I am by no means an expert on the topic of blogging. But I’m going to share with you some 8 effective ways that I’ve discovered to get more readers to your blog. It has worked for me and I’m hoping you too can get great results as I have. So without further ado…
1. Entrecard: The concept is really simple. You sign up and upload a 125X125 banner to market your blog. You ‘drop’ your card on other blogs and earn entrecredits. Plus there is the added benefit of making your blog known to the hundreds of webmasters that have the entrecard widget installed. You can spend the entrecredits to advertise on other blogs within the network, thus exposing your website to potential readers.
Believe it or not, this method really works. Since signing up for the service and running a couple of campaigns, I’ve noticed a significant boost in my traffic, pulling in well-targeted quality visitors. I’ve also had many bloggers browsing my blog to drop their cards, and I’ve made a few friends along the way. If you haven’t signed up for the service yet, then I suggest you do so now at entrecard.com.
2. Yahoo! Answers: This is yet another traffic-grabber. While Yahoo specifically forbids gaming their system, I see no problem in leaving your web address at the end of each answer, especially if it’s relevant. This brings in highly targeted visitors clicking on the link to get more information on what you’ve just answered. You get additional traffic if your answer gets chosen as the best.
In the early days of my blog, this technique alone brought in about 60 visitors every day – I know that’s not much but it is really a motivation to keep building your blog, especially in the early stages. Overtime a handful of those visitors have turned into subscribers. Sign up at answers.yahoo.com.
3. Become a guest blogger: The reason why I’m writing this article and why countless others recommend this technique is because it works. If you post a quality article on a blog that’s popular, the readers are bound to visit your site looking for more and hopefully subscribe to your blog. Just go easy on the self-promotion.
4. Write a free e-book/make a video tutorial: This has the added benefit of a viral marketing effect, especially if your e-book is of high quality or your video tutorial solves a common problem easily. If readers really enjoy it, they are most likely to spread the word and bring in new visitors to your blog. You could also email a couple of bloggers in your niche, mentioning your work and they might even link to it. Just don’t spam them, write a personal and engaging email.
5. Introduce yourself to others: Often your biggest readers will be your rivals or other bloggers that are your peers. By peers, I mean that they are on the same level of traffic, content, etc. as you are. Just don’t shoot for the a-listers straight away. Email your peers to introduce yourself and mention that you subscribed to their blog and found the content interesting. Leave it at just that, and don’t ask for link exchanges or ask them to subscribe to your blog in return. But do leave a link to your blog at the end. That way they might visit your blog and subscribe, or even better write a short review of your site if they find it really worthwhile.
6. Submit your top articles: By this I don’t mean submitting your article to an article directory, because they never seem to bring in significant traffic. Submit your best articles (that are getting the most page views and comments) to Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit and others. Don’t forget to include a ’submit this article’ button on your page to allow your readers to vote on the article. If you’re lucky you might even make it to the front page. One word of warning though – don’t submit every article you write because you run the risk of getting banned for spamming.
In my opinion, small blogs do not have the necessary reader-base to get to the front page. I’ve never had luck with Digg, getting 10-15 diggs at the very most. But I’ve heard small blogs can make it big on StumbleUpon. If you run a video games/technology blog however, I recommend submitting to n4g.com. It’s very easy to get to the front page and I’ve had over 2000 unique visitors on the very first day.
7. Make your blog search engine friendly: Everyone is obsessed with search engine optimization because it’s the biggest source of free traffic. Just don’t over do it – the key to SEO is moderation. While I’m no SEO guru, a keyword rich title and URL, description and keyword tags does the trick for me. I don’t optimize my posts for keyword density and don’t even have the proper meta tags in place, yet most of my blog’s traffic (60.4%) comes from search engines. That’s because my articles rank high for longer phrases (3-4) words and it’s the easiest to rank on the #1 spot on those.
My suggestion for new bloggers is to target the 3-4 word phrases because it has the least competition and you have more chances of making it to the top.
8. Link out to other bloggers: This is the best way to gain the attention of your peers. I have found that many bloggers visit my article just out of curiosity, to see what I’ve written about them. If they love what they read, they write a short article and link back to me. This sends back a nice trickle of traffic, and more if it is from a prominent blogger.
WHAT ABOUT COMMENTS AND FORUMS?
You might have noticed that I didn’t mention about leaving comments or participating in forums just to promote your blog because I believe that it’s not an effective marketing tool. You should be concerned in writing quality pillar articles in the early stages of your blog. But if you are compelled enough to leave a comment, then by all means do leave a link back to your blog.
Well that’s it! I hope these 8 killer tactics help your blog to gain new readers. Do you have any more “killer” ideas for bringing in traffic that you can share with the rest of us?