Dion's random ramblings

Friday, October 05, 2007

Getting more traffic to your blog!

I have had quite a few folks asking how I get so much traffic to my blog.

Well, there is a very simple answer for most bloggers.... Are you ready for it?

Update your blog!!! Post, post regularly, and post sensible and useful stuff (not that my posts fit into either of these categories)!

However, there are a few more meaningful tips that you can follow to increase traffic to your blog. I have used this guide below quite a bit and found that it has helped to get traffic to my site. Of course I don't advertise or have clickthrough's... My only reason for wanting traffic on this blog is to share some thoughts and ideas (and to generate some discussion). Anyway, here is the REAL guide on how to get more traffic on your blog:

Many first time bloggers automatically assume that once their blog is setup and they put a few posts on it, they will get some hits and regular readers. This is quite untrue. You won't get any traffic if no one knows about your website. In this article I hope to tackle these problems and discuss some of the common ways bloggers and webmasters drive more traffic to their site by understanding the user. I have received many emails from aspiring bloggers asking me what they can do to get more traffic, so hopefully this will help out at least those people. Don't forget to checkout the prequel, How To: Start Blogging, that covers the technical side of setting up a blog.

Blog Usability

Before I get into getting your name out there, your blog has to have some style. Most web users are instantly turned off by tacky site designs or extreme neon colors. I know I won?t stay at a website too long if the layout or navigation annoys me. The goal is to have a unique blog, different than all the other weblogs on the net. The one thing I really stress to others is making it easy for your readers to contact you. It shouldn?t take a reader more than a click, if any, to find your email address or a contact form. This makes the reader feel like someone actually runs and cares about the website. An about page is also a great asset to have on a personal site or blog. The more a reader knows about you, the more they trust your content. I highly recommend reading this weblog usability article by usability guru Jakob Nielsen.


Your blog's usability goes hand in hand with its content. You can specialize in a niche subject as long as you have an idea of how many people might be interested in that subject. If you do well with your niche subject matter, you could get some crazy traffic for being the only decent blog online with that type of content. On the other hand you could have widely used content, such as some aspect of technology, but add your own twist with your opinion or comparing / contrasting from other tech analysts. People won?t go to your site to read something they could have read on CNet or Tom's Hardware, they want a unique take on it. If you learn anything from this article, I hope its that reblogging is a very bad thing. The one thing to kill your traffic is having identical content to another several hundred blogs. I suggest taking a glance at Mr. Veloso's Evils of Constant Reblogging to get a better idea. Finding out what your content should be is a key element of your blog's identity and the type of image your blog will ultimately emit.

Technorati is Your Best Friend

Technorati is one of the best traffic providers for bloggers. It makes your blog much easier to find when people search by technorati tags. Technorati is also a large blog ranking engine. Based on the number of links to your blog from various websites, your blog is given a rank. The higher your rank the easier your blog is to find when people search for things. A higher rank gives your blog greater credibility in technorati. If you don?t already have a technorati account, get one. After you have setup the main settings, such as your profile, you need to claim your blog. Go to Account and then down the page to Your Blogs. Enter the URL of your blog in the URL field and then hit "Claim this weblog." Once you?ve done that go to "Configure this Blog" and fill in what you can. Click the checkbox to select "Include this blog in Technorati's Blog Finder" and fill out as many tags or keywords that accurately represent the content in your blog. When you?ve done that, click "Save Changes" and then grab your claim code. There are two types of codes that you may put somewhere in your blog for technorati to verify that your blog exists and keep track of it. If you have a blog that is Blogger powered or some other blog host that does not give you direct control of your blog files you will want to use the "Link Code" and post it somewhere on your blog. If you are using a more versatile blog publishing system, such as a custom WordPress or Movable Type installation you should copy the "Embed Code." You can edit your sidebar, header, or footer file and put it wherever you like. You also have the option of posting a Technorati search box or various links on your blog without altering the code you just pasted. Select the options you like and click "Save Changes." Everything is done automatically by Technorati. One last thing you might consider is adding the Technorati ping link to your weblog. Doing this will let Technorati know when you have updated your blog. Find out how to do that on Technorati?s Ping Configuration page.

Technorati Profile

I hope that helps! Let me know if your traffic increases as a result of these tips, and if you have any other tips to post please let me know. Of course there are the 'sneeky' ways of driving traffice to your site, by including words like Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, sex, porn, google, skype, serials, cracks, free software, unlock, crack, hack, blog, weight loss, diet, health, Jason Calacanis, Leo Laporte, Patric Norton, Bill Gates, Microsoft, Steve Jobs, iPhone, iPod, John C Dvorak, John Chow, Mahalo

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  • Hi Dion
    The other thing that generates traffic is images. This isn't always useful. About 90% of the traffic on my blog at the moment is people searching for 'Sleeping Beauty' and finding the picture on my blog. I was getting 200 hits a day for that picture, until I copied it to blogger instead of linking on the web. Now I get about 20 a day. I'm glad the post is one I'm happy to have the world read, but to be honest I think most of the hits are preloads (from web accelerators) and are not even seen by human eyes. I haven't figured out how to make this happen intentionally!
    Here's another cool link: http://www.doshdosh.com/how-to-optimize-for-google-images-for-more-traffic/

    By Blogger Jenny Hillebrand, at 1:06 PM  

  • Another thing that can be done is to register with www.amatomu.com. This a Mail & Guardian sort of blog directory. They now have a religion category, which does not as yet have many entries. I've had a few hits from there - but not many. I'm ranked 5 at the moment, thanks to Sleeping Beauty and the paucity of members. It would be nice to see more 'religious bloggers' registered!
    (And I guess I'd better check out your technorati hints!)

    By Blogger Jenny Hillebrand, at 1:14 PM  

  • Jenny, you're a genius! Yes, when I look at my stats I also see lots of hits for images. However, as you say those are likely not to be people. However, I wonder how many of them will 'browse' the site to get to the image in google images etc.?

    Thanks for the tip!



    By Blogger digitaldion (Dion Forster), at 3:43 PM  

  • I have a poll on my blog to ask how people found it, and apart from links on other blogs, the most effective thing was MyBlogLog, ao I invite you (and all other Christian bloggers in South Africa) to try it.

    By Blogger Steve Hayes, at 5:35 PM  

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