- Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Real Secret Behind Increasing Blog Traffic that nobody talks about

I'm going to spare you the "content is king" fluffy crap and get to some meat behind what brings traffic.

Poppies on a black frame: Increase Blog Traffic: The part nobody is talking about


I'm in a few blogging groups on Facebook, just a few <looks to the side that FBI swears is a sign of a lie> and a lot of bloggers are going crazy trying to break the algorithms people seemingly have broken many times over with Pinterest and Google.

They are doing everything right.

They took the courses on Pinterest and SEO.

They optimized their words and pictures.

They Pin 75 pins a day.

They post on their blog once a week.

They are told to just give it time.

But when? How much time before they start seeing some viral activity?

The thing is, these other sites that tell you what you need to succeed only give half the picture. Most of them are not wrong.

For reference, I'm talking about these things...

Pinterest
  • Use keywords and search phrases in your descriptions
  • Make sure those keywords match the keywords in the article it links to --somewhat
  • Make the image pretty
  • Have more than one pinnable image
  • Use Pin description tag instead of alt tag
  • Pin regularly, like 30 to 75 pins a day
  • Use group boards (this is becoming outdated advice)
  • Only pin good pins that meet higher standards of descriptions and images
  • etc.

Google
  • Use keywords and keyword phrases in your article, especially once in the title and several of the headers.
  • Use lsi keywords
  • Link to sites with higher DA than yours in your niche within your article
  • Get people with good DA to link to you.
  • Write at least 2500 words
  • Aim for horizontal heirarchy of site links rather than vertical
  • Make sure your site loads quick enough
  • etc.

These are all important things. You can have the most amazing website in the world, and only luck will make things happen for it if you don't do those things.

One of my favorite articles about the basic things: 27 Easy Tips to Double Your Blog Traffic in 2019. Be prepared, she links to many articles regarding how to blog that sound fun to read.

But to drive traffic, there's a human component people don't always hit on. The only person I've seen do it is Rachel Miller with Moolah Marketing (I am not an affiliate, but I do recommend her for anyone wanting to up their Facebook game. You can download her Top 25 Viral Titles Cheat Sheet Here).

But the bottom line is

People Want, so They Buy

It doesn't matter if you aren't actually selling something. Just to get people to click through to your blog, you are asking them for an investment of their time and attention, and many people are much more stingy with their time and energy than they are their money. Those people are probably happier people.

But the point is, people don't usually try to get the things they don't consciously want.

And I mean consciously. There are a billion things we want and don't want subconsciously and our conscious mind screws it all up. So they don't have to actually really want it. They have to think that's what they want.

Now we can sit here and theorize about what people want for centuries and still not figure it out. Fortunately, there are a few things we do know that works most of the time. At least as far as the internet, and blogs, and social media are concerned.

And for the record, I do most of this all wrong. I aim for what's right, but I can't seem to control who I am to make it happen.

So please excuse my hypocrisy...


1. What is the bottom line? What is your offer?


People are always asking, "What's in it for me?"

Even when they aren't trying to be petty, there's a certain amount of selfishness that has to come into play for self preservation reasons. We are really in a kill or be killed environment, whether we are outside in the Savannah and a Lion thinks your daughter might be a delicious meal for her daughter, or whether we are in the vicious circle of the PTA with Karen who thinks your daughter's self worth would be a delicious meal for her daughter (and she wants to speak with the manager about it). So to survive, you kind of have to think about yourself and your needs because nobody else really is going to do that for you, and you won't accomplish much if you don't.

And that's on every level. Like for one, we really are in it for ourselves when we decide we need a pay check. But we also are that way for almost every dollar we spend of that pay check.

Same with time and energy.

So ask yourself these two questions

  1. What's in it for your reader / customer?
  2. How much is that going to cost them? 

Because those are the questions they are trying to answer to decide to click.

That's your bottom line.

If you imagine scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, what makes you read a person's entire status? What do you find yourself starting to read, and then skip?

Every click has a bottom line that ends in what's in it for the person to invest. And most of their decision on whether or not to click that thing is based on whether or not they are interested in that bottom line at all.

2. People Share their Identity... Not their true selves.


People who blog focus on the niche, but really, it's more about an identity.

For instance, a lot of moms deal with their kids coming home from school with head lice. Most moms deal with this. They look it up and ask close personal friends what to do. But they don't share it. They don't tell people, "Hey my kid has lice, how do I get rid of it?" Nope they are more like, "Hey my kid just won yet another trophy, how do I help teach him to be more humble about it? "

You gotta think about what people are wanting to boast about reading, or liking, or being a part of...

This is especially important for SHARING because the idea that makes things go viral is that people share it. Pinterest won't bring you traffic if people don't re-pin. Google won't bring you traffic if you can't get backlinks.

Rachel Miller (mentioned earlier) brings this up in her Facebook training quite a bit, and even though I was on this concept before I ever saw her on it, she worded it best and I like to attribute it to her, but she asks...

What is your bumper sticker? What's on your t-shirt? What is your flag?

It can be almost anything worthy of "bragging" about...

Rachel's example is Crazy Cat Lady

Nicole Knepper is Moms who Drink and Swear

Jenny Lawson is strange, dark humor, improve mental health, and intellectual. Her flag is the Giant Metal Rooster in the front lawn.

We really all are just a bunch of teenagers in old bodies. At 15, Susie was thinking about going Goth, at 35, she's thinking about being the crunchy mom but decided tattoo rebel mom is more her cup of spiked tea.

Just about everything has an identity and/or stereotype attached to it, like even the topic itself does.

Example: Frugal Living.

The identity usually associated with frugal living can go a route of financial management, money savvy, dependable, successful... The negative stereotypes associated with frugal living is "can't afford much because bad with money." So you want to go a Forbes / Fortune magazine concept more so than a Get out of Debt Ad.


3. Clickworthy Headlines


Now Headlines are slightly different than Article Titles for my purposes here. I'm not sure how other people do it, but the point I want to make for here...

Headlines are what people read and decide from that if they click or not
Titles are Names you give things like your article or book, and is used for SEO

You can have an article titled "10 Easy Recipes for a Southern BBQ" but have a Pinterest Pin with the headline, "The best fried chicken recipe ever!" The headline might be the exact same as the title, but it doesn't have to be.

Many times, the best SEO title isn't exactly the most compelling one that will make people click.

How to Organize and Payoff your Student Loans

That's a great title. It explains exactly what's in the article and the SEO is perfect.

But scrolling through Pinterest or Facebook, that doesn't sound as appealing. Even if you searched, "Pay Off Student Loans," that one is kind of bland in comparison to the 50 others titled something similar.

So the Pinterest Pins can be things like...

"Ladies! It's time to face this monster. College Debt."
"Are you ready to beat the debt out of Sallie Mae?"

Like advertisements for the article. Only difference is your ad is taking people to a free thing with instant gratification.

But it gets you thinking less on inform what's in the article, and more on hitting pain points and wording things in a way that makes people want to do something they procrastinate.

4. Shareworthy Headlines


Remember how I talked about identities? That's also relevant here.

Think about it. Imagine your social circle. Imagine some faces. Imagine some judgments and criticisms you know is going on. Imagine your haters. Now which article are you more apt to share with them?

How to get out of Debt and Pay those Stinking Bills!

The Investment Portfolio of your Dreams: how taking risks isn't necessary anymore.

The first implies you can't afford to pay your bills, the second implies that not only did you already pay your bills, but now you have extra money.

If you're humble enough to share the first, I'll probably respect you more for it, but most people....

I learned this lesson talking about sex. I wrote many great articles people LOVED with all the hearts and had to tell me how awesome they are, but because it's about sex, only like 1% of the readers were comfortable sharing it for reasons like

My parents are on my Facebook
My minister is on my Facebook
My kids can see my Facebook statuses
My boss frequently looks through my Facebook

And then there's me who is like...

Every single bully I had in high school is on my Facebook
Every single crush I had in my life is on my Facebook

So I'm like, "Do I share the whore article? Like that could go well for that audience, but my old minister is on there too and that might traumatize him that little Michelle likes to give blow jobs."

And not just the "Can I share this aspect of myself" dynamic is afoot.

Some women refuse to share ugly pictures, especially on Pinterest.

For most semi-professional pinners, and this includes just about anyone trying to "Grow their Pinterest," they are often told to only share good pins that meet standards that have some activity. So therefore, to get your pin shared, you need a good image that's vertical and pretty, has a pin description utilizing keywords, and has some activity to it.

I've wanted to pin so many amazing blog posts that I didn't pin simply because they didn't have a Pinterest Pin for it (vertical image with title overlay). I can't use a horizontal image on Pinterest. It just won't work right for me.

Instagram is turning out to be a place where some women are incredibly particular about the quality of the image. Sometimes it just has to be pretty, but for some, it has to match their brand / color scheme.

5. Connection


This is a big one that the details aren't really often tapped into. Most people tell you to "create a community" as opposed to a list of fans worshiping you, and that's usually said by people who want worship from their fans and delete people who disagree with them.

This is one I personally struggle with naturally, so the good news on that, I've been analyzing it like a science whereas someone who does this naturally would have no need to do that.

But if you notice the way I talk here, I'm kind of talking at you. That's a big no. It's just for me, I naturally think about concepts, over analyze thoughts, and you end up getting some kind of inner monologue as a result. (I'm on the autism spectrum, and I literally get sick sometimes trying to control myself on this monologue thing).

Most people are more social. They have these inner mechanisms that create and sever bonds for reasons that are not usually apparent. So you got to reach them on a more emotional level than an intellectual one.

A. Don't talk at people, talk to them


I personally think if I talk about myself, then I'm not talking about other people to be "gossip," and I can talk about other people via myself.

Such as, "I went through the same thing. I did the similar story you shared (credibility). It was awful (my way of saying I am validating your pain). I found this and this to help me (this can be your solution too if relevant but I can't speak for you)."

NOBODY ELSE SEES IT LIKE THIS AT ALL!

Instead, other people see it as, "Michelle's hijacking the thread. She's stealing your pain. She's making it about herself because she's an attention whore."

So I have found the best way to talk TO people (instead of at them) is to focus on the YOU aspect.

Think Barbara Walters. She wants to know YOUR story. She wants to ask the compelling questions that dig deeper into your psychological abyss to find out what is really happening here.

But it's more than that. I psychoanalyze people and dig deep and get their story, but I do it in a way they aren't aware of it. And that's probably unethical, but beyond that, it's bad because people have no idea they are getting attention.

They don't want you to figure them out. They want you to want to.

They want the experience of being questioned by Barbara Walters, not a monologue of Barbara's opinion of them.

B. Find a way to lean in


They talk about body language in a conversation. If you see two people talking, and their knees are facing away from each other, they aren't interested in each other. If their knees are facing each other, they are interested. If their knees are touching and occasionally rubbing each other, they probably will be sleeping together sometime in the near future.

It doesn't have to be romantic. But it is still intimate.

I know a guy who does this well. Usually not on purpose. But when he's interested in what you have to say, he's always leaning in, getting closer, making the conversation feel like secrets shared between two little girls who pinky promised not to tell a soul.

It's amazing how a 5 inch difference in the geographic location of your chest / neck / head makes such a huge impact on the connection.

It's difficult to lean in on the internet because you aren't face to face.

People who find a way to get people on the computer to meet them somewhere face-to-face like a book signing, a community event, or a convention or summit, they tend to build audiences faster and with a slightly more loyal sensation to it. Think about it. You love Jane the writer, but once you meet Jane, she's no longer a stranger and her posts about her next book now feels more like a family member posted that as opposed to a spammy ad who just wants your money.

But you can always be on the look-out for ways to "lean in" with your audience.

In video, when you're about to share something intimate, lean in a little more than your natural stance. And then go back when you're done sharing that intimate fun fact. And make sure you share something intimate, tell a secret, leaning in, ever so often in video.

C. Include your audience in your posts. 


Occasionally remember they are listening, you, yeah you are reading this. It's like I forgot you were here. You are probably either sitting behind a computer at a desk, and your left butt cheek might have a cramp by now if you've read this much in one sitting.

The hard part about this is I have no idea what you're thinking, if you're actually at a computer instead of in the movie theater on your phone all rude like, you better not be driving at this moment please don't text and drive...

And if I assume you, that's kind of rude.

We've all seen it, "You're struggling with getting anyone to read your blog," no that's not us. That's not you. That's not me. But some blond chick on a website swears that's us, and for 3 payments of $39.99, we can get her masterclass that will solve that for us.

I don't want to be that woman so bad I might not mention you at all because I don't want to be wrong.

I'm safer with IF. But you don't feel connected to the word IF do you?

This is why I probably know your pain, but I'm not going to assume it's your pain.

Instead, I'll focus the YOU on the humor, the bright side, and the positive stuff.

The things where you don't care if I'm wrong.

Like...

Get your finger out of your nose right now. Am I really that boring you have to pick your nose?

I bet 100% of you were not picking your nose right at that moment in particular. But you don't care that I thought you might of been.

D. Be Inclusive in a way that feels Exclusive


This is a psychological phenomenon that goes in circles in an abstract confusing dizzy way, but getting the gist of it is usually enough. We don't really need to rewrite the theories like we're some kind of geniuses. The APA will figure that shit out for our children some day.

So for now, the important thing to know is...

People don't like to be excluded, but they like excluding people.

It sounds worse than what it is, but I give it the nasty taboo sound just because it doesn't sound bad enough to justify the pain of being excluded.

But really, the idea is that it makes you feel special when you are chosen.

If you are CHOSEN, you know it's because you ARE good enough. You are not shit. You are amazing. These people really do like you. They really do care.

If you are there by default, then none of that happens. You have to have it in you to decide that you're good enough.

Being part of an exclusive group builds up your self esteem, gets you excited for the niche / cause, helps you feel like you have found your tribe and where you belong, that you do belong somewhere, and it helps shape your identity that you will be a proud bearer of some day.

But excluding people does the opposite. It tears down their self esteem. It makes them feel like they don't belong anywhere. It makes them feel like they are wanting to be something they are not.

Excluding people is not a good business practice for that reason, so you want to be all inclusive. But the idea of being part of the exclusive club that's hard to get into, that really enhances the tribal community feel.

I've seen many ways this is done, some more ethical than others, but examples...

Rewards cards. I have so many of these in my purse right now, but when they first came out, the idea was to build a tribe for "loyal customers." Giving your loyal customers perks gives a sense of exclusiveness despite that it's all inclusive. Same with AAA's premium membership at a  higher cost (as opposed to the basic / classic membership).

The one that feels more tribal is Kohl's. You just don't get a good deal at their store without being part of their loyal program with the app on your phone, and when you find other women with the same app, it's like something clicks where you feel more meant for each other than if she didn't have the Kohl's shopping app.

I've heard there's a similar thing happening between women who own / drive Jeeps. Something Daisy Duke, unwritten unspoken connection shared only between women who drive a Jeep.

Facebook groups where only members can see posts. Anyone can join. Asking questions gives a sensation that people might be getting denied entry so people feel a little special when their request to join is approved. Giving them deals they can't find anywhere else helps improve the sensation that they are VIP. Some people will say, "This stays ONLY in this group" in descriptions, within posts, etc., and that adds to the exclusivity of it, especially when it's something that benefits them like inside trade secrets and opportunities.

USAA. It's a bank that's military only. In order to get a checking account or amazing deals on your car insurance, you have to either be active duty military, a veteran, or a qualified family member. Now veterans usually have a tribal "you're a good fellow" sense about them when they meet other veterans, and being a USAA member does not really enhance it at all, but USAA is considered a perk for being part of the exclusive tribe of veterans or badasses.

Other examples that are less ethical (but not equal in unethical by any means) include the girls clubhouse with a sign that says NO BOYS ALLOWED, Gentlemen's clubs that don't allow women, Country Clubs, the bar where the bouncer only lets pretty people in, a party that's invite only, the Catholic Church where only Catholics get to do communion, the Illuminati where only incredibly wealthy people get to rule the world and decide the fate of existence (I wonder if they have to prove their income to join? I bet Donald Trump isn't in it because he refuses to show his tax records)....

6. Make it Fun if you can


Imagine if Charlie's Angels got together to talk about their budgets. There'd be some seriousness, but there'd also be some girly fun to it too. It would be a much more exciting budget meeting than say one with 3 male republican senators.

The Board Meeting would suck if it weren't for Robert's Shenanigans.

I personally struggle with this and the art of inciting excitement over boring topics, but for the most part, if you can get excited to talk about it, other people will pick up on that vibe.

I keep bringing up Rachel Miller, but she's the perfect example. When I watch videos of her, she's talking about Facebook, how to grow your pages, and often trying to sell you something she's selling with it. Now I've watched many a video on blogging, social media, and improving your blankety blank, and one more free webinar I might actually die of boredom, but there are a few characters who stand out to me and makes it less painful to learn things. Rachel is one.

When she talks about Facebook, she gets giddy. Like she smiles more, naturally, and you can see that she's getting excited to talk about it. Whether it's a performance or a natural thing, I don't care. I feel the vibe. I get kind of excited about tackling my Facebook issues for that moment (it doesn't last longer than a day after the fact unfortunately). Then when she starts talking about growing people's pages from 3 thousand to 300 thousand, she will subtly squirm like she wants to jump up in excitement but is controlling herself.

Another one is ByRegina with Beta and Beyond. She's a very get down to business person, but it's still exciting because she inspires... She definitely feels comfortable in front of the camera, and that vibe really comes through. She also talks with her hands a lot, but her hands are kind of guiding you into the logic operating as arrows in a diagram of her words. It makes it easier to follow. Her main thing though is she includes things you can do. Just about every video I've ever seen of her explains a concept like a textbook, shows credibility, shows relevancy, shows results and case studies... all of which are more practical and real than your average webinar... but then she follows through with what you can do on just about every concept that you walk away with an actionable to do list that you're kind of excited to get started. You almost cannot watch a video of hers and not take notes, and two sets of notes like half the sheet for things you're learning and the other half for ideas and things you want to do for yourself. Everything about her embraces the feeling you get before filling out a workbook of your hopes and dreams.

7. Minimalism and Timing


Not only is minimalism a huge graphic design concept that is trending and evergreen, it's an overall concept making it easier to navigate the internet and consume the information the internet offers.

One thing at a time.

People on the internet need to do one thing at a time.

When you're in your mom's kitchen, she can talk to you about your doctor's visit last week while cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen, answering your sister's random questions, and in the back of her mind, planning out the evening and parts of the week. She might even think to let the dog out to pee in that conversation.

But she cannot do that on the internet.

If your article was about all those things, she'd lose her mind. It's so dizzying to see it in front of your face at once that I'm personally kind of nauseous thinking about an article that shows you how to cook something, clean something, it answers random questions like where can I find a pen and paper? and tells a story about what the writer did last week, and it has a spreadsheet to help you plan and schedule the week.

Even worse than seeing it is that nagging feeling that I'm neglecting those things just to be on the internet.

It's kind of harder (at least for me) to organize things in bite sized chunks, one thing at a time, because my brain is quite like google, it lists out all the possibilities at once and I can type a novel about ONE thing.

But I have noticed websites that keep things simple and minimal seem to fare better than ones that are overly complicated.

And you don't want to be too simple.

It really depends on what you are offering and who you're offering it to.

For instance...

Walmart and Amazon sell almost everything. When you browse, you see a grid with like 5 products in a row. When you search, you get one product per row. The scope of the products before you depend on where you're at in the buying process. It's like walking into a store, and telling the clerk, "I want something Electronics?" well then here's 50 Electronics on shelves as she points to the Electronic Section. Or are you at, "I want the new Amazon Fire," then she personally hands you a tablet, "We have This Fire, or let me point at That Fire, and don't forget THIS premium Fire."

So the timing also has to be right.

It's almost like a song. You have enough instruments to get the tune out beautifully, one melody at a time, maybe some harmony, where changes in key happen at a dramatic moment in the song, and changes in rhythm that break up the boring monotony don't happen so often nobody can dance to it.

It's like the difference between a song on Top 40 Radio and a Symphony.

The Symphony has a complicated melody making it almost impossible to play it with one key at a time on the piano. It encompasses so many different chords and keys and it almost has no actual rhythm where you can dance to it. The parts that repeat are about 3 to 5 minutes in length requiring quite a bit of memory to realize it's repeating. The reason is back in the day, you saw it like you would see a ballet. There was no competition for its attention. Top 40 predominantly uses the same 4 chords you hear in Heart and Soul. A very simple pattern. The melody can be played with one finger on the piano. The rhythm repeats in a way you can dance to it without ever hearing the song before in your life. The parts of the song that repeat are about 30 seconds in length. It's designed to listen to and enjoy and consume while driving, while watching TV, while writing poetry, while talking with your friends, or while drinking copious amounts of alcohol in a night club.

If you are writing a symphony, you want to put that in a book. If you're writing for the internet, you want to keep it down to a 4 chord song.

8. Trust


On a more minute level, so I'm checking my Facebook and I see, "10 Super Easy Recipes," and I click on it, my internet slows down, it takes 3 minutes for the page to load, 2 tabs go dead in the process, then they want my email, so I do that, and I go open the email page, again the internet is slower than usual, I spend 5 minutes trying to figure out where the email is, if it was sent, where Google put it.... and if I didn't get the email, or I did and the recipes aren't easy, I'm super bummed. It might be only 15 minutes of my life wasted away, but on the internet, that 15 minutes can add up to the rest of your life if you aren't careful.

Am I preaching to a choir here?

In this case, the person with the recipes tried to do everything right. They had an ad, a landing page, an email sign up, a free optin... I wanted what they offered. But then I hate them for it by the time it's over.

They say in most business cases, the bulk of your best business is repeat business. This is especially true for writers.

Part of that is building trust. Follow through on your promises. Make sure they can have access to it. Be transparent. Be ethical.

I offer free downloads on this blog (though I'm planning to change it a bit), and at some point, Google changed some things and broke all the links. I didn't know they did this. I don't know how many people tried to download their free thing and couldn't before I found out and tried to fix it.

Now it's not my fault this happened, but I'm accountable for it.

One guy even commented that I was just another spammy site.

Ooooh that hurt.

Now while I can forgive myself because I did the best I could, it's like that one guy may never forgive me. I broke his sacred trust by promising something and not being there when I said I would be there.

So you want to actively make sure your stuff is working the way it's supposed to whether you go through and do it, or find someone to pay or volunteer to swing through your site and give you some feedback on the user experience.

I am personally to a point when I decide to tweak and update the download and free optins, I think I'm going to provide the links on the Thank You page in case people don't get my email for it.

The real secret behind increasing blog traffic... it's about the people


The bottom line is it isn't about frequency, pinterest strategies, methods etc. though those do help, but really it's about people. It's about finding out what makes them tick. It's about appealing to their emotions and feel goods.

The best sales people in any given company are the ones who are sociopaths. They are usually the ones who can read people and figure them out. They will tell you things like, "I can tell this guy was a very logical type, so I just focused on facts with him, but his wife seemed very spontaneous and impulsive, so I knew if I appealed to her, she would sell the product for me to him." They look for things like, "Who is the decision maker? What influences their decision?"

But for the most part, in your case, for bloggers, your best bet is to think about your social presence offline (where you can observe nonverbal cues) and find what works for you naturally, and try to harness that social power online.

  • Where and when and what situations are you usually the center of attention? 
  • Why do you think you are more the center of attention in those situations than in others? 
  • What type of people do you end up talking to in any situation?
  • What type of friends do you usually attract?
  • When you are talking to your target reader, what seems to work well with them offline? What makes them get more engaged in what you're saying? 
And there are social dynamics that's easy to get confused by because it's not an exact science, so frequently trying to analyze it in regards to you might bring you some epiphanies. 

For instance, in my case, I always end up talking to men. Just about every party, the workplace and even a bar, I end up talking to men about things like military experience, football, business, etc. But I never become friends with them. All my BFF's are women, and very girly ones at that, who like pink and glitter and smelling good, and while some of them can hang in a conversation about football, they rarely ever want to talk about football. 

For the longest time, I felt like I was screwing up by trying to write for a female demographic because I am usually the hit of the show around men. My most-read pieces that were not on my blog were on The Good Men Project, not Mamalode or Blunt Moms... But then I realize my blog (my old blog) is /was a place where I get intimate about my thoughts and feelings, where I say things I wouldn't say in a group of men, things reserved for my BFF, so I probably did things right with that. 

There's just so many variables it's easy to miss some. There's a time and a place for things. It's obvious when you are really into BDSM and are wanting to avoid talking about that in your church lady's group, but not so obvious when you're into Photography and trying to decide what aspects to focus on in a group of business owners. 

The conclusion part... 



I think it's easy to get caught up in all the 50 gazillion things the internet sells us. But that's the thing. They are selling to us. Pinterest is selling to us. Google is selling to us. The places who offer paid courses are selling their courses, and part of that is selling the message in those courses. They all probably have "Bloggers" as a target market. And for the most part, they aren't wrong.

For the most part, their advice is good advice, and it's designed to appeal to our feel-goods which is why it's so popular, but in order to fully increase blog traffic to its fullest potential, the human component is a must-have in your foundation. They couldn't sell you that Pinterest drives traffic to your blog without that human component in their strategies. It's just unfortunate they don't really talk about that in their strategies.

But that shouldn't stop you from figuring it out, analyzing their methods, and trying to incorporate some of that into yours.

Pinterest and Instagram appeal to human visual senses, and as a result, pretty pictures attract women. If you think about that for a while, your brain will go places like...Women like beautiful things more than men do, so maybe I should feel more complimented when a woman calls me beautiful than when a man does... wow... but really if I want a site that appeals to women, it probably needs to be visually pretty. Matching colors. Coordinating accessories. ...

It's amazing where the mind can wander when it wonders. But eventually, you'll find a good FEEL for what's working for Pinterest, how it works, and why it works, and before you know it, you're kind of doing some of that with your site or blog without meaning to.

And don't stop at Pinterest. All the major companies are putting in loads of money and time evaluating their insights, performing studies, A/B testing with their stuff, the user experience... Time and money that is beyond what most of us can afford... So while they may not tell you the results of their studies, they show you. They are not going to make a change or update based on one guy's idiot idea. It will be based on research. Primarily human behavior.

And because everyone is different, it's going to be different for everyone, so you write content, see what's working, see what's not working, and keep writing and experimenting.

And remember, the internet is always evolving at a rapid pace.

Poppy on a blue background. Increase blog traffic. The part nobody talks about.