Blogging

How to Drive Blog Traffic Without an Email List Or Tools

Congrats!

You started a blog, found a great WordPress theme, figured out how to use WordPress and wrote your first post. That’s a huge accomplishment mamas!

But, now that you did all that, what do you do next? What’s the next step after you start a blog? For some bloggers, they focus on building their email list. Other bloggers want to grow their social media followers. While others stick to the traditional elements of SEO and keywords.

Is there a right answer? For me, I believe there is. I truly believe that the next best step you can take as a new blogger is to build your blog traffic and audience.

Why?

Because when your blog grows, other parts of your business grow – your email list, income, social media followers, and brand.

It’s the first step to succeeding at blogging. Do you need a lot of traffic? Not necessarily, but like I say, the more traffic you have, the more income potential you can earn.

When my pageviews were less than 20k my blog made around $20. When my pageviews grew, it grew to $200, then $2k and now that my pageviews are nearing 40k, my blog is earning around $4k.

I’m not saying this to brag but giving you a metric about what happens when more eyes are on your blog.

As a new blogger, you might be pressured to use tools or build your email list prematurely in hopes of growing your blog traffic.

I’ve learned, though, that you don’t need an email list nor paid tools to make an impact with your blog (and start getting traffic).

Here are 13 ways you can start growing your blog traffic without having to build an email list on the side or use expensive tools.

1. Create a Strong Platform for Your Blog

What does this mean? When you have a new blog, focus on the big picture and have a plan. You start to create the bricks to make a strong foundation for what you want your blog to be.

Strong elements include your blog content, the ease of navigating your blog, engaging with your readers, networking, and growing your brand.

One simple, yet effective way to start building your blog from the ground up is to serve your audience. You can do this on social media by offering help.

Over in my Mom to Mompreneur Facebook group, I try to answer as many questions as I can. I want to help other bloggers and if I know the answer, I’ll help out. This also grows my brand and presence online, hopefully generating more traffic back to my site.

2. Use Facebook Groups to Promote Your Blog

Facebook for me has been the best driver for engagement.  This means people on Facebook read my post, comment on my post, then comment on the Facebook thread telling me they left a comment and shared it!

Wow! I’m so humbled when I see these postings.  Facebook groups are just a great way to promote your posts and network with others.

But, Facebook is also a way to drive traffic to your blog. How?

First, join relevant group boards that have promo threads. There are group boards that also have requirements when contributing to these promo threads. They may require you to comment on all the posts in that thread or share posts in that thread.

It’s up to you if you want to use those threads to promote your latest blog post, but for me, I like to be in group boards that don’t require a lot of steps when I promote my posts. Mom to Mompreneur lets people promote on the wall with no contingencies.

Once you find the group boards you enjoy, make sure to read the guidelines and only promote when its their day. When promoting on a thread, try to capture the curiosity from scanners to click on your blog post with a good blurb.

3. Use Pinterest to Promote Your Blog

Ahh, Pinterest. My BFF, my thing, my eye-candy.

Pinterest is an amazing social media platform. It’s actually a search engine and people use Pinterest to find solutions to their problems. And your pin could be the #1 result!

When pinners search and find your pins, guess what? They will click through to see your post. And, if you make a good impression (have a valuable written post, links to other posts, a freebie they can pick up) then they will become a subscriber and follower.

If you are new to Pinterest, include keywords in your descriptions and make some nice Pin graphics to stand out in the Smartfeed.

For more Pinterest tips, check out my 12 Days of Pinterest Tips!

4. Start Guest Posting

An easy way to grow your blog for free is to guest post. This means having your blog post on someone else’s blog. You get to be shown to a new audience and hopefully capture these new readers into wanting to know more about you.

When I first started Twins Mommy, I invested in guest posting. One of my first guest posts was on Living for Naptime. I made sure to link to my website in my author bio (as well as in the guest post).

5. Create Awesome Blog Posts

Ok. So, I’m a freelance writer and writing is my passion. Especially blog posts. I love writing blog posts. They’re engaging and fun to write.

As a new blogger, however, you may not have found your blogging voice. This is your brand and personality coming out in your post. You also have to decide what type of blogger you want to be. Do you want to be:

  • A teacher?
  • Inspirational?
  • A leader?
  • A friend?
  • Logical?
  • Informational?

Finding out what type of blogger you want to be can help you find your voice as well (and brand). For me, I believe I’m informational and also inspirational. My story seems to inspire other bloggers.

So, when creating your blog posts, be grounded in your voice and that will translate into an authentic blog.

6. Build Up Your Facebook Page

Do you have a Facebook page for your blog? You totally should! This is the place to be a bit more personal and really talk to your audience.

I’ve only had my Twins Mommy Facebook page since October and I’ve been working at growing my page.

One of the big drivers of Likes is to do native video posts. These are effectively called Facebook lives 🙂 And to be more specific, Lives without any links to outside content (like a lead magnet or your blog).

Doing these types of Facebook lives can help you grow your reach and generate more likes. I finally did my first Facebook live for my Twins Mommy page last week and I loved it! I’m going to do more!

So why your Facebook page? Why not Twitter?

Well, for my Twins Mommy blog, since I get more engagement on Facebook, it only makes sense to focus my strategy on that platform. Twitter doesn’t bring much traffic, if at all (it does for my Elna Cain site).

So, focus on what gives you the biggest ROI.

7. Use Google Analytics

Do you know how to setup Google Analytics for your blog? This enables tracking to show your traffic, sessions, pageviews, where your visitors are coming from and a whole bunch of other useful things.

But, how does this help you with generating traffic? You can find out which posts your visitors are going to the most. From there, you can create more content around that theme.

You can also see your top referral source for traffic. For Twins Mommy, here are my top 5:

Pinterest is my first source for traffic. This makes sense since a big part of my strategy for growing this blog is to use Pinterest as a marketing tool.

The next one is direct – people are typing in “TwinsMommy.com” to find my blog. This was a nice surprise 🙂

And the third is organic traffic – or Google traffic. This tells me that people are searching on Google and finding my posts! Yay!

Since I know Pinterest is my #1 source of traffic, I’m going to focus most of my strategy on optimizing my Pinterest profile.

How do you do that:

  • Make it clear on your profile what you do and who you are
  • Have board topics that are relevant to your niche
  • Join group boards relevant to your niche
  • Grow your followers

Within a year I grew my Pinterest followers from 600 to 10,000. My impressions have grown as well as my repins. And this equates to over 50% of my traffic coming from Pinterest.

For you, find out your top referral for traffic and focus most of your strategy on that element.

8. Be Featured In a Roundup

Roundup posts are one of the best types of posts to have on your blog. A roundup is a post full of the best resources like this one.

You can also roundup other bloggers and get them to answer a question and then feature them on your blog like this post.

But, you can reach a new audience (and generate more traffic) when you are featured on other people’s blogs.

How do you do this? By networking and getting to know your blogger friends. I love this part of blogging. When I started Twins Mommy, I did not know any mom bloggers except for a few work at home moms.

So I searched and found other mom bloggers and made sure to follow them and comment on their posts and email them.

Over time I was able to collaborate with them and feature them on my blog (and then I would be featured on their blog!).

For example, Jen of Women Winning Online featured me in her post about what top bloggers should focus on this year. I was featured along with some other awesome bloggers!

When the bloggers in that post share that on social media, there will be more eyes will be on Jen’s blog.

9. Start a YouTube Channel

Video is sooo the new thing now! Didn’t you know?? 🙂

For this introvert, it’s been a challenge to be on video or do video lessons or FB lives. I’m still learning, but I’m not shying away from this medium.

If you want your blog to grow, you need to step out of the box and try new things. Video is an easy way to get started.

And YouTube is the place to hold your videos. I have a YouTube Channel and what I do is repurpose my Facebook Lives into YouTube videos.

YouTube is owned by Google so Google favors video content and can help you grow your traffic. It’s a long-term strategy, but why not get started now?

And a lot of bloggers are switching to video too. Abby from Just a Girl and Her Blog has a thriving blog, courses and books to help her audience and she recently pivoted her blogging strategy to do videos instead.

And you know what? I LOVE her videos! It perfectly fits her niche – organizing!

Allison Lindstrom also took to video last year. Her videos are filled with awesome tips for bloggers. I was a fan before she switched to video, but once she did, I loved her even more!

Both of these bloggers didn’t stop blogging; instead, they use their blog to summarize their video content. Or they enhance their blog post with a video.

I like this approach and may start doing that once I have more time (i.e. twins go to school).

10. Repurpose Your Content

I love repurposing my blog posts. I can use the same ideas and turn them into something else. A classic example is turning a blog post into a Facebook live video.

I did a Facebook live in my Mom to Mompreneur Facebook group about growing your email list. Some of the tips I used were repurposed from a post I had on Twins Mommy.

You can also repurpose your content into lead magnets or content upgrades. Do you have a popular post? Why not turn that into a freebie?

My posts on free tools and planners and tribes etc.. turned into a lead magnet of 190+ free resources to grow your blog.

11. Comment on Other Blogs

When you comment on other blogs, you get to leave your link to your blog and/or a link to your blog post. This is a small, yet effective, way to get more eyes on your blog.

For new bloggers, I suggest you do this weekly! It helped me grow my connections and traffic.

12. Use LinkedIn to Publish Popular Posts

Depending on your niche, you can totally use LinkedIn to share your popular posts.

If you have a profile on LinkedIn, you can publish on their platform. Many bloggers post their popular posts and then add a: [click here to read the full article]…

This drives traffic back to your site if your post is juicy and they want to read more.

I’m starting to post my Twins Mommy posts on LinkedIn to see if I get any traffic from this platform. It’s worth a try.

13. Use Quora to Answer Questions

Quora is a Q/A site where you can help people with their questions. You can get an idea of what your audience wants and answer their questions by sharing your posts.

I suggest you answer their question in detail on Quora and then causally mention, “if you want more tips, check out this post” and link to one of your posts.

This seems to be a good strategy for marketers and other bloggers that want to find a new audience.

I have used Quora in the past for my freelance writing site and I found I had to invest a lot of time on this platform to see any results.

If you have the time, and if you feel your audience is on Quora, then try using this platform to drive more traffic.

I would give it a month and if you see no results, move on.

Grow Your Traffic for Free

While having an email list is essential if you want to really make blogging your main hustle, it’s not vital for traffic. Neither are paid tools.

That’s why I created my course, Ready Set Blog for Traffic without using email as a strategy or paid tools. While I do talk about paid tools, it isn’t necessary to use for my course or to see results from taking my course.

When you are ready to invest more heavily in your blog, I would invest in email and some scheduling tools for social media.

Over to you – which tip are you going to use first to grow your blog traffic?

Leave a Reply

78 Comments

Hi Elna, loved the post. It’s very useful and informative. My problem is traffic.I tried to find out the reasons but could not. I will try to follow your posts. Thankyou. Best wishes and regards.Reply to Malati
Lots of great advice, thank you. Saved!Reply to Louis
Hi ! I’m new to blogging and I don’t understand why I find other people’s blog easily by just typing the name of their blogs, but anyone (including me) who wants to read my new blog has to enter my email address first. Can you explain this phenomenon to me, please? It’s driving me absolutely nuts ! Do I have to create a new email address for my bloggers, and does that mean that it will be open season for anyone who wants to mess with my posts should they have access to my blog? Of, course, there is no way of contacting Blogger.com directly to ask for an explanation. Thanks for your help if you can help.Reply to Coura
Hi Coura, I’m sorry, I’m not sure what your blog name is or where it’s hosted? I assume it’s on Blogger? That is where your problem lies! It’s not on a self-hosted blog like I have on WordPress.org (not WordPress.com). If you need more help understanding this, check out my post on what a blog is: https://twinsmommy.com/what-is-a-blog/Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Thank you so much for your reply. I sorted it out finally. It was all due to a badly designed Blogger.com that doesn’t have a ‘Private’ or ‘Public’ option in the settings for the computer version, but has it for android in some dark corner of the telephone. Add operator error to the whole thing (I forgot that I had set my blog to ‘Private’ when I was first fiddling with the site’s settings on my mobile) and you get the picture. Thank you so much for your help again. Off to read your post on a blog now. Cheers !Reply to Coura
I ways love to read your posts and this post again, is a gem 🙂 I am a new blogger and finding my road, so your blog is a repository for me. Thank you so much Elna!Reply to Deepa
Hi Deepa, Thanks so much for being a loyal readers! Glad you enjoyed this post about blog traffic tips!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, thanks this is a great post. I will soon start using those tips.Reply to Roslin
Hi Roslin, Good to hear! Have fun growing your blog traffic!Reply to Elna
Thank you very much. This was very helpful.Reply to yourblogpartner
Thanks so much for this! I have been trying to get more traffic and build a bigger profile, but I am a super shy person. This has really helped thanks so much!Reply to Kelsey
Hi Kelsey! You’re welcome! Yeah, while an email list does help with growing your blog and traffic, it’s not necessary! My other blog, Smart Mom Ideas is getting almost 60k pageviews and has no email list!Reply to Elna
One of the best article which have full information about growing up blog traffic. I hope this will help me. Thanks for sharing your experience through this article.Reply to Balendu
Hi! So happy this helped you! Good luck with growing your blog traffic!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! Thank you so much for the traffic tips! How much traffic do you actually get from guest posting? I’ve done a few guest posts now, and I’ve gotten very little traffic from them. Not seeing results makes it feel like it’s not worth the effort as well as giving good content away to other people’s blogs :/. Are there other benefits to guest posting besides traffic?Reply to Melinda
I love to gaining ideas when I read your articles. My blog is 4 months old so I feel like the little engine that could! Thank you for sharing.Reply to Rhonda
Hi Melinda, It’s been a while since I guest posted, but when I started Twins Mommy, I guest posted as much as I could at that time of having multiple blogs, my twins and the new Twins Mommy blog! Ha..I use guest posting for brand recognition. Grow your brand and people will invest in YOU and come to find you out! I just pitched to Forbes and am excited for this next huge step in growing my brand. 🙂Reply to Elna
Great post! I haven’t thought about Quora to increase traffic, but I’ll definitely be checking it out today. Thanks for the great tips!Reply to Lori
Hi Lori, Yeah! Quora is a long process and it’s time consuming. I like to use it for my freelance writing blog at times!Reply to Elna
I love repurposing content- you can turn a Facebook Live into a video to upload on your YouTube channel and also LinkedIn (provided the content suits these audiences). Some great tips!Reply to Natalie
Hi Natalie, I know, it’s awesome and it saves so much time for us! Love the LinkedIn tip!Reply to Elna
Great tips! Just published my first guest post at http://everydaywithma.com and reciprocated on their blog as well – we helped each other out! I like the Quora idea – I just might look into that, too!Reply to Ma
Hey! That’s fantastic! If you want to guest post some more, Imperfectly Perfect Mama is accepting guest writers! That’s my newest blog! https://www.imperfectlyperfectmama.com/contribute/Reply to Elna
I love all the tips. As someone who used to have a health & wellness blog in 2012 (before my mommy days) then just picked up blogging again to complement my new business as a mompreneur coach and consultant, I am so behind the times. So much has changed and I can’t wait to learn more! Thank you for sharing your insights!Reply to Stephanie
Hi Stephanie! I know right! The online world changes so fast. Three years ago no one was doing Facebook lives or really into videos. Now, in 2017? It’s expected! Thanks so much for coming to my little ol’ blog!Reply to Elna
This post was fabulous! As far as I know, this is my first time to your site. I have been toying around with website development, and I am fairly new to the blogging scene. I learned so much from this post. Thank you so much!Reply to Roxana
Hey Roxana! So happy for you! Congrats on starting a blog and getting ready to drive some traffic! Good luck!Reply to Elna
I love all of your tips here. I do a lot of them. I actually did a traffic round-up, which is how I found out about how to use Quora for my blog. I’ve been getting a lot better with social media and I’m definitely seeing great results from that. Maybe I need to start testing out LinkedIn like your post suggests. Thank you!Reply to Nikki
Hey Nikki, Yeah, I found LinkedIn to be helpful for my service based side of my business! But, I may lean into using it for Twins Mommy more!Reply to Elna
This is an excellent post 🙂 I’ve been asked to create about 4 guest posts in the past week, which is excellent but I find that I’m really struggling to think of what I should write about. I know that I should make decisions quickly and just pick something! I’m not sure that LinkedIn is useful for me when I’m targeting the crafting niche, so I’ve been taking part in Facebook groups and focusing on Pinterest 🙂Reply to Claire
Hi Elna! As bloggers we are constantly looking for more ways to gain traffic. Many great points in this post. I am currently on the hunt for guest posting opportunities as I believe this is my next best course of action. And it’s funny you mention Quora. As of yesterday I’ve jumped in with both feet to see if Quora will be helpful in driving traffic to my blog. Being in the fitness niche, I think my audience would be better found there as opposed to LinkedIn. Great stuff as always, thanks!Reply to Amy
These are great tips. My blog is less than a month old and I’m not gaining many followers on Facebook or Pinterest. I’m hoping that implementing these tips helps me out! I also haven’t come up with a freebie yet. Seems like most suggestions are for blogs about blogs. I’m not sure what to give as a freebie for my blog. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!Reply to Keli
Hey Keli! Thank so much! Yeah, don’t worry about thinking about a freebie! It will come!Reply to Elna
Hey Elna. I am glad that you have brought out this issue up on this article since my list building is still in its infancy stages. I do agree that you should check to see which platform converts better for you. I don’t think Linkedin is as effective for me as Facebook or Pinterest! Thanks for sharing.Reply to Owen
You’re welcome. A lot of bloggers who start out may not want to invest in an email service provider. Thanks for coming over!Reply to Elna
Hello Elna, I am brand new to the blogging world and am on the hunt for some great tips on how to grow my traffic! I would love if you could expand on how to start guest posting, that is something I am really interested in. How important to do you think facebook is in the blogging world. I don’t even have a personal Facebook account and have no intention of jumping aboard that ship. I do, however, use the fire out Pinterest and hope that I see a huge increase in traffic with my consistent pinning of popular items. Please go check out my new blog! Thanks, BriReply to Bri
Hi Bri, What a beautiful site! Congrats! As for guest posting, go to Google and search for your niche + write for us. You’ll find blogs to guest post on. Good luck!Reply to Elna
Thanks so much for the help!Reply to Briana
I love these tips. I really need to start using Facebook. That’s probably my biggest downfall. I have recently started writing round-ups every Saturday featuring different bloggers and email the bloggers I feature. I have also been emailed when other bloggers feature me. I love reading and writing round-up posts. It gives blogging even more of a community feel in my opinion.Reply to Nikki
Hey Nikki! Yes, FB is awesome for the engagement and comments! I do get most of my traffic from Pinterest, but most of my comments from FB! They work hand-in-hand for me.Reply to Elna
Many thanks for this important information. I never did some of the above things on my blog and hope to apply them to improve my blog once I have now learned them here. Thanks for the great tips!Reply to Purple
Hi! That’s great. Good luck.Reply to Elna
Some super advice here, I am trying to grow my You Tube channel after 7 years of blogging xReply to jennie
Hey Jennie, You have a lot of awesome content after 7 years that you can repurpose into YouTube videos. Good luck!Reply to Elna
Elna, As always you are providing new and even us seasoned bloggers with effective strategies to grow our audience and expand our reach. It’s funny because I recently started using YouTube for both of my blogs. We will see how this goes! It’s actually been really fun. Looking forward to seeing more of your content and putting more of your tips to use!Reply to Kristie
Hey Kristie, Thanks! I haven’t really used YouTube that much (just for having my videos on it). I do have 11 subscribers though 🙂Reply to Elna
Fabulous list! I’m always looking for new ways to grow my traffic, as I’m sure most bloggers are. 🙂 Pinterest is my #1 source, as well. And then Facebook is my second. I’m working on getting more organic traffic Although I do know more about Google Analytics than some, I’m still finding new things in there all the time that blow me away! Just when I think I’m familiar with how it works and all the info you can see, I find something else! I agree about video content becoming increasingly popular. I’ll soon be doing my first live FB live training in my FB group. I’ve never even recorded a video for my blog, biz, or social media (let alone a live one!), so I’m a tad nervous haha. But I know it’s important and my group can really benefit from video content like video content. AleeReply to Alee
Thanks Alee! You’ll do great in your FB live. Just have fun and be you!Reply to Elna
Very helpful! I’m a new blogger trying to implement these very strategies. Thanks so much for the insight!Reply to Anna
You’re welcome! Glad you found some useful tips to grow your blog traffic!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I have a silly website question for you! How do you display one photo on the main page of your blog, but another photo in the same spot on the specific blog page? Like how you have your smaller, landscape photos on twinsmommy.com but when you click one to read a specific blog, it shows the Pinterest optimized version. I’d love to know! Thanks! ~ Marina RoseReply to Marina
Hi Marina, It’s the theme but the landscape images on the homepage/archive pages are set as the Featured Image in WP and the theme shows it as a (big) thumbnail. The Pin image is just part of the post body and is also there if you look at the HTML source but hidden with CSS on the homepage. On the individual pages the whole post including its Pin image shows and the theme doesn’t display the landscape thumbnail so you get what you see.Reply to Elna
Thank you Elna for this post. I just requested an invite to your Facebook group. All the steps your mentioned are awesome. I know a blogger who gets the bulk of her traffic by commenting on blogs and organic search.Reply to Anne
Hey Anne, That’s awesome! So glad you found some tips to help you!Reply to Elna
Thanks for the tips! I’ll look into Quora 🙂Reply to Marina
Marina! That’s great! Quora is one way to find out what your target audience wants help with!Reply to Elna
Great tips! I bookmarked this page to come back to for reference. Thanks for an in-depth look at how to grow your blog traffic!Reply to Holly
Hi Holly! Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy the tips and start using them!Reply to Elna
Thank you for this one Elna! Really appreciate some additional tips for growing my reach. Will definitely be looking into quora and utilising my linked in account more! XxReply to Joelle
Hey Joelle! Awesome! So glad this post will help you grow your traffic!Reply to Elna