Today I’m going to show you exactly how I’ve tripled my blog traffic in the last three months – I’ve been looking forward to this post for several weeks! My website reached another level around September ’14, and now I’m waking up to more views than I used to see all day (this time last year). A lot of the information I share today can be adapted and applied to your online storefront as well, so let’s get right to it!
I’m reading a book by Tony Robbins, and one of the lessons he repeats often is …
Success leaves clues.
I thought about that advice when I inserted the gorgeous graphic above because it’s clue #1! But today, I’m not going to make you look for the clues; I’m here to share the play-by-play: everything I’ve done to triple my traffic in the last three months.
On September 1, 2014 I launched a new blog design. Before the new Marketing Creativity by Lisa Jacobs, my website looked like this:
It was blocky and chunky, and I was hiding behind it. I’ve had this blog since 2010, and I didn’t even add that little profile picture of myself until early 2014! I was modeling after other industry sites, which are largely contributor-based (they run on guest posts). However, Marketing Creativity is all me, almost all of the time. I needed to finally present myself and, not only share, but show my expertise!
I had been searching for a website designer for years. I know from past design work that you have to hire with a very clear picture of what you want the outcome to be. By the time I found a great web designer, I also had a strong vision for what I wanted, my own preferences for graphics, fonts and colors, and a lot of people to solicit feedback from during the process.
It’s very easy to see the early drafts of your hired design work and get so excited about the fresh changes that you overlook little details you don’t want to live with forever. I really took my time on the latest redesign, and I was patient with the launch. I knew I’d rather get it right the first time!
Mid-design, I also decided I couldn’t live with my wordpress.org host for one more second. That leads me to another switch I made …
Seriously. People don’t want to wait for your $4.95/month hosting plan to load your site. They really don’t! I was miserable with my last host; I’ve actually cried tears over it. During the design process, I had my web designer switch me to the best Wordpress host available (I chose Pagely, and I think WP Engine is a close second).
Next, I created an editorial calendar and stuck with it. It makes a huge difference to schedule your posts in advance and promise your upcoming enticing content.
I now post in-depth articles every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
To help keep myself accountable, I started a weekly inspiration post that publishes every Monday and lets everyone know what posts are coming out that week. I write and schedule those a few weeks in advance. When I fall behind schedule (as I am this week), I know I have to deliver that juicy “How I Tripled My Traffic” post I promised – no matter what!
Before September ’14, I spent a ridiculous amount of hours writing guest posts for other sites, and now I see the error of my ways. Don’t get me wrong – guest posting is still a great way to connect + collaborate in the industry, and I very much enjoy sharing info with my favorite creatives on different sites, such as Going Home to Roost. When I write for her, I’m not in it for the traffic; I do it for the camaraderie.
That said, there’s an old school strategy that’s becoming somewhat of a myth: guest posting will introduce you to a new audience and grow your site. That used to be very much the case, but unless you get onto a blog that boasts hundreds of thousands of readers and avid followers, it involves much more giving than receiving.
For example, a single one of my guest posts generated over $800 worth of income and ad revenue for another blogger in just one month. Over time, it’s made thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars … and I never saw a penny of it. People poured over the article, yet I never got a spike in referral traffic. Readers recognize me from that story and write me questions through my Etsy shop, but most of them don’t even look close enough to realize that I have my own blog full of similar, quality content.
In other cases, I’ve dedicated time and energy to connect + collaborate with bloggers who appear popular and influential online … only to find out that people aren’t really listening to them. For three years, I longed to guest post for what I believed to be a major industry blog, and when I finally got my chance? I wrote fabulous, in-depth articles that resulted in less than a handful of referral clicks.
That’s why increasing the quantity and quality of your posts for your own site is a better long-term strategy. Share your links freely, write teasers and summaries for others, but save your best work for your personal domain.
You can use your marketing energies however you like, but for me in 2015, there’s NO PLACE like Pinterest. In the last few months, I’ve studied how to write headlines and create images for Pinterest so that my articles will go viral. I’m so excited for what’s in store for my new marketing strategy + my Pinterest account, I can hardly contain myself!
Investing your marketing energies into a Pinterest account is equivalent to investing your money where it can accumulate compound interest. It’s a long-term strategy for growth, and each pin continues to pay out over time. I challenge you to name one other social media account that promises the same!
>> Here’s my Pinterest strategy. << I sure do hope you’ll use it.
More Frequent Newsletters
Finally, with an increase in content, I felt justified in upping my newsletter schedule from monthly to bi-weekly. In most bi-weekly issues I’m sharing more than I used to share all month!
In the last three months, I also saw a huge spike in email subscribers. Because I use Aweber for this blog’s email list, I get charged more the higher my subscriber count. Therefore, I need the list to return on my investment somehow, and the extra traffic and ad clicks (from increased newsletter mailings) help to neutralize the cost.
And that is the play-by-play! One of my goals for 2015 is to triple my traffic a second time by continuing to invest in these strategies. If you implement any of the above (or have something else that works that you’d like to share), please tell me about it in the comments below. Here’s to your success,
I love reading your success stories.
My question is, I’ve had a blogspot blog since 2008, and I’d hate to leave it. I don’t like my newish WP blog looks and I love the GFC and history my blog has. I have a link to it on my website.
What do you think about keeping blogspot this way? Is it helping or hurting me?
Hi, Linda! Blogspot is a Blogger site, I’m guessing? It’s like you’re speaking another language to me – I had to look up both “blogspot” and “gfc” – And I still don’t know what gfc means! 🙂
It’s important to keep your site modern + visually appealing. The audience you’ve built since 2008 (impressive, by the way) probably don’t mind the look because it’s you & they’ve grown to love you. I guess I would track my rate of growth; as long as it’s still steadily increasing, you’re okay.
That said, a blog with the history and following you mentioned has the potential to be exceptional and an industry leader. Is “okay” enough when you could be growing leaps and bounds?
Thank you for sharing your tips…I love pinterest but don’t have much luck with my personal content there. Still learning!
Pinterest is a place that leaves millions of clues for success. Watch + learn from what people repin! There’s definitely a learning curve, but it’s so exciting once you get the hang of it. Best of luck!
Beautiful post Lisa!
I love your strategies and I am already working on increasing my pinterest market. I am also engaging in instagram and loving it! that one is growing fast for me in the past month i have been using it properly!
also, to comment on Linda Blatchford’s question on blospot vs wp
Linda, blogspot is a free platform and with it comes the risk that blogspot will shut down your site without notice whenever they want. it has happened to several people I know with blogpost and blogger and wordpress.com(free one).
WordPress.org is the paid version and you can host it with pagely like Lisa, or any other host like godaddy, bluehost, etc etc.
The most important thing to know is that WP.org is your paid version, so you OWN your content and website! BIG difference from all those free blog sites like blogger, wix, etc.
Once you are on your own paid platform and hosting, you can design your site, posts etc like you like. noone can shut you down.
hope that helps.
Thank you, Lidys! That helps very much.
Lidys and Lisa,
Thanks for your comments. Yes, blogspot is free and I did the design myself a few years ago. They haven’t shut me down in 6 years, so I don’t think I’m worried about that.
FYI, I do have my own hosted WP site with the Mystyle theme at http://www.LinorStore.com.
If I want to be better than good, I think it would be best for me to focus on content, rather than design at this time. And, the same for my email newsletters. – I use mailchimp.
Appreciate the support and will write down think about a new blog design forthe 3rd quarter to reevaluate.
I’m usually not into blogposts about boosting your blog traffic in x amount of months, but I really loved this one! There are some quality tips in here and I had my suspicions about guest blogging already. Would it still be a good idea to at least get one guest post out there once a month or is it just a complete no-no? I’ve recently started to adapt more to Pinterest, because after seeing some bloggers blow up there I think that might be a great place to focus my social media efforts on. Do you also use Twitter and other platforms or is it all Pinterest? Anyway, thank you so much for sharing it all!
I’m really glad to hear you liked it. I loved writing it! I would never say never to guest-posting, but like I said, I think summaries and wrap-ups of your own posts (with links back to them) work better for your schedule than writing a complete story for someone else.
So, for example, I might write a guest post titled, “How to Find New Customers for Your Business” and take a point from this post, another point from the Pinterest traffic post, etc . until I had a “new” story based on recycled content. That way, you’re still putting your most valuable time + energy into your own domain.
As for the other social media, I only auto-post to Facebook and use it for groups. I find Twitter to be useful for networking. When I’m creating graphics, I always crop an extra one to add to my Twitter feed with a link (I find the links with photos generate more clicks). That said, I try not to spend more than 10=15 minutes anywhere else besides Pinterest. OH, and I’m having a terrible time developing an Instagram plan. I just find the whole thing time-consuming and awkward, though I see it working for others.
Thanks for your comment + question!
The repurposing your own old content idea is actually pretty brilliant. I am so going to use that! And yeah I know what you mean with Instagram. I basically just take a picture of my workspace of the day or something else work related, slap on a caption and add a few tags. That seems to generate some engagement, so until I find the time to actually focus on instagram that’s what I’m sticking to. Thank you so much for your reply as well! (:
thanks for the tips! I have made a more conscientious effort to pin more from my blog posts and shop. Can you be more specific about how to use pinterest to its maximum benefit? I pin photos to my boards, but is there more that I can do to spread them or optimize the visibility?
Here’s my complete strategy for Pinterest exposure. You can increase your Pinterest following to help your pins become more popular as well.
++ Also ++ look for group boards in your niche or field that are accepting pinners. I pin to a few group boards to help my pins spread faster. Thanks for your question.
Great advice. I’m testing out a few ideas of editorial schedules and have an entire rebrand in the works for 2015 – I’m just trying to make sure I don’t do it all at once like I want to haha
Thanks for your comment, Vanessa! I have the same problem with trying to do it all at once 🙂
Hi Lisa (Great name by the way) – Thanks so much for the blog post and yes Pinterest hit it on the head for me as that is how I found this blog post! Even though I have been blogging for “years” I have only just now started to focus on Pinterest as a great strategy to network with other bloggers. Thanks for the tips.
Thank you, Lisa! YES to Pinterest 🙂 I hope to see you there.
This is such a great post. I have just written two guest posts for other sites and was amazed at all the additional work they had involved with them. My posts are quite a reasonable length (both between 1000 and 1500 words) and had a large number of photos to go with them (they were travel posts and needed photos). I like the idea of guest posting for the networking opportunities it presents however I will definitely be reducing the amount of time I devote to them. Thank you for offering another view on them – it’s so good to hear from someone who doesn’t think they are the greatest thing ever.
Great article and page transformation! I’m new to blogging and I’m currently working on changing up my blog as well. Thank you for the tips.
I’ve got to say, the guest posting strategy has never worked that well for me on any blog I’ve had. I’ve had the same thing, just a lack of click through. I think it worked well in the earlier days of bogging, but I’m a bit like you – I’d rather keep my content for me. (Same as why I’m not planning on putting eBooks on Amazon, the margins just don’t do it for me – I’d rather make them free than earn $1.)
This is super super super helpful. Thank you for this. 🙂
Thank you, Nicole!
Being very new to blogging has placed many challenges my way. I have figured out many things on my own, but I have learned so much from bloggers like yourself. I appreciate this post and have already put the Pinterest information in motion. I look forward to reading much more on your blog.
Thank you, Tracy! I appreciate your comment; glad you’re here.
Thanks a bunch for sharing your success story. It was really nice to read & actually pretty interesting. I co-author a blog with my two cousins and we’re basically just starting out; we’ve been writing since early January. We are trying our best to steadily increase traffic but I have had the same struggles others have shared with Pinterest, I definitely don’t see it working for us yet. I’m going to take a look at your other post specifically about this. I’m not quite sure why we don’t have more people interested, maybe it’s because we’re so small right now, but I need to find a way to get us recognized! Have you ever done a co-authored blog and do you have any advice for working together to create a common voice but also have our own personalities shown through? Thanks so much!
xoxo, Sam @ http://www.diyjustcuz.com
I’ve collaborated on projects before, but we always try to let each creative have an individual voice. In other words, we don’t write blog posts together; we each write one and our combined talents and lessons become the new personality for the project. My advice would be just to make sure that each of you has a place to express your point of view, or you’ll start to feel like you’re working for something beside yourselves. Thanks so much for your comment!
I have to say that Pinterest is definitely a winner. I found you because of it and it has helped me gain new followers on my blog as well. Love the information you share and I’m blookmarking & repinning of course so I can come back and use this as a reference. Glad I saw your pin
This is a great article. Thank you so much. I was personally stressing about the need to guest post because I barely have the time to come up with post ideas for my own blogs! lol
So glad I can give that a miss and stop worrying about it.
Pinterest certainly seems to be hot at the moment so that’s where I’ll concentrate my time. After my blogs of course.
Thanks again 🙂
Thank you so much for these tips! I’m new to blogging and I’m loving learning all I can! I found this post on pinterest (great image btw) and I’ll def be exploring more of your site now!
Thank you so much for this post. You’re speaking my language. I’ve blogged since 2006 and have often felt like I’m swimming in the wrong ponds. I call myself niche-less, but the reality is that I’m a creative blogging about life as I see it. Slowly my readership is growing as is my influence, but I find myself asking what the next step towards success is… but I’m asking all the wrong people since they don’t quit get life as a creative. Looking forward to following up with some of your other links. Thanks again for sharing your road to success.
Thanks for sharing this! As a new blogger I am find that I can’t read enough about how to get more efficient!
Thank you so much for this post! So informative and helpful! I found your article via the Southern Blog Society that I most recently joined! I hope to meet you and chat at the #SBSCon this June!! I look forward to following your site!!
this is super awesome as I am just about to update my website again and my designer suggested WP engine which I’d never heard of but this gives me confidence to move forward with it!! the guest blog post thing, totally agree, 100% kind of waste of time.
Thanks for the amazing post! I’m starting to really dive into my blog and produce better content and this was a great way for me to learn more about growing my blog!
wow!!! gosh thank you so much…. I’m totally inspired..and I haven’t been for a while…t’s been a serious challenge for me to do this blog thang… You see, my husband is the web-designer and I am the content provider and well, as you can imagine… there is a whole lot we don’t always see eye to eye on… I had to take a break, because I was ready to just stop it all together… I am a momma of two, and am a worship director/fulltime and I’m trying to do this blog thing,.. Other than the challenge of working with the hubby, getting plugged into the “blogging” culture and building a following has been super tough too. Thanks for these great suggestions! #workingthroughthelackofinspiration #inspiteof #stilllearning #stillgrowing #trulygrateful #begginingblogger
Hi Lisa. I totally agree with you. Instead of writing guest posts I use Google Adwords keyword tool to find really long tailed keywords to write an article around. I use the keyword in the title, description, two or three times in the content and as the name , title and ALT tag of the image(s). This creates content on my site that is interesting to my potential customers and glass lovers and gets me traffic straight away as there is not much competition for the keyword I chose.
Anna @Boha Glass
Thank for these advices which are quite different from those I already heard 😉 But where do you find the time to write 4 posts a week ?!!! I write 2 and it’s already complicated… Are you part-time or do you write during the weekend ?
Good luck for your 2015 goals !
Awesome post. Thanks for sharing the steps you took to increase your traffic. I’ve recently discovered the benefits of using Pinterest. In fact, I didn’t realize until a few months ago that most of my traffic was coming from Pinterest referrals. Now, when I post, I try to make my images more Pinterest friendly.
I’m really excited to read your post about increasing traffic with Pinterest. I know it’ll be good!
Thank you this is so helpful. I’ve been really stuck trying to find something like this.
It was so helpful.
I definitely see that pinterest is a great place for bloggers to get their content seen and traffic to their sites.
My weak Point is putting out content consistently. I like your idea of pre planning your posts.
I am going to work on that.
Thanks for sharing this. It’s always great to see how such seemingly simple things can really go a long way to expanding your reach!
Thanks for sharing! A few things assured me I’m on the right path but some provided me some fresh ideas!
WOW! This was great information to read. Thank you for putting yourself and your information out there for everyone. After reading the info, I was encouraged and inspired! Just what I needed for my super new blog!
Your Pinterest marketing strategy is obviously working as that is how I have stumbled across your post.
I love your writing style when compared with other bloggers, who can seem brash and bragging, your style is one of inclusion into your story and development and something I hope to be able to do my self. I will certainly be subscribing and can’t wait to read more.
Do you think it is more beneficial to concentrate on one social media outlet as a strategy or try and spread the net wider?
I always recommend picking 2 social media outlets to focus on. Thanks for your kind words and best of luck xx
Hi! Thank you for the great post! I am working on gaining an initial following so I’m eating up these tips.
Great tips. I am kinda new to the pinterest bandwagon, but i just drafted an experiment for the next month using tips i read from other pinterest growth posts. Let’s see how that goes.
I don’t know who you are, but I could kiss you! So much agonizing and analyzing over guest posts and from my research it seems as if guest posting isn’t quite the holy grail, but what I didn’t understand is why NOBODY was admitting it! In fact, everyone was endorsing the process of guest-blogging so I felt like I was missing something. What do these people see that I don’t?
Your take is honest and refreshing to see first-hand EXACTLY how guest blogging worked for you (or didn’t). I still think it’s valuable but only for bigger blogs like Inc.com or Entrepreneur.com (and even then – lots of shares, but I don’t see the correlation when it comes to actual traffic). Thanks lady 🙂
Great info! I recently started a lifestyle blog (as in almost 2 weeks old!) with the goal of making it my primary source of income. I’ve been researching everything I can from affiliate marketing to increasing blog traffic to make sure I stay on goal so this was a great resource for me! Thanks for sharing 🙂
So glad I came across this article, however, it comes the day that a guest blog post I wrote for someone else’s site, was published. I am trying to get into freelance writing and VA services and I have read that posts published elsewhere than your own site is good for writers. I would imagine both points have merit, however, I now wonder if I should have followed my gut and posted it on my own blog since it is one of the most informative posts I have written. Live and learn, I suppose. There is a lot of that to do in freelancing.
Wonderful post. I noticed a huge difference in when i used pinterest for my blog. And having a schedule for your blogg is huge. I sit down at the beginning of the month schedule and brainstrom topics. I gotta switch from blogger to wordpress omg its a pain to get my website how i want it.
Thank you for sharing your tips and experience. I just started my own handmade Boho pillow line myself and just launched my website http://www.brunna.co , I love your old post about growing our customer base outside Etsy, it really inspired me to put my pillows on my own website. Will keep learning from you and keep up with your new posts !