Earlier this year (january 25th) I launched this English travel blog. I’d already been running a Dutch version of this blog for about 2,5 years, and I figured the world was ready for the international version. I love writing in English and the more people I could inspire to travel and take their future into their own hands, the better! But then… soon after launching I got caught up in running two websites, a business and a Facebook group. It was too much, and this blog kind of fell of the wagon. I only managed to write a blogpost per month.
But despite only blogging about once a month, and spending very little time on promotion, I managed to grow to a consistent 6,000 unique visitors per month! How did I do that? I will explain.
(I had a spike in may, but other than that you can see real organic growth throughout the year)
The main thing I did was develop a solid content strategy for my website. Since I had so little time to run this blog, I needed to make sure that every post I wrote was a bullseye with my readers. I didn’t have time to write failing blog posts! So I came up with a content strategy that would work for the audience I wanted to attract.
I had the luxury of looking at two years of blogposts on my Dutch website and picking ones that did well, then translating them and uploading them to this website. But make no mistake about it: there’s a decent difference between Dutch and English language and culture, so one doesn’t guarantee succes in the other! However, it was a great starting point and time saver for me. If you don’t have another blog to ‘borrow’ from, I still have a great tip for you!
Another thing I would do is look at Bloglovin and Pinterest (more on that later) and see what type of posts drew my attention on there. What compelled me to click? What titles? What subjects? I made a mental note of the kind of posts I not only wanted to read, but wanted to write. You can see easily what does well on these platforms, but for me it was even more about finding inspiration on what to write myself, not so much on how to get as much visitors as possible. I wanted a solid strategy that fit with my brand, after all. I would also look trough Facebook groups (more on that later) to see what kind of questions kept popping up, and write a post which answered those questions. Supply and demand, people.
It’s funny how this has worked out so far: some of the posts that did very well on my Dutch site, didn’t do that well on my English one, and vice versa! It goes to show you can only predict so much…. But by setting up a solid plan for your tone of voice and type of articles, you’re able to narrow down what you want to write, and what will most likely do well with your readers.
I used to be scared of SEO. In fact, up until about a year ago I really didn’t know how it worked and tried to stay as far away as possible from it. Flash forward a year later and now I work in SEO for some major travel companies. What is my life?! Needless to say, I’ve picked up some tricks. I will write a more in-depth post about this sometime, but the main thing I’ve started doing is a bit of keyword research.
Every now and then when I have an idea for a blogposts, I run it trough the Keyword planner in Adwords. The Keyword planner will tell you roughly how many monthly searches are made in Google for your topic. So if I have an idea, I might run it trough there to see if there’s even any demand for a post on this topic. I usually try a variation of titles to see which one gets the most search traffic, and then go for that one. Don’t let a lack of searches stop you from writing a post if you’re passionate about that topic, but the tool may help you optimize it a little bit better!
Facebook is my second most popular social media platform. And unlike most bloggers would think: that traffic doesn’t come from my own Facebook page! It’s mostly from groups! Sure, I run my own group, which gets me readers, but I’m also very active in other groups! Whenever I see someone has a question I know the answer to, I’ll jump in and help. I don’t actually do that with any ulterior motive: I’m just a geek who likes helping people. But the added benefit is that this does make you a familiar face, which means people may click on your profile and check out your website. Every now and then a question will pop up which I have written a blog post about, and then I’m one of the first people to jump in and share my link. I’ve had some posts go mini-viral because of this!
Be warned though: don’t just join groups for your own gain. You don’t want to be Spammy Mcspamface. We all know who they are, and their reputation is well…. not so good.
Here is where the real magic is revealed. After I settle on a post topic that I think will do well, choose a title that makes you click on it faster than you can count to three, and let SEO slowly let it climb in its ranks…. I use Pinterest. I don’t really use any other social media to promote my post. I tweet it out once, share it on my Facebook page and might mention it on Instagram, but neither of those things drive a lot of traffic. Pinterest does. It provides me with 2/3rd of my traffic to be exact!
In fact, in three months my Pinterest traffic grew with more than 6500%.
How? By using a mixture the tips below!
1) Setting up your profile
The starting point is obviously to create a nice looking profile. You want it to clearly show who you are and what you do, and thus: what followers can expect to see on your board. For me, that is travel and business advice, as I write about both. Make sure your title clearly says who you are and what you do. Create nice looking boards that fit with topics that you’d like to be known for. And use a friendly looking profile picture (can’t hurt!).
2) Create good looking pins
No one likes to look at an ugly pin… it’s the harsh truth. Thankfully, it’s not that hard to create a semi-decent one. Just get your bum over to Canva, where you’ll find a template for Pinterest. Upload a nice picture, put the title of the post on your picture so people know what it’s about, and then pin it to your boards (with a link to your post). When creating pins, I always think: do I find this visually pleasing? Ofcourse, everyone has different tastes, but it helps to look at what does well on Pinterst in terms of style!
3) Create keyword rich captions
If you thought Pinterest was a social media platform, you’re kind of wrong. It actually is a search engine, like Google – and one of the biggest ones out there too! Except, unlike Google, it’s much more visual. But whenever you go on Pinterest, there’s a good chance you use the search bar up top to find what you’re looking for right? So will other people. So by ensuring you put the right keywords in your captions, you can make sure your post shows up for the topics you want it to be found for. Mind you: these don’t need to be hashtags.
4) Join group boards
On Pinterest it doesn’t really matter how many followers you have. What matters more is how many group boards you can find that fit well within your niche. These usually have lots of followers, and give you a great place to share your articles with a crowd that reaches far beyond your own followers. The opportunities for repins from group boards are endless, so get on it!
5) Automate with Boardbooster
Finally, this isn’t something I do myself, but I’ve heard amazing stories about it: Boardbooster. This tool allows you to automate your pinning. If you use the right settings you can bring your time down to only a few minutes of pinning and scheduling per week!
In all honesty, I gave up on Pinterest last spring. Aside from running two blogs and a busy business, I didn’t have time to train myself in Pinterest. It wasn’t giving me any results, and I simply didn’t have time to spend hours pinning every day. That’s when I hired Krista to help me out, a girl who knows how to make Pinterest work for bloggers. Hiring her has been the single best thing I could’ve done for my blog. Now I get hundreds of visitors every day, without hardly doing anything in terms of promotion. How friggin’ amazing is that?! Seriously, you need a wizard like her.
Now, I realize not everyone can afford to hire help. But the good thing is: you don’t need to hire her. Because Krista’s gone and shared her knowledge with the world! She’s created an amazing course to teach you how to rock Pinterest yourself and triple your pageviews from Pinterest in less than sixty days, while investing just a few minutes a day. It uses the exact same principles Krista has used on mine and her own account to get us four- and five figure monthly visitor numbers with minimal amounts of work. It’s mind blowing, really.
Her course ‘Pageviews from Pinterest‘ will teach you Krista’s unique 6-step strategy that is guaranteed to TRIPLE your pageviews from Pinterest in sixty days or less. It’s a six week course starting on november 1st and ending on december 13th. The course has six modules and is absolutely perfect for any blogger struggling (like me!) to grow their traffic.
But hurry up: the course closes on October 31st and you’ll never get it for this price, ever again. The course is priced at $97 which is honestly mindblowingly low. I’ve never seen a course this thorough and helpful priced this affordably (and I’ve taken a fair share of courses in my life!). It even comes with it’s own Facebook group where Krista can help you personally with any Pinterest questions you have, amongst other bonuses. If you’re serious about building a successful blog, you’re really missing out if you’re not on Pinterest. It’s been a life changer for me, and that’s how I know Krista’s knowledge is the real deal. Find the course HERE (can you spot my testimonial on there?!) to get more info about the course, the modules and who it’s perfect for.
My link to this course is an affiliate link, but I’m sure by now you can tell I can 100% vouch for the quality of Krista’s work as I’ve had AMAZING results with her. I would only ever recommend things I wholeheartedly support.
So there you have it! My ultimate tips for growing my blog to 6,000 unique monthly visitors while writing only about one post per month! I hope these will help you with setting up your own successful blog, and I do hope you’ll check out Krista’s amazing course, as it will skyrocket your blog like it did to mine.