Right then, anyone who comes here often will know I’m a fiend for challenges, I love them! Already for 2012 I have a variety of challenges (a list of these is included at the end of this post, in case you would like to join any of them) I have signed up for or put upon myself, and guess what – that’s right, I still need more! haha
So, I was thinking about how to increase my blog traffic even further (something we all want to achieve!) so I looked at all the things I am doing and have already done that increase traffic. Then I thought about the random occurrences of new visitors that will like a post or comment on a post and I have no idea where they came from.
The I came up with a great idea…
As a result of this idea and following it through I gained 3 new followers of my blog within minutes of having visited their blog sites!
I know what you’re thinking ‘ahh it’s not that simple’. But the reality of the matter is gaining traffic can be as simple or as difficult as you want to make it. Yes, overall building traffic takes time, results are rarely instantaneous (unless you happen to have a post go viral, but then it may only be a shortlived boost in traffic, not a continual growth). Anything from 40% to 70% of my traffic can come from search engine terms alone, which can be a lot of hits, for example a single (average) day with a total of 353 hits, 159 of those were from search engines!
There are loads of things we can all do that help build traffic, including but not limited to:
- making sure we publicise our posts, on facebook, twitter, stumbleupon, Google+, in forums etc etc
- using ‘search friendly’ titles rather than catchy funny ones (think about what you would write in Google if you were searching for a post on the topic you are writing!)
- Make sure your wordpress.com blog is registered with search engines (*I will add a note on this at the end of this post in case you don’t know how to do this)
- use tags and categories that are relevant to the topic
- post regularly – the more content you have and the more often you update the better your rankings will be
- register with blog directories
- participate in blogging challenges
- comment on other people’s blogs
The more strategies you put in place, the greater the rewards in boosting traffic to your own blog.
So what was this idea you are all wondering, well I will tell you, it is based on using the last two items mentioned in the list above so I’m setting it out as a challenge…
The Blog Commenting Challenge.
The idea is this… (aimed mainly at WordPress users, but anyone can join in)
First of all I want you to set aside 30 minutes out of your busy schedule, then:
- Go to the WordPress Topics page
- Select a topic that interests you, or type one in the search box – heck why not try something you’ve not read about before!?
- Spend a few minutes browsing the blogs that come up (ignoring any you already follow)
- Choose 5 of these blogs (or more if you have the time)
- Visit these blogs and read at least 1 post there, like a post on the site, and better still leave a comment. If you really like what you find you could even follow the blogs.
Do this as often as you feel comfortable doing, once a week would be good. Sit back and watch the people return to your site and have a look, like, comment and maybe even follow your blog.
Commenting is an important part of networking in the blogosphere, we all love to know that someone, somewhere out there likes what we have written and even better if they having something to say about what we have written (comments are best, but I know that there is not always time to comment on everything when you subscribe to lots of blogs – so leaving a ‘like’ is better then nothing!)
Now I’m not saying you will see instant results as I did – the people whose blogs you have visited may not login till the next day or so and yes, some people may not come back to look at your blog at all, but you have nothing to lose in trying! If you’re not ‘in it’ you can’t ‘win it’.
The old premise of ‘give to receive’ works well in this context – if you want people to come along and like or comment on your blog, you need to be doing that for others yourself!
So take on this challenge, get out there and comment on some new blogs!
Please come back and let me know how you get on!
*Registering your WordPress blog with search engines – WordPress make this easy for us. You need to do 2 things – first go to: ‘Dashboard – Settings – Privacy’ make sure the box ‘Allow search engines to index this site.’ is ticked. Then got to ‘Dashboard – Tools – Available tools’ and here you will find links for ‘Enter your meta key “content” value to verify your blog with Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo! Site Explorer, and Bing Webmaster Center‘ follow these links and follow the instructions they provide, then come back to ‘Dashboard – Tools – Available tools’ and enter the code you have been given in the correct boxes and save changes. Simples! 🙂
Challenges I am doing in 2012:
Ultimate Blog Challenge – Post every day for the month of January (repeated several times during the year)
ROW80 – A Round of Words in 80 days the writing challenge that knows you have a life, Four rounds in the year.
Fifty/Fifty – Read 50 new books and watch 50 new films during the year
Photography Challenge – self imposed, photograph a stranger once a week and blog about it – theme ‘community’
*UPDATE* – since I wrote and scheduled this post WordPress have made some improvements that can help make this challenge even easier, check out the new stuff and tips here – http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/read-blogs/
- How To Quickly Get Your New Blog Indexed And Start Increasing Traffic (blogpronews.wordpress.com)
- How to Make Your WordPress Blog a Search Engine Success Story (slideshare.net)
- 5,263 Words On Starting A Profitable Blog (cash-bandit.com)
- This Has To Be The Best WordPress Comment System (wassupblog.com)
- How to Make Your Local SEO Services Blog a Search Engine Success Story (mykidcan.org)
- Making Sweet Music with WordPress 3.3 (firstrate.co.nz)
- 5 Simple Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Blog (skyje.com)
- How to Optimize Your WordPress Blog for the Search Engines (mykidcan.org)
- WordPress SEO – What You Need to Know (4seoservices.wordpress.com)
- 10 overlooked ways to get traffic to your blog from the SBA (kevin.lexblog.com)