Writing & Blogging

How To Get Blog Traffic: My Blogging Advice To Actually Grow Your Blog

Oh, January. Most of my pageviews, etc., decreased, but my social media followers increased. I don’t really understand why. The big difference in between January and December is that December had gift guides, so maybe those drew in more views and now that the holidays are over people aren’t looking for gift ideas. I’m not sure.

Here’s one thing I know for certain about getting more blog traffic: doing one “magic” task once won’t help in the long-run. You need to do that “magic” thing regularly. In order to put my money where my mouth is and prove this – and to be more proactive about growing my traffic than I have in a while – I decided that every month I’m going to pick a tool for getting blog traffic. Then, I’m going to really hone in on it every month. This month, I worked really hard on setting up my Pinterest images for success, which I’ll talk about down below. I’m still doing other things – which I will continue talking about every month – but each month, there will be one major tool that I’ll focus on. Then, I will (hopefully) keep doing it the next month when I add another tool.

If you’re new around here, the way I do blog traffic reports is I share the statistics from this month – pageviews, various social media followers, top posts, etc. – and then I share what I did to improve my traffic. I’ll share what worked, what didn’t, and my goals.

All Traffic Reports

After several months of traffic goes all over the place, I decided on a new strategy to grow my blog. Check out my tips for how to get blog traffic based on what I did this month, what worked, and what didn't.

Traffic Report

Current Statistics

Unique Pageviews: 7,129 (-32% from last month, +60% from last year)

Bounce Rate: 35.28% (+15% from last month, -59% from last year)

Sessions: 6,358 (+16.7% from last month, +88.3% from last year)

Users: 3,371 (-29% from last month, +13.9% from last year)

Bloglovin: 1,721 (+0.7% from last month, +9.8% from last year)

Email Subscribers: 248 (+5.5% from last month, +191.7% from last year)

Social Media

Facebook: 914 (+1.3% from last month, +18.7% from last year)

Twitter: 2,722 (+0.6% from last month, +36% from last year)

Instagram: 1,732 (+0.05% from last month, +73.2% from last year)

Google+: 203 (+2% from last month, +31.8% from last year)

Pinterest: 4,209 (+4.6% from last month, +121.4% from last year)

Tumblr: 3,679 (+0.3% from last month, +6% from last year)

Top Posts

  1. Chronic Pain and Loving Someone with It
  2. Accepting Your Body with Chronic Illness
  3. A Weekend in Boston
  4. 40 Blog Post Ideas
  5. Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad or Anyone
  6. Pain and Cold Weather: Dealing with Chronic Pain this Winter
  7. Preparing for Chronic Pain Medical Appointments + Free Printable To Help
  8. How To Succeed in College: Getting Set for a Great Semester
  9. 40 Blog Post Ideas for Lifestyle Bloggers
  10. A Note on Living with Acute Chronic Pain

Top Sources of Traffic

How To Get Blog Traffic: My Blogging Advice To Actually Grow Your Blog

  • I LOVE that the first thing on this list is direct, meaning more people came here directly than from another source. If you’ve come here directly, comment below and tell me what brought you!
  • Note that 3 of the links on this list are t.co – which means they’re Twitter links. Another 3 are Pinterest links and there’s a Facebook link, too. That means that 7 of the 10 sites that sent the most traffic are social media.
  • Another 244 are Google searches. Glad to know that my SEO work has helped!
  • I also looked at the next 10 sources of traffic, and they’re all social media. 5 are Pinterest, 3 are Facebook, 1 is Tumblr, and 1 is Bloglovin. I talked about the importance of social media for getting blog traffic earlier this month in 8 Tips To Get More Twitter Followers.

What I did in January to get blog traffic, what worked, and what didn't. PLUS, I'm sharing the new strategy I'm trying.

How To Get Blog Traffic

Traffic Analysis

What I Did:

  • How I promote all of my posts (includes social media strategy and more)
  • The big task I focused on in January was setting Pinterest images up for success. I made sure that every post had Pinterest-optimized images, which often meant creating a smaller version for the post and a larger one for Pinterest. I added it manually to Pinterest itself or scheduled it with Tailwind, and I made sure to share each image to multiple boards. They have been shared at different times, and I used Tailwind’s optimize schedule tool to share the images at times that are especially likely to get shares and clicks. I also wrote a nice description with at least one SEO phrase – since Pinterest is really a search engine – and named the images with a good SEO keyword.
  • Scheduled tweets and Facebook posts promoting other social media networks, the blog’s Bloglovin’ account, and the signup link for The Greatest People You’ll Ever Meet (email newsletter). My Bloglovin followers increased more in January that they did in many months previously, so I consider that a win!
  • Took an unexpected blog break from 1/13-1/19 due to abdominal pain episode; this included no new blog posts and scheduled shares of blog posts.
  • Some of my older posts about disability started going around and were shared more than usual (for a Friday night); probably because of the inauguration – for example, 1 post shared by 7 different Twitter accounts in 15 minutes
  • Started sharing posts on Instagram stories again; I haven’t really posted much of anything on my story in months as I focus more on Snapchat
  • I took a poll on Twitter for free download opinions so I will be creating free downloads that are more likely to get attention

I Haven’t Seen Results From:

  • I’m not 100% positive if the Pinterest focus made a difference or not. I think this is the kind of thing that will help me long-term, but it might not show up now.
  • Promoting posts on Snapchat or Instagram stories – if you have seen a post on either of them and then came to the blog to check out the post, can you please let me know? I’d love to get your feedback!
  • Free download survey – I won’t know if this helped until I start making more free downloads.

What I Can Learn from This Month:

  • Shared posts on social media really help if you end up unexpectedly offline. My blog traffic only dipped a little, but not a lot, which is probably because I have a lot of posts on Pinterest that are shared and clicked even if I don’t do anything.

Goals for January:

  • 9-12 posts – Yes! I had 11, which is pleasantly surprising considering I was unexpectedly offline and the semester started again.
  • 11,000 pageviews – Sadly, I missed this. I don’t really know why my traffic decreased, but it seems to be on its way back up.
  • Maintain 40% bounce rate – Success!

Goals for February:

  • 8,000 pageviews
  • 9-12 posts
  • Grow social media followers

What have you done in the past that really helped your blog traffic?

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  • Reply Melissa McCarthy

    Great post. I need to branch out. I haven’t used Instagram or Snapchat for blog traffic. Actually, I haven’t used much of anything besides Facebook and Pinterest.

    February 2, 2017 at 9:27 am
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      I really suggest you look at other social media networks! Facebook and Pinterest are amazing, but Twitter is equally awesome for me.

      February 3, 2017 at 7:38 am
  • Reply Thabina

    I definitely need to try some of these out since I’m kind of in a rut. Also, this is the first post of your blog I am reading, I came here from your instagram story! 😉


    February 3, 2017 at 3:36 pm
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      Ah! Thank you for telling me you came from Instagram! Regarding blog traffic, I strongly suggest you focus on Pinterest if you haven’t done that much. It can make a huge difference in general.

      February 4, 2017 at 8:48 am
  • Reply Nicole DaRosa

    Every article I read about gaining traffic raves about Pinterest so I’ve been trying to utilize it more. I definitely agree that it is something you will see long-term. It’s not an immediate game-changer but I’m still working at it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    February 3, 2017 at 4:15 pm
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      Good luck! I think Pinterest can be an amazing resource. I get traffic from posts from 2015 because of Pinterest. The work I did in January (and am continuing to do now) is a level up from what I’ve done so far, but it’s so helpful in general.

      February 4, 2017 at 8:51 am
  • Reply Lisa Necole

    Newbie Here. Thanks for the share

    February 10, 2017 at 9:35 pm
  • Reply Karen DeBonis

    I’m fairly new to blogging and very new to Pinterest, and I’m so confused! My blogs are stories from my life; I use only one image per post. So it looks like you create an image for each of your posts specifically for Pinterest? I guess I could do that, but it seems like so much work. Oh I wish I could afford to hire a social media manager!!

    February 15, 2017 at 8:51 am
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