Getting a lot of visitors to your blog is essentially what it is all about right? Imagine your in a band and you have practiced for months, many hours every day and you’re giving a concert. Would you be disappointed if no one showed up except for your friends? Unfortunately this is the scenario for many bloggers and I will not risk that it happens for you!
The blogosphere is a huge and very busy world with more than 100 million blogs and it is still growing. While blogs around the world attract an insane amount of traffic the competition is still very tough. Essentially it means that you have to stand out and teach yourself some basic traffic generation skills just to be noticed and that you need to learn the techniques used by professional bloggers and Internet marketers to build a high traffic and potentially very profitable blog based business.
There are numerous ways to drive good traffic to a blog and you just need to lean how to implement the most effective to make it. Many blogger only write and write and while writing is an essential part of blogging it is not enough. However I have to say that “Content is KING!” and without good solid content your blog will have a hard time attracting loyal readers. In this article I will share the best traffic techniques I know and use myself.
1. Keep your blog updated with great content
This is obvious I know, but many bloggers fail to deliver good content on a regular schedule. It is important to have a plan and follow it. Posting at the same time every day or 5 days a week is a very powerful approach as reader gets used to checking your blog e.g every morning at the office or while drinking their cup of coffee in the evening. Frequently updating your blog with useful content is the first step to building your blog’s audience. The content you write is what will keep readers coming back for more. Make sure you have something meaningful to say to them and say it often to maintain their interest and keep them loyal.
If you find it hard to keep up with the work required there are good options to get around not doing everything yourself. You may e.g. consider asking readers and other bloggers to do guest posting.
2. Harness the Power of Comments
Good and relevant conversation with your readers makes you blog and your content more valuable. Commenting is a key element of blogging and one of the mail reasons why blogs became so popular. Commenting is a simple and essential tool to increase your blog’s traffic. First, respond to comments left on your blog to show your readers that you value their opinions and draw them into a two-way conversation. This will increase reader loyalty. One extremely effective way to take this even further is to use Subscribe To Comments. This plugin for WordPress allows your readers to sign up for email notification when new comments arrive on a post they find interesting. This is great a great way to further improve the dialogue and for attracting more traffic to your blog.
Second, you should consider leaving comments on other relevant blogs to drive new traffic from their readers. Make sure you leave a relevant and valuable comment and that it contains a link back to your blog. Many people will read the comments left on a blog post. If they read a particularly interesting comment, they are likely to click on the link and end up on your blog.
3. Take advantage of Social Bookmarking Sites
Taking the time to submit your best posts to social bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon,Reddit and more can be a simple way to quickly boost traffic to your blog. On tripwire magazine every post is first submitted to StumbleUpon using their su.pr service. Then it is submitted to digg. The title and su.pr short url is then submitted to twitter and our facebook fan page etc. Many blogs also have a submit article link service and it is also a good way to get targeted traffic. A great tip for building your twitter follower count is using tweet adder. You can see how to use it here.
4. Network with peer blogger and use Your Blogroll
Try to contact other bloggers that you share interests with or in other words that are in your niche. See if you can get to know them and share experience and ideas with them. You may get valuable inputs that you can use to improve your own blog and attract more traffic. Further you can suggest to share links in your blogrolls. This is a powerful way to get traffic from people visiting the other blog, but it may also improve your SEO rating as it will count as backlinks to your blog.
5. High performance post back-linking
Continuing on 3. you should use your contact with other bloggers to see if you can get links placed in relevant and high performing posts or in new posts they are working on. In return you can offer the same. However you need to know what a high performing post is and how to locate it. Generally you can look for multiple indicators such as number of comments, number of social book marks, Google Page rank (could use tool like this)
6. Syndicate Your Blog’s Content with an RSS Feed
Setting up an RSS feed button on your blog makes it easy for your loyal readers to not just read your blog but also know when you publish new content. It is also a good idea to add a call to action below each post asking readers to sign up. This is an example of how it could look:
Another important step is to use feedburner.com as it improves the way you can present and the ways you can deliver your feed, but more importantly it provides subscriber tracking capabilities. If you use feedburner the FeedBurner FeedSmith plugin for WordPress is very useful for making sure readers are forced to the right feed. Basically the plugin will detect all ways to access your feed (e.g. http://www.yoursite.com/feed/ or http://www.yoursite.com/wp-rss2.php, etc.), and redirect them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber. It will forward for your main posts feed and optionally, your main comments feed as well.
7. Use Links and Trackbacks
Links are very important for improving the value of you content and your blog. Linking to relevant articles where the topic you write about is also covered makes your content better. You may do this in the text itself or by adding a section at the bottom called references or resources. As I will explain in a minute links gets noticed by search engines and improve PR and placement in search results (SEO), but they also help you to build a relationship to other bloggers who who will notice that you are linking to their sites. They will then investigate the sites that are linking to them and they may link back. It may also turn these bloggers into new readers of your blog.
You can take links to other blogs a step further by leaving a trackback on the other blog to let them know you’ve linked to them. Blogs that allow trackbacks will include a link back to your blog in the comments section of the post that you originally linked to. People do click on trackback links but it is not a massive traffic source.
8. Tag Your Posts
It takes a few extra seconds to add tags to each of your blog posts, and believe me it is worth the time. Tags can be effective for driving additional traffic to your blog. Tags are easily noticed by search engines (also see tip below). They’re also great for helping readers find relevant content on your blog and important for being easy to find on popular blog search engines such as Technorati.
9. Apply as much SEO, Search Engine Optimization as possible
When you write your blog posts and pages it is important to optimize them for search engines to find and easily process them. Why? Because traffic from search engine is free, highly targeted and then there is a lot of it. On tripwire magazine more than 50% of the traffic comes from search engines. SEO consists of both on page and off page factors and at least you need to get the on page factors right before publishing. On page factors is about knowing some rules and best practice and then comply with these in your posts. You can find a full overview of SEO factors and a automated tool for improving your SEO here, but let’s look at some of the most important elements to get right here.
- Create relevant and short headlines with keywords
- Have H1 and H2 with keywords in your posts. Also makes the post easier to read
- Make sure to have links in you post to both pages on your blog and on external sites. Add keywords in anchor text
- Use permalinks and url structure with relevant keywords. Check out this WordPress SEO articlefor instructions.
- Add an meta descriptions text with a summery of the post. It should not be more than 160 characters
Off page SEO is about creating back links to your blog and posts. This is probably the most effective
10. Add Relevant Images
Images are critical for making a post look pretty and word spending time reading. However images are also good at helping people finding your blog through search engines. Googles and Yahoos image search options are popular and if you remember to add relevant text with keywords to your images alt tag they will be easy to find.
Know what is going on!
One of the most important elements of traffic building is knowing what works. I recommend you consider to use Google Analytics for WordPress as it is the easiest and most powerful way to track your WordPress site. This includes lots of metadata: views per author & category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and pageviews. Google Analytics for WordPress is the most complete Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. Of course, you could just copy the tracking code into your theme and be done with it, but then you’d miss a whole lot of features that this plugin has to offer you. All the extra data this plugin can add to your tracking is what makes Google Analytics for WordPress into the most powerful tracking tool you’ve ever seen.
There are of course other tips and trick you can use for building traffic to your blog and I will add to this list going forward. I have only touched briefly on traffic building for a blog. Remember to subscribe and I will let you know when more tips arrive!
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