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How to rapidly increase your blog traffic

April 8, 2010

So your boss has asked you to start a new company blog. You’ve decided on your theme, nailed down a layout, labored for days over the perfect font and link colors and are ready to write your first post. But will anyone actually read it?

Cultivating a healthy readership for your blog is not as easy as it might seem. It really takes time and quality content. But there are a number of things you can do to help grow a loyal readership and help your boss get that SEO advantage he’s looking for.

Here we go!

POSTING & CONTENT

  • Post Regularly – The biggest mistake you can make as a new blogger is keeping an irregular posting schedule right off the bat. You may not have time to post five times a day, but you have to post at least once a day and keep up with that regime until you’re following is healthy enough to withstand the drop off. To be blunt, people will forget about your blog if they visit it two or three time and find no new content.
  • Post on Weekends – Most bloggers don’t post on the weekends, but readers still want content (particularly on Sundays) so it’s wise to put aside a few minutes on at least Sunday afternoon to publish an article. This also means that the readers who didn’t visit on Sunday, but do on Monday morning, will see new content from the day before. So, while it seems like more work, it actually saves you work on your hectic Monday morning.
  • Post Key-Word Rich – Most of your first readers will find your blog through a Google search so if you just post a picture and no accompanying text, there’s little chance of anyone stumbling upon it. Yes there are exceptions to this rule. The fashion blog, The Sartorialist, is mostly pictures and is one of the most well known sites out there. But his work falls under the “post original content” rule below.
  • Use Relevant Titles – This is something you can move away from after you develop a healthy reader base, but starting out you need to write descriptive leads. It is the best way to be search engine optimized (SEO) and draw people into the content. For example, if you post a funny cat video, don’t title your post “LOL Mondays!”, but rather “Funny Cat Video Made My Monday!”
  • Post Original Content – Ever wonder how Gawker stays one of the biggest blog networks on the planet? They seek out their own news and other sites link to them. I can’t stress this enough. The majority of blogging going on is just people re-blogging stuff they see on their favorite sites. Yes, being a part of a blogging community is important, but you’re essentially just helping others grow if all you do is re-blog. If no one links to you, you won’t grow a readership so seek out your own content whenever possible. The internet is a big place so think of this next time you’re about to post the same viral video every other site on the planet just posted. Is there a another video that might compliment it?
  • Don’t Use Foul Language – I’m not being a prude. Using certain four-letter words will mean your posts gets filtered out of search engine results. You may not have any restrictions on your Google search results, but many people do.

FEEDS AND NETWORKS

  • Use RSS Feeds to Your Advantage – “RSS” stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” All of your favorite blogs or news sites will have one. By subscribing to numerous RRS feeds and monitoring them all on one page (which you can set up through iGoogle), you will be able to follow all of your favorite sites without actually visiting each of them again and again throughout the day.
  • Augment Your Social Networks – You can use social media sites to your advantage in so many ways it would take hundreds of posts just to cover the basics. Suffice it to say that you can use Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and many other networks to direct traffic to your blog. Set up accounts on each and have links to them in your blog’s side-bar. Here are a few tips on how best to use some of the larger networks out there:
  • Youtube – Don’t post Youtube videos from other peoples’ account (unless the site it’s from has an ‘exclusive’ on it of course). It’s tempting to just grab the embed tag and dump it into your post for the sake of saving time I know, but by using a simple flv. video ripping add-on like Sothink, you can grab the video file and re-upload it to your own account in minutes. Just make sure to add your blog url to the video description. This will direct casual Youtube viewers to your site and your blog readers to your Youtube channel.
  • Twitter – Twitter is the latest media phenomenon and as such is probably a channel you’ve decided is beneath you. It’s not. Twitter is insanely easy to use in that you can actually set it up to automatically re-tweet (RT) your posts as soon as you post them using Twitterfeed. Now that you’re not spending any time tweeting, you can work on building your ‘following’ and ‘followers’ lists.
  • Facebook – Create a Facebook profile for your blog and create a post asking readers to join. Find your favorite sites and add them as friends. Then, start ‘status update’ing regularly with a url to your posts. The larger your friend-base is, the more traffic will come your way. Don’t be spammy, but don’t be shy either. It’s a balance, but it’s worth it.
  • digg – digg isn’t the only online community where members sharing web content, but it’s certainly the biggest. Allow your readers to submit your content to digg by simply adding one of the many widget codes out there into your posts.

One last piece of advice I’ll give you is to pay attention to your site stats! Use Google Analytics to track your blog traffic. It’ll tell you more than you can imagine about what’s happening on your site it’s crazy. It will show you where people are coming from, how they found you, what kind of browser they’re using, their screen resolution etc etc etc. From there you can tailor your design and content accordingly.

Good luck!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 10, 2010 11:51 pm

    Thanks Chris, these tips will help me with my own blog.

    The best advice I could give to potential bloggers, is to write about a topic you enjoy. This goes along with your post regularly advice. If you like the topic, it’s more likely that you’ll want to post often.

    Happy blogging!

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