Something I love about blogging is the ability to continue to improve upon your game. I have said over and over again, the process of blogging is sometimes way more fun than the actual blog post that gets output at the end of everything. The design, the community, the social interaction – are all part of the blog just as much as the content is.
I love to write about blogging every now and then to encourage the new blogger that is daunted by this whole world. To be honest, friend, the world is pretty scary. It’s full of big intimidating bloggers, confusing HTML, and loudly voiced marketers vying for your attention. I don’t know why it’s gotten so complicated or big and scary. I guess in a world where everyone can have a voice (yay!), there are a lot of voices.
Recently, I became what in the world of blogging is “a big blogger”. I don’t think I have the following, fanbase, and girl crushes that other bloggers get. But, I do have 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 pageviews 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!
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 had my Trader Joe’s Menu Plan post go 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 Pinterest Pin-It Pro Plugin ($29 here) 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!
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. Right now my favorite group is this one for Creative Entrepreneurs. 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.
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. This has been huge in the sharing factor for each post. Key is removing stupid stuff that you’ve said!
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 Campayn.com. 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. If you are subscribed for my newsletter, I can’t wait for our new one coming out next week! Stay tuned!
Make sure you leave comments with tips of how you have upgraded your blog! I can’t wait hear your ideas.