As a new blogger, trying to get people to read your blog is often a struggle. You want so bad to start generating traffic and earning money with your affiliate links but you just can't seem to get people to your site! I remember those days myself and how disappointed and frustrated I was because I had worked so hard on creating great content – but no one was reading it! Don't stress! Here are 10 easy (and a few free) ways to get people to read your blog posts.
Please note this post may contain affiliate links and ads, read my full disclosure here.
10 Easy Ways to Get People to Read Your Blog
So many new bloggers get started without any actual training or knowledge of how blogging really works. It isn't as simple as just writing a post and hitting the publish button. Well, you CAN do that but you won't see much in the way of results when taking that approach. Think about when you have a yard sale. You can simply just wake up and put a sign up at the end of your street and hope people see it. Or, you can do some advertising earlier in the week by posting to free places on the internet and local Facebook communities and telling your friends about it. Getting your blog noticed requires some additional effort as well if you want it to be successful.No traffic? No Problem! Here are 10 easy ways to get people to read your blog posts! Click To Tweet
#1 SEO, SEO, SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) is an area most new bloggers don't understand and struggle with. Some don't even know what it is! SEO is the way your website or posts will get found by others who are searching for related content. In order to get people to read your blog, they have to be able to find you! Without SEO, you are basically throwing a hook in the water with no bait, hoping a fish accidentally hooks himself on it! If you aren't using the right SEO keywords in your post and using them in the right places, search engines like Google won't even know your content exists!
#2 Self-Hosted is a MUST!!
Many new bloggers decide to start their blogs on a free platform to save money. This is a HUGE mistake! If you've followed me for any amount of time, you know that I'm all about the less expensive route on almost everything – but not when it comes to your web hosting service. I made this mistake myself when I first got started (because I really didn't know the difference). This is the one time you MUST invest in a self-hosted platform. The options for making your blog look “pretty” and welcoming are often limited – you can't install plugins (which really boost traffic and subscribers), and the available themes are often very limited and bland. You basically get what they give you and can't move stuff around or add functions to make it better. I use Siteground for my web hosting (after trying another one and being severely disappointed) and couldn't be happier! They even did my migration from the other service for free!
#3 Switch to HTTPS
Many new bloggers have no clue about HTTPS vs HTTP for their websites. HTTPS means that your site has SSL encryption – which means that the communication between your readers' browser and your site is secure. Without encryption, when a reader enters their email address to sign up for your newsletter, hackers could essentially get their email address, email them pretending to be you. Protecting the privacy of your readers is paramount (and a requirement for GDPR). Hackers are getting more and more sophisticated which means you must be on top of protecting your readers' data. Even if you have other website security features installed, the URL itself must be secure/encrypted so it won't say “unsecured.” Would you visit a site that said “unsecured?”
So how does having HTTPS help get people to read your blog? Simple – Google has already stated that (even with the best SEO), they will prioritize websites that are HTTPS over those that are not. That means that you could be doing everything right to get ranked by search engines but Google will still penalize you by not ranking you on the first page results. Some web hosting services do charge an additional fee to add your SSL encryption and install it for you. That's why I love Siteground because the SSL certificate came free as part of my web hosting package AND they installed it for free!
Be sure to also check out:
- 4 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Increasing Blog Traffic, Subscribers, and Income
- How to Increase Blog Traffic – The Three Mistakes That are Costing You
- The Importance of Choosing the Right SEO Keywords as a New Blogger
#4 Write Great Content
This one sounds like a no-brainer, right? Not so much! I've read many posts from new bloggers that just weren't interesting! Remember that a blog needs to provide value to a reader. Simply writing about your life (like a journal entry) might be interesting to you – but it isn't something others are looking for. You get found by people searching for an answer to a problem on a search engine (like Google). Make sure that you are providing actual value with your content. How can what you are writing about help the person reading it? This is where researching SEO comes in very handy because you can see what people are searching for in your niche.
It is also VERY important that you ensure your post is free of grammar and spelling errors. This won't necessarily help you get found, but it will prevent others from sharing your content! An occasional error does happen, but I've read blog posts that were just full of spelling and grammar mistakes! I use Grammarly (free tool) which lets me know if I have a spelling, punctuation, or grammar error. I type pretty fast and often have many typos when I'm finished with a post. Grammarly has been a huge time-saver for editing my posts before I publish them!
Do you know who your Avatar is? This is the person you are writing to with your blog content. If you don't know who your intended audience is, your writing may be all over the place. This can affect your SEO and ranking because Google isn't exactly sure what your blog is about. A more focused niche will enable you to write more focused content that your intended audience will want.
#5 Install a Social Sharing Plugin
Social media can generate a LOT of traffic and is one of the easiest ways to get people to read your blog! Most new bloggers don't understand exactly how to maximize their effectiveness on social media so they don't have an effective strategy in place to benefit from it. Even though you are just getting started, be sure you have created a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and any other platform that you might also use for personal fun. Then, ensure you have social FOLLOW icons for those accounts clearly visible on your blog.
I highly recommend deactivating the social media share icons that are in your WordPress dashboard and installing a plugin instead. The “built-in” social media share buttons are very bland and limited as far as what you can do with them. Place them before and after the post, as well as a set that scrolls with the page on either the left or right side. This way, the ability to share is always right in front of them! Using a plugin such as Sumo or Social Warfare will enable you to “pretty them up” and also place them in multiple locations. These plugins also enable you to offer the ability to share on platforms beyond those that you actually have an account on. There are many social platforms (some more popular than others) out there and you never know where you reader might prefer to hang out. This will open up an entirely new group of people that can potentially see your content!
#6 Share on Social Media
Next, ensure you have your social media accounts connected to your dashboard so your posts will automatically post when you publish new content. This will get them out there to all of your platforms so others may see it. You should then use a scheduling tool (I use Hootsuite) to schedule your posts to go out again throughout the month. Yes – share it more than once or twice on your social media!
SHARE – SHARE – SHARE!! I can't stress the impact of sharing other peoples content will have on your own blog! I used to not be very active on Twitter at all. I had an account and scheduled my own posts to go out throughout the month – but I wasn't getting on there and sharing content from those I was following. Of course, be sure you start following more people in your niche or in related niche areas. Then get on there once or twice a day and retweet their posts! When you retweet their content, they'll get a notification and will most likely visit your site (and retweet your content) to show appreciation. I started focusing on being more active on Twitter about 2 months ago and I'm not seeing more traffic (shown in Google Analytics) coming from that platform. I'm getting more and more notifications that my tweets have been retweeted (by those I've previously shown love to) AND I've gained about 100 new followers! You should totally follow me on Twitter to stay connected to more awesome blogging tips!
#7 Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest
Ok, if you are not using Pinterest for your blog, you are missing out on MASSIVE traffic to your blog! Since we are on the subject of Pinterest, follow me on Pinterest to keep up with all my latest blogging tips! Even if you haven't mastered SEO for your blog, Pinterest is one of the best ways to get people to read your blog. Free programs like Canva will help you create pins that will convert to clicks – which means visitors to your blog! To be effective, you will need to convert your Pinterest to a business account (totally free to do this), SEO your profile and boards to match what your blog content is about, use a scheduling tool like Tailwind (Pinterest gives preference to users who are continuously active in pinning), and join a few group boards in your niche! From there, you simply create pinnable images for your blog posts (and hide a few on the backend), pin them to relevant boards, work on gaining followers, and repinning others' content in your niche. The key to success with Pinterest is to have great images that people will want to pin and share and to ensure you are staying active on it. Below is a snapshot showing when I first started paying attention to using Pinterest for my blog. I started implementing the strategies around the end of August and you can see how quickly it had an impact! (These are page views to my site.)
Pinterest drives over 75% of my current blog traffic (and is also where I make the majority of my affiliate income)! Not sure how to get your account set up or how to actually set it up to be effective? The Pinterest for Bloggers Course is a great place to start! This course walks you through every step of converting your Pinterest to a business account, how to create great pins that convert, to how to hide additional images on the backend, how to maximize and boost your social shares from the blog post and much more (including how I more than tripled my page views using Pinterest). Use code 17OFF at checkout for an amazing discount!
#8 Share in Online Groups and Forums
As a new blogger, it is so easy to get “tunnel vision” thinking only in terms of your blog and social media. Think outside the box of ways to get people to read your blog. Aside from the many blogger groups, there are private Facebook groups for everything under the sun! Don't just focus on joining blogging groups. If you are a parenting blogger, find groups related to that (worldwide and local). Simply type in your content category (parenting, newborns, Doberman, travel, etc) into the search on Facebook, then select “groups.” Join those groups and begin engaging in conversation. When appropriate, share your content. When I say “where appropriate” I mean don't just join and start dropping links to your blog. Interact with others and engage in the threads and discussions. Offer advice where needed, and when a conversation comes up that you might have helpful content to provide – share the post.
Aside from Facebook groups, there are plenty of other online forums where you can engage with others who might enjoy your content. We have an app/website called Nextdoor for our neighborhood to connect with each other. Since I also write content related to saving money and ways to earn extra money, I've shared a few posts on those topics in that forum and saw quite a bit of traffic generated as a result. What are some other places online that you connect with others in discussions related to what you blog about?
#9 Personal Email & Social Media
This is another hugely overlooked opportunity for sending people to your blog! If you have a personal email (not for work and not for your blog), add a link to your blog in your signature line. You never know when someone reading your email might just be looking for or interested in what you are writing about! Below is a snapshot of my signature line. It is actually quite simple and doesn't overly stand out but I get a LOT of new readers because of this!
Be sure to also link to your blog and blog social media on your personal Facebook account! I've talked to some new bloggers who haven't shared their blogs with family and friends out of fear of criticism. This is a huge mistake! You never know how out there on your friends' list might be interested (and want you to show them how to do it!). Tune out any criticism from family/friends!! Listening to them is a sure-fire way to not see your dreams come to pass!! Also, since most of us have privacy settings on our personal Facebook accounts so only friends can see what we post – be sure to change the setting to “public” anytime you share a blog post there!! (Only that post will be public – not the rest of your posts.)
#10 Business Cards
Do you have a business card for your blog? Why not? This is one of the easiest ways to get people to read your blog! When you meet someone and you happen to mention that you have a blog, you might tell them “just Google “blog name” and you'll find me.” Do you really think they'll remember? I know my short-term memory is horrible! By giving them a card, they'll stash it away in their purse or wallet and at some point will see it and remember to go check out your site! Here is my card – on the back are my email and social media handles.
Also, when you meet others and want to exchange phone numbers (having nothing to do with your blog), instead of having to find a piece of paper to write it on, simply hand them your card! Even if the topic of your blog hadn't come up, the card will definitely spark interest and new conversation. Or, it might cause them to say something like “Oh, this is great! My sister could really use this because…”
So there you have it! 10 easy ways to get people to read your blog! I would LOVE to hear of any other creative ways that you've used to get people to read your blogs! And I would love it even more if you could pin this post (or share from the buttons below) so others can learn!! If you are a new (woman) blogger just getting started and want even more tips and resources, be sure to join my private community Girl Bosses Rock Blogging Bootcamp! We do tons of daily training there on all topics for new bloggers and it's a wonderful community of other women empowering and building each other up to become awesome Girl Boss Bloggers!