When the average person gets up for work every morning he worries about getting out the door in time to beat the traffic. But a blogger, well, a blogger looks at traffic jams a little differently. We hope and pray that every morning when we pull up to our computers there’s going to be a huge traffic jam – right there on our blog. In no particular order, here are 10 steps you can take to increase your blog traffic.
Guest blogging is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to promote your blog. If you’re afraid of it, get over it. I have guest blog posts out there that I wrote two years ago and other bloggers are still linking to those posts – and to my blog – and the traffic just keeps rolling in.
Guest blogging creates real links, that real people follow. Not like those links you have sitting over in some article directory gathering dust.
I’m not going to go into the obvious benefits of social sharing. Let me point out an obscure benefit that really drives it home: When you’re scrolling through your Facebook stream, how many times have you clicked on a link just because it looks interesting? Probably dozens – at least!
Most people don’t go to a social network to look for information. However, simply because one of their friends recommended a link, they instantly realize they need a new vacuum cleaner, too, or they’re suddenly curious about Justin Bieber’s new haircut, even though they don’t know who he is. Never underestimate the power of suggestion.
Write killer content
Again, I’m not going to go into all the tiny little details. Let’s talk about what you like to see when you visit a blog and compare it to your blog to see how you measure up.
Do you like to see huge blocks of test that ramble on for miles without really revealing any useful information? Probably not. Your readers don’t either. Break up that text with some wit or humor, or, if you’re simply not a funny guy, at least put a little of yourself into your content. If your visitors wanted to read the Encyclopedia Britannica they’d reach around and pull it off their bookshelf.
If you have difficulty writing engaging content, force yourself to study the blogs that you find intriguing to see how they do it. And if that doesn’t work, hire an article writer.
The more often you blog, the more often you appear in the search engines and the more content your readers have to share. It’s as simple as that. If you’re blogging once a week, then you need to pick up the pace. Instead of writing one blog post that goes on for days, break it down into several sub-topics and post a little each day.
You can never have too much SEO, both on-site and off. Go through and make sure all your images are tagged, clean up navigation, tighten up keywords. In short, there’s always something you can do to make your blog appear better in the search engines, and that helps pull in more traffic.
Stop trying to sell
This goes along with the Killer Content issue. Instead of constantly trying to sell something to your readers, start engaging them. Statistics prove that no one ever buys something the first time they visit your site. You need to keep your readers coming back for more.
Share your secrets
Telling your readers you have the secret formula for success and then making them opt-in for it or, worse yet, buy your ebook, is counter-productive. Now they just see you as a shady used car salesman. Don’t be afraid to tell your secrets.
If you notice, when someone tells you he’s going to tell you a secret, what do you do? You lean in closer and give him your complete, undivided attention. And then what do you do? Probably nothing. Which is exactly what everyone else does.
Ninety-five percent of the people who listen to your secrets will never put them to use. Ever. They either can’t or they don’t want to. They will, however, feel a special bond with you now that you’ve shared, and when they’re ready, they’ll come back to you to buy whatever you’re promoting.
Collaborate with other bloggers
Link exchanges are nice, but wouldn’t it be even better if you and a bunch of other bloggers all got together and promoted each other and shared your traffic? Start networking with bloggers in relevant niches. Wade in gently by joining in with the commentors and you’ll soon start developing relationships.
Improve your blog design
Is your blog cluttered with ads and banners? Do you have several dozen categories your readers have to wade through? Can your readers find your key content, your opt-in form, your Contact information? And what about the colors you’re using – both in your header and background, and in the fonts and images? Clean up your blog and give it an easy-to-read, professional look.
Focus on images
While you’re working on that redesign, focus on the images. Bloggers who redesign to make room for larger, more brilliant images are seeing a tremendous increase in traffic. People like images and those little hard-to-see thumbnails aren’t attracting much attention. Think big and bold!