The 4 Biggest Myths About Growing Your Blog Traffic

blog traffic tipsJust last week, I received this email…

Hi Sue,

I started in my blogging world pretty recently and I just need to increase my traffic!!

Thanks for your tips.



I get similar emails every single day. And it makes sense. No matter the reason you started blogging; whether it was to make wads of cash, chronicle your amazing life or just entertain people; you need people to actually read it.

So you need traffic. Not just any traffic, but quality traffic – people who are actually interested in your blog.

Would you like to know how to get more traffic and how I’ve been able to drive 1200+ readers a day to my site?

What You Will Learn Today: 

  1. How to create a blog design that increases readers and subscribers (think effective, not pretty)
  2. What blogger outreach is and how it can get you traffic from influencers in your niche
  3. How guest blogging can drive over 1,000 readers to your blog with just one epic post
  4. How to effectively promote your blog posts to get the best traffic results

Ready to get started? Let’s get to it!

Myth One: Your Blog Design Doesn’t Count

Whether you know it or not, the design and set up has A LOT to do with how many people read your blog, and how many of them become subscribers.

Consider this: When you visit a blog that has too much going on, too many ads in the sidebar, font that is hard to read, too much use of flash players … do you want to go back and read that blog often? Probably not.

An effective blog design should present a professional image. It can still be fun, but it shouldn’t be overwhelmingly crazy. That just turns readers away. So while you are trying to make money with your blog, it’s best not to place too many ads on your site.

Beyond that, choosing a busy design or hard-to-read font also drives readers away. Easy on the eyes doesn’t have to mean boring. You can have the best of both worlds. Also, make your blog easy to navigate, with choosing a menu that is easy to read, and simple to find.

And one more thing, if your goal is to turn your traffic into subscribers, try placing your opt-in box right smack at the top of your page. If you take a look at my blog, you will see a feature opt-in on every page. This is very strategically placed. Feature opt-in boxes covert 5% to 10% of your readers and a sidebar opt-in tends to convert maybe ½ of 1%. Huge difference! (Jon Morrow and Yaro Starek taught me this trick)

Myth Two: I’ll Just Write Great Content

The next step in getting tons of traffic is blogger outreach. But what exactly is blogger outreach?

Blogger outreach is basically building blogger relations, preferably with prominent bloggers in your niche. The end goal is to connect with them so you can eventually guest post on their blogs (why this is important is coming up in the next step.) It can encompass many things, but let’s start small.

Make a list of 10-20 prominent and influential bloggers in your niche. You are going to approach them, but in a systematic manner.

  • Join their lists, if you haven’t already. This will give you a better idea of who they are and what kind of posts they write.
  • Comment on their blog posts. Write thoughtful comments on each of their blog posts to get their attention.
  • Share their posts. You have their attention, now drive it home. Share their posts on all your social networks.
  • Link back to their posts. In your own posts, link back to their blog posts. Write a short, complimentary email to let them know you linked to their blog.
MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU  4 Easy Ways To Get Traffic For New Bloggers

Continue building this relationship until you feel you have connected with them enough. Make sure it’s a minimum of 3 weeks.

Now that you have built up a good rapport with those proficient bloggers, it’s time to use that relationship to your advantage.

Myth Three: Guest Blogging Is Dead

While it’s a good idea to have great content on your blog, it’s an even better idea to reserve your best content for other blogs that already have a lot of traffic and subscribers. You want to use their authority and loyal readership to boost your own traffic. 

Start with the bloggers that you have connected with. Since you are familiar with their blog, you should have a pretty good idea of the topics they write about and which posts their audience loves the most. 

Send the blog owner an email saying how much you love their blog and that you would like the opportunity to do a guest post. Suggest several topics that you feel will fit the overall tone of the blog. Try to send at least five of these emails each week you’ll be sure to get a couple asked post opportunities soon.  

Once your pitch is accepted, take your time and craft a great guest post for the site. This is your opportunity to get the attention of a larger audience. Make sure you include your byline with a link back to your site. If your goal is to get subscribers, make sure that the link goes directly to a landing page so you can capture email addresses. 

Myth Four: I’ll Just Stick Up My Posts On Facebook

Now that you have strategically posted on other blogs, you have to make sure you promote the heck out of those posts, as well as the posts on your own blog. 

How do you promote your posts effectively? Here are some ideas: 

  • Send an email to your subscriber list
  • Post a link on your social media accounts
  • Share it in any social groups you belong to
  • Send an email to your blogger outreach alliances and asked them to share your post on their social media networks
  • Alternatively, you can ask them to simply re-tweet, or delve deeper and ask them they could include you in a round-up post (if they write them)
  • Comment on blog posts that allow you to include a link to your newest post 

Wrapping It Up

That’s it. Four steps to help get you massive amounts of qualified traffic. I hope you now have a solid plan in place to get started, and that it will make a real difference in your traffic numbers. 

By following these four steps, you will grow your blog, make more money and reach the audience you were meant to serve. 

Let me know, in the comments, what has worked for you to drive traffic to your blog.

81 thoughts on “The 4 Biggest Myths About Growing Your Blog Traffic”

  1. [ Laughs ] Guest blogging is not dead; I will be doing a guest post for my friend, Brent, soon.

    Anyway, I like your website because it is easy to manoeuvre (I can easily find my way around it; which is evidence itself that the design of one's blog matters a lot).

    Yeah right! Facebook. The issue with Facebook at the moment is: that they are charging bloggers a fee to have their blogs boosted; no more free organic search.

    A call for action is most important; ask for your posts to be shared by others and many of them would grant you that wish.

    Thank you for another insightful post!
    Renard Moreau recently posted Would You Wear The Apple Watch?My Profile

    • Hi, Renard,

      Thanks for your comment about my design – I'm actually in the process of a redesign that I will talk about in a future post.

      You are so right – organic Facebook sharing is practically non-existent now.

      And, of course, a great call to action is key.

      I always appreciate your comments, Renard.

  2. You've brought me back to basics in my thinking, thanks Sue. Sometimes we just get so carried away that it's easy to forget the basic strategies which in the end are just sound blogging. I always get a spike in traffic when I guest post, but it's converting that spike which is important isn't it.
    Johanna recently posted 13 Blogging Tips for irresistible contentMy Profile

  3. Hi Sue,

    Really, you have busted some 'real' myths that have been doing rounds in the blogosphere. As you mentioned 'blog design' is one of them. I visit blogs and I often see people paying little to no attention on the readability factor which really turns me off! Some blogs look so stuffy.

    And look at your blog, I love it! It's amazingly beautiful- the color combination, readability factor and a lot of white space. All these factors do count and who knows it better than you!

    I enjoyed reading your post, Sue, thanks.
    Medha BN recently posted Definitive guide to create successful blog editorial calendarMy Profile

    • Hi, Medha,

      I agree – the basics of blog design are important. You don't need to spend a lot for a fancy design – just the basics of readability and good marketing conversion does the trick. (and thanks for the compliment!)

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment on the post.

  4. Great post Sue! Love it!!

    Totally agree with your list especially #1 and #2.

    I used to be that snob lady who just keep creating content and wait for people to come to me but I was wrong. My blog still looked dead and lonely.

    When I started building relationships with other people in my industry, the engagement on my blog started growing.

    • Hi, Pauline,

      You and I started out the exact same way – I just waited for people to come and see my content.

      Once I learned these traffic tips, both engagement and daily visitors rose significangly.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

    • Hi, Brigitte,

      If you drop me an email, I can give you a recommendation on the migration process.

      So glad you enjoyed the post!

  5. Thanks for this article!

    I used to think that to increase traffic all you have to do is spam a bunch of posts until Google sends some traffic in your direction. But recently I started networking and I have been receiving a lot more traffic just from blog comments!

    I'm working on a Taiwan specific blog and these tips are really helping to bring in more traffic.
    Timothy Torrents recently posted The Differences Between Teaching English in Taiwan and Freelance WritingMy Profile

    • Hi, Timothy,

      Good for you for networking and commenting! It really works, as you can see.

      Thanks so much for your comment.

  6. Hey Sue

    Great post here. I particularly liked your suggestions about how to do guest posting correctly. I remember awhile back I got a guest post request from someone I was familiar with through Triberr. Nice guy but clearly had no idea how to approach it…generic email. No addressing me by name, no referencing of the blog,etc… I didn't take it personally but I did take the time to let him know he probably would want to not do that anymore because that is a pet peeve of many bloggers.
    kelli recently posted Law of Attraction and Resistance: Lessons from My Two Hellish Weeks of One Trigger after AnotherMy Profile

    • That was very nice of you to do, Kelli. Most bloggers would just delete the email and he would have no idea what he did wrong in that guest post pitch.

      Jon Morrow's editor, Glen Long, was telling a group of us that only 2% of the guest posting requests he receives on Boost Blog Traffic are personalized. If a blogger can just write a personalized pitch, they are head and shoulders above the other pitches that influential blogger get.

      I appreciate your comment!

  7. Hi Sue

    Great mythbuster post! These are the things that every new blogger must take note of. Every point is essential.

    Feature box is the best way to convert traffic. I have also seen a huge difference after using it. As you said, it has to be effective rather than being pretty. I don't get too much time but I am trying to communicate with fellow bloggers. You just cannot do without it. And I have a guest post accepted on Problogger! Let's see how it goes.

    Thanks for sharing these tips, Sue. Will share it surely.

    Neil recently posted The 5000 word plus ULTIMATE guide for getting more and better commentsMy Profile

    • Hi, Neil,

      ProBlogger – whooohoooo! Congrats! That will get you traffic. I recommend the link takes them to a custom landing page saying "Welcome ProBlogger Readers". That works really well.

      I definitely did some mythbusting today – I was watch MythBusters on TV with my grown son last week when I thought of that title πŸ™‚

      Appreciate your comment and I'll share your ProBlogger link.

  8. Hi, Kaushik,

    Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

    Guest posting and lead capture afterwards is super important and works really well.

    I appreciate your comment, Kaushik.

  9. So true, Johanna! Converting that spike is important. I find the best way is to have a landing page that greets the guest specifically from that blog. "Welcome, Blogging Wizard readers" for example.

    Thanks for your comment.

  10. Hi Sue,

    I recently read somewhere – the main things about getting traffic:

    1. Make your blog design simple

    2. Write for humans, not for search engines.

    3. Build quality connections.

    I also gave TOO much time to the design side of my blogs and websites. It's not needed, so if any new bloggers read this, learn from others' experience. It's not needed, so don't waste your time.

    I especially find blog designs annoying, which control what we can do and cannot do on their page. For example, I don't like the hello bar which doesn't have an option to close or tuck it on the side. Same thing with some popups. Some are annoying and they take up a lot of screen space, making you feel, you have a smaller computer monitor.

    I have got blog post offers from people I connected with. A mere wishing them on their birthdays got them to contact me, when they needed a writer. πŸ™‚

    I need to work on sending more emails and commenting more. I'm leaning on the tech side and starting a tech business, so don't seem to get time ATM, but trying to manage. I still feel email is the best social network, not saying we shouldn't use the others.

    In my younger times, I used to watch martial arts movies, including the ones of Jackie Chan, along with my friends. Many of them used to say, if Jackie learned well what even one of those martial arts masters taught, he would have been a greater martial artist and an expert in his field, a master.

    I would say the same thing. If we bloggers follow just one blog POST, not even a blog, and use all the suggestions made in that one post, like the suggestions you made in this post, we'll become better bloggers already. It's all in how much we USE the tips and suggestions.

    Thanks for the post, Sue. Sharing it.

    P.S: Thanks to a friend and you for recommending it, I loved using grammarly. πŸ™‚

    • I love your idea of wishing people Happy Birthday, Raspal. Something as simple as that means a lot to people. And we have all gone down the rabbit hole of blog design!

      I also like Jackie Chan and I'm old enough to remember Bruce Lee. Mastery is learning one step at a time and doing it consistently.

      Glad you like Grammarly. Thanks so much for your comment!

      • I wish I had seen Bruce Lee, but I was born after his death. I used to tell friends, I have the exact same height Bruce Lee had, so I'm his soul, born again. Must have seen him in my previous birth, though. πŸ™‚

        I had all his books then, and saw each of his movies 10+ times. His quotes are something to follow, and use in life. The difference in such masters and general people is just a simple word — practice. But, it's better said than done, isn't it?

        • He was incredible! Practice is such an important thing, but you need to practice correctly. A mentor or coach really helps with martial arts, as well as blogging.

          Thanks for your follow-up, Raspal.

  11. Thanks for this, Sue,

    I am so glad to learn that, in order to attract attention, I don't have to take my clothes off. Although, in my case, it would be a cry for help and an appeal for sympathy.

    I do hope you know that your sound advice and fine blogging example are among my most valued resources so this is just a very quick but sincere thank you.

    Kindest, Zara.

  12. Hey Sue,

    Great post here.

    While I appreciate you creating this post based on Marta's question, she has it all backwards. The goal should, and always should be, subscribers. But I guess you need traffic to get that, right?

    Anyhow, onto your post.

    Yep, I agree fully about blog design. Though I never was one to put a lot of ads and things in the sidebar, I watched what other people did and decided I didn't like it. And if I didn't like it, maybe there's others like me that don't like it either. Turns out I was right. Design is truly important and is something that shouldn't be overlooked.

    All of your points are spot on … and I'm taking a new approach to blogger outreach now and chronicling it. Perhaps create a case study of it or something. Because I never did blogger outreach properly before — so I'm going to try it out, like how expert bloggers say it should be done, and see what happens.

    Awesome post, Sue.

    – Andrew
    Andrew M. Warner recently posted How To Keep Your Readers Always Coming Back For MoreMy Profile

    • Good point about Marta's question, Andrew!

      I love the idea of doing a case study on your blogger outreach efforts. Let me know when you post that.

      Thanks so much for your comment.

  13. Great post Sue Anne! It took me about six months to get my blog off the ground. My biggest asset was Google Plus since I had about 10,000 followers at the time. Then I joined Triberr which helped a ton.

    I personally have only ever done one guest post with Curatti but that will increase. Building your own Private blog network about a specific niche will help also. We have 10 places where we write about Panama. All of these locations link to each other and the content.

    If you need a boost to a particular article you can boost it on social. This technique could put your article in front of the eyes of influencers or possible customers. You can also run online ads, "not Adwords", to drive traffic which in turn boosts your website in search. Adwords is full retail, I never pay retail!
    Randy Hilarski recently posted 5 Reasons Why it Made Sense to Leave AmericaMy Profile

    • Hi, Randy,

      Great to see you here! The blog network, if done correctly and safely, is helpful.

      I like your "never pay retail" idea – I usually just use that for handbags πŸ™‚

  14. Hi Sue,

    Like Pauline Cabrera, I too thought that people would just find my blog. Wrong.

    With the help of people like yourself and Adrienne Smith, I have learned just how important blogger outreach is and how fun it can be to make new connections and build friendships. I recommend it to anyone. Bloggers are lovely and generous people when you take the time to get to know them.

    Guest blogging is something that I have been wanting to do for ages. Finding the right subject to pitch is what is holding me back. I shall definitely take on board your advice and get determined to get out there and give it a go.

    Thank you for such a great post

    Jo recently posted #DearMe – Letter To My Younger SelfMy Profile

    • Hi, Jo,

      That's so great to hear! (I also love Adrienne Smith)

      You are a great writer and guest blogging will help you get more loyal readers and new subscribers. Pick complementary niches – parenting blogs, mommy blogs, writing blogs, etc. Think outside the box πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much for your comment.

  15. Hey Sue Anne,

    Another great post I see, continuing to provide your audience with the answers to their questions. Getting traffic to their site is the biggest issue I hear as well but they definitely need to focus on the quality traffic and not just be in awe of the numbers.

    Boy do I agree with all of these myths you've addressed. For anyone who thinks the look and functionality of their site isn't important will soon learn if they haven't already. As you know I'm in the process of working on mine too and I want to personally thank you for the part you've played in this too.

    I've never guest posted on a blog that literally drove a bunch of traffic to my blog but that's my fault. I believe I have a certain writing style and it's not appropriate on most big blogs so I never ask to participate. You're going to be very upset with me too but I've turned down a really well known blog that's approached me three times now to guest post for them for this very reason. I'm just not comfortable because of the type of readers that they have so these types of things I know hold me back.

    As you can tell, even I have more work to do on me. Maybe I'll get to that place but for now I'm really happy with what I've achieve and I really see bigger things coming this year as well. I've come a long way baby! πŸ˜‰

    ~Thanks Sue, you rock it my friend.

    Adrienne recently posted HELP: Why Adrienne Smith Needs A RebrandMy Profile

    • Hi, Adrienne,

      Thanks so much for your thoughtfully written post! I'm excited to see the upcoming changes with your site and your brand.

      Guest posting is important but it's also important to have a good "fit" with the blog audience you want to write for. If that particular blog isn't the right audience for your style of information, you are making the right decision to not spend your valuable time writing for them.

      We have both come a long way and are still growing and learning, which is the key to a successful life.

      Thanks again,

  16. Sue I am a new blogger.I have followed a number of blogs over the years

    and one question I would have in regard to adsense is what about the many bloggers, many

    highly successful and high earners that use and swear by adsense on their blogs

    John Chow being among the top.

    I love your blog and I have learned so much from you.I read just about everything you write


    Roger .

    • Hi, Roger,

      Thanks for being a loyal member of the Successful Blogging Team! I so appreciate it.

      Adsense is a double-edged sword. When you are a newer blogger, it's not worth the little bit of money you'd make. The traffic you would need is very high. Jon Morrow's blog had a great post on it by Sarah Peterson today. It will totally explain why ads aren't the best way to go for authority bloggers.

      Thanks for your question today.

  17. Good tips. The whole process works together. Each supports and enhances (or detracts). Good marketing without lousy content or design doesn't sustain. Good content without good design will have people consciously and subconsciously devalue your content. When it all works together it build a system that leads to more and more readers who value reading your content.
    John Hunter recently posted Finding an International Business Bank as a Digital NomadMy Profile

    • Hi, John,

      You are so right – each step is part of a process that works together to build a system.

      Thanks for your insightful comment!

  18. Hey Sue,

    These are some easy to follow tips that we all can start implementing. There's a couple of things that I'm missing. I'm missing an opt in form at the top of my blog and I've only done one guest post (which I'm proud of) so far!

    But i have been pretty consistent with the rest. It pays off when you put these tips into practice. You just have to have the patience and check your metrics from time to time!

    Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a great weekend!
    sherman smith recently posted 5 Hypnotic Elements To Write An Effective Call To ActionMy Profile

    • Hi, Sherman,

      Consistency is the key, right?

      The feature opt-in box converts 20x better than a sidebar opt-in box. It's a huge difference and you may want to try it on your blog.

      Great work with the guest post! Thanks so much for your comment.

  19. Thank you, I have been praying and looking for ways to build my blog. I love helping others anyway so these ideas are great. I am excited to get started and see results!

  20. Hi Sue Anne

    It is very common nowadays to go mad for creating awesome contents and forget about rest of the blogging chores.

    Actually people are much upset after a few shocking changes in search engine rules to lift pages that is why it created confusion everywhere.

    Content creation is part of the blogging and not whole of it. This needs to be fully cleared. ]

    Earlier guest posting was availed above its potential while now it is being neglected by many though it will remain wonderful to bring traffic. Yes for back linking it is not as effective as it used to be earlier.

    Thanks a lot for sharing such an awesome post on this important topic.
    Mi Muba recently posted You And Be A Money BloggerMy Profile

    • You are so right, Mi. "Content creation is just part of blogging"

      Thanks for taking the time to comment today!

  21. Hi Sue Anne,

    I found this post informative and I agreed that instead of focusing only on content creation we blogger should focus on other things that matters a lot to boost our blog traffic. Hope will have more from tips from you and thanks for following on twitter

    Thanks and I hope you have a great weekend!
    Munawar recently posted Add Professional Dropdown Menu In Blogger BlogMy Profile

    • Good to see you here, Trent! Relationships are the key, off-line and online. We just forget that on a regular basis πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the comment,

  22. Hi Sue,

    I think you already know I'm in complete agreement with you. But if I may I would like to share how the principles you shared today changed my business and it started in June 2014.

    My very first strategy was to identify bloggers who serve the same audience that I serve but in a different way. I began connecting, offering comments about the topic that might enhance the conversation or offer a different point of view and then share it out.

    Of course my website had to be clean and professional and my content had to hit it out of the park. Otherwise, no one would care would they? I could share their stuff all day long and comment but if my site offered them nothing how would that be of benefit to them?

    Since that time I have been mentioned in well over 300 blogs, been a guest contributor on some great traffic sites, been published twice in and I'm now a regular contributor, I was on webinar with them, and I have written an eBook that is doing amazingly well on Amazon and has offered me the opportunity to be on three major podcasts and a radio interview on March 27th in Philadelphia (live and in-studio. Way cool huh?).

    It all started with the relationships I have created with bloggers of influence and now I get thousands of visitors a month and growing; as well as a potential blockbuster client (fingers crossed).

    Hope that helps explain how it is working for me Sue!

    Have a great week!

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted How Do I Separate the True Experts from the Pretenders?My Profile

    • I LOVE your story, Don! It shows newer bloggers just how important it is to start with a clean web design and blog commenting and guest posting. I had you as one of my Success Stories earlier last year.

      You are the symbol of a successful blogger! Thanks for your helpful comment.

  23. Love the school metaphor, Ryan! It's so very true – some beginning bloggers expect quick success for just putting a blog up on the internet. It takes time and patience to get the equivalent of a B.S. degree in blogging.

    Thanks for your comment and enjoy Bali!

  24. Thanks for sharing your four totally excellent tips Sue Anne!

    I definitely need to test strategy # one, because if you, John & Yaro say it works, then that's definitely good enough for me!LOL!

    And I too am a big fan of Yaro's teachings as well! And I used to be a member of the "blog of dreams school" that thought, ' if I write it they will come!" Boy was I ever wrong!LOL!

    So thanks for sharing your four spot on tips! You just hopefully prevented another newbie blogger from going down the wrong path!

    And ultimately quitting, out of total frustration!
    Mark recently posted How Top Local Businesses Rock Email Marketing Without Relying On Their Websites To Do So! Part TwoMy Profile

    • Hi, Mark,

      Oh, yes, the "blog of dreams"! Write it and they will come. We've all tried that, right?

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Hi, Raylene,

      WhoooHoooo! Good for you for starting to guest post.

      It really does work and it gets your name out there as an expert. All kinds of good stuff comes to you from guest posting and following the other tips.

      Thanks for letting the Successful Blogging Team know about your success.

  25. Hey Sue Anne,

    Yet again another great bookmark worthy post. Loved it.
    That’s great! Glad to know such information.

  26. Absolutely! From the content to the layout and design, a blog should accurately portray your brand message while keeping readers continuously interested and loyal.

    Getting involved in blogger outreach campaigns, participating in the social media channels and getting engaged with your audience can add that human face to a blog.
    Worli recently posted Give Your Amateur Blogs a Professional OutlookMy Profile

    • Hi, Worli,

      Thanks for agreeing about the design and outreach. They are both so important so that you get more 'eyeballs' on your site, right?

      I appreciate your comment.

  27. Hi Sue,
    I got here via SBO. Great post! I did everything wrong in the beginning but things had already really started turning around before I discovered Jon. However, following his advice, they've grown substantially more.

    Here's What Has Worked For ME
    1) I worked with a wordpress expert who whipped the blog into shape and showed me how to do the SEO. Oh, I still write for people. Just a discreet keyword with a link works nicely. Google who I hate for every other reason makes up for the hefty load he sends my way.
    2) blogged consistently 2-3 times a week
    3) found my unique and oft-humorous voice–I's a funny gurl.
    4) super, duper helpful with tons of info that people are thirsting to have! I DO give the store away. But what I've discovered is that I can give it all away and THAT is what makes them want my PAID help! Who knew?
    5) I use pinterest to drive traffic to my blog – pretty pinnable images. Oh my, oh my. I need to do more of them! They work like magic!
    6 visually appealing– great photos

    And then everything else you said except for the guest blogging. I was already too far into things to start over. I'm gaining 25 subscribers a day and averaging close to 4,000 page views a day. Last Sunday, I broke 5k. A year ago it was 120 page views a day. Next year? Who knows?

    Well, that's my story.


    Laurel Bern recently posted Laurel Bern Interiors is in Westchester Home Magazine!My Profile

    • Wow! You are doing great, Laurel! Good for you.

      And thanks so much for sharing your story with the Successful Blogging Team.

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