How to grow blog traffic seems to be the most popular question amongst bloggers and businesses alike.
There are several ways to go about growing your blog or website traffic. The most popular and well-known way to grow your blog is through social media promotion and cross promotion, but it’s not the only way.
Because I primarily post recipes, I will be focusing on how to grow traffic with a food blog.
- FOOD BLOG SUBMISSION SITES
Something I have done to help my page views and exposure grow exponentially has been utilizing the different submission sites for food bloggers. Below are listed the sites that have offered me the most success with traffic:
2. SOCIAL MEDIA
Since blogging is my number one priority, I don’t have all day to spend on social media, but it IS one of the most important mediums to have a presence on — especially instagram or pinterest if you’re a food blogger.
- Find Where Your Readers and Customers Are Socially: Just because there are a bunch of social media platforms out there, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be on all of them. Instead you should be focusing on where your readers hang out and tackle those social platforms first. If your food blog helps teaches high school kids how to cook then you better be on Snapchat and Instagram. Understand your audience and potential customers, then go find a social media platform to go communicate with them.
- Implement Social Sharing On Your Site: Using tools like SumoMe will allow readers to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, SMS, etc. This then can lead to higher search engine rankings as well as higher social traffic to your blog.
- Post Frequently on your Facebook Page: I recommend you post twice a day, once during peak times and once during non-peak times. You can check your Facebook post’s reach by going to the “insights” section of your page. Form there you can find the best time to post and the slowest time. By posting at non peak hours, you can improve your organic reach because there’s a greater chance for your content to stand out since not much is being published at that time by other people and pages.
- Use Facebook Dark Posts: Facebook Dark Posts allows you to target individuals all the way down to some pretty scary and extremely detailed info. Want to market your chicken fried rice recipe to a 31 year old recently married woman who just bought a rice cooker using a VISA card 2 days ago in Orlando, FL? You can do that with Facebook Dark Posts. Check out this guide by Jon Loomer for more actionable tips on how to implement Facebook Dark Posts into your social media marketing strategy.
- Encourage People to “Share” Instead of “Like”: By having your readers share your blog post, they will be essentially disrupting their friends and follower’s newsfeed and displaying your content. This then leads to a better chance for other people to read and share your content, thus leading to a higher search engine ranking.
- Make a Pinterest Profile: Did you know that 72% of Pinterest’s 73 million followers are women and the most pinned category is “food and drink.” This means that if you’re a food blogger, you NEED to be on Pinterest today.
- Use Twitter to Engage with Potential New Readers: Like Gary Vaynerchuk always says, Twitter is like the cocktail party of social media. This is your place to talk to people and get to know them. Don’t sell to them or promote your food blog or recipes right away. Instead get to know the person and see if you can offer any assistance. It’s going to take time to build the relationship, but it’s the best way to get that person to your site without spamming them with a link to your blog post or new cookbook.
- Use Twitter Search to Find People Interested in Your Topics: A great way to find people who are interested in your topic is to go to Twitter.com/search and search for it. Let’s say you have a gluten free cooking blog and your latest recipe is for gluten free peanut butter cookies. You can search for “gluten free milkshakes” in Twitter search and find people who have been tweeting about that subject. You can then jump in and strike up a conversation with that person. If that person responds to your tweets and you begin to chat with each other, chances are that person will check out your profile which is where you’ll have a link to your blog. This then leads us to my next tip…
3. FOCUS ON SEO
- Use a Self-Hosted Food Blog: Sure using a hosted blog with WordPress, Blogspot, or Tumblr is free and easy, but in the long run you should consider buying your own domain name and launching a self-hosted blog. Sometimes having a . or . at the the end of your food blog’s URL can make you appear more like an amateur. Plus, you don’t have nearly as much flexibility and options available that you would with a self-hosted blog. You should definitely get one today!
- Focus on Long-Tail Keywords: By focusing on long tail keywords your site can rank for more specific terms. For example, a recipe like “peanut butter cookies” will be extremely hard to rank #1 on Google. However, if you’re recipe is “home-made gluten free and vegan peanut butter cookies” you have a better chance to rank #1 on that keyword. So just remember, the more specific your keyword, the less amount of competition. This will definitely improve your food blog SEO.
- Optimize Your Images: Make sure that your photos have your keywords in it for both the title tag and the alternate tag sections. Plus, make sure that your image files aren’t large, which can ultimately slow down your site and increase page load times which can hurt your SEO. I recommend using TinyPNG or TinyJPG to make image files smaller without losing any quality.
- Make Sure Your Keywords are in H1, H2 and H3 Tags: Google’s search engine spiders are specifically looking for your keywords in your title and h2/h3 headings in your blog post. These title tags have a positive impact on your SEO and reader readability if done properly.
- Aim for 2,000+ Words Per Blog Post: The higher the average content length, the greater the chance for your blog posts to be ranked in the top 10 on Google. Plus if your blog posts is long and high quality, that leads to a great chance to attract more links to your food blog. But this doesn’t mean you should be writing crappy content because it still needs to be top-notch. Long, high quality long content can lead to more backlinks, more conversions, and higher search engine ranking.
- Use Your Keywords at Least 4-5 Times Per Post: Keywords make it possible to people to find your site on search engines. That’s why it’s important that your blog posts have the keyword you want to rank for at least 4-5 times. And don’t forget to add your keyword to both a H1 and H2 tag.
- Link to Other Authority Sites in Your Blog Posts: Linking out to to authority sites makes your blog seem more trustworthy in the eye’s of Google and other search engines.
- Use the WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin: If you have a wordpress food blog then this plugin is a must. WordPress SEO by Yoast ensures that your website and every single post and page you publish can be found on Google or any other search engine. This truly is the best plugin to help you maximize your websites SEO potential.
4. FOCUS ON PHOTOGRAPHY
- Master Your Food Photography Skills: By learning how to take amazing food photos, you can drastically improve the shareability and exposure of your tasty recipes. If there there are 2 things that separates average food blogs and the best, it’s the recipes and the photos.
- Invest, invest, invest! It takes money to make money. I recommend purchasing the following:
5. MISCELLANEOUS TIPS
- Focus Less on Writing and More on Promotion: Many people tend to say that the more you post the more traffic you’ll get. Although I do believe that I also believe in using the time that would be spent writing, and instead focusing on promoting your content. If you have 5 great posts, then you should definitely consider spending your time marketing your content and getting it into the right hands.
- Write Guest Posts: Guest blogging on other people’s websites can help build your brand awareness while also bringing visitors to your site. It’s honestly a great way to get your name out there. Just make sure that your guest post is incredibly helpful, informative, and well-written.
- Don’t forget to link to your blog via instagram bio, twitter bio, pinterest bio, facebook page and e-mail signature.
- Reddit, Stumbleupon, Quora, Local Magazines, Local News + Health Magazines are also great sources to grow brand/blog awareness.
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Some of this content was taken from Urbantastebud.com.