How to Grow to 2500 Daily Blog Views (Without Being Hacky)

When it comes to blogging – I’m an open book. I am more than happy to share just about anything with y’all because when I was a new blogger I obsessed over income reports and traffic analysis because it’s how I learned not only what was possible, but how I might be able to achieve it myself.

Transparent bloggers helped me learn the strategies I needed to see growth, and I’ve gotten to the point where I can consistently predict my stats and income.

I’ve been blogging for almost three years now and have had my share of viral months (reaching over 500k page views in some months). I foolishly thought that traffic would be lasting and that it existed due to my superior blogging strategy rather than dumb luck.

Now I realize that dramatic spikes in traffic are generally brought on more so by the internet powers that be rather than strategy, and that growing your page views is a slow and steady race. Huge spikes generally will fall back down to some degree.

With that said, there are some slow and steady methods that you can employ to increase your page views and see steady growth. Now these aren’t “hacky” and you aren’t going to see overnight results, but in the long run you will see an increase in page views that won’t fall back down. Using these tips I’ve gone from 0 views when I started this blog in January, to at around 2,500 a day now.

Improve your SEO

SEO seems complicated. When I first started blogging I refused to even think about it for months because I was intimidated. Major mistake.

SEO is how search engines find your website, and if done right you will probably be getting most of your traffic from search engines.

You do this by making it easy for search engine crawlers to know what you’re talking about. Your blog posts should have keywords sprinkled throughout (organically!), the title should be clear, and any images should have alt text containing your keywords.

Oh, and use headings like these.

Use a lot of images, headings, and bullet lists to help break up your post and make it a bit easier to read.

How I got ranked #1 on Google

Warning: I’m about to sound real nerdy, BUT one of my biggest achievements ever is that I’ve got a post ranked as #1 for a popular search term. #GeekingOut

If you Google “Instagram Themes” you’ll see this post listed as number one, and the accompanying image highlighted below.

instagram themes

Now, I will be honest: part of getting ranked as number one is luck because there can be five different posts doing everything right with SEO, but with proper strategizing you can at least get on the front page of Google by following some of the same steps I did.

My Search Engine Optimization Method:

  • Write long blog posts. Search engines see long form content as being more valuable, so make sure all of your posts are at least 1000 words long. The sweet spot is said to be ~2500 words!
  • Get backlinks to your post. This was the hardest part for me, especially given the fact that I”m an introvert and asking people for favors is hard. So, I went the easy and less effective route and did this:
    • I found around twenty blog posts that people had written about Instagram – it could be anything – gaining followers, taking better pictures, anything! Then I left genuine and thoughtful comments on their posts proving that I not only read it, but also took into consideration what they were saying. From there I emailed them and said something along the lines of, “Hey, I saw your post on Instagram and really liked ______ about it. I just wrote a post on Instagram themes I thought you might be interested in.” I never asked them to link to my post because that made me nervous, but a handful of people did regardless.
    • (Full disclosure, I have a second blog with a pretty strong presence on Google so I was able to link to the post from there, too.)
  • Link to yourself. Every time I write about Instagram on either of my blogs, I link to my Instagram Themes post. This is good practice regardless, but it really pays off as far as SEO goes.
  • I advertised like crazy. Google sees popular posts as being more helpful. I knew that this post had front page potential given the competition so I tried to get everyone possible to read it. I made a dozen different Pinterest pins, pinned it to every self-promo thread I could find on Facebook, and tweeted it out like a mad woman. Slowly it started gaining momentum, traffic, and comments; and that resulted in it finally showing up on Google.
  • I wrote related posts. I am trying to corner Google’s market for Instagram search terms, so I write a lot about Instagram and interlink all of my posts. This virtual web makes it easier for Google to find ALL of these posts and positions me as an authority.

Related Post: How to use SEO by Yoast

Consistency with Social Media

Truth is, nothing short of a miracle is going to quadruple your page views and remain consistent. With that said, viral spikes will bring your some long-term benefits and social media is a great way to grow your following and increase the chance of going small-scale viral.

I use social media as a way to attract new readers and of course I love going viral on any scale, but in the long run I’m looking for steady growth.

How to use social media to drive consistent traffic:

  • Post daily: this can seem tedious, but with schedulers like Hootsuite or Edgar it’s made a bit easier. You can even bring on a VA to help with the process!
  • Be authentic: Don’t just post links to your blog posts, people will quickly become bored of you. Instead post questions, fun graphics, quotes, and general thoughts. Then sprinkle in links to your own content amidst all of your other shares.
  • Share other people’s content: This not only creates good will, but these people may end up sharing your content in return. It’s a win-win!

Using Pinterest for consistent Traffic

Pinterest in my best blogging friend, y’all. No joke. I get a lot of traffic from Pinterest and I’ve been preaching about the wonders of the platform for over a year.

Which is why it’s so frustrating for me when I see bloggers give up after a week or two of no results. Pinterest is the bomb diggity if you spend time setting it up.

pinterest

My best Pinterest tips:

  • Make any irrelevant boards private. If you’re using your Pinterest account for your blog or business you should make sure all of your boards are relevant to said blog or business and the interests of your target audience. This will help you grow a targeted following, because you’re showing your audience exactly what it is you have to offer.
  • Pin all the time. “But Morgan! I don’t have time to pin all the time!” Don’t worry – me either. But what I DO have is an active Board Booster subscription. I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now, but if you haven’t take my word when I say you need it. The free trial lasts for forever, and after that it’s only $10/month.
  • Sanitize your boards. So this might be the greatest Pinterest debate out there: to delete under performing pins or not. I’m in the “delete” camp, and I can tell you why but it’s all a bunch of anecdotal evidence. I’ve seen results, maybe they are coincidence, but I’m a believer.
  • Join group boards. This is another one that you likely already knew, but it’s important. Group boards allow you to “borrow” other people’s followers and get your content in front of a new audience entirely.
  • Open your boards up to contributors. Nothing exploded my following more quickly than opening a few boards up as group boards. Now my Pinterest boards stay active passively through other people pinning to my boards!

Using Twitter for consistent traffic

twitter

I am a recovering Twitter hater. I really hated it for a long time but I’m finally beginning to see it’s value. Twitter is a tricky beast. It moves quickly, has a lot of spammy users, and limits you to 140 characters.

BUT there is some good. It’s great for growing a community, and it’s a great place to engage with your followers. I don’t see great traffic from Twitter (maybe 100 views a week) but I do see some of my best engagement there.

The views I get from Twitter are returning visitors which is a very valuable commodity in the blogging world. You want people to come back to your site again and again because that means they liked it enough the first to return. Repeat visitors quickly turn into fans of your blog.

My Twitter strategy:

  • Tweeting things like quotes and songs helps people relate to you and want to engage. You might share a quote that’s exactly what they needed to hear that day so they’ll retweet and send you a kind message – you’ve made a friend. Or maybe someone loves the song you just tweeted out – BAM! new friend.
  • Engage with people. Twitter is where I allow myself to fan-girl. If my favorite blogger writes a new post I’ll tweet her and let her know how wonderful I thought it was. Or maybe a blogger in my niche just wrote the best post I’ve ever read. I’ll let her know. Being kind and engaging is a good way to get your name out there.
  • Respond to tweets. This is a big one for me – I try and respond to every single tweet sent my way. I am not always the best at this, and I’m sure some slip through the cracks but I do my best.
  • Tweet my own content sparingly. Whenever I have a new post I’ll tweet it out once (maybe twice) but other than that I don’t do much promotion except on special occasions. I like to use Twitter as a way to be relatable and engaging, not a place to self-promote myself on a loop. You can always tell when bloggers are using a program to tweet out 8 links to their old blog posts every day and if it’s not done tactfully it can be quite off-putting.

Using Instagram for consistent traffic

instagramme

OK, friends. I’m going to be real honest with you. Instagram isn’t where you should be if you want to drive real traffic. I love Instagram and it’s my favorite social media but I’d be disillusioned if I thought it was going to drive massive traffic to my blog.

Instagram is designed to allow people to mindlessly scroll and consume media effortlessly – it’s fantastic! Once someone follows you, they probably won’t be going to your profile very often to even see the link in your bio, and the ones who do visit your profile probably won’t click.

Mind you, I have a modest ~7,500 followers and can’t speak for those with massive followings, but I am lucky to get 250 pageviews from Instagram in an entire month.

What I do use Instagram for:

Instagram is a great place to diversify your brand. In the blogging world I create long blog posts chocked full with advice. I’ve got my niche and I stick to it. On Instagram I post pretty pictures with short, often sassy, captions.

Decide whether you want to stay on brand

The world of fashion blogging has always appealed to me, but I didn’t want to start another blog. Instagram allows me a platform to dip my toe into those waters without taking the plunge and starting a third (!!!) blog. I have a very different audience on Instagram than I do here on Morgan Timm, and it’s fun being able to create breezy, fun content that can be created quickly and effortlessly.

With that said, my Instagram would be a lot more powerful of a conversion tool if I were gearing it towards the same audience I’m gearing this blog towards.

Unlike any other platform, Instagram is a place where you can gain “fans.” I use the word fans for lack of a better one, but essentially that’s what happens.

If you post high quality content consistently, eventually you’ll amass a very engaged following. For me, my very engaged following is still tiny, but because they’ve gotten to know and like me through Instagram, they are now interested in what I’m doing on my blogs, too.

Instagram is another one that’s great for growing community, but you have to be in it for the long haul if you’re aiming to gain traffic.

instame2

Consistently posting

So here is where you can all say, “Morgan! You hypocrite, you are the last person who should be saying anything about consistency.”

But I’m going to pretend not to hear you. (Kidding, I know, I know. I need to improve on this!)

Before my internship I was very consistent but I’ve found that I have trouble balancing and managing my time. (Yikes! I’m sorry!)

But! Consistency is how I amassed blog readers in the first place. When I started Mostly Morgan I was posting several times a week, and I even blogged every day for a month at one point.

Consistency, especially early on, earns you a lot of brownie points with your readers. Once you have a healthy library full of great content it’s less important to post several times a week (I aim for once a week, myself!) but it’s a great way to gain momentum quickly.

But Morgan! How ever will I come up with enough blogging ideas to post more than once a week?

I love this question because I love brainstorming post ideas and I’ve got a system that not only will keep your editorial calendar full, but it will have you writing what your audience wants to read.

How to come up with post ideas:

  • Check Google Analytics and figure out what your most popular posts are. How can you go broader with them? More narrow?
    • For example, if you’ve got a blog post dedicated to how to meal plan here are a few related posts you can write:
      • Best notebooks for meal planning – make a list and link this post to your meal planning post to forward traffic. You can even add in affiliate links to make extra money!
      • How to use coupons to meal plan – in this post you can teach people how to meal plan and save money based on that week’s coupons. You can link your original meal planning post here.
      • My week in meals – in this post you can show your audience everything you cooked this week based off of your meal plan and, again, link to your meal planning post.
  • Check your recent comments. Chances are that there is something your audience wants to see from you that they haven’t seen yet, and they might be asking questions. Even if they aren’t directly asking for you to write a post you can read between the lines and come up with posts from their comments.
    • For example, if I have a post on best Pinterest tactics I might get some comments like these:
      • “Great post, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to set up rich pins. Could you help?” In this case I could respond directly to the comment OR write a post going into the nitty gritty of setting up rich pins to further establish myself as a Pinterest authority while going above and beyond for a reader.
      • “Love this! I can never find accounts pinning ______, glad I found you!” Whenever your audience says they can’t find something or they can’t figure something out take that as a que for you to do your research and teach them. In this case I could find 10 accounts pinning the best blogging and biz tips and create a roundup post.
      • “Wow! I’d never heard of BoardBooster before, I’ll have to look into it.” Nah, girl. I’ll look into it FOR you. If there is a certain program that your audience is commenting or questioning, consider creating a super detailed post walking them through what it is, how much it costs, how they can use it, and why you recommend it. Bonus points if you can get the software you’re writing about to share your post!
  • Break up your blog posts. In case you haven’t noticed, this is a pretty beefy blog post (2808 words and counting!). In all honesty, I could easily break this up into a few different posts and still might in the future. You see this section you’re reading right now? I can expand on it and turn it into an entire post. Huh, maybe I will.
    • Even if you’re in a different niche entirely this can still be applicable. Say you’re a fashion blogger and you’re doing an OOTD: that cute hat you’re wearing? Write a post about it.
      • 10 ways to style a sunhat OR
      • Why sunhats are a summer wardrobe essential OR
      • The best sunhat steals and deals
      • You get the picture

What I’m getting at is there are endless blog post ideas floating around and even though it’s easy to get “stuck” it’s just as easy to get unstuck. If you’re ever feeling inspired sit down and pound out as many post ideas as you can come up with.

Now we wait

Like I said, these tips aren’t going to bring you massive page views overnight, but the will help you see success over an extended period of time.

Start now by recording your stats so you can monitor your growth and then pick and choose a few (or all!) of these strategies to implement into your blogging and business strategy.

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  • These are great tips, Morgan. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    http://thewallflowersecrets.com

  • I’m going to try e-mailing bloggers that have the same post with me. I’m so excited to see more back links with these, I’ve seen this tip before but I’m too scared to try it. Thank you Morgan for giving these awesome tips!

    All the Best,
    Jan Limark | Brotherly Creative

  • I need to learn more about SEO. I always go to your blog for blogging tips. Do you have a post about SEO?

    http://goldclutter.com

  • Really helpful! 🙂
    xx finja | http://www.effcaa.com

  • This was unbelievably informative. Thanks so much for the post! I started a blog recently and I’m really trying to get a hang of everything. There’s so much to know and learn which is why I love posts like these.
    Santana | http://www.santanasays.com

  • Melissa

    Just found your blog and love your content! It’s so accessible and informative. I hope to start my own blog too so will be looking at your blog for tips!

  • I just found you on Youtube, talking about how you monetize you blog, while I was on my elliptical, and had to know more. I totally love what you have going on here!

  • Great post and super helpful! Been blogging for over a year and the past couple months I’ve been really getting focused in putting more effort into my blog!

    xoxo Olivia
    http://www.ourwanderingmind.com

  • Wow, that’s so awesome that one of your posts showed up first on Google! This is a great resource for conquering SEO 🙂

  • Melina Iverson

    My sister and I are brand new to the blogging world in STL. Our site is twinstakeover.com and we’ve been reading your blog for awhile now for advice and we love it! One thing we are having issues with is tracking our statistics. Is that what you use google analytics for? Or is there a specific plug in that will give you your stats? We cannot seem to find a way to track anything through just WordPress. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Keep up the good work, you’re such an inspiration!

    • I’m not sure if you’ve figured this out but you can download a plugin. Just type in “google analytics” and activate. I use Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. I just started my new blog too. 🙂
      http://lauraann.ca/

      • Melina Iverson

        Omg thank you so much! I would love to take a look! What’s your blog called?

  • I have a long way to go, thanks for sharing these helpful tips!

    http://www.musecayla.wordpress.com

  • Thanks for sharing. This is so useful and informative especially for me, a new blogger. I’m still learning about SEO and how to use social media. I have to admit, I’m not good with social media.

  • Hi Morgan, Martina here 🙂
    It’s been a while since I read such a detailed and helpful post! I always thought my Instagram, Twitter and website should be aimed towards the same public, same topic, but I have many hobbies and that made me think I should have 4-5 Instagram accounts and same goes for Twitter. Eventually that thought scared me so I just gave up :/
    Now I have my website, and I keep my Instagram strictly for my photography. However, my twitter is personal so I don’t link it from my website..maybe I should!

    Anyways, thank you so much for such an informative blog post! I can tell it’s gonna take a lot of work to increase traffic to my blog and start making money, but it will be worth it!

    All the best and have a nice day 🙂 x

  • Zimbo

    Hey Morgan! I love your tips and they’ve helped me a lot.
    I think you should also include reddit and stumbleupon here for increasing traffic. Reddit helps a lot if you have tech based blog. Also, check out my blog at http://www.dopeinsights.com and share your views on what I can do to improve.

    Cheers 🙂

  • Thanks for writing such a comprehensive and enlightening post.
    I’ve been blogging for over 3 years but I learnt so much from this, looking forward to seeing what results from the changes I make.

    http://www.tukesquest.com

  • Thank you for making this post!
    Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with all these things I should be doing before putting my post online, but your post is a great list to follow before hitting ‘publish’.

  • this is super super helpful! Thank you for sharing this advice:)