You’ve put a lot of work into your blog, and you put more in every day. But without a steady stream of traffic, no one’s the wiser. Use these seven tips to get more traffic to your blog.
1) Do your SEO and keyword research homework. Make sure the HTML of your site is search engine friendly. Here’s a basic search engine optimization checklist: • Do your post titles have appropriate keywords? • Do your anchor links have keywords in them? Using “here” as a link is a missed opportunity. • Does your domain name include a primary keyword?
2) Submit your site to the 1st and 2nd tier engines like Google, Yahoo, Dmoz, MSN and Looksmart, and to the blog directories. Here’s a short list of sites that offer free blog listings:
Blog Search http://www.blog-search.com/blogclicker-submission.html
Globe of Blogs http://www.globeofblogs.com/
3) Ping like you mean it. This is a way for you to raise your hand to the blog trackers when you’ve posted new content. You can do it site by site at places like Technorati, or go to Ping-o-matic (http://pingomatic.com/) and mass-ping your blog to over 20 sites. Make sure your blog is set up to ping the appropriate sites every time you publish a post.
4) Feed your RSS. Make sure your blog has one and that it’s working. An RSS feed is a bit of XML that allows your blog to push content to RSS readers. That way people don’t have to visit your site to get your latest insights – they just open their RSS reader and read the news. If your blog is at Blogger.com, don’t worry about an RSS feed – its already been created for you. If you’re not at Blogger.com and your current blog doesn’t have RSS functionality, visit Feedcraft.com and sign up for their free service that will set up an RSS feed from any website (blog or not).
5) Swap links. Make a list of relevant sites you’d love to link to your blog. Write them a short friendly note and offer to let them use a few of your posts as content on their site in exchange for a link back to your site. Also, link to their sites from within one of your posts. Be sure to offer to exchange links in the links section of your blog. Most blog software programs offer this. There are also sites that special in helping bloggers swap links. Web Log Empire (http://www.weblogempire.com/) is a large one. If you’re willing to pay for a link to your site, check out Text-Link-Ads (http://www.text-link-ads.com/)
6) Be part of the blogging community. Go to other blog sites you admire. Contribute to their blogs in ways that add real value. Write good, thoughtful comments that are content rich. Give away what you know. Do it a lot – at least 3 posts a week. Over time you’ll become recognized as someone who has something worthwhile to say. As your reputation grows, people will seek out your blog. This is not an overnight process, but by paying your dues and building an audience you are positioning yourself to become a star. By the way, if your site doesn’t have the functionality for visitors at add comments, Haloscan (http://www.haloscan.com/) is a free service that will let them do so. It also allows for “trackbacking”, which is a way to manage pings.
7) Write your blog! Put everything you’ve got into it. Make it great. Post as frequently as you can. The search engines will note frequent postings. A blog that has a new post every day is obviously more active – and important – than a blog that was set up in 2003, has 4 posts, and has been dead since 2004. To really make your blog get noticed you’ll need to post at least 2-3 times a week.