5 Unusual Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

11 min read

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5 unusual methods to drive more traffic to your blog.

The biggest challenge for bloggers?

Driving traffic.

You have no idea how many questions I get regarding this single issue – how, oh how do I, as a brand new blogger, drive traffic to my blog?

I hear you.

Not all that long ago I was in the same boat as you, wondering how the heck people are going to find me considering so many others were blogging in the same niche as I.

Fortunately, I found out about Pinterest early on in my blogging journey and was able to leverage it to grow my traffic and conversion. Conversion. Yeah, that’s a biggie. You see, just getting traffic on your site isn’t enough. You need traffic that will convert.

You know what the next big question I get asked a lot? It’s something along the line of–I get decent views, but no one subscribes to my email list!

You see, blogging success depends on a few things. Traffic is one of them, but traffic that converts is what it really takes to make a living from your blog.

In this blog post, I’m going to talk about 5 methods, other than using Pinterest, that will help you drive meaningful traffic that converts.

The reason I’m not going to talk about Pinterest is that I’ve already talked about it extensively throughout this blog. If you want to learn more about Pinterest, I suggest the following blog posts to get you started in the right direction:

In the rest of the post, I’m going to talk (briefly) about what you can do to increase your conversion rate. And then follow up by 5 slightly unusual methods for driving blog traffic.

Let’s start!

Content

A Brief Guide to Traffic Conversion

Different businesses calculate conversion based on specific criteria related to the business’ goals. Ideally, for most bloggers, this conversion comes down to sales, and, as far as I am concerned, subscription and shares.

In short, if a reader subscribes to my email list or even shares my blog post with their audience, I consider that conversion. Email lists are big because your subscribers are your biggest and most loyal fans. They’re the ones who’ll buy from you before anyone else does.

Social shares are also great because that way I get more eyeballs on my blog. And the more people come to my blog the more subscribers I’m likely to get, which eventually converts to more sales.

So, let’s see what it takes for a blog visitor to become a subscriber or to share the blog (posts).

1. A high performing, professional-looking website.

Your website carries more weight than you may think.

While I advise newbie bloggers not to get bogged down by blog design, or a fancy logo, it is important to have certain qualities when it comes to your blog’s design.

For example, you need a website that is user-friendly, fast-loading, easy to navigate, and doesn’t look like it was put together by a complete amateur.

For the sake of brevity, let me just tell you what you need.

  • You need a self-hosted WordPress blog. Sign up for SiteGround hosting (I highly recommend the GrowBig plan), then install WordPress. Here’s a tutorial for how to set up WordPress on SiteGround.
  • Get a good-looking, well-coded WordPress template for your blog. I have a few suggestions:
    • You can get the Astra + Elementor Pro combo. This is what I’m using on this blog. I have the free Astra theme, and the paid, Elementor Pro page builder plugin that I’ve used to design individual pages. This does take a little bit of know-how, and you should be willing to spend some time learning how to design pages with Elementor. YouTube has some great tutorials to get you started.
    • If you don’t have enough time to learn Elementor, Astra itself is a great template, and it has the capacity to grow with you and your blog. The base Astra theme is free to use, and sufficient when you’re pairing it with Elementor Pro. But if you’re not using Elementor, then I recommend getting the premium version of Astra, as that comes with a lot of bells and whistles. If you’re a brand new blogger in a budget, you can start with the free base theme, and then upgrade when you’re able to. Like I said, Astra will grow with you and your blog–that’s why I love this theme!
    • If you’re into feminine-looking, classy and elegant, soft themes, I suggest you take a look at the Restored 316 themes. They’re well designed and well-coded, and pretty easy to set up.
    • Also, any StudioPress theme is guaranteed to be of high-quality. If none of the above works for you, then I suggest you take a look at these.
  • Install the essential plugins to ensure top-notch performance. A list of essential plugins can be found in the same blog post I shared above for installing WordPress.

2. Blog posts full of value and actionable content.

People need a good reason to sign up for your email list. That reason, for most of us bloggers, lie in the quality of our blog posts.

Give value to your readers on each and every blog post, and share that which is useful, and not just for fluffs, or to post for the sake of posting.

The best advice is that which comes from your own experience. So, draw as much as you can from your experience, and for those topics that are outside of your experience, be a good blogger and do your due research before you write about them.

3. A useful lead magnet.

Just like you need to create valuable and useful blog posts, in order to get more subscribers, you also need valuable and useful lead magnets, in other words, free opt-in incentives to attract more subscriptions.

Don’t think that just writing blog posts and then adding an opt-in form asking people to join your list will do. I mean, there are plenty of bloggers and business owners who’re trying to get your audience to join their email lists. Why should they join yours and add yet another email to their inbox when their inboxes are already being bombarded with all kinds of things?

Give your audience something they want… something they need, if you want them to subscribe to your email list.

Last but not the least, listen to your readers/audience. Pay attention to their needs. Give them what they want and what they need. Not just what you want to give. There’s a difference. Learn to distinguish between their wants and your wants and find common ground. That’s the only way to get people excited about what you have to offer, and subsequently, convert.


And now, let’s look at 5 ways to drive additional traffic to your blog (aside from Pinterest. Remember, Pinterest is still the best platform for new bloggers to drive traffic from. Everything else I’m about to discuss in this post should be in addition to using Pinterest.)

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1. Create a Roundup Post

Want to get industry influencers to share your content?

Use flattery!

It’s simple, really. Create a roundup post. There are two ways that I recommend doing it.

1. Ask the industry leader(s) to answer one question.

Come up with a topic in your niche and a related question.

Then, make a list of industry leaders on that topic. Make a long list, at least twice the number of responses you wish to add in your roundup post. Chances are that not everyone will get back to you, especially if you’re a newer blogger or haven’t made a splash in your industry quite yet.

When you’ve compiled the list, reach out to each of them. Keep your email short; these are busy people, they don’t have time to read long emails. Craft a short but courteous email. Tell them who you are, share a link to your blog, and let them know that you’re writing a roundup post that your audience will benefit from. Then ask your question. Share other relevant information such as when the post will go live, by when you need a reply back from them, etc.

And then hope that enough of them respond.

A great example of a roundup post is this one from nichehacks.com on affiliate marketing.

Example of a roundup post from nichehacks.com
Example of a roundup post from nichehacks.com

2. Quote industry leaders.

As you can guess, as a relatively fresh blogger, chances are that not many will get back to you. They might, so it’s worth giving a shot.

However, they also may not.

When you’re a beginner in your field, it may be much easier to quote industry leaders, as opposed to asking them to write a unique response to your question.

For this to work, just like in the previous case, come up with a question on a specific topic. Then create a list of industry leaders on that topic. Do your research and collect the best quotes you can find on that specific topic (and a response to your question.)

It is best to stick to a short quote. And by short, I mean no more than 3/4 sentences. Also, make sure that you properly credit the author and add a link back to the original content (exact content, not just the blog or website. Link to the specific blog post or page or podcast episode or YouTube video link, or wherever you’re quoting from.)

Typically, for only a short 3/4 sentence quote you do not need to seek permission. So it’s much easier.

However, DO NOT EVER copy and paste an entire piece of content such as a blog post or any other medium. Only 3/4 sentences. If it gets any longer than, say, longer than five sentences, then it’s best to reach out to the individual and seek permission first.

But do remember, the reason we’re using this method as opposed to asking a direct question is that often these busy folks do not have time for smaller bloggers. So, if you ask for permission, you may not even hear back from them!

But if you only use a couple of sentences, then it should be OK even if you did not reach out to them and asked for their permission.

I also do not advise using anything other than a couple of sentences without prior permission. For example, do not use an image or graphic without permission, even if you give proper credits or share a link back to the original content.

Once you have compiled your list of quotes, send these folks an email and let them know that you’ve quoted them (again, no more than 3/4 sentences) in your roundup post. Share a link with them also. And then cordially ask them if they’d share a link to your post with their audience if they like your post and think it’d benefit their audience.

Pro-tip: In this particular case, when sharing a link-back to the original content, make it a do-follow link. 

2. Run a Giveaway/Contest

Many bloggers often run giveaways and contests to drive traffic.

The idea is simple:

  • Ask your audience to take a specific action (share a post, become a follower on some social platform, leave a comment to a post, etc.)
  • Taking the aforementioned action grants them an entry to win the giveaway (or a contest.)
  • At a pre-determined date, choose the winner of the giveaway or contest.

If it is a contest, then along with sharing a post or following you on some social platform, you’ll likely want them to do a specific task on which you can judge them (hence a contest).

The idea is to get as many shares as possible through this giveaway/contest. To maximize the impact, you can add more perks like an extra entry for tagging a friend to a post, or sharing the post on two separate social media platforms, etc.

One of my favorite blogs — A Beautiful Mess — does amazing giveaways. Take a look at their formats if you wish to learn more.

A Beautiful Mess runs amazing giveaways in their blog.
A Beautiful Mess runs amazing giveaways in their blog.

3.  Post on Quora

I don’t know why more bloggers do not make use of this platform, but it’s a hidden gem!

In case you don’t know what Quora is, it’s a platform where people get to ask questions or give answers to questions. It’s a public forum of a sort. Pretty much whatever niche you’re in, you’ll be able to find a discussion on Quora, I guarantee it.

I often use Quora to find what people are talking about in the blogging niche, what most people are concerned with, what their problems are. This gives me ideas for blog posts, allows me to see what people are struggling with and how I can help.

But there’s one other use for Quora that people often disregard. It’s the power to drive traffic to your blog.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Find your topic/niche.
  • Find questions in your niche.
  • Answer these questions with details (not a 3000-word blog post, but give enough value so that people are curious to learn more about what you have to offer.)
  • Leave a link to your blog (or a post if that’s more relevant to the question that was asked) at the end of your answer.

Also, when you create your Quora profile, make sure to mention what your blog is about/your specialty in the bio, and add a link to your blog.

Here’s one of my Quora answers that got over 200 views.

Leaving thoughtful answers to questions in Quora can be a great way to drive traffic to your blog.
Leaving thoughtful answers to questions on Quora can be a great way to drive traffic to your blog.

4. Repurpose Your Content

Different people like different types of content. Some people like to read blog posts, some like to watch videos, others like to listen to podcasts on their way to work when driving, or during a workout, etc.

The more you diversify your content format, the more traffic you’ll get.

The problem for us side-bloggers is to find time to create these different types of content. However, if you do have some time, repurposing your content is a great way to tap into new traffic.

You don’t even have to come up with unique content; just repurpose content you’re already created (such as a written blog post). Turn your blog posts into audio files, or make a video of your tutorial-type posts. Or just turn on the camera on your phone or laptop and record yourself talking if you don’t mind a bit of facetime.

If your blog posts tend to be mostly text-based, turning them into audio files can be as simple as adding a plugin (to your self-hosted WordPress blog). The Play plugin for WordPress is a great tool that can help you achieve this.

The Play WordPress plugin can convert your blog posts into audio files.
The Play WordPress plugin can convert your blog posts into audio files.

For videos, you can use any camera (built-in cameras on your laptop or mobile devices work just fine) to record yourself or use a screen-recorder app for recording on-screen tutorials. I like Loom – a Chrome browser extension that easily records your screen for free. Camtasia is also a pretty popular screen-recorder app.

5. Require Social Share for Unlocking Bonus Content

Just like you create content upgrades and offer them in exchange for subscribing to your email list, you can do the same in exchange for sharing your posts on social media. And the more people share your content, the more traffic you get by tapping into the audience of those who share your links.

The process of offering special content in exchange for social share is different from that of offering content upgrades or lead magnets in exchange for email list subscription.

For this, I prefer a tool called Social Locker. Using this tool you can unlock a downloadable, special discount coupon codes or a hidden page on your site, in exchange for a social share. It’s quite a potent method for driving traffic, one I’m considering applying to this very blog.

Using Social Locker, you can lock a content which unlocks only when your visitors share your link on a social media platform.
Using Social Locker, you can lock a content which unlocks only when your visitors share your link on a social media platform.

So, what do you think? Will you be using any of these methods to increase your blog traffic? Or maybe you have a trick up your sleeve for driving more traffic? If so, I’d love to know what it is! Feel free to share with me and other readers in the comments section!

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– 10-day FREE email course on how to start a blog, from choosing a niche to a clear strategy for making $1,000 per month.

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5 unusual methods to drive more traffic to your blog.


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