Hosting your own blog is tough at the best of times, but more so when you’re not getting as many visitors or readers as you’d like. Consistent web traffic is vital to the success of any blog, so here’s a few tips for how to get more traffic to your blog.

Focus on quality content

The number one tip for bringing more traffic to your blog is – focus on quality content. Write articles that people want to read, are looking for and enjoy reading.

Use good grammar, write in a refreshing tone of voice, with good structure. Learn about the different types of blog posts you can create – lists, question/answer, educational, point of view etc.

Remember people have less attention and focus when reading online, so write briefly and use headings and bullet points to clearly convey structure of your article.

Words are not enough – mix up your content with good photographs, infographics, GIFs, or even audio and video content such as embedded Youtube videos.

Top Tip: Check with types of content bring the most traffic to your blog, and focus on these.

Choose your niche

The most popular blogs with the most traffic as the ones with a clearly-defined niche. If your audience came to your blog to read about football articles, don’t post off-topic content such as your personal thoughts or what you ate for breakfast.

It’s okay to cover different niches, but in general there should be one over-arching theme to your blog. Think about how you would describe your blog in less than two sentences – e.g. “I write about travel photography, using my experience as a magazine features editor, and aim to teach photography and camera skills to newbie photographers”.

Then, you could break down your blog into three or four subtopics, such as camera reviews, key skills for photographers, understanding digital photography etc.

It’s up to you to choose a niche that is either wildly popular or very specialised, but be consistent. Sometimes it’s better to have a ‘long tail’ niche with a small number of dedicated fans, because this builds audience retention.

Top Tip: If you only do one thing, ensure that your topic/s are popular enough that people are searching on Google for them.

Research keywords

Once you have identified your niche, you need to find keywords that people are searching for on Google. As a general rule, you need to choose keywords that balance being popular (e.g. high search volume) with being easy enough to rank for.

For example, ‘luxury travel’ is popular but very competitive, whereas ‘luxury travel in Germany’ may still be popular but less competitive. Try to focus more on a phrase rather than one keyword.

Top Tip: aim to write one article for a specific keyword or phrase.

Learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

You may have awesome content, but if Google doesn’t know about your site you won’t bring any organic traffic. Search Engine Optimization is the practice of getting your site listed on Google, and ‘ranking’ for certain keywords.

When people search Google for keywords that you’ve optimised your articles, it will drive traffic from organic search to your website. As you build up more content, each article that Google sees will influence it to view your site as an ‘authority site’.

For example, if you write a lot of reviews about luxury hotels in Germany, Google will see your site as an authority and direct traffic from searches for those keywords to your site.

Build backlinks

Backlinks are links from other sites and sources back to your blog, and are very important in SEO and building traffic to blogs.

The more backlinks a site has, the more potential either readers will check out your site, or be directed to your site from search engines.

However, having many backlinks is only half of the battle. Quality of backlinks is arguably more important than quantity. For example, one backlink to your blog from an ‘authority’ site such as Huffington Post is likely to bring far more traffic to your blog than tens of poor quality backlinks from other blogs.

Guest Posting

A great way to build traffic to your blog is by posting guest articles on similar blogs in your niche. Conduct ‘blogger outreach’ to sites similar to yours and ask if you can write a guest post on their blog.

Not only will this add backlinks to your site, but Google will consider your site an authority if you have great guest posts on respected blogs or sites.

Social Media

Once you have a blog, you need to publish your link (web address) to as many people as possible. Ask friends, family and work colleagues to check your site, and broadcast it on social media.

Top tip: use an automatic scheduling tool to post your articles to social media such as Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Paid traffic

Paid traffic can be attained in many different ways, but the most common is by advertising your site using Google Adwords. In this way, links to your site are posted when searches of similar terms to your keywords are conducted in Google.

Advertising is another method, such as social media paid ads which link back to your site. It’s also possible to ‘buy’ traffic to your site via bots and freelance services, although this is usually poor quality traffic.

Build a Mailing List, subscribers or followers

Once you have an audience, the trick is to retain them. Look at your analytics and see what your ‘bounce rate’ is. If people are only visiting your site for one article and then leaving, this is known as ‘bouncing’.

However, if your page views are greater than visitor numbers, this suggests visitors are reading several articles on your site. Encourage them to follow your blog, or join your mailing list, and engage in comments to build a community of followers.

Conclusion: to build traffic, build quality content that people are searching for and enjoy reading

Blogging is not easy, but consistent quality content will always beat anything. Once you start publishing regularly, you will find an audience by following these tips, and each new article will be a chance to bring more visitors.