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How to Get Traffic to Your Blog – Interview with Yvonne Divita

There’s a useful recording over at Andy’s blog if you’re wanting to build traffic on your blog. It’s an interview with Yvonne Divita from Lipsticking blog on the topic of How to Get Traffic to Your Blog. It’s pretty basic information but it’s good and it’s free. I’m listening to it now and found Yvonne’s thoughts on editorial calendars useful. I probably wouldn’t use it here at ProBlogger as strictly as she does – but it would be a useful way to start out and keep variety on a blog.

Four easy steps to add your own Del.icio.us link in Typepad

This post was submitted by Vic Correro from Writesville.com.

I have to give credit where credit is due. I first saw Darren’s use of the ‘Add this post to del.icio.us link a while back and decided that I would like to do the same to Writesville.com. I think this is an excellent idea, as del.icio.us is a wonderful resource. Also, Nick Wilson over at Performancing.com gave the additional push I needed to include this feature through his post and free PDF about del.icio.us.

For those of you who are familiar with Typepad, or are using it, the following information will require a tad bit of knowledge with Typepad’s advanced template structure. If you want more information on this, see: Advanced Template Sets and Template Tags. Understanding of HTML will also be helpful here.

Now, before I continue. I do want to mention that this is the way that I accomplished the task. As the saying goes: ‘There’s more than one way to skin a cat’.

So, let’s get back to the topic. If you want to create your own del.icio.us link embedded somewhere in your post, you will need to do the following:
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7 Ways to Get to the Top of the del.icio.us Popular Page

I’ve been watching the del.icio.us Popular Page quite closely lately. I’m fascinated by the list for many reasons – for one it’s a great source of content ideas and links, secondly it helps keep a finger on the pulse of what people are into at any given time and thirdly it’s a highly trafficked page that has the potential to send out large quantities of traffic very quickly and is increasingly being targeted (along with other social bookmarking pages) by bloggers who are doing quite well from the traffic it sends them (in fact I know of three bloggers who credit del.icio.us and digg.com as kick starting (and feeding in an ongoing way) their blogging careers. I know last time I hit the top of the list I had an extra 8000 visitors that day directly from it and the links from others who saw it there.

While I haven’t done an in depth study into del.icio.us – it is interesting to note the type of links that consistently get to the top of the del.icio.us popular page. Here are seven of the characteristics that are often present in these popular links (often more than one of the following apply in each instance) which could improve the chances of getting into the mix as a popular link:

  1. Make a List – Just by scanning the current popular links titles it is evident that lists dominate the… list (they make up over 40% of the current links). One of the first times I made it to the top of del.icio.us was with a list (fittingly it was a list of why lists are good for getting traffic). Of course some people are ‘anti-list’ – they argue that breaking things down into lists ‘dummifies’ the content. While I’ve seen plenty of lists where this is the case – I would also argue that lists that are well crafted can be just as meaty as other forms of writing.
  2. Number your List - It’s not just any old list that gets popular but quite often lists that have a number in the title. I’m not quite sure what it is about numbers that capture the attention of del.icio.us users – but they do. I can’t remember the last time when there wasn’t a title in the popular list like ’10 rules for…’, ’5 ways to…’ , ’6 trends that…’, ’50 tips on….’. There is obviously something about quantifying a list that readers respond to. How many points is ideal? The jury is still out on this one. As I look at the current popular page I see a list of 50, numerous lists of 10 and a list of 3.
  3. Write a ‘How to…’ - Another type of link that is often popular is the ‘how to’ post. Walk your readers through a process that teaches them how to achieve a goal they might have and they’re more likely to want to bookmark it. Again as I scan the current list I see a number of titles that indicate that the links will teach or guide readers through a particular issue. Often the titles use the actual words ‘how to…’ in them. Others use ‘Guide to’, ‘Tips to…’ or ‘Tutorials’ etc. On the flip side of the ‘how to’ I also regularly see ‘how not to’ type articles or articles that talk about ‘common mistakes’ that people make.
  4. Make Big Promises and Claims – It’s interesting that the del.icio.us popular page relies totally upon the title of the link to get people to click on it (ie there are no descriptions to draw readers to visit – just the title). As a result the way titles are constructed has a lot to do with converting the link into visitors. One strategy that some successful del.icio.us links use is to make a big promise or grand statement. A recent post on ProBlogger that did this that got into the popular list was Three simple actions that doubled my website traffic in 30 days. While it’s not a promise – it’s a title that certainly got some attention (well worded Adrian). Of course a good title isn’t enough, unless you have something worth reading you’ll not get the necessary bookmarks to create the social bookmarking wave to surf to the top.
  5. Get Technological – The vast majority of links in the popular list as I write this post have some sort of technological bent. It features links about SOAP, Powerpoint, video games, AJAX, CSS, Blogging, Top Websites, Linux, Microsoft, Cell Phones etc. Obviously del.icio.us users are tech savy folk – so to get their attention you’ll want to tickle their tech bone.
  6. Inspire – I notice here at ProBlogger that sometimes my most helpful ‘how to’/techie posts are not the only ones to get attention from readers – in fact probably the most linked to and bookmarked posts at ProBlogger fit more into the inspirational/motivational category rather than an educational one. People like to be inspired and touched on an emotional level.
  7. Use Humor – Of course it’s not only techie or inspirational posts that get to the top of the del.icio.us heap. Sometimes it’s links that go for the funny bone that are also popular. Ten Simple Rules for Dating My Daughters was a link that caught my eye a few days back for this reason – it got close to the top of the popular page. Of course if you can use humor in the form of a numbered list on a techie, inspirational topic and make a big claim at the same time you’re set!

I’m sure there are plenty of other characteristics of del.icio.us links that make it to the popular page – interested to hear what others think.

Technorati Juice

This post has been submitted by Croak from The Bavarian Falcon.

Technorati is getting a lot of attention these days, good and bad. But as a portal into the blogosphere, it is fairly prominent, and more and more readers are coming to rely on it, especially for its tag search and content search.

As a problogger, you should be ready to leverage what Technorati can do for you.

The very first thing you should do is create a Technorati account. If you’re problogging, it might be a good idea to think about what name you would like displayed (your own name, the name of your blog, your pseudonym, etc.). What you decide depends on the subject matter of your blog, but it is important, as it’s one of the three ‘linked’ results that show on a Technorati search, and it takes searchers to your Technorati profile page.

Spend a minute or two filling in your profile (or make plans to come back to it), but don’t upload your portrait yet (see below).

Once you’ve created an account, you can ‘claim your blog’. It’s a relatively simple process. You enter your blog details (name, URL), and depending on your blogging platform, you may be done, or you may need to paste a little javascript line into your blog template for ownership verification.

Technorati will may crawl your blog if you’ve claimed it or not (if it’s been pinged), but with a claim comes the ability to add details to the search results, and perhaps most important, it allows you to add up to 20 ‘static’ tags to your blog, for use with Technorati’s ‘Blog Finder’ service (which lets you search blogs based on those 20 static tags). You don’t need to use all 20 tags, and you can always edit/tune them later, as well as the blog description.

Technorati Blog Configuration Page

TAG, YOU’RE IT!

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Three simple actions that doubled my website traffic in 30 days

The following post on how to increase website traffic was submitted by Adrian W Kingsley-Hughes.

Get more tips on increasing website and blog traffic by subscribing to our RSS Feed.

I started the PC Doctor blog in May of 2005 and for the first few months my traffic was really low – down in the few hundreds of visitors a day. It was pretty depressing I can tell you and there were times when I thought about quitting.  I knew that the site was in the Google ‘sandbox’ and so I either had to keep on plugging at it until it was out or I had to give up.

Fortunately, I decided to keep on posting but in the interim I decided that I was also going to do my utmost to drive traffic to my site manually until Google kicked in. I took a look around at what some of the successful blogs were doing and came up with three tactics that helped to double my website traffic in a month.

  1. First, I made the most of Technorati tags.  I tagged every key word in each of my posts. Initially I did this manually but them I discovered a WordPress plugin called SimpleTags that made the job a whole lot easier. I found that by tagging my post effectively they were getting a lot more attention then their untagged counterparts, and as an added advantage I was getting focused, quality traffic to the site!
  2. I leveraged my existing website.  I’ve been running my business website for a few years and that was getting modest levels of traffic that was relevant to my blog – so why not try to drive some of that to my new blog! I placed a few FeedBurner headline animator blocks on some of my most popular pages and after a day or so I noticed a significant increase in traffic for 5 minutes worth of work on my part.
  3. Finally, I made effective use of trackback links to popular sites. If I commented on a post on another site I would make sure that I set up the appropriate trackback for it. The results from this are varied depending on the site and post that you are linking to but since I liked to comment and interact with the wider blogosphere anyway, it was free traffic!

Using these three simple techniques, I took The PC Doctor blog from a few hundred hits a day into the thousands in less than 30 days. This kept my interest in the site until it came out of the Google sandbox and I started to receiver some serious traffic. However, I’m convinced that these actions I took at the early stages have helped me create a loyal and targeted readership that continues to benefit my blog today.

Further Reading: If finding new traffic for your blog is what you’re interested in – check out 31 Days to Build a Better Blog – a month long set of exercises to help you develop content but also build a well read blog.

Seven Offline Tips for Increasing Blog Traffic

This post was submitted by Ted Demopoulos, co-author of Blogging for Business, Demopoulos Associates.

Most bloggers concentrate on online methods for building their blog traffic. There are also a number of effective offline methods worth exploring for increasing the number of readers.

Suggested offline methods can range from simple and practical, like mentioning your blog on your business card, to outrageous and impractical for most, such as hiring a skywriter or advertising on the side of a blimp. I’ll admit it — I’ve always wanted my own blimp!

Here are some simple and practical methods that my clients and I have had success with. Some are bound to be applicable and simple to implement for you.

1. Business Cards

Most business cards list the organization’s Web site. Listing your business blog on your business card as well is very respectable. Listing your blog on your business card can help it stand out instead of being filed with all the others — never to be seen again, and can start conversations with clients and prospects. When exchanging business cards, many people report questions such as ‘what do you blog on?’ and ‘how long have you been blogging?’ and others.

I’ll admit I don’t mention either Blogging for Business or The Ted Rap on my business card. Why? I seem to have a multi-year supply of “old” cards. If I were starting again however, I probably would print new cards and I obviously will eventually. I think I would have built readership for The Ted Rap faster if it had been displayed on my business card.
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How to Get Your Blog to 100,000 Visitors and Beyond

This post has been submitted by ‘FMF’ from Free Money Finance. It’s actually the first post in a series he’s going to start on FMF in the coming week by the same title.

How to Get Your Blog to 100,000 Visitors and Beyond – Step 1: Pick the Right Topic

I’ve had a lot of requests to detail how I got 100,000 visitors (now past 150k as I write this) to Free Money Finance. While the topic is not clearly in the subject area of personal finances, it can be part of how you increase your income (and thus improve your net worth), so I’ll cover it. Plus, this will serve to help out other bloggers as well as remind me of what else I need to do to grow this blog. If this isn’t your cup of tea, simply ignore these posts. I post frequently enough that a new, money-related post is not far behind this one.

I’ll over this topic in a series of “steps”, each one presenting a simple, unique step I took to get to 100,000 visitors. I’ll also try to keep the steps in the order I did them, though several happened simultaneously, so that won’t be easy.

That said, here we go.

Step 1 to getting to 100,000 visitors and beyond: Pick the right topic.

This might seem to be a simple step (and maybe even counter blogging — can’t I just blog about what I want?), but it’s critical. To me, the right topic is one that:

You’re passionate about — If you’re not passionate about it, you won’t post regularly, you’ll lose interest, and your readers will be able to tell your heart isn’t really in it (and they’ll go away). If you are, your readers will identify with you and get to “love” your personality. And they’ll come back. And tell their friends to stop by.

You’re knowledgeable about — You don’t have to be an expert on the topic, but you need to know more than most people to get a lot of people to your site. Otherwise, why would they stop by (or come back)?

Is it popular — Let’s face it, if you want to write about the exercise habits of your hamster, not many people are likely to visit your blog. You have to have a topic that many, many people want to read about if you want to get to 100k. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t write about your hamster (or anything else a large group wouldn’t want to read about). If you blog for your own pleasure, then go for it — make Hammy a star. But if you want to get to 100,000 visitors, you need a topic (like personal finances) that many people what to know more about.

Watch out for the rest of FMF’s series later in the week at Free Money Finance.

11 Techniques to Increase Page Views on Your Blog

Yesterday my brief study into page view statistics revealed that the average blog reader views around 1.7 pages every time they visit a blog.

I finished the post by indicating that I’d post more on how to increase your blog’s page views.

Of course more page views may or may not be what you want from your blog. At least one commenter on the previous post noted that they are happy with a low page view count because it could mean people are leaving their blog by clicking on an advertisement and thereby earning them money. While there could be some truth in this observation and I’m not adverse to this happening on my blogs – I’m also interested in building blogs that people find interesting and useful and one of the many measures of this can be page views. Of course to get back to the money thing again – those of you running impression based ads will be interested in increased page views also.

Having said that – IF you’re interested in increasing the number of pages that your average reader reads, here are a few suggestions that might help:

1. Highlight Related Posts – one of the more common practices of bloggers to encourage readers to read multiple pages on their blogs is to to highlight related posts at the end of your article. You’ll notice that i presently have a list of 5 posts at the end of each individual page that suggests other posts that readers might find useful This list is generated by a WordPress PlugIn. Those of you using other blog platforms might find similar plugins for your own system or might like to manually suggest related articles at the end of your posts.

2. Interlink within Posts – a similar but perhaps more effective technique is to highlight relevant posts within the content of your posts. If you’re writing a post that mentions something similar to what you’ve written before simply link to your previous post from within your article. For example I’ve written about this technique previously in a post on increasing the longevity of key posts.

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Promote your RSS feed with ‘Add to Google’ button

You can now add a Add to Google button to your blog that will promote your RSS feed to readers to help them add your feed to their Google homepage and/or Google Reader.

Add to Google

found via Steve