It happens to almost every blogger. You finally get a hold of how to get traffic to your blog and are happy with where it is going.
One day, you log into Google Analytics only to find that your traffic is a little bit different. Maybe it’s just an anomaly, so you brush it aside. The next day it’s the same thing. And the next. And the next.
Now, this anomaly seems to have become the norm. What happened? Odds are you were relying on one traffic source and something changed with that traffic source. It happens.
For example, a lot of bloggers rely on Pinterest for the majority of their traffic. One of the best ways to get traffic from Pinterest is by utilizing Group Boards. In fact, this was the best way to get traffic from Pinterest.
That was until Pinterest decided to change their algorithm. With a small change, a lot of bloggers lost a lot of traffic. It happened overnight, and many bloggers were affected.
Unfortunately, this isn’t anything new. It happens with bloggers that master SEO and Google. It happens with bloggers that spend forever building up their Facebook Pages. It happens with bloggers that spend a lifetime taking awesome pictures for Instagram.
The game is constantly changing. It’s kind of scary, but thankfully if you play the game right, you’ll end up alright.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure here.
Putting Your Eggs in One Basket
You’ve heard the saying about how you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket, and this applies to blogging and traffic sources. The problem though is that as a single blogger it can be tough spending time on a number of different traffic sources.
It’s hard enough making sure there is fresh content on your blog!
So what do you do?
You focus on the core aspects of what each platform likes and you make sure you focus on those things.
Okay, but what the heck does that mean?
Let’s look at a couple of different platforms to find out.
Recommended Article: Guide to Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Niche
SEO can be a little bit scary simply because there seems like there is a ton of stuff that you need to do for it to work:
- Get links
- Write posts loaded with keywords
- Make your site fast
- Make sure internal SEO is working
- Proper titles
- Proper headings
- Proper image alt tags
The list goes on and on. It can be so daunting that many bloggers just don’t bother with it at all.
Fortunately, there is really only one thing that Google cares about, and that is showing high-quality content to their users.
So your first goal is to make sure that everything you write is high-quality. That way when Google makes a crazy change, there is less chance of your blog being affected.
Why does Google make crazy changes to their algorithms anyways? Because people learn how to game them through different methods.
For example, Google used to put the highest placement on how many links you got back to your site. Web marketers found this out and so they would create 100s of fake sites just to get links back to their sites.
Then Google placed a lot of emphasis on how many times a single keyword was found on a page, so web marketers loaded up their websites with a single keyword.
No matter how Google’s algorithm works, people will try to find a way to game it.
This is why your best bet is to rely on the quality of your content.
While it is still important to use the right keywords and get links to your site, you don’t need to spend the majority of your time on these things if you are writing high-quality content that people enjoy.
Great content seems to be the only thing that continually survives Google’s changes.
Recommended Article: SEO for Beginners: How to Craft the Perfect Blog Post
Pinterest is a big source of traffic for a lot of blogs, and in March 2017 a lot of these blogs saw a major decrease in traffic.
Well, before this time, if you wanted to do well on Pinterest you just needed to get into a lot of decent group boards and make sure that your pins were being posted daily.
Group boards pulled a lot of weight in the Pinterest ecosystem.
Pinterest decided to put less emphasis on group boards and more emphasis on the quality of pins you were pinning to your own boards.
Group boards are still a requirement to getting traffic on Pinterest, but now it takes a little bit more time to start seeing significant traffic from the site.
So what can you do to ensure that Pinterest doesn’t take away your traffic again?
Pinterest is similar to Google in a lot of ways in that mainly it is a search engine and search engines rely on keywords.
When creating pins for Pinterest, it is important that you use keywords that your audience is searching for.
Of course, you want to make sure that your pins look good and use engaging titles, but a bigger emphasis is now being placed on how well you work with keywords.
If you aren’t sure what type of keywords you should be using then just do a simple search for a topic in your niche on Pinterest. On the search results page, you’ll see a list of keywords at the top. These are the most popular keywords that people search for within that topic.
You can use a Pinterest pin scheduler like Tailwind (this is what I use) to schedule pins to Pinterest.
Recommended Article: How to Get Your First 100,000 Pageviews From Pinterest
In my online course for beginner bloggers, The Blogging Blueprint, I show you the exact strategy I used to grow my Pinterest account.
Similar to Pinterest, Instagram made a huge algorithm change this year that caused a lot of headaches for users.
Most of the accounts that were punished were those using automated Instagram schedulers to handle their Instagram posting.
These schedulers would automatically post, comment, like, and do other activity on Instagram for you.
In essence, there are bots pretending to be you.
Instagram prefers to see human activity, so many of these accounts saw a huge loss in engagement. Some accounts think they have been shadowbanned due to the loss of engagement but the reality of it is that Instagram just doesn’t show their images as much.
So what can you do to prevent this from happening to you?
You just have to go old school and spend time on Instagram every single day doing things manually.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use scheduling tools like Later to help you plan your calendar, but if you want to be safe, you will need to like and comment on Instagram posts yourself.
Also, don’t forget the most important aspect of growing your Instagram following is to have quality pictures so continue to work on your photo game.
Quality Is the Name of the Game
The one thing that all of these traffic sources have in common is that quality seems to always win out.
If you are posting quality content and doing a decent job of promoting it, then over time you will be rewarded.
This makes sense because it’s important that each of these companies continue to present quality content to their users. If they stop doing that then they will go elsewhere.
Your content is the product that they are offering so as long as you continue to help them provide a quality product to their audience, then you should be in good standing.
However, there are never any guarantees.
We all want more traffic and are willing to figure out ways to make it happen without cheating the systems.
Unfortunately, when too many people figure these things out the rules seem to change. It’s just something that comes with the territory when it comes to blogging and trying to build your audience.
If the target keeps moving you just have to do your best to move along with it.
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