Want to increase traffic to an existing blog? Starting a new blog? With more than 120,000 blogs being created every day, you’ve got some heavy competition. Here are 8 important steps for increasing your blog traffic you don’t want to miss.
- Validate that your feed displays clearly in major feed readers. Whether you’ve chosen to include full or partial content in your feeds, make sure your feed comes through clearly in major feed readers like Google Reader, Firefox’s Live Bookmarks, and Bloglines.
- Confirm that your blog is indexed by major blog search engines. Conduct a search for your blog in search engines like Google Blog Search and Technorati. If you can’t find it, your potential readers can’t either.
- Ping the major blog search engines after you’ve added a new post. If your blog platform has an automated pinging script, this isn’t a big concern for you.
- However, if you’re working with a custom built platform, you’ll either have to add in the pinging script for each engine you want to ping (see Technorati’s automatic pinging script as an example) or manually ping them using a service like Pingomatic or Pingoat.
- Google also offers a Blog Search Pinging Service API for bloggers who frequently update their blogs.
- Add keywords to your URL, title, description and body copy. This should be standard practice for every blogger, but it’s worth mentioning because there are so many blogs that lack keyword focus. Even minor differences in keywords can translate into major traffic.
- Consider guest blogging as a great way to raise visibility to your blog, especially if you can get invitations from high traffic, high ranking blogs. There are two possibilities for guest blogging:
- Invite guest bloggers to write a post for your blog (with the hope they’ll link to the post from their site, bringing their readers and increased subscriptions for you) or
- Write an article on their blog with a link back to yours.
- Get your blog listed on other Blogrolls. This step will increase exposure to your blog as well as add some nice link juice from these other blog sites.
- Update your blog with a new post at least once per week. Frequent posts will bring your readers back regularly and encourage them to add your feed to their reader.
- Incidentally, one of the many ways Google Blog Search determines the popularity of a blog is by how many unique subscribers there are to the blog’s feed, which leads to the next point …
- Make it easy for users to add your feed to their feed readers. If your feed doesn’t support autodiscovery, it should.
- If you use Firefox, you can quickly check to see if your feed has autodiscovery enabled by looking for the feed icon in the far right of the URL in the browser window:
- And if you don’t offer your readers an easy path to sign up for your blog’s feed, you should. Seriously, stop reading, do it now.
- Consider that AddThis.com makes it easy and offers a “subscribe” button in addition to its popular “bookmark” button:
Of course, there are many other strategies you can use to increase your blog’s traffic. If you’re hungry for more, check out these great posts by Roger Gilliam, another CLM blogger: Complete Blog Optimization Guidelines and How to Optimize RSS and Atom Feeds for WordPress.
If you’re taking the time to write a blog, it’s a good idea to make sure people can find it.