Driving More Visitors To Your Blog; Are You Ready For The Work?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Feb 27, 2014
As with the post I wrote the other day about high quality content (did you watch the video?), it seems that something else I’m always reading about these days I had actually written on a couple of times, but a very long time ago.
Back then we talked about traffic, whereas these days we talk more about visitors. The way I see it, traffic was always about numbers, ala sales and marketing, where the more people you can get to come to you or see what you have to offer the better the opportunities for making sales. It sounded good but in today’s world we talk more about visitors, which is getting people to your space who are more targeted and more likely to consume what you have to offer. Indeed it seems people are scared of high numbers if they’re not getting anything out of it.
Yet, when I wrote that first post in October 2008 asking people what they’d do to get more traffic, it really wasn’t giving many ideas on how to get it, but asking how far folks might be willing to go to get that traffic. I had tested one of those traffic websites that under delivered and under performed years earlier on my business blog and talked about that and the disappointment that type of thing brings. Seems there are still companies selling traffic and people buying it; stop that because it doesn’t work.
The next time I wrote about it in March 2009, I came at the topic a different way in debating some of the tactics advocated on another blog post on driving massive traffic to one’s blog. I took on each point and broke it down, saying what worked, what didn’t, and giving opinions on the rest if I didn’t have experience with it. A lot of that stuff is still valid, so I hope you check it out.
It’s time for another one of these, but I’m offering an early caveat. A lot of this stuff I haven’t done. That’s because, as some of you know, I’m traveling these days for my consulting business, and I’m just tired in the evenings, and one the weekends is when I try to get in some writing as well as catch up on some rest.
However, some of these tactics I have done in the past. Some I’ve read about. And after so many years blogging I know how to do a lot of this stuff, but some I’ll never do.
Why? Some of it will take a lot of work, consistent work. Not everyone is cut out for it. There are some folks who are very good with it, following processes they’ve developed so they can earn their living online. But for most folks, trying to understand what working 12-16 hours a day for yourself is incomprehensible. You have to love it and you have to be willing to take some chances.
Nothing says you have to jump all in full speed immediately. Some of these things I’m going to offer you can ease into until you see how it works for you. I’m not here telling you how to make money though; I’ve done that in the past and, well, most folks weren’t ready for all of that either.
Still, I figure it’s as good a time as any to give you 10 ideas and then allow you to decide which of them you want to try. There won’t be tons of detail here; it’s my hope you’ll figure out what I mean by what I write. But if you have any questions, ask me in the comments. By the way, these aren’t in any particular order, and only four of these have anything specific to do with your blog. Are you ready? Let’s go!
1. Make your blog a dofollow blog. This blog is a dofollow blog, a decision I made back in 2008 because I was feeling magnanimous with the world. Fast forward to today and I might think about it a little more but I’d still do it. I find this strange, but people actually go out looking for dofollow blogs to comment on, and will skip those that don’t have it. Truthfully I’m of the feeling that people should comment wherever they want without worrying about it, but since there are still people looking for it your blog could stand out because of it.
2. Accept guest posts. I hear some regular readers of this blog saying “Hey, I thought you hated guest posters”. I wouldn’t go that far with it, even if I did write about problems I’ve had with guest posting requests for my finance blog, the only blog I ever really accepted them from. Still, if you’re looking to increase traffic to your blog (I have to go there first so I can come back to visitors), one of the best ways to do it is to have a lot of consistent content. And if other people are willing to write that content for you so you only have to do it here and there, it’s something to think about.
Personally I found it to be a lot more trouble that it was worth after a while, but my finance blog did jump pretty high and for a while I was earning some nice cash from folks wanting to advertise on the site.
3. Add CommentLuv to your blog. This is the last point that’s specific to your blog, and I’ll give you two reasons why. The first is that people love commenting on blogs that have it if they have the ability to select which of their blog posts they want to highlight. It gives commenters a second link back to their site by them commenting also; they love that.
The second reason is more for you though. It’s going to be followed up more in point #5, but for the moment I’ll just say that when you use CommentLuv, you’ll often see articles that interest you that you may want to go check out.
4. Find 10 bloggers who you either respect, who are in your niche, or whose blogs are ranked high and comment on their blogs consistently. Here’s where the first real bit of work is going to start coming in, and it’s only part one.
There are many top bloggers in the “make money” realm who will tell you that to become influential you have to know influential people. What makes a blogger prominent? Truthfully, it’s the amount of visitors they get, and often it’s manifested in the number of comments they get on almost every single post they write. Some of them accept guest posts (see #2) and maybe if you hang around enough they’ll accept a guest post from you, which may or may not help your visibility.
I wrote “comment consistently”; what I meant to say was comment on every single post that shows up on their blogs. This means even on those guest posts that might not interest you. It also works best if you can be an early commenter. Often on popular blogs that get a lot of comments, the owners will respond to early comments, but then then get back to work and may not ever come back to view any other comments on published posts. You obviously want to be seen by others, but you want your name seen by these folks also. Even if they never respond, if your name gets into their field of vision often enough, it’ll at least seem familiar to them as time goes on.
5. Find anywhere from 1 to 9 other people whose blogs you like, whether they’re in your niche or not, but make sure they’re popular. Why are you doing this? Because not all of the first group are going to write something every day.
Wait, didn’t I mention that part? You want visitors? You willing to work? Part of this means that you have to comment on at least 10 blogs a day. You start with your #4 group first, and if they don’t have anything new then you move to this group. Now, it’s possible that none of the first 10 will have a post on a single day, but pretty improbable. However, if it happens then I’m giving you a break by only having to comment on 9 of them; aren’t I nice? 🙂
6. Post at least 3 of your blog posts 5 times a day on Twitter and Google Plus, and connect at least one of your blogs to LinkedIn. I’ll give you an opportunity to diversify a little bit here if you have more than one blog and you have articles coming from more than one of them on the same day.
Why are you doing this? Both of them move really fast. On Twitter, if you’re connected to someone who’s following 10,000 people (heck, even 1,000 people), there’s a major probability that they won’t ever see anything you put up. For that matter, if you’re connected to a more than 100 people who are connected to more than 100 people, and you only post a blog link once a day, you have a 1 in 10,000 chance of anyone ever seeing it.
Doing what I’m telling you to do brings your odds of your content being seen up to 1.5 per thousand. Those still aren’t great odds but 5 times a day means you’re posting something either approximately every 4 hours and 45 minutes or every 1 hour and 36 minutes. That’s just the math; the reality is that there are specific times when there are spikes in the number of people who are online, and if you research you’ll find out when you should be trying to make your posts visible.
Still, you want to spread them out. Yes, you’d have a greater chance of being seen by people if you posted all 15 of your links in the same hour, but some folks will keep seeing those links, get irritated by you, and leave.
Google Plus is close to the same thing, only your audience is much bigger. You could decide to send your links only to people you’re connected to, but they won’t like that very much. Instead, you’re posting to Public, but it still works out in your favor. Those people following you are more likely to see your stuff than on Twitter; that’s just how it goes. And if you have enough content, you can get away with sharing some of it more times than not as long as you space it out a few days or so. And if people comment on it, then people they’re connected to sees it; talk about opportunities to go viral!
Oh yeah, LinkedIn. I have my business blog linked there, and what happens is that every post I write there goes directly to LinkedIn. I find myself getting comments on my blog posts there, and other people see those comments who are connected to me on LinkedIn. So they may never make it to my blog but they’ll see my stuff.
However, don’t do on LinkedIn what I mentioned doing on Twitter and Google Plus; they won’t like it. Instead, if you join some groups and your content is pertinent to the people in that group, try to start a discussion using your blog link at least twice a week. But always write up a one paragraph description of what your post is about; they hate links without them.
7. Share posts from others you’re connected with and be sure to add their Twitter handle or Google Plus name to the post. You getting tired yet? Here’s the thing; even though it’s all about you, it shouldn’t look like it’s all about you. Sharing is a good way to give your audience more things you care about, but sharing people’s names means they know you did it. They’ll either thank you or not, but they’ll see your name because they’ll get notified of the mention, and if you do it enough for certain people they’ll definitely get to know you and want to know more about you. And if you happen to go to their blogs and comment… 🙂
8. Ask if you can write a guest post. I hate this by the way, and I’ve never asked anyone if I could write a guest post for them. However, I’ve had 14 guest posts over all the years on this blog from people I knew beforehand and I didn’t mind sharing them at the time.
Here’s two realities of this however. One, you might not get any traffic from writing those guest posts. I’ve almost never gotten any visits from blogs where I’ve written a guest post (I’ve always been asked). However, the owners of those blogs remembered that I did it and you’ll always be in their minds, and if they’re popular that’s a good thing.
Oh yeah; make sure that guest post is as good as, if not better, than anything you’ll ever put on your blog. As an example, look at this epic post on social networking that I wrote for Adrienne Smith’s blog. Heck, this particular post is getting close to that one, which was more than 2,800 words. I didn’t get any visitors from that blog post, but Adrienne gives me mad respect and, well, look at how highly her blog is ranked and look at how many comments that post got.
9. Find a community on Google Plus that’s all about your topic or create your own. Is your energy level still up there? If so, this is a place where you can actually post all your stuff, your thoughts and beliefs, hold contests, whatever. It’s also the one and only time, if you create your own community, where you can invite (only do it once though) everyone you’re following. Some people will join just because they like you but that’s okay. You’re also inviting the public, and there will be some of those folks you’re not connected to that will probably join.
The thing about having your own community is that it’s hard to keep it going with a lot of content if you’re handling it all on your own, or, like me, traveling so much that you don’t have the time to put into it properly. Thus, you can do two things.
One, you can name some other people moderators if they’ll take it on, and they’ll help you with content.
Or two, you can invite anyone in the community to post their own links for discussion topics as long as they’re on the same topic as your community.
If you can get and keep people engaged they’ll all remember your name because you started it, and of course those folks will want to visit your blogs to read what you’ve written, since you’re only giving them the links.
10. Make sure what you’re writing on your blog is share worthy. If you build it they will come. If it’s lousy they’ll leave and never come back. I’m not getting into the number of words or colors or fonts or having contests or any of that type of thing. I am saying that you might want to review what I wrote in my last post, the first link on this post, as an introductory guide to trying to make your blog a place where people will be informed, educated or entertained. See the symmetry of this post now? 😉
There you are, tips on what to do to get massive visitors to your blog. As I said, if you try to do all of these immediately it’s a lot of work, you’ll burn out and quit probably. Instead, look at these tips, see what you can do with some of them, and take some baby steps, then teenage steps and see if any of it works for you.
By the way, #6 and #8 are the only two I’ve never done at all… well, I’ve written guest posts, but I’ve never asked if I could write one so I can stick with that. Remember, Matt Cutts said if you’re looking to write guest posts for SEO reasons don’t do it, but if you’re looking to do it to increase your visibility, you’re good to go.
Whew, I’m tired, but I hope I’ve given you your money’s worth. By the time you’re reading this I’ll probably be on an airplane heading home for a long weekend, but if you leave comments you know I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.