5 sling-shot ways to build traffic to your blog

With 70 thousand new blogs being created everyday (Technorati http://technorati.com/weblog/2006/02/83.html) getting traffic to your blog can be an overwhelming task, and many new bloggers abandon blogging because very few people turn up to read their posts. A decent amount of traffic is essential for many reasons. Some bloggers want to disseminate their pioneering ideas and opinions. Others publish content to generate advertising revenue. Many entrepreneurs use their blogs as PR platforms. The more your ideas spread, the greater is the impact they create.

There are a few a reasons for this…

The first reason is personal. I myself am studying ways to increase traffic to my own blog i.e 33rockers. I’ve been blogging for more than 5 months now and I’ve never made a concerted effort to increase traffic until now. Consequently, my blogging has always been haphazard. You are motivated to write more if you know there are people reading your thoughts and are sharing their own opinions with you. For this you need lots of traffic because only 3%-4% of your visitors leave genuine comments on your blog. Even if they don’t leave comments, a steady increase in traffic means your audience are increasing. So this post is also, sort of, a recent manifestation of my (relevant) traffic building efforts.

The second reason is logical. When you start a new blog, the biggest hurdle after “what to write?” is “how to get people to read it?” So once you know how to get traffic to your blog, you can create your blog with confidence. You can also work parallel: you can initiate at least some actions that can build a decent traffic by the time you’ve got a solid blog under your belt.

So here are the 5 sling-shot ways to build traffic to your blog:

Visit other blogs and leave comments

I mention it as the first most point because it puts your name, and your link in front of many blog readers, especially if you interact on a popular blog. Don’t just leave comments for the sake of leaving them. Think about the post carefully, and then think about what more you can add. In the beginning it seems difficult because you feel like an outsider, but once you start interacting regularly you feel like a part of the discussion. I’ll stress, only leave comments when you have something really to say. Randomly leaving your links in the comment boxes is a “sure-shot way of not getting traffic to your blog”.

Put others’ links on your blog

Just as you want your link to appear on other blogs, other bloggers too want their links to appear on your blog. Again, don’t just randomly select the links; they should some way or the other be related to your blog’s topic. For a few
months it may seem like a one-sided affair (you putting everybody’s link and nobody linking back to you) but as the traffic on your blog gradually builds and as you regularly post interesting topics, the other bloggers will recognize the worth of linking to you.

Write optimized posts to get relevant traffic from search engines

Search engines can be a good source of traffic once you have enough number of “optimized” posts. When I say optimized it doesn’t mean stuff your post with key words and key phrases and turn it into a nonsensical rumble. Just use the keyword once in your title/heading and twice or thrice in your post body.

Post reply-comments when people leave comments

You get lots of repeat traffic if vibrant interaction takes place on your blog. I think repeat traffic is the best traffic you can get because it shows people are not just accidentally bumping into your blog — they are consciously coming there. When you post replies it also shows you take interest in others’ ideas and value their opinions. If they blog too, to it encourages them to put your link on their blogs.

Claim your blog at Technorati

Technorati is a large blog ranking engine and a majority of bloggers use it to find the blog content they’re looking for. After you’ve created an account for yourself, simply “claim” your blog and then choose the right categories for it. Also make sure you click the checkbox to select “Include this blog in Technorati’s Blog Finder”. If your blog gets a good ranking in Technorati there is a greater chance of it showing up when people search for your blog’s topic or a category existing under your blog.

So these are the 5 immediate things you can start doing even if you’ve got just 3-4 posts on your blog, or even if you’ve just created it a few minutes ago. Good content and traffic building effort should go on hand-in-hand. Once you’ve surpassed the critical mass in traffic, you can focus more on content because after that the traffic is, somewhat, self generating. The traffic after that takes care of itself provided you keep publishing quality posts, at regular intervals.