Whether or not it’s important to work on getting blog traffic is based on your goals.
I’ve got two goals.
Increased readership and making money. (not to be mistaken with this blog’s mission: To help other bloggers promote their blogs)
How do we achieve enough traffic to make money? How do we get more people to read our posts?
The Most Important Element To Getting Traffic To Your Blog
How do I say this delicately?
WRITE GOOD SHIT. Seriously.
Write posts that are entertaining.
Example: Kris at Pretty All True makes me laugh my ass of every time. Jan at Blogorama always has something that’s just plain cool to share or a good story to tell from his day. I haven’t been able to read one post without leaving a comment.
Write posts that teach something.
Example: I run out of fingers counting the twitter marketing tips I’ve learned from John Paul.
Write posts that convey a message or stories that others can relate to.
Seven years ago I had a blog that was just a story. I wanted to write and see if others would be interested in my writing. In it’s last 5 weeks, that fuggin blog was busy. Forty, fifty comments a post. People were glued to that blog. I never put up an About Me page. I didn’t explain I was just telling a story in first person, I didn’t respond to comments. I didn’t even use my real name. I just wrote for 4 months. The only extra thing I did was add a blog roll with the websites of every visitor who commented and a recent comments widget. That was it. At some point I got busy with work and was too exhausted to write. That’s when I realized that my readers thought it was all real and actually happening. They were worried about my disappearance. I had over 300 emails in my inbox all asking if I were ok. I didn’t know how to fix my screw up. I had inadvertently lied to these people. I took the blog down.
Write posts that encourage others to take action.
Example: Fight4YourLife is one woman’s battle against obesity. Angel shares that journey to encourage others that it can be done.
The Two Elements I Use To Drive Traffic to The GOOD SHIT…
Social Media and Search Engines.
Many of us can’t just write GOOD SHIT and wait. Many of us can’t blog everyday because we have other responsibilities in life, so when we write, it MUST BE GOOD. I’ve set goals for my blog that I’ve decided to reach in X amount of time. So how do I promote the good shit so it brings me traffic without me having to blog everyday?
Social Media is of course the most fun and easier of the two when it comes to driving traffic to your blog. Write GOOD SHIT and share it with friends and share their posts too. I’m not going to delve into social media here. Feel free to check out my posts on Social Media For Promotion. But I’ve got to say, Social Media usage is a must for any blogger.
Utilizing Search Engines to bring you traffic is the harder of the two, but the most profitable (money and/or increasing readership wise) because your search engine visitors are targeted. Your blog will be found in search engines by people who are specifically looking for your GOOD SHIT.
However, keep in mind, if your good shit is buried on page 21, no one will find it. So how do you get ranked in the search engines?
One thing you need to know, on-page optimization will only get you so far. Keep reading.
Like I said, utilizing search engines to bring you traffic is the harder of the two. This is because there are underlying factors you can’t control.
Here’s a short list of what I specifically look at to determine whether my post can gain traffic from search engine results
It’s not a complete list. It’s not a prioritized list. I don’t work for google. But from experience, from pushing clients and my affiliate blogs to page one of google searches, here’s what I’ve experienced to be important factors. These will affect how my posts rank in search results.
- Domain Age. If you’re the new kid on the block, this factor you can’t do anything about and can hinder your ranking status but won’t always depending on your competition for the same keywords. Not the amount of competition, but who the competition is. But don’t worry, it is possible to rank on page one (and make money) as long as you chose the right keywords.
- Pagerank of your domain name. This is a score all mighty Google gives your blog. This score rates how authoritative your page is for the topic it’s written on. If you’re a ten, baby, you’re the shit!
- The amount of back links and types of backlinks to your domain name and it’s internal urls. This one you have some control over. This one is extremely hard work. So for this one, I won’t include info here. Figure it out your own damn self. Joking. Sheesh.
- The number of pages a website has that have been indexed by Google. This you do have some say in. If you haven’t submitted your blog’s sitemap to Google, then you need to do so using Google WebMaster Tools. If you don’t know how, there’s a post with videos coming soon. Now Google won’t always index all your pages. But the more pages/posts you have, the better your chances.
- What keywords those pages were indexed for. Got mad scrapbooking skills? Expert at caring for beta fish. Be sure to add those keywords to the post or page URLs, post title and in headings. You’ll also want to use synonyms within the content of your post along with the original word. Keyword density is a bitch. For reals.
- How regularly you post. Google likes to see fresh content and will always bump the shit higher in search engine rankings. The more you post, the better your chances.
- Social shares. Tweets, Likes and Plus Ones. Have lots of these leading to a post and it’s considered a trusted and useful piece of info worth ranking for it’s main topic.
- Backlinks are links to your blog from other sites. Search engines use the quantity of links to judge your popularity. Search engines will also look at the authority of the site linking to you and whether or not it’s relevant to your site to judge the authority of your site. These two factors contribute to the ranking of your site in search engines. Building backlinks to your blog is a must and it goes beyond leaving a comment on a blog.
Here’s a peep into what the actual process is like.
When I write a post, I take the main topic, specifically the keyword and run it through Market Samurai. (You can download and try Market Samurai for yourself for free. Those new to keyword research should be sure to watch the videos. They teach everything you need to know.)
MS offers a list of alternative keyword phrases and then I review which phrase is searched for the most online but has the least amount of competition. Once I’ve chosen a keyword phrase or two, I’ll use MS to look at the competition for those keyword phrases in search results using the list I shared above. If all of my competition has PRs higher than mine, more pages indexed, more backlinks than me…I’m screwed. Time to look for another keyword phrase. Once I find one that works for me, it becomes part of the url, part of the title, part of the <H1> tag and it can be found within the post. For this blog specifically, I don’t do that much, though I should. This is the process I take with my affiliate blogs. But that’s going to change. 😉
After keyword research, on-page optimization and then backlinking.
- Create GOOD SHIT
- Use the topics as your keyword research phrase
- Check your own standing
- Compare to your competition’s standing
- Optimize your post using your researched keyword phrase
- Create Backlinks
- Share via Social Media
Need more help? Check out the Google Luv Course.
PhotoCredit: © -Misha – Fotolia.com