12 Tips – How to Get More Traffic to Your Blog

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I get a kick out of everyone who stresses over their stats and checks them many times throughout the day – if not the hour. I often forget to check my stats. Better stats still scare me. I liken it to being on a stage while an audience watches and listens. Will they get up and walk out? Will they laugh at the humor moments? Will they enjoy themselves? Will they throw tomatoes?Image

Even on days when my post might be a stinker, I’m grateful for the people who come by and push the Like button. A comment is icing on the cake, and because I know how both make me feel, I try to be supportive of the blogs I follow and comment when I can without saying something too stupid (and oh, yeah, I have done that). I even click many of the links on blog posts. I’ve found some interesting people and things on the other side of those clicks.

I noticed a few minutes ago that the next comment to my blog will be the 600th comment. Here are a few more of my stats:

  • My total views doubled from July to August.
  • The highest number of views I’ve had on any one day was 74. That’s fine with me (see paragraph one again).
  • I have 153 followers. My husband was surprised I had that many. Me, too.
  • The dog Muttley was #2 on my list of most hits through search engines, with “horse poo” being in the top ten.
  • I’ve never been, and I never want to be Freshly Pressed. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say never, but not for a long time, that’s for sure.

So, why have I had the recent urge to search for ways to get better stats?

Because having people visit my blog, if only for a moment or two, puts my name and Susan Hunter’s Imagename out there. And someone who likes pink or mysteries might stay around a little longer to see what we’re about.

By the time I was done wading through articles and blogs, I actually had a lot of information about getting more blog visitors. Some of it was technical and pertained more to a business than a personal blog. A lot of it was what most people already know – visit other blogs, leave comments and likes, respond to comments on your own blog, add graphics, shorter is better than longer … but the following are some additional suggestions. I’m not attributing them to any one person or article, because they are fairly generic, and I encountered them in multiple places. Some of the information came from the gurus right here at WordPress.

#1 – Your blog should express what you’re most passionate about. I definitely see this on many blogs, but if someone had said this to me before I started blogging, I probably wouldn’t have even tried. I’m supposed to be, and am mostly, chronicling my writing journey, which is not yet a passion as much as it is a wonderment.

#2 – Are you blogging to help people, be a resource, and make a difference? Or to make you famous? Well, let’s be honest.  I’m not doing much here to help people. I’m definitely not a resource. And nothing I write will make a difference in the world. I’m sort of leaning to the famous side – you know, the book thing. Everyone says if that’s the case, then you should quit now. So, if you don’t see me after today, I took their advice and packed it in.

#3 – Post only one post per week.

#4 – Post Often.  Obviously, there was a mix of advice as to how often to post. Some say multiple times per day, others say writing and posting too often leads to weak writing, but the majority thought posting often would lead to the best results – every day or every other day would keep the search engines happy, too.

#5 – Analyze your blog’s competition.  What?! We are in competition with each other? I had no idea, and I refuse to play along.

#5 – Don’t blog about your pet, your boyfriend, husband, or your kids. I’m already turning people away. I probably had 1,000 followers and they are dropping like flies. My husband and our dead dogs come up often. My kid is not yet off the hook, and I don’t agree with this. There are loads of blogs with families at the heart of them, and frankly, I like them.

#6 – People want you to talk about them, not you. -and- Write in the second person.  I generally want to visit my favorite blogs to see what each person is up to. I like it when they talk about what they’re doing or accomplishing. And what’s with writing in the second person? You. Your. Yours. I always thought second person was best used for e-mail, presentations, and professional writing. I can see this on a more information driven blog than a personal blog.

#7 – Tell stories. -and- Write about a never-ending parade of different topics so you don’t bore your readers.  I’ve got that covered – sort of. Book stuff, stories, bits of information. There are different topics simply because I have no idea where I’m going here.

#8 – Guest post on other blogs. Crikey, this is good advice, and for most of you, it would work, but I have enough trouble finding something to say here without getting on someone else’s stage, too.

#9 – Use numbers in your title to indicate lists, and the words “how to.” These are highly searched key Imagewords, and we are a list-making society, as well as a people who want to know how to do things. Got that covered today!

#10 – Conduct Keyword Research While Writing Your Posts.  I think there is a lot to be said for keyword search. I simply haven’t taken the time to put enough thought to it yet. But using keywords in your title and in your post will definitely bring more hits, and hopefully, more readers to your blog. There are entire sites devoted to keywords. Working a high-ranking keyword or two into every post can be extremely beneficial. I came across an article from a blogger who had passed the million hit mark. He swears by keyword search – even writing entire articles about random topics just so he could include high-value keywords.

#11 – Turn your articles and blog posts into PDFs, then submit your PDFs to document sharing sites like Scribd.  “Scribd is the world’s largest online library, making it easy to share and discover entertaining, informative and original written content across the web and mobile devices.” This is perfect for bloggers who share great information, but there are also books, recipes, and other interesting writing here. Hold your cursor over the word “explore” at the top to see the numerous categories. And there are some awesome Geek types on the About page.

#12 – Start using Pinterest to post pictures from your blog.  I did this as soon as I found the tip. It takes a little time, but you’ll want to go to the actual blog post to grab your image to pin. That way, each picture will link back to the post where it was used. Ideally, you should label your picture with a bit of information about the blog post. I may do that later. I knew I was putting goofy pictures out there last night. There are usually lovely pictures flowing across the Pinterest landscape, and I dropped goofiness on it. I didn’t care; I did it anyway. My Pinterest page. My whopping two followers haven’t ditched me yet.Image

This was a long one today, but I hope it was helpful.

As I started this post a couple of days ago, my 600th comment came and went. It was from Jennings Wright who is amazing and has written four books – in different genres! Please check out her blog – and consider buying one of her books.

39 thoughts on “12 Tips – How to Get More Traffic to Your Blog

  1. Pingback: 12 Tips – How to Get More Traffic to Your Blog | Pratik Kumawat

    • You’re off to a good start! You’re friendly, you left a comment, and I took the time to look at your blog. I like your photography. I’m in – and I just hit the follow button. 🙂 And may I say, there’s nothing wrong with checking out the blogs of other photographers, then looking at the blogs of those who “like” them. You may find bloggers who interest you amongst the group, and then they may follow you in turn.

  2. There’s some great info here, some of which I follow, others of which I should. I’m not very good at that key word thing. On the other hand, I think if one just includes certain words to get readers to the blog, some of those readers might not stick around when they see what the post is actually about. Still, I guess even a random hit bumps up those stats. 😉

    • I agree. I use Breezy as a tag in all of my posts. It’s the most searched keyword I use. If I added Chris Brown and/or Lil Wayne to my posts, I might have a huge number of hits (Breezy associated with both), but that’s not what I’m going for. If I did a post on music I listen to when I write, and I was sincerely exploring the music and commenting on Chris Brown and/or Lil Wayne, those would be legitimate hits, and some of those people might stay. Staying true to your writing on your blog but incorporating high traffic keywords really works. That must be why some of the programs are so in-depth with details and so expensive.

  3. Great post! I love you you mention the tips and then write how it affects you 🙂 I’m new to wordpress (been working on Project: Build a Home for a month now, and Good Morning, Joe for only two weeks and I find myself checking my views a lot. I like to see where people are seeing my blog from and I find it really interesting to see what people typed in searches in order to find my blog. Sometimes it’s the most random things! Good luck! I’ll keep reading 🙂

  4. Excellent advise as always, Maddie. I must read this again when I have time to do more than skim. You know I’m an attention whore. So things like this are very helpful in feeding my need to be adored and stuff.

      • I’ve been doing that as well. Don’t you follow me there too??? I have crazy boards, and have started pinning each blog post there as well. I will find you over there and see what you’re pinning. Oh, so I only get hits because “Diva” is a keyword. Thanks, I thought it was good reading. –wink

        • I knew you would say that!! Your writing is fantastic – that’s why they stay when they come. 🙂 I was just commenting on how smart you were to choose diva. Much more intelligent than moi! I will go find you on Pinterest, too.

          • Great! Just great~~~ So, I’m soooo predictable. I’m that transparent. Ok, I give up. I’m just going back to spending my weekends at garage sales and selling shit on Ebay. No really, I am very intrigued by your topic regarding key word searches. Funny, the seach term that has led most people to my blog is “silicone caulk”–I need to start using more home improvement products as cosmetics.

            • In re-reading your wonderful post. I realize that I am doing everything wrong. I talk a lot about my husband, my dog, stupid stuff that won’t help anyone in any way shape or form. But ya know what? I Don’t really care. I do it because it’s fun. I enjoy it. It’s good for me in an otherwise very bleak daily landscape (job related only). So if other people are getting the occasional chuckle out of it, then yay for me. And most of the other blogs I read are not informative or inspirational either. I read for entertainment, as do many people. That’s where I am as a reader and a writer. Your blog is a joy to read because I enjoy your stories, your journey as an author, and your posts about readership and research are very helpful and less geek/tech than most. I appreciate that a lot. YOUR posts about traffic and readers, I can actually use. You are a normal, intelligent person, so I understand your tips so thanks for sharing and not making it all too technical for a hick from Nebraskeee to understand.

              • Aren’t you so sweet! I, too, do everything wrong, and I have a certain pride in that. I do it wrong, and I’m still doing ok. 🙂 We are both doing ok. I love your Pinterest boards, and the one for your blog is perfect!

                • Thanks! I am doing a little experiment. I did a few key word searches, and lucky for me, something that seems to be a hot topic right now is one of my silly and harmless addictions. Not Justin Beiber or the Kardashians, but I’m writing about it, using its’ name in my title and we will see what that does to my hit count. I’m rolling my eyes at myself, but I just want to see if it actually works. Tune in tomorrow. Can’t finish it tonight. Long day cleaning the basement. I’m gonna hit the sack. One more thank you for the inspiration. Pretty soon, I’ll just ask you to write my blog for me, as yours always seems to spark ideas for me.

  5. Great tips here. The differing opinions on how often to post intrigues me. When I first started blogging, I read advice that said to blog every day until you gain a following. Now I am hearing many bloggers say that they appreciate bloggers who don’t blog every day. By necessity, I’ve cut back, but even when life is normal again, I think I will post every other day . . .

    As to the last tip about Pinterest . . . read this about bloggers can be used for using other’s images. Scary.

    http://robincoyle.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/2067/

    • Now that I really should get back to writing, and my blog posts are only going to be babble soon, my posting will likely be cut back. There are bloggers who I wish would post every day, and I always have time for them; others I may have to skip a day or two, but I don’t have a “personal” relationship with them. As for images, I read that article a while ago, and I’ve been much more selective about the images I use and where I get them. That’s why I’ve been making so many of my own. I have a clip art program I purchased years ago. It has 10,000 royalty-free images. My graphics are quite cartoony but they suit me, so I’m sticking with them. 🙂

      • Yes, there are some blogs I make a point of reading (you). and others I catch when time permits.

        It makes me sad that we are a sue-centered society, but I guess I wouldn’t like it is someone used my stuff without asking permission.

        • I’ve already seen a couple of my homemade things floating around. If I had something I cared about, I would probably watermark it. I wrote to Dustin Diaz and asked his permission to use his photograph on the header of one of my Pinterest boards. I try to be careful.

  6. This is all so interesting. I never dreamed when I started blogging that there was so much to it! I just found an article that says the best time to post a blog is Friday at 4 PM… this guy has done research on it. My biggest day was a Thursday and who remembers what time is was….
    anyway I am experimenting with some keywords to see if it makes any difference. If I am gonna be famous it better happen soon.

    • Me, too, Ruth! I never knew how much there was to it, and I never realized how many people were in the blogging community. I went into this thinking that *maybe* some friends or family might come along. I’ve been so surprised at how many people I’ve come to “know” and enjoy.

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