Time to get traffic!!! You have a shinny new blog with some great content thanks to the How To Start A Blog Series. Things are great…everything looks good…and the tumbleweed is rolling across your blog like a deserted ghost town. What the hell happened? I did everything you said. I setup a WordPress blog, I got the right design for my needs and I put up some sticky content that is helpful…why am I not seeing any traffic? This is ridiculous!!!
As much as we all wish it was that easy, it isn’t. Now that you have everything in place for a blog that can be successful, it is time to start promoting your blog so other readers actually know it is there! While you might be getting indexed by Google at this point, without any quality link backs (other sites linking to your unbelievable content) and a little age, you are not going to see significant search engine traffic in the beginning, so it is up to you to search out and attract readers in a manner that will make them want to stick around and enjoy your content.
6 Ways To Attract Readers and Subscibers To Your Blog’s Content
Forums related to your niche blog topic are an incredible resource for traffic to your blog from targeted prospects. Every topic has some sort of large forum on the web. By becoming a valuable member in that community, you can see other members from that forum community visit your blog and convert into subscribers and commenters. Now…do not head over to the first forum you find and start plastering your articles all over the place. You are going to get laughed and ridiculed out of those internet boards faster than you can hit the submit new post button. Instead, become a useful member by participating in conversations and list your blog in your signature.
At a future point in time, you are going to find that you can start to promote your blog a little bit heavier without a serious backlash because of your previous efforts to actually participate in the forum. Have a poll you want answers on? You will be able to post up a request to vote and other forum members will actually participate and help. Why now and not at the beginning? Because they now feel that they actually have an online relationship (I know…sounds creepy) with you…so they want to help. Before you built this reputation…they would want to throw you out.
Social Media Outlets
In the beginning, I would not worry about Digg, Stumbleupon and the other traffic monsters. Unless you know someone how has a significant influence in these social media superhighways…you are going to be spending a lot of time and effort towards an activity that is going to product little to no results. Put the share buttons at the end of your posts and hope that someone likes your articles enough to submit. Other than that…you are going to be running on a treadmill…a whole lot of work and getting no where.
Instead, I would focus on Facebook and Twitter as social media outlets that can provide instant traffic feedback. These are two areas that you are going to want ot have a large profile on anyway…so now is a good a time as any to start. Search out other members that have the same interests, conversations as you do on your blog and friend them. For Twitter, I use Twit Sniper as a tool to search out other Twitter users by keywords, but you can also do it manually through the Twitter search function (just takes a lot longer…but its free!). In Facebook, you can do a similar search, but I have found that by visiting fan pages in your niche…you can find targeted Facebook friends much more efficiently.
As with the forums…do not just spam the hell out of everyone with your blog posts and promotions. You need to be a valuable member in these communities to see real results. How many times have you deleted Tweets and hidden Facebook users (or just flat out de-friended them) because all the do is promote themselves? Well…guess what…they are going to do the same thing to you if you are not careful.
Guest posting is still the #1 way to get instant traffic to your blog and increase subscribers. I also do not see this changing anytime soon. By providing unique, quality content to another well established blog, you are able to bring extremely targeted visitors to your blog that are ready to soak up your content. These are readers that are active subscribers in your niche, so they tend to convert the best into regular readers. Some of you may have even found my blog through one of my guest posts…so you know its true!
It can be hard to give away some of your best content in beginning blogging (and even in established blogging). The temptation is to just publish it on your own blog and forget the guest post, but the rewards you get for your work are HUGE. I highly recommend searching out established blogs and submitting content right away if you really want to grow your blog quickly.
Not sure where to start? Check out this article to get you rolling: How to get your guest post published on a Problogger’s blog
Commenting On Other Blogs
Yes…commenting on other related blogs still works in today’s blogging. If you are submitting quality, well thought out comments on another established blog, readers will click on your link and visit your blog. If you expect to throw up a comment like “wow…great article”, you might as well not waste your time typing those 3 prolific words. Instead, write a longer, relevant comment with your unique opinion to actually join in and contribute to the conversation. By taking this extra time (and actually reading the article!), you will see much better results.
Note: There is a great side affect to participating and contributing to the conversation on a larger blog. You are building up a reputation with the blog owner that will make guest posting and joint ventures much easier in the future. By creating conversation around his/her blog articles…you are generating more pageviews and comments…thus…you are now an asset and not just a causal reader.
Facebook, Yahoo and other sites have a TON of groups related to your niche. There are also several (check out meetup.com) local, face-to-face groups that get together in your area. These groups are a fantastic source of traffic and collaboration that equals growth. Search out…join…and participate in these groups and you will see growth in your blog and your standing in the community. Blog growth and repeat traffic can be heavily dependent upon the outward appearance of expertise and respect in your niche. By participating in groups outside of your blog, you further strengthen your reputation in the industry.
Something Incredible and Unique
Have an eBook or idea that is incredible and unique? If you have something that no one else has, and there is a large audience for that item or idea…other bloggers and readers will promote your blog for you! It might seem impossible at first, but it is true! Bloggers and readers are looking for something new and exciting. If you have an asset that can fulfill this need, you can watch traffic and subscribers roll in like crazy. All it takes is a little bit of promotion on your end to several people and then you can sit back, relax and watch it go viral.
Now…it should be noted…this is not an easy thing to accomplish. For some reason, it is very hard to tell what will go viral and what will not. A fair amount of research and testing goes into successful, viral eBooks and related products while others can be a lightning bolt of luck. If you have something that you feel a lot of people in your niche need but don’t have…simple promotion techniques like the ones outlined in this article can equal an explosion of traffic and success. It has happened before for others…and it can happen for you too.
What to do with this new traffic…
What do you do with this new traffic? You make sure you have all of the right tools in place to convert these new visitors into subscribers and repeated visitors. There are some simple things you can do to guarantee success in this area, and we will dive into that next as we continue to grow your blog to the level that you have set in your head.
In the meantime…keep on generating content!