How To Get More Traffic To Your Blog

Pen with the word blog written out

Every geek needs a presence on the internet and blogs are one of the easiest and most basic ways to create a website. If however, you have a blog that isn’t getting the best traffic, there are a few things you can do to get those site visits up.

Here are a few elementary suggestions of mine:

Write Frequently

Updating your blog frequently is one of the best ways to get traffic to your blog. The search engines love a blog that is frequently updated. I have heard an old rule of thumb is to add content to your blog every week. That is the bare minimum. I try to have at least 2 posts per day now and it does help. 90% of my traffic comes from Google and I can’t help but think there is a “freshness” bit to their algorithm.

If you are having a difficult time coming up with content, then let others help you out. You can even allow Guest Bloggers to submit content straight to your blog as an author. There is usually a trade-off of one ore two links in the byline for allowing you to post their content.

  • On your About page, put up a paragraph about asking for guest posters with your contact info. Bloggers can run search queries and find you this way.
  • Sign up at MyBlogGuest. I use this service and it works great. The best feature is the article gallery which, as the name suggests, lets you browse articles offered as guest posts.
  • Guest post for others. Those author links in the bylines can be used for more than linkjuice. Make them interesting and hopefully someone will follow you down the rabbit hole.

Add Your Blog To Places Other Than Google

Google is the number one search engine used on the Internet, but, gasp, there are other places people find information than on the Big G. Every little bit helps.

  • Technorati – The heartbeat of the blogosphere. Be sure to fill in all the site information and areas that your blog covers.
  • Directories – Forget DMOZ, unless you bribe the gatekeepers. But there other directories out there that will add you. For free!

Enable Comments

A lot of bloggers think that by enabling comments they will get a lot of spam. This is true. You will be inundated by hucksters spamming their site links. I actually turned my comments off a couple of months after starting this blog. Weeding through the garbage to find one good comment was horrible.

The thing is, I probably would have let the spammer leave their link if they had posted a useful comment. Nope, it is all just canned crap. For fun, let me post an example of the latest spam to hit my site.

i bookmarked this! looking for updates.. Just thought Id drop you a line to tell you your site really rocks! I have been looking for this sort of information for a long time. : ) Agreeable.

The guy above was advertising car accident attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona…

Comments allow people to leave feedback on your content. Nobody wants to read a blog that doesn’t have any comments. When somebody comments on your blog, they will most likely come back to see if anybody has responded to their comments.

To that end, there is the perfect solution. Akismet! I think it’s free for non-profit blogs, but I had to shell out $60 for a year since I am an evil capitalist. Works great and is totally worth it though. Spam is automatically sent to the spam folder and I have yet to see a legitimate comment get marked as spam. That could be because I haven’t had any legitimate comments since…So sad.

Add Tags

Tags are links and hence crawled by search engines. Adding tags to all of your posts is a great way to get more traffic. One way to figure out which tags to use is the Google Keyword Tool. Use it to find less competitive keywords that you can write about and include in your copy. This means that you will not be competing with other websites on the same material.

If you are somewhat lazy install the Strictly AutoTag Plugin. As soon as you save a draft, it will populate the tag fields for you. Sometimes it comes up with great tags that I wouldn’t think of.

Social Bookmarking

Social Bookmarking can easily get your traffic up. Sites like Digg and Reddit have a lot of traffic and can promote your blog. You need to sign up for an account with social bookmarking sites, but they are free. Submit only your best posts to social bookmarking sites and hopefully you’ll wind up on the front page. If you find something cool on the web, submit it as well. That way you won’t appear so needy.

Also add a plugin that will insert small links at the bottom of your posts to make it easy for your users to social vote your content. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see mine, then scroll back up….OK, you are back. Continue on.

Some blogs put huge in-your-face social icons at the top of their post, but since I am a nerd, I like to be more discrete and non-confrontational :)

Use RSS

RSS allows your readers to follow you. This gives readers alerts when you update your blog with new posts. This helps you build a readership and get more traffic to your blog. As your build your readership, the possibilities for your audience to share your articles and site links increase.

  • Go to Google Feedburner and add your RSS feed.  As of today Things Nerds Like has 3 subscribers. Woot! One of those is probably my mom, but so what.
  • Add some of your favorite RSS feeds to Google Reader. When interesting news pops up it can help you come up with ideas to blog about.

Blogs are one of the best free features of the Internet. If you would like to make money online or promote yourself, you need traffic. Using social bookmarking sites, RSS feeds and adding tags helps reach a whole new audience. Keeping your content fresh is a great way to establish authority online. Enabling comments will help you start an online forum for your posts. Follow these guidelines and you will start to see the traffic roll in.

I have only recently been applying some of these techniques and the results are slowly building. Traffic is up 2x as compared to last month. Let’s see if I can keep it going up.

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Category: Geek Life

About Matt: View author profile.

Comments (4)

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  1. Natasha says:

    Thanks for this post! Weirdly, the fact that tags are also links never occurred to me before. I’ll go fill in extra tags on my posts, and see what it does for me.

  2. shannon says:

    if your blog has a wack name then put the name without the dotcom on urbandictionary.com and it will give you some name recognition and it will bring the name up in the serps. also force all your friends to google+1 you. as far as DMOZ, become an editor, it’s almost the only way to get on besides as you mention, bribery.

  3. You’re spot on with the posting frequently. I try to post at least once a day, if not two or three times. I’ve noticed if I missed a day, the search traffic fades a bit. But the traffic seems to come back quickly after posting fresh content.

    For the comments, have you checked out LiveFyre for your comment system? It works great and keeps readers coming back due to the way it sends out email alerts (but in a non-annoying way). LiveFyre also can pull in your Facebook and Twitter conversations into the comment section of the article the conversation is about.

    Anyways, great site! I’m off to watch Terra Nova on Hulu now…

    • Matt says:

      Thanks for the comment Israel. I can get out a flurry of posts sometimes but then apathy takes over. Watching Stargate SG-1 suddenly becomes more important than writing.

      I will have to check out LiveFyre, anything that can increase user participation would be great. Most posts around here are dead.

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