Starting a blog is easy, writing content on it requires effort but getting traffic to your blog is a painstaking task, often presumed to be very difficult. In this post, I am going to share a one-on-one account with you about why getting traffic is so hard in the initial days of blogging. I'm also going to share what you can do to bridge this gap, reach the legitimacy point and get more traffic to your blog over time.
Blog Traffic in Initial Days
If you're a new blogger, seeing small numbers in the initial days can be very demotivating. But, to ensure that you don't quit mid-way, let me share an account of how the traffic grows in the initial days of blogging using an example of my first blog. These are the lifetime page views of my first blog:
If you notice carefully, you'll see occasional jumps in every month, apart from which the traffic has been growing at a very slow pace. What are those jumps? They're the times when my blog posts got featured on Google Discover. But, apart from them, growing the traffic till April has been a slow ride. Why is it so?
This is what a lot of industry experts call a Legitimacy Point, I've described this term in an earlier post on how many blog posts should you publish in your first month of blogging.
The Legitimacy Point is defined:
as the point at which Google starts considering your blog content to be legitimate enough to be shown to other readers like your blog visitors.
For my previous blog, this point got touched in several phases every month, but the most visible sign was in the month of April, when both my Search and Discover traffic started improving considerably.
As a new blogger, you must understand that reaching this Legitimacy Point is going to take time. But, there are a couple of ways in which you can fast pace your journey to touching the Legitimacy Point.
Touching Legitimacy Point
Those ways include:
a. Creating a Balance of Acquisition - If you want the organic traffic (the traffic that comes from Google Search) to grow, you should try creating a balance between your other sources of customer acquisition. There are three other sources apart from Organic:
Direct - When someone directly types the URL of your blog post or when the source of the traffic cannot be determined, it is called the Direct traffic. E.g. someone clicking on a WhatsApp link to your blog or a link saved in the bookmarks.
Referral - When someone gets referred to your blog post by another website, it is called a referral link. This source is highly valuable from SEO point of view. The more reputed the site referring your blog post, the better your authority. E.g. PagalGuy link.
Social - If someone is clicking on your blog post from a social media handle, then it gets categorized as Social traffic. This is one of the best ways for you to reach out to more readers. E.g. Instagram, Facebook, Quora links.
Now, as a blogger, your objective should be to have a fine balance between all the sources from which you get your traffic. Why? So, that you can signal Google about the strength of your acquisition strategy. Consider it this way - if all your traffic comes from Referral, let's say one site i.e. PagalGuy and tomorrow, if PagalGuy bans you from posting links, what would happen to the traffic of your website?
To avoid such a situation and to signal authority of your website, create a healthy balance between your sources of acquisition. Create multiple social media accounts relevant to your blog and regularly promote it. Use multiple forums to share your content with a considerable gap in your posts to avoid the tag of spamming and share your content across your personal channels like WhatsApp to get some word of mouth going around.
b. Quantity of Content - This is the second way to signal legitimacy. If you were Google, who'd you believe more: a website with 3 posts published to date or a website with 150 posts published to date, with the last post published just a day ago?
In one of the previous posts shared earlier on how many blog posts should you publish in your first month of blogging, I shared the importance of publishing a good quantity of posts in your initial month of blogging. It signals Google that you're serious about your blog and you're not going to quit.
What is even more important is to maintain a certain amount of frequency, else you can see a considerable fall in traffic if you publish 15 posts on one day and then no posts in the subsequent days. Fix a number that you can manage, I'd suggest about 2-5 posts a day in the beginning and then maintain that frequency.
The first Legitimacy Point for my previous blog got hit at the 80th post, when it got discovered by Google. There is no hard and fast rule in this regard, but I'd say keep posting fresh, regular and quality content without worrying about your traffic to reach that point quickly.
c. Work on SEO Basics - It's okay if you don't know a lot about SEO at the moment or if you don't want to get into that depth. Knowing just 3-4 things about SEO and optimizing your content for them can take you a long way in showing Google the worth of your blog.
If you want Google to know what your content is all about, optimizing it for Google is an obvious precursor. But, if this term daunts you, just read the simple SEO Basics.
In the post shared above, I've described what all you need to optimize:
These are not a lot to do, especially if the number of posts you have are less than 30. I started doing the SEO of my previous blog when I had already published 150+ posts. Imagine what a task it must have been.
So, optimize your content from now itself by including rich keywords because it makes it easier for Google to understand what your blog is all about and hence, tag it as legitimate.
Hope this gives you a good sense of how to get closer to that Legitimacy Point of blogging. If you feel discouraged as a new blogger, feel free to drop a message. We can discuss your concern at length.
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