It’s 2012. Journals, magazines, and news companies have turned from their traditional printed material to web-based formats and face a strong, unprecedented competitor – The blogger.
Blogging is a fantastic way to share your thoughts, knowledge, and interests with the world. It also poses an extraordinary opportunity to the aspiring and seasoned entrepreneur.
With a blog, you have the potential to drive hundreds of thousands of visitors each day to your site. With that traffic you can produce steady income for yourself and help market other companies. But how is it done? Is there a formula for how to write your creative content? Does quality over quantity matter?
Bottom line – How do I get more people to visit my blog and engage in it?
Below are 3 best ways bloggers can improve their online traffic while captivating their readers. The secret is to create an environment of content that gives something valuable to your reader. It could be information, entertainment, or even an interest-specific social environment. You must understand what you have to offer, and who you’re offering it to.
Get readers to leave comments
Comment sections are a goldmine for driving internet traffic. As yahoo readers often put it, “I only click on these articles to read the comments”. That’s because everybody has something to say and likes engaging in conversation.
We’re social creatures by nature. So how do we get our readers to share their comments? Try asking a couple of friendly open-ended questions at the end of a post. When they respond to your question or leave any comment at all, give them feedback.
Answer common questions in your next entry and respond to specific inquiries about information in your post. Readers love a blogger who’s both approachable and genuine, so don’t be afraid to talk to them!
Try also addressing some controversial topics related to your blog’s subject. For example, computer blogs typically have PC vs. Mac discussions. This will create debates in the comment section that’s great for traffic. Just make sure you don’t offend anyone and moderate the comments. You don’t want readers talking about other reader’s mothers.
So do you post comments? What makes you take the time to do so?
Network your blog
People will never know who you are if you don’t go out and tell them. But don’t put on your sneakers and hat just yet because what I’m talking about is social media and internet advertising.
Social networking sites provide millions of users that you can share, connect and promote your blog with. Join the big players: Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Update information regularly on these sites and engage in active discussions. You’ll make friends in the business and attract plenty of new readers.
Join the social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Digg as well. These sites rank and share web information based on their user’s interests.
Try engaging other blogs as well. Leave comments on popular blogs that are both relevant and genuine to the post. Bloggers often return the favor when they see you have an earnest interest in their work.
You could also guest blog on other sites. I work for a marketing company that sells promotional flash drives, so I share my relevant advice on established blogs such as these to gain exposure and express my interests throughout the web.
Optimize your site
Use Google Adwords to search relevant “keywords” to your blog’s topics. Next, use those keywords throughout your writing at a rate of about 3 percent. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The idea is to optimize your site so that when visitors search for keywords relevant to your site, Google will bring up your website in their search results. 9 out of every 10 people who visit a site got there because of a search engine.
Google is currently the number one way to access and find information through a search on the internet. Through proper SEO you can make sure every potential reader out there searching for content you provide gets to your blog’s destination.
So you finally have a slight increase in traffic. Great! So how do we keep readers interested enough to come back and continue reading your other posts? Make sure you have an RSS Feed so that they have the option to subscribe to your posts without regularly having to check the site.
Share personal stories that show the readers that you’re human just like them, living life just the way they are. Share some pictures or videos on a post. Visuals help readers stay alert and focused on the post in a fun and entertaining way.
Finally, just keep at it regularly. Don’t start with 50 blog posts and then nothing for 3 months. Make a schedule for when you upload posts and stick to it. Readers love a blog that’s engaging and active, but ultimately it must be fresh and constantly updated.
What successes have you or a friend had with their blog? Have any good tips I haven’t mentioned?
Vincent Clarke is an in-house copywriter for www.usbmemorydirect.com, a business that manufactures custom printed flash drives for promotional marketing and a recent graduate of the University of Hawaii with a bachelors degree in English. Aside from authoring blog posts and writing short stories, he enjoys surfing, mountain biking and rock climbing in his spare time.
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