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!

18 Best Blog Tips

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 Bloggers Supporting Bloggers or search for other blogging groups on Facebook. Be sure to read and follow the rules. Never drop a link and run without reciprocating.

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: Only use THREE! More #’s looks spammy.

#SundayBlogShare, #MondayBlogs, #Mondaymotivation #lbloggers, #bbloggers, #blogchat, #bloggers, #blogs, #amwriting, #writerslife #bloggerswanted, #TravelTuesday #Tuesdaythoughts, #WWWblogs, #ThrowbackThursday, #Thursdaythoughts #Friday #Friyay #FridayReads #Sundayblogshare

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

18 Best Blog Tips! My ultimate list after 7 years of blogging includes how to increase your stats, build community, new ways to share and lots more! Blogging tips, bloggers, blogs, websites, writing tips #blogging #bloggingtips #blogtips #blogs #bloggers

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

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    1. Thanks so much!
      Oooh! That is such a great point. My dud posts are usually purposeful in that they tell a story about something I did, like paddleboarding. But when I don’t fall in or am attacked by sharks, my readers are like, whatever. Except for those who are generally interested in trying it. Ha!

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  1. Your post is really informative to have a grip on blogging. I’m a beginner in here and have little knowledge about blogging. To be frank, I didn’t understood most of the things you told about, since I’m new in this arena. Well, thanks for your tips once again.

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    1. It’s a lot to take in. The finer points are to proof your posts before blogging them, choosing material you’re passionate about and responding to commenters. The next big step is to return the favor and check out the commenter’s blog. That is how to build community! No comments? Start picking out similar topics in the Reader. Read those blogs and leave interesting comments. Have fun with it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I always get sad when I see people that were blogger friends and they quit. I know there are times I want to quit, but I hate to let people down. I also love it and can’t stop. The community is the best part and when you lose a blogger it feels like when you lost a friend after you both went off to college.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so true, Ben! I’ve lost so many friends. One friend told Tall Tales and asked readers to leave one in the comment. Then she would feature them the following week. Two others hosted weekly caption contests. It goes on and on. I’m finding a lot less humor blogs. But it keeps changing and I keep discovering new bloggers.
      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this article and as someone who also blogs about all sorts of topics – I have so many interests in life that it flows over into my writing! I have liked your Pinterest board, it’s great. I’m Su Melville and I would love your opinion on my blog, I’ve only been writing for a few months but I seem to get steady traffic and am looking to do more with my blog, just not sure what yet and so am enjoying the writing 🙂 Su
    http://sumelville.blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to meet you, Sally!
      I have done everything wrong at some point. Ha! I still am willing to try new things and was bailed out recently by Happiness Engineers when attempting an upgrade and plugins. I retreated with the grace of a galloping ostrich. Ha! I’m all about sharing these misadventures so you don’t have to go through the same shenanigans!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved reading this blog. I have been blogging for an year now and it’s still a big puzzle for me. Like you said, some posts get a lot of views and likes and some ( which you have spent equal or more time and energy on) gets none.
    I write a good post and then feel the pressure of writing something better the next time. And then I experience a complete lack of ideas , words and sometimes I just cant find the keys on the keyboard.. 🙂
    I love writing poems and short stories. I love writing philosophical stuff. I love to write about complete abstract stuff.. Which means I am still trying to figure out my niche. So I have a long way to go before I compile my list of “Best blog tips to become a successful blogger”. 🙂
    I have followed you on Pinterest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So nice to meet you!
      What’s your Pinterest user name so I can add you to my group board?

      Yep. I think our posts can get buried by email sometimes too. There’s no predicting when posts will resonate and when they won’t. I do notice that anything horrific, or humiliating with great titles attract more viewers.

      I’m always trying to focus my brand. It has been my biggest problem. I tend to write about the crazy stuff that happens to me, but I write thrillers. Probably writing a post about what I learned while paddleboarding would appeal to more thriller readers if I almost drowned after falling off or was nibbled by a shark. Ha! I keep filing these hits and misses away for next time. I constantly learning.

      Think of blogging like journaling. I’m reeeeeally trying to spend less time on each post so if they do miss, it’s not as disappointing. The trick to that is to find a focus on each post. I just got back from a writers conference. If I write a “What I learned,” post, it would take me days. This time, I’ll pick a number, three, five or ten things I learned, to simplify.

      Whenever something riles you up or something crazy happens in your life, make a note. It will be on a list when you’re looking for ideas!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for sharing all your thoughts.
        Look forward to your 10 picks from the writers conference.
        I have shared on the pinterest wall. Thank you and I hope to do all theses things when it is my turn to help beginners. 🙂

        Like

  5. This is a great article for bloggers starting their journey, and those who have gotten a little lost along the way. I’ve been blogging at incidentalnaturalist.com for a little over two years. I was fortunate to be Freshly Pressed very early in my blog life, and selected as Editor’s Pick on two occasions since. Your advice hits all the right notes. One observation from my own statistics is that WordPress blog posts that get picked up (viral is too strong a word) on Facebook, or other social media platforms may give me a large number of hits, but give very little engagement. Almost all my comments, likes and followers come from the WordPress community, so if it is engagement that you want, it may be better to invest time in the community rather than other forms of social media. I still promote my blog on multiple platforms but if i were short of time, I would focus on WordPress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to meet you, David! Congrats on the EPs! That is no easy feat. It’s been a while for me.
      That is so cool that yours ended up with lots of views from Facebook. I would love that. Since I am building a platform to roll out books someday, the more followers (with or without engagement) the better. The time I blew up on Reddit, I didn’t get one comment, like or follow. I’m all about community. If no one commented, I would have a lot less pleasure in writing posts. I’ve made a lot of real friends here.
      Are you writing books?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nice to meet you too, Susie! The 2 occasions that Facebook got interested in my blog was for Cockatoos in Australia and more recently, Bald Eagles in Canada. On both occasions the interest came from being shared on sites that are specific to those types of bird. I received thousands of hits for a total of maybe 6 likes 2 comment and 3 follows. When I first started blogging I had no idea that I could write something that someone would even read, let alone come back for more! So, no, I haven’t moved to books… yet. A book may well be a future project. 🙂

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  6. I just wanted to say that the part about community moved me so much it actually watered my eyes! So beautiful – and true. Congratulations on the post!

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    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Tara. I don’t always read much about the lows of blogging. Only how people are getting thousands upon thousands of views. It can be frustrating if that’s all a blogger wants. I’m all about building community first.
      Thank you for reading!

      Like

  7. Blogging sounded like such a great outlet for my ideas and interests – I find I can’t sleep at night because my mind is whirling because of all I want to do and say – I started writing a book on my mom’s life after she passed away – gathering memories and stories I heard – at least I know my children and grandchildren will know her better – I know that once I get into a steady rhythm and become better organized I will truly love to blog.

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      1. Thank you. Life is an adventure! We are currently evacuated from Florida with four toddlers so I believe this would constitute a bit of wild side of our own! Keep it up! I loved reading and will keep sifting through your adventures.

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  8. Thanks for the tips Susie. I used to blog on the Google platform a few years ago, then decided to change tracks and started a travel-themed blog recently on WordPress. I am only just getting started with serious (regular) posting but I sense that getting likes and interactions with other bloggers is much harder now than it was a few years ago. Hoping to be able to build a community over time! Is there a particular Facebook group you could recommend for an international community of bloggers?

    Like

    1. Oh, wow. International? I would go to Facebook and enter a few different searches while in “groups.” Keep trying different key words. I read a blog post about the top FB groups to join and joined all of them. The next day, when I started being accepted, I realized they were all in Dutch! Ha! I withdrew pretty quickly. Keep that in mind. If it’s not what you’re looking for, unfollow them and try something else! There’s gotta be some travel blogger FB groups.
      I do think it’s harder. The market is saturated. Back when I started there were 750,000 posts a day here on WP. Now they’re in the several million!
      Nice to meet you. Thanks so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is an incredibly useful article! Thanks for all the tips. As a fairly new blogger I am so glad I stumbled across this. I look forward to reading more of your stuff. I have Pinterest and would love to be added to your group. My username is Querida Browne.

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    1. I just added you to the group board. Happy Pinning!
      Thanks so much. I’m STILL learning by trial and error. I’m writing a follow-up post and the irony in being Discovered.
      Nice to meet you, CAOD!

      Like

  10. This post is amazing especially for someone who has just started. I am book marking it and reading it over and over again. #inspirational

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    1. Awww! Thanks so much! I wish I’d had ANY information when I first started. There wasn’t that much around in 2011! I’m all about sharing so others don’t have to go through as many rough spots or at least they won’t feel like they’re alone. I’m still learning! My follow-up post will include my latest foray into blog stress! Ironically, it includes this very post. 🙂

      Like

  11. HI Susie,
    Thanks for letting me know about the “Relevant” tag in WordPress and about your blog parties. I have trouble finding blog parties to participate in, so I appreciate you telling me about yours. How often do you have them?
    I still haven’t finished reading your amazing article, but I am so excited about your parties, I clicked the Follow button so I can be sure to get an invitation! Congratulations on your success with this post.
    Janice

    Like

    1. Thanks so much, Janice! Nice to “see” you!
      If you go to the Reader, you can type in blog parties and search by date. I bet they’re happening every day!
      I’m traveling a lot this month, but I might sneak one in! It might be appropriate after being Discovered by so many new bloggers.

      Liked by 2 people

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