Discover a proven strategy for taking your blog from zero visitors to an avalanche of hungry buyers...even on a tight budget.
The Zero-Traffic Blog Problem
Blogging is a great way to make a living...there’s no doubt about that. Start a successful blog today and you can look forward to a wonderful lifestyle and an income that most people would envy.
What better way could there be to make a living? You can blog from your laptop in your spare bedroom, your local Starbucks - or while backpacking your way around the world. You are free to live and work anywhere, and you can turn your passion into your career.
So why do so many bloggers fail? For every successful blogger who makes a full-time living, there are many more who fall by the wayside. And for most of those who give up, there is a very simple reason.
No blog visitors.
Or maybe some, but not enough. Let’s face it, everything about blogging is straightforward, except for driving traffic. Technology like WordPress makes it a breeze to get a professional-looking website off the ground.
There are great plugins and online options for creating courses, plus lots of ways to make money from advertising and affiliate programs. Even on a tiny budget, it’s not difficult to get a great website and offering up and running online.
But without traffic, your blog is dead in the water. You need visitors to click your affiliate links, opt-in to your mailing list, buy your products and sign up for services. Without them, it’s like having a shop in the middle of the Sahara desert. No matter how good your offering is, you are not going to sell anything.
But don’t panic...that doesn’t have to happen to you. With the right strategy, you can build all the traffic you need to make your blog a huge success.
A Step-by-Step System
At GoFreelance, we have been building successful websites since 2001. So we know what works - and what doesn’t work - when it comes to blog promotion. We have generated millions of visitors to our websites and generated healthy seven-figure incomes.
A huge game-changer in the world of blogging was the advent of social media. Thanks to platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, it is now easier than ever to promote your blog and attract visitors. And in the last few years, we’ve got very good at this.
And now, we are happy to share our proven strategy with you. In this in-depth blog post, you will learn how to take a blog from a brand-new WordPress install to a thriving success story - all with social media marketing.
Better still, you can follow this simple strategy even if you are on a tight budget. Most of the tactics we discuss are either free or very low cost.
If you have some money to spend, then so much the better - you can get results more quickly. But whatever your budget, there is nothing stop you from using your own time to create amazing results.
The biggest commitment you will need to make is to invest some time. You do need to be prepared to put some work in, but you will get an astonishing return on the time invested.
So get yourself a cup of coffee, make yourself comfortable and settle in for a big read. Because implementing this strategy could change your life forever.
1. The Social Media Revolution
The rise of social media has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for bloggers. Discover how to make the most of this fantastic means of reaching a global audience.
What You Will Learn
Discover how to make the most of the opportunity presented by social media marketing, including:
1.1 Driving Traffic to Your Blog
Now we are really getting down to serious business. We are going to dive into the serious and profitable business of driving traffic to your blog. Clearly, if you are going to make money with your blog, you need visitors…and lots of them. The more the merrier!
This is an important topic that we are going to spend some time on. So let’s be clear about some terms we are going to be using a lot:
Traffic: this simply means visitors to your blog. Generally speaking, you need a high traffic website to make a high income
Unique visitors: the number of different people who visit your blog in a certain time period (if one person visits your site three times in one day, they count as only one unique visitor)
Page views: the total number of blog posts and pages visited in a certain time period. Advertisers usually buy based on the number of monthly page views you have.
So how on earth do we generate traffic, unique visitors and page views? There are lots of ways to do this – we can rank our website in Google, buy paid advertising or work on getting links from fellow bloggers. Those are all important strategies…but for bloggers today, the most important traffic source is likely to be social media.
1.2 The Social Media Revolution
The rise of social media has had a profound impact on the Internet overall, but the effect has been even more dramatic within the blogging community. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have given people a whole new way to socialize, and they are absolutely making the most of it.
“[People] trust each other over anyone else when buying. Nearly half say that the most important overall factor when making a purchasing decision is reviews and ratings.”
For big brands, this is a huge reversal – they are no longer the top dog…we are! The days when they could get away with dodgy products and shoddy service are long gone. Nowadays, any company that fails to deliver what it should can expect to get slaughtered on social media. On the other hand, a company that excels can expect to be rewarded with viral popularity and enormous sales.
Many millions of people now rely on social media to deliver the advice, information, reviews and ratings they need to make decisions. And for bloggers, that means the chance to tap into a massive source of blog traffic.
1.3 Major Social Media Networks
There are many different networks, and they can all play a part in your traffic-generation strategy. But inevitably, there are few big players who dominate the market. For most bloggers, the biggest sources of traffic by far are:
Pinterest has come from nowhere in the last few years to become hugely influential in blogging. In fact, it’s true to say that a high percentage of bloggers would have next to no traffic if Pinterest didn’t exist. Because of this, you need to master the art of generating traffic with Pinterest.
Surprisingly, perhaps, Facebook comes in second place for most bloggers, often a distant second behind Pinterest. But it is still an extremely valuable source of traffic. With well over a billion users worldwide, Facebook has the potential to drive visitors on a massive scale, if you take the time and trouble to get good at Facebook marketing.
Twitter also drives a lot of traffic for bloggers. Because it is so immediate, Twitter is great for getting an instant reaction to timely or topical stories. It is also very important as a way to connect with influencers in your niche, enabling you to build and leverage relationships.
LinkedIn is hugely important in the business world, and that makes it important if you want to generate advertising income from big brands. LinkedIn provides you with a means of building and nurturing relationships with the people who control the biggest advertising budgets – so don’t underestimate its power!
Reddit is very powerful if you know how to use it. To be successful with Reddit, you need to become a regular contributor to subreddits in your niche, and build some credibility. If you learn how to do this, you can get big spikes in traffic from Reddit from the right stories.
1.4 Specialist Social Networks
There are many other social networks, and you may find that some of them are particularly applicable to you niche. In the food blogging niche alone, for example, there are specialist social networks such as:
For some food bloggers, Yummly is an even better traffic source than Pinterest. That shows how powerful these niche networks can be. So it’s definitely a good idea to look for social networks in your niche and develop strategies to generate traffic from them.
1.5 Make the Most of the Social Media Opportunity
Just a few years ago, many of these social networks didn’t exist. Now they are sending tens of millions to bloggers worldwide every day. This is a fantastic traffic source that early bloggers could only dream of. So don’t throw the opportunity away.
To succeed as a blogger today, you need to master the art of social media. You need to understand how to leverage platforms like Pinterest and Facebook, and how to use them to drive thousands of visitors to your blog.
Quite simply, when you have mastered social media marketing, you are ready to make money blogging. So let’s get started…
- 1Sign up with all the major social networks
- 2Study how bloggers use Pinterest, Facebook, etc. to drive traffic
- 3Look for specialist social networks in your niche
2. An Avalanche of Visitors
Pinterest has been an absolute Godsend for bloggers…here we discuss how to leverage this amazing network to get tons of visitors for free.
What You Will Learn
In this section, you will discover how to utilize the best traffic source for bloggers, including:
2.1 The Rise and Rise of Pinterest
The growth in popularity of Pinterest has been quite extraordinary. In a few short years, this platform has grown to be one of the most popular social media networks, with hundreds of millions of users worldwide.
Pinterest alone has played a significant role in the recent blogger boom – providing bloggers with an amazingly-effective way to connect with a huge audience worldwide.
The number of visitors you can get from Pinterest is extraordinary. Here is a screenshot from the analytics of one well-known blogger, showing visitors in one single month:
Yup, that’s well over half a million visitors from Pinterest in a single month – to just one blog! Quite simply, if you want to succeed as a blogger, you had better get good at Pinterest. So let’s see how we do it.
2.2 Getting Started with Pinterest for Business
You may well have a personal Pinterest account already, but to make the most of Pinterest as a blogger, you need to have a Pinterest business account. You can either upgrade your personal account to a business account, or you can create a whole new account just for business. Either way works fine – it’s up to you – and it’s free whichever way you do it.
The next step is to confirm your blog with Pinterest, so that it becomes associated with your Pinterest business account. Just follow the instructions here. You can use this plugin to insert the meta tag code into your blog. You can also do it using the Yoast plugin (Social tab):
2.3 Setting Up Rich Pins
Done that? Good, now we need to get set up for Rich Pins to make your pins as appealing as possible. Rich Pins used structured metadata mark-up to enhance the look of the pin. In this image, for example, you can see that rich pins stand out because they have descriptions in bold, while regular pins have plain text descriptions:
There are some other differences, too, as Pinterest explains. At the end of the day, rich pins are much more appealing and informative, and so gather more clicks, saves and shares…so we definitely want all our pins to show as rich pins.
The first step is to get our blog ready for OpenGraph (which rich pins use for metadata). We can do this using the Yoast plugin, as described here.
Now you are almost done. Take the URL of any blog post on your site and enter it into the Rich Pins Validator:
If the URL validates successfully, you will get an email from Pinterest within a few hours, confirming that rich pins are now functioning on your blog. You are all set!
2.4 Awesome Pins Secrets
Great pins are the heart of great results on Pinterest. If you create great pins, they will get saved by lots of pinners, your account will grow in authority and you will get more and more clicks to your blog.
Here are some tips for designing pins that will rock Pinterest:
Use Vertical Pins
Pinterest has been designed to be mobile-friendly from the start, and most Pinterest traffic comes from mobile devices. Vertical pins take up more real estate in the Pinterest feed, so they are more easily seen. They are also a natural fit with smartphone screens.
Design pins with a size ratio of at least 1:1.5, but no more than 1:2.5 – pins taller than that will get truncated on mobile.
Aim for Visual Impact
Your pins need to stand out in a stream of many thousands of pins. So aim for vibrant colors and strong contrast. This image is one of the most-pinned images on Pinterest, and has been called ‘the perfect pin’ – aim for something that has similar impact:
As with images on your blog itself, only use images that you have permission to use. You don’t want to risk getting your account banned. Use tools like Pixlr and PicResize to keep the image to a sensible size.
Remember that people use Pinterest as a search engine, not just for visual browsing. For this reason, images with text overlays work really well:
2.4 Creating Your Pins
There are lots of image-editing tools you can use to create your pins – many bloggers like to use PhotoShop, PicMonkey or GIMP, for example. But my favorite tool by far is Canva. This is a really well thought out online service that makes it a cinch to create totally awesome pins.
You can use Canva totally free, and make some amazing pins with it, using their free templates and resources.
Although you can use Canva totally free of charge as much as you like, I have paid to upgrade to Canva for Work. I create so many pins that the small investment of around a hundred bucks a year is well worth it for the extra features.
The biggest benefit from my point of view is that Canva for Work allows you to save a palette of your brand colors. This makes it so much easier to create pins that reflect your personal brand.
Canva is a great option, but you can create your pins anyway you want. Just choose the tool that you feel most comfortable with.
2.5 Making the Most of Your Pins
There are two ways to pin your new pin to Pinterest. You can either upload it directly through your Pinterest dashboard, or you can add it to a blog post and pin it from there. The second option is the best one for bloggers. Once your pin is in your blog post, other people can also pin it and spread the love.
You can upload your pin to your blog in the same way as any other image – remembering to check the image size and resize it if necessary. Then you can pin it to one of your Pinterest boards using a Pinterest browser extension or a social-sharing button.
It’s important to remember that people use Pinterest as a search engine. So ensure that you use relevant keywords liberally (but not excessively) in your pin description. Make sure that your pin description is also enticing enough to make people click for further information.
Many bloggers use a plugin that creates a ‘Pin it’ button that hovers over the image, such as this one. I am not a big fan of these, for two reasons. Firstly, the visitor has to put up with this button hovering over every single image, which gets annoying. Secondly, the button is really intrusive on small screens such as smartphones.
I prefer to use Easy Social Share Buttons to insert a button underneath each pin, using a shortcode. That way, I can encourage people to save my pins, without negatively affecting the user experience.
2.6 Pinterest is Worth the Effort
There is something of a learning curve attached to Pinterest marketing, but the rewards make it well worthwhile. Get your blog set up today and start experimenting…this could the start of an avalanche of traffic.
Make sure you undertake these important steps to prepare your blog for tons of Pinterest traffic:
- 1Set up your blog with Pinterest, as described above
- 2Ensure that your blog is verified, and that rich pins work correctly
- 3Practice creating awesome pins with a tool like Canva
3. Taking it to the Next Level
Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to look at how you can improve your results on Pinterest to drive even more traffic.
What You Will Learn
Here we get into more advanced Pinterest marketing strategies, covering:
3.1 Growing Your Authority on Pinterest
When we get into search engine optimization in the next module, you will learn that growing the authority of your blog is important to generate traffic from the search engines. However, not many people talk about the importance of growing your authority on Pinterest.
Yet this is how you make your blog stand out from the crowd. On the Tailwind blog (and these guys really know Pinterest), it says this about domain quality:
“Think of this as analogous to Google’s Domain Authority concept. Over time, Pinterest learns to trust certain domains more than others- especially for given topics or types of content. As the domain quality score increases, all pins from that domain should have a greater chance of showing. In this sense, by investing in increasingly high-quality content, you not only create great new Pins, but also increase the value of all of your content.”
So it is really important to work on increasing the authority of your domain (your blog) in Pinterest. I also think it is important to increase the authority of your Pinterest account in general, too – for similar reasons.
The greater your authority in Pinterest, the more likely Pinterest is to show your pins in feeds and in searches – and so the more clicks you will generate to your blog.
So how do you work on increasing your Pinterest authority? Here are some strategies that work well:
3.2 Optimize Your Boards
Remember that this is your Pinterest business account, not your personal account. Your boards should reflect the theme of your blog. It’s a good idea to create a board for each main category on your blog, and post only your own blog posts (from the relevant category) to these boards.
Arrange these boards to be at the top of your account (you just drag and drop), so that your blog is front and center when people visit your account.
Make sure that other boards in your account are directly relevant to your blog’s theme. The more focused your account is, the better. You need Pinterest to understand what your blog/account is about, and what keywords they should be ranking you for.
Also, be sure to make good use of Pinterest’s showcase feature, which allows you to highlight your most important boards right at the top of the account. This is another way of telling Pinterest what is important to you, and also a great way to introduce visitors to what you are offering.
This showcase is really easy to set up…here’s how:
3.3 Group Boards
Officially, they are known as Collaborative Boards…but everyone calls them group boards. These are boards that invite contributions from a number of pinners. They all work together to create a varied board on a particular topic.
Joining group boards is a great way of extending your reach on Pinterest, and getting people to visit your profile and click on your pins. As a result, you can then increase your authority on Pinterest, allowing you to reach even more people.
So a group board is simply a board that has multiple contributors. You can easily turn any of your own Pinterest boards into a group board by inviting people to collaborate.
This strategy can be very powerful. Some bloggers get hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from this technique alone, so it is worth putting some effort into. In fact, this has to be one of the easiest ways for bloggers to get traffic, bar none. However, you do need to know what you are doing.
3.4 How Group Boards Deliver Free Traffic
Once you have been accepted as a member of a group board, you will be able to pin to that board as long as you stick to the rules. In most cases, the rules limit how many pins you can post per day, and prohibit spammy pins and behavior. You need to remember the rules for each board that you join.
The benefit of pinning to these boards is that many of them have hundreds or even thousands of collaborators, each of whom has to follow in order to contribute. The result is that your pins get seen by many other pinners. If you pins are good, many will click through to your blog to get the full story.
3.5 Find Group Boards to Contribute To
The first step, of course, is to find some group boards to contribute to. There are various ways to do this. An easy way to start is to go to PinGroupie.com and search for boards related to your topic.
This website is a great resource, but it seems to be updated only once every few months. So the information you see may be a little dated. Nevertheless, it is still the easiest way to find Group Boards in your niche.
My favorite option, however, is to search Pinterest for pinners who are very active in my niche. I then check out their profile and see what boards are listed. If they are serious pinners, they will almost certainly have joined some group boards. You can easily identify the group boards, because a small ‘people’ icon appears at the bottom right of the board cover.
3.6 Choosing Which Boards to Join
Although it is tempting to join every group possible, this is not the best strategy. On the one hand, the biggest and busiest boards may be closed to new contributors, so you will be unable to join them. On the other hand, the smallest group boards may have few pinners and little activity, so they won’t deliver much traffic.
The trick is to find the group boards that are somewhere in the middle. You want up-and-coming boards that have a decent number of contributors and regular pinning activity.
3.7 Getting an Invitation
Pinterest sure as heck hasn’t gone out of its way to make managing group boards easy. There is no obvious way to connect board owners and potential contributors, so the process can get a bit messy.
When you find a group board you want to join, the first step is to look at the description for that board. If you’re lucky, the board owner will have posted clear instructions on how to get in touch – perhaps including an email address where they can be contacted.
In that case, you are in luck. Follow both the board and the board owner. You can find the profile of the board owner by simply lopping the board name off the board URL. For example, one of our boards can be found at:
If you remove the board name at the end, you get our Pinterest profile:
Follow any other instructions given, then contact the board owner. Here is the email template I use to get in touch:
Hi (first name)
Great job on your Pinterest boards! I would love to be a contributor to: (board name)
My Pinterest user name is username
My Pinterest email address is: mail (@) mywebsite.com
I am following you and the board, and look forward to contributing.
Thanks and best wishes
Mandy, The GoFreelance Team
Tip! I use the AutoTextExpander extension for the Chrome browser to store this template. Then I can just paste it into email with just a couple of keystrokes.
Be sure to include both your Pinterest username and the email address you use for Pinterest. Make sure that your Pinterest settings allow notifications to be sent to you by email. Then within a day or two, you will hopefully get an invitation to join the board. All you have to do is click on ‘Accept’ and you are good to go.
Then simply repeat this process for other boards you want to join.
If the board owner fails to provide an email address or other way to contact them in the board description, you need to get creative. Check out their profile and see if you can identify the name of their blog. Then you can find their contact page and get in touch that way. Alternatively, you may be able to find them on Twitter or Facebook.
If none of those methods work, you can contact them by commenting on one of their pins. This can work, but remember that comments are public, and everyone can see what you have written. It’s also very easy for the pinner to miss these messages, so I always try other methods first.
3.8 Be a Good Pinner
Once you have been accepted by a number of boards, you can start pinning. Pinning to a group board is no different to pinning to your own boards.
The best way to succeed with this strategy is to pin good content, and stay within the rules of the board. Nobody likes a spammer, and if you start posting content that is off topic or inappropriate, you may find that you get removed from the board. Similarly, if you break the rules of the board, you may get kicked off.
3.9 Pinning Strategies
Successful pinning on Pinterest is all about quality, not quantity. It may be tempting to start pinning hundreds of pins a day to all your group boards, in the hope of driving more traffic – but this is counter-productive.
We are trying to build the authority of our Pinterest account and our domain. And to do that, we need to get people saving our pins, liking and commenting. So instead of taking a scattergun approach, we need to be more selective.
Most pinners find they get best results when they pin 20 to 50 times a day. Once you start pinning more than that, Pinterest is likely to start throttling your results in the feed. So slow down. Concentrate on pinning your best pins to your best boards. You will get much better results in the long run.
Pinterest also likes you to curate content from a range of pinners. So don’t fall into the trap of only posting your own pins. You should also pin content from other bloggers in your niche and other related pins.
Opinions vary as to what the mix of content should be. Some say you should pin 20 per cent of your own content, and 80 per cent of other people’s content. Others take a more aggressive view, and say you should pin 80 per cent of your own content, and 20 percent of others.
There is no magic number, and the right mix will vary as the Pinterest algorithm changes over time. You need to experiment to find what is the right mix of content for your blog and your niche.
3.10 Let Followers Take Care of Themselves
Since Pinterest introduced the Smart Feed some time ago, gathering followers has become less important than it used to be. There was a time when all of your followers saw all of your pins in their feed, but the sheer number of images being pinned nowadays makes this impossible. Only some of your followers will see some of your pins.
Because of this, you don’t need to worry too much about increasing your following. I certainly don’t recommend strategies such as Follow/Unfollow to increase your numbers.
You just end up with a bunch of followers who are employing the same tactic – they are not engaged, and do your account more harm than good.
Instead, let your following take care of yourself. If you are working diligently on improving the authority of your account, then your following will naturally increase accordingly.
3.11 Pinterest Analytics
At the top left of our Pinterest account, you will see a button marked ‘Analytics.’ This button is your doorway to a whole world of valuable information.
You need to study these analytics carefully. Here you have access to a wealth of information about what is working, and what is not working, in your Pinterest account. You can find out which pins are performing best, and see how many clicks you are getting to your blog.
You should check your Pinterest analytics daily, and use these insights to optimize your Pinterest strategy. Do that effectively and you will be well ahead of 99 per cent of Pinterest marketers.
3.12 Getting Tooled Up
Messing around on Pinterest is a fun way to spend your time, but we all have busy lives to lead. We can’t always be on Pinterest pinning images at the right time of day. Luckily, we don’t need to. We can use scheduling tools to do our pinning for us. We just need to load a bunch of pins into the schedule, and let the tools do all the work…pinning the images gradually over a few days or weeks.
OK, it’s not quite as simple as that. We need to be strategic about it. Because used correctly, these tools are a huge asset. They allow us to deploy sophisticated pinning strategies that can really set our account on fire.
Surprisingly, there are only a few Pinterest automation tools on the market. And of the ones that do exist, I think there is only one that is worth dicussing. The good news is that this tool is awesome, and can play a key role in your Pinterest marketing strategy. The tool in question is Tailwind. Let’s take a look…
Tailwind is an official Pinterest Marketing Developer Partner for Content Marketing. That means the system is tightly integrated with Pinterest, and also gives you the reassurance that you are totally safe using it.
Tailwind is a scheduling tool that allows you to queue up a whole bunch of pins to be pinned at the exact time you choose. However, it offers much more than that. You can:
I think Tailwind is a great tool. I especially love the in-depth analytics, which allow you to get a lot of detail about what is happening with your pins. It’s well worth the money just for this benefit.
It’s a good idea to sign up for the annual account, so that you get unlimited pins. At around a hundred bucks a year, it’s a steal for all the features you get.
Take action to implement everything you have learned here, especially:
- 1Optimizing your boards and account
- 2Finding and joining your first group board
- 3Sharing at least one blog post on a group board
4. Building a Fan Base
Used correctly, Facebook is a great way to engage a loyal audience and drive traffic to your blog…here’s how to do it.
What You Will Learn
This training examines ways of growing your Facebook audience without paying for ads, covering:
4.1 Powerful Strategies for Growing Your Facebook Audience
Marketing on Facebook can be frustrating!
We all know the potential is there. After all, we are talking about a company with well over a billion users – the biggest social network by far, and the one that gives us the biggest opportunity to connect with our potential audience. Your customers are on Facebook, and you need to reach them there.
A few years ago, it all seemed so easy. All you had to do was create your Facebook page, and post a few status updates. Your fans would see them, and you would get great results.
Then Facebook organic reach started declining. By organic reach, I mean free distribution of your content to your followers and their friends. This started slipping. Instead of reaching all or your fans, your posts only reached some of them.
And that percentage just kept on declining – from 50%, to 20%, to 10%...and even worse. It seemed that the only way to reach your audience on Facebook was to pay for Facebook ads…and that could soon get expensive.
So, many marketers gave up on Facebook and moved onto the next shiny object. But that is a big mistake, because Facebook is still an awesome marketing tool if you know how to use it.
Take Holly Homer, for example. This blogger is truly rocking with Facebook. In fact, she has grown her page organically to the point where it has over a million fans. Way to go, Holly! Here’s how she did it:
The decline in organic reach is actually a good thing – because Facebook is now showing your content only to those people who actually want to see it. The result is that you get a more engaged audience, not to mention less competition.
So let’s look at how you can turn this to your advantage.
4.2 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Page
The important thing to remember is that organic reach is far from dead. The difference now is that Facebook is looking for content that people will engage with. So many brands are seeing poor organic reach because they are doing nothing more than promote their own products and services. In other words, they are using Facebook to push ads at people.
Do you like being blatantly advertised to? No, I bet you don’t – and neither do most people on the planet. So companies that advertise aggressively see their organic reach decline to almost zero.
However, companies that build an engaged community can do awesomely well. If you publish content that people want to see and engage with, then you are on the road to success.
4.3 How One Blogger Got 1,737,979% Engagement
So in today’s world, maximizing engagement is the key to success. And despite what the doomsayers will tell you, it is possible to get not just good reach, but amazing reach.
For example, Britany Ann is a blogger has succeeded in getting Facebook posts with engagement of 174%, 1952% and even 25,536%. And if that isn’t incredible enough, she had one post that achieved an extraordinary reach of 1,737,979%!
What does that amazing number mean, exactly? It means that her posts went viral, and so Facebook gave her reach that went far beyond her existing fans. It’s easy to see how you can attract new fans with numbers like that, right?
So let’s look at how you can do this, too.
4.4 How to Maximize Engagement
Optimize Your Page
Let’s start with the basics. If you want people to engage with your page, it needs to be in good shape. That means ensuring your page is complete, with a great cover photo, interesting content and all your contact details, etc. filled out.
Avoid Buying Likes
If you have been considering buying likes to help your page grow, think again. If you buy likes from a third-party supplier (such as the ones on Fiverr.com), then you are buying fake likes that will do you more harm than good. Because these people will never engage with your posts, they will harm your engagement rates and decrease your reach.
Find Good Content to Share
The key to getting good engagement is finding awesome content to share. Fortunately, there are a number of tools we can use to help us do this.
If your page has more than 100 likes, you can add some of your competitor’s pages in the Insights section. Go to Insights and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Add your hottest competitors under Pages to Watch. You can then view their best-performing content of the last week, which will help you to understand what content people in your niche like to engage with.
Another fantastic resource is BuzzSumo.com., which shows you want content is being shared around the web. Even with a free BuzzSumo account, you can get amazing insights into what is popular on website your niche, or on your competitor’s websites.
A great tool to complement this is Sociograph.io, which gives you insights into what is performing well on your competitors’ Facebook pages.
If you want to grow your community, you need to be posting regularly. The easiest way to do this is to use a scheduling tool like Buffer. A while back, there were some disadvantages to doing this, but these have now disappeared. I use Buffer to schedule content to Facebook and Twitter every day, and have seen no downsides to using it.
Don’t worry too much about finding the best time to post. Nowadays, Facebook will ‘drip feed’ content to your audience over many hours, even several days. So it is better to have several posts spread throughout the day, rather than try to post everything at what you think is the best time for your community.
4.5 What Should You Post?
You need to look for content that people will want to engage with, but which is also relevant to your audience. So you should not be posting funny cat videos if you are running a Facebook page for an investment blog. But if you can find a viral video that is relevant to your niche, then go for it!
Quotes and inspirational messages are always insanely popular, and can really help with your engagement rates. Intersperse these with posts from your blog and other relevant content, to keep things mixed up.
Be wary of promotional posts, especially ones that use commercial terms such as ‘sale’ or ‘discount’. These can lead to your posts being downgraded in terms of reach. You get a full list of these ‘trigger words’ here.
4.6 Increasing Engagement
Remember to get involved in your own community. You could post the first comment on a post to get things moving, perhaps by asking a question that people will want to reply to. This works great on controversial topics where people have a strong opinion one way or the other. Stay involved with the conversation, adding replies to comments.
4.7 Consider Boosting Posts with Good Engagement
While this article is primarily about growing your Facebook page for free, you should grab a good opportunity when you see one. If you find that a status update starts to take off and go viral, you really want to capitalize on that opportunity.
Consider spending some money to boost that post with Facebook ads. Because the post is getting good engagement, Facebook will give you greater advertising reach for the same money. So even a $20 spend could really pay dividends.
4.8 Invite ‘Likers’ to Join Your Page
Very often, people will like a particular post, but without liking your actual page. To bring them into your community and reach them in future, you need to get them to like your page, too. There is an easy way to do this, by using your personal Facebook profile to invite people to your page. You can find full details on how to do this here. This option is switched off when you reach 100,000 likes.
4.9 More Killer Strategies
In this section, we have barely scratched the surface of what you can do to build your Facebook audience. But there is a great way to get more information. Remember Brittany Ann, the lady who got a mind-boggling Facebook post engagement rate? She has been kind enough to disclose all the techniques she used to get those results in Strategies Worth Sharing.
I bought it, and I learned a heck of a lot…and I would recommend it to anyone. These are the exact strategies she used to grow her page from 2,000 fans to 100,000 fans in just five months. Currently her page has over 150,000 fans, so these strategies really are worth sharing!
Facebook is still a truly awesome platform for building your business. Start implementing your new strategy now.
Facebook is a platform that should not be overlooked. Start driving traffic to your blog from Facebook by:
5. Twitter Traffic Machine
Twitter can still be a fantastic source of traffic if you know how to tap into it. Use these strategies to really ramp up your Twitter numbers.
What You Will Learn
In this training, you will discover how many top bloggers are driving tons of traffic from Twitter. We will discuss:
5.1 Twitter Traffic Takeover
Nowadays, people tend to underestimate Twitter. With other social networks such as Pinterest on the rise, Twitter has taken something of a back seat. Yet when you know how to use it effectively, Twitter can still be a great source of traffic.
Better still, it is an awesome way of contacting and building relationships with influencers in your niche. Twitter is fantastic for getting in touch with other bloggers you want to partner with, and also for contacting influential people at brand companies.
Let’s see how to make Twitter work effectively:
5.2 Prepare a Professional Profile
Your Twitter profile is the foundation of a solid Twitter strategy. You need to make a good first impression, so make sure your Twitter profile is fully filled out, and that it looks professional.
Start with a high-quality photo of you, which can be the same one you use on your blog’s About page. This photo should also look good in small sizes, so that people can see who you are when using smartphones, etc.
You have 160 characters for your bio, and you should use them wisely. Your bio should be a brief ‘elevator pitch’ which positions you clearly in your niche. Use relevant keywords liberally, but don’t use hashtags here (people who click on the hash tags will be taken away from your profile).
Make sure you also fill in the field for your website address – you can get extra visitors to your blog from this link.
5.3 Creating a Following
On Twitter, building a large following is critical. Your followers are much more likely to see your tweets than others, and it is easier to build a relationship with people who have already made a connection by following.
When we talked about Pinterest, I said that I don’t like the follow/unfollow strategy. But when it comes to Twitter, this strategy can be extremely effective – if you do it the right way.
The idea is simple. If you follow 100 people, then maybe 15-20 of them will follow you back. After a week or so, you unfollow the ones who didn’t follow you back…and then follow some more. If you do this every day, then you can soon build up a healthy following.
5.4 Finding Influencers
So who do you choose to follow? You want to follow people who are already following influential Twitter users in your niche. That way, you will know that your follow-backs are coming from targeted individuals.
We can find relevant influencers using BuzzSumo. Go to the Influencer tab and search for a term relevant to your niche, then sort the result by Followers. When I searched for ‘fashion,’ I got this result:
Some of these will off target, but with some sifting you can collect a great list of Twitter users that are relevant, and who have big followings. Make a note of their Twitter user names.
5.5 Following People with Tweepi
Tweepi is the tool that revolutionized the way I use Twitter. This fantastic tool takes all the pain out of the follow/unfollow method. Although Twitter does not allow software developers to automate the process, Tweepi makes it as easy as possible to follow people manually.
Here’s how it works:
Signup with Tweepi (a basic account is free) and login to your account. Go to ‘Follow Tools’ in the top menu and select ‘by @user’s followers.' You can now enter the Twitter username of the influencer whose followers you wish to harvest.
You then get a list of people following that influencer, and you can follow them simply by clicking your way through the list. You can also use the Tweepi Bulk Default Action (aka Select All) chrome extension to speed up the process. This follows everyone on a results page for you, which saves a lot of clicking.
The basic account works fine, but I pay for the Platinum account, which offers much more power and flexibility over who you follow. This results in higher quality followers, so I think it is well worth the $25 a month.
Note: You may have noticed by now that I don’t hesitate to pay for the premium version of a software tool if it gives me a competitive edge over other bloggers. The total cost of the tools I use is small compared to the return on investment they deliver. If you are serious about making money blogging, these professional-level tools can make all the difference. If you are on a tight budget, start with the free tools and upgrade when you start making money.
I use Tweepi to filter down to a list of people who:
This ensures that I am talking to active Twitters users who are engaged, and who are likely to be real people, not bots.
There is a similar ‘Unfollow’ tool, which allows you to unfollow people who did not follow you back. This is important because Twitter imposes limits on your follower/following ratio. You can’t keep following people, unless your followers increase in proportion.
Twitter also imposes strict limits on how many people you can follow or unfollow in a day. Currently, this number is about 120 per day for both following and unfollowing, but this may change. Just go slowly. If you get a ‘soft block’ for following too many people, wait a few hours and then try again – but even slower this time!
5.6 Engage With Your New Followers
As your following starts to grow, you need to nurture your new followers. To do this, send them a ‘thank you’ message when they follow you. It’s a good idea to also include to a recent post on your blog that you think may interest them.
There is a good chance that they will click through to your blog, and check out more of your blog posts. Now you have established a good relationship with this Twitter user, which you can use to advantage later.
You can automate the process of contacting new followers with CrowdFire:
5.7 Sharing Content
Now that you have a good number of followers, you need to start sharing your content. You will want to share your own content, for sure, but don’t tweet only your own blog posts. Engage people by sharing relevant content that they may find interesting. That way, they will keep reading your tweets…and are more likely to read your blog posts when you do tweet them.
Tweets are always limited to 160 characters in length, so keep them short and concise. Use a link shortening service like Bit.ly to cut long links down to size.
5.8 Images and Twitter Cards
Tweets with images get more clicks, shares and retweets, so you should use good quality images in your tweets where appropriate. The ideal size for Twitter images is 1024 pixels x 512.
In order for large images to show correctly when shared from your blog, you need to ensure that blog is set up for Twitter Cards. This is easy to do using the Yoast plugin. Go to the social tab and ensure that Twitter Cards are enabled, and that ‘Summary with large image’ is selected:
5.9 Use Hashtags
Hashtags (#) are used to help people find content on Twitter. They act as keyword in searches, so that Twitter can be used as a search engine. This is one way that people not currently following you can discover you on Twitter – so it is important to make the most of this opportunity.
Check to see what hashtags your competitors are using, and use those in your tweets where appropriate. You can also use Hashtagify.me to research hashtag ideas.
5.10 Making the Most of Twitter
Twitter is great for starting conversations with influencers in your niche, as well as for driving traffic directly to your blog. So it’s worth taking the time to build your Twitter account. Just one great Twitter contact could open up a whole new source of business for you.
Take action today to start building your Twitter following:
- 1Set up and optimize your Twitter account
- 2Sign up with Tweepi and Buffer
- 3Start building your following and sharing good content
6. Instant Traffic from Instagram
Instagram has hundreds of millions of users, yet few bloggers know how to drive traffic with it. Here are some killer strategies that will put you ahead of the pack.
What You Will Learn
Instagram has huge potential, but few bloggers are making the most of it. We look at how you can get traffic from Instagram by:
6.1 Getting Into Instagram
Instagram is a social network that bloggers cannot afford to ignore. The photo-sharing app has over 300 million users and sky-high engagement levels. As a result, it is predicted to outperform Twitter and Google in ad sales in the very near future. And that means very big numbers!
But getting results with Instagram is more challenging than the other major social networks, which is why many bloggers overlook it. But if you are prepared to take on the challenge, there is the opportunity to carve out a niche in a largely-untapped market.
Instagram is especially helpful if you blog in an image-intensive niche, such as food or fashion blogging.
6.2 Making the Most of Your Bio Link
Perhaps the biggest challenge in getting traffic from Instagram is that options for placing links that generate direct traffic are extremely limited. As far as free traffic is concerned, there is only one option – putting a link in you bio. You are allowed to include one clickable link in your Instagram bio. So make sure you take full advantage of this, and include a link with a clear call to action. Instead of just linking to your home page, create a page that is tailored specifically for Instagram users, to get the most engagement from them.
Use a link shortener such as Bit.ly or Pretty Link so that you can track where the clicks are coming from.
You can also use a tool like Have2have.it to direct users to a page with the same look and feel as your Instagram feed, where they can click images to purchase your products or read your content. The New York Times does a great job with this: An advantage of using this service is that you get an analytics dashboard, which gives you valuable insights into what content is performing well.
6.3 Place a Call to Action on Images
Instagram is all about images, so be sure to take advantage of that. You can add a call to action to images, telling people to click on the link in your bio for more information: This works really well with contests, where people are really motivated to follow your instructions, in order to have a chance of winning.
6.4 Include a URL in Videos
Videos are an under-used opportunity on Instagram. Research shows that Instagram videos generate three times more inbound links than regular image posts, so they have real value. You can place your URL as a text overlay in the video, where everyone can see it:
6.5 Experiment with Instagram Ads
Yes, we all love free traffic. But here is a very compelling reason to give Instagram ads a try – clickable links! You can do things in ads that you simply can’t do with regular Instagram posts.
Getting started with Instagram ads is easy – you can do it all through the Facebook Ads platform (Instagram is owned by Facebook).
Here are some other tips for making the most of Instagram:
- Post Regularly: Successful Instagram accounts tend to post several times a day, so keep those posts rolling to maximize your chances of success.
- Make the Most of Hashtags: Hashtags are really important on Instagram, much more so than any other platform. And you are allowed to include up to 30 hashtags in every post. So load up with as many relevant hashtags as you can, to get as much attention as possible when your posts hit Instagram.
- Ask Users to ‘Tag a Friend’: This is a great way to get your friends and followers to help grow your account. By getting other people to tag you, you are really extending your reach on the platform.
- Make Good Use of Filters: Researchers from Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs determined that filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more likely to be commented on than unfiltered ones.
- Host a Photo Contest: This is a great way to leverage hashtags to get attention. Many brands use Instagram contests successfully to raise awareness and interest.
- Use Emojis to Create Engagement: We are all emotional creatures, so we are hard-wired to respond to emojis. Effective use of these can really help to increase engagement on Instagram.
Here are a few more useful Instagram tips and tricks:
6.6 Instagram Tools
There are various software tools you can use to help you grow your Instagram account and drive traffic. Some good ones to check out are:
6.7 Brands Love Instagram
Most of the big brands understand that Instagram is an extremely powerful and influential platform. So they are always looking for bloggers who can help them engage with Instagram users. If you can build an Instagram account with a big following, you are well placed to work with (and get paid by) the world’s biggest companies.
The best way to get going with Instagram marketing is to leap in and do it. Start by:
- 1Creating and optimizing your Instagram account
- 2Adding a link to your blog in your bio
- 3Sharing great pics, using the tactics listed above
Succeed with Social Media
Social media marketing has the potential to turn your blog into a traffic-generating powerhouse. Get this right, and you could find yourself with a tsunami of website visitor coming your way.
Yes, you will need to learn some skills, and you will need some patience. These strategies will not bring you a storm of traffic overnight. You must be prepared to put the work in to make things happen.
But with the right strategies, you can achieve amazing results with social media marketing. Start now, and a few months from now you may need to upgrade your hosting to handle all your visitors.
And that’s a good problem to have, right?