As we look to the new year, you might be looking for what you can do to grow your blog. If you’ve been following all year and have read my blog traffic reports, then you’ll know that my traffic increased this year (more on that next week). Here are 7 things I did to get more blog traffic in 2016 and why they helped. You can also check out 10 things I did for my traffic in 2015 to get some inspiration for increasing your blog traffic below.
Reduce Bounce Rate Plugin – This plugin (which works for self-hosted WordPress) reduces the bounce rate by telling Google Analytics how long someone spends on your site and if they interact with it.
Revive Old Post Plugin – This plugin (again, works for self-hosted WordPress) shares posts on various social media sites. You choose the social media networks you want posts to be shared do, and can even include hashtags, and how long before the plugin shares the old posts. While I schedule posts on my social media networks to bring attention to old posts, this plugin does it without my needing to pay attention to it.
Various Giveaways (on the blog, Instagram, etc.) – I’ve had fewer blog giveaways this year since I stopped offering blog sponsorships, but I have had some, and they have brought more traffic as well as social media follows. I’ve also participated in loop giveaways on Instagram, and that has really increased my followers.
Ensure Outbound Links Open in New Window – I do my best to make sure that all lips on this blog open in a new window because I personally find it incredibly annoying when I’ve lost my spot in a post or site by clicking on a link. But also WordPress has the option where you can ensure that all links open in new tabs when writing posts and pages. This has reduced my bounce rate and has increased my pageviews.
Changed Blog Theme – When I switched to WordPress, I didn’t have a theme that I was in love with. I changed themes at the beginning of the year, but it wasn’t until later that I found one that I really liked (this one). This theme is more visually appealing and user friendly, which makes it easier for all of you to find what you want. Plus, while appearance isn’t the main thing that will keep people on your site, it does help to have a nice one.
Changed Sidebar – After changing the theme, it took a few weeks for me to get the sidebar just right. But one part of that is that I decided to have fewer ads on it, so pages take less time to load, which keeps more people on the site. Plus, since the sidebar has less stuff on it, readers can find the items they want on it; namely, that’s the pages to start with, social media networks, and more.
Switched to Tailwind* – I was using Boardbooster to schedule my Pinterest for a really long time (like, years), but then it stopped sharing my posts, and the several times that I emailed the company, I never heard back from them. This led me to make the switch to Tailwind, which I love. With their interval feature, it enables you to schedule 1 pin to post to many different boards at many different times. You can select the times you want to post in general, and they can give you optimized time options, as well. Additionally, you can upload and schedule your pins to post ahead of time; for example, if I work on the same day that I have a new blog post, I can upload the blog image with the link to the post and schedule that pin to post after the blog post is out. You can also monitor your domain’s performance on Pinterest, along with other tools. Get a free month of Tailwind here*.