You’ve been watching your blog traffic grow for months. Your Alexa ranking keeps improving and Google Analytics has shown a consistent rise in unique visitors. Everything has been on the up-and-up and then one day you wake up and…BAM…things aren’t so rosy. You’ve hit a blog traffic plateau – your numbers have flatlined like an EKG gone wrong. After having a momentary meltdown and slight heart attack of your own, you wonder what’s going on and what you can can do to remedy this problem.
Here’s the good news. A plateau is much easier to fix than a complete and total decline in traffic. A steady decline usually hints to a hit in SEO or that you’e done or said something so reprehensible, your steady stream of readers and envangelists have gone elsewhere. These are hard blows from which to recover. Plateauing, however, is something that can be tackled immediately and diligently. You can bounce right back and see green once again! But it takes some time and testing to get it right.
Below are 17 ways to conquer blog trafffic plateaus. Before implenting any of these ideas, it’s prudent to check through your history of posts and engagement (use Facebooks Insights, Google Analytics, Hootsuite and so on) to see what has been working. Next, consider creating a content calendar. Consistency can help boost traffic and the likeliness of repeat visits. When people know what to expect and enjoy a regular feature, they usually come back for more. You’ll also want to thoroughly test any new ideas or strategies that you do implement. Give each a few weeks to a month, while keeping an eye on the response from your audience and search engines. If somthing starts to take off, replicate and repeat. If something is a total bust, ditch it and don’t look back. Nothing venture, nothing gained and no sense to holding onto extra baggage. Good luck!
17 Ways to Conquer Blog Traffic Plateaus
Send a newsletter. Sending a weekly or monthly newsletter is a great reminder for your subscribers to check out any recent posts or highlights from your blog. You can also use it to promote giveaways and other events.
Launch a new regular feature or column. What are some of the topics that excite your readers? Is there a particular type of post that they engage with more than others? If so, consider turning this into a regular feature or column. I’ve done that here on MommiFried with my bi-weekly My Favorite Pins of the Week feature. I generate a lot of traffic from these ongoing posts.
Add a forum or community platform to your blog. It’s hard to compete with existing channels like Facebook and Twitter, but if you post a constant stream of fresh and relevant “niche” content, your own community just might take off. One blogger who has sucessfully done this is Jill over at Scary Mommy. Check out her plethora of highly trafficked message boards.
Hold a contest or giveaway. When properly promoted, contests and giveaways attact a sizezable audience. You might consider teaming up with other bloggers, brands or local businesses to amplify the prize and results.
Conduct interviews with influencers or other persons of interest. If you have a niche blog, such as one focused on cooking or fitness, reach out to industry influencers or people who share a love of the topic for key interviews or guest posts. You’d be surprised at how willing most people are to participate.
Write a book or eBook. Becoming an author is a great way to showcase your writing and also drive targeted traffic to your blog. You can promote your book via your social networks or even self-publish under the Kindle platform.
Host a link party or blog hop. There are ample opportunities to co-host link parties and blog hops. Myself along with several other bloggers host the Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party every other week. I see a great traffic boost during these times. You can also launch your own party or hop. They’re simple to start and promote!
Reach out to brands you’d like to work with. If you’ve been sitting around waiting for that perfect brand or company to contact you about sponsorship, advertising or partner opportunities, you’ve been wasting valuable time. Don’t be afraid to get proactive! Draft a nice pitch letter and contact those brands you think are a perfect fit for your blog.
Do more with SEO. I know this one just made you cringe. Suck it up! You’re a blogger and part of your life revolves around search engine optimization. If you have the means, contact an expert. They know exactly what to do to help improve your blog’s ranking and traffic. If that’s not an option, here are some tips I suggested several months ago. There are also other great resources and books available to help propel your SEO. Peek around online or ask some fellow bloggers.
Invest more time in social media. If you’ve been neglecting spending adequate time on social media, this is the moment to get serious. Social media opens the door to new audiences and is a primary referrer of blog traffic. You must invest more time in this area. No way to sugar coat it.
Redesign your blog. Maybe it’s time for a facelift. If you’ve been thinking about giving your blog a fresh look, there’s no matter time than now. Looking for some help? eLance and Fiverr have some great designers and programmers ready to start as soon as you hire them.
Guest post on other blogs. This is a quintessential blogging technique designed to foster growth and ehance opportunities. Seek out smaller complimentary blogs and also those that feel out of reach. If you’re a strong writer, you’ll see some possibilities open up immediately. The link juice and referral traffic can be substantial.
Participate in community discussions on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. There are thousands of niche communities all across the webosphere. Take some time and seek out those that compliment what you write about and actively participate. Don’t be a wall flower! And do not spam these communities. Fill out your profiles, including your blog’s URL, and let your experitise and communications do the rest.
Add images to your blog posts and make sure they are optimized for Pinterest. As of right now, the heaviest referral of traffic to my blog in Pinterest. It’s critical that posts include a way for people to share them across all social media platforms and that includes one of the fastest growing – Pinterest. Start adding images to your posts (one is fine) and change the alt title to a preferred keyword or representative description.
Include videos in some of your posts. A large percentage of the population prefers to consume video as opposed to reading straight text. Appeal to this audience by adding some videos to your posts. You can make these easily with the camera on your smartphone or laptop. Uploading to YouTube first gives you an opportunity to fix any issues with viewing such as low quality colors or shaking.
Invest in advertising. This is a risky proposition, but quite often it pays off. Test the advertising waters by spending a little boosting your posts on Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn can be expensive and Google AdWords is tricky. Test and then expand if deemed favorable.
And last, but not least…
Ask your readers what THEY want. It pays to poll the audience, trust me. Send a quick email poll or conduct one via Facebook. Ask people what they want to see more of and what they would love to see you add to your blog.