This questions is asked all the time. How do I get traffic to my blog? How do I get publicity for my blog? The best answers are not always the ones people like to hear, but are still quite accurate… there is no real quick and easy way to get a million people to go to your blog (other than being on the news), it takes a lot of work. Since this question comes up quite frequently I thought I would share a few items that are on the top of my list for helping out your blog traffic. This is by no means a complete list, but a good start for a new blog.
How to Get Good Publicity for Your Blog
The best way to get publicity for your blog is a have a really good blog. That sounds obvious but I have found that in an overall general sense, that is the best way. Just from the very start if your blog is not appealing, or is not what the reader or visitor visually likes, they won’t stick around long. The items below start with the premise that your blog is generally designed well, has easy to read fonts and colors, does NOT have music playing as soon as your open the index page and does NOT resign the users browser window. Those two things, music and resizing the browser window automatically are the two fastest ways to have someone exit FAST, and never come back.
There are several blogs that I really enjoy reading the content because the topics interest me, but I will never, on purpose, go visit the actual site because of those two reasons, and many other people will choose the same, but will probably not add you to their feed reader. Photography and musician’s blogs are generally the worst at those two things. Photography blogs for some reason find it appealing to resize your browser window and musician’s find it a necessity to automatically play music when the person arrives. Both are bad for your blog traffic.
- Content is still king, and I believe that is still true. Know who your readers are and write to them. If it is a business content blog don’t post articles about your vacation.
- Comments. The next best thing is to comment on other blogs. Don’t spam other blogs, but start reading related articles and post thoughtful comments on their blog. Get your rss reader full of feeds from other blogs, read them, comment on them, and as you do people will visit your blog as well.
- Interact with your readers. You can do this in many different ways, for example, if someone comments on your blog with a question, answer it.
- Tip Jars. Don’t overpower your readers with ads or tip jars. A blog overloaded with ads and flashing banners is a turn off to most readers and even if you have very well written content they will probably not stay long. Ads are fine, just have them integrated as part of the website design and try not to overpower the reader.
- SEO. Get your blog setup in an seo friendly manner so the search engines will pick up your posts. This can be somewhat of a myth, but there are many good ways to make your blog seo friendly where Google and Yahoo will more likely pickup your posts.
- Post. Post well written articles, and often. If you can’t post as often as you think your readers will expect, hire a content writer familiar with your genre that can competently express your views.
- Advertise. Advertise on other blogs that have a lot of traffic in your same genre. Many times this can be an inexpensive way to gain traffic. What you are really going for here are subscribers, and visibility on other blogs is a good thing. You don’t always have to use a paid advertising company either. MyBlogLog and Technorati are great ways to showcase your blog to others.
- Be professional. This should probably be on the top of the list. You want a professional looking blog, clean design, easy to navigate, but speak, respond, write, and act like a professional.
- Ping other articles. When you write an article, back it up with credit to work cited, and make sure you link to the blog you are citing. When you do this, it will automatically “ping” the other blog, or notify the other blog you have mentioned them. You are going for eventually getting other blogs to quote your articles. This is GREAT for the search engines. Google and Yahoo will bring your rankings up as more people talk about your blog/article, so start talking about others and you will see the same in return.
- Run a contest. This is one of the more controversial manners in which to gain traffic but also one of the most effective. You need to research this and be careful with it, but it is a great way to drive traffic to your site. Don’t do some cheesy contest where you give away a free one month of something worth $5.00, it isn’t worth anyone’s time. Give away an iPod or something. You can get a Nano now for about $200. Call it an advertising expense and do a post saying you are giving away an iPod on this date. In order to enter the contest you have to write a post on your (the readers) blog about your blog or the contest or something. Even just having your readers write a post that has a link to your blog is fantastic for traffic. Any time any blog posts a link to your blog its gold. This is probably the best method to gain traffic although some wouldn’t use this tactic.
As I said, this is by no means a complete list but some of the items on the top of my list. Coming up, I have several articles that will explain in greater details the points above, and how to implement those points in an efficient manner. What are your favorite ways to increase your blog traffic?