Thursday, October 25, 2007

Need Blog Traffic? Heres 15 Free Tips to Get It

While Content is still king when it comes to getting traffic. If you don't tell anyone about your content no one will ever find out to spread the word about it. It is a not so little known secret that bringing in traffic ultimately results in readers, and sales. So these are a few methods that I am using or plan to use for my site to get more traffic.

  1. Submit to Search Engines - Its free, and it can bring in a hefty amount of traffic. Google & Yahoo are two major ones, if your site isn't indexed submit to them here and here. The best thing about search engine traffic is that it is targeted traffic, meaning the people who come from this method is looking for what you got to read, show or sell. Optimize your site for these search engines by using your keywords
  2. Submit to Directories - While a good directory can send you traffic, getting links via this method builds up your backlinks, which eventually push up your rankings in searches. Higher ranking in searches means more traffic for you. If you are looking for a list of free directories, I found a good one that doesn't charge here.
  3. Are you a blogger? Submit to blog directories - Tip#2 is good for business websites, but there are directories made just for blogs. The only downside to this one is that many require reciprocal link backs. I've submitted myself to the directories listed listed down at the bottom part of my page. While its not big traffic, it is some traffic which is better than no traffic.
  4. Join a community - There are many different types of communities out there, and some of the more famous communities are Myspace or Facebook. Lately I've been getting a lot of hits from blogcatalog. I see quite a few people joining MyBlogLog, though not as many as before. One thing to note though is that even if you join a community you have to do something in it. Add comments, join discussions, give good advice or reviews. It all adds up, and you end up with someone liking your advice, which goes to your profile, and someday becomes a reader/customer.
  5. Social Bookmarking - Digg, StumbleUpon, Technorati, Del.icio.us, Furl, News Vine. These are a few of many great places to generate hits, and fast. Places like Digg can generate plenty amounts if traffic if you get on the first page, but all of that traffic usually doesn't stay. You'll need great content to make them readers and/or customers.
  6. Make it Relevant - Its good to join communities or get bookmarked, but check where you are posting in, and what you are posting about. People discussing pet grooming won't usually be interested in your site about new drivers for Linux.
  7. A picture is worth a thousand words - Overlooked by many this method is great for attracting new visitors. This works especially well when used correctly with Stumble Upon or Digg. Search engines also pick these up, how many times have you done a Google image search, and then landed on someones page to see if there are more images on that site that are relevant to what you were looking for?
  8. RSS - Syndicate, and promote your feeds. What is RSS? In Web 2.0 its stands for really simple syndication. What's it do? It lets people read your content via an rss reader or an aggregator. What can I do with my feeds? Your feeds can be used as a site-map for Google in their webmaster tools to make sure they crawl it often. You can submit your feeds to different feed submission sites to get your posts better exposure. You can send people your most recent news if they sign to your feeds via e-mail. I personally use Feedburner to help with adding social bookmarking tags along with the feeds.
  9. Article Marketing - Article marketing is a powerful way to bring traffic to you. Write howtos, or reviews, or even write up opinions on current trends. What happens is that you build credibility in your field. You also receive nice back links from authority sites about the topic. If you have a new website, these articles from publications will show higher up in the search engines rankings letting you get more traffic from them too.
  10. Track Backs - For bloggers or news sites. These are a great way to find out who is linking to you, while at the same time creating a link back for the person who posted about you. Wordpress bloggers have this built in, while those of us who use Blogger have backlinks(which require both you and the person posting about you to be indexed by Google) Blogger users however don't have a way to notify non-blogger users about posts automatically so we have to use products like Haloscan. Andy Beard had a nice explanation of it here.
  11. Blog commenting - This method has become prone to plenty of spam, however it is still a good way to build long term traffic. Provided that your comment is useful, informative, or adds to the conversation, people will usually click on you or the link you provide in your comment to find out more. It also provides another link back to your site to help with your search engine rankings too. Rule #6 applies here as well. Don't comment about irrelevant things as the comment will most likely be removed as spam.
  12. Instructional Topics - People are always looking for ways to do things. Use this as a means bring people to your site. Teach your audience something useful, and they will come back to see if you have anything else to learn.
  13. Review Past Topics - This lets your readers go through another page on your site, which is another chance for them to find something interesting on your web page. If you do this regularly you let your reader easily access other pages that they may have overlooked, or weren't planning on visiting before.
  14. Link Bait - People are always looking for freebies, whether its cash, prizes, coupons or even a review. Throw a contest with a prize, and then ask people to help you promote it. There are sites/blogs that promote other people's contests. Use them means as a way to bring people to your site. Oh did I mention that its a nice way to get more links to your site?
  15. Its all about Content - Content is what makes a visitor come back to to your site, it makes a visitor talk about your site, it makes a visitor want to share your site to other people. People link back to useful information if it is good information regardless of how old the content is. If you think you have the content, share it via tip #4, 5, 9 and 11.
  16. Entrecard - I posted about it here, and so far its brought in quite a few visitors. Its a great way to start showing your blog around to people. Sign up for Entrecard here.
Building good web traffic takes time, so take the time to build good links.

Some people opt to go with paid traffic to bring in thousands of visits. This type of traffic isn't very useful for most people, and many times can get you penalized in programs like Adsense.

I'm sure there are countless other ways to bring traffic to each person's site. If you have one that isn't listed here please comment, and let me know. If you find this post useful please feel free to repost it, but please do link back if you decide to use it.

8 comments:

Andy Beard said...

I actually much prefer the second option I wrote about which is using Greasemonkey.

50% of the people who do this with Haloscan end up switching their comment system, and that isn't a good idea.

Also testing out the subscribe to comments option that has been added :)

Martin Platt said...

There's some really good information in there. I will have to get around to trying some of these ideas out, then if I remember, give you some more feedback, on how well they seemed to work.

williamhessian said...

a decent list of tips. ive done most of those and still find it hard, just starting out, to gain readership. i hope some of my efforts will pan out over time.

www.zombierobotfrosting.com

- Mitch - said...

-Andy
Thanks for stopping by, and letting me know about Greasemonkey. I'll have to look at that post now.

-Martin
Yes please let me know so I can maybe do a follow up post about it later on.

-Williamhessian
These tips do take some time, but keep at it. One of the links included had something from a blog back in 2006. I guess the other key would be to not give up!

The Money Moose said...

An excellent, succinct guide - great, just as all of the other content on this site. You offer some good tips in simple form.

Stumbled this post for the effort. You deserve some traffic too. :)

Majik2903 said...

I was glad to come across you blog in the discussions on blogcatalog. You have got some really good tips to get traffic to your blog, I have already tried some of your tips, I'm just waiting to see what happens next!

Peace.

- Mitch - said...

-Andy
I'll have to agree with you now about the greasemonkey script. It looks much easier to do trackbacks thank Haloscan.

-Money Moose
Thank you for the stumble!

-Majik2903
Many of these tips are long term, but they are cumulative, and add up. Link building is a never ending process. I'm glad to be of some use =)

mark putnam said...

Thanks for the tips
now i will pwn the blogosphere!

http://lamenews.blogspot.com/