Increasing blog traffic can be a hit-or-miss effort, but it doesn’t have to be the headache that so many make it out to be. Google may be the powerhouse of choice these days, but just a few years ago it was Yahoo, before that Mozilla, earlier still it was AltaVista. The internet is constantly evolving, changing the requirements of virtual entrepreneurs as it grows.
The only real way to know that you’re using the power of the internet to advantage is to keep up with these changes as they occur, assimilating these updates into your own practices as well. The same techniques that worked for an e-business back in 2000 would be wildly unsuccessful these days. Gone are the days of bulk emails as effective marketing, spam filters and delete buttons ensure your message goes missing long before it can even be viewed.
Size Up the Competition, But Don’t Break Yourself Down in the Process
There are billions of people in the world, and nowhere is this more apparent than the internet. Seriously, there’s a marketplace for everything. Want a personalized dog bowl encrusted with Swarovski crystals? Google will return over 220,000 results in less than .39 seconds. Amazing. Don’t take this to mean that you’re unable to wedge yourself into a niche, it simply means you have plenty of source material to use as an example of what you do, and don’t, want in your site. Once you’ve settled upon a niche, inviting traffic to your site is quite easy.
Stand Up and Get Noticed
1. Diversify and Cross Promote
If you’re thinking of starting a niche blog, see how much smaller you can break the niche into several fragments that make up a whole piece. For example, instead of just a “cooking blog”, create a separate blog for several styles of cooking you want to cover, and find ways to link them together in posts. It might be daunting at first to run several smaller blogs instead of focusing on just one, but you’ll be able to tap into a deeper target audience.
2. Post Articles Everywhere
Take advantage of social content sites that make new posts prominently visible. An example would be open.salon.com, whose motto is “You make the headlines”. Other similar sites like Digg and Reddit allow you to publish whatever you want, typically a story or blog entry, and site-users will see it as they scroll through the headlines. The trick here is coming up with attention-grabbing headlines that get you the clicks.
3. Lose the Sales Pitch
The internet is full of poorly written ads aimed at obvious self-promotion. Connect with your target market by using the “real person reviews” approach. Imagine you are reading product reviews; isn’t it easy to spot the shills? So instead, casually remark about a minor flaw (aesthetic, or something non-important to most buyers) before praising. “I didn’t like the color, at least it got here fast. The shirt fit perfectly, so I ordered one in a different color”. This is a very important technique. Don’t be afraid to sound human when reviewing your own product, because it lends that much more credibility to your voice.
4. Post Daily
If you’re wondering where your audience has gone, they’re probably wondering the same about your updated content. Get into the habit of posting every day, even if it feels like you’re just dictating to a screen. Google pays attention to sites that regularly update their content, and even if you don’t have a large following now, they’ll want a backlog to crawl through when you finally get one. New comments count as fresh content to Google crawlers, even on “old” articles.
5. Use Keywords Creatively
If you are commenting on a blog that allows you to link your name to your website, then use keywords in place of your actual name. When you are posting comments to someone’s blog, and it asks for your name + website, don’t put John Doe + your website. Try using keywords for your name instead, such as Best Pet Products + wonderpup.com. Google will count these as inbound links, so you’re getting the benefit of an inbound link with keyword anchor text.
6. All Traffic Is Good Traffic
Don’t rely upon Google rank as your primary way of measuring site popularity. Sure, it’s nice to have a big storefront on Google first page, but that’s becoming an increasingly unrealistic goal for some businesses. Instead, try focusing on organic traffic from inbound links for awhile, building a steady following of dedicated fans. It’s absolutely okay to piggyback off the popularity of other sites if you are gaining traffic through their listings. If its sustainable, why create more competition? Sit back and let the traffic come to you.
You Get What You Give
Even if you can only dedicate a week to nurturing your site, provide these updates regularly, eventually the people will trickle in. For best results, however, dedicate at least an hour a day to your efforts. Write down a realistic goal, even something simple like quitting your day job in 9 months, and keep your goal posted as a reminder where it can be easily seen each day. These little motivators will really keep you on track, adding up to big successes down the road. Save the fancy site details for last, getting bogged down in all the details of how to set up wordpress will only slow down your progress, or stop it all together.
About the Author
James Martell is a full-time affiliate marketer since 1999, working with his wife of 27 years to assist others in their internet based business by learning about CCNA training videos, and other robust training software. James enjoys brushing up on the latest tutorials presented by http://www.openwebsitetutorials.com and sharing what he’s learned with others.