’ve been blogging now since the end of April and i’ve learnt a lot along the way, here’s a selection of tips that I wish i’d been told about when I first started out.
Tutorial Submission Sites
This was the very first way of bringing traffic to my site as it’s simple and easy to do and will likely send about 500-1000 people per post. When you first start out and you’re not in Google, and you only have a following of about 100 people a day, it’s hard to get traffic any other way, so by submitting your posts to sites like Good-Tutorials, you’re almost guaranteed targeted traffic of people who want to learn about what you’re writing. Sites like Good-Tutorials also rank in Google for the posts that you submit to them, so it’s a good way of getting into Google too. I’ve tried other tutorial sites, but Good-Tutorials seems to be the best one for my niche of photography.
Firsly, after writing each post, spend about 5 minutes coming up with a good selection of different keyword phrases that someone may search if they wanted to find the information on your post. I write a photography blog and 1 word phrases like ‘Canon’ or ‘Aperture’ will do absolutely nothing to help drive traffic, but phrases like ‘What does aperture do’ and ‘Understanding focal length’ make a noticeable difference. Once you’ve been indexed into Google, you need to think about how your posts are going to look amongst the other 9 in the list; choose a title that accurately describes what you’re writing about and stands out.
Twitter probably my favourite way of marketing my website as the growth is rapid and the results are clear. In only about a month and a half i’ve managed to find 1500 followers on my twitter, by implementing only a few basic techniques. Firstly, post content relevant to your niche, even if it’s not from your own website; this will gain you followers and when it comes to posting your own content, you’ll be considered an authority. Secondly, interact with your followers and help them out if they’re asking advice; other people will see this and follow you, knowing that you’re a person and not just a username. Thirdly, don’t miss the opportunity to plug regularly to your own website and Facebook page to help build stronger, and more focused traffic.
I like to think of Facebook as a better quality version of Twitter because people only tend to update once or twice a day, as apposed to the 20 times you may be used to on Twitter. This means that people recognize that the quality of content is good, and your posts aren’t being lost into a stream of nonsense. Only post your own orignal content about once a day at the most on your Facebook, otherwise you’ll find that people will unlike the page and stop reading your site. It’s a good idea to plug your Facebook page to your twitter followers, as you’re likely to pick up a few fans there too.
Reddit / Digg / StumbleUpon
I’m a big Reddit user (time waster), because you can subscribe to different sections that link to content relevant to your interests, which are then voted on by the users depending on how good they are. Posting to sites like Reddit means that your information is being posted (if it gets voted up enough) to thousands of people that are into the same thing. If you’re writing tutorials, then this isn’t the best place to post them as people who actively want to learn something, google it – it’s much better for posts like ‘Top 20 this…’ and ’10 Reasons why…’.
StumbleUpon is similar to Reddit in that you get sent relevant content that you’re interested in, but It works slightly differently because it helps you to find different content that you may not have found through search engines; it’s content that other people have stumbled upon. This is particularly useful when you’re first starting as your website is hard to find through any other means. StumbleUpon counts for 42.5% off all the unique visits that we’ve had to our new website, and although they don’t stay as long as other visitors, the traffic definitely helps.
Allowing people to subscribe to your RSS feed ensures that people wil be regularly updated on your new content and reminds them to revisit your website. RSS feeds are becoming a little out of date now, unless you use them to pool many websites into 1 place, and I’ve found that we’ve got about twice as many fans on the Facebook page then we do RSS subscribers. 1 very good feature of people collecting your feeds into a Google reader is that when they search for something on the internet, any relevant feeds from your website will appear at the bottom on their Google results page, helping to drive more traffic to your site.
Word Of Mouth
This is probably my favourite way of getting traffic because it’s free and unpredictable – you never quite know who is going to plug your website and how much traffic they’re going to send your way. The best way to get word of mouth going to is to post controversial posts that talk about actual people and your opinions on them – people are never going to 100% agree with what you’re writing which leads to commenting and other interaction. At the beginning of June, I posted a blog post called ‘Top 20 Most Influential Photographer Bloggers‘ and because I was posting about people in a way that massaged their egos, they happily shared it with their followers and it got bounced around the internet. Have a look at the image below – the spike in the middle is from when I posted it and it started to get picked up.
A sudden spike in traffic helps the website greatly and as you can see, every time we’ve gotten a spike, the day to day traffic has improved. This is not however the main advantage of having lots of people around the internet share your content, it’s the difference it makes to your search engine traffic, as you can see from the image below. Google loves it when other people share your posts as it sees it as respectable content that is worth sharing with other people, so posts like this really make a huge difference in the long term. If you’re interested in reading more posts from me, check out the other post I’ve written for this website, or the website