Blogging is more popular than ever, with 6.7 million blogs published worldwide. And when nearly 70% of US online consumers trust information and advice from blogs, it’s no wonder they are such an important part of influencer marketing programs today. Blog owners know, however, that expanding audience reach, continuing to grow blog readership, and driving traffic to a site can be challenging.

So how can you better grow and manage your online influence? We’ve outlined a set of tactics that can help get you the audience and readership you’re looking for:

Establish your presence

Personalize your site by selecting a theme that reflects something you love and your personality. Readers become emotionally connected to sites that show a real person behind the words. Also, if you’re not already on multiple social networks, sign up! The more social channels you’re active on, the greater opportunity you have to connect with followers. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., the more opportunities you have to share your blog post, the better chances more people will see and engage with it.

Write Great Content

Be strategic about the content you create. Your audience expects similar or related content each time they visit, so stray from writing about every topic under the sun. Build trust with your audience by consistently sharing the same type of content and staying authentic to your personal brand.

Here’s a rule of thumb: create content that you would want to read! Invite your readers into your life by sharing your passions and funny anecdotes from your day. Look into your website’s analytics and identify which posts are the most trafficked – these are content topics you should focus on as they draw the most interest. Also, pay attention to social engagement and make note of what is favorited and shared the most.

Get Graphic

Include images in your posts. Content with relevant images get 94% more views than text-only posts. There are a ton of resources out there that bloggers can use to create quality graphics. Linqia team members recommend Canva, a free and easy-to-use tool that’s great for placing text or a graphic overlays to include calls-to-action like “Make this!” or “Click here!”  Linqia Storytellers who include images with a graphic overlay have seen  an average of three times more engagement on Linqia programs. This is especially true on Pinterest, where Pins with a call-to-action are 80% more likely to be engaged with.

Find Your Tribe

Connect with like-minded individuals. Now that your content strategy is squared away, begin connecting with a circle of other content creators who post about similar topics and interests. If you’ve spent time surfing the web and reading different blogs and channels, you’ve likely seen a “link-up” or two.  A link-up is a collection of blog stories hosted within one blog post. It’s a great a way to promote and drive traffic to your blog while simultaneously gaining new followers from other Storyteller audiences. Devise a theme for your link-up, like Photo Fridays or Music Mondays, and reach out to your circle to see who’s interested in joining. Remember, multiple co-hosts assure that your link-up reaches a wider audience from the get-go.

Share Mindfully

Explore ways to distribute your content. Social media is a natural place to start, but you may have noticed some types of content perform better on certain social channels than others. For example, Pinterest is popular for sharing home and garden ideas, food photography, and recipes while Twitter is good for contests, questions, and current events. No matter what channel you choose to share on, be sure to always link back to your blog.

Another effective distribution channel is a weekly or monthly newsletter of your best content. Create an email capture on your website and invite your readers to join your email list. This lets you stay in touch with readers who might not have the time to consistently check your site for new content while continuing to drive interested readers back to the site.

Hashtag and Tag Your Location

As a final note, when uploading content on social networks, make sure to incorporate relevant or trending hashtags for exposure. This is a great way for people interested in your content to find your blog. Also, if available, tag your location on your post. Doing so will add your content to a library of relevant posts and make it more visible to non-followers.

When it comes to blog promotion and traffic increase, it’s best to start small and make adjustments to promotion strategies along the way. The tactics listed above can help you increase site visitors and social media followers. Another great resource is FirstSiteGuide, where you can find guides and tutorials built to help people establish their online identities.

If you have at least 2,500 social media followers and are interested in monetizing your influence and connecting with great brands, apply to become a Linqia Storyteller today.