18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote Your Blog, Increase Traffic, and More!

After six years of blogging, I’ve compiled eighteen of my best blog tips for you including how to promote blog posts and ways to increase traffic. I’ve learned a lot from the school of hard knocks. Maybe this will help keep you going until 2023!Blog tips from six years of blogging. New ways to promote, increase traffic, grow community, and more.

The first time I hit publish was in spring of 2011 as an attempt to build an author’s platform. I had an idea for a snarky book about living in Boulder and was told I needed to blog. Back then I was a hunter who pecked each key with her index finger and spent days typing each post. Editing killed me.

18 best blog tips learned through six years of blogging:

All of these tips may help you to engage readers and increase traffic. Most of them I learned by trial and error. I’m still learning, believe me.

Write in your own voice.

I write the way I talk. This includes slang when appropriate which is pretty much in every dang post. I have omitted profanity where I didn’t think it would add anything to the story and have *included cuss words when I needed to be truthful about how I felt.

Try not to over polish your writing since it kills the natural tone. Your readers will find it harder to get to know you if your words sound like an encyclopedia.

“What’s that?”

I mean, Wikipedia.

There will be highs and lows.

Highs:

I started high by winning three Freshly Pressed the first year and another two years later. For you new bloggers out there, Freshly Pressed was the original WordPress editor’s pick before Discover replaced it. The rush of comments and views exhilarated and inspired me. The awards gave me confidence in my writing.

Featured on Freshly Pressed

Low: At the end of December 2014, my views were exactly the same as 2013’s. The year’s top post was An Open Letter to My Boobs, and of all time was What’s in Your Future? Both won Freshly Pressed. I wrote a satirical post combining them with the complaint about my flat views called, I Predict More Stories about Boobs in 2015.

High: When I awoke the New Year’s Eve morning, I already had 100 views. I wondered if my lurid title drew readers. I felt guilty about the bait and switch title until I checked my top posts. The new one had less than twenty hits, but an old post about the song, Happy Birthday being owned by Time Warner was shared on Reddit in the TIL (Today I learned) category and blew up with 49,000 views in one day. It went viral!

An entire year worth of views on the day I complained about it. Ironic or what?

Then came the resounding sound of crickets.

The lows:

WordPress blew up with millions of new bloggers. Everyone has a blog. The number of editor picks diminished. I have yet to be Discovered. *drums fingers on keyboard*

The spotlight swung from blogging to Pinterest, Snap Chat, and Instagram. Podcasts and YouTube share the stage. With so much quick entertainment out there, bloggers have to throw an elbow to compete for time.

Can’t beat ’em? Join the fun!

Share your blog on social media.

Join Facebook blog promotion groups, Pinterest group boards, and Twitter hashtags and that’s only naming a few ways to promote your blog. Make sure you have your social media linked up to share when you post, especially Twitter. That way, when someone shares your hard work, your username is included in the tweet and you can thank them.

Be sure to link up your social media under Sharing in your dashboard, especially Twitter. That way, when someone shares your hard work, your username is included in the tweet and you can thank them.

Ask to join Big Up Your Blogger or search for other blogging groups on Facebook.

I have a Pinterest group board and could use a few thousand pinners, starting with you. Drop me a comment (below) with your user name and I’ll add you to the group. Have fun pinning!

Popular Twitter hashtags:

#SundayBlogShare, #MondayBlogs, #lbloggers, #bbloggers, #blogchat, #bloggers, #blogs, #amwriting, #bloggerswanted, #Tuesdaythoughts, #WWWblogs, #ThrowbackThursday, #Weekendblogshare #Fridyay

My Twitter handle is @SusieLindau, which is the same as my blog!

Blog tags:

Tags are another way to be seen in the WordPress Reader. Combined with categories, use fifteen or less. Too many and you won’t show up in the Reader. Not sure what I’m talking about? Click to your Reader and click Search under Discover. Type in a topic and voila! This is where everyone ends up when they post according to their tags and titles. Click on Relevant for popular posts or Date for most recent.

Blog parties and Social Media Saturday

Participate in blog parties. They can be found by searching the Reader and in hashtags on Twitter. My next party is coming up soon, so be sure to follow me!

I also started Social Media Saturday. I’ll host those monthly.  You can still drop a link to one of your social media accounts and follow three others.

18 Blog Tips

Writers are in the entertainment business.

Whether writing a book or a post, writers want their voices to be heard. I wrote the last sentence and immediately thought of myself standing on a mountaintop yelling out into the canyon with a responding echo. That’s not what it’s all about for me. I share my life, thoughts, and life lessons in order to inspire you in some way. So when horrible stuff happens to me, I won’t blog about it until I come up with a positive slant or a new tool I’ve added to my life hack toolkit.

The idea is to post something others might enjoy in some way. I don’t post about boring days at home, apologize for not blogging for a while, or write a total ramble and publish it without proofing. Man, do I hate reading an unedited post. It’s important for your words to sound like you, but bad grammar throws me out.

*This is one of those times when I have to cuss.

Before I publish a post, I ask myself, “Will anyone give a shit?” If it’s all about how great my life is, I won’t publish it. We did a remodel in the mountains and I could have chronicled that whole fiasco, but I didn’t feel comfortable about it. I have 56 drafts right now. Many essays haven’t made through the WAGAS cut.

Branding:

During that first year of writing, my subject matter was all over the place. I started at Open Salon with a blog called 300 Sunny Days in Colorado. One day, a commenter suggested I write about my adventures since most writers don’t ski, bike, or hike in the mountains. I switched to WordPress and the Wild Ride was born. In the last two years, the term Wild Ride has become so overused. I wished I’d patented it.

Now I write about travel, outdoor adventures, inspiration and general lifestyle topics. I always get creepy in October. I’ve witnessed a lot of paranormal activity over the years. My first novel is based on some of those experiences.

When you are seeking a brand for your blog make sure it covers subjects you’re passionate about.

Write what you are passionate about.

What excites you? I post about the events in my life that rile me up or touch me in some way. I also enjoy reading great stories. Ones that move me to tears or that make me think differently about a subject. Ones that open my heart or make me laugh. There used to be a lot more laughter here in the blogosphere.

How much are you willing to share? I draw lines when considering other people, but anything that happens to me personally is fair game. Being self-effacing is who I am.

What are your hobbies, interests or activities? What starts your motor? Maybe you’re into cars.

The biggest mistake is copying what others are doing. Being unique is a gift. Reflect that in your blog and stand out from the crowd!

Use quality photos.

Pictures are worth, well, you know the cliché. Take time to edit them with Picmonkey. It’s hard to appreciate the view when the horizon line is tipping over. WordPress has a slide show and collage option too.

Sterling Castle on a rainy day

Learned which posts work and what doesn’t.

The posts where I recount the heinous events in my life in a brutally honest way, like going through breast cancer or my brother’s death after trying to revive him, resonated most with readers. I always include humor or hope to offset the negative aspect because that’s how I ride through life.

Blog posts that help other bloggers have also earned lots of views. An Open Letter to WordPress Bloggers is one of my most successful blog tip posts. I wrote it to all the bloggers who follow me and never stop by again. Where are you guys, anyway?

Photo essays and celebrity meetups have also been successful.

The stinker posts:

Anytime I write about music or a television series, it’s a disappointment. Get ready, dear reader, I plan to blog about my visit to Culloden House and its tie in with Outlander in the fall. Love that show. I’ll lower my expectations when checking those stats.

For some ironic reason, the posts I spend the most time on often receive lowest views like, How Seneca, Attracting Positive Energy, and Happiness Heal Grief. Which brings me to…

Spend time coming up with a good title.

This can be a problem for me. I usually struggle for a title at the end of a long day of writing. I schedule my posts for the next morning. If I were to give myself advice I’d say, “What the hell are you thinking? You spend all that time on a post. Focus on creating a title to draw people in! Sheesh.”

Don’t bait and switch.

It’s a problem all over the web, so cheeky titles about how the plumber caught you naked and afraid, but you were just watching the show Naked and Afraid may frustrate readers. It frustrates me too, not that I would click to see you naked and afraid.

Blogging builds a community of real friendships.

 

I can’t say enough about my blog community. My readers have come through for me big time when my life got tough, but they read about my fun adventures too.  I’ve made so many friends here. How? Through commenting. It’s a form of conversation. I read their blogs and comment too. Sometimes it carries over into social media. Check out mine in the sidebar. I’ve met lots of bloggers when traveling. Friends for life!

Here’s a real problem. Many new bloggers click to follow, but never return. That’s not a great way to build community in my book. If you have followed for followbacks and you get tons of comments and views and have built a humongous community, I’d love to know how you go through your Reader to keep up with everyone. Leave me a comment. I’m always open to suggestions.

Most bloggers will quit.

It’s sad when my friends quit blogging, but I understand. Blogging can be super frustrating. It’s tough to sustain a following and attract views with so much competition out there. SEOs go up and down. Trying to promote on Twitter and Facebook can be another time suck. It’s a conundrum. We want people to read our words and are forced to market our blog posts, but it keeps me from doing what I love: writing. Then there are the times when we spend days on a post and it becomes a huge swing and a miss. *whiff*

So why do I keep blogging?

For practice –

Remember how I started? I moved on to writing thrillers and screenplays. Writing of any kind is practice. It’s a craft where we are always in search of elusive perfection, in my case, it’s elusive, all right.

For community –

I continue to reach out to build community. If find a blogger through topics in the Reader or through reading comments on a blog post, I’ll check them out. With so much attrition in blogging, it’s the only way to keep my community growing. It’s a constant flow in and out.

For sanity –

It’s where I come to hang out with friends. Posting is still a rush and so is reading and commenting on other bloggers’ stories. I like keeping up with my friends’ latest adventures too.

It’s my passion –

When I started six years ago, someone asked, “Do you want to be a blogger or an author?” You can be both. I’m still working on achieving that published author tag. There’s a lot to be learned. With my early success, I thought writing a book would be cake. Nope. It’s a completely different animal with a skeletal structure and nervous system all its own. It’s like learning about amebas and believing I would ace human anatomy.

But I love the short essay format. There’s terrific gratification in publishing something and receiving instant feedback. Novels can take years. Book writing can be an isolating endeavor. Blogging is the opposite. I love the interaction with old friends and new. I have a few blog to book ideas too.

I’ve come a long way from being that keyboard hunter. I’m still not fast, but I’ve learned to slash and burn entire chapters of my books. I’ve shared my voice through blogging and have touched people around the world as they have touched me. It’s a creative expression I can’t live without.

Can you add any blog tips? How long have you blogged?

Did you learn anything? Share this on Reddit, Pin it, or add it to your Flipboard for future reference. Thank you!

Click for more posts on the Wild Ride

Blog tips: How to Hook Readers

More Blogging and Writing Tips

423 thoughts on “18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote Your Blog, Increase Traffic, and More!

  1. Hello there. I enjoyed reading that post. I have been a paid writer for years now and I am embarking on a new journey to bring knowledge and tips to new writers that want to dive into the shark infested waters that are this industry. I’m still trying to figure out a direction and constantly working on the site to make it more appealing and able to capture my audience. I will keep tabs on your posts as I enjoy your personality that carries into your writing. Best wishes and keep that smile coming across in your work.

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    • Thanks so much, GRW! Nice to meet you. What kind of paid writing?

      You should read my “Back in the Water for Shark Week” post. Ha! Taking the plunge into the blogging vortex is not so bad, in fact, I find it addictive. Like with everything, it’s all about expectations. If hits are all a blogger is concerned about, then they would be better off self-hosted and pay for SEO help. Many sites make money from clicks to ads.

      I write thrillers so this time of year I refocus on everything creepy. With all the traveling I’m doing, (I’m in Wisconsin right now) a few travel posts will appear. I just write what I’m passionate about! Have fun with it and experiment!

      Thanks again for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nice to meet you as well. I spent 8 years in the Navy as an Aviation Administrator and in several different law enforcement positions. There was always in depth writing involved with personnel records, federal inspection documents, an many others. Once I was a civilian again, I got into writing on google adwords back in the day which i hated. I had a less than ideal childhood and more family drama than anyone should ever have to deal with so I had spent a year and a half writing and having my autobiography published. After that I got into truck driving and got that travel bug out of my system. For the past few years I have been doing piece work through craigslist and the dreaded mills. While they are low paying, I have managed to get a few clients over the years. I am currently trying to find the time to revise my resume from my previous experience into a writing industry specific resume. In all my readings on various groups I notice that there are many people lost as to how to proceed towards getting involved in this field. My goal for my blog isn’t monetary at this juncture. I want to be a source of information about the process of being a successful paid writer. I am always looking for ways to improve and now that I am pursuing this full time I’m confident it will happen. If I can help one person better themselves and accomplish their goals then I have accomplished mine. I am still reading your stuff, there is so much good information its hard to quit reading lol. Thank you for that.

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        • Oh, wow! Thanks so much!
          Once you start writing these posts, be sure to learn how to promote them on Pinterest. Anything that helps writers make money can go viral. Also, you might eventually want to record a class. If you start a Pinterest account, you can search How to Use Pinterest, and I bet you’ll find a pin with someone selling online classes. Check it out to see how they do it or Google it! Could be some extra cash for you there.

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          • Thanks for the follow. I am on all of em. Fb, IG, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and who knows what else. I will be upgrading to either a premium or business package on the 1st. Have to weigh the options and see what the money looks like. will definitely be doing one or the other. Still have yet to get the dang light bill yet so that will determine the spare funds for this go around. Have a few $’s in my textbroker account i will link.(I know its a mill but I’ve gotten a few good clients from it over the years so I can’t cut it loose just yet. I have a list of about 20 more to research and see if any are legit or not. Been combing through e-books and reviews from different people I follow making a few different lists. I’m a complete nerd, I make a list or outline for nearly everything I do. How are things in your neck of the woods? I used to live in Denver and Fort Collins. I miss the hell out of Colorado at times but I have a ton of health issues that the cold weather doesn’t agree with these days. Unfortunately, the health concerns I’m dealing with are either not surgically repairable without major risk or are degenerative. I’m a soldier though so I will prevail. A healthy dose of stubborn will help in these new endeavors.

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            • I’m all about stubbornness as related to health and went through double boobectomies four years ago. The high altitude doesn’t agree with many people. I’m a Colorado transplant (Wisconsin) and love it here. Thank you for your service!!

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      • Recent health concerns have landed me on disability which is the reason for the career change. Bills are paid with the disability benefits so whatever I make from my writing work is just a bonus. I am always looking for the next great journey as I think all good writers are. I look forward to the continued reading of your work.

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        • I’m so sorry to hear about your health. I pray it’s temporary! You’re right. When life breaks down, writers look through the wreckage for blog fodder. That’s how my Boob Reports started!!

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  2. Hi Susie… very interesting read! I’m new to blogging but I feel that this could be a really positive outlet for my emotions and experiences. I hope to build on it. I think writing in my own voice is key here. I don’t want to pretend to be something otherwise it takes away from what I what I want to achieve. Hopefully the tips work!

    Thanks

    Mats

    Like

    • I hope so too, Mattias. I wrote it for bloggers like you!

      Every so often, I look back on my older posts and will run into one that sounds over-polished. That’s when I’ll edit it. When I meet bloggers in real life, there are fewer surprises! The cool thing about blogging is you’re in control of everything. Try out different ideas. See what works and what face plants. It’s those stories that resonate that readers love.

      Welcome to the Blogisphere!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, I love writing too. That and the fact that it keeps me somewhat sane are the main reasons I continue with the blog. I had just fallen out of blogging after a couple of tough years dealing with my grandmother’s death and intense changes at home so I was tempted to quit, to just get rid of it and start all over when I found my fire again. I’m glad I still have this blog because I do read so many amazing posts. It just gets difficult trying to keep up with everything. I love the honesty in your writing. I’m looking forward to reading more.

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    • Thank you so much, Lisa! Nice to meet you.

      It sounds like the trauma you went through might provide great blog material. I wrote a few posts about the traumatic death of my brother this spring. Since my brand is all “Susie sunshiney,” I wrote them with the hope they inspired readers in some way. If I couldn’t find humor or something positive to say, I wouldn’t have shared anything.

      I can understand how life can take precedence over writing or blogging. In my case, when dealing with health setbacks and deaths in the family, blogging was my salvation. I also write screenplays and novels. Writing is a fantastic escape. It also focuses my attention on the positive aspects of my life. It’s been a huge commitment, but I’m completely addicted. Ha!

      Like

  4. This is the best blogging tip post I have read. Seems all I ever get told is to follow a bunch of people, and I’m not interested in being one of *those* followers. Thanks for sharing!

    My Pinterest username is candacecatrine 🙂

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  5. hi there. I enjoyed reading this so much. I am new to the blogging world and its so comforting to read tips from bloggers who started from the bottom and worked their way up, it serves as inspiration to me.

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  6. Hi, I enjoyed this post and found it really useful. I have been writing my blog for 4 and a half years. I originally just wrote it for myself sort of as a bit of a diary but over the years it has become a labour of love and I really enjoy looking back and seeing what an exciting journey it’s been. I have never really got the hang of the blogging community being a bit of a technophobe but am starting to get into it. I recently went back to studying and find scouring through blogs a great form of procrastination when I have an essay to write that I don’t want to start! Thank you for your advice, I will keep popping back!

    Like

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