Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How to Increase Your Blog Traffic

One of my goals for 2017 is to write more blog posts that you guys actually want to read. Don't get me wrong, I love sharing outfit posts with you (and those aren't going anywhere), but I also want to delve a little bit deeper... whether it's opening up and getting more personal, or just writing blog posts on different topics that you're truly interested in. Today's post came about because of one question that I get at least once, sometimes dozens, of times per day... how to grow a blog. Although I do think there's a certain amount of "luck" involved (for instance, the right timing), the driving factor behind a blog's growth is hard (and creative!) work.

Here are some things I've learned from six years of blogging:

Consistency is KEY! Being consistent means posting at the same time, on the same days, week after week. I'm not saying you have to put up a new blog post every single day, rather, find a routine that works for you and stick with it. If you only post three times per week, try scheduling your posts for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and have them go live at the same time. Readers quickly lose interest if you post on different days each week or have long gaps between posts - therefore, give your readers a posting schedule that they can rely on.

Building a loyal audience on social media can be invaluable to your blog. Make sure you're represented on the main social media outlets - Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and YouTube. You should utilize each of these accounts in a different way to create awareness and drive traffic to your blog. For example, Instagram is very image-driven, so choose only the very best photo from your blog post that day and then include a caption with directions on how to access the full post. With Twitter, you have the advantage of including both a picture and a direct hyperlink to the post - so include both! Here is an example of what I'm talking about. With Pinterest, you can pin images from your blog post to your own pinboards. And just like with your blog, you also want to be consistent with your social media accounts. I try to post at least once per day on each account to generate interest and keep them updated with fresh content.

Okay, by "be reliable" I mean you have to build trust with your readers! Trust is earned, not given. Be forthright with your readers, always. There are several components to this. In general, if a reader asks you a question, be honest with them. If a post is sponsored, let your readers know. On another note, if a brand approaches you and wants to pay you to post about their products, but you don't use their products or wouldn't buy them yourself, DON'T WORK WITH THEM. Yes, it is hard to turn down someone who is offering to pay you money, but I promise it is worth it in the end. Your readers can tell when you're not being authentic, or when you're promoting a brand that isn't truly your style. I have turned down some amazing opportunities because I felt like I would be lying to my readers by wearing products I didn't love. And - it makes it 100,000 times better when a brand that you DO love wants to work with you. Your readers can tell when partnerships are authentic and when you really do love the brand you're representing.

I'm going to be honest, one of the hardest parts of blogging is creating fresh, unique content, day after day and month after month. You have to continuously challenge yourself to come up with new ideas, whether it's a new blog post topic, new outfit combination, or even a unique pose for an Instagram photo. Although it's easy to look to other bloggers for inspiration and imitate what they've already done, I would encourage you not to do this (in fact, I consider this to be plagiarism of intellectual property). The best advice I can give is to do you: find your niche; discover what works for you and for your audience and stick to that. You can find inspiration in so many different places, but other bloggers should not be one of them. Your blog will only be successful if it's different than all the rest.

To increase your blog traffic, you must fully understand your blog analytics. I recommend that all bloggers install a Google Analytics script on their blogs. Blogspot's statistics are not always reliable, but Google Analytics' are. Google Analytics will tell you everything you've ever wanted to know about your blog traffic - pageviews, sessions, unique users, reader demographics, even the search terms that people Googled that eventually led them to your blog. Use these analytics to your advantage - for example, if people keep searching for your posts on makeup, maybe that's a sign you should be focusing more on beauty; or if you learn that your audience is mostly age 30 and older, maybe you should focus on posts that cater to them.

Let's be real... you can write the lengthiest, deepest, best-written blog post in the world, but if it doesn't have strong imagery, then you won't get very far (especially in the fashion blogging world!). When it comes to fashion, the photos are EVERYTHING - they can make or break your blog. If you want to take your blog to the next level, invest in a nice camera and a good lens (I recommend a 50mm 1.8 lens), learn how to shoot in manual, and invest in good editing software (I use Lightroom). Large photos that take up a lot of the computer screen tend to do better, as do photos that are clear and in focus. It's definitely a learning process - I learned almost everything about photography from trial and error and from making mistakes along the way.

And there you have it! Obviously I'm only touching on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to blogging, but I do believe that these are the main points in creating a successful blog and increasing your traffic month over month. On another note, PLEASE leave me a comment and let me know what kind of other blog posts you're interested in seeing! Whether it's about makeup, relationships, blogging, or whatever you want to read, I'd love to know!




  1. Thanks so much for posting this, Caitlin! I've been blogging for almost 2 years, but I've decided that this is the year I'm going to put in the work to get it off the ground and these tips are so helpful!

    I know that you probably don't want to blog about blogging, but I would love to see more on this topic as I feel there are many bloggers out there who brush off requests for blogging advice posts. One area I struggle with in particular is planning. I would love to see how you create your editorial calendar (esp. when you start prepping for Holidays, for example, when you plan to show readers a Valentine's Day outfit and how early your Christmas gift guides go live.) Any posts on planning would be really helpful to me; how you plan out your days to get everything accomplished, how you plan trips, your blogging editorial calendar, etc.)

    XO, Emily
    Epicurean Emily

  2. I love this post so much! I live in Sweden and here it´s normal to update 1-3 times a day so we always need new ideas and it´s not easy shooting pictures in a country when we can go a whole month without seeing the sun (true story, November is the worst month). But since I started readeing american blogs I´ve gotten so much inspo because you are so different to what I´m used to :D


    1. So sad hearing it from you about the climate conditions of your country. Good luck and hope you would visti my blog! Thank you

  3. Some great tips here, Cait! Instagram and Twitter add loads of traffic to my blog, so I try to post about my posts on there as much as I can.


  4. Loved reading your thoughts and have enjoyed reading your blog for so many years! As a lady who is about to hit her fourth year of blogging I love these tips that you shared! All of them are so true! Can't wait to read more in the coming year and continue to follow along!
    Blessings, Rebecca :)

  5. I loved this post Caitlin!! Something I want to get better about this year is posting to each social media platform every day. In 2016 I focussed a lot on improving the quality and consistency of my Instagram account- but there are other platforms too, haha! It can be a lot to keep up with but all pays off.

    And I would love to see any relationships or other lifestyle type posts!! I'm trying this year to write more personal/lifestyle content mixed in each week, so far so good! :D

    xoxo A

  6. Thank you so much for this great post! It did help a lot! Please do more posts about blogging/how to shoot a good outfit post/photography skills/Editing Blog Photos/Collaborations/Networking etc!

    As I started blogging a few month ago this is all so interesting and new to me!

    Love your outfit posts aswell!

    Thanks for being such a gorgeous inspiration dear! <3



  7. These are great tips- thank you! I definitely need to pay more attention to my analytics! x

  8. Great post! Loving that top! I think you should post a "5 year Plan"......Like what do you see your self doing...married? kids?

    Also what would you consider to be a pivotal moment in your blogging career.....like what was your "big break" or something like that :)

  9. BTW is your chair from Restoration hardware? I think i have the same one :)

  10. I love this post! I want to start my own blog but I know that to be successful, it requires so much time and effort. As a full time working mom of 3 year old twins and a 10 month old boy, as you can imagine, I don't have much free time.
    I would love to see posts about your hair. The products you use (honestly) and a video of how you do it. I'd also love to see a house tour! I love seeing peeks of your place in your photos.

  11. I started my lifestyle blog (fashion, travel, beauty, and food & drink) on Thanksgiving. Before diving in, I read a lot about blogging. And I have my favorite bloggers I use as inspiration...while still be true to myself (a great tip in itself). And I'm loving it.

    Even though I have someone taking photos for me, I am still learning all I can about photography.

    Thanks for this post!


  12. Loved reading these tips especially as someone who just started their blog only a little over a year ago! I definitely need to start utilizing Twitter more!


  13. Love this! I'm a long time reader and I personally love personal posts (of course nothing too personal that you wouldn't want to share), but I read a lot of blogs and I keep coming back to the ones that have a touch of personal in them. Love your blog though and I'm from Charlotte as well so it's very easy to relate!

  14. Such a great post and these tips are super helpful! My goal this year is to put more effort into analytics and focus on getting readers to the blog. You are fabulous my friend!

    Brittany 🙂

  15. Finally! Thanks so much you really helped me a lot.

  16. This is such a good read! I definitely think consistency and imagery are SO important, just from a reader perspective!

    Carrie | http://carrieelise.com/

  17. Thank you for posting this and it was so helpful. It's my goal to grow even bigger this year and do a lot more outfit pictures. Your such a big inspiration so hope these could help me and I'd be a better and bigger blogger to come.

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale |

  18. Thank you for this!! I am trying to improve my photography skills!!!

    Mel | www.thegossipdarling.com

  19. Thanks for this post it is so helpful as a new blogger! I would love to see more posts on blogging and of course I am always a fan of your outfit posts and your décor, you have such great style!

    Lindz | https://lindzfw.wordpress.com/

  20. I love this!! I would love to see a post dedicated to your camera settings and how you edit your photos. ❤

  21. I love your blog posts! I am not a blogger but this post is so interesting to me as I am always curious about the blogging world :) I would love to see a blog post about how you switched careers from the corporate world to becoming a blogger. I'm personally trying to make a huge career change but don't know where to get started, and would love any advice you have! As far as other blog posts, I love to see products compared to each other like BB/CC creams, eye creams, lipsticks, etc. I love all of your posts about beauty products as I'm always trying to find new ones to try!

    Thanks! :)

  22. This is SUCH a random question, but what are your settings when exporting your photos from Lightroom? My file sizes are always super big but I want to keep the quality there!

    Sweetly, Sally // www.sweetlysally.com

  23. This was very insightful Caitlin! I am really going to dulve into Google Analytics and use it to my advantage. I have had it since the start of my blog and truly never looked at it.
    Now is the time!

  24. These are such good, honest tips. And very valuable to new bloggers! Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers!

    Katie | WillowAndWhiteBlog.com

  25. Love this post! Someone mentioned this above, but I would also like to read a post about the transition from corporate to full time blogging. When did you know it was the right time?


  26. Thank you so much for this post. It was very helpful :) Love your blog :)
    Greatings from Poland :)


  27. These are some great tips and I know my blog could use all the help it can get. While I enjoy your fashion posts too, the blog posts such as this one, and also the book review posts, are just as much fun to read.

  28. I'd love to read a post about cleaning out your closet! I try to do this biannually and sometimes struggle with what to keep, what to ditch, etc. Any tips beyond the old "if you haven't worn it in a year" rule?

  29. This is great! If you do more posts on blogging, I think one on lighting (what lighting devices you use and recommend) or how to shoot in manual would be really helpful!

  30. These are awesome tips. I really appreciate you taking the time to share them with your readers! Keep being yourself! :)

    Top Knots & Sweatpants

  31. Love this post girl! I think its great when other bloggers share their tips & tricks - keep it goin, girl!

    Sidenote, what kind of camera + lens combo(s) do you use? Thinking of updating my Nikon to some new gear!


  32. Loved this post! As someone just starting to blog I would love to read some more photography tips :)


  33. Some great tips - thank you! Love it when you post educational posts regarding blogging - it's so interesting getting insights from someone who is doing it full time. Would also love to see more relationship and lifestyle posts.
    Charlie x

  34. I do a lot of these things that you mention. I do need to work on getting better photo's


  35. Thank you so much for posting some of your top tips for new bloggers :) I've been working hard on each of these steps and it has definitely pay off! Consistency and being myself has taken me the farthest :) Your work ethic and growth is definitely admirable!


  36. You are such a doll. Thank you so much for posting this, great tips! You are such an inspiration and I look forward to coming to your blog every day. I hope we get to meet some day! :)

    My dream has always been to start a fashion & lifestyle blog but I have yet to take the plunge.


  37. Amazing post Caitlin!! For me, Pinterest is the most effective social media outlet (in terms of views at least) for me, but I definitely agree it's so important to be represented on all of them :) I would love to see a post about being a full time blogger! (Your daily routine, how you transitioned from a 9-5 to blogging, etc) :)

  38. Great post!! Love seeing something that can help us smaller bloggers :) I found the biggest way to attract new viewers to my blog is by commenting on other's blog posts with genuine comments! Thanks for sharing xox
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

  39. Thanks so much for sharing this! Although I love your outfit posts, I also enjoy your personal ones too. I would like to learn more about the blogging mistakes you made and what you learned from them. I would also like to learn how you stay organized. I know some bloggers have assistants or a whole team but I think you said in another post that you manage things by yourself, which I'm sure is a ton of work!


  40. Such a great post Cait! I love when bloggers reach out about what works for them. I'm thinking about buying a new camera in the next few months and was wondering which one you use? Your photos are always gorg!


  41. Thank you for this post! It is so helpful when bloggers share info like this. I think you have been doing a great job on mixing up your posts whether it's makeup, recipes, outfits, travel, etc. It's all fantastic! I do like seeing posts on blogging...what to do, not to do. One question I have that I don't think I've read anywhere yet is how did you learn about doing the website and inserting everything into it? Do you do it yourself or have someone help you? Thanks love!

  42. I love all your mentions about Pod Casts - Up and Vanished is my FAVORITE. Let me know if you find any more that you love.

  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. Love these different types of post from you! Would you do a whole series devoted to each of these points?


  45. This is a great post, thank you so much! I'm definitely gonna take your advice with many of the things you talked about.

    Marta - www.aroundcolours.blogspot.com

  46. Love this. I'm always so happy to get advice from a successful blogger. I'd love info on the best way to make linkable images and collages in a future post. Thanks Cait!!!

  47. I would love to see a Day in the Life post from you or weekend recap posts... just daily life kinds of things. Or even a behind the scenes at one of your photo shoots. That would be cool, too!

  48. Great tips! I definitely want to work on being very consistent with my posting x


  49. I'd love to see a blogpost specifically on how you started blogging. (how and why you thought to start blogging, how long it took to get to the first post and why, etc)

  50. I'd love to see a blogpost specifically on how you started blogging. (how and why you thought to start blogging, how long it took to get to the first post and why, etc)

  51. I would love to see a home tour as well! Furniture, decor, ect

  52. I would love to see a home tour as well! Furniture, decor, ect

  53. I love your blog and reading your posts, especially the ones about blogging. I am not an aspiring blogger by any means, but I find the fashion and blogging world so interesting! I would love to see a post about how you save money / budget money between paying bills and rent and groceries, to fun spending money for clothes, shoes, vacations etc, to saving and what you like to save for? Also, how often/when do you let yourself "splurge"? Whether is be a nice bag, shoes, etc?
    Love the blog!! Been following for years!

  54. Thanks so much for posting this!I love your photos and their evolution as you have become more experienced. You have said in the past that your mom takes a lot of your photos. Is that still true now that you don't live in Charlotte anymore? I personally have not started a blog project, because the photography aspect is daunting to me. Such as WHO will snap photos if I am the "subject" of the photos. Do I use a tripod or other tools? Ect...What sort of items have you found to be helpful? I would also love to know of any helpful resources when it came to learning the photography aspect of your blog/business (besides trial and error). Book? YouTube? Other blogs? Thanks so much!

  55. Love a good blogging blog post! I'm sure a lot of other gals are with me when they'd love to hear like how to choose the right image name and alt tags too, since I never know how to name everything!

    I also love recipe posts! I tried one of the boyfriend approved chicken dishes for the hubs and he loved it, so tonight I'm making the chicken salad recipe! I like how you share healthy but nothing too scary for a guy to eat, lol!

    Xo, Nina
    Law of Fashion Blog

  56. Love your blog! Can you tell me where you got your desk and shelving unit?

  57. I loved this, thank you! I'd definitely be interested in hearing more about the photography side of things- how you pick where to shoot, etc.

  58. Such great points, everything you said makes complete sense! I definitely plan on making more of an effort this year with my blog. The main thing I am lacking is consistency. You make it look so easy!


  59. Great post and advice for any blogger. Analytics is something I'm still getting use to, but it definitely makes a difference when you pay attention to when, and what content your followers are looking at.

    More lifestyle posts this year would be great! Packing for trips, getting ready, cooking/recipes, etc.


  60. Great post, I am all about the images, if they're too small, badly light or poor quality, I click off. I'm just a very visual person. Although I do enjoy a good read, so if there's only a single image but excellent copy then I might hang about lol. Analytics are incredibly important...something I must get better at focusing on for myself!

    Honestly Aine

  61. These are all such great tips! Thank you for sharing :)


  62. Thanks for the tips!!


  63. Hey Caitlin! Quick question about your tip on investing in a 50mm 1.8 lens. Does it matter whether the lens is "D" or "G" ? There seems to be a few options and I wanted to get the right one!

    Thanks so so much!
    Affordable by Amanda

  64. Thanks for the advice! It's always helpful to get some perspective from a successful blogger.

    Hugs from California,


  65. Love your post! :)


  66. Caitlin,

    Thank you for writing this post! I got so much great info from it. I just starting blogging and I will take all the help I can get! Love the content and what you are doing. I would appreciate more posts like this!

  67. I really like seeing successful bloggers give advice, it makes me happy to see people spreading knowledge and helping others to achieve their own unique success!


  68. Love your blog! You are one of my favorite bloggers and you are totally right about consistency being important to having a successful blog. I love reading your posts every week day after I get home from work. I would love more home decor posts -- your style is amazing all around! Maybe you could do something about storage and organization? I'm also an avid reader so I enjoy your book reviews and recommendations. But overall, just keep doing what you're doing! You're a very talented blogger and are so sweet and genuine. :)


  69. Home tour/interior decorating! Your place looks so cute, I'd love a little tour for inspiration!!

  70. Home tour/interior decorating! Your place looks so cute and I'd love a little tour for some inspiration!

  71. Love this! Thank you for posting this. It's very helpful. :) By the way your puppy is so cute :)


  72. Thank you for sharing such great tips! My main focus for 2017 is definitely my blog, I really want to be more expressive and creative on there :)
    XO Janina

  73. Great post! I am not a blogger but I am trying to learn photography...just to take good family photos. I would love a post on any photography tips you have and the basics of shooting in manual or editing in lightroom

  74. I really enjoyed this post! I would love to read about how you edit your pics in depth and what makes a great area to shoot pics. Thanks always and much love! Xo

  75. I love any content that gives good advice. Loved reading this post. Also, when we met at rStheCon a couple years ago I never asked you about your PR background and if it was a tough decision to leave your day job to blog full time. My background is PR, too, but I'm still trying to balance my career at Adobe, blogging, motherhood and everything else! Bahh! Hey, tere's an idea for a post... how you find balance without sacrificing momentum. ;) Keep up the inspiring work! Love you, Girl. ��


  76. Hi Caitlin- this post is my favorite to date. I discovered your blog shopping at Southpark mall...one of the girls at Nordstrom mentioned, then an hour later a gal at Kendra Scott did too. I figured I better check it out and so glad I did! I find it interesting how good old word of mouth grows traffic.

    Some additional content I would love- how to grow one's Instagram following (in turn feeds the blog), photography tips, and how to take one's blog to the next level in terms of site design/look & feel. Thanks for writing this post!

    Fifteen Minutes to Flawless

  77. I really loved how you kind of hit on all the MAIN factors of blogging! I JUST started my blog a week ago and really wanna put my all into it. This just gave me that extra boost I needed!

    xoxo Chaneya

  78. I love your posts!!! ❤❤ Thanks for the tips it's exactly what I needed!


  79. Love seeing what you've posted every day! I would love to see a post about how you organize your closet? Or organize your jewelry?

  80. Thank you for sharing these tips!! I would love to see more posts dedicated to blogging! :-)


  81. Good tips Cait! I personally don't have anything else to add to your list but maybe a good follow up blog post would to be to do a part two from this one. Maybe a second part with further tips on how to increase blog traffic and then maybe one on how to do so on IG, FB, etc. As always, love your looks and all your social channels. -Amber (AmberNicoleFashion) http://ambernicolefashion.com/

  82. Thank you for sharing Caitlin! I started my blog in August this past year and it's going good so far! Although I still have a full time job, I believe time management is everything when having a blog! I learn to say no to a lot of brands even if they are willing to pay or the product is free! I see this a lot on Instagram and I just work with companies that I love and most importantly that are me! I think you should do more YouTube videos!

    Gabriela Vera

  83. love this post!so helpful.

  84. Great tips for everyone out there! ♥ Ash
    The Yellow Petunia

  85. Thnks for the advices


  86. This is wonderful insight! Thank you for sharing.

    xx Kathryn

  87. Thanks a lot for this post, it helped me a lot with my blog!
    BTW, I loove your blog! <3

  88. Great post, found it really interesting! Emily oxo

  89. This was super helpful! I would love to read more posts about blogging, as well as your daily routines, how you use your planner, and how you manage your time with so much to do!

  90. Love this post ;)


  91. Thanks, I recently started a lifestyle blog and this post was really helpful!


  92. Very useful tips! I've been reading your stuff for a while now, but I t's my first time commenting because this was so helpful! I'm really enjoying your posts on blogging. Decor is always cool. So glad you're mixing it up!

  93. I'd love to read some posts about relationships from you! College is a tricky dating scene, so I'd love to hear advice about how you dealt with that, how dating is different after college, etc.!

  94. Love all these tips! I couldn't agree more that it's all about the images

  95. Such helpful tips!! It's so hard to balance all of those things, but you're so right. Consistency is key!!!

  96. Hi Caitlyn! If you could do a more thorough post on what camera you shoot on? That would be what I'm interested in :) I have found it so hard to get bloggers to share the specific camera they shoot on. They say DSLR, but then not which one. Are they trying to keep it a secret?? Haha, that's what it feels like ;) Thanks!

  97. Thank you so much this is very helpful information!! :) I hope this will help to improve my blog traffic :)

  98. I just love your fashion sense! You really inspire me every day....

  99. I love your fashion sense. you always inspire me

  100. I'm working on stepping up my blogging game so this post was so helpful! Definitely want to learn how to shoot in manual ♥

    Amy // snippetsofamy.co.uk

  101. I definitely wanted to see a post like this! Thanks girl!


  102. Love this post! I just started my own lifestyle blog, so these tips are super helpful.
    Thanks :)


  103. I'd love a post on photography! Your photos are beautiful, so clear and bright!


  104. Hello! Enjoyed your post about blogging--I'm working to build up readership for mine now, but my biggest question is how do you build those relationships online through Twitter and Instagram? Do you reach out and comment on other's postings regularly? I tend to get a little shy about that. Would love some pointers!


  105. really dope tipss thankyou so muchh :)))

  106. Analytics is everything! I fell off the blogging bandwagon, but now that I'm back -- it's like crack. Trying to find who the new readers are (or will be) is so much fun!


  107. These are such good tips that I just have to keep reminding myself and I have to kind of think on what to center on. Thank you!

  108. I love these tips, Caitlin! One of my goals for 2017 is to grow my blog so this is definitely helpful!


  109. Great tips! Thank you for sharing!


  110. Love this post! I just started my own lifestyle blog, so these tips are super helpful.
    Thanks :)
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