I know how difficult it is to find your feet in a competitive online landscape when you’ve just started your blog. After all, I have started multiple blogs from scratch since 2009. But even then, when I co-founded PassionWP in 2019, I struggled to attract visitors to this blog for the first 5 months.
However, slowly our focussed methods paid off, and now PassionWP regularly gets upwards of 10,000 visitors per month. It’s not huge. But it’s quite good for a 1-year old blog.
In this post, I will share 9 effective methods that you can implement to quickly grow traffic to your recently launched blog (the second and eighth are my favorite).
Using these proven methods, you can transform your zero traffic blog into a popular blog within a short time.
Let’s jump right in.
1. Get your On-Page SEO right
Google uses more than 200 factors to rank your webpages. The SEO elements on your website, which together are labeled on-page SEO, account for a large chunk of these 200 plus factors. That’s why before you start working on the off-page SEO factors like backlinks, you should get your on-page SEO right.
Another reason is that on-page SEO is much easier to implement than off-page SEO since you have complete control over the on-page factors than the off-page ones. You can handle stuff like internal linking, technical SEO, keyword optimization, meta description, etc. without hiring an SEO guy.
If you manage a WordPress blog, you can go through my ebook on WordPress SEO that explains every aspect of on-page SEO for WordPress websites. You should use a free SEO plugin like Rank Math to do the heavy lifting for you.
You can rank your pages for many search terms that have low competition with little more than the right on-page SEO and attract consistent search traffic to these pages.
2. Publish content on trending and unexplored topics
This is our favorite tactic that we used to attract more than 8,000 visitors every month to a single page on PassionWP.
We initially struggled to get decent traffic even after publishing in-depth content on different WordPress topics. That’s because we were like David competing for the same eyeballs against well-established Goliaths in the WordPress niche.
But one day in November 2019, while working in the WordPress block editor, I experienced a JSON response error that prevented the page from updating. So, I searched around in WordPress.org support forums and noticed that many users were talking about this error, but there was no comprehensive online resource that addressed this problem.
Then it hit upon me to create a comprehensive guide on how to fix the JSON response error using the methods that I had discovered by experimenting and searching online forums.
Even though there was almost nil keyword volume when I first wrote this post, I knew that many WordPress users wanted a solution for this error, and the post would become popular in the future.
And how right I was. Within 3 months, this post started getting huge amounts of traffic, comments, and backlinks. It also appears in the featured snippet for many keywords.
You can replicate this same method to grow traffic to your new blog. Instead of shooting in the dark, you can use a free tool like ExplodingTopics.com to estimate the search trends for topics in your niche.
Another good source to discover new trends is Twitter search. I typed in “new plugin” #wordpress in the search box and quickly found a new WordPress plugin that displays COVID-19 related information on the front-end.
You know that COVID-19 is a trending topic nowadays, so it makes sense to create content around this topic that your potential readers will find useful.
Using a keyword tool for discovering emerging trends may not work since these tools generally do not display the latest search volume for most keywords. There is usually a lag of around 5-6 months between discovering a newly trending topic and determining its exact search volume.
Look at Ahrefs, for example. I searched for the latest keywords in the WordPress niche using their “Newly discovered” search feature. And the latest data it displays, in June 2020, is for December 2019.
You might be aware that most content creators rely on some or the other keyword tool to find low competition keywords. But you can get a leg up on your competition by publishing content around the latest trends that others have not yet discovered using their favorite keyword tool.
This is an easy and effective strategy to attract traffic to new blogs that otherwise find it quite challenging to compete with the established blogs in their niche.
3. Go for the long-tail keywords
This is a no-brainer. The head or primary keywords are usually highly competitive, no matter what niche you are in. So, it makes sense to target long-tail keywords with low competition.
But the problem with long-tail keywords is the low search volume associated with them. To overcome this problem, you should never target specific long-tail keywords.
Let’s say you are in the personal finance niche, and you are searching for the “best personal finance software” keywords. Then, don’t create content targeting individual keywords like best personal finance tracking software, best web-based personal finance software in 2020, etc. since single long-tail keywords have very low search volumes.
Instead, you should identify a group of long-tail keywords with similar meanings and create content around these keywords. Taken together, these long-tail keywords account for a high volume of searches.
But unlike head keywords that you specifically mention in the title, meta description, and body of your page, here you sprinkle long-tail phrases throughout the article instead of the exact keywords.
The goal is to appear natural to Google as well as to your readers. After all, no one wants to read sentences like “The best web-based personal finance software in 2021 I recommend is X”.
And Google is pretty smart at understanding the search intent. Once it matches the searcher’s intent with your body text, you should attract good search traffic to your new blog from these long-tail keywords.
4. Promote your content on your favorite social network
It goes without saying that you need to promote your blog on social media. But, instead of trying to be everywhere (and nowhere as a consequence), you should pick one or two networks and go all out to promote your blog posts.
You can experiment a little bit here to identify which social channel works for you. If you’re in the travel or food niche, then Pinterest and Instagram could be great traffic generators. For us, Facebook and Quora have always proved to be significant traffic sources.
Twitter does not fare very well in sending traffic your way since Tweets have a very short lifespan of only 18 minutes. On the other hand, the average Facebook post lingers on for up to 6 hours.
You can create a Facebook group and then strategically promote your blog posts. But this is a long-term goal since it takes quite some time and effort to grow a Facebook group.
A better way is to join Facebook groups in your niche that have a large member-base and a thriving community. However, don’t just paste your link and run. Chances are, you will get banned sooner or later.
Instead, try to help other members by answering their queries genuinely, and then you can reference your blog post for additional information.
Pro tip: Always post your blog link from a desktop to remove the link previews. This is important since some members and group admins get turned off by previews and may consider it a spam. Right now, there is no way to remove link previews using the Facebook mobile app.
Quora is also a great traffic source for blogs. It has more than 300 million active users to whom you can pitch quality answers containing your blog links and get perennial traffic back to your blog.
We continue to receive a steady stream of traffic from Quora every day.
Again, try to help other users by posting useful answers. Also, answers with bullet lists and bolded text work well as they stand out from other replies.
5. Medium is another proven traffic source for blogs
The primary reason why new blogs fail to get significant search traffic is their low domain authority vis a vis the established blogs in their niche. Building your domain authority takes time.
But while you work on building your website’s authority, you can let a Web 2.0 platform like Medium do the heavy lifting for you. You see, Goole loves Medium just like it did EzineArticles, Hubpages, and Squidoo ten years back.
After these content platforms lost favor with Google, it was the turn of Medium to fill up the vacuum.
For now, the Medium-Google romance continues, but no one knows for how long. While it lasts, you should make the most of this opportunity by posting original and useful content (or stories) on Medium.
Original and in-depth articles published on Medium rank quite high on Google over time without any backlinks. That’s why you should target medium competition keywords with your Medium articles to drive traffic to your blog.
Let’s say you have published an article on Home Improvement Ideas on your blog, and you wish to drive traffic to this page from Medium. To achieve this, you should publish articles on Medium on supporting topics like “home upgrades that add value,” “weekend home improvement projects,” etc. with links to the article on your website.
Once these articles gain visibility, you will receive consistent search traffic to your blog.
Another advantage of publishing on Medium is that its backlinks are quite powerful even though they are no-follow links. If your Medium article gains search visibility, it will also push up the search rankings of web pages that are linked from it.
Pro Tip: If you do any kind of affiliate promotion, you can also earn revenue from Medium as it allows affiliate links on its stories.
6. Share your content on niche social media sites
Niche social media sites or social networks have legions of users who will lap up every interesting article they come across. There are tons of social networks in different niches like GrowthHackers (marketing and SEO), ManageWP (WordPress), Behance (creative work), All Recipes (food), etc.
These niche social sites have a thriving community that is action-oriented and willing to share great content promoted in these niche communities. It is also an excellent way to get your brand noticed by authority figures in your niche.
You will get not just useful traffic spikes to your blog but may also receive backlinks to posts that you share on these sites.
What you should keep in mind is only to post relevant articles that members of these niche communities will find interesting and are likely to upvote or share. Don’t go around sharing every piece of content that you publish on your blog.
But you should know that these networks do not send consistent traffic your way. Instead, you will experience traffic spikes on days that you have shared your article on the network. This traffic will eventually drop off in the following days.
So, you need to keep sharing new and exciting stuff to maintain the traffic momentum.
7. Don’t ignore the traffic that you already receive
In our haste to drive more traffic to our new blog, we tend to overlook the users that are already visiting our blog.
What do you do with the readers who are visiting your blog for the first time? If you don’t attempt to turn them into repeat visitors, the chances are that this traffic will never return to your blog.
So, you should go all out to turn your website visitors into email subscribers or encourage them to join your Facebook group by creating an irresistible offer for your readers. Once your readers turn into repeat visitors, they will become your brand ambassadors and spread kind words about you and your blog.
This will create a snowball effect to drive more traffic your way.
8. Learn from your competitors to drive more traffic
You don’t have to do all the heavy lifting yourself. Help yourself to your competitors’ traffic generously. First, prepare a list of similarly placed blogs in your niche. These blogs should have similar domain rating or authority as yours.
The domain age doesn’t really matter but can also serve as an indicator to identify competitors. Once you have compiled the list, you should use a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush to know which keywords your competitors are ranking for.
Find out whether these keywords have decent search volume, and your competitor is ranking on the first page with few or almost zero backlinks. Then you can replicate their strategy and rank higher by deploying the skyscraper approach to drive search traffic to your new blog.
9. Drive traffic to your blog from niche forums
Forums are still relevant in 2021 and have thousands of engaged readers around a topic. You can join the popular forums in your niche and participate in the discussions. If the forum rules allow, you should include a signature link back to your site.
This way, you can drive substantial traffic to your blog without appearing self-promotional. But most forums disallow self-promotional links and are strictly moderated. It is a far better strategy to be helpful and make yourself visible by posting helpful replies to fellow members’ queries.
This way, not will they thank you for your help, but also visit your website or blog by clicking your signature links. However, forum posting takes time and consistency. Instead of joining multiple forums, you should target 1 or 2 (max 3) quality forums in your niche and then post regularly.
Recap of the best traffic generation methods for new bloggers
So, you have seen a list of the 9 best methods to drive traffic to your new blog. Fortunately, you should have also realized that SEO is a crucial method to drive traffic to your blog. But it’s not the only one.
Instead, there are multiple proven methods like Web 2.0, social media posting, niche social networks, and discussion forums that work well in 2021 and beyond to generate traffic to your budding blog.
Which of these and other methods have you tried with some success? Let me know in the comments below.