I have a confession: I just started and only blogging part-time.
And in my current Google Analytics results, no organic traffic yet.
Is it pathetic?
No matter how I tweak the SEO basics, my site couldn’t get on top of Google search results.
Maybe Google Spiders might take time to notice a new site or content.
Is there something wrong with this results as a beginner? I’m not sure.
One thing for sure. I’m nobody.
When you are a nobody, it means traffic is not given. Plus your website is new, organic traffic is out in the equation.
Table of Contents
- The Blogger’s Dilemma
- Personal Dilemma
- Social Dilemma
- Major Blog Traffic Contributors
The Blogger’s Dilemma
No Technical Background
I’m a Public Admin graduate. I took my MBA for the sake of learning more. I don’t have any technical training whatsoever. I just Google my way through to set up a website. I got lost a lot. I could not follow simple technical instructions. Pretty slow to understand the technical jargons.
However, since I wanted to blog, there’s no other way but to learn things on my own. Just the basics would be enough. I don’t need a premium website yet. I’ll focus what matters the most: content and marketing strategy.
I’m Not Good at Writing
Frankly, I’m not a writer. I joined an essay writing contest when I was in college. I got placed at the bottom and had the lowest points in the history of the contest. With all the students to see, they posted the results on the bulletin board.
It was so embarrassing. A pure damage to my ego. Thereafter, I abandoned writing for twelve years. I’m back again, writing to you now. All I have is the passion to write and the endless ideas in my brain that I need to express. I just keep on writing and reading a lot to hone my craft.
Zero SEO Knowledge
I thought SEO is easy to learn. When I read a lot about SEO online and following the masters, they said, SEO is a never-ending lesson. It is always updating. It’s just like survival-of-the-fittest to get on Bing and Google first.
He who has the up-to-date knowledge when Google changes its algorithm wins. The competition is so tough to get on top of Google search ranking. Everyone wanted to be first. Who are we beginners to compete with the SEO masters, right?
As the song goes by Andy Williams, “Where do I begin? To tell the story of how great my blog can be…”.
Shy in Marketing
I’m an introvert. Marketing is not my thing.
I suck to market a lot of products offline. I don’t like to go out and sell something. But still, gave it a try. I joined three networking companies and market their products. Obviously, I failed.
Then I tried to become an insurance agent, I still failed.
Why? Deep inside I wanted to sell. However, I got sabotaged by my beliefs that selling is bad.
When I was young, my peddlers’ friends and neighbors took advantage of many poor customers to sell their products beyond of what it can do. I was fighting myself with this beliefs.
Even online, I have a bit of reservation to express my ideas. Nonetheless, inch by inch I went out of my shell and started to build my confidence and destroy these false beliefs.
Selling becomes bad only if you promise something that you can’t deliver.
No Job Soon
This is what my wife afraid of: Our security will become insecurity soon. The company I currently work for is shutting down in a month. This is the second time my company will vanish. I realized job security is a fairy tale. Only us can create our own security by building a business either online or offline.
No job means no money.
I put on hold to upgrade to any premium products online to help me as a serious blogger. I hold on to temptations to enroll in the best training online especially for Jon Morrow’s and Yaro’s online courses.
Take their courses if you’re really a serious blogger. If you have a money to spare. They’re the best out there.
Mark my words.
(I don’t earn anything doing the referral. I just trust these men. I follow them closely. For sure, they don’t know me.)
No Extra Money
Last but not the least. No extra money implies no savings. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. I couldn’t buy more books to help me build my blog fast. I have to bootstrap everything. I need to prioritize my family. I’m feeding two mouths.
The solution is to use a lot of freebies online: free ebooks, free themes, free emails, free resources (provided to me by my virtual client) and other freebies. My intelligence is tested. How far can I overcome this situation?
Like any other entrepreneurs out there who don’t have enough money for a startup, bootstrapping is the only way. Blogging is an entrepreneurial journey for me. I’m serious to grow my traffic and reach out to readers who wanted to change their lives through the content I provide.
One thing for sure, I’m not closing doors to enroll myself in online courses to advance my knowledge as a true-blooded blogger.
Source of traffic online
Now for three weeks of research digging a lot of information online and offline, I was able to find out the major contributors to blog traffic. Not all of them are created equal. Different bloggers suggested different paths.
They couldn’t agree on one thing. So, they only recommend what works for them.
Which one to follow?
For a beginner like me, this is confusing. Isn’t it?
I grapple myself which path is the best.
Nevertheless, I need to map out a plan and analyze the major contributors to grow my blog traffic.
Major Blog Traffic Contributors
1. Social Media
There are four major social media channels most bloggers agree on that could provide a major source of traffic. However, bloggers vary on which of these social channels to focus on.
With over 2 billion users and 900 active monthly users, you probably think Facebook is the best way to attract traffic. Isn’t it?
Here’s a thing, top bloggers disagree on each other using this giant social media. Others were able to get traffic, some get terrible ones. Which way to go? Both bloggers were successful.
Fact: Only 10-20% of our post can be seen by our followers.
That’s why other bloggers don’t want to spend more time on Facebook.
They prefer to use other social media channels to drive blog traffic that works on them. They only created an account just to maximize presence online and as part of their marketing mix. For them to share their latest articles and manage their groups.
Most of the time as well they considered their current resources: time and money. Some can afford for FB Ads and/or they hire someone to do the FB marketing. While others bought a messenger bot for auto-reply and pre-created campaign to grow their followers and get blog traffic.
It’s obvious I could not copy these tactics in the meantime as it requires a certain amount of budget for marketing. How about you?
Now, let’s proceed to the next social media giant.
Oh, I must mention that Instagram is owned by Facebook.
In order for your post to get noticed on Instagram, you have to use high-quality photos and videos or else no one will bother to rate your post.
If you don’t have a nice video camera and a good editing software, then probably Instagram would not be the best option for you to market your blog.
And if you lack the necessary resources to do Instagram marketing, you can do a DIY process. However, it needs more time to master Instagram marketing.
Twitter has over 300 million active users globally. The market is so vast to promote your blog.
Most successful bloggers are using automated premium software to market their blogs on Twitter. You have to pay monthly or yearly. If you’re new and on a tight budget, this might not be a good option.
How could you compete in getting attention on Twitter by those bloggers using an automated software like Buffer, Tweetchat, Mixbloom, etc.?
It’s quite hard. But Twitter is worth a try to post manually. All you need is to twit 3-5 times a day of your evergreen content. The downside? It will consume your time.
Not unless if you’re blogging full time. On the contrary, if you have a day job or doing a full-time virtual assistant job, you may not be able to become an effective Twitter marketer.
It is now a growing social media platform. With its over 200 million monthly active users, this probably a good option for us to market our blogs.
I’d never heard of Pinterest until I started to blog. It piqued my interest to study it further.
It is a hybrid platform: Search engine and social media combined.
I believe in the next decade, It will become the next Google. Why? It’s easy to find information. When you type your keywords, the images will pop up with the different related keywords you’re looking for. It’s easy to browse because of its images and the website is embedded into it.
With its trend continue to grow, It captured my attention as how easy it is to use. A lot of Pinterest marketers said, “It is difficult to master Pinterest marketing”. Others said it’s easy. One thing for sure, it is now a major source of traffic to a lot of new bloggers today especially women.
Pinterest is dominated by women users.
Pinterest Is a Good Option For Me
I can compete in getting attention using this media channel. It didn’t require to use high-resolution photos and videos using my own cameras. Just an image file of our blog post with the headline of our articles to use as the PIN, then we’re good to go.
It’s easy to create pin images using Canva. It is a free editing software that you can upgrade to premium for more functionality.
I want to ride on the trend of Pinterest popularity to get ahead. It’s just a matter of time, I can master Pinterest marketing to draw traffic to my blog with no cost involved in 3 to 6 months.
Other social media channels
There’s a lot of social media channels to grow traffic for a blog. I listed the top four that many successful bloggers talked about.
Those four are the biggest and still growing today.
Other social networking sites are Stumbleupon, Medium, QQ, Wechat, Tumblr, Google Plus and many more.
The elephant in the room. What is SEO? According to Moz.com.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
SEO is a quite a bit technical to understand. Yes, we can learn the basics by using a Yoast plugin and reading a ton of materials. But if you want to get to the bottom of it, it’s quite complex. Hence we can learn it one step at a time.
I know a blogger who uses SEO as his main tactic to drive traffic to his website. He never asked a single friend to like his page on social media. But his website is getting a lot of traffic each month. He could even appear ahead of Google’s own website if you search keywords related to his content about Google products. He could even beat Wikipedia.
If you’re curious who he is. Go to minterest.com.
Mastering SEO will take a lot of time. But according to Matthew Capala who wrote the book SEO Like I’m 5, SEO alone is nothing because it has to be baked into the next criteria: great content.
Let’s talk about this king of the jungle.
3. Great Content
“Content is king!”. This is now an overused word online, am I correct?
Content is the sole reason a certain person goes on Google. That’s why Google today give more weight on fresh and long content.
For a beginner writer, this is one of the most important skills to learn. Like me, I decided to write every day to improve my craft.
What is great content by the way? It is a shareable content that educates, inspires, and entertains readers.
If that’s the case, there’s a lot of work to create one. Top bloggers are producing great contents to their site, how can we beginners compete with them if we almost talk about the same topic?
That’s the challenge we need to address. I’m all in.
What I believe, I’m not competing with top bloggers, I’m competing with myself.
4. Viral Post
This is the cheapest way to get noticed.
It is akin to great content. This gives more weight on crafting headlines to hook someone to read your content. The problem with great contents, it won’t become great unless someone reads them. So, crafting a great headline is equally important to creating a fantastic content.
We can only get someone to read our blog articles if we can create an appealing headline. To let readers fall into temptations to click our articles and read them. And eventually can’t help but share.
Great headlines are the magic portal to bring readers to your core message.
5. Guest Blogging
Majority of top bloggers agree on this thing. If entrepreneurs use OPM (Other people’s money), successful bloggers use OPA (Other people’s audience).
However, for beginners, it’s utterly hard to guest blog especially if you’re not yet a great writer. Especially if you haven’t perfected your grammar yet. And especially you have yet to produce a lot of great content on your site.
Hence, this is worth a try. It might take time before we could get our first guest post.
It’s a skill to learn on how to get a shot to be a guest author on popular blogs.
What do you think? Is this still the trend in 2018 to grow a blog traffic?
6. Joining a Blog Community/Tribe
I found out there’s a lot of amazing communities online to help you build a tribe. It’s free to join. Take note, there’s a catch: They always pitch their premium features.
Another fees and charges again just to grow your blog.
I understand the site needs to earn. But if you’re just new and on a tight budget, getting their premium feature is not practical.
Is it really a surefire way to grow your blog traffic?
Is there a 100% guarantee your blog become popular if you took advantage of their premium pitch?
I’m not buying out on this one yet. Others give it a try. Some became successful and some still have terrible traffic.
This thing I have to think over and over again. My time is also limited just to visit this website every day and learn how their community works.
7. Blog Commenting
This one is tiresome. Time sucker.
You have to go through on each different blogs in your niche to comment how great their article is. Don’t forget you need to do a smart commenting. Not just comment.
They will probably be thinking you’re spamming them if your comment sounds generic. That it’s not specific to the content. Make sure you read the whole post. Which majority are pretty long content.
Reading their articles, plus crafting a smart comment to each blog you visit, how much time do you need to be effective in this type of marketing?
Again, this is okay if you’re blogging full time. How about us who are blogging part-time?
It really sucks. Right? Not applicable.
What is Quora? Quora is a question-and-answer site.
Most bloggers take time to answer questions on Quora to increase their visibility online. This is like a marathon that your smart answers to a simple question will multiply over time if someone notices your answers.
Top bloggers encourage new bloggers to go on Quora. Other bloggers never use it at all and still able to amass a lot of followers and traffic.
I love Quora
It’s good to hear from a lot of people who have different expertise and background. And how they answer a certain question that gives a different point of view.
The real deal is, time is limited. I cannot just go over there and answer questions without spending a lot of time to give the best answer I could ever give.
Let’s see, I’ll try to put this one on my list. How about you?
I believe Quora is one of the best options to increase visibility online for FREE.
Last but not the least. According to many bloggers, Youtube is one of the best ways to attract traffic to your blog. All you need to do is create a short tutorial, videos and other information related to your niche.
What if you’re new and doesn’t have any proof of success yet? Will this work? It’s a good question, right?
If you already have a skill offline, and that’s what you also talked about in your blog, that’s good. Especially you love being in front of the camera.
But I don’t like to be in front of the camera. I’ll find another way to get traffic. I’ll think of Youtube last. How about you? You may try it.
What I know, a lot of high-income bloggers didn’t use Youtube at all. They get traffic from other sources.
The competition on Youtube is hard as well to get on top of the search. How are we beginner to get ahead on the Youtube search?
Quite a difficult decision. It will take countless hours of study about Youtube SEO. In addition to other marketing channels that we need to learn to attract traffic.
As a new blogger reading a lot of information online on how to grow a blog traffic, it’s like swimming to an ocean. You don’t know which way to go and what strategy would work to grow our blog fast.
Bloggers who are earning a 5-figure income provide a good advice online. Who are we beginners not to believe them?
It’s just that, we also consider two big factors: our time and money.
Limited to both of these resources, we have to craft our own specific plan and do things manually. Bootstrapping is the only way.
It’s really tough to be a serious blogger. What keeps me going to overcome my obstacles?
I don’t mind to learn things the hard way with limited resources. Serious bloggers never surrender. We have a warrior’s heart!. “Aho! Aho!”
The truth about real bloggers?
They are readers.
They are entrepreneurs.
They are true-blooded marketers.
Welcome to the blogosphere world. Happy blogging!
What strategy do you use to grow your blog traffic?
Please tell me, drop a comment below.