It’s pretty much universally accepted these days that having a blog is a smart move for any business. And because just about everyone understands that, just about everyone (and their uncle) has a blog. What that means is that the competition for traffic to your blog is strong and growing on a daily basis. After all, people can only read so much every day, so they’ll naturally gravitate to the blog content that is most relevant and meaningful to them. But even the best-written, most content-packed blogs are useless if no one sees them in the first place. So building traffic flow to your blog is at least as important as making it stick (getting people to follow you).
Especially if you’re just getting started with blogging, building traffic can be a bewildering, and often frustrating proposition. With all the advice out there on what to do and how to do it, how can you know what works best for you? The truth is, you can’t know. Mostly, you have to research and see what makes the most sense to you, then try it and adjust as you go. And once you have the formula down… well, actually, there is no formula. If you think you’ve found the perfect formula, don’t get too comfortable. It will change soon enough. All that said, below are just four simple steps you can take immediately that will begin to increase your blog traffic. It will take time to see significant results, and you’ll have to pick and choose where to spend most of your time, but these methods (as of today) will put you on the path to more traffic within 30 days.
1. Participate in forums. Forums, like the one at YoungEntrepreneur.com, are a great way to connect with fellow business people in your field as well as blog readers. If you target your efforts at forums within your target audience, you’ll often find hundreds or even thousands of people interested in exactly what you’re talking about in your blog. Get involved in the forums, offer real, useful advice, and when appropriate (and not too obviously), direct people to relevant blog articles on your site. Also include your blog URL in your signature when allowed.
2. Use social media. We’ve written extensively on this site about the benefits of using social media sites like Twitter & Facebook and others. So without going into great detail, let’s just say once more that social media is like no other medium in its ability to reach a targeted audience in a meaningful way, at little or no expense. If you’re not using these tools, you’re missing out on traffic that you could be gaining right now.
3. Comment on other blogs. You probably read other blogs right? So make it a point, whenever you’re on another person’s blog page, to comment on their posts. This will often help to build a relationship with the blog writer, which can be beneficial in many ways, and it will allow you to post a link back to your blog. As these are pretty much always no-follow links, you won’t benefit in that way, but you will benefit from the traffic generated by people clicking on your name. Of course that won’t happen if your comments aren’t thoughtful or interesting, so, “Nice post” won’t help much. For more on the topic of comment marketing, read this.
4. Make sharing easy. It’s amazing how many smaller blogs don’t offer an easy way for readers to share posts with others. Even if you don’t like Twitter, for example, or if you don’t think having a Twitter account will help your business, you have to recognize that millions of people, including most of your readers, do use Twitter. So at the very least, install TweetMeme or Topsy buttons on your posts. If you want to really optimize the possibilities and you’re using WordPress, SexyBookmarks is a great plugin that makes it easy for readers to share on over 80 bookmarking sites. Whatever you use, make sure people who love your stuff can easily tell others about it. Word of mouth is still king when it comes to getting people to look at what you have to offer.
Is there more to driving traffic to your blog? Of course there is. We didn’t even touch on SEO, SEM, backlinks, or a thousand other tools and methods you can use. But these four steps are some that anyone can take without having to do much research or decipher complex methodology. And if you start using them today, you just might see pumped up traffic in 30 days or less.