Generating Blog Traffic

>> Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another question from Shakespeare - this one was about ways of generating blog traffic. I know, you asked Steph, not me... but I offered to tackle it for her and she took me up on it.

I am assuming, Shakespeare, from what I know about you as a blogger, that you are interested more in real traffic, rather than just numbers/making money - so that is the sort of traffic I am going to focus on.... and I do know that you already do some of the things that I suggest - in that case, just keep doing 'em :)

So - ways to generate sticky blog traffic:


Most people already know - or have read, at least - that "content is king". And this is absolutely true... if you don't have content people want to read, they won't read, won't stay and won't bother bookmarking. So keeping your focus on content should always be the first priority.

Unfortunately, even with the best of content, if few people find you, few will ever know how wonderful your content is. Which is why the following things are also valuable:


Real comments - not empty/self-promoting ones, of course - but real, thoughtful comments, are an important way to generate traffic. Comments potentially bring traffic from the person whose blog you comment on, and also from other commenters. Plus there is something to be said for name recognition - the more you comment the more often people will see your name/link ... so even if they don't follow you the first time, it's well worth doing.

Of course, you'll want to make sure that your address is in your comments!

If, like me, you have more than one blog, it's good to change links to the most relevant link as you go.


Blogging is all about connections - that means links. To build page rank, links to your blogs are especially helpful. You can't, of course, run around demanding that other bloggers link to you (and use the keywords you want to them to use while they do it) ... but you can, whenever possible, be generous with the links you use in your blog.

If people see traffic coming from your blog, they might just follow them to see what you've written, and be more likely to return the favour. And even if not, if people see that you ARE generous with links, they may be more inclined to comment.

Links that include searchable keywords are always preferable. So if we wanted to link to your site for example:


Most online forums allow you to put a links/links to your sites in your signature (look for User CP/signature) - once you've done that, participating in forums related to your blog topic(s) can generate a fair bit of traffic - and best of all, its traffic that is more likely to be interested enough to stay/comment/bookmark.

Twitter is another possibility - you don't have to spend hours on it, but if you build up a following, and then tweet each new blog post, you're likely to generate some traffic that way. You will want to add a link to your Twitter account to your blog, as well, to make it easy for other twitterers to follow you (she says as she realizes she hasn't done it since she moved)

Submit to directories

At the very least, you should, if you haven't already, submit your blog to Blog Catalog. There are others out there as well, but Blog Catalog is the one that I see the most hits from.

Make it easy for users to pass it on

Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit and a whole bunch of other social networking sites offer widgets that you can attach to your posts to make it easier for bloggers to recommend your posts to those sites. This is something I really haven't explored with blogspot - will try to do that tomorrow - seems to me there should be a widget that can do that for us.

Consider Entrecard and/or BlogExplosion

While both Entrecard and BlogExplosion require some time investment - its not enough to just sign up for them - you also have to spend some time dropping (on Entrecard) or blog-surfing (on BlogExplosion) - both sites are very good at kick-starting some traffic on your blogs.

And of course, you're not committed to remaining with either .... when you stop using them, your numbers will drop, at least initially.... but the GOOD traffic, the connections and quality blog visitors will stick (because of your excellent content, of course!)

There are all kinds of great resources out there about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and about all aspects of blogging .... and if you want to get that far into it, I'd be happy to pull together some resources... but hopefully for now, this, and any additional input from Steph's many brilliant readers - come on, what did I miss? .... will help.


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