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 😉 ). 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??)

What is a Blog Carnival

by Kay~Kacey on 12/20/2007

Have you heard of Blog Carnivals and wondered what the heck people were talking about? A blog carnival is a list of links to blog posts on a certain subject, submitted by a variety of bloggers. The host of the carnival then collects the links and does a blog post with all the links to the articles that make it into the carnival. You can read more about blog carnivals over at DandelionBlog. Suzanne wrote a whole post explaining what they are. Sometimes carnivals are ongoing, and sometimes they are a one shot deal.

The fun news? We’re holding a Carnival of Romance Writers over on DandelionBlog. Our first carnival will be posted on January 20th. We’ll take submissions until January 15th. If you have a great blog post about the Romance Genre, first sale stories, how to handle rejection, or any topic related to Romance writing, you can submit a post. This should be fun! We’ll keep a link in our sidebar to the submission page for the carnival.

Blog carnivals are a fun way to read a lot of interesting blog posts on a subject that interests you. You’ll find blogs you like that you haven’t discovered before. I’ve found a Knitting Carnival. This is their home page over on the Blog Carnival website. Or how about organizing? This takes you to their actual carnival hosted on the blog Browse the List of carnivals or search google for your “favorite subject” +carnival.