Looking for tips on how to grow your blog and compete with your niche’s big-name bloggers?
You’re in the right place.
This is my personal cheat sheet of 30 strategies that will help you grow your blog traffic, content, and authority.
Let’s start with the things you can do today.
Table Of Contents
- 1. Content Strategies to Grow Your Blog Traffic
- 1.1 Start publishing longer posts
- 1.2 Share memes on social media
- 1.3 Use animated GIFs to improve time on page
- 1.4 Translate data into eye-catching visuals
- 1.5 Build Content Hubs
- 1.6 Use the AIDA communication model
- 2. Audience Building Tips
- 2.1 Enable comments on your blog
- 2.2 Build a community-driven Facebook group
- 2.3 Branch out to other media publishing channels
- 2.4 Run a personalized email marketing campaign
- 2.5 Reach your audience through push notifications
- 2.6 Start sharing stories
- 2.7 Add a featured photo to your Facebook introduction panel
- 2.8 Present an opt-in offer
- 2.9 Start engaging other bloggers
- 2.10 Submit content to other blogs
- 2.11 Use a social media listening tool
- 2.12 Run social media contests
- 2.13 Retweet old content
- 2.14 Ask questions on Twitter
- 3. Advanced SEO Strategies
- 3.1 Optimize for comparison keywords
- 3.2 Look at “People Also Ask” keywords
- 3.3 Optimize for featured snippets
- 3.4 Team up with another brand
- 3.5 Use HARO for link building
- 3.6 Diversify your backlink portfolio
- 4. Building Your Brand Authority
- 4.1 Create a unique framework
- 4.2 Attend local events and seminars
- 4.3 Add branding to infographics
- 4.4 Encourage the creation of user-generated content
- 5. Conclusion
Content Strategies to Grow Your Blog Traffic
When it comes to blog growth, it all begins with a brilliant content strategy.
Here are the things you can try right now:
1. Start publishing longer posts
Longer posts are associated with higher search engine rankings, more social shares, and better user engagement.
The numbers don’t lie.
According to a study by BuzzSumo, a word count of 1,000-2,000 is the sweet spot if you want maximum shareability.
Another study from Ahrefs, which involved data from 2 million keywords, revealed that word count definitely affects search engine rankings.
What do these numbers tell us?
Simple: write longer articles.
Just be sure to check your top competitors’ content to calculate the perfect word count range for your blog.
Tips for writing longer articles
As a blogger myself, I know that writing longer articles isn’t always easy.
There are times when you’re in the zone and effortlessly jot down a thousand words in an hour. Other times, it feels like your creativity tank is running low.
Below are some of the things you can try to keep those words coming:
- Fill content gaps — Content gaps are subtopics that your top competitors don’t cover in their posts. If available, read the comments on your competitor’s article and look for questions you can answer in your blog.
- Cover more keywords — In addition to filling content gaps, looking for LSI keywords will also help you unravel more subtopics. Optimizing for LSI or “Latent Semantic Indexing” keywords will help improve reader engagement, dwell time, content relevant, and rankings.
- Add a FAQ section — Writing a “Frequently Asked Questions” section is a great way to help readers who need information fast. FAQ rich snippets will also help you capture attention on search engine results pages or SERPs.
- Share a relevant story or personal experience — Sharing a story, preferably related to the topic, will help you build rapport and win the trust of your audience. As a result, it’ll be easier for you to build buyer confidence and generate more conversions.
2. Share memes on social media
Like them or hate them, memes perform exceedingly well on social media.
Before you share memes, be sure to build your official blog channels on social media networks like Facebook.
That’s what you’ll use to share spicy memes that can get your social media engagement going.
The tricky part of utilizing memes for social engagement purposes is finding ones that are actually shareable.
In my experience, they’re extremely hard to find on social media websites themselves.
My suggestion is to look at other sites like Reddit to find memes that your community will enjoy. You can also follow other accounts that often post memes you can share.
Alternatively, you can use a free tool like Meme Generator by Imgflip to create your own memes.
3. Use animated GIFs to improve time on page
Let’s get one thing straight.
The longer readers stay on your page, the better.
A long session duration is a strong indication that your audience is deeply engaged in your content. It also sends a signal to search engines that you’re publishing quality content that helps readers solve their problems.
One way to improve your audience’s time on page is to use animated GIFs.
For my blog, I use a screen capture tool called Snagit to create short videos of what’s on my screen.
Here’s an example of an animated GIF captured with Snagit:
4. Translate data into eye-catching visuals
Now that we’re on the topic of visual content, here’s another strategy that can boost your blog’s online presence.
Brian Dean, Neil Patel, Moz — these niche giants have one thing in common:
They create custom graphics that get shared all over the web.
The ones that get shared the most are data visualizations that present data in a more digestible and shareable form.
I’m talking about pie charts, timelines, graphs, and the likes.
Check out this example from Backlinko:
If you ask me, that’s a lot easier on the eyes than a list or table filled with numbers.
The good news is, you don’t need a professional graphic designer to create simple charts like that.
With Visme, you can use pre-designed templates that are tailored for specific types of data.
You can then use Visme’s drag-and-drop editor to customize how your graphic looks and what it says.
A surefire way to use data visualizations is to incorporate them into a full-length blog post.
Once the post is live, share the graphic on social media to get the ball rolling. You can also use a tool like Social Snap to place “on media” share buttons to encourage more shares.
For other tools that do the same thing, read this post.
5. Build Content Hubs
Want to help readers discover more of your content?
You should learn how to write content hubs.
In simple terms, it’s a custom page that contains links to useful content and other resources on your website.
Ideally, your content hub should be a collection of links that relate to a specific topic. For a smoother experience, group links according to categories or subtopics.
In my blog, the closest thing to a content hub is my step-by-step blogging guide for beginners.
Check it out:
6. Use the AIDA communication model
The AIDA or “Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action” model is typically used for sales copies.
However, it can also be applied to create compelling blog content and landing pages that will boost your conversions.
Let’s take a deeper look at the AIDA model:
Getting attention is all about making a strong first impression on your audience.
This can be done with various methods:
- Use original post layouts and formatting
- Make sure your website loads fast
- Feature a powerful image above the fold
- Ask a thought-provoking question
Once you get your audience’s attention, it’s time to hold their interest.
- Emphasize how the problems they’re facing affect their lives
- Tell a relatable story
- Create a clickable table of contents (for blog posts)
As readers dive deeper into your content, they will develop a desire to do something about their problems.
Your job is to provide them with the guidance and tools needed to get the job done.
- Explain the benefits of your product or service (for landing pages)
- Show “before and after” photos
- Present them with visual proof that your strategies work
- Address objections or doubts that may prevent them from taking the next step
After embracing the desire to take action, you need to push them in the right direction.
- Present a CTA or call-to-action button
- Build a sense of urgency with a limited time offer
- Push for immediate action by describing what they’ll miss out of they wait
Audience Building Tips
There’s more to growing your blog than just publishing content and ranking in search engines.
To amass loyal readers, you must also invest in the community aspect of blogging.
That’s what the following growth hacking strategies are for.
Here are the things you should try:
7. Enable comments on your blog
It’s perfectly understandable why some bloggers choose to disable comments on their posts.
For the most part, they are concerned with all the spam and negative comments they can potentially get.
However, the advantages of enabling comments far outweigh the disadvantages.
Let’s talk about the reasons why you should enable comments in your blog:
- Improve dwell time — Enabling comments will give your audience more reasons to stick around. They can ask questions, share ideas, and connect with like-minded individuals.
- More content for crawlers to index — Reader comments are actually extra content that search engine crawlers can index. As a result, plenty of keyword-rich comments should have a positive effect on your website’s SEO.
- Grow your blog audience community — Focusing on the community aspect of blogging is your ticket to establishing a recognizable and trustworthy brand. Enabling comments and asking your readers to chip in their thoughts will be your first step.
8. Build a community-driven Facebook group
Creating an official Facebook group is perhaps one of my main audience building strategies.
I created it to help my audience get answers to their questions and discover ideas for their blog. Additionally, I wanted them to learn the value of building a network.
As of today, the official Master Blogging Community has nearly 17,000 active members.
With an active Facebook group, you can:
- Count on reliable traffic when promoting your blog posts
- Collect ideas and feedback directly from your audience
- Cement your authority as a credible expert in your niche
- Help your audience accomplish their goals
Most importantly, a social media group will allow you to leverage word of mouth to promote your blog.
A single share from any user exposes your content to their own circles. It becomes a snowball that exponentially increases your blog’s exposure to the online world.
9. Branch out to other media publishing channels
Right now, there’s a good chance you already have official Facebook and Twitter accounts.
That’s good — but why stop there?
Hosting a podcast is indeed a big step for many bloggers.
I imagine it to be a lot like having your own YouTube channel.
At first, you’ll feel way out of your element. But after your first upload, you’re already getting ideas on how to do the next one.
Speaking of YouTube, I’m personally pretty invested in the platform myself.
I already have a decent library of videos, which have accumulated nearly half a million views.
Other than promoting videos to expand your online reach, growing your YouTube channel also has other benefits:
- Build a community within YouTube itself — In case you didn’t know, YouTube has a built-in community feature where you can share your blog content. Viewers can also leave likes, dislikes, and comments.
- Funnel traffic to other websites — YouTube allows you to link to your other social media accounts from your channel banner. It’s a handy way to direct traffic to where you want them.
- Make money from channel memberships — I don’t personally do this, but you can make money straight from YouTube through paid memberships. You can motivate viewers to be members by offering in-depth tutorials, members-only live streams, and other exclusive content.
10. Run a personalized email marketing campaign
In the age of content pollution, you need to use everything you can to cut through the noise.
An email list is one of the first things you should try.
Yes — email marketing isn’t dead. And, yes — it’s still a viable way to drive website traffic and sales.
I recently revamped my email marketing strategy to be more personal and audience-focused.
There are no flashy visuals or misleading subject lines. There’s only short and to-the-point content that are often story-driven with some takeaways at the end.
What does it mean for an email marketing campaign to be personal?
First off, ditch your usual email templates and write the email yourself.
Whenever you’re reading one of my emails, you’ll know it’s from me right off the bat.
Whatever it is you right, be sure to focus on your audience’s needs.
By that, I mean your emails should focus on providing value through information that will help them accomplish their goals.
Never send them a promotional email unless they already clicked to your product pages at least three times.
11. Reach your audience through push notifications
Another way to reach your audience amidst the content noise is through push notifications.
These are tiny notification windows that appear on desktops and mobile devices, usually with web browsers open.
You’re probably wondering:
“How can a blogger like me with zero coding knowledge create something like that?”
Fortunately, you don’t have to create these push notifications from scratch.
With a tool like Subscribers, you can easily create your own push notifications — no coding experience required.
You can use push notifications to send a message to your audience no matter where they’re looking at.
I recommend using them to promote your latest blog posts, product announcements, and special offers. Just try using them sparingly to avoid giving your audience the “spammy” vibes.
12. Start sharing stories
The more you connect with your audience on a personal level, the more they’ll trust you.
That, in turn, leads to higher content consumption and better chances of converting.
One way to forge more personal connections is to share the human side of your blog.
Sharing Instagram stories or “My Day” posts on Facebook, for example, lets your audience see who you really are.
Remember, most people aren’t interested in connecting with brands anymore on social media. What they want is to connect with humans sharing this ride called “life” with them.
Check out this wholesome Instagram story shared by Neil Patel:
13. Add a featured photo to your Facebook introduction panel
How can you tell if someone’s interested in your blog?
If they check out your personal Facebook profile, they’re interested as heck.
Your goal then is to turn their attention to your website.
That’s something I do in three ways: through my cover photo, website link, and a cool intro image.
Don’t be confused — that’s just my profile’s featured image.
You can easily add your own by clicking ‘Edit Featured’ under your Facebook profile’s intro.
Now, to make this trick work, you must only choose one image as your featured.
It’s also important to reduce the amount of information shown on your Facebook intro panel. That way, only your website and featured image will be shown.
Don’t forget to add the necessary details to the photo’s description so that users will know what to do.
14. Present an opt-in offer
Looking at the screenshot above, there’s something you absolutely have to do if you want to build an audience.
If you’ve been to my site recently, you should already have an idea of what I’m referring to.
You see, people find it harder to resist short-term rewards than long-term benefits.
That’s why I’ve been seeing terrific results by offering my free eBook on content writing challenges.
Telling them that you’ll send valuable tips and updates over time isn’t always enough.
If you want more visitors to subscribe, you sometimes need to offer something they’ll get immediately.
Here are some ideas for your first or next opt-in offer:
- Free eBook
- Free templates (A reusable document for specific purposes)
- Limited time trial period
- Free merchandise
- Discount coupon
- Free consultation
15. Start engaging other bloggers
Why rely on your own online presence, when you can leverage the reach of other bloggers?
You can do this by developing a daily blogger networking workflow.
All you need to do is incorporate a few steps into your daily routine, such as:
- Engage the social media posts of other bloggers — Liking, sharing, and commenting on another blogger’s posts will make your brand instantly visible to their followers. Moreover, you can get the attention of potential influencers who can help spread the word on your blog.
- Widen your network — Following other social media accounts often encourages them to follow you back, especially if you’re following actual users. Just try to do this naturally by engaging your prospect first before hitting the follow or “add friend” button.
- Join social media groups — You can also join relevant social media groups to significantly boost your online presence. Consider spending 10-30 minutes each day browsing your groups and providing value by answering questions and sharing useful content.
- Answer questions on Quora — Quora marketing lets you leverage people’s need for answers to draw some attention to your blog. You can read this post to learn how to execute a Quora marketing campaign like a pro.
16. Submit content to other blogs
Have extra time on your hands?
It only takes three to five hours to finish a 1,500-word guest post to an authoritative blog.
In doing so, you can take advantage of that blog’s audience base to get some quality traffic.
That’s the basic idea behind guest blogging.
Apart from that, guest blogging is also a great opportunity to build backlinks that can uplift your rankings.
Successful bloggers like Raelyn Tan use guest posts to get their word out to a wider online audience.
Obviously, there’s a lot of work to be done before you can publish your very first guest post.
17. Use a social media listening tool
Social media listening is the practice of monitoring for mentions of your brand using a streamlined tool like Sprout Social.
Sprout Social is an all-in-one platform that has everything you need to manage your social media presence. It can help you track your social media analytics, plan posts, and engage your community through a unified inbox.
Most importantly, it can help you discover mentions of your brand across social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Once you find these mentions, it’s up to you to determine how to respond.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Questions — A social media listening tool will alert you whenever someone asks a question involving you on social networks. This will give you endless opportunities to position yourself as a trustworthy blogger who has all the answers.
- Positive comments — Positive comments and reviews shared on social media make great social proof. You can embed them in your sales, landing, and product pages to convince more visitors to convert.
- Negative comments — Monitoring for negative mentions is a great way to clarify misinformation and address objections. Take note that there are also competitors who could be spreading false information about your brand on purpose.
- Mentions by influencers — If an influencer mentions your brand on social media, it’s in your best interest to act fast. Mentioning you is a good indication that an influencer is willing to work with you.
- Keywords — You can also use social media listening tools to understand how your audience thinks about certain topics. This can help fine-tune your content strategy and sales funnel.
18. Run social media contests
Running social media contests is a proven way to get social media users talking about you.
You don’t need to use a specialized tool to run contests your audience will appreciate.
For example, an Instagram contest only requires a simple mechanic and a reasonable potential reward. You can also get creative by adding extra requirements like following a page, sharing the post, and using a branded hashtag.
To give you an idea, check out the contest mechanics below by The Good Palate.
19. Retweet old content
Not all blog posts cover evergreen topics, and they don’t have to.
You can, however, get evergreen value from your content by sharing them even weeks or months after publishing them.
For this, my platform of choice would be Twitter. After all, people don’t go and read your tweets at the same time.
The only thing you should consider is whether or not the post is still relevant.
If it isn’t, see if you can add quick updates to the post and retweet it. You can do this several times on the same piece of content.
20. Ask questions on Twitter
Don’t get me wrong, you can always ask your questions on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social platforms.
But since Twitter is designed for short, bite-sized text posts, it’s the perfect website to ask your followers important questions.
You can usually utilize the responses to create post topics that your audience wants to read. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask questions just for fun.
Advanced SEO Strategies
You probably saw this one coming.
To grow your blog fast and be a dominant presence in your industry, you need to be searchable.
That’s why it’s irresponsible to write a list of blog growth hacks without touching SEO.
Let’s jump in.
21. Optimize for comparison keywords
Targeting comparison keywords have a handful of benefits for SEO-savvy bloggers.
For one, people who use them are probably somewhat knowledgeable on the topic. That makes them more qualified as readers and prospective customers.
“Elementor vs Divi” is an example of a comparison keyword.
If you can show these readers that you know your stuff, all it takes is one push before they take action.
You can do that by declaring a clear winner and providing them with links to the next step.
Preferably, that could be an affiliate link that will help you earn passive income.
Another advantage of comparison keywords is low competitiveness — at least, in general.
22. Look at “People Also Ask” keywords
Here’s a quick fact: nearly half of all Google queries lead to a “People Also Ask” section.
You may not know it yet, but this is actually a goldmine of in-demand, long-tail keyword opportunities.
The old-school way of doing this is to expand each accordion one by one.
This will reveal more questions, which you can optimize for in your blog content.
If that feels too tedious for you, an alternative is to fire up People Also Ask by Topic.
Just enter a search keyword and you’ll have instant access to all “People Also Ask” questions and everything related.
23. Optimize for featured snippets
Ranking in a featured snippet is a great way to stand out in SERPs.
Featured snippets are content that appears above the organic listings. They are triggered whenever users type questions or certain keywords.
For example, entering “how to reformat external hard drive” will pull up the following featured snippet:
As you can imagine, featured snippet results receive a huge share of organic traffic due to how big they are.
Some examples of featured snippets are:
- Paragraphs — A paragraph featured snippet often appears on question-based searches like “how,” “what,” “when,” and “who.” You can easily optimize for this featured snippet through proper formatting and the use of the right header tags.
- Lists — Numbered and bulleted lists are typically used when enumerating steps and creating “top” lists. They’re perfect if you’re trying to rank a step-by-step tutorial or listicle — the bread and butter of modern bloggers.
- Videos — Search engines like Google feature video rich snippets to help users find the most informative content available. These videos are usually taken from YouTube, which is another reason why you should diversify your pool of publishing channels.
There is, however, one thing to keep in mind when optimizing for featured snippets.
If your content appears as a featured snippet in SERPs, it will be removed from the top 10 organic listings.
Sure, it sounds helpful to users. But it means optimizing for featured snippets will actually lead to less organic traffic if you already rank first place.
That’s because the first “regular” result always gets the most clicks, even if there’s a featured snippet on the page.
Long story short, try to optimize for featured snippets if you rank for positions 2-10. But once you reach position 1, use the “nosnippet” tag to retain your high traffic share.
24. Team up with another brand
Partnering with another blog, business, or website on a single piece of content has many benefits.
For one, it allows you to build high-quality backlinks, especially if you work with an authoritative brand.
Content partnerships will also help you rake in a good amount of traffic.
In short, it pretty much does what a guest post does. A key difference is, there’s well-defined intent behind all parties to create the content.
Interview posts, for example, are something I have personal experience with.
Among my favorite would be this post from BloggersPassion:
You can also forge partnerships with other brands that publish YouTube videos.
Again, this is something I can personally vouch for because I’ve done it in the past.
25. Use HARO for link building
HARO or “Help A Reporter Out” is an online service that will allow you to become a source for journalists.
You can sign up to receive HARO emails for free.
After this, you will be able to receive daily emails that contain dozens of links to journalist requests for sources.
These emails come three times a day in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
As a source, your only duty is to provide contributions based on the query.
Just be sure to read the guidelines and requirements specified by the journalist if you’re interested in a request.
Why spend time and effort contributing to HARO requests?
There are three main reasons:
- Earn a free backlink and brand mention once the post gets published
- Build your credibility as an expert in your niche
- Get free traffic
26. Diversify your backlink portfolio
Using HARO and teaming up with other brands aren’t the only ways to get natural backlinks.
There are truckloads of other link building strategies that don’t require an SEO agency.
Some of the must-try examples are:
- Reclaiming unlinked brand mentions
- Publishing expert roundups
- Fixing broken links
- Shotgun Skyscraper Technique
- Compiling statistics
Sadly, there’s no way to cover all of these without making this post extremely long.
Instead, you can check out my complete link building guide here.
Building Your Brand Authority
Reaching out to your audience via the social media sphere is one thing.
Rubbing elbows with the big-name brands in your niche is an entirely different story.
Sure enough, there is no game plan that will help you get there overnight.
Instead, you need to adopt certain habits and strategies to reach the authority status — slowly but surely.
27. Create a unique framework
A unique framework is something you can offer your audience in exchange for their attention.
No — it’s not meant to be a product or service. Rather, it should be a step-by-step action plan that will get your readers to their goals.
Emphasizing your unique framework is your ticket to putting your blog on the map.
The best part is how easy it is to build your framework:
- Figure out your audience’s end goal
- Identify and describe the steps needed to get there — be as detailed as possible
- Give your framework a name
Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique is a great example of a unique framework that skyrocketed the popularity of his already-popular brand.
If you think about it, the Skyscraper Technique merely incorporates strategies that are already proven to work.
It mostly involves competitor research and a more refined email outreach strategy. And when used together, these two components become a very powerful link building technique.
What makes the Skyscraper Technique a “unique framework” are the following:
- It identifies the intended audience’s end goal
- It thoroughly discusses every step needed to accomplish that goal
- It has a catchy name
Understanding the success of the Skyscraper Technique makes it substantially easier to come up with your own unique framework.
28. Attend local events and seminars
Whenever you can, try attending local events that are relevant to your niche.
That, in itself, is an excellent opportunity to grow your professional network and put your brand on everyone else’s radar. You can also take advantage of such events to improve your knowledgeability in your niche.
Apart from that, local events should give you enough material to share on social media for weeks.
I’m talking about Instagram stories, photos, blog post ideas, and new products to review.
29. Add branding to infographics
If you ask me, infographics are probably the best way to present data-driven information.
Infographics can take on many forms, from simple lists to complex, data-rich timelines.
But what I love about them the most is how easy they are to make.
In fact, even free graphic design tools like Canva have plenty of free templates for you to choose from:
There’s just one thing you need to remember when creating infographics or any visual content for that matter.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to insert your logo and some information about your brand.
As you can see, I have my logo all set whenever I need to whip up some infographics.
Doing this to every custom graphic you create is important because:
- It will make your blog more recognizable
- It acts as a “watermark” that will discourage content theft
- It will point other viewers to your website even without a backlink
30. Encourage the creation of user-generated content
At this point, you should already know about social media listening tools.
That means you also already know how to locate and extract any form of positive publicity from social media networks.
Reviews, testimonials, brand mentions, photos with your brand — these are some examples of user-generated content or UGC.
Rather than waiting for UGC to come, why not encourage your audience to make more?
There are a few ways to make it happen:
Automate a review request email
The best way to ask for a review is directly after a purchase.
Thankfully, most email marketing platforms let you automate review request emails after a confirmed purchase.
Use a star ratings plugin
For WordPress users, implementing a star rating system is as easy as installing a new plugin.
I recommend Yasr or Yet Another Stars Rating plugin.
By offering the convenience of rating stuff with stars, you encourage more users to share their feedback.
As a bonus, star ratings can also appear in search engine results. This will help your website get the attention of searchers.
I can think of a few ways to incentivize the practice of sharing UGC.
One example is to run a social media contest that requires users to share photos with your product in them. Another is to ask your audience to get a shoutout in your next YouTube video or podcast.
My go-to strategy, however, is to simply ask readers to leave a comment after finishing the post.
In exchange, I try my best to respond to them and share additional information whenever needed.
Just write naturally and don’t overthink it.
You might be surprised how effective a few lines can be when generating reader engagement.
That’s especially true if you’re already generating a consistent stream of traffic.
Learning how to grow your blog quickly doesn’t have to be difficult.
Sure, executing all of the strategies above will probably take more than one weekend.
I suggest taking it easy and implementing one strategy at a time. Make sure you do everything as best as you can before you do on to the next.
And as always, be sure to leave a comment below to let me know what you think.
Don’t be shy to give constructive criticism as well — I’m all ears.