“If You Build It, They Will Come” is the famous quote from the show Fields of Dreams starring Kevin Costner. But for those of you who, like me, are old enough to recall the movie, the hero had to put in much work and faith before “they” really did come.
Similarly, having developed a blog does not automatically guarantee us any readers, no matter how attractive your blog is or how informative your contents are. You would need to put in lots of time and effort to direct traffic to your blog and I will outline some of these strategies in this blog post.
The good news is that these tips will cost you nothing more than your efforts. After all… you reap what you sow. But before that, let us take a look at some of the internet traffic sources.
The major internet traffic sources include search engines, social media websites and advertisements. But since I plan to discuss on free traffic sources, I will focus on the first two sources.
Tip 1: Quality of Content
First and foremost, you should invest some time in coming up with an interesting topic (in your niche), a valuable content and an attractive title.
Most readers surf the internet looking for information and answers so do some researches and post the findings or share your experiences. Give them what they want to know.
Quality content is crucial in determining traffic to your blog. If a first-time reader finds that he had truly enjoyed your article so much, he would feel compelled to sign up for updates as well as to share your content. And who knows, your article might just go viral.
Tip 2: Frequent Posting
There are two main reasons why you should post frequently. First, your readers expected it and secondly, search engines look for it. It is the simplest way to build readers’loyalty and at the same time, boost your site’s SEO.
Analyze your blog’s traffic and determine which type of posts do your readers enjoy more. Then try to post more on these topics.
Tip 3: Submitting Your Blog To Search Engines
As mentioned in the beginning, search engines is a major source of traffic, thus it does make absolute sense to submit your blog to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
You see, search engines normally have a link where you can type out your blog’s URL and submit for these search engines to crawl to, in order to include it in their search results.
Do note that this action would put your blog in the search engine’s radar but in order to be placed on the first page of a search result, requires paid advertisement and good solid SEO work. To learn about the latter, take a look at the following tip.
Tip 4: Practice Search Engine Optimization
This is one of the most important actions that helps place your blog higher in the search results pages. There are many ways to describe something but some keywords are more popular and relevant than the others. Adwords Keyword Tool would be able to identify these keywords.
Use these keywords in your posts but don’t drown your posts with them. Use sparingly and your post would eventually be ranked higher.
It requires slightly more work but the end result is worth the effort and it’s sort of like free advertisement. 🙂
Tip 5: Visit Blogs and Participate in Forums
Everyone loves a friendly and helpful person. If you specialized expertise e.g medical, IT or web hosting, you may want to consider participating in the numerous forums on the internet. From my experiences, forums are usually frequented by those seeking information.
If you have answers to these questions, do join and participate in forums. Not only would you be assisting someone, you would establish that you have the necessary knowledge and this tends to attract readers to your blog.
In the meantime, you should also reply to all your readers’ comments or questions on your blog. At the same time, you should also visit your friends’ blogs and drop comments, intelligent ones please.
Just remember to include your blog’s URL in the comment so that readers in the other website could click on your URL and come visiting.
Tip 6: Guest Posting
In case you are unable to post as frequently as you wished, you could invite your blogger friends to guest post in your blog. As mentioned in tip 1, you should maintain the quality of your post.
This is really a win-win situation where you get additional posts and your blogger friend gets more exposure! Just make sure that the content is unique and related to your niche.
Oh, it’s good to bear in mind that you should reciprocate the kind gesture and guest post in their sites too.
Tip 7: Run Contests and Giveaways
Everyone loves free stuff. So run some contests and giveaways to increase traffic. These days, most blogs offering contests and giveaways would require participants to promote the blogs in the participants’ social media before being allowed to enter the contest.
As for the prizes, you could negotiate with companies to offer their products in return for something, perhaps a good review of their product on your blog.
Tip 8: Leverage on Social Media Sites
There are two ways you can leverage on the popularity of social media sites. You could try social networking, where you use Facebook and Twitter to make more friends and invite or promote your blog to them.
Then, you can also make use of social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious and Technorati. These discovery engines is a great way to store and share interesting blogs posts, especially among those with the same interests.
There you go, these are some of the strategies which you can apply to promote your blogs.
Other than the above, you could also try the direct and effective way i.e. to ask for it… politely of course. There is no harm in adding a request at the bottom of your post for your readers to re-tweet your post or share it on Facebook.
And of course you should make it easy for them to share i.e. with the relevant buttons just like those you find on this blog!
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Image Credit: Erisac