Monday, September 29, 2008

How to attract blog traffic?? READ THIS!

Learn how to attract more traffic to your blog.

I have been blogging for a few years now, but mostly as an exercise in putting my thoughts down somewhere I could reference at a latter date. During the course of this time, I might have had a few dozen followers a week. It gives me a good feeling to know that other people read my posts.

More recently however, I have started taking my "Random Thoughts in Marketing" blog more seriously. I have started using tools outside of my blog in order to engage people other than myself to view,comment and interact with me.

I have started to more actively "get myself out there" using different social networks such as Twitter, FriendFeed & LinkedIn and so many more.

I use Twitterfeed to update my Twitter followers when I have a new blog post.

I encourage my readers (contributors as well) to Comment, Digg or even Tweet me.

(I bold-ed the aforementioned to highlight just how important this can be. Though I use the aggregating bookmarking icons like ShareThis, or AddThis I find that people like it when you keep it simple. So I give them a direct choice to the most important interactions).

I make certain that my more important posts are stumbled upon (yes, even if I have to stumble the first one myself).

I offer an RSS feed for my blog, and make it available to blog feeds.


Most of you likely already know of and use some of these tools. Here are a few more though that you might not have thought of.

A good portion of my traffic is not due to what I write on my blog, but rather what I write elsewhere. I set up alerts to monitor blog posts and articles of interest, and for which I believe I might be a SME. I make certain that when I comment elsewhere, I always sign it with my signature; www.twitter.com/A_F . Ultimately, if what I wrote about was of value, they will find their way to my blog eventually.

Peter Shankman runs an excellent service called "Help a Reporter Out", or HARO for short. Reporters, and members of the media use HARO to locate SME's. Anytime I believe I can add value, I reply to these reporter's requests. Being quoted in the press can go a long way toward getting street cred toward being a SME. This article in Software Developer Times quotes me, which in turn led to another reporter asking my opinion on Google's Android (GPhone).

Do not blog for the sake of blogging. Think about what you are good at, or have a passion for and specialize. Become a Subject Matter Expert (SME). Do NOT take your eyes off the ball. It is after all not important how much traffic you get, but how much of that traffic links to you, Tweets about your posts, and most importantly returns to read more in the future.

What works for you in driving blog traffic? Let us know. If you agree with me, please DIGG this, and as always be sure to say hi on Twitter.
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

and the commenting on other blogs is exactly how I found my way to follow you on twitter and as of today ultimately here.

Greg said...

This is exactly how I found myself here. After seeing a few quality comments on other blogs, I followed on Twitter, and was then led here.

I never really 'got' Twitter until I joined this week, and am more amazed every day at how powerful it can be.

www.twitter.com/GregBates

Digital Biographer said...

I found this article from your tweet on twitter, of course. I agree all of these techniques help grow your audience - and I think it's also important to be what you term an 'SME'.

Sure, it's good to add general blogs and add your contribution on a burning topic of the moment, but people like to follow a specialist and expert who they know they can identify in a particular niche.

Visiting and commenting on other blogs is of course vital too - it's a conversation we're all part of, and it has to be two-way for anyone to listen to you.

One element that you may want to consider, however, is being bound to a blog provider. Your own domain name and free choice of blog software, and thus blog design, can help to establish a personal brand more effectively.

Regards, David
Digital Biographer
@clarocada

Chris Brogan said...

"I encourage my readers (contributors as well) to Comment, Digg or even Tweet me."

Something to consider: that tactic says, "come here and give me extended praise." It relies on your requests for attention versus giving someone something they can do. Here's another way to get the same result.

In the participatory web, can you give your community ways to add to what you've written? Can you solicit their ideas, the way you asked for mine? The more times you ask someone in blog-ville for an opinion, the more most people want to react and give you that opinion.

Your other tactics and ideas made lots of sense. It's a big cycle, though, and takes a lot of effort to get that conversation flowing.

I've been pushing hard to get more people to pay attention to Dad-o-Matic, and yet, it's been a slow climb. With 30 authors on the blog, and new content more than once a day, we're still not exactly roaring off the shelf.

How am I trying to raise awareness?

Twitter. Word of mouth from dads who contribute. Stumbling the best of the posts (not ALL posts, the best ones). Linking to other people's sites which gets more awareness back to our site because the authors want to know where the link came from.

So far, I haven't found the magic formula. Maybe you've got it here.

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