So, you’re blogging. That’s great. Blogs have SEO value, and they can bring in more leads than other forms of marketing. But, how are you supposed to get people to your blog?

I put this post together to help you increase your blog traffic and make the most of your content marketing efforts. These steps have worked for me, boosting our blog traffic month after month!

Here’s how I did it, step by step, and how you can too!

1. Press pause and reflect

Before you publish another post, you should take a break. If you already have blog posts scheduled to publish, go ahead and let those publish while you take some time to audit your blog.

You should have some sort of analytics set up to monitor traffic, so you’ll need to go through your data and figure out what’s worked best and what’s flopped. If you don’t have analytics set up, now is the time to set up Google Analytics (or whatever you decide to use).

Look at your top 10 articles. Do they share a common theme? What about your least popular articles? Use this information to shape the direction of the next blog articles you plan. Write more of what gets the most traffic.

Also look at which days you get the most traffic and where that traffic comes from to determine when you’ll post and how you’ll promote your blog.

2. Set goals

Before you start building a strategy, you need a goal. My goal was to quadruple our monthly blog traffic by the end of the year, but your goals don’t have to be crazy. Maybe your first benchmark is to improve blog traffic by 100 or 1000 views a month, depending on where you’re starting out.

3. Build your strategy

Now that you know what works and what doesn’t, it’s time to build a strategy around that.

Get some sort of editorial calendar. We use Trello (Trello is free, but the calendar option is not). You could use Outlook or the calendar in your phone. Hey, feel free to use a physical calendar if that’s your thing.

Once you have your calendar, plan at least a month ahead. Figure out how often you’ll post, and stick to your schedule. You know what types of posts work best, so plan topics and titles from that. For instance, if how-to blogs do well, publish one of those each month.

While you’re planning, don’t forget to plan how you’ll promote your blog and add your promotion schedule to your editorial calendar.

4. Share your goals and ask for help

When I set out to improve our traffic, I knew I needed help.

So, I sent out multiple emails, asking people in our company to help write, and I found a small group of people willing to contribute on a regular basis or write a one-off post (or contribute part of a blog post).

I emailed people asking for 1-2 tips about a particular subject, and when enough replied, I put them together into a blog post, wrote an intro and a conclusion, filled in any gaps or answered any questions I felt were left unanswered and published.

You might be surprised by the amount of people who are willing to help.

5. Figure out how often you should post

I tested a lot before I settled on a publishing frequency. Here’s what I did:

I tested publishing once a week, five times a month, six times a month and twice a week. Eventually, I settled on twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday, because when we publish both days, we get a traffic spike on Tuesday and a smaller spike on Thursday.

You should test for a while, but eventually you’ll want to settle on whatever works best for your blog and your audience. No matter how often you publish, though, be consistent. For instance, if you want to publish once a month, try publishing on the first Tuesday of the month, every month.

Note: For a small business blog, you probably don’t need to publish twice a week.

6. Audit and republish older posts to drive organic traffic

When you audit and republish older posts, you don’t have to write an entire post. You can just update it with any new information or statistics, maybe get a quote from someone in the office, add an updated graphic, update headings and body copy with keywords and republish it with a new publishing date. That’s what I do.

You can do this for posts that have performed well and also for posts that didn’t perform as well. I do a mix of both, and I try to republish one or two posts each month. If you’re only publishing once a month or so, you may only be able to republish every few months.

Note: I started doing this because I read this post about how you can improve organic traffic by auditing older posts.

7. Promote your articles

Promotion is extremely important for your blog. Without regular promotion, we definitely wouldn’t have seen such an improvement in monthly traffic.

Here are some ways to promote your blog:

  • Weekly emails
  • Social media
  • Social media ads
  • Share with employees
  • Share with clients/customers
  • Share on your personal social media
  • Share with other industry professionals
  • Ask guest bloggers to share

If you already ask customers for emails at the register or check-in/check-out then you’ve built an email list. If not, you should ask customers for email addresses and start sending out regular blog emails. Don’t be afraid to ask. I think every retail store I’ve ever gone to sends me promotional emails because they asked for my email at the register.

There should also be a spot on your blog/website where people can subscribe.

And share new articles with social media followers, friends, family, other industry professionals, etc. Also ask guest bloggers to share their articles across social media. If you have the budget, you can use social media ads linking to new posts to drive even more traffic to your blog.

8. Test and repeat

Whatever you do, don’t stop testing! Even if your test fails and your traffic drops during the test, you’ve learned what not to do. Consistency may be key, but testing every so often can help you learn new ways to improve traffic even more.