If you’re new to blogging and you’ve already published a few posts, you may be wondering – when does the traffic start coming in?
As a matter of fact, one of the most common frustrations that new bloggers face is this. They publish quite a few articles on their new sites, excited for their audience to start building. Except, after waiting weeks or even months, their blog is still a ghost town.
Don’t worry – this doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s anything wrong with your website, or even the approach you’ve been taking with your content.
In this article, we’re going to cover how many blog posts you need, before you start receiving traffic. Then, we’re going to cover how you can speed up the entire process, and get visitors coming in more quickly.
So James, What’s The Magic Number?
There isn’t one – however, most people should at least be seeing some organic traffic from Google, after around 15 posts and two months of your website being online.
This number is high enough to ensure you have a good mix of keywords to potentially compete for, and long enough for Google to have properly indexed your website by now. If you’re currently beyond this point and still aren’t receiving any Google traffic at all, there may be something wrong with your strategy – perhaps targeting keywords that are too competitive, or writing articles on topics that nobody is searching for. We’ll discuss more on how to properly target keywords later in this article.
Note however that these numbers are only a set of guidelines. Some websites may start ranking after only 3 posts, whereas websites in very competitive niches might struggle for traffic even after 50 posts or more, if they’re not actively building backlinks to their articles.
Remember that Google’s priority is to ensure that they are best serving their users. This means that they display legitimate, quality search results for each search that is made.
Early on in your website’s life, Google has a hard time judging whether or not your website is legitimate, a giant spam farm, or even downright malicious. They learn over time by studying your website, and using a variety of signals to help judge where your website should stand.
The problem? Without existing visitors, this is very difficult.
Google also looks at other factors, like the topical relevance of your website. This is why it’s so important to cater your website to a specific niche. If Google can recognize that you’ve published 15 articles on coffee for example, it’s more apparent that coffee is the area that you specialize in. This may help you rank above other websites that focus on a huge variety of beverages, but have also yet to receive any of these other signals that Google’s looking for.
When it comes down to it, there are a million and one reasons why blog articles may or may not be ranking, so all that we can do is work to maximize our chances.
Let’s look at a few things that can help blog articles rank faster.
1. Set Up Google Search Console
If you haven’t done this already, you should probably do it now.
Google Search Console is a suite of tools that Google has released for website owners, which can help them to pinpoint any issues that prevent their site from being indexed by Google. It also provides some insights as to how your website is performing, which can be useful in the beginning stages.
By setting it up, you can answer some important questions. For example, you’ll be able to check whether or not your pages have even been discovered by Google yet, or whether they’re ranking at all.
Pages may in fact be ranking, but be showing up on page 7 where nobody ever searches.
Or, in the example above, they may be indexed and even ranking well, but could do better by fixing the issue that Google’s notifying us about.
By paying attention to warnings and data available inside of Google Search Console, you’ll ensure that there are no technical issues impacting your website’s ability to rank.
2. Track Results With Google Analytics – No Alternatives
Google Analytics is far more accurate, than other free analytics plugins like Jetpack.
I would even go as far to say that Jetpack is useless for tracking real, human visitors.
Therefore, if you want to monitor how your articles are performing in search, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using Google Analytics.
Fortunately, setting it up is easy, and instructions are available on Google’s website.
3. Target Low-Competition Keywords, With Search Demand
More often than not, this is the step that causes people issues.
If you want to succeed with blogging, you can’t just write about whatever you want. The large, exciting topics that tend to pop into our mind first, are usually the same ones that all of the other bloggers (with much bigger and more authoritative websites) have already written about.
You’re free to write about these later, but realistically speaking, you’re just not going to rank for these keywords when you’re just starting out.
Never forget that every keyword is a competition. You are competing with every other website that has written something on the same topic.
Some of these websites have been around longer, have more visitors, and have more positive signals that demonstrate to Google that the website should be trusted and valued.
This means that in the beginning, you should only focus on keywords that all other websites have ignored.
This means that when you do a Google search for the keyword, the front page isn’t full of articles already published on it. While a few might be okay (you can still get decent traffic if you rank in position 3 for example), you don’t want the the entire first page to be filled with competing articles.
Note that pages from websites like Reddit, Quora, or niche forums may be able to be overtaken with a full article, even one from a new website.
If you can find keywords that are both receiving a decent amount of search volume each month, while also having few to no competitors, you are practically guaranteed to receive Google traffic for those articles. This is why keyword research is a skill of its own, and is right up there with ‘good content’ in terms of its importance.
For details about the exact keyword research strategy I use on new websites, be sure to check out my blogging course by clicking here.
4. Bite The Bullet. Build Backlinks!
For many niches, building backlinks is a necessary evil.
It’s something that very few people actually enjoy doing, yet it will often make more of an impact than simply producing more content will.
In fact, good backlinks can lift up your entire website in pretty incredible ways!
In case you’re unfamiliar, backlinks are simply a link back to your website, from other websites on the internet. They are one of the most powerful signals to Google that a website is credible and should be paid attention to. The more quality backlinks that your website receives, the more authoritative and trustworthy it will appear in Google’s eyes.
There is a direct correlation between links to a page, and where that page will rank on Google.
For competitive queries, many of the top spots will have backlinks built to them already – making it very difficult to compete with them unless you build your own.
By the same token, active backlink building can take otherwise small websites, and help them rank in top positions even for very competitive keywords.
In fact, some people’s whole strategy is to rank a few key pages that they know will make them money – their entire website is supported around ranking one key page at a time.
5. Pay Attention To What Works
Finally, as soon as you start receiving any traffic at all, it’s important to pay attention to what’s worked for you – then repeat it.
If certain topics are doing better for you than others, continue fledging out articles in those areas until you have nothing left to write about – then move onto the next one.
Google the primary keywords that you’re ranking for, and look at what websites you’ve managed to outrank. Is it possible that you could outrank them for other pages too? What types of articles do they tend to write about?
Instead of chasing something entirely new, repeat what’s working as long as you can.
Remember, the goal is to maximize the amount of traffic you receive, with the least amount of effort. This means crafting your content around keywords that you’re more likely to rank for.
Because regardless of how great your content is, it doesn’t mean much if nobody ever sees it.
If you’ve been blogging for several months and your search engine traffic is nonexistent, you may consider changing your strategy.
While it’s normal for blogs to take 6 months or longer to begin receiving steady traffic, you can expedite the process by targeting easy keywords.
For more information on how to build profitable blogs, check out my blogging course by clicking here.
To your success,
– James McAllister