wine on the keyboard

Increase Blog Traffic

by Kay~Kacey on 7/25/2008

Random notes from BlogHer08 from workshops and talking to people. I assume most of you would like to increase your blog traffic. If so, I’ll list off some of my notes on ways to do it. These are just a few ideas. Feel free to ask questions in the comments or use the contact button at the top of my website to email me.

Twitter. They were all about Twitter at the BlogHer conference. Do you have a twitter account? I’ve had one forever and I hadn’t done anything with it. I’ve got it all set up now. If you use twitter, follow me on Twitter. I’ve found some of you on Twitter and started following you. Twitter is kind of like short bursts of information of what people you follow are up to. Fun and addictive. You should have seen everyone at the conference pulling out their laptops and twittering the conference.

Add photos to your blog posts to draw the reader in. Most agreed that shorter posts were better (with exceptions–like this post :wink: ). My opinion? I do think a lot of people skim when they read blogs. Occasionally a long, really well written post will drag them into reading every word. You know the posts.

Other suggestions for traffic building (or comment building) were give aways. Every one loves something for free. So give aways or contests work.

Most of the bloggers there were all about the community. Not just how to earn the most money from their blog. Not to say that there weren’t workshops, lots of them, about earning a living with your blog or online. But there was a bigger picture than just that. If you’re just starting out, you can start off traffic to your blog by going to blogs that are similar to yours, in topic or style, and comment on those other blogs. Not just “great post” type comments, but thoughtful comments about the post.

Link out to other bloggers and help build the whole community aspect. Who doesn’t like their blog to be recognized? Of course we all do. Try to find blogs that are about at the same level as you are. Comment on them. Link to them. Karma, ya know?

Facebook. Some thought it was helpful. Some didn’t. Try it and decide. Same with Stumbleupon which I’ve written about here at my Easy Guide to StumbleUpon and kirtsy. (which is kind of like Digg for women.)

Okay, here is one for those of you that don’t have Photoshop or another software program for fixing your photos. Picnik. It’s an easy way for you to edit your photos using your browser. Check it out.

Some search engine optimization tips. While search engine optimization covers many things, here are some tips. Make sure the titles of your posts are catchy but say what the post is really about. Sometimes all you have to get someone to click over to your blog is your post title. Search engines weigh the title heavily in their search engine algorithms. When you link back to a previous post on your blog. Instead of using words like “click here” use text that says what the other post was about. The higher your blog ranks in the search engines, the better chance you have of new people finding your blog that way…and loving your blog of course! :mrgreen:

Fast, easy loading sites are important. Even in the day of mostly broadband. Especially for new traffic. If it’s slow to load, they might not stay long enough to find out you’re a fantastic writer, or great photographer. Don’t have texture/graphic behind comment boxes, it makes them hard to use. Make sure your font is large enough to read easily, even on small screen laptops. Make the reader’s experience enjoyable.

How about trying to get media coverage for your blog? Send out a press release. Not just to traditional media either. How about the online branch of magazines, newspapers, TV stations, etc? Think outside the box.

Did you know that BlogHer is doing a Reach out Tour? One day conferences in these cities. Conference fee is only $100 with discounted rates at the hotels. If you live near one of these cities, you might want to consider going.

Boston, 11 October 2008
Washington DC, 13 October 2008
Nashville, 16 October 2008
Greensboro, 18 October 2008
Atlanta, 21 October 2008
New Orleans, 25 October 2008

That said, take any of this advice or leave it. Ultimately your blog is YOUR blog. Make it what you want it to be.

(wow, when is the last time I did a post without a photo??)

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Tori Lennox July 25, 2008 at 10:26 am

Make sure your font is large enough to read easily, even on small screen laptops.

Lots of great suggestions! This one, in particular, is one of my pet peeves. I have vision problems and that teensy tiny print is impossible for me to read without increasing the font myself which almost always throws the layout of the blog off-kilter.

Melissa Marsh July 25, 2008 at 10:29 am

Great tips – I would like to increase my blog traffic, so I’ve sort of followed you and Suzanne’s lead by adding more photos! I think it adds a lot. :grin:

Meg July 25, 2008 at 11:07 am

Wonderful tips…
I just deleted my facebook account. I will check out Optimizing, that is the 2nd time I have heard that this week. My posts do get rather long at times, but I write like I talk…long winded :roll: ! I do twitter though, go find me I am LTLV

Have a great day today, did you see my blog roll story today?

Shimmy Mom July 25, 2008 at 11:16 am

Great advice. I’ll have to sift through and do a lot of thinking. I started my blog as a way to keep a journal. I only invited close friends and family. As I found other blogs to read I would comment and a lot of them linked back, some have stayed and I’ve made some new friends, which I am very thankful for. And I have to admit that every time I get a comment from someone new, I get a twinge of excitement that someone else liked what I posted. But then I have had a couple of the blogs that I read who stopped blogging or quit allowing comments because they felt like they were doing posts to please other people and not for themselves. I don’t want to let that happen. I need to find a happy medium between, doing the blog for me, and finding a nitch in the blog world that draws more friends in and possibly makes me a little extra money.
Now that you have way more info than you wanted. Have a great day and thanks again for the advice.

Mental P Mama July 25, 2008 at 11:57 am

Great update! I am a total twitteraholic. I have to make myself walk away sometimes….I think I may go to the Boston event. Thanks! :beer:

Suzanne July 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Thanks for the recap and all the info!

Connie July 25, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Thank you for sharing the advise. Some things I knew and some things are new to me. I am always learning from others. Thank you again.

iPost July 25, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Thanks for posting about the info and not about the parties! I enjoyed your tips and will try to twitter some more. I am going to add you!

dlyn July 25, 2008 at 8:52 pm

I think I may have a Twitter account – just never did anything with it. This is all great info Kacey and I am glad to have it. I am curious about how to make a blog pay. Any info on that? I am not expecting to ever support my family, but I would not mind bringing in a bit of dough every so often.

annbb/TSannie July 25, 2008 at 11:11 pm

the best blogher update I’ve seen – thank you.

I wish I could figure out why I’m doing this blog thing….Hmph

Diane Brown July 27, 2008 at 3:32 pm

We met (briefly) at the Newbie party at BlogHer08 and I bumped into you several times thereafter, but unfortunately did not connect more than that.
Thanks for a great recap of all the great information shared at BlogHer–very helpful!

Elizabeth July 29, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Thanks for sharing these notes Kacey, it’s really useful!

Caroline July 31, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Yes! Terrific! Thanks for posting these! I think this was an excellent session. I was there too (again, so funny we never met) and one thing I really walked away with from the entire conference was the power of blogging karma. That might be the topic of my next post… once I get done visiting and commenting on other blogs…. oh and I stumbled this post. I am a novice with that (gotta read your post about that too) but had to do it since this is so darn helpful to have in one place… and, you know, blogging karma and all that, right? :wink:

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