how to get traffic to my blog for free

The secrets to incredible traffic that I've gleaned from four top rated Pinterest courses.

Find out how I tripled my blog traffic in just one month using these 5 top Pinterest strategies! Then implement them, be consistent, and watch your traffic skyrocket too.

How I Grew My Blog Traffic 500% By Following A Daily Checklist

daily blogging checklist

*This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my affiliate disclosure here.

Want to know how I keep my business growing smoothly and steadily? Well you're in luck, because today I'm going to give you a little glimpse into what my daily work routine looks like.

And I'll be honest. There are A LOT of business tasks I have to manage to keep my traffic growing and business is expanding. This list by no means covers it all.

However, it's a great start if you want to know exactly how I've been able to grow my blog traffic as quickly as I have.

And you haven't started yet, you can check out my Ultimate Guide to Creating A Profitable Blog here.

1. I Left All My Group Boards

Update: It's been just over two years since I originally published this post, and I'm still seeing an increase in traffic after having left my group boards!

I'd been hearing little anecdotes here and there for a while that group boards were on their way out. 

Then Pinterest proved it for me, essentially saying that group boards were meant to be used for collaboration, and the use as we know them today was never supposed to happen. 

Pinterest began to de-prioritize them, and as they did, bloggers received fewer and fewer visits from the pins they added to their group boards.

And when that happened, overall engagement with pins went down. Fewer people clicking on your pins = Pinterest thinking your pins aren't very good and your account is devalued.

best traffic sources for blogs

So earlier this week I decided to leave all of my group boards in one fell swoop and see what happened. 

The results are in: 

I left my group boards on June 19, and you can see that my traffic rose 80% in just 3 days! I'm excited to see what this looks like in the coming weeks and months.

pinterest group boards traffic-min

2. I Focused More on Tailwind Tribes

The second piece to growing my traffic so quickly in the Google Analytics screenshot above, was that I began focusing much more on Tailwind Tribes

Tribes were actually designed to help bloggers share their pins with each other, so Tailwind encourages it heavily and rewards great pinners. 

On top of that, Tailwind is an approved partner of Pinterest, which means we can rest assured that they are playing within the rules and Pinterest isn't about to punish our accounts for any of Tailwind's practices.

tailwind tribes traffic

My strategy here was to join a few more Tailwind Tribes, add pins for a couple of weeks, and then check my Insights to see which ones were performing well. 

Any Tribes that weren't getting me very many re-pins, I left them and joined new ones. This is really a constant process, but so far I've been able to join a handful of Tribes that do exceptionally well at re-pinning my content. Yay!

So going forward this year, I highly recommend that you dig a little deeper into Tailwind's Tribes feature. It's where 95% of my traffic comes from and I'm so glad I did.

3. I Took Pinterest Traffic Avalanche

I took Pinterest Traffic Avalanche several months ago, and it's easily taken me that long to implement what I learned in the course.

As a stay at home mom, I really only have a couple of hours per day to work, so this probably took me a lot longer than it would take you!

But back to PTA...I've been following Alex and Lauren of Create and Go for a while now.

In fact, I've also taken their Six Figure Blogger course (which was awesome and at this point I've rewatched the whole thing 3 times.)

But I was interested in their Pinterest course because Alex and Lauren have managed to create not one, but TWO Pinterest accounts that get some incredible traffic. 

You can see that their Create and Go and Avocadu accounts at the time of this writing get in the millions of monthly views, and they themselves make more than $150,000 per month from their blogs. 

Yep, I think my jaw dropped too. 

And since I wanted to learn from the best, I purchased their very affordably priced course Pinterest Traffic Avalanche and began implementing what they taught. 

I love this course because it isn't just for beginners. If you're new to Pinterest the earlier sections show you how to get everything set up and started, but there is still so much more advanced info for people like me who have been on Pinterest a while. 

Slowly but surely (like I said, I've been implementing their advice only a little bit at a time), my traffic has been going up and up and I've been seeing much higher levels of email subscribers too as a natural results. 

Before I started PTA, I got somewhere around 50k-60k monthly views on Pinterest. Now I'm hovering at about 200k and it's still rising this week. I'd call that a win!

I think this video explains the course a little bit better...

pinterest traffic avalanche review

4. I Respond To Comments On My Blog

One daily task I love doing is responding to my blog comments. If someone comments on one of my posts, you can bet your buns I'm going to do my very best to respond to them within a day or so.

All of the top bloggers I know respond directly to people's comments, and it's a great way to build rapport and connect with your readers. I highly recommend it!

5. I Check For Broken Links On My Site

Another not so fun but super important daily task is checking for broken links.

I use the WordPress plugin Broken Link Checker, which automatically scours my site and delivers me a report daily to let me know if it finds anything.

When it does, I promptly go in and fix the link situation. Broken links are terrible for SEO and can seriously affect your Google rankings.

I suggest saving yourself 10 to 15 minutes a week to make sure that all of your links are properly assigned.

6. I Freshen Up An Old Post

You know those old blog posts that you wrote in your early days that really don't look so slick anymore? You know the ones I'm talking about.

They usually have some odd formatting, a few spelling errors, and a bunch of outdated images. They look old and tired!

There's nothing wrong with having older posts on your site assuming that the content is evergreen and still useful.

But it's a great idea to go through and spruce them up a little bit so that when people come across them it isn't so obvious that they weren't posted last week.

I give myself 15 minutes a few times per week to grab an old post and give it a fresh haircut.

Usually I will give it some fresh images, change any strange formatting, add a content upgrade if it doesn't have one.

Then I’ll give it a fresh Pinterest pin and a Click to Tweet. This is usually all that is needed to take an older post from bleh to beautiful.

blogging boss mamas facebook group-min

7. I Dictate And Edit New Blog Posts And Newsletters

You knew this one was coming right?

I don't know about you, but writing posts and newsletters gives me a little bit of anticipation anxiety.

It's kind of like working out. I love doing it, and I always feel better afterwards, but the idea of getting started brings out my inner drama queen.

That being said, amazing content that your readers can't wait to get their hands on is the lifeblood of your business. 

I try to write at least part of a post or newsletter each day and then edit once a week before I send them to my assistant to be scheduled.

Here are the things I include in almost every email to help grow my blog:

  • Links to related posts (to bring readers back to the blog)
  • A question at the end (to help understand their needs and be able to provide it better)
  • A photo of me at the very bottom (because I'm a real person!)

I've used Convertkit to create my automated email sequences and to send out live emails to my entire list at once. 

I've done a lot of research (and experimenting!) with email marketing, and right now I really believe that Convertkit is the best product out there. 

Convertkit email

Being able to see how many people open my emails, what percentage click on which links, which email subject lines do poorly, and all the other insights has made an enormous difference in my business. 

For example, I can tell which kinds of blog posts readers want to see more of by checking which of my links get clicked the most! 

And I'm learning so much more about copywriting by analyzing which email subject lines get high open rates and which don't. 

Plus I can take a look at any individual subscriber and see which emails they open, which links they click, and which products they purchase. 

This is so valuable because it gives me a road map in my mind of what the journey looks like for an average subscriber who joins my list.

If you haven't set up your list yet, please, drop everything and do it TODAY! It is the single most important aspect of your blogging business.

Check out my Ultimate Guide to Creating A Profitable Blog to get step-by-step instructions for how to get started.

8. I Respond To Important Emails

The last thing I do (and I want to emphasize that it's the last thing) is I respond to any emails that need my attention.

One of the best things I ever did for my productivity was when I stopped checking my email first thing in the morning.

Let’s be honest, email is a total rabbit hole. Once I dive into my email and take care of everyone else's problems, there is rarely anything left for me to create my best work.

So now, I do all of the important work for my business first, and then I check email at the end of the day.

Eventually I will probably start outsourcing this task, but for now, it's still manageable enough that I take care of it.

Tasks I Do 1-2 Times Per Month

In addition to the tasks I do everyday, there are a few I batch once or twice a month to keep everything running smoothly. Batching is one of my favorite productivity tips, and it works for so many different tasks. Here are a few of them:

I Do A Photoshoot For The Blog

Update August 2020: I no longer do regular photoshoots for my blog! I wish I could, but its most important that I prioritize my time towards creating content and supporting my students. I now use a combination of my own images from the Sassy Styled Stock collection, as well as some that I have purchased from other bloggers.

Every few months, I drag out all of my equipment and props and do a big photo shoot for my blog. These are the images I use on my blog posts, Pinterest pins, freebies, and pretty much everything else that requires images.

I love photography, but that being said, it's not something I want to do every single week. When I take my photos, I want to do them right. I use a professional DSLR (Canon Mark III), lighting equipment, and a tripod to take my photos.

Then I import them to Lightroom to do a full edit of all of the pictures I take. All of this means that it is a pretty big ordeal and it's definitely a great task to batch every month.

You can check out my unique photo collection for bloggers, Sassy Styled Stock here.

sassy styled stock blog images

I Create Content Upgrades And Other Freebies

Another task I usually do on a monthly basis is create any content upgrades or freebies. Because these can be kind of time consuming, I keep a running list of projects I want to create and then do them all at once.

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I Plan My Content For The Month

One of my favorite monthly tasks is planning out all of my blog content for the month. If you aren't doing this yet, I highly recommend it! I used to just come up with blog posts the day before I needed to post and hope I had some good ideas.

And according to Forbes, starting out with at least 10 blog content ideas is a great way to prepare for the month ahead!

Now, I spend part of one workday each month coming up with a full list of blog post ideas, newsletter ideas, and photo ideas to keep the following month running smoothly. This has by far been one of the best things I have done to take the stress out of content creation and planning.

I've now come up with a complete blogging system that keeps all of the moving parts of running a blog in line and organized! Doing this has helped my business grow incredibly as I'm more productive and highly focused on the most important tasks that actually help my readers and grow my income. 

You can learn more about my blogging productivity and planning system inside Plan Your Blog Biz.

plan your blog biz course

I Create Training Videos

I've recently hired an assistant, so I'm still in the stage where I am occasionally creating training videos for her to watch and implement. Some of these I do on an as-needed basis if there is something she needs right away.

But many of them I batch and create all at once so I can give them to her once she's reached the next stage in her training. Let me just say that training videos have been a godsend!

They are super easy to use, and I feel like they are pretty easy to learn from as well. The great thing about video tutorials is that your assistant can watch them over and over as needed.

This isn't something that can be done very easily if you train someone in real time and hope that they remember all of the details. Another reason I love recording video trainings is because they can be used in the future as well.

If you need to hire a second person to manage the workload, or your current assistant has to move on for some reason, having a folder full of recorded trainings means that you won't have to spend all of those hours again with someone else.

So how do I do it?

I use Screencast-O-Matic to record my screen as I walk the viewer step by step through each training process. Screencast-O-Matic lets you create free training videos that are 15 minutes or less, which is perfect!

For long tutorials, I just create multiple 15 minute videos. Breaking it up this way makes it easier to find and revisit different sections of the tutorial anyway. After I've created one, I simply upload it to our coworking OneDrive folder so she can view them at any time and start working on the tutorials.

So what daily tasks do you need to implement into your routine? Let me know in the comments below!