You became a health coach a help people. And blogging is an excellent way to help a lot of people at once. But how can you help people, if they don’t even know your blog exists?
When I started my first blog around 8 years ago (which started as a vegan health blog), I had no idea what I was doing. I had a total of two visitors (and one of them was me).
Growing a website takes time. It takes consistent posting and sharing of great content. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit around and be satisfied with a trickle of visitors. There are many ways to increase your traffic to your blog – from free to paid, from easy to a bit more difficult.
In this post we cover a variety of ways to increase your traffic – but they all based on the same foundation – create great content that your audience wants to read.
Borrow Someone Else’s Audience
Ask nearly any online health coach what their biggest struggle is, and chances are they’ll say “more traffic.”
You need traffic to build an email list.
You need traffic to make sales.
You need traffic to fill your coaching programs.
So the big question is, where do you get all that traffic?
A popular alternative in the last few years to building your own traffic is using someone else’s audience. You are essentially leveraging their audience to grow yours.
Be a Guest
Everyone needs content. It’s the one thing that remains consistent among all content creators—there is never enough. That’s where you can help.
By guest posting on other coaches’ blogs, you can “borrow” some of their traffic.
You can’t simply regurgitate old content and send it out in a dozen directions though. To get the best results, you’ll want to:
- Create custom content designed with your host’s unique audience in mind.
- Provide stellar value with actionable ideas and strategies not found everywhere else.
- Inject your personality so those new to you will instantly connect with you.
- Offer a compelling reason to click through to your website or blog for more information.
No list? Here’s a quick way to “borrow” someone else’s list to kickstart your own: Schedule a free event with a partner.
Here’s how it works.
- You (as the one with the small list) create a compelling, free training which leads naturally to a low-cost, no-brainer product.
- Install an affiliate tracking system such as aMember, Infusionsoft or 1Shopping Cart.
- Offer your best affiliates a higher percentage of profits in exchange for co-hosting your webinar and bringing their traffic along for the ride.
This is a win/win for both of you, as you gain the traffic while your affiliate gets a bigger payday. Just be sure you have a good funnel in place so that your new list members can benefit from all that you have to offer.
Want to really show off your expert status and bring traffic back to your site, too? The easiest way is to get on the interview circuit. Just like authors with new books and actors with new movies, coaches and service providers can get in front of new audiences simply by answering questions about what they know.
Of course, you’re probably not going to appear on the Today Show or Oprah (although that’s not impossible), but there are still plenty of opportunities out there for coaches and consultants in every niche.
Look for interview and speaking opportunities on:
- Other blogs
- Periscope and Blab
- Local events
- Industry conferences
Start by reaching out to your colleagues and to podcast and blog hosts you most admire. Get the word out with your friends and your list that you’re looking for opportunities.
Even if you don’t yet have a list of your own, it’s easy (and fun) to kickstart your audience growth simply by making yourself available for these and other opportunities. Each guest post, podcast interview and webinar is another chance to get in front of a whole new market, so take advantage of it!
Fun Challenges -Drive a Ton of Traffic with Crazy Claims (and Have Fun Doing It!)
Here’s one sure way to build up a great following fast: do something just a little crazy.
If you’ve ever watched a reality TV show such as Married at First Sight or Survivor, then you know what a draw it can be to attempt something just a little crazy. Millions of people tune in each and every week to see what new catastrophes would befall the cast of Survivor, or what new battle would break out on someone’s wedding day on Married at First Sight.
Now imagine if you could generate that kind of traffic to your blog or website, just by attempting something off the wall.
The fact is, this is a tried and true marketing plan that companies have been doing for more than a century and you can easily do something similar in your business.
Write a Book…Or 20
When Kristen Joy of TheBookNinja.com needed a boost in traffic, she turned to the medium she knows best: Kindle publishing. Accepting a challenge from her business coach, she agreed to write and publish a new Kindle book each week for 20 weeks.
As the word spread about Kristen’s plan, her traffic grew (and grew, and grew). Why? Some people no doubt wanted to see her fail—after all, that’s really why we watched Survivor, isn’t it? But most people rightly thought that Kristen must have something important to say if she had committed to such a large project.
Nicole Dean pulled off a similar plan with her Blog World Tour. During the summer of 2009, she visited 15 blogs in 15 weeks, guest posting on the target blog for 5 straight days before moving on to the next. Did it work? Absolutely! Just like Kristen’s crazy book-writing spree, Nicole’s blog world tour gained her lots of traffic and thousands of new fans.
Stretch Yourself A Little
Now, you don’t have to write a book a week for 20 weeks, or even spend the summer guest blogging. But there are plenty of things you can do to build some buzz and drive some traffic to your site. The key is to find something that would make most people say “I could never do that.” And then do it.
- Post to your blog every day for a year
- Post a new video to your YouTube channel every day for 90 days
- Speak at or attend one conference each month for a year
Whatever “stunt” you decide to pull off, it must have two components to be successful:
- It must be outside what most people would consider their comfort zone
- You must commit to it publicly and often—tell your list, your social media followers, your blog readers, your clients, everyone.
A challenge of this sort must have one other component as well—your absolute conviction to finish. The last thing you want is to publicly declare your intention then quietly fade out mid-way to your goal.
If you’re looking for a fun, innovative way to drive a lot of traffic to your website, and to get more eyes on your content, consider setting a big, outrageous goal for yourself. You’ll be surprised how many people turn up to watch and cheer you on, and you’ll have fun along the way. Not only that, but at the end, you’ll have lots of content you can repurpose again and again, and you will have learned a thing or two about your audience and yourself, too.
The Art of Being Shareable
Ever wonder what makes some Facebook posts, videos, or blogs “go viral,” while yours are lucky to have 7 shares and two comments? While it might seem like some well-kept secret, the truth is it’s easy enough to create shareable content, if you put some thought and creativity into your efforts.
Everyone Loves Infographics
Whether you want to know more about how coffee is grown, or you’re looking for ways to boost your blog traffic, you’ll find a variety of infographics to fill you in.
These colorful, easy-to-read graphics share vast amounts of data while still entertaining an audience. By condensing numbers and stats down to easily digestible bite-sized pieces, you can make valuable information highly understandable for any audience. Even better, your market will be happy to share (and share and share).
If you’re not artistic, or don’t have the skills required to create your own, you can hire designers from Fiverr and other job sites, or use a tool such as Piktochart to quickly make infographics your audience will love.
**Pro tip: create an embeddable link for your infographic and encourage other blog owners to share it on their sites. You’ll automatically drive traffic from every site that posts your content.
Create Valuable Posts
Writing a blog post? Don’t just skim the surface of a topic. Dig deep. Provide as much information as you can on the topic.
While some bloggers will tell you that shorter is better, the truth is, posts of 3,000 words are more likely to be shared than their shorter cousins. So don’t worry about attention spans. Readers have proven they want good info and they don’t mind digging into a long post to find it.
But – don’t just add words with the aim of creating a long post. Add relevant, useful content to create a post that valuable to your reader.
Let Your Personality Shine
No one wants to read or share another “me too” post. Not you and not your audience.
What they do want—and what they’ll happily share with their friends and fans—is personality-driven pieces that aren’t afraid to take a stand.
That’s why coaches such as Kimra Luna and Marie Forleo are so popular. You know, simply by reading their content and watching their videos, that what you see is exactly what you get. Nothing is hidden; there’s no “corporate speak” to be found.
It’s easy to form a connection with someone like that because you feel like you know them personally. And what do you do with your friend’s content? You share it, of course!
It doesn’t take much to be shareable. Just be yourself, be transparent, and be valuable. In short, just do what you’re already doing, only with a little bit more oomph!
No List? No Problem! How to Build an Audience with Paid Ads
We’ve been told (and told and told) for years that “the money is in the list” and that “your mailing list is your biggest business asset.” But if your list numbers are hovering in the low four-figures—or fewer—with no sign of growth on the horizon, such advice can seem a bit unhelpful.
The fact is, building a list is a catch 22: You can’t get sign ups without traffic and it’s difficult to find traffic when you have no list. What’s a busy coach to do?
Paid Ads Make List-Building Easy
By strategically placing ads in front of your target audience, you can drive tons of traffic to your opt-in offers and enjoy conversion rates of two or three percent or more. Even better, with some tweaking and split testing of your offers, you can carefully refine your ads and copy so that you’re attracting your exact ideal client and filling your list with buyers who are ready to take action, rather than freebie seekers.
Amy Porterfield uses paid Facebook ads with much success.
All you need to run paid ads to your opt-in pages is:
- A compelling offer, such as a video training series or live webinar
- Copy to grab the attention of your target audience
Best Ad Placements
Once you have your components in place, the only question remaining is where to run your ads. You have dozens of choices, from Twitter to Google to YouTube to solo email spots.
The key is to first determine where your market is most likely to be hanging out. If they’re on LinkedIn, then running ads on Twitter will be a waste of time. Keep in mind the cost as well. Ads on Facebook are generally less expensive and less competitive than a Google Adwords placement.
Start Small, Then Refine
Once you’ve decided where to place your ads, it’s time to set your budget and begin running a small set of ads. Consider setting a small daily budget, such as $10 or $20 at the beginning, so you can get a feel for how your ads will perform. Watch the traffic, track your conversions, and create split tests of your landing page and ad sets to determine which performs the best.
You can also refine the audience you’re targeting based on the stats you receive. For example, if you find that men between the ages of 20 and 30 are clicking but not opting in, you might want to remove them from your audience.
At least at first, it’s best to avoid running ads for paid products. Conversions for a free offer will far outshine those to a paid product—especially if your program is expensive. After all, those who are clicking on an ad most likely do not know you at all, so it takes a much bigger leap of faith to offer up a credit card number than it will to provide an email address.
Ad Copy Blunders to Avoid
Have you ever clicked on an ad because you saw an adorable pair of sandals that you just had to have, only to land on a page full of sneakers, with not a sandal in sight? It’s frustrating, to say the least, and that kind of ad to landing page mismatch will kill your conversions.
Your ad copy is making a promise to the reader. If your landing page doesn’t fulfill that promise, your readers will click away, and you’ll have wasted the money you spent to get them there. Before running any ads, be sure your ad headline, image, and copy all match the message on the landing page.
Paid advertising was once a tool used only by big companies or marketers with a lot of money to spare, but today they’re more cost-effective than ever, and the technology makes them easy to create and monitor. If you haven’t yet tried your hand at this useful traffic generation method, it’s time to do some experimenting. You might just find your list numbers—and sales—growing.
No Writing Required: Create Compelling, Shareable Content Without Writing a Word
Does the thought of blogging leave you cold? You’re not alone. In fact, if you ask most any online business owner what their most dreaded task is, blogging will likely rank right up there with bookkeeping and cold calling. With few exceptions, most people simply do not like to write, so they find any excuse not to do it.
And as you can imagine, their traffic suffers for it.
The good news is, if you hate to write or feel you’re just not good at it, there are plenty of other ways to create shareable content on a regular basis without ever putting your fingers to a keyboard (much).
Despite Google’s apparent dislike for it, guest blogging is still a fantastic way to both generate content and get in front of a whole new audience. Other bloggers, marketers, coaches and service providers are looking for ways to grow their audiences, and many of them would jump at the chance to appear as a guest on your blog. It’s a win/win for both of you.
Not into guest blogging? What about a text interview or cross-blog conversation? Simply supply a list of questions to your interviewee, and post her responses. The interview format is perfect for introducing your audience to someone they might want to get to know better.
A cross-blog conversation requires a little more work on your part but it can be a fun way for your readers to get to know you a bit better. A cross-blog conversation is exactly what it sounds like: a discussion that takes place on two different blogs, with you and your blogging partner both offering opinions about a topic, just as if you were having a chat over coffee.
Audio and Video
Podcasting and video blogs are more popular than ever and they’re perfect for those who don’t care for writing. With either type of content, all that’s required is you, sharing your thoughts. You don’t have to do anything as involved or complex as interviews, and you certainly don’t have to hire a studio for a day to record a series of “professional” videos.
You can create podcasts and video blogs with nothing more than your laptop with its built-in camera or a headset and an audio recorder. Just fire up your computer and share your thoughts. Don’t worry about perfection, your visitors will love a chance to see the real you!
If you’re like most people, you very likely share a variety of content on your social media accounts. You point out articles you’ve read, videos you’ve enjoyed, infographics that explain a complex idea in a simple way. It’s part of what makes social media fun and informational.
But what if you took your sharing one step further, and posted your thoughts on your blog first, before linking on social media?
The result of this curation technique, where you add your opinion with a link to the original article or video, is that you drive traffic to your site rather than someone else’s. Not only that, but it gives you more opportunity to start a conversation with your readers about the content you’re sharing.
Relying on Google or the other search engines to send you traffic can be an exercise in frustration. A better method is to encourage sharing on social media. But if you’re not a wordsmith, creating content can seem an overwhelming task. Rather than giving up and letting your blog languish, explore some other ways to create content your readers will enjoy and share.
Use “Done For You” Content
Also known as Private Label Rights (PLR), “Done For You” (DFY) content is written by someone else and you are given rights to use it. It is a little like using a ghostwriter. The difference is that, unlike ghostwriting, with PLR you do not have exclusive rights. Other customers have the same content, and the same rights, as you.
This is why – when using DFY content it is important to not use it “as is”. Treat it like a “first draft”, and edit it to suit your voice and style.