Traffic is the lifeblood of any good blog, and with traffic brings readers, and keeping and cultivating your reader base is what makes blogs successful or failures. So if you want to build a high traffic blog, I’ve put together 50 tips that have helped me to get a frontpage Digg, and earn over $150 from 1 month in Google Adsense.
These are some of the best advertising techniques I’ve used to help me build my website in a very short amount of time.
Not all of these tips will be helpful to you, but if you pick up even one best-practice from this list, consider it a success.
If you have found this collection helpful, I would be extremely thankful if you Stumble! this post, as a small sign of thanks– and in the future, I hope to reciprocate the favor.
All of these tricks are tips I’ve learned from running my own blog. While my traffic is still quite modest, at around 15,000 uniques per month, I have only been using this domain for 4 months, and in my short time I have already had a frontpage Digg which drive more than 33,987 uniques to my site over 3 days.
In the past month, I have had 3,361 uniques from Reddit, 8,519 uniques from Stumbleupon, and 3,193 uniques from Google.
50 Tips To Drive More Traffic To Your Blog
- 1. Install All in One SEO Plugin so you can optimize your blog for SEO search.
- 2. Optimize your blog for a given set of small keywords. For this blog, I am optimized for “startup blog, andrew wise, start up blog, start-up blog.” All of these keywords you’ll find my site on the frontpage. It’s a small number of keywords, but these are the topics of my blog and where I want to drive incoming traffic.
- 3. Install the Stumbleupon toolbar, and start stumbling. Once you’ve built up a good profile, with complete information, start stumbling all of your articles once they’re published. Until you have a userbase that will do this for you, you need to start the work.
- 4. Make friends on Stumbleupon, stumble their articles, and join their sites. Don’t push people, but you’ll find if you’re friendly to them, they’ll reciprocate.
- 5. In your reading settings on WordPress or blogging platform, don’t limit your homepage to just the most recent 3 or so stories. Push that number to around 15. Including more stories will allow you to include more keywords related to your SEO optimization.
- 6. Check your site’s ranking on Google Rankings, it will tell you how many times your keywords appear. The more the better, obviously there is a limit on the benefit it provides.
- 7. Write original content. Sure, it’s great to be the mouthpiece for the blogosphere, but you need to generate your own content. Plan to write one original post per week, we call them authority posts (to prove you’re an authority).
- 8. Write opinion pieces. If you’re working a full-time job, you don’t have time to crank out original content all the time, so put a spin on what’s in the news. Take a stand on an issue. If you go counter to what everyone else is saying, you can often get recognized and highlighted on posts.
- 9. Write what you know. Talk about your life, your experiences, what is and isn’t working for you. This is what people want to read about, just look at Howard Stern’s success.
- 10. Cultivate a community. Talk to your readers, ask for their input, and write about issues that they want to hear about. Are they not telling you anything? Look at your most popular posts, and continue writ ing more like those.
- 11. Start a blogroll. Ask people who are commenting on your blog to trade links. People always reciprocate on blogrolls, so just be polite and ask for the link-back.
- 12. Check your traffic stats daily. Seeing a huge traffic spike is a huge motivator, it just makes you want to get up early and crank out more great content!
- 13. Showcase your best articles. Put up a popular stories list on your sidebar. When new visitors come to your site, you want to increase their time on the site, so give them your best.
- 14. Install the related posts plugin. In addition to showcasing your best posts, you want to give people an opportunity to check out similar posts as well — at the end of the post.
- 15. Watch the daily Google Trends it will show you what is popular in that day, and give you an idea for new stories.
- 16. Determine where your biggest traffic source is, and pump all of your efforts into driving more traffic from that. Whether it be Google, Reddit, Digg, etc.
- 17. Install Adsense, and make it the lifeblood of your blog. At the very least, your blog should pay for itself. So if you have hosting, look to make enough money on Adsense to pay for your hosting efforts.
- 18. Write your stories for your readers. Think about the questions people would be asking, and write your titles and descriptions for those readers, and what questions they may type into Google.
- 19. Write everyday. Even if you only write a quick note saying what you’re doing today, it is important that you maintain a schedule, and posting everday should be your schedule.
- 20. Look for your top performing stories on Google. Once you identify them, find out what keywords are driving the traffic. Go through and re-write the story to include more references to that keywords or better clarification within the story.
- 21. Ask your readers to support your blog. Ask them to Stumble articles, like this one, Reddit, Digg, etc. Thank them for their support (thank you!) and let them know you are the reason you write.
- 22. Comment on other blogs. Find the other big names in your vertical, and build a presence. You can network with them and gain insight, and you can also introduce some of their readers to your site.
- 23. Include your blog link in your email signature. You send a lot of emails everyday, and this is a great untapped marketing channel.
- 24. Build up your LinkedIn profile. Just like your email, you can promote your blog on LinkedIn.
- 25. Go on LinkedIn answers. People post a lot of questions about blogging, your particular area of expertise, and this is a great way to network and build up your authority.
- 26. Be the pre-eminent authority. Whatever you’re writing about, your goal should be the #1 source for that information. Gadgets? Politics? Startups?
- 27. Go the extra mile. When writing this list, I could slack off on a couple of points, but I would lose the effectiveness of the entire post. That little bit of extra effort is what’s going to make your blog sticky for readers.
- 28. Share your “trade secrets”. Let’s be honest, ideas are one thing, and execution is another. Don’t be afraid to share your personal practices for business, life, etc. nobody is going to replace you, you can only hope to get better by opening up a dialogue.
- 29. Open a dialogue with your readers. Ask an open-ended question and try to stir up conversation or discussion with your community.
- 30. Extend the conversation of your blog to FriendFeed or Facebook. Comment on your posts, or try to engage in discussions with other people on posts.
- 31. Write response-posts. If someone make an inflammatory post in the blogosphere, write a response. You can gain a lot of traction from their readers, and make a name for yourself a thought-leader, not just a follower.
- 32. Feature a poll on your site. What stories do you want me to write about? Are you going to buy the new macbooks? Engage your audience, and get them involved.
- 33. Constantly self-promote. If you have a poll on your blog, mention it throughout the week. Remind users to respond, post, comment, etc. and help market your content.
- 34. Ask your friends to read your blog. At the very least, you should be able to have your parents or girlfriend reading your blog. Their feedback can be helpful when you’re first starting out, and are feeling like nobody cares.
- 35. Install MyBlogLog. It’s the widget in my sidebar that shows the most recent visitors to your blog. Seeing new faces everyday makes me feel like I have a community and am reaching people.
- 36. Set a goal for yourself. For me, I want my blog to be able to pay for my iPhone 3G bill from AT&T. The bill is about $60, and I’m about on that target.
- 37. Be prepared to revise your goals. If you’ve met your goal, you need to set a new goal. And to do this, you need to take the time to write out the steps to meet this new goal. Each additional step takes more and more time.
- 38. Enlist more people to write on your blog. The hardest part about running a blog is writing everyday. While this can be the most rewarding, it seriously inhibits your ability to grow. Bringing on a reader to write for you can help you do more promotion, marketing, etc.
- 39. Hold a contest on your blog. Ask some of your favorite websites if they can donate any prizes. Then hold a contest on your blog to give away their wares. Everyone wins, and it’s a good intro to selling advertising.
- 40. Build up a heavy RSS client feed. I have 137 blogs I read everyday, and this gives me plenty of ammunition for new blog posts.
- 41. Create a favicon for your site. I’ve been tweaking mine, and now have a nice big W as my favicon, for Wise Startup Blog. It makes your site look more professional and put-together.
- 42. Always respond to comments on your blog. Make sure your readers have their voices heard. Start a dialogue in your comments. There’s nothing better than having 16 comments on a post.
- 43. Use plenty of pictures. For marketing tools like Stumbleupon, people LOVE pictures. Include them in every post, and make sure to optimize their size and alignment.
- 44. Find the best template/design for your blog. I have been through about 5 different templates on Wise Startup Blog, and now I think I have a good setup, although I’m sure this will change again soon 🙂
- 45. Create cool icons for your stories. If you look in my sidebar, you can see I made 125×125 graphics for my stories. It makes your site look more professional, and increases the chances someone is going to read your work.
- 46. Use your blog as your username. Whether it be on Disqus or Flickr, you want to constantly be promoting your site.
- 47. Register your domain for more than 1 year. Google penalizes sites that will expire within the year. Renew your ownership on your domain, and you’ll see better rankings in Google.
- 48. Make it easy for users to subscribe to your blog. Include an RSS feed icon in an easy to find place on your blog, and also an email subscription option (I actually need to add the email option back to my site!).
- 49. Do post recaps. If you had a particularly good week of writing a lot of really popular stories, do a recap. Tell your new readers what they’ve missed. You can also do a post-roundup of all your best posts.
- 50. Read as many of these articles as you can. You can always learn new things, just keep an open mind and keep experimenting. If something sticks, keep doing it, if it doesn’t stick, drop it and try something new.
So for those of you looking to become one of the premier, best websites on the Internet, I hope these 50 how to tips have helped you. Remember, marketing and advertising your blog starts with being active everyday, no matter what.
And for those of you who made it all the way through the list, I thank you!
I hope these strategies will help you in driving more traffic and building the readership of your blog, and remember, if you liked this post, please Stumble!
Building a high traffic blog doesn’t happen overnight, it takes months and sometimes years of working everyday, and putting everything you can into your blog.