Yes, this year I reached the 100K page views per month mark! I’m sharing 10 steps to reach 100,000 monthly page views for your blog, discussing in detail the strategies I’ve used to reach this goal and how you can apply them to your own blog to achieve similar results.
1. Make search engine optimization (SEO) your top priority
The harsh truth about blogging is that if no one is searching for the content you create, it’s very unlikely you’ll ever get much traffic. So many blogging “experts” tell people to just follow their passions or that THE ONLY key to being a successful blogger is to create a huge mailing list and push a ton of ebooks and affiliate links through it. I can’t even tell you how much I hate reading this sort of advice. You have to write high-quality blog posts on topics that people are actually searching for on Google and/or Pinterest, and you have to write these posts in such a way that people can actually find them and read them (i.e., optimized titles, easy-to-read format, etc.). While it can be nice to get a following, many bloggers achieve a lot of success without thousands, or even hundreds, of devoted followers.
Hands down, the single best thing I did to improve my blog traffic significantly is enroll in Mike Pearson’s Stupid Simple SEO course. I first talked about Stupid Simple SEO in my what to do when Pinterest isn’t going well post. Most blogging courses are a complete gimmick and aren’t worth the money. I guarantee that you’ll learn brand new information in Stupid Simple SEO. You’ll be able to put it into practice immediately. Mike updates the course periodically. You’ll also get access to a private Facebook group for the course. It’s a great way to get help with the course and get your other SEO questions answered. If you aren’t ready to shell out for the course, I highly recommend checking out Mike’s free videos on Facebook and YouTube.
If you get the majority of your traffic through Pinterest, I guarantee that learning SEO will still greatly improve your Pinterest traffic. I enrolled in Stupid Simple SEO in February 2019. At that time, I was getting 50-70 page views per day from Google and around 1,000 page views per day from Pinterest. I’m ending 2020 getting around 1,000 page views per day from Google and 3,000-4,000 page views per day from Pinterest.
2. Post consistently
After writing content that no one is searching for, the biggest reason most bloggers never make money is because they give up way too early in the game. If you write 20 posts for a blog and then walk away from it completely, it’s very unlikely you’ll make much money with it, even if those posts are really good. You need a minimum of 50-100 high-quality posts over a period of one to two years to get the momentum rolling and start seeing your traffic and hopefully, income build. I know that it can be tough to stick with it and maintain a regular posting schedule, especially in the beginning when you have very few people reading your blog. You have to trust that it will pay off over time.
There is no magic number for the ideal posting frequency. I recommend posting at least once a week. It’s better to publish one or two high-quality posts per week than push yourself to publish three to five posts per week that are lower quality. If you can maintain a more frequent posting schedule and keep the content high-quality, go for it. Personally, I don’t like to push more than three posts per week. I also like to stay at least a week ahead with scheduling posts. You certainly don’t have to schedule posts in advance. But I think that for many bloggers (myself included), it does help them keep posting consistently.
3. If you write Pinterest-friendly content, step up your Pinterest graphics game
When I started this blog, I had only used Photoshop elements for very basic Pinterest pins. It has taken me years of using the full version of Photoshop to feel comfortable with it and create high-quality pins that I really love. I know Photoshop is intimidating and that many bloggers would rather use Canva, which is very trendy right now. For LESS MONEY, you can get the Adobe Creative Cloud photography plan, which includes Lightroom and Photoshop. Yes, Photoshop requires a steeper learning curve. But it’s well worth it for the skills you gain and the creative control you’ll have for your blog.
Pay attention to Pinterest’s current recommendations for the ratio aspect and size guidelines for your pins. Choose two to three colors and two to three fonts. Stick with them for the vast majority of your pins. You’ll create a cohesive aesthetic and Pinterest users will start to recognize your pins easily. Make your pins simple and easy to read. I see way too many pins with detailed script fonts and pastel colors, which are difficult to read and won’t be easily noticed by anyone who is scrolling search results.
4. Create 4-5 pins for every single post
Creating 4-5 pins for every single evergreen post right from the start will make it so much easier to keep sharing “fresh pins” on Pinterest. I guarantee that you won’t be motivated to go back and make new pins every time you need to schedule more Pinterest shares. As you create more pins, the process will become easier. Pay attention to pin formats that work well. Create templates to replicate those pins for new content quickly and easily.
5. Pin consistently
As a new blogger, there is a common misconception that you can pin a new post once and then forget about it. Many bloggers also assume that you can hop on Pinterest occasionally and pin a bunch of content all at once and then leave it alone for the rest of the month. Success on Pinterest requires pinning new, high-quality pins every single day. I know that a lot of bloggers swear by a manual pinning strategy. If you can rock that, go for it. Personally, I can’t imagine doing Pinterest on the level that I do without Tailwind. I’ve had great success with it and think that it’s worth every penny. For me, Tailwind ensures that I keep publishing new pins every single day, even during weeks that I don’t devote much time to Pinterest.
As of writing this post, Tailwind recommends aiming for about 20 new pins per day, which I’ve found to be a good number for me. It’s manageable and allows me to create a nice mix of pins of my own content and other bloggers’ content without spending hours and hours each week on Pinterest. Despite what many bloggers will tell you, pinning 40-50 times per day is overkill. It looks spammy and as such, is likely to get you flagged for spam by Pinterest.
6. Build on content that does well
I know that building on high-traffic content sounds like a really obvious strategy. But I think that it’s something that a lot of bloggers miss or simply take way longer than they should to act upon. For example, one of the earliest, well-performing posts I wrote on this blog is how to eat more chocolate with acid reflux. It took me THREE YEARS to write another acid reflux-related post. In less than three months, 30 easy healthy acid reflux-friendly dinner ideas became one of my top three highest traffic posts. It continues to grow in traffic every single month. I’ve now written several more acid reflux recipes round-ups, all of which are doing well. Clearly, I should have jumped on this topic ages ago.
7. Revise old posts on a regular basis
Revisiting old posts is so boring and never anywhere near as much fun as creating new content. But we all have really old posts that do still have the potential to perform well with some tweaking. Additionally, unless you’re really good about adding new links to old posts as soon as you publish new posts (which I’m definitely not), there are always opportunities to update links and make other small changes of this nature periodically.
I have a social sharing calendar in Excel, which I highly recommend. When I’m due to schedule new social shares for a post, I review the post and make revisions as needed before scheduling those shares. Initially, this process will be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of old posts that need a fair amount of work. But over time, it will go much more quickly because the changes you need to make won’t take very long.
8. Focus more on evergreen content and less on personal content
I know, I know, part of the point of having a blog is to share personal content. I do still share personal content on this blog. And I don’t intend to stop any time soon. But over the past couple of years, I have significantly shifted the balance. I’m limiting personal posts to 1-2 posts per month instead of writing at least one personal post nearly every week.
Before I get into the last two steps to reach 100,000 page views for your blog, let me be clear that switching to a better host and a better theme will not magically start bringing in views for a blog with low-quality content or simply very little content. However, when you’re starting to build momentum and are making enough money to justify spending more money, it’s well worth it. A better host and a better theme will improve your site speed and overall aesthetic, which will help you make the jump to that next level of blogging.
9. Switch to a better host
There are about five billion posts telling you to sign up for Bluehost RIGHT NOW because Bluehost has a really good affiliate pay rate. It drives me crazy that so many successful bloggers push Bluehost all the time. It is a terrible host and not worth anyone’s time and money, even when you’re brand new to blogging.
If you start with a cheaper host, it should be Siteground. For the same money, Siteground is so many times better and has really good customer support. Once you’re consistently hitting 25,000-50,000 views per month, it’s worth upgrading to a better host. You will get a better site speed and a more advanced level of customer service.
I see a zillion posts in blogging groups about people agonizing over which host to choose, which is ridiculous. There are so many great hosts. It really doesn’t matter which one you use as long as it’s a reputable one. I switched to BigScoots earlier this year on the personal recommendation of several bloggers. I’ve been happy with the site speed and customer service and do recommend it. But don’t feel limited to this option.
10. Switch to a better theme
Free WordPress themes are fine for people who blog strictly for personal use, such as sharing family photos. Otherwise, it’s worth spending money on a theme. Even a basic, pre-packaged theme looks a lot more professional and will allow you to do enough customization that you can create a more personalized, easily recognizable aesthetic.
I did pay for a theme right from the start with this blog. However, after a few years, the theme I was using really wasn’t being properly supported anymore and wasn’t compatible with Gutenberg. I switched to Astra because I wasn’t really finding any themes that fit exactly what I wanted and didn’t want to pay the big bucks for a service like Purr. If you are ready for something fully customized that is beyond your own WordPress skills, Purr and similar services are definitely worth it.
For me right now, Astra has been exactly what I wanted. It’s lightweight and fairly intuitive, especially if you’ve already been using WordPress for a few years. I was able to take the best elements of my old theme and then add the elements that were lacking to create an overall aesthetic that I like a lot better. I am using Astra Pro and think that if you’re looking to up your theme game, it’s well worth the money. But you can certainly start with the free version and then decide if you want to upgrade.
[Disclaimer: There are a few affiliate links in this post. Thanks for your support!]