Traffic to Your Blog – A Recipe For Success
Posted on 16th June, 2008
I know it has been a while since my last post, sorry if I kept you waiting ;). However, I feel that if I don’t have anything substantial to write besides writing a quick comment about other blogs’ posts, I’d rather not write anything.
Posting for the sake of posting doesn’t add much value to this blog.
As you may also know, I’ve been busy with some other projects. I don’t know about you but I find that I am not as productive when I multitask between blogging and my other projects. It’s either blogging for today or doing the other projects but not both.
OK enough of that, now it’s time for a follow up to my previous blog post. In that post, I mentioned the success of a blog can be attributed to the following factors
Blog Success = Truckload of Traffic + Good Monetization Technique + Good User Experience
This post will take a look at the first variable in that equation which is getting truckload of traffic to your blog.
It’s important to realise that having truckload of traffic to your blog doesn’t mean a thing if it’s NOT targeted. A friend of mine proudly told me the other day that his blog gets thousands of visitors per day, it’s so popular to the point that its monthly bandwidth allotment often consumed within days.
I took a look at his blog stats and sure enough the number of hits it’s getting daily was rather impressive but then I noticed nobody was leaving a comment. Sabahan.com gets a fraction of that traffic and yet it has more comment.
Then I realised that his traffic probably came from those auto-surf traffic programs traffic exchange programs. Autosurf traffic is a program which sets your browser to surf certain websites automatically. Often, for every 2 pages viewed, your own page will be viewed 1 time by someone else in the exchange.
Sounds good? I don’t think so. Those programs will get you traffic all right but the kind of visitors that usually ended up on you blog are untargeted visitors who don’t care about what you write.
If you display AdSense on your pages, it’s against Google AdSense policy to use autosurf, click-exchange programs, and paid-to-surf programs to drive traffic because these methods artificially generate clicks or impressions on your Google ads.
What you need is targeted traffic where the visitors are genuinely interested in your content. I should mention that I have written extensively about attracting traffic to your blog. The following post is a good one to get off on the right foot.
While new methods of attracting traffic to your blog are coming out all the time, there are a few that remains as timeless classics and continue to be relevant today.
1. Write Better Content
Before you do anything else, take a look at your content. A blog post consists of several elements which are the title and the body copy. Most newbies fail to realise that blog headlines are so important they could make or break their blog.
Before your visitors read your content, they’d have to read the headline first. Writing a poor and uninspiring headline could result in you losing the majority of your visitors. Lets me give an example: which of the following headlines you’d likely click?
1. Popular blogs by Technorati
2. 50 Most Influential Blogs in Malaysia
Now, here’s a post I wrote earlier to help you write good headlines for your blog posts: 10 Tips How to Write Blog Post Headlines That Hit
The second element that you have to pay attention to is of course the body copy. Here’s a tip, you don’t need a big talent to produce good content with a perfect grammar and so on.
You just have to write posts that YOUR VISITORS want to read. You see, when it comes to making money online, blogging is often not about what you want but what your visitors want. While I might not be the best writer in town, that doesn’t stop many people from visiting Sabahan.com daily.
One of the most successful bloggers (or rather netpreneur) IMHO is Shoemoney.com. If you read his blog, it won’t be long before you notice that Shoemoney has a terrible grammar for someone whose first language is English. But that doesn’t prevent him from making almost US40,000 from his blog last May.
Also writing about your personal life won’t make you money, unless you are some kind of celebrity already or somehow manage to attract die-hard fans like KennySia.com. If you are OK with that, than this tip probably doesn’t apply to you.
In addition, learn the art of link baiting and please do not start another how to make money blog if your main goal is to make money from it. You’ll better off selecting other niche such as entertainment or technology. There’s a follow up to that post that you might be interested in reading here.
2. Optimize Your Blog for the Search Engines
As time goes by, it’s becoming increasing difficult to get your blog listed high up in the search engine results. While you can perform some on page search engine optimizations which undoubtedly is important, it won’t guarantee a good ranking because obviously the external factors play a much bigger role these days.
External factors or off page optimization factors include anything from the number of sites linking to your blog, the anchor text used by those sites that link to you, the PageRank of those pages that link to you and so on. They all influence your ultimate ranking on the search engines.
While you can’t directly adjust the external factors to your advantage, you can at least do certain things such as improving your blog content (my first point), attracting links from other blogs/sites and making your blog more social by participating in the networking activities.
3. Attract Links from Other Sites
Again, this comes back to your content. You’ll more likely attract links from other bloggers if you offer something that people want to read.
Also bear in mind that not all links are created equal. Those that would benefit you most are links from trusted, authoritative, high PageRank sites, links that use relevant keywords in their anchor text, links from relevant sites, and links from variety of sources instead of just from one or two of your own sites for instance.
Again, learn the art of linkbaiting. An introduction to linkbaiting would be in order if you are totally new to this. Here’s another practical advice from Matt Cutts, the Google engineer about link baiting.
4. Take Full Advantage of the Social Media Sites
Social media sites are basically sites for communities of people who share interests. They offer an excellent opportunity for you to attract attention and targeted traffic to your blog instantly; otherwise a quite impossible thing to do nowadays with every blog competing for attention.
These sites allow you to submit news stories, blog posts, articles and other media and share them with other users or the general public.
If your post gets into the front page of Digg.com or Slashdot.com, expect a traffic tsunami. One of my posts in my other blog was dugg once and over the course of three days, over 42,000 unique visitors read that post. Besides the traffic, your blog will receive instant visibility and this will naturally attract links from various other sites.
Some of the social media sites that worth exploring are
So there you have it. In my next post, I’ll write about the second variable which is “Good Monetizing Technique”.