There are many things you can do that will move your blog posts up in the rankings, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time slaving away at your computer to do them. Simple things like making email subscriber lists, enabling social networking access, posting on forums in your niche, and commenting on likeminded blogs are all ways to see you boost the traffic to your blog. You’ll also increase the validity of your posts, and your relevance to Google, as well as all those using it to find what they need.
You’ve got to let people know when you’re putting up your content. It’s rather sadistic to slave away at a computer writing great content if no one’s going to read it. Still, many people do just that everyday, at least as far as the traffic to their site is concerned.
If you’re a J.D. Salinger-type who likes to keep their best stuff under lock and key, then go ahead, collect that internet dust. But if you want people that have read your stuff before to know that you’ve got new stuff out there, let them subscribe to a list that notifies them by email each time you add new content.
I always discounted the importance of social media because I lived in China for so long. You can’t use Facebook here unless you’ve got a VPN, and even then your access could be spotty at best. YouTube has been banned since 2008 in the Middle Kingdom, and Twitter is thought of as a way to share information and bring people together, something the Chinese authorities dread.
So I never enabled my FaceBook, Twitter, and RSS Feeds, and I never saw a lot of traffic on my site as a result. Boy, was I making a big error of judgment; just as big as the Chinese were making by not allowing this great source of traffic, and possibly income, to flow in. Do yourself a favor, and let the world onto your site by enabling social networking.
Forum posting is a hassle, and it may take away from what your trying to do with your own blog, namely get a post onto it each day or each week. If you’re writing on someone else’s website, after all, you’re not writing on your own.
Still, thousands of people are going to forums, and you and your site could do with the exposure. Find out what forums are talking about your niche, and start reading what people are saying.
You don’t need to write a lengthy treatise, and you certainly don’t need to make posts everyday. What you should do is occasionally scroll through the most recent posts to see what is relevant to you and your site, and comment accordingly. People will read and listen, and if you’re good, they’ll want to find out what you’ll say next.
Make sure that you find your competition’s blog. Go to the sites that you most want to be like, or whose content you like the most. Sign up for their email list, and each time there’s a new post, write a comment. Put a link back to your site in the comment, or just mention your site’s name. After enough of those types of comments you’ll have a lot of validity.
The key is making sure that you’re putting quality comments out onto those other sites, and not a lot of garbage. If you just put one sentence, like “I like it!” followed by a link to your site, people won’t take you seriously. That type of ‘robo-commenting’ may actually hurt you in the long run.
Now, if you can get onto 10 blog email lists, and stay up with their posts while still posting your own content, you’ll quickly see a boost in traffic. The key is to keep making your own posts, and not just contributing to someone else’s. Finding a right balance between your posting frequency, and the marketing involved with your posting, is therefore critical, and a necessary step on the long road to the top of Google.
Reference Other Posts
Putting a link to another post at the bottom of your own post, or within it through anchor text, is a great idea. But you can take it a step further by talking about the other blog post as well. Tell about how you read a great blog post on increasing traffic from so-and-so, and how their 7 key ideas really made you think differently about your own website.
If you can talk about a great article, and give a link to it, it will increase your own relevance in your regular users’ eyes, and those that just happened to stumble upon your post.
One great post that I used when writing this was 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic on SEOMoZ. This post is great for a variety of reasons.
- It has a great title, with a number displayed prominently. Whenever I’m searching for Google, I’ll always click on the title with a large number. It might not give me the best content, but it will give me a lot of keywords that I can think about, and write my own content around.
- All 21 points are formatted well, and each contains a wonderful graphic. They range from large graphs to actual website screenshots. Pictures always say more than your content can, and people like their text broken up by them.
- Analytics are shown and discussed, with arrows pointing to what’s being talked about. Take note of those and see if you can begin looking at your own site’s analytics more analytically.
- The article is on one page, not 21 pages that I have to click through. By doing that you might be getting more page views, and perhaps more advertising opportunities. I think it’s a bad tactic, however. I hate waiting to transfer between all of those pages, and I’ll usually go somewhere else pretty quickly, unless the content is good. Remember, if you’ve got great content, you can do just about anything.
- There’s a huge comment section on this page, and you can learn a lot by just reading those. Sometimes I’ll go to a site and read the blog post, scroll down the page, and find I’ve learned more from the other bloggers who commented. Don’t neglect what those long pages of comments tell you; they probably hold quite a few secrets on what works when it comes to blogging, and what doesn’t.
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