Getting traffic is every blogger’s main goal. Some dream big while others are happy to just share their creative skills with similar-minded people. But where to start?
I can’t stress enough how many blogs and websites there are on the Web, and how important promoting your blog is. “In space, no one hears you scream”, and in the cyber world, no one will find you if you don’t adopt a proactive approach.
Are you interested in getting more traffic? Here is what I learned in my five years of blogging.
First, sign up with a traffic monitoring website or install a plugin on your blog to gain some insights. Google Analytics is a popular choice for detailed web stats. I also use Counterize, a WordPress plugin that brings to data to my dashboard. You can see a list of stats plugins for WordPress users here.
So, when I look at my own stats, I see my new traffic mostly comes from five different sources.
Forums — I used to be quite active on a number of forums, including Settlement.org, where I still answer some immigration-related questions. I usually include a signature in my profile linking to this blog. Most forums allow that and it’s a non-spammy way to get relevant traffic. If you want to get some traffic from forums, pick one that speaks to you, where you can both help and learn something. The key is to be consistent. Don’t just come, put your link everywhere and disappear.
Memes and links — We all get “tagged” once in a while. It happened recently with My Seven Links: Laurel invited me to complete the meme and I tagged five people in return. This is a good way to meet other bloggers and get more traffic—just don’t do memes too often, readers may get tired of it! I also try to link to other bloggers when they offer useful resources or when the post is particularly good. I also get traffic from other bloggers who link to my articles or quote me. For instance, I was recently interviewed by Life out of a Suitcase where I talked about my new life in Canada.
Blog carnivals — Carnivals are organized around a specific theme and aim at gathering a number of articles from bloggers around the world. You can either host a carnival or simply participate by sending a previously published article. I check out the website Blog Carnival once in a while and send submission to carnivals I’m interested in. For instance, I often participate in the Byteful Travel carnival or the Carnival of Cities. Each time I get some traffic, especially when the carnival host promotes it via Twitter or other social media.
Comments — Meaningful comments are a great way to discover new bloggers. Whenever a new reader leaves a comment on this blog, I always check out the associated website. Not all of them become my daily read but I got to know quite a lot of blogs this way. And it goes both ways: when you add something relevant to the conversation, chances are other commenters or the author of the blog will want to know more about you. Just don’t be that annoying person who write “great job” along with five different referral urls. Don’t.
Social media — I must admit I’ve been very slow to get into social media. I don’t have a Facebook account (I’m busy enough with that website!) and the profusion of social media sites means you could spend your time spreading news about news about news. Yet, I somehow got into Twitter and I find it’s a very useful tool to promote blog posts and bits of news. The traffic I got from it amazes me. I’m also on Reddit, especially on r/Iwantout (an expat subreddit) and r/Canada and I got great traffic for some submissions.
How do you promote your blog? Any tips to add?