If you are asking yourself how to create a blog that actually gets readers, this post outlines 3 tips and tools for beginning bloggers to drive traffic to their site and actually gain an audience.

How To Easily Start a Blog: 3 Traffic-Driving Tips For Beginners

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I wasn’t going to do it. This is veering from my niche of Disney, Florida and Food…but I have been asked about the best way to start a blog.

I didn’t set out to be a “blogger about blogging.” (And I’m still not.)

BUT, I love my blog! 

I LOVE channeling my energy into something that is mine…but also benefits others. Since starting FFW, I have been asked by some friends how to get started with blogging…hence this post.

FlipFlopWeekend was launched last May as a creative outlet. I like to be kept busy, have a background in Journalism and realized I was spending so much time on social media…wasting time…that I should really just turn it into something.

If you are asking yourself how to create a blog that actually gets readers, this post outlines 3 tips and tools for beginning bloggers to drive traffic to their site and actually gain an audience.
So, I did. But, I wanted to do it right.

A few years ago, I had a free WordPress blog that had maybe 6 readers… my mom and in-laws. I am linking it here so you can see my failed first blogging attempt…I believe in transparency. But, don’t judge… I know it’s rough

Don’t get me wrong, I love it when friends and family read my posts.

If you are asking yourself how to start a blog, check out this post with my top 3 blogging tips for beginners on how to successfully launch their blog and drive traffic to their site. I have learned from firsthand experience and have simplified my best beginning tips to help you be blogging like a boss in no time!

But if I am going to work hard on writing something…I want to be read and accessible by many people.

Call me selfish. But when I do something, I want it to have value…not just for me, but for others. So, I started learning and researching how to do this blogging thing correctly.

It got overwhelming fast!

There were so many “bloggers about blogging” telling me how to do it…sometimes contradicting each other. My inbox became full of free webinars, email classes, why I should be focusing on one platform…but that one platform HAD to be Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Instagram, Pinterest, G+, Tumbler….etc. What the what?

It was exhausting.

I just wanted a good looking website, to share my love of Florida and Disney. I thought “if I end up making a few bucks. GREAT!

Slowly but surely, I have started to figure it out. I just hit my first 10k pageview month which is ridiculously exciting. A little bit of money has been made…and I thoroughly enjoy knowing that people are reading, enjoying and learning from what I post! I had a reader ( someone I don’t know) say she ran across my post to overwhelmed moms planning their Disney vacations and she said it ‘spoke to her soul.’  That was a huge compliment and motivation to keep doing this blog thing I am doing!

After a lot of trial and error, the growth has really come down to three key tips and tools I used and would recommend to anyone looking to have a successful blog.

Blogging takes a lot of hard work and trial and error, but perseverance does pay off!
The blog has grown significantly in active users since May of 2017! The above analytics show the growth between May and January.

But, here’s the dealio— I am not a blogger about blogging. I am a blogger about Florida, Food and Family Fun. 

In fact, if you get a pop-up on this page, it will probably be for my free inspirational Disney quotes ( which are pretty cute, if I say so myself). I have no webinar, masterclass or course that will miraculously turn your blog into a money-making machine. Maybe someday I will have some of that helpful stuff… but it won’t be until I truly know I can do it well and can give you something truly valuable. For now, I’m just someone who may be a couple of steps ahead of you and want to share what I have learned thus far, and where I have invested my time and money to see the growth. 

If you are asking yourself how to start a blog, check out this post with my top 3 blogging tips for beginners on how to successfully launch their blog and drive traffic to their site. I have learned from firsthand experience and have simplified my best beginning tips to help you be blogging like a boss in no time!

So, without further adieu, here are my 3 simple tips to start a blog that gets readers!

1) Get Yourself Some Solid Hosting

Yes. You can start a blog for free on WordPress. If you want to do that to just blog for your family and internal joy, by all means…have at it. However, as exhibit A, mrslawrencecooks.wordpress.com shows, you just don’t have the features and functionality of a self-hosted site.

With free blogs, sadly the only way to be found is generally if someone is looking for you or you are spending hours promoting. Who wants to type url.wordpress.com in a search bar? I didn’t even want to type in my own URL.

No judgment to those of you with free blogs. If money is tight and you just want to get your feet wet, go for it. Just know that a point may come where you want to grow your site and won’t be able to. Many affiliate programs won’t work on sites that are not self-hosted. You will also essentially be on your own when it comes to any technical issues or customer support.

The good news is that going self-hosted is not too expensive. 

I use Siteground to host my blog. Siteground has been a fantastic host for FlipFlopWeekend and I have used others. I actually started with Hostgator because it was the cheapest plan at the time. Unfortunately, whenever I would have trouble with my site and get on customer support, the answer usually involved some sort of “upsell” or plugin that would require a more expensive hosting plan. I wanted a security certificate and would need to go to a business plan at $200/year.  Uh…. my blog had maybe 100 readers at the time.

I immediately started shopping around and saw that Siteground offered free security certificates on their basic plans.

I signed up for $3.95/month ( payable at one time), and they transferred everything for me…for FREE! My entire site was taken care of without me needing to do a thing. It was amazing. 
Web Hosting

Plus, when I had questions about page optimization and having Google tell me I needed to ” leverage browser caching’ ( I still don’t know what that means)… I could hop online to Sitegrounds 24/7 customer support, and they would go in and fix the issue. I don’t know a lick of code ( other than what I can google and paste from online), so this was incredibly valuable. Half the time, it wasn’t even really a job that would fall under Siteground’s umbrella, but they are so helpful and responsive. Hostgator would just try to sell me something.

My only regret is that I didn’t purchase the full 3 years at the promo rate at once. I did just one year to “see how it goes.” So, when I renew I will need to pay a bit more. It still isn’t crazy. If you think you will be in it for the long haul, you will definitely get more bang for your buck if you purchase their 3 year plan at $3.95 a month.

Click here to find out how you can host with SiteGround for as little as $3.95 per month!

Web Hosting

2) Understand and Utilize Pinterest

Pinterest is a search engine with the potential to skyrocket your blog traffic as a beginner. When you start a blog, you definitely want to focus on Pinterest alongside it.

I remember when Pinterest first came out and you had to be invited to it. It was an incredible platform and has just exploded in popularity. Think about the site that most people go to first when they are trying to solve a day to day problem?

“What is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe?”

“Quick and Easy Dinner-time meals”

“Cheap Family Vacations on a budget”

“How to caulk a tub?’

You guessed it… Pinterest.

A lightbulb went on when I learned that Pinterest isn’t just social media… it’s a search engine!

This post features the top tools, tips and tricks I used to grow my Pinterest following and engagement by over 43,000% and drive traffic to my blog

If you want people to read your blog, you have to become friends with Pinterest! Once I figured this out, my blog traffic went nuts. 

I began using Pinterest as a means to find what others were searching for, what did they want…and I use that to guide my content to make sure that I am providing value.

I transferred my personal account to a business account and began utilizing it as a business tool. Now, I do not have a separate Pinterest account. Anything I like, I pin…so it is still very much a reflection of the recipes, crafts, ideas, travel destinations and everything in between that I love and enjoy. But I have studied and researched the method behind the madness. I began with an e-book, Pinterest Ninja, that was amazing for beginners.

 

I started my blog in May of 2017 and purchased Pinterest Ninja in June. By the end of June, my Pinterest views were increasing steadily.
I started my blog in May of 2017 and purchased Pinterest Ninja in June. By the end of June, my Pinterest views were increasing steadily.

 

Megan has built a business around Pinterest and passes on all her tips in an easily digestible e-book, that costs less than $40. Plus, she promises all future updates for free! She is also incredibly supportive in her Free Facebook group and it was the best way possible to get traffic to my blog with little investment. If you have been on the Pinterest platform for a while, you may find some of the initial content repetitive. However, her guides to finding group boards and enabling rich-pins really helped me to understand a few key components that I was otherwise overlooking.Pinterest Ninja was the best resource I had as a beginner, looking for an affordable guide to boost my Pinterest traffic

Click Here To Find Out More About Pinterest Ninja

Scheduling Pins with TailWind and BoardBooster

Pinterest Ninja taught me what I needed to know about group boards, providing keyword-rich descriptions and introduced me to a community of other bloggers who were all building Pinterest together. Through them, I learned about scheduling through TailWind. For just a few dollars a month, you can automatically schedule pins, essentially putting your Pinterest on autopilot. There is even a free tribe option, where you can still collaborate with other bloggers and share pins, even if you don’t use the scheduler. But, it is so worth it to know that Tailwind is picking the optimal times to schedule my pins, even if I am at work or sleeping!Tailwind Visual Marketing SuiteBoardBooster is another similar scheduling program that I just recently jumped on board with.

Tailwind has a better free trial period, but BoardBooster is slightly cheaper per month if you pay monthly. I actually have chosen to utilize both. Tailwind pins my tribe content and I can diligently schedule for certain times throughout the week. With BoardBooster, I can loop certain boards to pin to other boards, essentially turning my Pinterest into a completely self-sustained hands-off machine ( unless, of course, I am looking for a solid cookie recipe).

Since implementing Pinterest Ninja, TailWind and Boardbooster, my Pinterest reach has expanded by over 43,000%!
Since implementing strategies learned from Pinterest Ninja and learning the art of scheduling, my Pinterest viewers and engagement has grown more than I could have possibly imagined!
Since implementing strategies learned from Pinterest Ninja and learning the art of scheduling, my Pinterest viewers and engagement has grown more than I could have possibly imagined!

3)Build a Community

I am saving the best for last. Blogging can be a solitary venture. Despite the number of bloggers and digital nomads out there …a large part of the population still struggles to view this blogging gig as a legit thing.

“Oh…you’re a blogger!” “That’s cute.” (Get used to hearing things like that.)

The reality is that blogging is an incredible way to share and spread information. Major brands are looking to bloggers to create content that promotes their services and drives readers to their businesses.

Even though my blog is still probably considered to be in ” hobby” status… my 17k pageviews this month and email list are full of people that like Disney, Food and Family fun. They want to know what to pack in their Disney bag or what other things they can do while they are in Orlando.  Your blog is your space to share what you know to those who want to know it, too. And that is super cool!

All that to say, it is important to find a support group of people who get what you are doing and why you are doing it. Enter the Billionaire Blog Club!

(No…it’s not made up of Billionaires. Not yet, at least). But, the club was started by Paul Scrivens who has successfully launched 13 blogs in various niches. I originally signed up for his free 12-Day Blogging Boot Camp, which put me on his mailing list. After completing the course ( which was super valuable in its own right), his emails would come and sometimes I would bury them in with the other ” people trying to sell me stuff” virtual pile of emails. But then, I would open some…and they were not trying to sell me anything. They were giving me a free tip….or asking for advice on the best crib for a baby ( he is a new dad). Then, occasionally, he would mention his program. It was expensive..at least to me when I had no income off the blog yet. I am not gonna lie. But, he offered a fantastic deal at one point and I knew that if I was going to go to the next level, I needed to invest in this…just as I would any other hobby (or potential business venture) I was serious about.

Sign up for the FREE 12 Day Blogging Boot Camp. You won't regret it!
If you do nothing else with this post, sign up for Scrivs’ FREE 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp. You will learn a ton!

With BBC, you can purchase individual courses for things like Pinterest or Affiliate Marketing. Or, you can purchase a full membership and get access to everything…forever! Plus, you get access to his exclusive Slack community. This is where the value is. A 24/7 platform of like-minded bloggers sharing ideas, troubleshooting ideas and celebrating wins. If you need feedback on a headline…pop in and ask. Wondering why something looks weird in WordPress…pop in and ask. Not to mention Paul is highly visible and active in his community, offering an immense amount of support. It is truly worth every penny. I bit the bullet and bought in December. My Google Analytics immediately moved skyward.

My only regret is I didn’t buy in sooner. I would have saved myself SOOOO much time trying to find the information elsewhere.

My Google Analytics almost show the exact time that I joined the BBC community and began learning more about how to truly optimize my blog.

 

Click Here To Find Out More About Billionaire Blog Club And Sign Up For The FREE 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp

I get that you may not want to spend money now. You may not have money to spend. You absolutely can learn a lot with free online YouTube videos and Facebook communities. I absolutely did at first. My only real non-negotiable would be the hosting. Otherwise, you need to consider your budget and your time.

Truthfully, though, without a shadow of a doubt, when I was willing to invest a bit, I got SOOOO much out of my investment in growth and traffic.   Before nailing down these three tools and tips, I wasted time trying to grow on Instagram only to find it brought zero traffic to my blog. There were also some other free courses and resources I had gone through. Plus, I even purchased another course and have not yet finished it because BBC was THAT valuable. 

If you invest anything, invest in the above tools and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. 

If you are a beginning blogger, feel free to drop your link. I would love to check out your corner of the internet!

 

If you are trying to start a blog as a beginner, this post discusses three tips and must-have tools you need to drive traffic to your site and get readers!

 

16 thoughts on “How To Easily Start a Blog: 3 Traffic-Driving Tips For Beginners

  1. Those stats are SO awesome, congrats! I love to see when someone else has good success and growth, it’s like “if they can do it, so can I”. I just went through Pinterest Ninja myself and I am seeing numbers increase in this last week, I love it! <3

  2. Thank you! Great content. I will probably buy the Pinterest Ninja, it sounds very helpful. I am a beginner, so would appreciate if you stop by my blog and comment if you have time. Thanks.

  3. Thanks so much for the post! My wife and I are just starting out (one week and a day) and this is very helpful. We are working to up our Pinterest game. We are using Tailwind like crazy, but need to incorporate Boardbooster. I’ve read the two work well together. If we do pull the trigger on Boardbooster, I’ll be sure to give you the affiliate link. Steve

    1. Thanks so much, Steve! Pinterest really is a game changer. Boardbooster may be a bit trickier to get the hang of at first, but once you do it practically runs itself, which is amazing. Best of luck on your blogging journey! Feel free to reach out if I can help in any way!

  4. Wow! What an incredibly helpful post! I was on the fence with pinterest ninja but I think you have just convinced me to buy it. Will definitely look into BBC. Thanks so much!

    1. I am so glad it helped! Both of the resources were fantastic! Pinterest Ninja is a great place to start for the price point. Meaghan is very helpful and responsive with questions in her Facebook group. BBC has been AMAZING! I highly recommend it if you can afford it. I probably need to give it it’s own post, but the community and mentorship in there is really the support I needed. Best wishes!

  5. I’m freelance writer and a creative writer who has just stepped into the world of blogging. I’m using a learn-as-I-go approach and so far, have really been enjoying myself. (Aside from the setbacks and the feeling that there is always more I could be doing)

    Thanks for the tips 🙂 I am focusing on driving more traffic to my blog and these were super informative.
    Check out: http://www.NerdKnowsLife.com

    1. I definitely use the learn-as-I-go approach, as well, and tend to dive right in and figure it out. I appreciate that mentality! I think it leads us sometimes to maybe waste some time on the front end not doing things to maximum efficiency…but that’s part of the learning and growing process. I love working on the blog, even when it is challenging. It is definitely a new world since it expands beyond just the writing. You have to balance a lot of components! But, the community you get to build and having the chance to help others is so worth it. Best wishes on your blogging journey!

    1. I am glad you found the post helpful! It can definitely be overwhelming and you will have highs and lows…but keep chugging along! Your site has a nice clean layout. You have a specific niche, which will give yuo a specific audience. That is a good thing. I started FlipFlopWeekend and it was fairly general…it still is, but I have come to learn what most of my audience is looking for. You will start noticing trends, too. My only suggestion is to perhaps give it a couple of extra seconds before your pop up shows up. You don’t want to wait too long..but give your visitor a chance to see your site, too, for a few moments. You may have it set for when someone scrolls. At the end of the day, it’s trial and error. Don’t be afraid to try something new with your blog, check your analytics and see if it’s working. If it isn’t, after a while try something else. All the best 🙂

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