When lockdown hit in March 2020 I decided to start a new blog to see whether I could duplicate all I’d learned about digital publishing in recent years. I had the time, but did I have the expertise? And could I build a site with enough web traffic to monetise it, so blogging could become more than just a hobby for me?
The answer of course is a resounding yes! In the past 12 months web traffic on this first blog site grew to over 10,000 hits per month. Plus the Facebook page I set up for the blog now has over 2,000 followers. This significant amount of web traffic enabled me to get the blog monetised through Google Adsense and the project is now starting to pay for itself.
More importantly, this online adventure has become a real-life case study that I can use to help others to build their online following and see increases in their web traffic. It helped me to devise a strategy to increase one’s online following through consistent effort and I know it works as I have achieved the same results on two other blog sites. All three are now seeing web traffic volumes of over 10K per month and have Facebook followings of over 2,000.
So what’s my strategy to increase web traffic?
Adding a blogging section to your existing website can be helpful as it will enable you to share more about your product or service, positioning you or your company as an expert. In order for you to see an increase in web traffic though, you will need to write interesting articles. It is here that creative copywriting is vital. It will require some ‘out the box’ thinking as you look for the news angles that best position your story. It will also require research as you look for the questions people are asking in your industry and take the time to answer them.
As you develop your blog, you will be able to better highlight the keywords people are searching for concerning your product or service. This will improve your traffic organically, ie without advertising promotion. This is known as Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. SEO parameters are constantly changing, however, there is a basic checklist that remains evergreen. In a nutshell, it helps to determine relevant keywords upfront, then write blog posts that contain them. There are various tools that can help you do this. Answer the Public is just one. This site gives you insights into the questions people are asking about a particular topic.
As an example of SEO at work you can look at this post, 3 amazing days out near Plymouth. This blog post for The Plymouth Magazine uses the keywords ‘days out near Plymouth’. You can imagine this is the kind of question people are asking in the city, as they plan their Summer holidays and the end of lockdown. If you read the post carefully you will see this phrase appears multiple times, including the headline, subheading and post synopsis. To rank higher in search engine returns, you need to target the words or phrases people are searching and ensure they are used throughout your post.
Proven Social Media Strategy
Having written a blog post, one needs to share it far and wide in order to increase your web traffic. This is accomplished through social media. So it’s crucial to grow your social media profiles in tandem with your blog. Both feed off each other. So how have I grown several Facebook pages to over 2,000 likes in less than a year? Here is the simple 10 point strategy I’ve learned from the experts:
- Start the page and invite your friends who will be interested. Plus Be on the lookout for new friends who you can invite to like your page;
- Post on your page regularly. Consistency builds your following;
- Create shareables using quotable quotes and share these in between your blog posts;
- Shared posts give you the opportunity to ‘invite friends’. This is a quick way to build your page, however don’t go overboard as Facebook limits the number of invites per day;
- Develop a social media calendar and create posts for special days;
- Promote posts that do well with a £10 advertising budget over a few days. Target your audience to reach your ideal client profile;
- Join groups that are relevant to your field and share your best posts in these groups. You will be amazed at how helpful this can be in growing a following;
- Vary your posts from personal to business, serious to light-hearted; and
- Remember social media is an ongoing conversation. Be part of it by liking, commenting, replying etc.
- Share posts from partner pages / allied pages you support. This builds relationships. Also, tag partners in your posts. They may then share it. Even if they don’t you have widened your reach.
Although this strategy was devised for Facebook, it can work just as well on other platforms, including Twitter and LinkedIn. I have also discovered a number of new platforms that have proved beneficial to rising web traffic. Being an early adopter can work wonders.
Another key factor that helped develop the web traffic to the sites I built in lockdown, is developing a mailing list through MailChimp and giving readers the opportunity to subscribe. If you create a pop-up subscription form that greets all new readers of your blog, you will most likely get a sign-up. You can then send a regular update of your most popular blog posts. This can pay off handsomely.
I hope you have found this blog post helpful. If you would like help to grow your audience through creative copywriting, SEO-optimised blogging and our proven social media strategy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org