If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you might remember that I started a little experiment this past fall towards the end of October. Prior to designing Showit websites, I was a full-time content creator on my blog, The Fox & She and my other Instagram.
After two years of posting almost nothing on that site, I was still getting around 1200-1500 pageviews every day which resulted in around $500-1000 of ad revenue each month. All from doing nothing. No promoting, no sharing on social media, no pinning to Pinterest. I was simply collecting money on content I created years ago. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Now, quick side story for why this experiment got started in the first place. My oldest started kindergarten this year and after a 3-week summer break where I did absolutely zero work, I figured I’d jump right back into my normal routine.
But, I struggled—big time.
He was coming home much earlier than he did before and my days were cut short. I kept thinking, okay next week, I’ll finally get the swing of things, but it just never really clicked. As I received yet another paycheck for doing zero work from my ad network, I thought, hmm, what if I was able to build up my blog traffic so that I could make even more passive income?
And thus, my SEO traffic experiment was born. To be clear, I was already implementing SEO techniques on my website before, but loosely. For the most part, I was writing about whatever the heck I wanted to with no regard to keywords, search volume or trends. So, while I’d been maintaining decent traffic, it wasn’t growing.
At the end of October, I started focusing on writing content more frequently with one major focus—SEO. Sure, I could have focused efforts on growing my Instagram, but I’ll be the first to tell you, IG followers do not translate to pageviews. I wanted to be able to show up on social media if I wanted to, but not be a slave to it.
At the end of December, I did a quick analytics check and was blown away by how much had changed in just two months, so I wanted to share with you all in case you’re hoping to grow your blog traffic and ad revenue this year as well.
How to Grow Blog Traffic in Two Months
Focused on SEO Content
Instead of writing about whatever popped into my brain, I focused on doing keyword research to make sure what I was writing about was something people were searching for. This will save you time in the long run because you won’t waste hours writing content that no one wants to read.
This means long-form content—think 1,200 words or more per post—that’s helpful and relevant. Even better if the content you’re writing about is evergreen!
Pay Attention Google’s HCU
This leads me right into my next point—don’t discount Google’s most recent Helpful Content Update. This means Google prioritizes content that it deems to be helpful to its readers. If you’re simply writing a post about what you did this weekend, it’s not going to be particularly helpful.
Whenever you’re writing your post content and the post title, make sure you’re focusing on your audience FIRST. Help them to help grow your traffic.
It’s easy to get excited and write everyday for a week then give up completely because you’re burned out. But consistency is key. This doesn’t mean you need to churn out a post everyday—though if you have the time and want to do it, I won’t stop you. More content just means more avenues or people to find your website.
I aim for 2 new posts per week in my niche, as well as updating one old post from my website to make it more SEO-friendly.
Update Old Content
Yes, you can absolutely update old content, and I recommend you do it! It takes less work to update an old post, and can give it a higher chance of ranking. If you have a blog that’s many years old, look through your old posts to see which evergreen content still works for today. Make edits to your post, maybe add some new photos, make it longer, change the post title and republish.
The only thing you NEVER want to change is your permalink. This is a great way to “publish” more content each week without having to do a ton of work to create the new post.
Share on Social Media
Yes, I just told you that I don’t want to be a slave to social media, but sharing can be a really helpful way to make people aware of what you’re doing and how to get more of your content. If you have Pinterest, absolutely pin your content at least once a week with a scheduler like Tailwind.
Pinterest is simply a visual search engine and is especially wonderful for certain, more visual niches—think, fashion, food, interiors, etc.
My Next Steps to Grow Traffic
Two months in, I’m now averaging 2,500-3,000 pageviews each day which has been really exciting to see. As my experiment as gone on, I’ve changed my thinking on how I want to keep going forward.
My blog was started as a lifestyle blog and covers a lot of different topics. While that’s great, I kept finding that the personal blogs with the highest consistent traffic were ones that were more niche. I was in between style and food and ultimately settled on food (and wellness) being my main focus because we eat everyday and it’s the one thing that I have come back to time and time again. I also love that food is a great evergreen category—sure, certain viral recipes might come and go, but overall, recipes will continue to be searched over and over again.
Grow my Email List
When all else fails, an email list is the best way to reach the people who want to hear from you. I started in late October with a list of ZERO and now have 171 subscribers. Now, I know that’s not crazy, but I was pretty pumped about it! I found a good freebie that’s converting well for me and now that I’ve decided on my food niche, I plan to create more.
Ready to Grow your Traffic?
Get started with my SEO Made Simple eBook. This is the quickest, most straight-forward ebook to give you a run down of how to write blog posts for SEO. I purposely kept the cost low so that as many bloggers as possible can take advantage of it.
Even if you’re brand new to blogging and looking to make this your job, or at least create some income from it, this is going to be so incredibly helpful for you! Grab it here!
This has me thinking—is it time to bring back my income reports, but this time for just my blog?