Building Consistent Traffic With Social Media

Social media is without a doubt one of the most powerful and significant sources of traffic for bloggers. However, it’s easy to get frustrated with social media traffic because it can be so inconsistent. One day you may get thousands of visitors, but it can dry up quickly. For this reason a lot of bloggers dismiss social media as a reliable source of traffic and they don’t dedicate much time or effort to learning how to maximize it.

There are a number of things that you can do as a blogger to improve the consistency of the traffic you receive from social media. Of course it will always have peaks and valleys, but you can minimize those times where it is almost non-existent. This article does not focus on developing a particular post that will be popular with social media, but rather on what you can do to keep the traffic flowing more consistently. Here are some tips:

1. Post Frequently

You’ll find that your new posts are usually the ones drawing traffic from social media. After a few days the traffic to a new post will die down pretty significantly, but you can offset that by continuing to publish new content. Not every post you publish will draw a lot of traffic from social media, so of course you can’t just continually publish anything and expect it to draw traffic. But new content will frequently replace the traffic that is declining to an older post.

2. Be an Active User of Social Media

A big part of drawing traffic from social media is being an active user yourself and knowing how each site works and what types of content do well. It’s hard to expect social media to send traffic to your blog if you’re not willing to use it to send traffic to others. Those who use social media only to promote their own content rarely have much success. Be willing to vote for others and submit quality content.

3. Get to Know the Differences Between Various Social Media Websites


Each social media site will have its own audience with unique preferences and tendencies. By getting to know the differences you can better target your blog posts to particular audiences. Your blog may not be well suited for every social media audience, so if you know where it would be the best fit you can become more active there and develop your content accordingly.

4. Submit Your Posts to a Variety of Sites, Including Niche Sites

If you’re submitting each post you publish to Digg and nowhere else you won’t have consistent results (unless it’s consistently bad). Once you’ve gotten to know more about some of the different sites you can evaluate each blog post on its own and submit it to the most appropriate place. Some bloggers submit their own posts and some don’t. Not submitting your own posts to large sites like Digg and StumbleUpon is fine, but if you want to get traffic from smaller social media sites you’ll almost certainly have to submit it yourself. Niche social media sites can be extremely valuable because of the targeted traffic they produce.

Submitting to a variety of sites has a few advantages. First, it will keep the audience of a particular site from getting sick of seeing your posts every day. Second, it will help you to reach a larger total audience since each site has its own users. Third, it will allow you to target, like I mentioned above. Fourth, the traffic can carry over from one social media site to another.

5. Don’t Try to Push Everything that You Write

Not every post will be attractive to social media users, and that’s fine. When you write posts that you don’t think will have success with social media, don’t submit them. You’ll have better results if you only push those posts that have a better chance of success. If you have friends that you occasionally ask for a vote, save it for the right time. This may sound counterproductive to the point of this article, drawing consistent traffic. But in reality by pushing content that isn’t going to go anywhere with social media you will hinder the results of your content that is highly attractive to social media audiences.

6. Focus on StumbleUpon

Of all the social media sites out there, StumbleUpon is easily the most likely to send consistent traffic. StumbleUpon traffic doesn’t come in huge spikes like traffic from Digg, but it can be just as significant over a longer time. Popular blog posts with StumbleUpon can receive traffic literally for months. You can target SU by being an active user yourself and networking with other users, as well as by adding a button or widget to your blog posts that reminds visitors to give you a thumbs up.

7. Submit Older Posts During Slow Times

If you’ve recently found a few new social media sites to use, don’t forget about the opportunity to submit some of your older blog posts. During a time when your traffic may be slowing down a little you can submit an older post and hopefully make up some of that traffic. I’ve used this strategy with a few niche sites that I’ve come across, and it’s a nice way to give your traffic a boost when you need it.

8. Build Power Profiles

Top users of major social media sites can create traffic almost at will. If you have a powerful profile you can quickly turn a traffic drought into a flood. Some power users don’t submit their own content, but at least you will have the option if you need the traffic.

9. Use a Mullet Strategy

Maki wrote about the mullet strategy for social media and link bait, which I tried for myself. As I mentioned earlier, not every blog post is going to draw traffic from social media. If you want to target social media users without sending too much of this type of content to your subscribers you can use the mullet strategy to create a blog page instead of a blog post. This way you can still promote it on social media sites but without sending it to all of your subscribers.

10. Write About Social Media

One of the most popular topics among social media users is social media itself. If you use Digg you’ve probably noticed that posts that focus on Digg tend to do well, and likewise posts that focus on StumbleUpon tend to do well with StumbleUpon users. If the topic of your blog is relevant to social media you may be able to increase the amount of traffic you receive by writing more frequently about topics related to social media.

11. Develop Relationships with Those Who Vote for You

One way to encourage votes in the future is to thank those who vote for you or just get to know them. With StumbleUpon you can see who has given your post a thumbs up and thank them, add them as a friend, or write a review of them. With Digg you can see who has dugg your posts and add them as a friend.

12. Use Buttons On Your Posts

A common method for encouraging votes is to use buttons or widgets on your individual blog posts. These buttons make it easier for visitors to vote for you, since they won’t have to leave your page, and they also serve as a good reminder to vote for you. Some visitors will be willing to vote for you, but they may just not think about it. A button is a great reminder.

13. Follow Up On Topics that Have Worked Well In the Past

Have you analyzed your traffic from social media to see which topics have drawn the most attention? If you see particular trends you can learn about what types of content will be likely to produce similar results in the future. Past success can be a good indicator of what will result in future and consistent success.

14. Develop a Large and Loyal Following

Ok, so this one is not easily accomplished. Bloggers that have very large audiences have so many readers that use social media that many of them are bound to vote or submit the blog’s content. What may be more realistic is to develop a very loyal audience that looks for opportunities to send social media traffic to you. You can do this by doing the same thing for other bloggers and treating your readers well.

What other thoughts do you have about consistency with social media?

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45 Responses

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  • Fred @ Newest on the Net, November 18, 2007

    This is one of the best articles I have ever read on how to use social media to bring traffic to your blog.

  • Vandelay Design, November 18, 2007

    Hi Fred,
    Thanks for the compliment.

  • drunk driving, November 18, 2007

    What a great run down on how to get some steady traffic. One of the best articles I have read. Thanks for the great information!

  • samrajyam srinivasa rao, November 18, 2007

    I appreciate the wonderful tips. Let me try and see how far I will succeed in catching the attention of readers.
    However, creation of blogs will not serve any purpose unless the print and electronic media picks blogs of great public concern for wider coverage.

  • Mohsin, November 19, 2007

    Excellent points Steven. Posting frequently seems to work great on StumbleUpon. I’ve noticed that when I post less often, my traffic does dry up a bit during that period.

  • Ruchir, November 19, 2007

    I agree, SU is one of the greatest social media sites for the average blogger. I submit every quality post to SU and I tend to receive anything between 200-1000 visits overall. And the best thing about SU traffic is that it doesn’t kill your server (and also the fact that SU users have a much lower bounce rate and are much friendlier).

  • Frank C, November 19, 2007

    You might want to investigate Caroline Middlebrook’s recent negative experiences with SU. It’s not become another Digg yet but there are some people wanting to take it that way, attitude-wise.

  • Wayne Smallman, November 19, 2007

    For me, #3 is the stand-out advice.

    Certain content just won’t fly on some Social Media venues.

    It’s almost a given that tech’ stuff just dies an immediate death on Reddit and Clipmarks, for example.

    While I’d recommend StumbleUpon all day long, there needs to be some diversity to you Social Media strategy…

  • Sue, November 19, 2007

    Great post! Thanks for all the information, some new and some of it I have tried and it works.

  • Tibi Puiu, November 19, 2007

    Excellent article Steve. Building strong profiles, a social media mailing list etc. can really help in sending lots of SM traffic. #11, 13, 14 are really well written points as well.

  • Vandelay Design, November 19, 2007

    Mohsin,
    I’ve noticed similar things with SU. It seems to really help if you can post frequently.

    Frank,
    Thanks for pointing out Caroline’s article. I actually read it earlier today and I was a bit surprised by it.

    Wayne,
    Yeah, I don’t use Reddit because when I look at what’s popular there I see nothing similar to my stuff and I find nothing that really helps me. It’s a good site, but I don’t think I fit into its target audience.

  • Hi Steven.

    Thanks for another great post! I’m glad to say that I have being following some of your tips. However, I have been focusing solely on SU because of time constraint that I have.

    Any suggestion for other niche social media sites?

  • Reverse Funnel System Blog, November 26, 2007

    Thanks many good informations here, i get best results from Stumbleupon and most of my social traffic.

  • Interwebhunt, November 27, 2007

    Stumble is a very effective means to gain some traffic, but it requires some careful cultivation. Take the time to really make a profile on Stumble and get to know some of the movers and shakers, the amount of traffic from a single power stumbler is enormous.

  • Ethan Christ, November 27, 2007

    StumbleUpon is great. Sends me tons of traffic. I just posted about it on my blog.

  • craig, January 5, 2008

    to build a kick ass website and to have traffic flooding to your website i recommend using http://www.registereddot.com to all your web publishing needs.

  • femi, February 28, 2008

    What a good article. I gained quite a lot and infact, since the last few days i got to know this site, it has been knowledge base for me.
    Thanks for the good and honest work.

  • peri oyunları, March 12, 2008

    nice post. thanks

  • enfopedia, March 16, 2008

    What a great article, definitely a bookmark for me so I can come back to it when i need it ;)

  • Neil the deal, May 13, 2008

    Fantastic advice. I’m going to try and use some of the tips you provided. Will let you know if it works for me.

    Cheers

  • Burak Önal, July 25, 2008

    Great post! Thanks for all the information, some new and some of it I have tried and it works.

  • Tony Starks, July 26, 2008

    Yeah man, some real useful information that I plan on implementing

  • Kumi, August 16, 2008

    Super article, I will also bookmark this page

  • ZaggedEdge, August 17, 2008

    Building power profiles and consistent following takes hard work and determination.

    Everyone hates a dead blog!

  • NVQ, October 27, 2008

    Stumble is fantastic

  • Pedro, January 19, 2009

    Thank you for this insightful information. I am planning to launch my website very soon and I was trying to figure out way to use social media to increase my traffic. In this post you gave it all to me and made it plain in simple. So, in a nut shell simply engage with people and be interested in them and in return we’ll gain people interested in our site. Kind of like networking in person..

  • Masud Rana, August 29, 2009

    thanks for this sharing. will help me a lot.

  • barbie oyunlar, February 3, 2010

    thanks for this sharing. will help me a lot.

  • Cook, March 8, 2010

    The blog has been magnificent as it discusses how more traffic could be driven more effectively with the help of a comprehensive and well equipped methodology.

  • catering trailers, May 29, 2010

    It seems many of the socila bookmarking sites are not even spidered as much as they were, so certainly social bookmarking is not as relevant as it was.

    Propeller can stil give low grade links – and digg/stumble can help get content spidered.

    Social media certainly have short term ranking value, but as a long term backlink strategy its usefulness is debatable

  • rosary beads, May 29, 2010

    At a recent conference in San Diego – the value of entering conversation was discussed as a traffic strategy outside that of search ranking. Certainly the blogosphere is a loyal place, and I read a lot of blogs. But whether the average customer who is not engaging in blog chat, will find sites because of the social media interaction is a matter of debate.

  • dveldt, August 22, 2011

    Thanks for this info, still trying to figure out if Social Media Marketing is worth it, but it never hurts to read as much on the topic as possible before trying it.

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