It's the the perennial quest. How can you get more traffic to your site?
After all, without a steady stream of traffic to your blog, there’s little opportunity to engage your audience and convert readers to raving fans.
Methods change and evolve over time. When I wrote my first “how to drive traffic” post about five years ago, the list looked a lot different. There was no Twitter, no Facebook, no social sharing buttons, and no retweet button.
Yet some methods I advocated back in 2005 still work, so think of this as a refresher if you’re already employing all the social tactics for driving traffic. You would be surprised at how many people don’t actually take the time to implement a variety of tactics. Maybe you can pick up a few new ideas or implement some old ideas you may have overlooked.
This list is in no way complete. I invite you to add your favorite tips in the comment section.
First, the tried and true:
#1: Publish as frequently as possible
The more frequently you post, the more traffic you get because the search engines are indexing your content more frequently. Of course your content has to be compelling as well, but that goes without saying, right?
#2: Pay attention to the headlines (blog post titles)
Using numbers (see title of this blog post!) usually generates good traffic. Titles with “how to” also attract a lot of traffic.
#3: Send an email broadcast
Send email to your list when you have a great blog post you want to share. Ask for comments to encourage engagement and interaction.
#4: Add a link in your email signature
If you use web-based email like Gmail, add WiseStamp to your email signature so you can include links to your blog. Add your blog's RSS feed so your recent posts are always featured in your emails. WiseStamp works with web-based email services including Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo mail and AOL.
WiseStamp adds all your links to your email signature and is simple to install and edit.
#5: Include multiple subscription options on your blog
Most blog platforms have RSS feeds built in, but don’t forget to add an email subscription option as well. Email is ubiquitous and if you only offer RSS, you lose a huge opportunity for people to get your content and become regular readers. Email subscription services include Feedburner, Feedblitz and AWeber, to name a few.
Give your readers multiple options for getting your blog updates.
#6: Try article marketing
Article marketing is a powerful way to attract traffic. Post your articles at EzineArticles.com and include a link to your blog in your author resource box. Also set up your author account to automatically send a tweet when you post new articles. That drives traffic to your article which drives traffic back to your blog.
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#7: Comment on blogs in your industry
This is all about outreach and boosting your visibility on complementary blogs. Target influential blogs, read them on a regular basis and then contribute to the conversation as appropriate. When you comment, you have the option to include the URL to your blog.
#8. Do some guest posting
Writing on other people’s blogs can introduce you to a new audience and create a surge of new traffic to your blog. You can find more information and a great resource for getting guest posting gigs here.
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#9: Conduct surveys and polls
People love to give their opinion. Use Polldaddy or SurveyMonkey to ask your readers what they want or get their opinion. More often than not, those who respond will help spread the word, especially if you ask and/or offer a gift in exchange.
#10: Submit your blog to directories
While it’s debatable how much traffic you’ll get by having your blog in directories, it can’t hurt to be listed. Most definitely I would recommend you add your blog to Technorati, the largest blog directory on the web, and Alltop.com, a popular directory with the best of the best organized by topic.
Now the social media tips:
#11: Make a Google profile
You can’t ignore Google. Set up your profile on Google and include links to your blogs and websites. Whenever someone does a search on your name, a link to your profile will be featured at the bottom of the first page of search results. You can include pictures, links to your blog(s), products, website, and social networks.
Build your profile on Google.com/profiles with links to your blogs.
#12: Syndicate to Twitter
Use a plug-in like Twitter Tools (WordPress) or an application like Twitterfeed.com to syndicate your new posts to your Twitter stream. Hootsuite, the Twitter management tool, also offers this function. TypePad has this option built into the platform as well.
#13: Syndicate to Facebook
Use the Facebook Notes application to pull your blog feed into your profile and/or fan page.
#14: Syndicate to LinkedIn
You can add three URLs (make sure one is your blog!) to your LinkedIn profile, as well as syndicate your content with the Blog Link application.
#15: Use Hootsuite
Use Hootsuite if you have multiple blogs to syndicate your new content to multiple platforms including your Twitter accounts, Facebook profile and fan page, LinkedIn and Ping.fm to broadcast to more sites for even greater reach.
#16: Distribute your video
Distribute your videos on all the video sharing platforms. Include a link back to your blog home page or specific blog posts that are relevant to the content in your video. TubeMogul is a free site where you can upload your video once and it will be published on up to 20 video platforms including YouTube, Vimeo, Blip.tv, and more.
Distribute your video to many sites with Tubemogul.com
#17: Add the retweet button to your posts
Grab the plug-in or the code from Tweetmeme and make it super simple for your readers to click and share with their networks.
#18: Consider share buttons
There are many plug-ins and add-ons to add buttons to your blog that make it easy for readers to share your content on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Delicious, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc. Find the style that suits you and add it to the footer of your blog posts. The popular plug-in used on this site is Sexy Bookmarks.
#19: Use social bookmarking
Use sites like StumbleUpon, Digg and Delicious to share your content. When you have a particularly great post, ask your readers to help you out with bookmarking. Don’t overdo it, but if you think your post deserves some additional attention, don’t be afraid to ask.
OK, your turn. Are you using any of these tips with success? I know there are at least 100 more ways to drive traffic to your blog. Please add your tips to the list by commenting below.
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