Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blogging for Newbies: 10 common Tips on Increasing Blog Traffic.

I’ve been blogging for only a couple of months now and managed to publish 3 Blogger blogs (Odd OrbitMy Bucket List and  Still the Best Medicine) so far as part of my bucket list tasks. New to blogging in general, I had to learn as much as fast as I can and applied tips as what appears to me as easy to understand just to get things going. Setting up a blog for a marginally knowledgeable techie guy like me was a challenge more so maintaining it and creating traffic. Below is a short compendium of tips from my net surfing on increasing blog traffic for newbies like me- most of which I am trying my best to consistently implement at present with some I plan to get into this coming weeks. 

1) Content- write well, write often ( rule of thumb: 1 blog entry per site per day)
from gabrielweinberg.com
Writing quality content is totally essential to the success of your blog. This will give people a strong reason to visit and more importantly to stay, subscribe and share. The content is what will keep readers coming back for more. Plenty of juicy content should be a prerequisite prior to inviting people more so before attempting any of the paid advertising methods. 

Aside from making sure you have something meaningful to say to your audience, you should NOT forget to say it often to maintain their interest and keep them loyal. The key is to learn not only to write well but also to write as often as possible- 1 blog entry per day is a good rule of thumb. Frequently updating your blog with useful content is the first step to building your blog's audience.

2) Tag Your Posts

It takes a few extra seconds to add tags to each of your blog posts, but it's worth the time in terms of the additional traffic tags can drive to your blog. Tags (like links) are easily noticed by search engines. They're also key to helping readers find your blog when they perform searches on popular blog search engines such as Technorati.

3) Submit Blog to Search Engines.

Get on the radar screen for the popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo! by submitting your blog's URL to them. Most search engines provide a 'Submit' link (or something similar) to notify the search engine of your new blog, so those search engines will crawl it and include your pages in their results. Simply submitting your blog to search engines doesn't mean your pages will appear at the top of a Google search results screen, but at least your blog will be included and will have the chance of being picked up by a search engine.

Remember also Search Engine Optimization Remember to optimize your pages for search engines to find them. Include relevant keywords and links but don't overload your posts with too many relevant keywords or completely irrelevant keywords. Doing so can be considered spamming and could have negative results such as your blog being removed from Google's search entirely.

Google still is, and for a long time will be, the main traffic driver on the web. In order to benefit from Google’s generosity of sharing their customers, as that is essentially what search traffic is, you have to play by the search engine’s rules. Therefore getting your site to rank high remains an important way to drive traffic. Search engine optimization is a critical strategy to drive organic search results.

4) Add links 
In order to attract more traffic you need to build internet “bridges” for people to come visit. These bridges are what are known as links which play a vital role in determining the credibility of your website to the search engines. Make sure though that the site where the link comes from is a good match for what your blog discusses. If used properly links can be one of the most powerful parts of your blog. Not only are links noticed by search engines but it also helps you get noticed by your peers- other bloggers who are likely to visit the sites that are linking to them. This may lead them to become new readers of your blog or for the to return the favor by linking your blog theirs.

5) Submit Your Posts to Social Bookmarking Sites

Taking the time to submit your best posts to social bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, del.icio.us and more can be a simple way to quickly boost traffic to your blog. 

6) Create a FeedBurner account

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.

7) Make Commenting work for you- Leave 1+ comments every day

Making comments on blog posts is a simple and essential tool to increase your blog's traffic. It may be through response 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. You can also leave comments on other blogs to drive new traffic making sure you leave your blog's URL in your comment for a link back to your own blog. Ensure that you leave meaningful comments that are likely to invite people to click on your link to read more.

8) Include Images in your posts.

People generally are initially attracted visually to your blog before they dive more into the content. Images don't just make your blog look pretty, they also help people find you in search engine listings. People often use the image search options offered by Google, Yahoo! and other search engines, and naming your images with search engine optimization in mind can easily boost your traffic.

9) Paid methods of attracting more traffic to your blog
If you know your conversion rate and you have a monetization strategy then these will work for you. 

a) PPC (Pay-per-Click) Advertising 
Paid keywords, such as Google Adwords, have proven themselves to be cost effective methods for driving targeted traffic to your site. Although cost can be prohibitive for many niches, providing you know your conversion rates and are constantly testing and tweaking, adwords is a way to drive instant targeted traffic to your site. Google offers a lot of resources to help small business owners learn everything from the basics of using adwords to mastering advanced user strategies and tips.

Affiliate traffic is when you pay a third party a referral fee for getting targeted traffic to your site. Affiliates use their own online marketing techniques, methods and internet real estate to advertise your product or service and send the traffic to your site. You may not want to take on this task until you are more established as affiliates want to know expected conversions in return for their investment.

Banners are perhaps the oldest form of advertising on the internet. They act much like billboards in real life. You place a banner in an area of high traffic and when some someone shows interest in what you are offering then they click through and are taken immediately to your site or landing page.

10) Offline efforts 
Engaging on a purely on line endeavor does not necessarily mean that efforts to increase traffic should stop there. Not everything you do has to stay online. Promoting your site offline through business cards, networking, word of mouth, etc.,  can help drive traffic to your blog.  The more people that know about your blog the more likely other people are to find and share it .


Blogging for Newbies: Blogging Don'ts to AVOID....


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