That is the big question for most of us of course, but notice I said immediate future traffic, these are not quick and easy steps, but simple ones I think will make a difference for future traffic. One thing I have learned over the years is that nothing comes overnight, and it is generally the methodical approach that works the best in the long run.
Although I have been writing on websites and blogs now for several years, starting over on a newer topic, for me, got me thinking about some of the basic steps for increasing your blog traffic, and eventually your pagerank.
I have a few blogs and sites I started that have a PR4 (Google Pagerank 4), and several that have a PR3. Not super high I know, but these were very niche market sites and blogs so I didn’t really expect them to go much over a PR4, and I really felt anything around a PR3 or PR4 was still good for the subject matter.
Of course this topic has been blogged to death on so much I am sure you might be thinking there isn’t really anything new that can be said on the subject, and that may be true, but sometimes it just helps to write it down again to keep it fresh in our minds. What I am posting on here are simple steps that I can take when I create a new blog or site, nothing complicated.
I do find that as we become comfortable in a specific area, I can become complacent and I know when that happens I just forget about the little things. So… in no particular order:
- Write like you have an audience – when anything is new, you are basically talking to yourself and a few others you can con to view your site, but as soon as you think, no one is ever going to see this, you start writing that way. Funny thing about the Internet is success on one particular post or subject can go boom overnight if something weird happens, and you certainly don’t want to look at something you wrote and go, opps, didn’t think anyone would ever read that. So, write like your RSS feed subscription has 10,000 members and when it does you will be ready.
- Be professional – if you want people to treat your blog, business, products, customer service, employees, or you, like a professional you have to act like one yourself. You may operate out of your garage (nothing wrong with that) and you can earn the respect of your customers very quickly when you talk, write, and act like a professional. In the same way, you can work in an expensive office and have the opposite effect. When you are writing or corresponding with someone on your website or blog, be a professional.
- Be courteous
- Use good grammar
- If you are a terrible speller like me, use spell check (2 or 3 times)
- Don’t use offensive language of any kind
- If you use images, use good looking images
- Know your target market – When you don’t have any traffic, knowing your target audience might be more difficult, but you know who you are intending on reaching at some point, so write what will interest your target market. Stay on topic, unless you specifically state otherwise, and don’t insult the market you are trying to reach.
- Don’t worry about your competition – at least not yet. If you are just getting started you should already have a good idea about how your topic, subject, products, etc., fare in the marketplace. Focus on what you do best to get things moving, there will be plenty of time to try to get that number one spot later. To start, be your own best competition. One of my most favorite single quotes is from Nehemiah who said “I consulted with myself and contended”. Consult with yourself, don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.
- Read and comment on other blogs – this is important. If you want to know what others are interested in within your topic, you need to read, a lot. This is good for several reasons. You don’t want to just post the same thing everyone else is posting, and you also want to be current and educated in your field. When commenting on others blogs or sites, be sure to do step number 2, be professional, don’t just post a comment for the sake of posting the comment, make it sincere and meaningful.
- Post – and often. I think I read only 20% of content sites have fresh, current content. Be one of the them if you want to increase your traffic.
- Interact with others on your blog – this includes responding to comments posted on your blog. Others want to know a real live person is over there behind the keyboard.
- Know your topic or subject matter – Be accurate. You don’t want to talk over the head of your readers, but you certainly don’t want to look like an idiot either. Know what you are talking about. If you don’t, people will know, and especially on the internet, you will be called on it. If you aren’t sure about a subject there is plenty of information on the Internet, just take the time to do your research. This isn’t always easy, and it isn’t an exact science. There will always be someone who knows more about a subject than you, and hopefully someone who knows less, but you don’t have to make it obvious. There are many many more people who know more about SEO and marketing than I do, but I always try to be as accurate as possible.
- Quote your sources – do not just paste text and show your readers where you got your information. You don’t have to disclose everything, just make sure you give credit where credit is due, it gives credit to you (kind of catchy too).
- Have fun and be positive – if you get as far as a top ten list, number ten for me is always have fun. No one likes to read or hear negatives all the time, it gets tiring, so try something new, have a contest, give something away, do something fun.
You may be thinking, we these aren’t really “blog” things and what do they have to do with increasing my traffic. Well, your traffic will come eventually, but taking some simple steps now will probably help more later than you think. The better your traffic, the higher your pagerank, alexa ranking, compete rank will be, the higher your ad rates will become. There are certainly other things that will help, steps that are not so simple, good SEO, design, and all that, but that is for another post, because one of them is also, be brief, which I can rarely seem to follow.
If you have read this far, you can see by now that you can also take off the part of the title that says Blog Traffic and Pagerank and replace it with business or customers and it should work the same. Good business sometimes starts with simple steps.