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When I first started my blog, it was a disaster for months. And the only traffic I was getting was from Facebook group friends to ask for feedback about what I was doing.
In this post, I want to show you how my traffic literally “exploded” after months and years of staying stuck in low numbers. I want to share some key strategies and resources I used to help me get over 1 million views within a year.
This was after barely reaching 20k views after 2 years of blogging.
Let me show you where my traffic was throughout the first months of blogging…I mean…years!
My traffic was stuck around barely 100 views per day after a full year of blogging.
In 2017, you can see those pikes because I was starting to experiment with Pinterest and a pin went viral. Sadly, it died off quickly and I was back down again.
I was putting a lot of time into learning Pinterest but I wasn’t really sure what the best practices were. A pin would go viral here and there. But nothing sustainable. My images also sucked. My branding was all over the place……I had my images in different sizes, I had multiple fonts, used and re-used the same photos, blurred text. I had no Pinterest strategy and everything was all over the place…
Here’s an example of a very old pin and a brand new Pin. Notice the difference?
An older Pin from around 2018
A very recent Pin I created for the same post. (2020)
Here’s my traffic throughout 2018-2019, and my 2020 breakthrough!
I started my blog in May 2016 and it literally took me 3 years to finally make a breakthrough. But, that’s why I’m writing this blog post. I really do believe it doesn’t have to be the same thing for you.
I made so many mistakes that slowed down the traffic progress that I’ll also cover in this post.
3 Strategies That Grew My Traffic To Over 1 Million Views Within A Year.
I experienced fast growth after implementing these strategies. About 80% of my blog growth came mid-year. It wasn’t until around late summer 2019 that my hard work started to pay off. I implemented these strategies starting in April 2019 and you can see that slowly after that, my traffic started to grow exponentially.
I used google analytics to optimize my older posts
One of the things you should do right away when you start your blog is to link your website to Google analytics and good search console, I teach you how to do both of these things in the step-by-step tutorial of how to start your blog from scratch (it’s free!)
So here’s what I did… After years of blogging with barely any traffic from Google (I think the best I got was around 20-30 views per day from search engines), I learned a great trick that literally doubled my traffic in no time.
You do need to have your Google Search Console linked to your blog and also have it linked to Google Analytics (because this will allow you to track views from Google in Google analytics.
If you haven’t done that yet, no worries, just go to Google analytics, then Acquisition and Search Console and link your google search console account to GA. I know it sounds confusing, but it’s very simple…
- Set up your GA account
- Set up your Google search console account
- Link your google search console account to GA so you can access all the data in GA
I hope that’s clear.
So now that GA is tracking all the search engine keywords you are ranking for. You’re going to learn so much about how people are finding you and how to further optimize your posts.
Let’s say you wrote an article about how to make gluten-free blubbery muffins. And among the ingredients you used was coconut flour. You may be surprised to see that this post is actually ranking NOT for gluten-free blueberry muffins, but for coconut flour muffins!
So when people search for coconut flour muffins, your post shows up (but at the bottom of the page because you didn’t optimize for this keyword specifically).
So google is giving you this information and this is GOLD.
What you can do then is…further optimize your post with the keywords you are ALREADY ranking for…
You can change the title into Gluten-free, coconut flour blueberry muffins, add more coconut keywords in your post, change the image to reflect that it’s made from coconut.
And now, your post will start to rank even higher up, doubling or even tripping your views.
When you click on Landing Pages…You’ll get the top posts that are bringing you traffic, click on the blog title and you’ll get all the keywords you are already ranking for.
Don’t be surprised to see that you’re ranking for keywords you barely focused on. This is a great opportunity to go back and update the post with these keywords.
Here’s a screenshot of my search console once I did this.
Notice how my google traffic tripled as soon as I started optimizing my posts around September 2019. It takes time for google to pick up and index the posts, but you can totally see a slight increase in traffic starting October and mid-November.
I took my Pinterest strategy more seriously
After years of playing around with Pinterest, I decided to take things more seriously. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong or how to create professional pins. I signed up for this amazing course by Create And Go called Pinterest Traffic Avalanche.
This was the second Pinterest course I invested in. The first course was helpful but I plateaued and the course didn’t include advanced strategies. Pinterest Traffic Avalanche was affordable (considering I spent over $300 bucks on the first one), and I knew the creators were so successful in building their health and fitness blog.
So they didn’t start by teaching people about blogging. They actually built a successful Pinterest account not related to blogging. It really felt that all the courses were created by bloggers teaching others how to blog. It was a breath of fresh air to learn from these guys because they started with something different.
Since I was already established on Pinterest, I skipped through 1/4th of the course (the section of creating your profiles, boards, etc.) I already had those. The rest included brand new information!
I learned so many amazing strategies including interpreting Pinterest Analytics and also the psychology behind Pins, colors, images, etc. This was a great way to see examples too! They did an amazing job showing Pins that went viral for them and explained why they did.
I certainly recommend this course for anyone who wants to do well on Pinterest from the beginning.
Now here’s the thing that I feel I should mention that made a huge difference.
I started pinning less. And I started pinning manually.
This was almost the opposite of what everyone was doing or saying.
I have to be honest, when I decided to start pinning less and do more manual pinning, it was after hearing many people getting their accounts banned because they were pinning a lot.
So I figured…well if I just follow what Pinterest wants, I should be okay.
I’ve been pinning a maximum of 5 pins per day (some days 1-2). And I would just pin directly from the blog post.
I kept a spreadsheet of all my articles and I tracked the dates when I pinned. And my pins started to get way more engagement than I was used to.
Pinterest is a search engine. A lot of people think that by pinning a ton of pins each day is what works for Pinterest, but that’s actually not good practice.
Research keywords on Pinterest you can use on your pins, create fresh pins for your blog posts, and practice manual pinning here and there.
It’ll pay off!
I revived all my old blog posts
After spending my evenings inside Google analytics looking at my data and the best-performing blog posts, I decided to go check out these posts and…I was shocked at how bad they were. It was embarrassing…
SO many typos. Bad grammar. No images or graphics…broken code from old plugins.
The thing is…the best performing posts were actually my oldest. Because Google sees older posts are more authoritative, they tend to show more of those in the search engines. Same with Pinterest. (It’s a search engine, remember!)
So the posts I wrote 3 years ago when I was just starting out, with no clue on how to write or blog, were now showing up in Google and are the face of my brand and website?
I immediately rolled up my sleeves and got to work.
I made a spreadsheet of all of these posts, the keywords they were ranking for already, and decided to redo them.
I included new images, graphics, videos, fixed typos, included more keywords in there (naturally)…After doing this, these posts were longer and more thorough.
And Google loves posts that are written well because they only want to present the best results for their users.
This helped boost my traffic even further. People also loved my detailed posts so they started to Pin and share my posts more.
All of these actions compounded and resulted in more traffic for my blog, and the more traffic and shares, the more exposure and traffic.
I still create fresh pins for these articles over every 2-3 weeks and I keep them updated with new references or videos whenever I made a related video on my Youtube channel.
There are really no shortcuts to getting a ton of traffic. You do have to put in the work. Yet, it doesn’t have to take you years as it did for me. Once you apply these foundation strategies and focus on delivering amazing posts that your readers will love and share, you’ll start to get amazing feedback in terms of huge increases in traffic and revenue.