Lot of bloggers, both, newbie as well as seasoned, struggle to increase traffic to their blogs.
If you are a professional blogger, and running a blog to earn your bread and butter or at least some pocket money, then you have to increase your blog traffic significantly.
B’cos, without a decent amount of traffic, its very difficult to earn a livelihood out of Google AdSense or BuySellAds and likes.
How much traffic you actually need: 1,00,000 Unique visitors/month or 3,00,000 Page Views/month is the minimum amount of traffic required to pursue a successful blogging career.
8 Ways to increase traffic to your blog
1. Content: Simply ask a basic question to yourself “ Why you surf other bloggers’ blogs? ”. And, your answer should be “ Content ”. Yes my friend, Content is always the KING.
99% of blogs in blogosphere are informational in nature. Web-surfers land on your blog from SERPs, by putting an informational queries in the search engines.
The better, the quality of your content, the happier, the SEs (Search Engines) and your blog readers.
Types of content: So, what type of content you should produce to increase traffic to your blog?
(a) Evergreen content: You should produce articles which are evergreen in nature. You should write quality posts, which people should search at least for next 5 to 7 years.
Don’t deviate from your niche. The article should be 100% compatible to your niche. If you write something not related to your niche, not only you suffer from lower search engine rankings, but also you loose your regular blog followers.
The major chunk of your blog (60%) should consist of evergreen posts, which serves as a long-term source of organic visitors.
(b) Thought provoking and controversial posts: This type of articles are mainly used as link-baits. Matt Cutts, the Head of Google Web Spam Team also accepted that, attracting links via controversial blog posts is absolutely legitimate.
Thought provoking articles are the results of extensive research about a subject, along with a set of future projections/predictions, which stimulate the thought process of your readers, leading to be a loyal followers of your blog.
Controversial posts basically highlight the -Ve aspect of a subject matter, usually with a good intention.
Both, thought provoking as well as controversial posts attract tons of comments in your blog commenting system. 20% of your blog content should consists of these types of posts.
(c) Breaking news: This type of articles are very short lived in nature. But, attracts lots of organic traffic via higher search engine placements, due to freshness factor.
Unless and until you have a full fledged news portal, your blog shouldn’t contain more than 20% of the total posts as news articles.
2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Not knowing SEO or SEO illiteracy is punishable, if you are a blogger or webmaster. Google Panda updates and recent Penguin update are better examples.
Believe me, with a solid SEO strategy, any blogger can attracts tons of targeted traffic from search engines.
Search Engine Optimization is broadly divided in to On-Page and Off-Page.
On-Page SEO: Judicious use of keywords in the URL, Post heading and Sub-heading, Body, Meta description and Meta keywords are most important.
URL: Try to keep the keyword in the beginning of the URL for higher ranking by SEs. But, don’t repeat any keywords.
Headings and Sub-headings: Place your keywords cleverly and naturally in most of the headings and sub-headings. The post heading shouldn’t be more than 60 characters (most SEs show maximum of 60 characters) and it should be catchy.
Article body: 2% Keyword density works wonder for higher search engine ranking. 5% or more keyword density might be punished by Google for keyword stuffing.
Meta description: This is the part which shows off on SERPs, under the post heading. If the meta description contains the search words, then it usually appears highlighted (bold) by search engines. Meta description shouldn’t be more than 160 characters (most SEs show maximum of 160 characters).
Meta keywords: Although Google is not giving any importance to meta keywords these days, other search engines like Yahoo and Bing still have this factor in their SE algorithm.
Off-Page SEO: This consists of SEO of blog template, Link building, URL submission to SEs and Submission of your blog to Google Blog Search, Yahoo Blog directories and various paid and unpaid blog directories.
SEO of blog template: No WordPress theme is 100% SEO compatible, whether free or premium. You personally have to tweak a lot, to make your blog theme SEO ready. Off-Page SEO for WordPress itself is a vast subject and beyond the scope of this article. Below are the things you should consider while optimizing your theme for SEs.
(a) Optimizing permalink structure (b) Avoiding duplicate content with a robot.txt file (c) Adding a sitemap (d) Pinging 3rd party services (e) Using a CDN plugin/service for speed (f) Using an SEO plugin like All-in-One SEO Pack.
Link building: This is an ongoing process and should be an integral part of your blogging habit. Always remember, 5 high quality links from authoritative sites of your niche is much more helpful than 500 low quality links from non-authority/unrelated sites.
How to build links – Again, its a big topic in itself and needs to be addressed separately, some other time. However, below are the most commonly practiced methods by bloggers:
- High quality content creation attracts links from other sites in a natural way.
- Guest blogging is one of the most preferred method
- Listing of your blog on different directories
- Offering widgets for contest winners etc.
- Direct link request
URL submission: Submit your blog URL to different search engines likes Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL, Ask.com, Lycos, Info.com, Altavista etc. You should also consider submitting your URL to local search engines.
Include your blog in Google blog search, and its FREE. Yahoo blog directory offers both free and paid option for blog inclusion. There is no guarantee for the free version, but you should try your luck, at least once. Paid inclusion comes at a price tag of US$ 299/annum with guaranteed listing with in 7 days.
3. Social Networking: Social media promotion is the hottest trend these days. And, you should leverage this trend to increase traffic to your blog, for the time being.
You should consider networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, StumbleUpon, Digg, Pinterest etc. With a better strategy, you can attract tons of traffic to your blog from these social sites.
Common mistake – Bloggers usually do a common mistake while promoting their blogs in social media site is – Poor interaction and lack of community participation. By increasing number of friends, fans or followers will not help you in a big way, unless and until you involve yourself with them by sharing their interests/hobbies, responding them timely and social wishing on different occasions.
If you monotonously bombard your blog posts to them, chances are that you may end up leveraging only 5-10% of social networking power.
4. Guest Blogging: By writing guest posts on other reputed sites from your niche, you not only increase traffic to your blog, but also build a reputation for yourself.
Apart from traffic and reputation, you also get SEO benefit by getting backlinks, which helps you for better Google PR and higher search engine rankings.
Make a list of 10-15 blogs from your niche, contact them individually with custom mail and make a solid strategy of guest posting, on regular basis. The frequency of guest posing is up to you. You may prefer guest posting on weekly basis, or fortnightly, or monthly.
When you publish your articles on top blogs of your niche, people recognize you as an expert/authority, and become loyal followers.
5. Giveaway: This is a very easy way to increase traffic to your blog. As a condition of – Liking, Twitting, Pinning your blog, you include visitors/bloggers for the contest/giveaway. In the process you receive tons of traffic to your blog via high social media promotion. But, you have to make sure a solid strategy for better results.
The giveaway doesn’t need to be an expensive one. You can offer premium theme membership, plugins or graphic materials also. The list is endless and up to you.
You can take the help of RaffleCopter for organizing giveaways.
6. Blog commenting and Joining forums: Leaving comments on other blogs helps you increase traffic to your blog, in a big way. Two things are important here – The blog should be highly visited/busy, and your comment should be constructive and thought provoking.
When you leave a comment on other blogs, a hyperlink is created by default, in most cases. And, people click on the hyperlink by reading your constructive comments.
Joining forums is another effective way of increasing traffic to your blog. But, you have to participate with other forum members in a friendly manner. Merely pitching a question will not do.
7. WordPress Plugin – CommentLuv: This is a plugin to die for! This plugin is made for traffic and comments.
The beauty is – whenever a blogger/visitor leaves a comment on CommentLuv enabled blog, a hyperlink of her last blog post created below the comment itself. There by funneling traffic to her blog post/blog. Due to this feature, bloggers visit your blog again and again, to promote their blog.
There are a number of advantages of CommentLuv Plugin like – Offering your commenter a DoFollow link or option to include keywords with their names, after certain number of comments on your blog, promotion of commenter’s Twitter ID, and many more.
You can taste this awesome plugin by leaving a comment below to know, how it works.
It’s just like a give and take between bloggers. What a great innovation to increase traffic and comments on blogs. Thanks Andy Bailey!
8. Offline Activities: Many bloggers usually don’t tap the offline opportunities to increase traffic to their blogs.
If, executed in right way, offline channel can drive tons of traffic to your blog with no, or little cost! Below are few offline methods you should explore for brand awareness and better traffic.
(a) Attend bloggers meet.
(b) Attend conference and workshop for bloggers, WordPress lovers (WordCamp) and SEO professionals.
(c) Found a bloggers club/group, locally, in your city. Invite all the members to a common place like a garden or cafeteria for exchange of knowledge, experience and just having a good time.
(d) Cycle rally/Tea party – You can organize a cycle rally or throw a tea party for local friends (not necessarily bloggers) to publicize your blog.
Keep few things ready for your guests, before organizing such activities, like (1) T-Shirts with your blog’s logo (2) Bookmarks, Pen, Pen-stand, Coffee mugs with your blog’s logo and a tagline.
If you liked the post, consider giving a Facebook like on the left side. If you want to add any other points to increase traffic to blog, you are most welcome in the comment section.