Increase Blog Traffic
The blogosphere contains thousands of blogs and the circuitous game of creating a blog promoting it amidst such competition often seems as unrewarding as a lengthy game of chess that ends in a draw. It all depends on how the game is played. Want to make sure that pawn hits big time? Then play the game right! It’s a long-term effort that needs single-minded focus, dedication and patience.
1. Create Good Blog Content: If You Build it Well, They Will Come!
Content is King! William Henry “Bill” Gates III of Microsoft wrote this in 1996 and after fourteen years from that forecast, this quote has become the single most overused phrases in internet marketing history. Whether you own business blogs or personal blogs, the basic gist is “you give your best and your best will attract eyeballs.” Creating good content goes a long way towards diverting traffic to your blog and spreading through word-of-mouth. Even Google tells you to respect your audience and create pages for them, and not for the search engines.
2. Create Keyword-Rich Title Tags
The title tag (<title><title>) displays at the very top of the browser window and also as a linked text in the search results. Title tags should be short, catchy and attract attention to get the click. Similarly, it is indexed by the search engines and Google gives it a lot of importance in terms of clicks. Create title tags that are both search engine and user friendly, using the right keywords. A well-crafted title tag can help drive traffic to your blog.
I’m not going to delve deeper into on-page SEO, but here is a great resource that does.
3. Get High-Quality Backlinks: If you don’t do it right, it’s as good as not doing it at all!
You may be link building for months only to find that you’ve just been chasing ghosts all that time. I’ve no idea who came up with this – “If Content is King then Links are the Queen.” It makes a lot of sense! High quality inbound links from authority blogs/sites are the best arsenal in your blog promotion efforts. Get as many links as possible to your homepage and internal pages. Blogs and sites are also ranked by the number of different sites linking to them, which makes it essential to build links from different sites to every page of the blog. The key here is “quantity with quality.”
4. Use RSS Feeds and Ping Your Blog
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) – Commonly called “news feed” is a technology that helps people keep track of interesting blogs and websites. It scans blogs for updates and sends these updates to all subscribers of the blog using a feed. It also allows webmasters to get your feed and feature the excerpts on their blogs or websites.
RSS feeds can be submitted to specialized RSS listing sites that list these feeds for their subscribers or other blogs that pull the feeds from them. RSS news feeds help with direct blog traffic and free backlinks. Some good RSS aggregators you can submit your blog to are 9Rules and AllTop.
Ping – If you want to let the search engines know that you have a new blog entry, ping it! The pinging service will inform all the services that keep up with blogs that new content has been posted, which will enable those services to crawl and index your blog. Some ping services are also RSS aggregators. Apart from that, these pinging services also automatically ping your blog updates on blogging sites such as Technorati, Flickr etc. A couple of good pinging services are Pingomatic and Pingler.
Note: While RSS is great and people love it, there are still many people who prefer e-mail, so make sure you also have an e-mail button next to the RSS button on your blog.
5. Submit Articles to Ezines and Newsletters
Create a highly informative “tips” category in your blog. If “gardening” is your niche, write about new methods of growing certain vegetables or fruits at home. Next, write a 500-word article giving a couple of very interesting tips, with a link back to the tips section. You have to make sure your article arouses readers’ curiosity and you come across as an authority.
Find a highly popular gardening ezine and submit your article there. Ezines and newsletters are always in need of fresh and unique content. They will be only too happy to publish your article as long as you meet their quality standards.
The advantages of this method are:
- For one thing, you are reaching a pre-qualified audience who are already interested in gardening, which means potential customers.
- You will also get a high-quality inbound links from the newsletter or ezine. The readers may also want to share this information with others through their blogs, websites, or discuss about you in related forums or places like Facebook, which again means inbound links.
6. Follow High-Profile Content Syndication
Content syndication is a powerful method where you submit your articles to high-profile blogs and websites. Your exclusive articles will appear on the top websites with your prior permission. You get massive traffic and quality backlinks. Work on your articles, as junk will not be accepted.
7. Write Tutorials in Your Niche
If your niche is something with scope for tutorials, this is another great untapped method of promoting your blog and increasing traffic.
Here’s a list of high-profile websites where you can submit articles and tutorials.
8. Be a Guest Blogger
For many experienced bloggers, there is no better way to advertise than guest blogging. If you can find a good blog with a fairly large audience for you to post on, do it! It’s worth the time as you’re exposing yourself to a new audience and you’re not paying anything. But this can be possible through a high level of interaction with other bloggers. Just write good stuff and you’ll soon have lots of new visitors.
9. Invite Guest Bloggers
Invite the owner of a popular blog in your niche to contribute a short blog post on their subject of expertise. Apart from the great value this gives your blog, you’re almost guaranteed a link and this association can earn you readers. One thing you should make sure is the quality of the blog post is high. After all, it’s your blog.
10. Comment on Blogs
Most bloggers don’t seem to realize the benefits of commenting. Blog commenting is a powerful networking strategy for developing relationships with others in your niche and building traffic to your blog. Pick a few high-profile blogs with lots of RSS subscribers and blog comments. It’s most beneficial to comment as soon as the posts are made. Being one of the first few posters will give you tremendous exposure, as everyone who posts comments usually looks at the first four or five posts. Be sure to use the same signature always. Compel the readers to click on your link by saying something relevant and substantial.
You’ll love this….
KeywordLuv Plugin for highly targeted links. The idea is to find blogs that have this WordPress plugin and post comments to get wonderfully targeted backlinks.
But how do you find the blogs that have this plugin?
All you need to do is enter a query in Google. If you’re niche is “baking,” type in Google search - “inurl: baking “This site uses KeywordLuv” and then choose the top blogs from the results and post comments in each. Bookmark all the good blogs and whenever your blog has a new post, comment on those blogs for some link juice. Since this plugin works only on blogs that are DoFollow, it works wonders.
11. Submit to Article Directories
Submit articles to the top article directories, giving a link back to your blog in each article. Your articles have to be highly targeted for them to have good amount of views. Although, some of them may not get much traffic, they are worth considering for the link benefit. Focus your efforts on the high traffic and high Page Rank DoFollow directories.
My personal favorites are EzineArticles and GoArticles. Here’s a list of top article directories that are DoFollow.
Get into the “Most Viewed” category at EzineArticles to gain better exposure and plenty of link juice. To achieve this, submit your articles to as many social bookmarking sites as possible. Using StumbleUpon to advertise also works great. They charge 5 cents per view and you achieve great results.
12. Make Your Blog Viral
Give away a free e-book, report or video and let your blog go truly viral. Fill the e-book with interesting tips or information and give it away with absolutely no catch, not even an opt-in. Once this starts circulating all over the web, you will gain traffic back to your blog, thus building more linkbacks. Oh, don’t forget to give a link to your blog in the e-book.
13. Promote With a Riveting Press Release
Submitting a press release is a very effective and inexpensive traffic generation strategy. If done effectively, it results in immediate traffic. For a press release to be effective; it has to have a catchy key-word rich headline and the body should be interesting. Use commonly used words that are searched by people in search engines. It is also important to create different versions for distribution to different websites.
Press release sites will distribute your press release through RSS, email and many today also use Twitter. If you’ve never written a press release before, find some good press releases and see how they are put together. Remember, it is not an article!
14. Do Social Bookmarking
What is social media? “Social media” is connecting with people using different methods, such as bookmarking and networking.
Social bookmarking is one of the best things about social media and has become increasingly popular as a way of generating traffic and obtaining valuable backlinks. These sites have “Google pull,” and users from around the world share links. Submit your blog to the various social bookmarking sites. There is a free site called SocialMarker that speeds up the process of submission to the different social bookmarking sites.
Two of the most popular social bookmark sites are Digg and Del.icio.us. But there others you can send substantial traffic and backlinks to your blog – StumbleUpon, Technorati and Reddit and others.
15. Create a Buzz with Social Networking
Every serious blogger today uses social media tools and social network sites like Facebook and Twitter to let others know about their blogs. These sites can get your blog in front of millions, but the key is to build strong relationships instead of selling your business. This is certainly not for everyone and only those with the patience and willingness to provide value and avoid the image of being commercial will succeed.
Market but don’t sell! Give away free videos or articles with links to your blog. Invite and add people who are in your niche as they are prospective buyers. Pay attention to your profile on these social media sites and provide a link to your blog in the profile.
16. Tag Your Content
Tagging is a process of “labeling” online content, using descriptive keywords or short keyword phrases for all your posts, articles, news stories, videos, pictures etc. Basically, it’s like labeling the jars in the kitchen. Tagging can be done on all types of blogs and makes it easier for people to find your posts.
Technorati is a search engine that searches blogs. uses tags to let its users know what your content is about. Sign up with Technorati and “claim” your blog. Add tags (keywords) related to your blog making it easier for their users to find you. You can look at the Technorati top 100 to find the most searched keywords and most used tags. Insert Technorati code on your blog for a link back. You can use Flickr and Del.icio.us too.
17. Find Quality Sites for Link Exchanges
Exchange links with quality blogs and websites in your niche. This will help get your blog better search engine rankings. Carefully review the websites you want to exchange links with and find out all the details, including their PageRank and readership. If it’s an active site and your link is placed in full view of their readers, you will soon see a lot of traffic.
18. Participate in Forum Marketing
Forum marketing is a long-term marketing channel just like social media marketing. You just can’t visit forums and blast the new product on your blog. You will have to build trust first. If you’re a member of a couple of forums, use them as a starting point along with signing up for other niche-specific forums. Build rapport with others and establish yourself as an authority in your area of expertise. Respond to questions related to your niche and give away lots of information. Place a link to your blog in your signature. Haven’t we all clicked on the links of people who have provided valuable information? It’s the same with everyone.
How to find free discussion forums in your niche? If you’re niche is internet marketing, type “internet marketing forums” in Google search, and select the most active forums with higher number of subscribers. For example, the Warrior Forum is one of the best internet marketing forums.
Tip: Do not spam the forums with affiliate links.
19. Understand Pay Per Click Advertising
PPC is a search engine marketing strategy where you have to pay a fee every time someone clicks on your ad. Since this is a bidding process, if you’re a top bidder for your keywords, you can get the number one spot on the search engines.
The number of clicks on your ad depends on the effectiveness of your ad copy. A successful ad campaign will experience an onslaught of visitors the minute the campaign goes live.
There are marketers that spend thousands of dollars on PPC and earn huge amounts of money, but there are also others who spend money and lose everything because they are not doing it right. So, before using any PPC program, get a good hang of how things are done. Adwords is Google PPC program, there are others like AdBrite, Yahoo, Bidvertiser etc.
Remember, a keyword-rich domain name is where your blog promotion begins.
Promotional marketing of a blog takes time and if time is an issue, you can outsource your work to Amazon Mechanical Turk. This article related to MTurk is highly informative.