Blogging Tips: Increase Traffic to Your Blog

8 Tips to Increase Blog Traffic

No blogging tips event would be complete without the question we all want answered: how can we get people to read our blog?  While stats aren’t everything, it is nice to know that you have an audience and your effort in blogging is being appreciated.  So here are some I’ve found useful for increasing traffic and community.

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Join Social Media

My first year of blogging, I was not on social media. Joining Twitter was a little scary for me, but the move really showed off in our stats.  More people were aware of my blog, and it was an easy way to promote posts people might have missed.  And, of course, the book community is really active on Twitter, so it helped me feel more engaged.

While joining Twitter is a great choice for a book blogger, the best social media, of course, is the one that you commit to.  If join a lot of different sites but don’t like them or don’t have the time to properly utilize them, they’re not going to help you as much.  Find the platforms you enjoy and find success with, and focus your attention on them.

I joined Twitter Oct. 2012. Look at the traffic jump!

I joined Twitter Oct. 2012. Look at the traffic jump!

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Participate in Memes

Participating in weekly memes like Waiting on Wednesday or Top Ten Tuesday is a great way to connect with the community.  You’ll be able to visit the blogs of others who are participating and leave comments, and many of them will visit your blog.

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Sign Up for Events

Join hosted events like Bloggiesta, Armchair BEA, or read-alongs. This will give you a core group of bloggers you can connect with as you post on the same topics and join in on each other’s discussions.  Many events also include Twitter chats, which can help further connect you to the community.

Alternatively, you can host your own event. The downside is that, if your traffic is currently low, sometimes it’s hard to get the event enough publicity that people will sign up.  Asking specific bloggers if they’d be interested in contributing a guest post to an event you think they would be particularly interested is often more effective than putting out a general call for submissions/participants.  Otherwise, hosting an event will probably work better for medium and large blogs than for small ones.  For instance, Krysta and I started our first Tolkien Reading Event in 2012 by asking specific bloggers to participate.  For this years’s Tolkien Reading Event, we ere able to post a sign-up sheet and the guest posters came to us.  (Thanks, guest posters!)

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The primary goal of commenting obviously is not to drive traffic to your blog.  However, it’s a huge help.  Remember that people can only visit your blog if they have heard of it, and one way to draw it to their attention is to introduce yourself and involve yourself in the bookish community.  If you leave thoughtful comments and show interest in what others are saying, they’ll show interest in what you’re saying.

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Do Something Unique

Readers will be interested in your blog if they feel you’re offering them something that other blogs don’t.  That could be a simple as a a unique voice or a fresh way of writing reviews, or something as more structured like the Bookish Games hosted at Oh the Books.  Personally, I’ve found writing of Sunday round-up of interesting posts popular, presumably because people like that I’ve done the work of finding the posts for them, so they don’t need to dig through a feed of over 300 blogs to find a good discussion post.

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Less Successful Things I’ve Done

Guest Posting

I love guest posting, and I actually plan on writing some guest posts this year because I like reaching new audiences and collaborating with other bloggers.  However, I have to disagree with other blogging advice articles I’ve seen that suggest guest posting is a great way to build traffic.  First, this is probably only really true if you guest post on a very popular blog.  They’ll have a large audience you can reach, and the link back might be good for your SEO if it’s from a reputable site.  However, my experience in the book blogosphere is that the “big” bloggers don’t generally solicit guest posts–not for any particular reason I’m aware of, but they just don’t.  Second, my personal experience with guest posting is that very few people click through from the original post to my blog.  So guest posting might help with a long traffic game–if people get used to seeing my name about the blogosphere–but it doesn’t bring instant hits.

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People seem to approach interviews in the same way they approach guest posts. They’ll read the interview, but they probably won’t comment on it, and practically no one will click back to your blog to find out who you are.  Again, I like doing interviews with other bloggers, and maybe it helps in the long-run with name recognition, but that’s about it.

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I’m talking more specifically about the pros and cons of giveaways tomorrow, so I’ll make a short note here: I think giveaways can be useful for traffic building, but people tend to be interested mainly if the giveaway is international, if the prize is big (like a box of books), or they’re getting a gift card for a book of their choice.  Single-book giveaways get a lot less interest.


17 thoughts on “Blogging Tips: Increase Traffic to Your Blog

  1. saraletourneau says:

    Great post! I’ve also found social media helpful – or rather, changing my social media focus. My #1 pick used to be Facebook, but I got quite frustrated with it for both professional (thank you, algorithms – NOT) and personal reasons. Now I primarily use Twitter, with Pinterest and Goodreads as my secondary spots, and it’s driven in more traffic and allowed me to meet more people who share my common interests.


    • Briana says:

      Yes! I think the Facebook change has been frustrating to just about everyone. People can like your page but not see the updates? What’s the point? I’ve definitely found Twitter more useful in the book community.

      Liked by 1 person

      • saraletourneau says:

        Exactly! A few of my writing friends still use public Facebook pages for their blogs, so perhaps it works for them… But different social media sites will work for different people, and right now Facebook isn’t one for me.


        • Briana says:

          I think I actually read a few weeks about about an author who found Facebook was really working well for her. Something about her genre and the niche of people that meant they liked to interact on Facebook more than on Twitter, I suppose.

          I keep a Facebook page for the blog just because it offers an easy way for people who are non-bloggers to follow. If they’re not regular blog readers, following a FB page for updates makes sense to them in a way signing up for that Bloglovin’ thing does not. But, yeah, overall it’s not where our followers are at. We get more traffic from Pinterest, which is just weird, considering the book community hasn’t been big on Pinterest either.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Paula Vince says:

    Hi, this post has inspired me to take your advice and leave more comments. I enjoy following the well-written posts in this blog. As well as being a blogger, I’m a homeschooling mother and appreciate your book recommendations, which we often follow up.
    Although I have a twitter account, I only tweet occasionally, relying more on Facebook links and Goodreads. Perhaps it may be time to re-think that.


    • Briana says:

      Thanks for commenting!

      I think the key is to find the social media that works for you. The one you like and actually spend time using will probably be the best investment. 🙂


  3. Geraldine @ Corralling Books says:

    Awesome list of tips, Briana! Loved this post so much – it’s so good to hear what you’ve experienced, and just advice on which methods work the best! I’ve signed up for a few guest posts and done them, but yeah I’ve found that none of them really drive traffic to my blog!
    Fantastic post – I love this blogging event! 🙂


    • Briana says:

      I think it’s hilarious because nearly every general blogging advice article will say to guest post. Maybe it works in other blogging niches, but I don’t think it’s effective at all in the book community. Maybe if I “guest post” in the New York Times I’ll get traffic, but that seems to be it! Which is fine, since as I said, I like guest posting for other reasons. But guest posting is actually a time-consuming thing to do, so if someone is mainly doing it to increase the visibility of their blog, they’re probably better off spending that time doing something else.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

      Liked by 2 people

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