So you started a blog (or plan to)? That’s great! But do you know how to grow your blog?
Many writers and creators are excited to start a blog and get a website up and running. Indeed, that is a big accomplishment. But many a blogger has been writing regularly for months or even years and yet can’t see that it’s making a difference. You’re not even sure if anyone is visiting and reading it.
The excitement you felt at having your place on the world wide web to share your thoughts, reflections and writing with the world, has dwindled. Now keeping up with regular writing feels more like a chore than a delight.
So how to grow a blog? There is definitely a process and system for growing your website. As with any industry or “tool”, we need to invest time and energy in learning it.
A website is vital to your business and brand growth, but beyond that, niche websites have moderate to vast earning potential, if you follow simple steps over time, and keep at it.
How to Grow Your Blog
Organic SEO is one of the cheapest and best long term strategies for growing your website traffic. But first, if you don’t know what is SEO, don’t worry. If you’ve never heard a new language, you can’t feel bad for not knowing it. The digital world is simply a new language.
But if you’re planning a trip to a foreign country with a foreign language, you’ll want to at least learn the basic handful of words to navigate while there. For most business owners, it’s the same with the online world.
You don’t need to know how to fix a car to drive it, but you do need to know the basics of car maintenance to be sure you don’t run out of gas or oil. You don’t have to know how the car runs, just how to drive it and manage the dashboard, and of course the rules of the road.
In this analogy, your website is your car… your vehicle to get you where you want to go. The rules of the road are those determined and then enforced by the highway patrol… namely Google. Then there are all the other cars on the road to navigate. The more popular the area (or subject), the more congested the traffic. Same thing with content and keywords.
The internet is now an extraordinarily crowded place, and that will only increase. To stake your claim in this fast paced world requires learning a little something about the vehicle and how to work with the flow of traffic.
In this article we’ll touch on the first layer of factors that are a part of a website’s growth.
Table of Contents
- Organic Traffic for Online Business Growth
- So What is SEO…?
- Slow but Sure Organic SEO
- How to Get Backlinks to Your Site?
- Keywords Matter
- SEO is Complicated
- Creators are Invited to Apply to Join the Creator’s Corridor
Audio Article – Organic SEO
But Do I Need a Website?
Before we dive in, if you don’t yet have a website and are considering it, you may wish to first check out this article on that subject: Do I Need a Website? If you’re certain you’d like to stake your claim in the online world with your own property, AKA, website, then you’ll definitely want to learn more about how to grow your blog.
Don’t Want to Do SEO…?
If the idea of trying to learn search engine optimization strategies makes your head swim, take heart. There are some simpler things that will help you in how to grow your blog and website for your brand.
For that, you can scroll down beyond any technical parts you don’t wish to read. Look for the heading near the end titled ‘How to Grow Your Blog – Simple but Powerful Ways to Grow Your Website’.
If you’ve never heard a new language, you can’t feel bad for not knowing it.
The digital world is simply a new language.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder-iCreateDaily®
What is SEO…?
Speaking of new language, let’s start with one of the most important new words that’s actually an acronym and phrases. You’ve probably heard the term. But if you’re not really sure what it is, don’t worry. If you’re not yet in the media publishing industry, chances are you’ve not had the need to know it.
Search Engine Optimization–SEO—simply means that you need to optimize your website, blog, shop or social platform by using search terms—known as keywords—that your audience is using to find you. Then, you make sure those words are a part of your relevant content, especially in the title and first paragraphs.
SEO is the top solution for how to grow your blog with free traffic. However, it’s a long term strategy that takes education and persistence over time. Including search terms, called keywords, helps Google find your content and serve it to the people who are looking for it.
Google is the traffic cop, directing traffic to where it needs to go to get what it’s looking for.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder-iCreateDaily®
Most Creators are Bad at SEO
Most creators and writers enjoy engaging in the artistry of their craft. They come up with clever, whimsical and intriguing titles for articles that pull you into wanting to read the entire piece. The only problem though is such creatively titled articles and content is rarely something that someone is searching for on Google.
If you have a website, scroll through some of your latest blog posts and notice the titles. Do they contain the kind of phrase or keywords that someone might actually type in and search in Google? Not likely, right? Therein lies the rub for writers.
Once your blog has a good traffic flow, or you have a large social following, then you have more freedom for creative expression. Until then, you need to be strategic. It doesn’t help to pour your heart out writing an engaging post if only five of your friends and family will ever see it.
TO GROW YOUR TRAFFIC
When writing and titling your articles, consider:
1. The value to the audience you’re seeking to attract.
2. What search terms someone would use to find it.
Slow But Sure Organic SEO
One of the best and surest and cheapest ways to grow your website traffic organically is to get relevant backlinks (links to your site from other good websites).
Notice I did not say “fastest”. That’s because “organic” is not the fastest, however it is the safest and surest for long term growth. It will require patience, determination and commitment on your part, but hey… that’s the nature of building anything, right? And in this case you’re building your brand and your business.
Every creator needs an audience. Your website is your online home; your social platforms are your stage. SEO is the billboard that helps your audience find their way to you.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder-iCreateDaily®
How to Get Backlinks to Your Blog?
The best ways to get quality backlinks to your website:
- Create good and relevant content that people share
- Contribute content (articles, images, quotes, tips, expertise paragraphs, recipes, etc.) for other sites, that will include your name and site link. This becomes a backlink to your site, which is great, plus you hitchhike on the traffic of the other site as some will come your way.
- Over time, as Google sees that your site is growing in popularity (social proof and validation), it will send more traffic your way.
- SEO: Optimize your articles by using keywords in the titles and content that people are actually searching for. This is akin to placing a sign on your place of business so people can find you, or your listing in a phone directory.
When it comes to being found online, keywords matter. Keywords are the name for the words you type into Google or your browser, to search for anything.
Keywords help you find what you’re looking for, and they will help your prospective fans find you. Consider these four different titles we might have used for this article.
Possible Titles for This Article
- How to Get Found Online (10 searches/mo)
- Organic SEO to Grow Your Website Traffic (480 searches/mo for the keyword phrase: ‘Organic SEO’)
- How to Get More Traffic to Your Blog (70 searches/mo)
- How to Grow Your Blog (140 searches/mo)
We chose the fourth title for this article for two reasons:
- It was the most descriptive for this article
- It had the adequate monthly searches for a young site to try to rank for and moderate competition.
You’ll see a comparison on those searches in a moment. But first a brief intro in tools we use to find this information.
Keyword Search Tools
High volume search terms have high competition vying to rank on page one of Google. Therefore it’s generally impossible for young startup blogs to rank for those. So the industry advice for new websites is to focus on the low demand keywords, AKA “long tail” keywords first.
The more longtail keywords you can use and begin to rank for, the more that will help your blog grow in ranking which will help traffic. That compounds so that as you grow you will be able to rank using more popular, higher demand keywords.
If Your Eyes Are Crossing About Now…
Before you roll your eyes and click away… believe me, we get it. Creators just want to create! We have no interest in messing with the minutiae of Search Engine Results Pages, or crafting our titles and content around predetermined words and phrases
But the creators who profit from their creative endeavors, if that is your goal, are those who also embrace the business side of the equation. Those that do find ways to make it an enjoyable and creative process, like game rules to learn and then play.
Find more on creative business advice for entrepreneurs.
“Your ideas—like your children—need a home to live in. That home is the business you build.”
~LeAura Alderson, Cofounder-iCreateDaily.com®
Now… back to keywords!
Write with keywords in mind for keywords are the keys that open the gates for traffic to flow to your website.
Keywords and Keyword Tools
Google Auto-suggest – The Simplest and Easiest Keyword Ideas Tool
The first and simplest place to go to identify promising keywords around your area of interest is the auto-suggest options. Google offers auto-suggestions of search terms based on common searches for you and your area.
It won’t show you how many searches each keyword or keyword phrase gets, nor whether it’s easier or harder to rank for. And sometimes it will simply be based on your own search phraseology. However, it could be an indication to help guide you.
Let’s say you wanted to create a post on your website of a poem you wrote about a garden. You would search “garden poem”. You could also use the auto suggest results to decide on what kind of garden poem to write that would be more readily found.
Creators are naturally tempted to give our articles creative titles. However, new sites need to reserve those for the poems and content rather than the titles else it may never be found.
Let’s say we wanted to title our garden poem article, The Heart of a Garden. While that title naturally sounds more engaging and creative than “Garden Poem”, or “A Garden Poem for The Gardener’s Heart”, it would be harder for Google to understand what you’re about, who would be interested and how to help them find you.
KEYWORD TOOL UPDATE:
Since originally writing this, our latest favorite keyword tool is Neil Patel’s Uber Suggest which provides good search result — and other information — for free as of this writing. We especially make use of the Chrome Extension, which serves up results with every search.
None of them alone has all the information that we need, but UberSuggest comes the closest. We’re affiliates for KWfinder and Jaaxy, but if you’re just getting started, the simplest tool would probably be the free Chrome or Firefox Extension on KeywordAnywhere.
KeywordAnywhere shows up as a widget on your browser dashboard. You can see that in the screenshot below. It’s the black circle with a red K that we’ve circled in red in the upper right hand corner of the screenshot below.
Again, in using all of these, our new favorite by far for now is Neil Patel’s free UberSuggest. It’s free and this is NOT an affiliate link.
Screenshot of KeywordAnywhere’s Chrome Extension
Keyword Search Results
As you can see in the upper left red line, “Organic SEO” gets ~590 searches per month. On the right side, KeywordAnywhere will show you comparable and compatible search terms.
You can also see what this app looks like installed on your browser. It’s in the upper right hand corner in Chrome, as you can see from the red circle around the black circle K, as we mentioned a moment ago.
These next two screenshots show you the search results for two of the other possible titles for this article.
Search results for How to Get More Traffic show that that keyword phrase gets only around 50 searches per month.
The search phrase: How to Get Found Online averages only 10 monthly searches.
The title we chose, had fewer searches but was more descriptive for this article. It’s also a little easier to rank for than the KW options getting more searches, such as ‘Organic SEO’. Further, as you might imagine, most of the keywords for this topic are hard to rank for because the competition is informed and knowledgeable.
Writing and titling your articles to use the search terms your audience—and prospective audience—is using will help them find you, and helps Google to know what you’re about and when to send people your way.
Yes, SEO Seems Complicated, but it’s Logical
Now there’s so much more to it than just this that we’ve shared here, and we’re not SEO experts. Rather, we’re media publishers learning increasingly better ways to improve our SEO while learning the industry over time.
In our chosen keyword for this article, while the predominant keyword phrase in our title gets approximately 590 searches per month, the next layer of consideration that’s almost equally important, is how easy is it to rank for? In other words, what’s the competition for a given keyword and is it easy, medium, difficult or impossible to for a small blog to rank?
We will probably never rank for the keyword, Organic SEO, because it’s a highly competitive term amongst those who rule the industry.
In this case, since we’re not an SEO agency, blog or marketing firm, chances of us ever ranking organically for this keyword are very slim. Still, we keyworded the title just in case, but we write it for you. Our readers, and audience, should you find it helpful.
As with any endeavor, you start this journey of improving your content to match searcher intent, one step at a time.
The name of the game is to keep on learning and growing, and to enjoy the process if you can. SEO through keyword optimization is just one more tool in your tool chest.
“There no longer has to be a difference between who you are and what you do.”
~Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur, author
How to Grow Your Blog
Simple but Powerful Ways to Grow Your Website
Okay, so if all of that has your head spinning and you feel ready to throw your hands up in despair, take heart. It’s not easy but there are easier things you can do first.
Simplifying Your Brand Growth
Whether you’re a freelancer, artist, writer, or business owner, we all need to be able to reach more people and have more people interested in our work.
The Number One Way to Grow Your Organic Traffic
Did you know that the #1 way to grow organic traffic to your business or brand from search engines like Google, is to have more social platforms and websites linking to yours? This is especially beneficial from those sites with more traffic and domain authority than yours.
If you don’t have a website, then links from other sites to the social page of your choice—called backlinks—can also help send more traffic to your site. In order to sell your work and grow your brand, you need more people seeing it.
But how to get backlinks?
Write for Free First, for…
If you’re a freelancer seeking freelance or commissioned work, guest posting for other websites is a great way to build those helpful backlinks to your site. Guest posting is usually done for free, as opposed to paid article submissions, however the value of the backlinks it can provide you over time is significant.
…Attracting Paying Clients
Guest posting will benefit you with far more exposure than just publishing to your own blog. For freelancers, it provides exposure to paid gigs as well as more traffic to your own site, shop or social page.
For more ideas for how to make money as a freelancer, you may enjoy this article.
The Man to Follow
One of our go-to resources for learning all about how to grow our websites is a former attorney, who was able to leave his profession due to the success of his websites. He’s been at it since 2012, but it has definitely paid off for him.
His has multiple legitimate niche websites, some of which earn as much as $40k-$80k PER MONTH!!! However, CAUTION… he had a head start, got in early and has kept at it daily for years. It’s still possible today, but most never achieve this.
To succeed at anything requires persistent perseverance and ongoing learning and application over time. That’s the only way to achieve great success. But that time is going to pass anyway, so if you love to write and are passionate about a topic, creating a blog around it can be a fun thing that pays off over time.
In It for the Long Haul
Everything we do online can enhance the others. We’re building structures online to support our endeavors. The different social platforms and websites are like building a shopping center of interconnected bricks and structures, or multiple kiosks around town. And like construction and business building, it takes time.
The greater the consistent and focused efforts over time, the greater the results.
One good thing about online content is that it’s malleable and changeable, allowing you to figure it out as you go, and adjust accordingly. It becomes more about quantity than quality for through quantity, quality evolves, same as with any craft or endeavor. AKA practice.
So if you want to grow your work in the world, be prepared to commit to it for the long haul. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
What saves a [wo]man is to take a step. And then to take another step.
~CS Lewis, British writer, professor, theologian, 1898-1963
Hello! I’m LeAura, owner and co-creator of iCreateDaily.com®. As an autodidactic philosopher, generalist, personal development advocate, entrepreneur, writer, editor, author, ideator, media publisher, and podcaster, I’m passionate about helping others achieve their best possible life! Our small family of entrepreneurs, writers, investors, educators and creators own and run websites around topics we enjoy, such as gardening, health and fitness, creativity and pets, with more to come.
While my greatest teacher is Life… my formal training includes certifications in mediation, fitness, and strategic intervention coaching, including marriage and family. Today, the synergy of creating websites, articles and podcasts, brings together all my favorite things: family, learning, growth, creating, connecting and contributing. To share these with you is a privilege, that serves my lifelong aspiration to help others.
My personal areas of creativity are in writing, masterminding, ideation, synthesis and bringing ideas to life through business and entrepreneurship, all with a pervasive spiritual foundation with a focus on elevating the lives of others.
Want to submit your photos, videos and/or article content for publication? We love to consider your contribution for publication! firstname.lastname@example.org