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If you are a blogger – or an aspiring blogger – you know how hard it is to increase blog traffic. It is SO HARD.

You can create so much great content. And then…crickets.

Recently, I made a lot of changes to my site – and saw my pageviews skyrocket. I don’t compare much to the “big bloggers” – because I don’t think I have the following, fanbase, and girl crushes that other bloggers get. But I am actually starting to get the pageviews!

This is something that has really surprised me. Because I don’t “share all the feelings” and have over 10K Instagram followers, I have always thought that I wouldn’t be seen by people. But, I think I have made a little mark on the blogging world, so I want to share how I did it.

How to increase blog traffic in a few short steps!

1. I redesigned my site

This is the truth. I have always had content, but if the content is drowned out by a really bad web design – no one will find it and no one will stick around. Since redesigning my site, I haven’t added that much content, but my pageviews have skyrocketed.

For the first time, my design matches what I want people to experience around A Modern Commonplace Book. They have options in the menu, a clear homepage, a simple landing page – all of these things weren’t there before. Now, people want to stick around.

If you want to read how I did this, read this post. It explains how I traded services with a friend to use her copywriting, and web analysis services. It’s a great way to improve your site for free!

BlogTip: I also redesigned my 404 Error page so every pageview counts. You can see a 404 Error page here, and see the plugin I used here.

2. I put my one viral post front and center

Sometime last year, I my Trader Joe’s Menu Plan went “viral”. At least, it was viral for me – over 30K shares on Pinterest! Because this was the post drawing in the traffic, I maximized on this post. I used it to guide readers to my “No Plan” Menu Plan service – which got them in the door. These readers now officially were clicking through more than one post.

Tip: Find the post that is drawing the most traffic and use it to your advantage. Pretend you are a new reader on that page and make things inviting for them to stick around.

3. I invested in a good sharing plugin

Sharing is the key to marketing nowadays. There are a hundred sharing plugins out there – but none that did what I wanted. I wanted a static Pinterest button over images – and clear sharing buttons (like you can see on my site now).

I paid for the Social Warfare Plugin, and it has been worth every penny! This plugin includes full sharing icons, Pinterest customization icons, and everything else I could possibly need. It has brought in a TON of sharing traffic – so I am happy!

This is why I love the Social Warfare Plugin:

  • Gorgeous share buttons, on every size screen
  • The plugin is very lightweight – and doesn’t slow down my site – and works perfectly right out of the box!
  • With the Share Recovery feature, you’ll never have to worry about losing your social share counts when changing your domain name or moving to SSL.
  • YOU control what people share, and how they share it – by choosing the exact images and wording
  • The plugin includes custom images, tweets, Pin images and more!

4. I used my sidebar as a Table of Contents

I am fascinated by how people waste their sidebars on their blogs. This is a high traffic area, and I wanted to use mine as a Table of Contents. I have included a “Start Here” section, a “latest posts” section, a “popular posts” section, and categories. This gives new readers an immediate new way of exploring the site.

To see more of my ways to customize your blog, see this post “50 Ways to Improve Your Blog Design Now”.

5. I joined Facebook Communities

This has been a new part of my blog-social life, and I love them! There are hundreds out there, but I have found a few that are composed of bloggers like me looking for a community. We share tips, questions, wisdom, blog posts – anything that might spur us on in blogging. If you are a blogger or own a business, I recommend finding a group – it will benefit you!

6. I offered something that people want

My “No Plan” Menu Plan is becoming a thing. For me, it is just how I put food on the dinner table. But for the internet, menu plans are a commodity. They sell and bring in traffic. I have decided to offer mine for free, but this commodity has become a draw for this site. This is more than a regular post that I am writing – it is a resource that people are returning time and time again for.

To see how I use this menu plan to draw in readers – check out my handy landing page here. I created that using ConvertKit – and daily people use it to sign up for my mailing list!

7. I made my posts Pinterest-worthy

This is an easy fix. I have re-visited hundreds of my already-existing posts and upgraded them. I have removed stupid things I’ve said. I’ve added Pinnable graphics. I’ve added custom Alt tags to images. You can read more here.

The Social Warfare plugin has been HUGE in helping me add Alt Tags and Keywords to my images. Also – for each post, I am able to upload the specific pin that I want displayed for that post.

Check out this video to see how Social Warfare makes adding Pinnable Images EASY!

8. Lastly, I upgraded my newsletter

Because of my “No Plan” Menu Plan, my newsletter has become huge! I outgrew my need for Mailchimp, and have upgraded to ConvertKit. I love this company so far and already am reaping it’s benefits. My new Welcome Letter is gorgeous and our newsletters now will be polished and customized. This is a huge way of nurturing your followers.

I have tested and tried MANY email marketing systems, and none works as well as ConvertKit.

Watch the demo here and try it for free!

And a Bonus…My Favorite Blog Resources

Looking for a new host, theme or newsletter provider? I have tried DOZENS of companies – and review all my favorites in my Blog Resource Page here. Here is a quick run-down of the companies I love:

Genesis Framework and Themes:  I love the Genesis themes because they are strong, and completely updated and reliable, and have the best support. Start here if you are looking for a good theme.

BigScoots Hosting: I have used 4 different hosts – and have also been a blog developer who worked with more than 10 different hosts. Hands down, my favorite is BigScoots.

ConvertKit: Looking for a robust and easy-to-understand email marketing system? I have tried a few – and no other email marketing system works as well as ConvertKit.

How I grew my blog from 700 to 10,000 pageviews a month!  Learn how to increase blog traffic here.
How to Increase Blog Traffic – How I grew my blog to over 10,000 pageviews a month