In Part 1 of How to Get More Blog Traffic, I shared some fundamental principles about building traffic. Now let’s dive into the practical tips.
First, one of the greatest traffic-building mistakes
There’s one thing that makes me sad when it comes to building traffic. That is, I see a lot of people working hard to drive traffic to their profiles or pages on social media, at the expense of their blogs or websites.
There’s nothing wrong with building traffic on social media of course, but when I see people writing long, beautiful updates on Facebook for example, I think to myself, Noooooo! Instead of housing that great content on a site you don’t own, turn it into a post on your own blog. By all means share it on Facebook, but share it as a link to your site or post a teaser on Facebook and then direct people to the full post on your blog (or in your newsletter)!
Better to stay in control and maintain ownership of the stuff you create! Granted, there are times when posting on a social media site makes more sense than on your own site (YouTube videos come to mind), but if you do that, at the very least, back up everything you might want to keep for the future!
The moral of the story?
Build your own digital assets. There’s obviously not much point in building traffic if you have nowhere to send that traffic, right? Get yourself a blog or website if you don’t already have one. It’s one of the top three digital assets you should build.
OK, on to the tips.
1. Be active on social media
Once you’ve got your own site, get active on social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) and never miss an opportunity to refer your followers back to your site. Be explicit about it sometimes. You might check out my call to action tips for tips on that. The biggest tip I can offer about being active on social media is hang out where your target audience hangs out and when they hang out! Focus your efforts there.
2. Create valuable content
Whether you’re writing posts, publishing ebooks, creating videos, recording podcasts or producing content in any other form, it’s got to be valuable and high quality. There’s no quicker way to ding your online reputation (and therefore hurt your future traffic) than by posting lame or too-salesy content.
3. Build (noncompartmentalized) relationships
Relationships make the world go round and that’s especially true online. First and most importantly, good friends are needed by us all, plain and simple. Secondly, and a lot less important in the big scheme of things, when it comes to building traffic, friends are much more likely to promote your stuff (and you’re more likely to promote their stuff which is important too). Be willing to step out, make connections with people and be real friends. Do whatever you can to make your online friends your IRL (in real life) friends. Compartmentalizing your friendships (my online friends and my in real life friends) causes you to miss out.
4. Attend IRL events
There’s no better way to jumpstart relationship-building than attending IRL (in real life) events. This might be conferences, workshops, meetups or even one-on-one meetings. (Be wise about this, of course; your personal safety always trumps an in-real-life connection.) Keep your eyes and ears peeled for opportunities to meet others face to face. The benefits of this extend far beyond traffic-building.
5. Leave a link to your site in your comments, the right way
99% of blogs that allow you to leave a comment require you to register your name and email address first. They also usually give you the option of leaving your URL. Do it. Every time. Where indicated. But not in the body of your comment itself (unless you have an exceptional, super-d-duper reason to do so). Leaving a link to your blog in your comment or “signing” your comment with a link to your site is considered to be poor netiquette by many.
6. Deep link in your comments URL
There is no rule that states you must leave a link to your homepage when you comment on someone else’s blog. I recommend you find a knock-em-dead post related to the comment you are writing and leave that link when you register your comment. That way, people who are already interested in the topic can get right to the spot where you offer more info. I wrote more about this this technique here.
7. Leave useful comments on strategic blogs
If your goal is to drive traffic to your site, leave a comment that adds to the conversation (without hijacking it by making it all about you). Offer something valuable, funny or useful instead of simply “Great post!” (unless simple encouragement is your goal which is good too). And choose strategic blogs to comment on, not just any blog. I wrote about that in tip #7 here.
To be continued…