How to grow traffic to your blog
The whole point of your blog is to get in front of your ideal people so they can get to know about you, be impressed, subscribe to your email list, and maybe even become paying customers, clients, or patients. It’s marketing your practice using content, otherwise known as content marketing.
There are people out there who need your help. They are waiting for you. And it’s your job to get in front of them with your helpful and valuable blog content to solve one of their problems, teach them what they need to know, and position yourself as the go-to expert in your field.
This is why you need to know how to grow traffic to your blog and get more blog readers. A lot of the success from being on the internet is based on the number of people who get introduced to your brand, consume your content (written or otherwise), and build a relationship with you based on your valuable and trustworthy blog.
So, before and after publishing awesome content that you’re proud of, share it far and wide!
How much should you promote?
Did you know there are over 70 million blog posts published every month on WordPress alone? So, you MUST publish quality content and promote it. A lot.
According to the Content Marketing Institute:
You need to spend much more time in promoting your work than on creating it.
I recommend 30/70 content creation/content promotion or distribution – Once you have a loyal audience built, you can focus more on content creation…but not until you’ve built a minimum viable audience. #CMWorld
— Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 18, 2021
This means the experts recommend spending at least twice as much time promoting your content than was spent to create in the first place. That’s a heckuva promotion strategy.What's the point of having amazing blog posts if no one knows about them? #Promotion #Blog #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet
Read on to find out some awesome, and often underutilized, strategies you
can should use to get more blog readers.
Before you publish
Yes, growing traffic to your blog should start even before you publish your next post.
Gone are the days of one or a couple of images for each blog post. In a study of over one million articles shared online, BuzzSumo found that those with an image every 75-100 words were shared twice as often as those with fewer images. So, for an 800-word blog post, you can aim to include eight images. Yes, eight. Or more. (See how many images I have in this post. I can even add more.)
Every time your post is shared is a new opportunity to grow traffic to your blog and get more blog readers. If you have a long blog post include several images throughout, choosing the best one as your featured image. Images don’t have to just be photos, they can also be screenshots, graphs, drawings, etc.
If you’re extra awesome you can have an image or two customized for each social platform to mix it up and keep things interesting for your followers.
When you’re writing your newest blog post think of older posts you’ve published that can support it. Wherever appropriate, link to other posts on your site that complements what you’re saying now. (See what I did above with the hyperlink under “images”?)
Another way to use internal linking is to think about what you want your readers to do when they get to the end of your post. (Pro tip: Never leave them hanging.) Do you offer other blog posts for them to read? Take this opportunity to promote your other blog posts to avid readers, too!
There are “related posts” plugins that you can try. (I don’t have one I can personally recommend, as mine was customized for my website as you can see in the image below.)
Shareability – Ask for the share and make it super-easy
Once you have readers who love your content, ask them to share it with their networks. You can do this with a social sharing plugin on your site.
There are tons out there. I personally haven’t found one that works amazingly at everything and doesn’t slow down my site. If you can personally attest and recommend one, pop your honest opinion of it in the comments at the bottom of this blog post.
Once you’ve made it super-easy to share your post on social media with one click, ask readers to do it. Sometimes it’s as simple as that!
Advanced tip: Get your post found on search engines
My absolute favourite way to grow traffic to my blog is to get found when potential new readers and clients are literally looking for health writing/blogging/editing help. This means optimizing your post for search engines like Google so your amazing piece of content becomes top 10 (or better yet, top 3) when someone searches for a relevant term.
This is an advanced tip as there are a few things you need to have in place before you start search engine optimization (SEO). Keep in mind that it may take months to move your post up the search engine results page (SERP).
Struggling to find topics to blog about?
Instantly download these health blog topics!
After you publish
Now that your new post has a URL (web address), the fun has just begun! We’re going to share that link everywhere!
Get ready to go full-on into blog post promotion mode! 🙂
Remember how we linked our older blog posts to this one using internal links? Well, now once this one is published and you have its url, go back to older pages and posts and link this one where it naturally fits in with them. This gives readers and Google a path (or breadcrumb) to index your newly published post which can be a great way to grow traffic to your blog.
You’re collecting email addresses, right? You have subscription forms on each blog post, right? And maybe on your sidebar too? And a popup or welcome mat?
So, what do you email your growing subscriber list?
Lots of things, but namely your blog posts.
Remember, your newsletter is a slightly different audience than your blog readers—they already know and like you. (Blog readers can be any stranger on the internet who may not have yet subscribed to your email list.) This means that your newsletter can include a personal intro to your new post along with the link for your subscribers to head over to your blog and read it. As part of your newsletter, you can also include news, updates, special offers, and subscriber-only bonuses as well. But, definitely make sure you’re emailing every new blog post to share the generous valuable content with your subscribers. They’ve already opted-into receiving emails from you, so don’t disappoint.
And, after a day or so, feel free to resend it to people who didn’t open your email. You can always change up the subject line and/or add “ICYMI” (in case you missed it) to try to grab their attention the second time around.
Share your new post on social media right after you publish
I know. Social media is probably the de facto blog sharing strategy. Let me just share a few PRO TIPS:
- Immediately share your freshly published blog post on all of your biz-related social media accounts (with the right-sized images).
- Write up a thoughtful intro to entice people to read it. And use headlines, images, and videos to get the attention of scrollers.
- Pin your newest post to the top of your FB & Tw profiles, so anyone who pops over to your profile can see your most recent masterpiece.
- Do you have a FB or LinkedIn group? Share it there.
- No group of your own? (Don’t worry, neither do I!) Share an intro & the link in groups you’re a member of when appropriate and allowed to do so. Many groups don’t allow you to promote your own stuff at all. Some have specified days or threads you can use. So, if and when you can promote your posts, do it!
- Are you part of a shared Pinterest board? Share it there too (abiding by the board rules, of course).
- Don’t JUST share your stuff on social media, but others’ great posts too, and, y’know, be social when you’re on social.
- For a bit more advice on how to use social media, check out this post by CoSchedule.
Re-share with your social media followers for a year
Have you seen the unfortunately poor reach you get on social networks? Like 10 percent, if that, of your followers see your stuff in their feed? Not to mention algorithm updates that consistently make this even worse?
THIS is just one reason why you need to share your awesome blog posts with your followers more than once.
Create a bunch of unique social media posts to share your latest blog post and schedule them for future social media shares. There are free and paid programs that do this for you. In fact, all of the PREMIUM articles in the Credible Health Blog Shop have ten pre-written social media posts available in the content marketing kit upgrades. So you don’t have to do this valuable work from scratch yourself.
PRO TIP: NEVER STOP WITH ONE OR TWO PROMOTIONS! (Emphasis intended – this is one of the top reasons I see that blogs aren’t getting the results they want. They’re not using the 70/30 rule as mentioned above by the Content Marketing Institute.)
I personally use Missinglettr to schedule nine (yes, nine) social media shares throughout the year for every single evergreen blog post I create.
I find Missinglettr is better than the average social media scheduler because it helps to draft social media shares for you by pre-creating social media posts for you! Yep, you read that right!
Missinglettr pulls excerpts, quotes, and images from your latest blog post and automatically puts them into social media posts. #TimeSaver #SetItAndForgetIt
Bonus points for you to go back to your previously published blog posts and scheduling several more social shares of those too! Or, if they’re a year old, update them first to republish with a new date and then doing all of these things to grow traffic to your blog.
PRO TIP: Ask your social followers to get notifications of your posts. This way they’ll at least be aware every time you post something, even if you never end up in their feed.
As you grow traffic to your blog…
Make sure to respond to comments and thank people who’ve shared your blog post! If Gary V and Neil Patel can do it – you can too!
A great way to get more blog readers is by acknowledging and thanking the ones that you have. These can be your true fans, colleagues, and influencers. #Gratitude
Grow traffic to your blog before and after you publish your posts! Don’t be a best-kept secret with your health blog safely residing in your tiny corner of the internet. Your ideal clients—the ones that need your help—are waiting and looking for you! Implement as many of these strategies as you can to get more blog readers who may become clients and/or patients.
Signing off and toasting: To growing traffic to your blog and getting more blog readers.
Over to you
What do you think? Are some of these strategies new? Do you have any “tried and true” ones to add?
I’d love to know (in the comments below)!
Originally published January 2018; updated with even more awesomeness August 2019 and May 2021.
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.