You’ll often find a lot of not-so-great advice about the ‘fastest way to grow your blog’ but sometimes this can ultimately lead to growth that quite simply put is short lived and unsustainable.
The key focus for this entire guide will be looping back to ‘organic traffic’. What is organic traffic? To put it simply, organic traffic is a metric which is measured using visitors who arrive to your blog after searching using a search engine, such as Google. Since they haven’t been “recommended” by another website (for example, if a visitor ended up on your blog through a Facebook link or Instagram post, this would be considered a referral) and so are considered to have found your blog naturally (or, organically!).
Consistency is key
The secret to growing your blog organically is consistency. This means being consistent with things like your branding, what topics you cover, when you publish blog posts, and your content in general.
So why does it matter?
- Readers expect and appreciate new content
- To increase your blog’s SEO performance
- It helps build authority in your niche
- It helps you gain and rank for a variety of keywords
- Branding and trustworthiness
- You’re more likely to be discovered if you have more content
- All of the above helps generate organic traffic to your blog!
Avoid deciding to blog “whenever you feel like it”.
Only blogging when you feel inspired to is a surefire way to get into a habit of being inconsistent. The algorithms love consistency – you have to keep publishing fresh content. Once you stop, your traffic will slowly fall and plateau.
Everyone knows you want to cut out the fluff and write great quality content that people will actually want to read – it’s a no brainer. And, whilst writing great quality content is important, so is the frequency with which you post it. The timing and frequency at which you publish are two critical factors for your blog’s traffic. You can – and should – establish a posting schedule. The post-scheduling feature in WordPress is a fantastic tool that will definitely save you a lot of time and effort.
If you’re now asking ‘how often should I blog?’ the answer is as ‘often as you reliably (and realistically) can’!
A great tip before you start blogging is to create a list of 52 blog post ideas. Write down titles, concepts.. anything. Once you have 52 ideas, you know you’re set for a years worth of blog posts – one to be published every week. Carry around the list everywhere with you whether it be on your phone or in a diary/notebook. Whenever you get an idea (as they often come at the most random of times!) you can easily write it down. As you write a blog post and tick one off the list, try and top it up with new ideas.
If you’re stuck on where to start, check out my list of 52 blog post ideas!
Choose a niche
Starting a blog is easy, sure. But let’s not sugarcoat it – there’s a lot of competition if you’re starting a blog from scratch nowadays. You might think it’s a great idea to start a multi-niche blog, cover every topic, that way readers can come to your site for anything, right? Like a marketplace. WRONG.
- It’s much harder to establish your ‘brand’
- You are less likely to rank for keywords
- It’s harder to grow an audience
- Readers are less engaged/invested
If your categories consist of travel, and cars, and beauty, and business, and gardening, and food… saying ‘it’s a lifestyle blog!’ isn’t going to cut it. You’re potentially setting yourself up for a much harder time growing your blog. If they’re only interested in one out of every 10 of your blog posts, this isn’t great for establishing regular visitors, nor is it great for organic traffic.
Trying to go too-niche is also a problem in itself, too. Think about your audience, what readers you’re going to attract. Find a nice middle-ground. Stick with one niche and split it up into sub-topics or categories.
Travel blogs are a great example, travel as a niche is quite broad, but it’s still one niche. You could even go one step further and niche-down as exclusively UK travel with a tag for ‘travel tips’ so that you can still create easy, evergreen content!
If a visitor stumbles across your blog and instantly connects with you and identifies with your niche, they know they can return to your blog in order read more about that topic. If the post they found is just a one off, even if they loved it, chances are they are going to leave and not come back.
Creating another blog is a great way to combat this if you want to blog about contrasting niches. Many successful bloggers have 2, or even 3 blogs!
It is crucial to create connections with other bloggers. Not only is it beneficial to meet someone with more experience who you can ask questions and chat with, but it also helps to broaden your audience when you share content from one another.
Posting comments and interacting on social media is a great way to network. Commenting on other bloggers blog posts also aids in the growth of your own site. Bloggers begin to notice you interacting and engaging when you leave comments, and are likely to reciprocate!
You can also join blogging groups on Facebook and Twitter where you can discover other bloggers, guest post, and share tips. This will further help grow your network, and also help drive traffic from other sources.
Evergreen blog posts are blog posts that can be read and shared again and again, year after year. The name evergreen comes from a plant that retains its green leaves all year round. Essentially, evergreen blog posts avoid time-sensitive trends or topics that risk being outdated.
Think about it like this: Google’s job is to show results to answer people’s search queries. Out-of-date content is less likely to be shown since, naturally, less people are searching for outdated terms. If you want to gain organic traffic to your blog consistently, you should create content that is timeless.
You can also update your old blog posts posts, add new material, and re-publish them as part of a regular yearly audit. A good example would be “50 blog post ideas for 2019” – simply update the year in the title and content, hit re-publish, and you’re good to go.
To wrap things up, as long as you enjoy blogging, none of the above will seem like grueling work. Let me know what tips you have for growing your blog organically!