This blog post was inspired by our Blab with Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom. Members of our audience hopped on video live and had the chance to ask her anything! She gave excellent advice on balancing a business and motherhood, monetizing your top blog posts, and how to earn passive income.
A fan of Crystal's hopped on Blab and asked, “I've been blogging for 4 years, but my blog traffic is still low. What should I do?”
What to do When Blog Traffic is Slow
– Start with realistic expectations. “Blog traffic is down across the board,” Crystal says, but traffic on social media sites continues to rise. Even Crystal's own site, MoneySavingMom.com experienced a drop in traffic at the end of 2015 despite doing everything right.
– Remember that not everyone is a blog reader. There are avid Youtube video watchers or Periscope users. There are people who spend an hour a day on Instagram. Some of these people may never read a blog post, but they could still be your target audience. You can reach them with your content in a new way.
– Your blog can stay your home base, but branch out. While blog traffic might be down, traffic on social media sites continues to rise. Periscope is growing rapidly. Instagram continues to grow. Your blog is your home base, but you have to branch out to other sites to reach more people. On that note, though, don't discount the valuable role your blog plays in being a home base. Crystal does a great job of directing her Periscope viewers to moneysavingmom.com/scope for all of the links to content she discusses live, great deals, and email opt-ins. Even a non-blog reader will be happy to head to your site to grab related content and great deals.
– Create short, quick, consumable content. You can write a mini blog post or share a great tip on Instagram. You can share about your favorite things right on Facebook. Use Periscope to teach and interact with your audience live. Your content may evolve into less blogging and more creative ways of reaching your ideal audience exactly where they are.
– Build relationships wherever you go. The best thing you can do for your business is to build authentic relationships with your audience. This can happen in a number of different places. It can happen inside a private Facebook group. It can happen as you chat live on Periscope. Relationships can happen in the comments on Instagram. However you branch out from your blog, do so with genuine relationship-building in mind. In many cases, you can build even stronger relationships off of your site. (One more point for going where your audience is and not worrying about those traffic numbers!)
– Pick the social media formats that feed you. If Periscope drives you insane, it will be an uphill battle to build a great audience there. We have so many potential options for where we spend our time on social media and we can't do them all. Pick a format that excites you, helps you connect with others, and plays to your strengths. (The individual who asked the question decided that Periscope isn't her favorite, but she loves creating YouTube Videos. Awesome! YouTube videos are great for getting found via search engines, and she can use affiliate links in her video descriptions as well as link to a great email opt-in.)
– Build your Email List Everywhere. While you may find that your social media audience doesn't read your blog all that often, just about everyone on the planet has an email address. Email marketing should be part of your business plan regardless of the other places where you hang out online. Use your platforms to share great freebies, mini courses, checklists, giveaways, printables, e-books, guides, tutorials, exclusive deals, and other awesome email opt-ins to build your subscriber base.
– Use Affiliate Links. There's no rule that states affiliate marketing has to happen within a blog post. Crystal says that she shares affiliate links in her Instagram profile, as short links on Periscope or her Periscope landing page, and directly on Facebook posts. Just follow the same rules that require you to disclose an affiliate link, and you're good to go. If relationships are happening outside your blog, sales can happen there too!
– Sell your Own Products Off of your site. This goes hand-in-hand with affiliate marketing, but remember that you can link directly to a great product of yours on social media. Content marketing can be great, of course, but you don't always have to link back to a blog post to make a sale. If you're on Shopify, you can actually sell with a “buy now” button directly on several social media platforms. For other sites, you can still link right to the product listing and have success. We've been linking directly to our Shopify store from Instagram for the past month and have tracked more sales directly through Instagram than through our email list for the month of December!
– Make sure you're doing everything you can to monetize your most popular blog posts. Make the most of the traffic that you are getting. Learn more here.
How is your site traffic doing? Does this post have you encouraged to take a step back and consider other creative ways you can continue to grow your business online?
I hope this blog post encourages you to think outside the box and not let site traffic stop you from growing a brilliant business!
~ Beth Anne
Looking for more blogging tips? Check out my sister-in-law Abby's ultimate blogging handbook- Building a Framework.