Writing an epic blog post that no one reads is kinda like doing Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred workout right before eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts – it’s a big waste of time and energy. Not that I’ve ever done that (ahem.)
We all want boatloads of readers, pageviews and traffic to our blog. In fact, when I sent out my annual survey to my email list at the beginning of the year, this was the #1 top requested topic that my readers wanted to hear about. And for good reason: if no one’s reading our posts then our posts don’t matter. #harshtruth
But as busy moms and bootstrapped bloggers, our time and money are tight! We need to be able to get traffic to our blogs without spending a ton of time or money to get it. And that my friends, is what I’m about to share with you.
Here are the top 3 ways I got free traffic to my brand new blog:
1. A Free Platform With a CONSISTENT STRATEGY
Riddle me this: Where can you go online to get decadent cupcake recipes, healthy meal plans for kids, budget DIY project ideas AND boatloads of free traffic to your blog?
Yep, it’s Pinterest. If you’re new to blogging and haven’t heard the buzz about how tons of bloggers are getting massive free traffic from Pinterest, then this is your lucky day.
This traffic strategy is at the top of the list because it’s my absolute favorite for getting a lot of traffic with minimal time investment.
But for the longest time, Pinterest was my Acchiles’ heel when it came to getting traffic to my blog.
Even though I profiled bloggers (here and here) who were getting crazy amounts of free traffic from Pinterest, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get it to work for the life of me!
I followed all the Pinterest advice that everyone talks about in their own success stories on their blogs:
- Set up a Pinterest business account
- Use keywords in your profile and Pins
- Pin long, attractive images with enticing text
- Use a Pinterest scheduler
- Pin to group boards
But I was still coming up shamefully short. What was I doing wrong? It was nails-on-the-chalkboard annoying and frustrating.
Turns out, I was missing the one thing that would later become crucial to my Pinterest growth: a cohesive strategy.
I was just random-Googling and trying things, but didn’t have the overall big picture SYSTEM to understand how to effectively implement each task and make all the pieces work together. For some people this isn’t an issue, but I’m the kind of person that needs to understand the big picture.
How to Get Free Traffic from Pinterest
Once I understood the strategy – the why – I started (seriously) scheduling my Pins with Tailwind (this was key for me), and following a strategic plan. Now, I say “seriously” because I had already previously been using both services “here and there” to schedule Pins, but never developed a routine and schedule to do it consistently.
I’d pin a few things on Monday, schedule a dozen things for the next day or so, repin a few things on Pinterest itself, then forget about it for the rest of the week. And the week after that. Then I’d get at it again. I had no consistency whatsoever! And I wasn’t pinning nearly enough, and again, I think it’s because I really didn’t understand the why of it all.
So I invested in a course. It took me what seemed like FOR.EV.ER (<— that video goes on for 10 hours… where do I find this stuff??) to invest in a Pinterest course. I can be obnoxiously stubborn and like to think I can figure everything out on my own. If I just read one more blog post about it or try one more “hack”, then I’ll get it.
And a lot of times I can! Heck, maybe this time I could have too, and I know many other bloggers who’ve had success without taking a course. But for me, I was just wasting waayyy too much time trying to make it work and getting waayyy too frustrated with my slow Pinterest growth. So I bit the bullet and invested in a Pinterest marketing course.
Having the step-by-step, in-order guide, video tutorials, workbook and supportive accountability environment made all the difference for me. And even though I used to be reluctant to taking blogging courses, I’ve shifted my mindset and now I’m all over it. It’s the same reason I loved Elite Blog Academy even though I already “knew” blogging: having a step-by-step guide and accountability is a sanity-saver.
And with 4 young kids to feed, nurture and entertain all day, I need to keep as much of my sanity as I can 😉
So, to sum up my Pinterest game, here’s what I did:
- Created my “Perfect Pinterest Profile”
- Switched to a business account
- Leveraged Pinterest SEO in my profile, board descriptions, and Pins
- Rocked my Pin images
- Implemented a consistent posting strategy using Tailwind
Check out this page for 2 quick videos on how to get even more traffic to your blog.
2. Facebook (But Not Your Facebook Page!)
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I have no idea how to properly use my Facebook Page for my blog. I mean, I post helpful blogging stuff there occasionally so it doesn’t look like a ghost town to a curious onlooker, but as far as a marketing strategy? No idea. And no time to try and figure it out right now. #busymomblogger
One of these days I’ll take a course on it 😉
For now, Facebook Groups are where it’s at for me!
How to Get Traffic From Facebook Groups With the GIVE-ASK Method
I use a GIVE-ASK method to consistently get free blog traffic from targeted Facebook Groups. Here’s how:
- I search Facebook Groups I’m a part of for topics I can help with and reply with helpful info (GIVE)
- I share my posts and opt-in freebies on promo days within these groups (ASK)
I’ve noticed that when I constantly GIVE helpful and positive advice in these Facebook Groups, my blog promos typically get more attention and clicks. (Of course, you need to make sure your headline and share image is great as well – don’t underestimate this!)
To find Facebook blogging groups that are a good fit for your blog, use the Facebook group search function. Here’s a quick and simple video from Social Media Examiner that shows you how to do it:
You should also use this method to search for Facebook groups that are specifically related to blogging, since those are the ones that most frequently have promo days.
“But, doesn’t this take a ton of time?”, I can hear you ask. It certainly can, if you let it! The best way to do this with minimal time investment is to do a bit of legwork ahead of time to organize your blogging groups into a spreadsheet so you know which days you’ll get to promote on. Then, schedule 15-30 minutes into your calendar each day (if it’s not on your calendar, it doesn’t exist!) and stick to your schedule.
Warning!: It’s really easy to nonchalantly slide into socializing on Facebook when you do this., which will waste a ton of time. Stick to your schedule and even set a timer on your computer if you need to hold yourself accountable.
3. Shine a Spotlight
This method just might be the most fun on this short list, because it allows you to connect with other bloggers and get to know some really great people in your niche. Here’s a fun way to do this effectively (and have a bit of fun and connect with other bloggers in your niche – 2 big bonuses!):
How to Write a Roundup Post to Get Traffic
Write a roundup post on a topic in your niche and feature several blogs or bloggers’ advice or examples in your article, linking to their blogs.
So for example, in her post “16 Top Bloggers Share What Bloggers Should Focus On In 2017”, Jennifer Snyder of Women Winning Online interviewed several bloggers and featured them in her post.
Something magical happens when you do this… most of the featured bloggers will share your article with their audience! Who doesn’t want to share it when they’re featured on someone else’s blog? Pretty much no one. Here’s what happened with Jen’s post from above:
16 TOP BLOGGERS SHARE WHAT BLOGGERS SHOULD FOCUS ON IN 2017 https://t.co/3cBlG1LUlx
— Sue Anne Dunlevie (@SueAnneDunlevie) February 10, 2017
16 Top Bloggers Share What Bloggers Should Focus On in 2017 https://t.co/yegDoWh3l4 via @JenSMarketing
— Meera (@MeeraKothand) January 25, 2017
Check out this article: 16 Top Bloggers Share What Bloggers Should Focus On in 2017 – https://t.co/dqjDDs3d74 via @JenSMarketing @ecainwri…
— Elna Cain (@ecainwrites) January 30, 2017
Check out this article: 16 Top Bloggers Share What Bloggers Should Focus On in 2017 – https://t.co/vRZp7Sx4qf
— Candis (@SmartMomBlogger) February 24, 2017
And those are just a few of the shares on one social media platform from the bloggers featured in the article. Easy traffic for Jen 🙂 .
Many bloggers will get automatically pinged when you link to their blog and will share it from there, but some don’t keep an eye on that stuff religiously. SO a bonus tip to improve your chances at getting them to share it: let them know you featured them!
Not like, “Hey I featured you in my latest post, can you please share it now?”, because… obnoxious. ;P
Instead, try sending them an email like this:
“Hi [Insert Name Here]!
Just a quick note to say that I love your blog! Your post [Insert Post Title Here] really resonated with me because [insert personal example].
I also wanted to let you know I featured you in my latest post about [insert topic]. Here it is if you want to check it out: [insert link to post]. I know you’re busy, so no pressure 🙂 Just wanted to let you know I appreciate your work!
You can copy-paste this script and personalize as needed – easy peasy lemon squeezie. Not every blogger will share, but many will!
The interview style in the example above is certainly effective, but you don’t even have to do all the leg-work of interviewing the other bloggers. You can simply include examples from their blog in a helpful way to your readers (be sure to get permission if you’re using any of their images).
Here are a few examples you can use as inspiration for your own roundup posts:
- 14 Fats and Healthy Dinners For Busy School Nights
- 9 No-Mess Activities to Do With Your Toddler
- 7 Essential De-Cluttering Tips From Minimalist Moms
- 5 Clever Style Hacks to Keep Your Wardrobe Looking Fresh All Year Long
- 17 Easy Ways to Style Your Mantle on a Budget
I’m sure you can come up with a gajillion more if you put your mind to it! Be sure to work roundup posts into your content calendar regularly to reap the most benefit from this method.
Quick Recap of “The 3 Free” Traffic Sources
There are certainly a lot more free ways to get blog traffic: hashtags on social media, commenting on other blogs, a strategic Instagram, Facebook and Twitter marketing plan, and more. But the three I mention in this article have the potential to get your blog a boatload of traffic with minimal time and effort, and that’s the key for any busy mom blogger.
So remember, to get a bunch of traffic in not a bunch of time:
- Rock Pinterest by following a strategic plan and scheduling Pins
- Rock Facebook Groups by using the GIVE-ASK method to connect with other bloggers in your niche.
- Rock Roundup Posts by featuring other bloggers in a helpful or inspiring way on your blog.
Now go get it, mama!
❤ Did you enjoy this post? If yes, I’d be so thankful if you shared it on your favorite social. That 5-second gesture goes a long way to support my blog 😘
Great article! That is how I always find you! In the Facebook Groups! You do always offer great advice and you’re one of the few people I still have notification for! 😛 So if you post something I don’t miss it, because I know it will be valuable!
Oh I love this Kandice! Thanks so much 😀
This is a fantastic article with some wonderful tips! I can’t wait to hear your advice on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing!
Great Natalie – I hope it helps! See you on the webinar 🙂
I absolutely love this! Isn’t it crazy how we will waste time trying to figure things out ourselves when in the long run just paying for the course will actually bring us a greater return!
Yes Emily! I think part of the issue is that we feel like we don’t want to waste time and money on something that we’re not sure is going to help. At least, this is what often holds me back from investing in courses. But now, I just make sure I do research ahead of time about the course and the person teaching it. If I find mostly positive feedback, I jump 🙂 This mindset has served me much better than the stubborn “I can do it all myself” one!
Awesome post! When you include links to others’ articles, do you reach out to them? Like, hey – I linked to you, check it out! Or just wait for the pings and referral traffic to do their jobs?
Great question, Steph! Lots of marketers recommend reaching out to the bloggers you featured to let them know, and I’ve actually had great results from doing this myself as well. I don’t think you lose anything by doing it, and it certainly improves your chances of getting it shared. The worst thing that can happen is they don’t share, in which case you’re no worse off than if you never notified them in the first place 😉
Great tips Candis. My blog just launched about a week ago and I’m starting to implement all of these. I’ve signed up for a Pinterest course so I’m hoping that will give me the needed info to start rocking on that platform. I am also in a few FB groups already and it is helping.
Way to get after it, Kasia!
This was really helpful to me, especially the suggestion about creating a spreadsheet and keeping track of what’s going on in your Facebook groups each week so you can plan your engagement more effectively! I can’t wait to implement this tip to get more out of groups. Thanks for sharing these! 🙂
Yeah Traci! Working “smarter, not harder” 😉