In every bloggers life comes a special day – the day they first launch a new blog. Now unless you went out and purchased someone else’s blog chances are your blog launched with only one very loyal reader – you. Maybe a few days later you received a few hits when you told your sister, father, girlfriend and best friend about your new blog but that’s about as far you went when it comes to finding readers.
Here are the top 10 techniques new bloggers can use to find readers. These are tips specifically for new bloggers, those people who have next-to-no audience at the moment and want to get the ball rolling.
It helps if you work on this list from top to bottom as each technique builds on the previous step to help you create momentum. Eventually once you establish enough momentum you gain what is called “traction”, which is a large enough audience base (about 500 readers a day is good) that you no longer have to work too hard on finding new readers. Instead your current loyal readers do the work for you through word of mouth.
Top 10 Tips
10. Write at least five major “pillar” articles. A pillar article is a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. Generally they are longer than 500 words and have lots of very practical tips or advice. This article you are currently reading could be considered a pillar article since it is very practical and a good “how-to” lesson. This style of article has long term appeal, stays current (it isn’t news or time dependent) and offers real value and insight. The more pillars you have on your blog the better.
9. Write one new blog post per day minimum. Not every post has to be a pillar, but you should work on getting those five pillars done at the same time as you keep your blog fresh with a daily news or short article style post. The important thing here is to demonstrate to first time visitors that your blog is updated all the time so they feel that if they come back tomorrow they will likely find something new. This causes them to bookmark your site or subscribe to your blog feed.
You don’t have to produce one post per day all the time but it is important you do when your blog is brand new. Once you get traction you still need to keep the fresh content coming but your loyal audience will be more forgiving if you slow down to a few per week instead. The first few months are critical so the more content you can produce at this time the better.
8. Use a proper domain name. If you are serious about blogging be serious about what you call your blog. In order for people to easily spread the word about your blog you need a easily rememberable domain name. People often talk about blogs they like when they are speaking to friends in the real world (that’s the offline world, you remember that place right?) so you need to make it easy for them to spread the word and pass on your URL. Try and get a .com if you can and focus on small easy to remember domains rather than worry about having the correct keywords (of course if you can get great keywords and easy to remember then you’ve done a good job!).
7. Start commenting on other blogs. Once you have your pillar articles and your daily fresh smaller articles your blog is ready to be exposed to the world. One of the best ways to find the right type of reader for your blog is to comment on other people’s blogs. You should aim to comment on blogs focused on a similar niche topic to yours since the readers there will be more likely to be interested in your blog.
Most blog commenting systems allow you to have your name/title linked to your blog when you leave a comment. This is how people find your blog. If you are a prolific commentor and always have something valuable to say then people will be interested to read more of your work and hence click through to visit your blog.
6. Trackback and link to other blogs in your blog posts. A trackback is sort of like a blog conversation. When you write a new article to your blog and it links or references another blogger’s article you can do a trackback to their entry. What this does is leave a truncated summary of your blog post on their blog entry – it’s sort of like your blog telling someone else’s blog that you wrote an article mentioning them. Trackbacks often appear like comments.
This is a good technique because like leaving comments a trackback leaves a link from another blog back to yours for readers to follow, but it also does something very important – it gets the attention of another blogger. The other blogger will likely come and read your post eager to see what you wrote about them. They may then become a loyal reader of yours or at least monitor you and if you are lucky some time down the road they may do a post linking to your blog bringing in more new readers.
5. Encourage comments on your own blog. One of the most powerful ways to convince someone to become a loyal reader is to show there are other loyal readers already following your work. If they see people commenting on your blog then they infer that your content must be good since you have readers so they should stick around and see what all the fuss is about. To encourage comments you can simply pose a question in a blog post. Be sure to always respond to comments as well so you can keep the conversation going.
4. Submit your latest pillar article to a blog carnival. A blog carnival is a post in a blog that summarizes a collection of articles from many different blogs on a specific topic. The idea is to collect some of the best content on a topic in a given week. Often many other blogs link back to a carnival host and as such the people that have articles featured in the carnival often enjoy a spike in new readers.
To find the right blog carnival for your blog, do a search at blogcarnival.com.
3. Submit your blog to blogtopsites.com. To be honest this tip is not going to bring in a flood of new readers but it’s so easy to do and only takes five minutes so it’s worth the effort. Go to Blog Top Sites, find the appropriate category for your blog and submit it. You have to copy and paste a couple of lines of code on to your blog so you can rank and then sit back and watch the traffic come in. You will probably only get 1-10 incoming readers per day with this technique but over time it can build up as you climb the rankings. It all helps!
2. Submit your articles to EzineArticles.com. This is another tip that doesn’t bring in hundreds of new visitors immediately (although it can if you keep doing it) but it’s worthwhile because you simply leverage what you already have – your pillar articles. Once a week or so take one of your pillar articles and submit it to Ezine Articles. Your article then becomes available to other people who can republish your article on their website or in their newsletter.
How you benefit is through what is called your “Resource Box”. You create your own resource box which is like a signature file where you include one to two sentences and link back to your website (or blog in this case). Anyone who publishes your article has to include your resource box so you get incoming links. If someone with a large newsletter publishes your article you can get a lot of new readers at once.
1. Write more pillar articles. Everything you do above will help you to find blog readers however all of the techniques I’ve listed only work when you have strong pillars in place. Without them if you do everything above you may bring in readers but they won’t stay or bother to come back. Aim for one solid pillar article per week and by the end of the year you will have a database of over 50 fantastic feature articles that will work hard for you to bring in more and more readers.
I hope you enjoyed my list of traffic tips. Everything listed above are techniques I’ve put into place myself for my blogs and have worked for me, however it’s certainly not a comprehensive list. There are many more things you can do. Finding readers is all about testing to see what works best for you and your audience and I have no doubt if you put your mind to it you will find a balance that works for you.
This article was by Yaro Starak, a professional blogger and my blog mentor. He is the leader of the Blog Mastermind mentoring program designed to teach bloggers how to earn a full time income blogging part time.
To get more information about Blog Mastermind click this link:
21 thoughts on “10 Blog Traffic Tips”
Good list, but I would of added Twitter and maybe some other social sites.
Commenting on other blogs brings in loads of traffic. I normally visit users sites who comment on my site, like you 🙂
I think I need to do more reading about pillar articles, sounds familiar.
Hi George. Yes I’ve started reading your blogs too, how can I not, when I receive several “new comment posted”-email updates per day from your recent blog post 🙂
I like the idea about pillar articles too. It’s those things that are so easy to get started with but you just don’t think about the power they have, until some one like Yaro Starak comes a long, reminding/telling you.
Just to let you know, I’ve taken a few screenshots of your site (I did that with George as well) so when you go over to Thesis I can review your site.
It is amazing what a different Thesis makes. Check out the review I did on George’s site Serradinho. Let me know when you make the switch – drop me a line using a the contact form on Thesis Theme HQ (in the footer).
Thanks 🙂 I actually also have screenshots myself, which I thought was probably a good idea after reading your review of Serradinho’s site. A review which was as great as it was long, I was really impressed by that one. I’ll be sure to drop you a line, probably in a months time or so, give or take.
I’m also already subscribed to your feed, so I do keep tabs on what you’re up to, over at TTHQ 🙂
Better late than never. I finally got your site review up and published over at Thesis Theme HQ, Thesis Theme Site Review Tech Patio
.-= Somone | Thesis Theme HQ´s last blog ..Thesis Theme Site Review: Tech Patio =-.
Very useful information. Does the EzineArticles work for casual bloggers too, who just share experiences, rather than articles?
I joined up to blog carnival a while ago, though am not quite sure what it entails now and what it’s main purpose is.
What’s your experience with it?
.-= Ana´s last blog ..Mutual Friendship =-.
I haven’t gotten to blogcarnival and Ezine yet myself, so far I’ve only done the blogtopsites thing. I can’t really say yet how much traffic I get from it, I think it may be nothing. But it’s nice to see how my site is climbing up the ladder, though it seems to have gone down quite a lot the past few days – maybe because other blogs in my category is seeing an increase in traffic. I suppose the higher up the rank you get, the more hits you may get from users at blogtopsites too. I’ll stick to it for a while though, then maybe remove it later if it doesn’t give anything.
I have a question about trackbacks. I had thought that if I link to someone else’s post they would automatically receive a trackback if they are using a modern blogging platform. But before I waste too much time linking to people who may never know about it 🙂 I thought I’d better ask. Is that true, or do I need to do something manually – the Send Trackbacks to… in WordPress post edit?
.-= christie´s last blog ..Your chance to tell us your blogging tricks and tips! =-.
I wonder the same thing, I haven’t seen it work yet – I also tried once to use the “send tracks to”-field, but that didn’t seem to do anything either.
Somebody should do a blog post about how to get it to work and what requirements there are 🙂
I’ll race ya! 🙂 Actually will probably be Saturday morning before I really
dig into anything.
Well I’m glad I asked you – I thought I must be doing something wrong…Maybe our trackbacks ended up in the bloggers’ spam..
.-= Christie´s last blog ..Your chance to tell us your blogging tricks and tips! =-.
I just tried to add your URL (http://www.miscbytes.com/your-chance-to-tell-us-your-blogging-tricks-and-tips/) into the “Send trackback”-box for this very blog post, but nothing seems to show up over at your site.
I don’t know if it’s a setting at my site, your site- or both 🙂
🙂 Glad to know it’s not just me this is happening to! I don’t have a trackback from you at all. But I got one from Sire yesterday morning – his What Bloggers Do poem. We’ll just have to experiment some more!
Awesome Article. This is my first visit to Techpatio & i think its a nice blog.
I will keep visiting it.
.-= techprism´s last blog ..Deep Secrets of 30 Expert Bloggers for Successful Blogging =-.
Hard to write 1 post per day while still have daily job… How to do so?
.-= Jayce´s last blog ..How to hack Facebook account profile =-.
Make yourself a bit of a template to follow for short posts. For example 300 to 600 words, keywords to use, titles to write to, types of posts to choose from, e.g. list post, reviews, features, mashups, referrals, personal updates, etc.
Have an idea what you will write about and have the research ready.
The planning and time management is the hard bit. Finding 30-60 minutes before breakfast or an hour after the kids are in bed are my most productive times. I can draft 1-4 posts if I have the research and screenshots ready.
Scheduling is your friend. Aim at scheduling a post a week for about 3 months and then add an additional post to each month until you are 3 months ahead with a post for at least 3 times per week.
As Klaus said, it’s essential when you get started that you get a lot of content up – for your readers and search engines – and then it just gets easier as you find your rythym.
.-= Somone | Thesis Theme HQ´s last blog ..Thesis Theme Site Review: Tech Patio =-.
i think you should have added social bookmarking sites which are nowadays great source of bringing traffic to your blog.
This really is a “pillar article” because it taught me a couple of things, and being an aspiring blogger, I have already read a a lot of articles about blogging, but this was THE best one yet.
In fact, it was so good, that I am going to read more of your articles and follow your blog.
Thanks for the useful info.
Hey Klaus, I have several questions
1. What is Piller Articles?
2. How to write a piller articles?
3.What kind of strategy do you use for writing piller articles?
Hope you will answer my question.
That is all something you will get answered in the Become a Blogger course, which is where I learned about it – and soooo much more! 🙂
Thanks for the kind information, I am trying
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