No matter what your reason for starting a blog, everyone has the same ultimate goal in mind; and that’s to attract traffic and capture a wider audience of readers. Bringing traffic to a blog can have a number of benefits; generally, it can increase a blogger’s credibility and voice online; generate revenue through ad usage and pay-per-click payment structures; and attract clients for a business. So how can you increase the traffic to your blog in order to meet your business or personal goals in blogging? Here are some tips and tricks to get you started.
1. Post Frequently
In order to attract a regular following to your blog you need to write often. The length of each blog post is not as important as the frequency that you write. Ensure that you post to your blog at least 3-4 times per week , although there really is no such thing as writing too much as long as what you’re posting is high-quality, relevant, and follows some of the other guidelines outlined below. You can keep the length of many of your posts to simply 200-250 words; though once in a while do incorporate a longer feature post on your blog.
2. Take Advantage of Blog Software Features
If you’re using a reputable blog software provider, there are tons of features that can help you bring more traffic to your site. Take advantage of all that’s available. Your software should have features that allows you to do a great deal of customization, use effective SEO techniques that will increase your rankings in search engines, and in turn your traffic. Make sure you use tags, and include relevant keywords (discussed more below) and create categories using the blog functions available that will help people navigate throughout your blog to find the information they’re looking for or read about topics that really interest them.
3. Notify Search Engines that You’ve Started a Blog
To help people find your blog, ensure that as soon as you get started that you submit your blog’s URL to major search engines. If you don’t submit your blog URL it’s not likely that it will appear anywhere in search engine rankings, making your blog a challenge to find for potential readers. Do also keep in mind that simply submitting your blog URL to search engines isn’t a great strategy on its own. Though it will help your blog get on the radar, simply submitting the URL doesn’t guarantee your blog will be one of the first to appear in search results during a search on Google or Yahoo!
To submit your blog URL to the major search engines, look for a “submit link” or “submit URL” feature on the site.
4. Network with Other Blogs to Your Advantage
Some bloggers are reluctant to promote other blogs on their own because they’re afraid of losing traffic; however the affects of blog networking work in the opposite manner. Include a Blog Roll on your blog that allows you to create links to your favorite blogs. This will encourage other bloggers to include links to your blog and share traffic. When you add a favorite blog to your Blog Roll, don’t hesitate to send them an email or message and politely request that they add you to theirs. However, avoid using agencies that specialize in linking – their tactics can turn off bloggers from wanting to form a network with you. While linking to share traffic is a strategic tactic you can use, it’s also about forming a partnership with other blogs that you personally enjoy.
In order to increase your networking strategy with other bloggers you can also link them as resources in relevant articles. If your recognition of another blog as a great resource helps boost their credibility and traffic; they’re likely to return the favor at some point by referring to your blog in one of their articles. Once their readers understand that your blog is an expert resource on a specific topic, they’re likely to start visiting you directly more often!
5. Make Use of Photographs and Images in Every Post
Bloggers often have the misconception that images and photos have the sole purpose of making a blog post look visually appealing. Cast aside that ideology, because in reality photos and images can help draw traffic to your blog. People searching for images in major search engines can be drawn to your blog.
Do, however be careful with your use of images and ensure you have permission to use anything that’s under copyright; otherwise your smart use of images for increasing blog traffic might not be so wise after all!
6. Learn about SEO Techniques
It’s crucial to use relevant keywords in your blog posts that will help search engines find you when users are looking for specific topics. Basic SEO with keyword usage is based entirely on common sense; simply think about what you would type into a search engine like Google if you were looking for information on that topic and make sure to incorporate those words into your post and article. Use those keywords frequently in your article, as that will help with Search Engine rankings, but do make sure that your keyword usage is always relevant and doesn’t affect the readability.
7. Encourage Comments
Some bloggers turn off the ability to leave comments on their website because they’d rather avoid potentially negative feedback. When it comes to blogging, pretty much any publicity is good publicity and will help increase blog traffic. Other readers visiting your site will look at comments and see that you not only have a great following, but write about topics that entice discussion between readers and that proves you’ve got some interesting things going on! It’s important to encourage any and all comments for the sake of traffic once you have more regular readers; however earlier on your might want to remove comment counters on your blog if no comments are being left. If it appears as though no one is interested in leaving feedback, it can set a bad tone for your site and discourage other readers from subscribing to your blog or commenting in the future. Depending on the blog software you’re using, you can set to moderate comments and ensure that a comment counter doesn’t automatically appear with every post. However, as soon as a comment is left, you can also push it through to appear on your site!
While there really is no such thing as “bad comments” since any feelings and thoughts you evoke from your readers prove that you have influential things to say; do disable any comments that are particularly rude or use offensive language. These comments might discourage some readers from returning if they are offended by comments that appear on your site; so use your discretion and keep an eye on the comments that are being posted.
8. Write for Your Target Audience
A blog that covers too wide of a range of topics is less likely to attract a regular readership which can really do wonders for your consistent traffic. Choose a niche for your blog in terms of subject matter and try to stick to writing about topics that fit into that category. Whether you’re writing a more personal blog or a blog for professional reasons, this rule can still apply.
For example, many bloggers are Moms – it’s a broader subject matter because you can talk about many aspects of your personal life from parenting, to health related goals, to maintaining the upkeep on a house and balancing a career with a personal life. However, if you stick to topics that other moms can relate to, you’re likely to keep that target audience coming back. If, however one day you’re writing about preparing baby meals, and the next day you’re providing tips about corporate blogging, the approach is a bit Schizophrenic, and when readers have no idea what to expect from your website it becomes less likely that they’ll visit time and time again.
No matter what you do with your blog, keep that target audience in mind to make sure you maintain your appeal and you’ll see the success in the traffic your blog gets!
9. Make Use of Analytics
There are different ways to keep track of the traffic that your blog is getting. You can use the statistics tools provided by Content Management Systems like WordPress to see how your blog is doing, or you can sign up for a service like Google Analytics. In both cases, what you need to look at, is not just how much traffic you’re getting for your blog overall – but which articles and posts in particular have become more popular. This can help you determine what sorts of topics you need to put greater focus on, because clearly those are the areas that your target audience you’ve attracted has the greatest interest in. The numbers don’t lie, so try to keep delivering content that you know drives the most traffic to your blog!
10. Promote Your Blog Everywhere!
If you want your blog to get a lot of traffic, then make sure everyone, everywhere has the opportunity to hear about it, even those who aren’t coming across it online. Your blog should be advertised on your business cards, your personal or corporate website (if you have one, and if the company that you work for will agree to add a link), brochures, and if you’re really gutsy, you can also leave the URL to your blog on your voicemail message. Of course, you can do plenty of advertising online too; make sure wherever your name appears, if you’re able, that you include a blog link and even a teaser about what’s offered there.
11. Social Network!
If you aren’t already aware of the benefits of social networking and think sites like Facebook are strictly a way for un-entertained high school kids to share pictures of nights where they let loose; think again. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are also social networking sites where you can stay in touch with existing friends and family, make new connections and persuade more people to read your blog. Simply including a link to your blog on sites like this can draw additional traffic, but you can also go the extra step and post direct links to new posts so people are aware of all activity that’s taking place!
Don’t underestimate the power of sites like Digg either. Their sole purpose is to help bloggers, writers and journalists promote their work, and allow others to share great articles and posts that they love as readers. Digg links all articles posted right to your blog, so it’s a great way to attract readers and traffic!
12. Make use of Guest Blogging
How great would it be to have someone who’s an expert in your blog’s subject matter write a post for your blog? The answer is that it’s both exciting, and good for business since it can draw some serious business. Of course, the more credible the person is the better, as they already come with a reputation and following of their own that they’ll bring to your blog. However, any guest blogger who has something relevant and insightful to contribute can really benefit your site; it helps with networking and you might get a few links out of the guest blogger and the people in their network. For guest blogging, you can have someone right a post specifically for your blog on a great topic; ask to post an excerpt of something they’ve written on a blog of their own (with a link, of course) or do an interview and write something up yourself.
Likewise, you can appear as a guest blogger on other blogs too and use all the same tactics. Again, it widens your network, enhances your exposure to a greater audience, and all of those things can directly lead to more traffic for your blog! Your credibility is also increased when you appear as a guest blogger because people start to think you might really have something great to contribute if your knowledge is sought after, and that increases your blog’s popularity.
No matter what your reasons for attempting to drive more traffic to your site – or even your reasons for blogging in the first place – if you’re writing online, you want people to read and the above tactics can help you reach those goals! To have a popular blog that draws a lot of traffic, it’s a multi-faceted approach; as a blogger you’ve got to write, market yourself, and keep up to date on the technologies and tricks of the day!