How To Increase Blog Traffic And Gain Subscribers

Confession: I’ve worked really hard to build my blog since March 2011, and today I’m sharing numbers. After three years of consistently publishing a new post weekly, my blog now averages 1000 – 1200 total page views on Tuesdays, the day after I post. (My all-time high to date: 1700 total page views in a single day.) The rest of the week, total website page views average 700-900+. It varies, but right now I have 1350 email blog subscribers. Thanks to each and every one of you!

In this and upcoming posts, I’m going to share what I’ve learned about building a blog, as well as what I need to learn. One thing I know for sure is that it’s better for bloggers to build an email subscriber list and not encourage RSS feed followers. (Read this post to understand RSS.) Why? Because with an email list, you can use Mailchimp or another vendor to engage with readers – even promote them – and sparingly share blog updates and information about book launches or promotions that will help drive traffic to your site.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing lots of ideas designed to help increase blog traffic and gain subscribers. In this post I’ll share the first five of:

Ten Tips To Increase Blog Traffic And Gain Subscribers
1. Post evergreen content that people want to read
2. Share content across social media sites
3. Use automated tools to promote current and past blog posts
4. Engage the readers that you have – and hope that they will share, too
5. Balance building your blog with promoting
6. Repackage, repurpose existing content and remind readers about it
7. Include calls to action!
8. Ask for and physically collect email addresses
9. Host other bloggers and share guest posts with your blogging colleagues
10. Pay attention to SEO – even if it’s just a little bit

1. Post Great, Useful Evergreen Content People Want to Read
First and foremost, be consistent about writing and posting great, useful content that people are searching the web for. Your intent should be to build a blog that people will relate to and love to share. The core goals of a successful blog are to stay relevant, keep up with trends in your chosen topic range, and know where your readers are spending time online and what they want to know about. Problogger’s Darren Rouse says, “It’s not just about getting people to your site, it’s about sharing information and creating a reputation so people will respect your content when you do share it.”

Note: In August, 2012, I removed the publish date from my blog posts to help keep them “evergreen.” This way, Google won’t show a publish date in search results, and new Twitter and blog followers won’t feel they’re reading dated material. I also update existing posts to keep the information current.

2. Share Content Across Social Media Sites
I currently post to five social media share sites: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Stumbleupon, and Reddit. It’s frankly impossible to track exactly how many subscribers you may gain from social media shares, but the idea here is to promote your content to the widest audience possible in an effort to attract readers who would like to subscribe so they don’t miss a post. Twitter is king for driving blog traffic from tweeted links, and most of the articles I submit to Stumbleupon get a lot of page views. I’ve added a note specifically about Reddit below. Of course, more important than driving one-time readers are readers who return – and eventually subscribe.

Note: Don’t forget to include a “call to action” on each blog post that asks people to share the post across THEIR social media sites! In 5 days alone, Christine Nolfi’s guest post How to Get Your Book Reviewed was shared on Facebook by readers 55 times.

A note about Reddit
Reddit got my attention in July 2012 when someone shared Jane Steen’s Scoop.It! post and the article got 50+ blog views from Reddit in that one day. I think the key is which Reddit subgroup you post to. I’ve been experimenting with the subgroups WritersGroup, blogging, and selfpublish. Unfortunately, though some of my posts get tremendous traffic from Reddit shares, I can’t attribute a lot of new subscribers as a result. Darren Rouse mentioned in a Problogger webinar that he’s not interested in Reddit- generated traffic because the site’s user demographic is fairly young. Whatever the case, you’ll have to try it and see what happens for you. (Hi, Reddit readers, love you!)

3. Use Automated Tools To Promote Current And Past Blog Posts
Retweet past posts! I love the WordPress plug-in “Tweet Old Posts,” and still get blog comments from new Twitter followers who have found my site this way. I simply use the auto-prefix “On my #blog,” which I hope alerts my followers that it’s a past post. RTing older posts is also a service to folks who have written guest posts for me, and I never stop promoting them. You can also pre-schedule Tweets with post titles and links using Hootsuite or Gremln (although Gremln has discontinued its former free service that allowed users to pre-schedule tweets to go out “forever.”)

4. Engage The Readers You Have – They’re Gold
Your current readers are key, so serve them well. Do your best to empower subscribers by asking their opinion on post topics, inviting them to share their experiences and ideas in blog comments, and replying to those comments thoughtfully. Ask subscribers what they want to read about – “Leave me a comment with post suggestions!” Hopefully your posts will excite or inspire visitors so much they’ll want to share your content with their own networks, AND subscribe.

5. Strike a Balance Between Building Your Blog And Promoting It
Darren Rouse also advises bloggers to get off their blog and find readers. How? By understanding how their readers use the web, developing a presence on the sites they frequent – forums, etc – and being useful in these places. His hint: find out where your competitors are spending time. Don’t just leave links. Answer questions, build relationships, be generous with the goal to build authority. Goodreads is a great site for authors to interact directly with readers, and I’ll be working on this myself over the next few months. I’ve begged my generous friend Christine Nolfi to write a post that will instruct us in the ways authors can best use Goodreads. (Watch for this upcoming post!)

More Resources To Help Increase Blog Traffic
Seth Godin: How To Get Traffic For Your Blog 
Boost Blog
How To Write The Perfect Blog Post

My readers would all love to hear about the different social media shares and sites you’ve tried that have driven traffic to your blog. Please leave a comment and let us know what’s worked for you! And don’t miss the follow-up to this post:  How To Increase Blog Traffic And Gain Subscribers, Part 2.

Did you enjoy this article? I’ve much more information to share – don’t miss my weekly posts! Subscribe to my blog … it’s easy! Just enter your email address in the upper right corner of this page. I won’t share your contact information with anyone.

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51 Responses to How To Increase Blog Traffic And Gain Subscribers

  1. Mary Yuhas October 1, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Great post, Molly! I am continually searching to learn what is the best way to bring people to my blog. Thanks for sharing!

    • Molly Greene October 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

      I’m always searching too, Mary. I think it will keep us young, this “always learning new things” state of mind. Hope all is well with you!

  2. Amy Kennedy October 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    The first thing I’m going to apply to my own blog is to set a once a week posting schedule! I’m always thinking I have to post 3x a week — then, I get behind, then I feel guilty and the next thing I know I haven’t posted in a month!

    I love the idea of not having dates on posts and to repost older stuff! Brilliant.

    Thanks so much for this info.

    • Molly Greene October 2, 2012 at 11:23 am #

      Amy, the one thing that’s kept me sane is only posting once a week. I just try to make that one post the best it can be. Thanks so much for the read and comment!

  3. Anne R. Allen October 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Excellent tips. I’ve never used Reddit or Stumbleupon, so maybe I should start! Thanks. Even with a big, established blog like mine, I have to keep finding new ways to promote it. This is very helpful.

    I think the most important thing I’ve learned about building my blog is I try to visit all my followers blogs at some point, as well as the big informational ones. It’s that interaction you talk about that is most important.

    • Molly Greene October 2, 2012 at 11:25 am #

      Anne, I wish I had time to visit everyone’s blogs, and comment more than I do, and thank people for their support on Twitter and Facebook. It’s my biggest guilt trip. Thanks so much for reminding us that interaction is key!

  4. Susan Salluce October 1, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Molly, we keep crossing paths. Great article. I love having guests post on my blog, and then networking with others to share on facebook or pinterest. My “web guy” has created a few more share buttons lately that I need to master 🙂 Learning things/being afraid of them…oh it’s about fifty-fifty for me! I do love interviewing others, keeping things fresh, and trying to grab the reader’s attention with a theme. Come visit me on sipnsharewithsusan, please!!

    • Molly Greene October 2, 2012 at 11:27 am #

      Hi Susan! Amazing what a small world social media can be. Great to see you here – but wait, now, didn’t you promise me a guest post about Facebook?? :-O

  5. Teresa Denton October 1, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    Thanks so much for the tips Molly. I’m just starting out and still a little overwhelmed by it all. I will keep on trying and hope to build up my blogs readership in the future.

    • Molly Greene October 2, 2012 at 11:29 am #

      There certainly is a lot to learn, so give yourself breathing room. I tried to master one step or share or process and add it to my routine before I took on something else. Try that Teresa, and see if it works for you!

  6. kim savage October 2, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    Nice Job, Molly, as always! So glad I sparked a post idea for you…maybe next time we can put our heads together and MAYBE you can be my guest blogger??? There is a standing invitation. *Can’t blame me for trying, since you were the one to give me pointers as to how to make guest blog posts happen with YOUR wonderfully informative posts! 😀 (wink, wink)
    I can’t wait for the next couple of posts. I am working hard, with your help, to gain my following. Thanks for your kindness…it doesn’t go unnoticed!

    • Molly Greene October 2, 2012 at 11:32 am #

      My pleaseure Kim – and I wish I had time to write more guest posts becasue it’s a fabulous way to grow readership and improve SEO. Maybe in 2013. Thanks so much for your lovely comments and support, can’t wait to see you pass my blog stats!

      • kim savage October 3, 2012 at 5:27 am #

        Well, can’t blame a gal for trying! Thanks for all you do, Molly! Can’t wait for the next post from you.

        • Molly Greene October 3, 2012 at 6:52 am #

          Kim, thank you so much!

  7. ronnie October 2, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Thanks for sharing – especially your numbers. It’s very brave of you and very appreciated 🙂

    Thanks also for the great information.

    • Molly Greene October 2, 2012 at 11:35 am #

      Many bloggers have achieved so much more in less time, but I hope it’s a good indication of what you can expect from steady, consistent effort. Thanks, Ronnie!

  8. Chris Hill October 2, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Interesting post thanks Molly – my blog’s growing but it’s more by luck than judgement so it’s good to get some advice! I’m also on Good Reads but I don’t really understand how that works either.

    • Molly Greene October 2, 2012 at 11:41 am #

      A combo of luck and consistency pays off more often than a boatload of good planning – congratulations!

  9. Laura Zera October 2, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    You are so good at these helpful posts! I hadn’t given much thought to Reddit, but I think I will add it to my list and there will be some topics on my blog in the future for which I’ll want to reach a younger demographic. And as for removing dates on blog posts, I don’t know why, but it makes me feel so naked! Not sure if I’ll try that one or not…

    • Molly Greene October 2, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      Thanks Laura! RE: Reddit, I think the overall demographic of the average user tends to be about thirty-five, but that certainly wouldn’t apply to the age range of a particular subgroup, it would depend on the group’s subject interest … and removing the post dates made me feel FREE!!

  10. Belinda Pollard (@Belinda_Pollard) October 3, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    Ooh, I like the idea of that “Tweet Old Posts” plugin. I’ve often wondered how you were doing that.

    Perhaps I’m drawn to it because ALL my posts are Old Posts. ;-D (mustblogmustblogmustblog)

    Something that has worked out well for me this week was submitting one of my popular posts to the Carnival of the Indies. I’ve had some lovely new visitors to my blog out of it, and some subscribers too. The links for how to submit are at the bottom of this post:

    • Molly Greene October 3, 2012 at 6:38 am #

      Wow, Belinda, THANK YOU so much for the tip! I’m going to try it this weekend. And re: your question about the “popular posts” widget on the right side of my blog (which also helps keep traffic on the site), this came as part of my blog theme so it’s not a separate plugin. I bet there’s one out there though, try Googling “popular posts widget.”

      • Belinda Pollard (@Belinda_Pollard) October 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

        Thanks Molly, my theme has a recent posts widget but not one for popular posts. Darnit! There are lots of “popular posts” plugins, I’ll just have to give one a try. I like the way yours has those tabs.

        My appearance on Carnival of the Indies actually got me on the front page of google for the keyword “beta reader” (the topic of my post). I can’t say I’m very organised about checking my google position (who has the time??) but I was curious about the flow-ons from this particular spike, so I checked. It was only during the first flurry of visitors that I got to the first page, and after a few days it dropped back down again to page 2, but it shows how the right exposure can boost your blog.

  11. Denise Hutchison October 3, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    Hi Molly,

    That was a really good piece on getting blog traffic. I am going to re – read it and take some notes. i need all the help i can get at the moment. i am beginning my own writing, its finally started to flow and I’m not sure where to go from here.

    I have a domain name, but i have not got it hosted yet, not sure whether to use or someone else, any suggestions?

    i have written a couple of blogs/journals which i think are o.k. I am on a journey of Personal Development and i want to give my bloggers a birds eye view of this with hopefully an aspect of sharing and helping each other along the way.

    the basic thing is i want to write, i am very keen. if i just keep it to myself well ha ho , but i do have an ego in all this and i wouldn’t mind my name up in the lights with a big bank roll to boot ! hey i’m only human. but that aside, just doing the writing at this stage is pretty cool for me.

    hope you are well, all the best
    Denise Hutchison

    • Molly Greene October 3, 2012 at 6:51 am #

      Denise, right below my “popular posts” tab is a Category tab – select “How to Blog” and all my posts about setting up a website will come up. See if you find anything helpful. I’m a WP person and know nothing about using other website building tools, so you’re on your own there — best of luck to you in all you do, let us know your progress!

      • Belinda Pollard (@Belinda_Pollard) October 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

        Hey Denise, to add my 10c to Molly’s $1 😉 I tried SBI for a while, and even got as far as registering a domain name, but never made a site with them. That’s not really their fault. It just wasn’t the right time for me. I think they’re quite good at what they do, and the amount of the process that I did go through certainly taught me a lot about Search Engine Optimisation and the importance of quality, useful, content.

        But WordPress is so powerful that I use it for both my blogs that I finally set up. I registered the domain myself, then set it up on Hostgator following a tutorial I found online. There’s a lot of hosting options, of course. I went with Hostgator because someone recommended it to me, and I haven’t regretted it (yet). 🙂

        Hope you have fun with it!

  12. Rolando October 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Thanks for the information Molly. One issue that you point out is the the demographics of a site. When all is said and done writers want people to buy their books. I had a bad experience with where the demographics are slanted towards the 18-24 year old crowd. The situation at Reddit or Stumbleupon is the same as in Scribd or more. If one is promoting a book for a more mature audience (say 35 to 60) these websites seem to be by and large outsides one’s target audience.

    On the other hand in terms of blog traffic, posts that appeal to a younger demographic may be helpful for one’s blog. I may give Reddit and Stumbleupon a try just to see how it goes.

  13. JB Rowley October 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Very informative post, Molly.

    You always teach me something new. Today I have a bonus because it seems you have another post about the very mystifying RSS. I’m going to click on that link right now.

    JB It’s probably not ‘Really Sexy Sheilas’. 🙂

    • Molly Greene October 10, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      JB, sorry for the delayed reply … I just “got” your Really Sexy Shielas comment. So funny! I’m always late to the party!

  14. Denise Hutchison October 11, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    Hi Molly,
    I loved your post and I am just re-reading it, I really like to keep hold of useful reads and this is definitely one. I have one question at moment: if i tweet to my various contacts, individually, hi, please take a look at my blog ( & i attach the blog link ) is this a spam ? some guy wasn’t pleased to get my tweet and I really don’t want to get the tweeting thing wrong.

    hope you having a really cool day. xx Denise

  15. Dragan Palla October 13, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Hi Molly,

    All 10 tips are great and worth paying attention to. However I would single out #1 because content is what people are seeking out. Without interesting and engaging content they won’t come back for more. Returning visitor/buyer is the most valuable in (online) business.

    Thanks for the great post.


    • Molly Greene October 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      I agree, Dragan. Your content has to deliver, the rest is just gravy. Welcome, and thanks for the read and comment!

  16. Kristal Hollis October 13, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Hi Molly,
    I recently launched my blog. Your post is insightful and timely.

    • Molly Greene October 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      Hi Kristal! Welcome to the wild ride that is blogging, so glad you found us here!

  17. Cathy November 3, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Hi Molly
    Really useful post and generous too, considering the time and effort it must have taken you to find out all this good stuff. I’m wondering about tone. I find the constant enthusiasm of blogging a bit wearing. I’m not getting at anyone. I admire people who are enthusiastic and I am sometimes, but not always and it’s important to me to be real. How do you strike the balance?
    Cathy x

    • Molly Greene November 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

      Hello Cathy! Thank you for the thoughtful question! Yes, I’ve bled over the learning process it took to arrive at some of these posts, so HELLO! I appreciate you mentioning it. You raise a good question and I understand where you’re coming from. Frankly, the self-publishing process is frustrating and overwhelming and that’s just the truth. I vent about my state of overwhelm in my personal posts and keep it out of industry-related articles. That’s how I handle it. Hope this helps, and I’m so happy you found my blog.

  18. Regina Chapman November 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Hey Molly,

    I’m a little late to the party but I stumbled upon your blog just now through Twitter. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for these past days!

    I, too, struggle with wanting to make content more user-friendly on one hand, but trying to keep blogging ‘fun’ for ME – which is why I started the whole thing – on the other. I’m definitely going to try a few of your tips. Thank you!

    • Molly Greene November 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

      Hi Regina! So happy you found me! Your comment is pretty much why I blog – so happy if these posts help!

  19. Ryan January 4, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    hi Molly :-),

    happie to see that you ve worked patiently to build ur blogs.
    I actually worked on writing latest content and it generates overnite traffic but later goes u said it rite…”evergreen content” matters

    why you have not tried any ads in your there any reason for that ?


    • Molly Greene January 4, 2013 at 7:39 am #

      Good question, Ryan – I’m not ready to monetize my blog yet and I want to do it right when I do, something subtle. Evergreen content is the way to go!!

      • Thomas May 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

        “Evergreen content” simply nailed it…i shall remember them when I write my next blog 🙂

  20. krisna February 1, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    Hi Molly! Thanks a lot for the information. I’m going to try them for my blog.

  21. Rosey February 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Hi Molly,
    Wow, great tips you got here, I’m hooked! I am slowly building my blog, I want to be able to be a part of a blogging community where we can share links and comment back in each others post. Is there a blogging community you can recommend? Thank you!

    • Molly Greene February 13, 2013 at 9:24 am #

      Hi Rosey, so glad you found my blog. I can’t rec’d any specific “community” other than the unofficial one you grow/acquire by visiting and suporting like-minded bloggers. You can also join a group in Triberr or form one of your own. Hope this helps!

  22. Lori Draper February 15, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    I am trying to stay positive! I’m not a techno type, and I love to write my posts, but the whole finding followers has my head spinning! I’m going to follow your advice, though! Thanks for the tips!

    • Molly Greene February 15, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

      Lori, focus on great content and share across your social media platforms (that you continue to build) and followers will come!

  23. Stacy March 15, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Was an awesome post. Yes I believe in the continuance of learning and I do have tons to learn. Thanks for sharing some more good advice. I will be trying to use some of that good advice. Have a wonderful weekend.

  24. vinodh April 26, 2013 at 11:35 pm #


    I came here after seeing your amazon ebook on blogging.
    This is a very good post. I am buying your ebook.

    Hopefully It will be helpful to me though I am not an author.
    I am a programmer from india who doesnt know what to write in blog
    despite having more than a decade of experience.

    I thought that removing blog post date is not possible.


    • Molly Greene April 27, 2013 at 9:22 am #

      Hi Vinodh! Thanks so much for stopping by, and thank you for buying Blog It. Yes, it’s definitley a multi-purpose book that includes concepts that will work for every blogger. Let me know if you have questions after you have read it!

  25. Mauro D'Andrea May 27, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    Hi Molly, these are good points!

    I especially liked the point about balancing content production and promotion.
    If you just produce content, unless you’re an authority in your niche, very few people will read it.
    Too many bloggers think “build it and they’ll come”, but the truth is that you should bring people to your stuff.

    I think that a 50/50 ration should be good for most of your blog posts, even though some other bloggers suggest different ration – like Derek Halpern who advise about using a 20/80 production/promotion ratio.

    Thanks for sharing this post.

  26. Ahmed June 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    Good information. I been looking for ways to increase blog traffic !