How do I Get Traffic to My Blog?
I particpate in many networking, business, and social groups on the internet. I keep seeing this question pop up as new bloggers, and established bloggers, want to generate traffic to their blogs. I read a great book about establishing an internet presence, “From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur“ by Stephanie Chandler. She explains that you must diligently and regularly “put yourself out on the internet” doing a minimum of 3-5 things a day to promote your blog or website.
I have followed Stephanie's advice (and expanded on some of her suggestions) over the last 6 months. My blog traffic is steadily growing. My traffic tripled from June to July, and then doubled from July to August. These techniques work, however, you must be dedicated to applying these methods to see the results. This is a long list, but the key is to do 3-5 of these things every day and after several months, traffic will start coming back to you. (It is a given that you will use your signature with your blog/website address on every single thing you do!)
First, join forums and on-line groups applicable to your line of business. I am active on many WAHM, entrepreneur, women's forums. When visiting your forums, apply these techniques:
1) Answer questions publicly when applicable to your knowledge base. Only make positive, informative posts that will make you look professional. Don’t engage in blog battles or get in the middle of controversial issues (religion, politics, etc.) When a discussion goes downhill, drop out of it. You want other members to respect your professionalism and then think, “Hmmmm, I wonder what this person is all about.” And they click over to your site. Remember, these groups can be very large, and only a small percentage post publicly – there are many lurkers.
2) Post something at least once a week in each group you belong to –either an article, helpful link, or a thought provoking question to the group that will get some conversation started. Maybe explain a roadblock you are having or ask for advice on a real problem. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time with a bunch of hypothetical questions, and you really can get some good answers to real problems this way. I sit down and think, “What could I use help with this week?” And come up with a good question that gets other members involved. They may check out your links.
3) Always welcome new members with a private email or PM, introducing yourself and including your links. No need to push a product or subscription at them at this time, just make the effort to introduce yourself to each new member. Just like at a party, new job, or a meeting, it is hard to be the new person. Make them feel welcome and valued. They may not jump over to your site right away, but they will remember you. You never know what is going on in someone’s life, and you may be the only pleasant person they encounter all day. I always think, “What if I am the only person that was nice to that person today?”
Join and participate in Yahoo Groups. Again, look for groups that apply to your product, service, or target market. Remember, networking groups are for networking, not selling your product or service. The purpose of a networking group is to meet other business people, let them learn about you and what you do, and they will send business back to you. Groups and forums are NOT the place to push your product.
Join and participate in business and social networking groups. Here is a list of some:
Post on article sites. My articles are about eBay selling, working at home, and entreprenurial issues, but I am moving into other areas. I have written many of articles over the years and am just now getting them all posted on sites, my blog, etc. I keep a spreadsheet with the article title and a list of where I posted the info and when. My goal is to get all my articles posted on all these sites. Once you have your articles posted on article sites or as a blog post, when someone in your forums or groups posts a question, you can provide a link for them to read your post that includes an answer for them. I am guessing that many of you reading this now were directed here by a link posted on a forum or group.
Here are some article sites I use:
My eBay blog. I try to post on here 2-3 times a week. I am really pushing the subscription feed. You want to build that list every, single day. Why? A subscription list is like a captive audience that you can market to any time you want. You get them on your blog feed, and when you have a new product, a sale, announcement, etc, you can put it on your blog and that info will be in your subs mailbox in a matter of hours.
Here is something that is working for me that you might want to try. You have to do more that just say, “Subscribe to my blog.” They need an incentive to take action. I continually put out an offer in my groups and on emails that if the person subscribes to my blog, they can get a free eBook from my eBay store. So if you can come up with a good eBook to give away, this works like a charm. I get at least 25 new subs a week with this technique.
Write guest posts on other blogs. You can Google “Guest blogger” and find writers who are looking for guest bloggers. This is a volunteer situation, but another way to put yourself out there. I have been a guest blogger on several occasions and you are usually allowed a link back to your own blog.
Comment on other blogs. Surf around the internet and find blogs that correspond with your business niche. You can go to blogcarnival.com or The Mom Blogs and just look through what is there. Once you start, you'll see more blogs on each blogroll and before you know it you will have more blogs in front of you than you can handle. Be sure to make considerate comments that show you've actually read the post. Nobody wants comments like, “Great post. Visit my site.” Look for blogs with lots of activity and comments. Here is one I like:
Participate in blog carnivals. You can find them at blogcarnival.com or just Google “blog carnivals.” This is a great way to meet other bloggers and find blogs that you can visit regularly to leave a comment, and your link.
Participate in Yahoo Answers. This is a question and answer board on Yahoo where anyone with a Yahoo account can ask any kind of question, and anyone with a Yahoo account can answer. If you have expertise on a certain subject, make it a habit to post answers – where you can also leave a link to your site. Not only are you giving a link to the person who answered the question, anyone who reads that question at any time in the future will see your link as well. Visit regularly and leave your links, again, to feed the search engines. You can also ask a question that will drive traffic to your site such as, “I write a blog for WAHMs. If you are a work at home mom, what types of topics would you like to read about? Do you think my blog is helpful?” Provide the link.
Participate in Amazon Reviews. Anyone with an Amazon account can leave book reviews on Amazon.com. (If you don’t have one, you can set one up for free.) You just set up a profile, which of course includes a place for your blog or website address, and start reviewing. If you are in a niche business, be sure to review books that apply to your line of work. Again, you will want to make intelligent, professional posts so that other readers will check you out. That is when they will see your blog on your profile.
Apply to be an expert on AllExperts.com. Users will ask you questions, and you answer them. This is a volunteer situation, however, it is another feather in your cap for your internet resume, and you’ll come up on searches when someone searches for a particular expert.
Use Craigslist. You can post ads in the small business section. have to come across as “I will help you for free” and link to something free. Then once the person requests your free ebook (or whatever) you can market to them in other ways. I will be elaborating on this technique in a future post, so stay tuned.
These are just a few suggestions. I will be explaining more in future posts, so be sure to subscribe to this feed so you will receive them via email. Try them and see what works for you. I also suggest you use a stat counter on your blog so you can analyze where your traffic is coming from. You can get a free one at statcounter.com. If a group, forum, or site isn't sending you any traffic after 30-45 days, ditch those and concentrate on the ones that are generating traffic for you. New sites pop up every day, so the opportunities are endless!