Want More Blog Traffic? Well Read On… Part Two

by limebirdwriters

Welcome back! If you missed Part One, you can find it here.

OK, so now on to real life humans coming back to your site. Ok, so when you write your blog post, one of the most important things to take advantage of are your ‘categories’ and ‘tags’. So, let’s say I wrote a blog all about grammar, I would select relevant categories. What I would do it do them from most specific, to most general. So: grammar, spelling, punctuation etc.. then get to writing. Obviously, these are completely up to you, but these are where the wonderful people of WordPress can easily access your posts. If you’re not using your tags and categories, it’s likely your posts aren’t being picked up on. However, you need to make sure you don’t go overboard. If you use more than around 10 (combined categories and tags) you will be regarded as spam.

tags

Networking

Another way to get people to your site, is simply… lots of hard work (sorry about that). Network, network, network. What you want to boost your traffic, is high quality backlinks (what they say on tin, people linking back to your site). Go and visit other blogs that are of interest to you and that would like yours too. Having a mutual interest is great as it’s very likely they’ll come back to your blog. Have fun! Take part in competitions to do with your topic or other weekly prompts.

One of the best ways to try and build up your blog is always know that you’ll have to give before you receive. It’s safe to say that people love getting great feedback on their posts and they love to share information. So, let’s say you come across a blog that you really like and think is useful? Why not tell them? I’m sure they’ll appreciate it. Also, why not think about sending out a tweet about it?  Sharing is key.

If you can take the time out to build your network a little bit every day, it can make a massive difference. It’s all about the continual building of relationships and building that trust, that the reader is going to think of your blog the next time they want to know about poetry or gardening or novels or whatever you may specialise in.

However, if you are simply looking for stats not regular followers, then there is something you can do. This isn’t something that I do myself, but I’ve seen a few users on WordPress simply going to blogs and going onto any posts, even if they are not of interest. This will generally pique the interest of the user and they will come back to your site. However, do keep in mind, that this doesn’t mean those people will necessarily come back. It’s better to take the time to read the posts, comment on those that you like and you might find a mutual interest.

Guest Posting

Another thing you could consider is guest posting. This is a really useful way to get more readers (and subsequently traffic). The basic idea of this, is that you get in contact with a site (one that is bigger than yours) and ask if you can guest post. Obviously this will work better if you find a blog that is similar to yours and if they say yes.. well that’s great! Now, you’ve got to write a good quality post that will hopefully catch the eye of their readers. If their followers like what they see, then hopefully they will visit your website. Even if you get two people sign up to your blog, that’s better than none.

Social Networking

OK, so one of the best tools that we have with regards to publicity is the social networks. Many of you will probably have Twitter or FB for your site. If not, you definitely need to get on the bandwagon. Social networking sites are a great tool to get your work out there. Personally, I love Twitter, it’s great to meet new writers and find new information.Here is our Twitter account – Limebird Writers Twitter , and generally I only follow back any writers that follow us. Some people will just follow back every single person that follows them (which is a sure fire way to get lots of followers and fast), but personally I would get sick of unrelated content scrolling through my phone/computer every day. Facebook (Limebird Facebook) is also handy, but harder to get people to ‘like’ you. What you could do is use your personal Facebook to promote it, but don’t go overboard, you don’t want to annoy people!

Once you have set up your accounts, WordPress has a ‘Publicise option’ which means that your posts will automatically post to Twitter and Facebook. Although I think it’s great to advertise them there, I generally don’t tend to use this tool, I  do this manually. Obviously this is personal preference, so I will show you how to link them first then explain after

So, go to Settings (on the left hand side bar) > Sharing Settings. Then you will come across all of the social networking options. I’m going to use Twitter for this example. So click ‘connect’ and this will come up:

publicise

Then you authorise it, and the rest is simple! Now when you post, it should come up in your Twitter. Then you can do the same for any other networking sites available: Facebook, Yahoo, MSN and LinkedIn.

OK, so the reason that I don’t really use the Publicise button is it’s too generic. All that you get is the title of your blog and the link. Again, this is personal preference, but I like to customise each one myself. This way you can also tag people in it and add your own hashtags. Same goes for Facebook, you can write more here (without the character limit) and entice people to your blog more.

Commenting

Personally, I think one of the most important parts of interaction is replying to comments. I appreciate every single comment that comes through to Limebird and it still excites me that people are visiting the blog. So, if people have taken the time out to put a comment on the blog, then I make sure that I reply to each one individually. This shows the reader that you appreciate their comment. I know that if I commented on someone’s blog, trying to instigate conversation and they ignored me, it would probably put me off. This also goes for if you are doing a guest post. Don’t forget that these people commenting could be potential readers for you, so don’t ignore them.

Right, so, that’s pretty much it.  It’s all about the putting together the foundations and then the building blocks of relationships with your readers. If you have any questions, please put them in the comments below.  Good luck, happy blogging and don’t forget me when you’re millionaires, making money off your blogs! 😀

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36 Responses to “Want More Blog Traffic? Well Read On… Part Two”

  1. Hey Beth,

    Lotsa good stuff here. I agree with the Publicize button. Lots of times I’ll see tweets with the shortened links and no explanation for what the link is about. It’s not enough to spur my curiosity, so unless it’s a site that I know is always interesting (like Limebirds 🙂 ) then I don’t click on it to find out more.

    I agree in the replying to comments, although I will say it is difficult to nearly impossible for me to keep following through after one round of comments/replies. For example, I’ll comment on someone’s post on their own website, and they might reply to my comment. I generally don’t return to reply to their reply. However, on my personal website and on Limebird I try super hard to always be the last person who speaks/writes–that way my followers aren’t left hanging and they don’t feel like I’ve ignored them.

    I love the fact that my accounts are set up so that I am emailed each time someone comments on my blogs. It helps to remind me that I have to get on my blog and reply. Otherwise, with everything else going on, I would overlook it. For that reason, I would say I can’t live without email notifications. I get everything sent to me on my email account and I just trawl through each one when I have a few minutes to spare. I delete the ones that don’t need a follow through or a reply, then I star the ones that need further attention. From there, I go on Twitter or FB or LinkedIn or other blogs and network.

    Great post(s), Beth. Thanks!

    • Hi Kate,

      Thank you! 🙂 Yes definitely, I see lots of these that don’t have descriptions, so what’s going to make people click on them? Twitter is such a great tool, so it would be a shame not to use it to its full potential!

      Ah yes, that can be hard to track. I don’t know if you’re the same, but I always click on the ‘Notify me of follow up comments’ button. This way I’m told when the person replies, so I can keep track of them. However, don’t forget to delete this after (In ‘Blogs I Follow’ > ‘Comments’) otherwise your inbox will get clogged up with every single reply someone does.

      Yes, I like to do this too. It definitely makes a big difference! I also get emails and it still makes me excited when I see ‘comment’. 😀
      You’re welcome, thanks for commenting. I replied to your email about the Page Rank too btw. x

  2. Excellent suggestions. I didn’t know about the number of categories/tags thing, actually; I don’t want to be spam! 😛 Also, I think it’s really nice when a blogger tries to reply to individual comments. It makes things feel like a conversation and fosters a blogging community.

    • Thanks Annie! Ah yes, Google won’t be likely to index your page if it sees too many categories/tags, so you would be better off doing 0 than too many.

      I completely agree! I’m not saying that I would comment just to get a response, but it’s nice to know that you have been acknowledged and I really the conversations that come out of them. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for another great post, Beth.

    I’ve been spending so much time online recently that I’ve done barely any writing, so with return to work date looming, I’m going to have to try and regiment myself a bit and perhaps allow myself a certain amount of time each day for online stuff so I actually get the redraft of my novel down before time available time is reduced to about two hours per week instead of per day!

    Problem is it’s so much fun. I really enjoy getting out there and seeing other people’s posts or doing something completely indulgent like listing out my favourite songs on my blog. I’m definitely going to give myself a bit of time out to go through all your points in the last couple of posts and think about what I need to do with my online bits and pieces.

    • No problem Sally.

      Oh gosh, when does your maternity leave end? Yes that’s probably a good idea, little bit at a time! 🙂

      I know, I love checking out other blogs and learning things. Let me know if I can help with anything else!

  4. Thanks for these two pieces. Very, very needed info.

  5. Great advice, thank you for this!

  6. Beth,

    I just had a vision…

    One of your posts gets Freshly Pressed and you get a bazillion comments. Flash to you being up all night with a giant cup of caffeine trying to reply to each one 🙂

    I only write that because I know you mean it. You really DO reply to everything. I have trouble keeping track and my blog is MUCH smaller! I think you have a spreadsheet or something to help you keep track of things.

    (This is my way of saying I agree and am impressed that you walk-the-walk).

    • Oh gosh, that’s hilarious! However, yes I would sit there and reply to every single comment. Well, the benefit that I have is that I don’t have quite any many posts as it looks as they are spread between 15 of us! So, each Limebird will reply to their own post, which is awesome!

      Haha! No spreadsheets, I just get an email every time that I get a comment. I delete the ones that I’ve already seen, and leave the ones that I want to reply to. I also allow myself some time to go through the comments on the post and reply to them in one go! I just really appreciate all of the comments, so I always try to reply. I also love the debates and conversations that come from them! 🙂

      Thanks for your comment.

  7. Excellent advice, I’m always looking for ways to boost traffic to my blog. Totally agree with commenting on others’ blogs in a similar field – I’ve had more people subscribing up to my blog since I started doing that seriously

    • Hi Cath,

      Thanks for commenting! Yes I think that definitely helps. Being able to build relationships with those in the same field is great! You have a mutual interest and it’s more fun! Fab, I’m glad your traffic is rising! 🙂

  8. Fantastic post! You have done your readers a great service 🙂 I don’t tend to use the Facebook/Twitter options either, usually because I only use Twitter and Facebook to talk to people I know in real life and I don’t really want those people knowing I have a blog haha

    • Hi Pete,

      Awh shucks, thanks 😛 Haha, well that’s fair enough! Obviously I don’t mind, as this isn’t my personal blog, so I want as much exposure as possible! 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  9. Thanks for your tips, they have been very helpful!

  10. Ahhhh Maestro! I love your sage advice on all things from the worlds of wordery and bloggery 🙂 Wonderful misses

    LimebirdCat x

  11. Okay, another great post! What exactly is a hashtag and what does it do? Good info on the categories and tags, I’ve got a few where I just went all out! Need to go back and look at those.
    I pretty much gave up on them and quit doing it because I had no idea what tags did or why they were there. When you click on one it just takes you back to the article you’re Already On. …?
    I’m glad for these posts Beth, very helpful!

    • Thanks LimebirdNeeks! OK, so a hashtag in Twitter is kind of like a tag in WordPress. People generally use hashtags in two ways: either to make their post more visable to certain people. For example, let’s say I write a tweet that says ‘I’ve just written a great chapter for my novel’, you could do a hashtag like #amwriting etc. Anyone that looks for #amwriting will see your tweet. This is also how the ‘Trending’ is calculated. The posts with the most hashtags will come up there. So if everyone is talking about the Olympics, it will come up there.

      Another way people use them is to emphasise their post. It’s kind of a quirky thing, but let’s say I wrote a tweet saying ‘ I’m stuck next to the smelliest person on the train’ you might put #whyme or #ihatethebus. Or if you did a tweet like ‘I’ve got serious writer’s block’, you might put #headache or something like that. I hope this makes any sense whatsoever!

      Well, the tags and categories are a great way for people to find your blog. If you go here – http://wordpress.com/#!/topics/ you can see all of the most popular topics. So let’s say you put ‘writing’ on your post, your post will come up under the ‘writing’ tag on here. Obviously it only stays there for a little while then it gets pushed through.

      Anyways, I think that’s it. Let me know if you have any other questions or if this still doesn’t make sense!

  12. I, too, didn’t know about the categories/tag thing! I AM spam! Oh no! Thanks, Beth, for a very helpful post.

  13. This is very helpful! I wonder if there are any tips to Twitter traffic. I have a few, but I’m still new at it, myself. I really appreciate this, Beth!

  14. Urgh. -Makes a tweeter soon-

    I thought about it and yup. You were my nail.

    I do the same thing as Kate, regarding emails.

  15. Really essential information in these two parts. I have not been using catagories, so I am still learning. If I may comment on self promotion…..

    http://timdesmondblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/writers-self-promotion/

    Editor’s note – Have added a link instead of the copy. B

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