10 Productive Things To Do For Your Blog When Traffic Is Low
April 12, 2020
Towards the end of December 2019, I bought my domain Emysway.com and really got into blogging. Since I was backpacking through Central-America, I mostly shared travel stories and destination guides. In fact, I got slightly obsessed, and for a while, I worked on my blog for 8-10 hours/day. This caused my traffic to spike!
Unfortunately, my success didn’t last long… I’m sure you can guess how this story ends: everything was going great, until corona happened.
Obviously, I hadn’t anticipated the occurrence of a worldwide pandemic, so like most people, I was completely taken aback and didn’t know what to do. I managed to get back to Europe just before everything went into lockdown and spent the coming months adapting to an entirely new living situation.
I couldn’t bring up the energy to continue blogging as fiercely as I had for the previous months and I saw my traffic decrease on all platforms. I’m going to make a wild guess and assume many bloggers (especially travel bloggers) are currently facing the same problem, which is why I’m sharing 10 productive things you can do for your blog when traffic is low!
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1. BULK WRITE BLOG POSTS
This is the perfect time to write a ton of blog posts! When I first created my WordPress account, I started out with an empty blog and didn’t even think to write a few blog posts in advance. I’ve regretted this a million times by now, because it’s quite stressful having to write new content constantly or otherwise having nothing to post.
I’m using this time to write as many articles as I can, so that I finally have a bit of a backup library. It may not be the best time to publish travel content, but that doesn’t mean you can’t write out all of your amazing ideas and store them for later!
2. CREATE NEW PINS
It’s no secret that Pinterest is one of the best ways to get people to read your blog. Since I’ve been using it, Pinterest has become my main source of traffic almost immediately. For a while, I mostly used Canva to design my pins (still a good resource that has a very decent free version), but more recently I have discovered RelayThat, which has taken my pinning game to another level.
It automatically generates tons of templates (specifically designed for Pinterest), so you only need to add some pictures, a title, choose colours and you’ve got yourself 50 professional looking pins in one go! I honestly cannot get over how awesome this program is and how much time it has saved me.
You can currently get RelayThat for $49 (for a lifetime!) on Appsumo, which is an INSANE deal, since it normally sells for $1200. Aside from my hosting subscription, this has been the one investment I made when starting my blog and I haven’t regretted it for a second!
3. DESIGN YOUR LOGO
Something I postponed for months and have now FINALLY gotten around to is creating a logo for my website. At first, I kind of ignored this part of my blog, because I am by no means a graphic designer and I knew I’d get frustrated after 5 seconds. I couldn’t deny, though, that a logo makes your blog look way more professional.
A few days ago, I decided to stop sulking (& envying everyone else’s logos) and make an attempt at designing something, well, not hideous. I ended up using the free trial of Canva Pro, which has a lot of useful tools such as removing backgrounds, uploading fonts, etc. Surprisingly, I’m actually quite pleased with how it turned out!
Of course, there’s always the option to hire someone to do it for you. A great place to look for freelancers who will design your logo for an affordable price is Fiverr (+ you can get 20% off on your first purchase if you sign up through this link!).
4. UPDATE YOUR THEME, MENU OR CATEGORIES
Now that less people are active on your blog you can play around with your theme, menu and categories. One of the most important things to do for your blog – especially blogs that focus on travel & photography – is choosing a visually appealing theme. Your theme, as well as an easy to navigate menu and logical categories, will determine how long people will stay on your blog.
5. LEARN ABOUT SEO
Another crucial thing to do for your blog is making sure it’s SEO friendly. When you’re a beginner, it all sounds very complicated (trust me, I know), but it isn’t the best idea to ignore SEO altogether. If you want to make money through your blog, organic traffic from Google is exactly what you want.
I’ve been using Yoast SEO (a plugin that helps optimize your posts) pretty much from the start and I would definitely recommend doing the same. It’s a good way to gain an understanding of the basics of SEO + the things you need to pay attention to when writing & publishing a blog post. However, I do suggest doing a bit more research, since Yoast doesn’t cover everything.
6. FIX YOUR LEGAL PAGES
Another thing lots of bloggers ignore in their first few months of blogging are their legal pages (guilty). It may be a boring & annoying task, but you have to make sure your blog complies with the law. This is especially important if you’re looking to collect personal info (such as emails), use Google Analytics or promote affiliate links.
There are a few options: you can hire a lawyer to draft your legal pages (most expensive but safest option), you can buy pages drafted by a lawyer online or you can use a plugin or generator such as Termly.
7. SET UP YOUR EMAIL LIST
Some bloggers swear by their email list, others don’t bother at all… I’ve been stuck somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, I’d hate being considered spam and collect eyerolls instead of interested readers. On the other hand, it is one of the only proven ways to create a returning audience.
Ideally, your subscribers genuinely enjoy your content and feel part of the community you’re trying to build. This way, if you ever offer a product or a service, they are more likely to consider your offer, since they already know & trust you.
Recently, I made a long overdue decision and signed up with Mailerlite. After a lot of comparing between all of the email marketing programs on the market, Mailerlite won on all fronts (user friendliness, price, available tools,…).
8. CREATE FREEBIES
Once you’ve signed up with an email subscription service, the next thing you’ll want to do is create some freebies. At first, I was surprised why literally no one subscribed to my blog, but then I realised you need to give people A REASON for allowing you to appear in their mail box. It makes sense, doesn’t it? It’s nice to get stuff for free! A freebie could be anything from a destination itinerary to a simple worksheet or checklist or even an entire eBook.
9. WRITE GUEST POSTS
Writing guest posts is a great way to rank higher on Google, since you will get a backlink from another blog to your website. The more established the website, the better for your domain authority. If you’re clueless on how to continue with your own blog, take a break and write for someone else! It’s nice to make connections with other bloggers and even if you’re writing for free, you still get something valuable in return (a backlink!).
10. CREATE YOUR OWN PRODUCT
When you start blogging, you will soon learn that one of the best ways to earn money through your blog is by creating your own product. In my opinion, it’s also the most appealing way – by far! Imagine creating something from scratch that is helpful to a lot of people… Awesome, right? Out of all of the things you can do for your blog, making a product will probably take the longest. But, there’s no better time than the present, I’d say…
These are all the things that I’ve done or plan on doing while my blog traffic is low! If you think about it, there’s more than enough tasks to keep ourselves busy. I choose to believe that even though I don’t see instant results right now, it will pay off in the – hopefully near – future.
How are you feeling during this time of crisis? Are you less motivated to work/blog? Or more? Let me know in the comments 🙂
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