Starting a blog from scratch is a huge undertaking — and one you should be proud of doing! However, despite your best intentions for your blog, no amount of passion in the world can grow your blog to 10k monthly pageviews without a real strategy.
In this sweet and handy guide, I’m going to be sharing some of my top blogging tips for when you want to grow your blog within the first year of starting (or if you’ve already started and just can’t seem to get that traffic rolling in!). These tried-and-tested methods are what have enabled me to grow not one, but THREE, successful blogs in the last six years (I sold one a while back, though).
Blogging is a long-term project. Growing traffic, particularly organic traffic from Google, takes time and patience. However, there are ways to get eyeballs on your first posts and get your blog growing to 1k, 3k, 5k, and finally to 10,000 monthly sessions within the first 6 months – 1 year of blogging.
Check out my new Bootstrap Blogging Master Course if you are looking for curated 1:1 blog coaching and a step-by-step program that will enable you to deep dive into the business of blogging full-time. Send me an email or Instagram DM (@bootstrapblogging) to book a complimentary 20-minute clarity call if you’re unsure if this 10-12 week blogging course is right for you.
How to Grow Your Blog to 10k with Organic Traffic
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that may earn me a small commission should you decide to click through and make a valid purchase (at no extra cost to you). Thanks so much for your support!
1. Implement SEO from Day One
SEO — Search Engine Optimization — is the bread and butter of any blog. It is what enables your blog to be discovered by Google and other search engines.
- SEO of your entire sites’ pages (i.e. categories, tags, headers, plugins, meta descriptions, linking strategy, etc)
- Your image SEO (yes, blog photos need to be optimized too!)
- Pagespeed + how to improve it
- The actual written content and how to write better with expertise, authority, and trust
- Your chosen niche and branding
SEO is absolutely crucial to growing your blog to its first 10k in monthly traffic — and beyond!
2. Write + Publish Consistently
If you want to blog, then blog! You’d be surprised at how many people start blogging without realizing they actually have to write… A LOT. 🙈
Writing and publishing consistently is going to be what propels your blog forward. Whenever you stay consistent blogging, Google sees that and places more trust in your site.
You can’t become an expert in your niche if you don’t actively research, write, and publish guides covering those topics. And I don’t mean one blog post per month!
My growth EXPLODED when I started a 30-Day Blogging Challenge in January 2021. I ended up publishing almost every day for 19 days and in just that one month, my blog grew exponentially by over 12,000 sessions! It was wild!
3. Always Add Value
Not only will your readers call bullsh*t on half-assed blog posts, so will Google! You will absolutely not rank above your competition in search results if you don’t add value.
In Bootstrap Blogging, I detail exactly how to add value in your blog posts and share with you my secret 12 Commandments of Blogging!
4. Stop Trying to Sell So Much
The biggest mistake some newbie (and existing) bloggers can make is trying to oversell their affiliate programs.
Yes, affiliate commissions are wonderful and you’ll need to sprinkle a few here and there throughout your content to get your readers to click and earn you $$$, but sometimes… It’s overkill.
Google needs to know FIRST and foremost that you’re here to show up and give real value — better than what’s already out there — and not to bank off a ranking post just because you did all those SEO must-dos.
Making money this early in the game is not going to prove fruitful long-term. Once you start to garner TRUST with your readers, that’s when you’ll see commissions truly start to fill up the piggy bank. 🐖 🏦
5. Get Social!
My golden Bootstrap Blogging student, Haleigh (@_wherewewentnext), is proof that getting social brings in awesome traffic to your blog. Within one month of her STARTING her blog and publishing — with only 5 or so blog posts — she was able to grow her blog already up to 3,000+ sessions (and counting 😭). I couldn’t be more proud!
Whether you choose Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or TikTok (definitely get on TikTok) — getting social and putting in the time to connect with your existing audience on those platforms can really attract your most loyal followers (and new “interestee’s”) to read your blog and support you.
Social traffic can lead to big blog milestone wins, new Newsletter sign-ups, AND show Google that your baby blog is worth ranking because people are already lovin’ it! 🎉
6. Use Pinterest to Boost Initial Traffic
Since it takes several weeks, or full-blown months, for Google to even take notice of your blog 👀 , there is one other way to rake in juicy organic traffic — behold, Pinterest!
Pinterest is a search engine, and therefore can rank your *images* and Pin graphics which all point back to your blog post URL (= blog views). This means you can get blog views ASAP, even on the same day of publishing. No need to wait for Google to index your site/posts!
Growing on Pinterest can be a hit or miss sometimes — gurus will tell you different methods work like a charm. But what I’ve found over my first year of travel blogging is that,
- Tailwind (a Pinterest scheduling automation tool) doesn’t work for everybody but it can be a huge help for automatizing your Pin schedule;
- Manually pinning to your most relevant board is the most-backed growth strategy;
- I haven’t been able to rake in more than 5k per month in traffic from Pinterest (but that’s already a boost of free, reoccurring monthly traffic!)
7. Make Sure Your Link Strategy is Tidy
To reach your first 10k monthly pageviews blogging, you absolutely have to have a solid linking strategy. This goes for:
- Internal links (linking to content within/existing on your blog)
- External links (linking out to relevant, trustworthy sources in each post)
- Permalinks (shortening and cleaning up your URL link for the blog post)
- Backlinks (links from other websites, media, etc that point to your blog!)
If you aren’t sure how to set up your permalinks — or your permalinks are super long, include way too many filler words — send me a DM! Once you improve your link strategy, your blog as a whole will benefit which means more organic traffic.
8. Create Your First Newsletter Funnel
Everyone says “START YOUR NEWSLETTER DAY 1 OF BLOGGING!”, and frankly, I get it! Yes, yes, yes — your newsletter is yours. You have full control over your email list and it doesn’t rely on a stupid algorithm.
Those who sign up for your newsletter should be treated like VIP readers because they are here for YOU and YOUR STORY and the VALUE you have to share.
When you send out newsletters to your subscribers, you will often get a % of those who will click back to read your latest blog post. Return visitors send a major positive signal to Google that people aren’t just visiting your blog once and forgetting you, but are actively coming back to soak up more!
Learn how to create email automation, branded sign-up forms, incentive sign-up freebies, and more in my Bootstrap Blogging course!
9. Don’t Forget About Image SEO
Creatives and bloggers typically hate SEO because there’s nothing very creative about it. It’s technical, boring, confusing even! But, SEO is vital and so it extends its vital limbs to another important area of blogging — photos!
Without image SEO, you’re potentially leaving massive amounts of organic traffic on the table. Yes — your blog images can rank for keywords, too!
10. Long-Tail Keywords for the Win
Keyword research is massively overrated and overdone. People spend hundreds of dollars on keyword tools and, sure, while some have obliterated their competition doing this, others don’t see much reward.
That’s because keyword research is rather simple. Keywords are topics that you target when you’re writing your content.
Many people believe so strongly in keywords that they think dropping a few throughout the written content = guaranteed rankings in Google and other SERPs.
Keywords are starting points — they give you phrase ideas but you don’t need to copy them letter-for-letter. Google is getting smarter and can see right through this tactic.
What Google is looking for is SEARCH INTENT.
You can’t know someone’s search intent unless you’re thinking like your reader. That expertise — and being able to take that information and create a well-structured, valuable blog post out of it — is what you’ll master inside Boostrap Blogging.
Bonus: Improve Your Blog Format & Structure
Lastly, if you want to grow your blog to 10k and beyond, you absolutely need to rethink and reorganize how you are formatting and structuring your blog posts and site in general!
- How can the answer to the reader’s ultimate question be BEST explained/displayed/expressed/represented in your content?
That’s how you grow your traffic.
SEO checklists help (and those are freebies inside the BB course, too!), but in the end, it’s what you say — and how — that makes the difference in your ranking position and, thus, your organic blog growth.
I hope you found this mini-guide for growing your blog to 10k helps pave the path toward lots and lots of blog growth in your future. Again, if you want to chat blogging, drop me a DM, or go ahead and learn more about each module inside Bootstrap Blogging.