchase something in your delivery sequence (say, a $7 mini-offer). Take that income and reinvest in your ads, and you’ll wind up spending little to nothing. Now who’s a game-changer?

Related: Create a Killer Facebook Ad Strategy for Your Email List and Products

34) Pinterest Ads

Pinterest ads are my secret weapon for traffic. They give new pins a boost in visibility to get repinning started. Once you have a bunch of repins from your promoted pins, the snowball effecta  starts happening, and you can get the ball rolling with a daily ad spend of only $5.

35) StumbleUpon Ads

Have you tried these yet? Let me know in the comments if so… I haven’t and want to experiment with Stumble ads soon. I think Stumble’s high bounce rates have been holding me back.

36) Reddit Ads

Because Redditors can be so tough, ads may be the way to go here. The traffic you can get from Reddit is no joke, so I recommend giving ads a try. Again, you don’t have to spend much to test them out.  I’d wait until you have a course or paid offer to promote because I think that’s where the magic really happens here.

With Reddit ads you can choose to block or show comments. I suggest showing them, because redditors are all about their comments and being social. When in Rome, right?

37) Quuu Promote

Quuu Promote is a new platform I discovered where people share each other’s posts to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Think of it as a community of sharers. I’ve used Quuu to promoting posts for only $30 and have received a decent amount of blog traffic. Looks like their prices have recently increased to around $40 or $50 depending on your category, but it’s still worth it, in my book.

How well does this traffic convert? Jury’s still out on this one…I will keep you posted.  🙂

Any other ways to increase website traffic? Let me know if I missed anything and I’ll add it to the list!

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5 replies
  1. Katina says:

    Hi Sandra,

    So I tried Reddit before but it didn’t work for me the way I hoped. I was trying to be very social, but the system wouldn’t let me create a comment. They said I was moving too fast with trying to add comments. I wasn’t posting any links…just commenting. That was a bummer. I wanted to try Reddit ads, but I am still on the fence about this one.

    One strategy I love is Quuu promote. I found them some time last year. I took advantage of a sale from Appsumo. They were running a special 20 credits for $39. I hopped on that deal really quickly even though I had no prior knowledge of the company. I am so glad I did. Anyway, Quuu really does work. I wrote a post on how to make your blog stand out. I got 60 extra clicks this month out of 280 social media shares. To me that’s great! I didn’t have to do anything but ask Quuu to promote my blog post for me.

    Great post!

    Reply
    • Sandra Clayton
      Sandra Clayton says:

      Hi Katrina, Looks like you discovered Quuu before I did – love, love, love it! That “you’re doing too much” on Reddit has to do with your karma. You have to accumulate a certain amount – have no idea what it is! – before you can comment/post without having to wait 8 or 9 minutes or whatever. It’s so frustrating. I think I hit a good karma level at one point and I didn’t get that message, but then I was banned from one or two subreddits later on, which must have affected it all over again. I’m looking forward to testing ads on there just for the heck of it. Btw- love your blog too! Noticed you’re looking for guest writers. Would love to collaborate!

      Reply
  2. Owen Kariuki says:

    There was a time I thought that blog traffic just comes! You know, instead of just working hard on promotion! 🙂 Poor me!

    But now I know that it takes almost, even more, effort than content creation. And thanks to this post I know pretty much about how to boost traffic.

    Thanks for sharing, Sandra.

    Reply

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