24 Tips to Increase Blog Traffic in 30 Days

WEB_TRAFFIC_1Sometimes it’s better to forget about everything you’ve learned about traffic generation and start fresh because the tides change more frequently in internet marketing than any other. Over the last seven years of blogging I’ve seen the demise of more marketing strategies then I ever did previously.

The secret to generating enormous traffic to your blog within a short period of time is sometimes NOT about working harder, even though that is very important, but it’s really about working smarter. It’s about using the right strategies which yield the biggest results and are so effective that Google won’t penalize your website whenever there’s an algorithm update.

Ask yourself this question before continuing to read my tips to increase blog traffic:

Do you want to keep focusing on strategies that don’t generate traffic? Or would you like to do the right things that get real results?

Traffic Tip#1: The 80/20 Rule of Blogging

The first tip is having the right mindset so you achieve the most results within the shortest amount of time. When I first started blogging several years back I was working a 9-5 job and didn’t have a lot of time to dedicate towards blogging. Many strategies I used while blogging were very time consuming and with my 9-5 job I really wasn’t making any progress writing content and marketing it to attract an audience.

I happen to come across a principle by Vilfredo Pareto which stated that the best strategy is to achieve 80% results by only applying 20% of your effort.

In the beginning this principle did not make sense but once I started to learn more about blogging and applied some marketing techniques I uncovered that 80% of traffic generated to your blog comes from only a few sources. Knowing this basically breaks the barrier of time and you can organize your efforts much more effectively.

How does apply to traffic generation?

If you can get in the habit of keeping this rule in your mind at all times then whatever sources you choose to generate traffic, new or old, you’ll always check what the ratio between the effort you put in and the results you’ve achieved. You’ll be able to determine the ROI (return of investment) on the effort you put in and what type of results you got back. It will help you manage your time more effectively and yield better results going forward.

Action Plan #1:

It’s time to review all your traffic sources and eliminate the ones which have not been giving you incredible results. A great way to measure effectiveness is to calculate how much time you are investing into the traffic source and then use your analytical tool, which all bloggers should have, to determine how much traffic is coming from that traffic source.

Traffic Tip#2: Network with Relevant Bloggers

One of the best strategies to generate tons of relevant traffic is to reach out to bloggers in your niche. These bloggers have high powered blogs with thousands of followers and can provide useful information related to your niche.

In the beginning I always thought: why big fish bloggers would help small fish in the industry? So I avoided contacting them for several years and it was the biggest mistake I ever made! After reading what some of the blogging giants had to say about networking and how it was one of the best traffic strategies I decided to reach out to the big names like Zac Johnson, John Chow, Matthew Woodward and even Shawn Collins.

Every name I just mentioned was more than willing to help and provided their feedback.

Make it one of your habits to be proactive and build alliances that can prove to be huge in generating traffic and build your reputation as a power blogger. Send them a link to posts that you think they’ll find useful and ask them for guest blogging opportunities. I even contacted some of them asking if I can help in anyway so they know that my intentions are to form a win-win alliance with all of them. Many of them have an enormous workload and their more than willing to accept guest posts in exchange for a link back to your blog.

Imagine having access to their traffic! Some of the big names in the industry easily get 5000-10000 unique visitors daily.

Action Plan #2:

Research A-List blogs in your niche and contact them for guest blogging opportunities or just ask them a simple question on your topic. You’re going to open up the doors of communication with them and will know which ones are willing to help out. Write down the names of the bloggers that wrote back and will accept content from you.

Once you’ve written the names on a piece of paper, head over to Alexa.com and find out more about their traffic statistics. I like to use this strategy to narrow down which blogs will provide the best ROI (return on investment) or fulfill the 80/20 principle discussed in Traffic Tip#1.

A quick way to find A-List bloggers is by doing a Google search using the following: keyword + top blogs where you will replace keyword with your niche.

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Traffic Tip#3: Create Original Relevant Content

If you ask any serious blogger they’ll tell you that “content is king” and writing high quality content is so important that Google now days puts so much weight on quality content when determining a sites ranking in the SERP’s.

One of the biggest problems that bloggers face these days is not lack of traffic but quality content that attracts readers. You need to make sure to give readers what they want which requires time and effort. Doing research and finding out what problems people are facing in your niche before writing content which provides a solution to your reader’s problem can be very effective in building long-term loyalty from every visitor.

Make sure quality is your first priority and the best way to achieve this is to have an open word policy. It means to keep writing until you have covered everything in detail and your content is the only one that people need to read in order to find the information they need.

Every time you’re writing content ask yourself this question: What can I do to make this post better?

Action Plan #3:

Read over my blog post on content writing tips where I discuss some awesome ways to find niche related questions that your readers may have. Grab a pen & paper and research questions related to your niche grouping most asked with least asked questions.

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Traffic Tip#4: Give People an Action Plan

Traffic Tip#3 can be directly linked to this strategy because it’s simply providing your readers an action plan at the end of your blog posts. As mentioned before, some of the best blog content involves providing solutions to problems that your readers face when blogging. Providing people with a solution sometimes does NOT build a long-term commitment from your visitor because they are still clueless about what to do. If you want people to become repeat visitors then provide them with a step-by-step action plan showing them how they can achieve the results.

Take a minute or two to think about what type of online content has appealed to you the most when reading over it…I can guarantee that it will fall into the following categories:

  • YouTube videos that show you step-by-step how to fix an issue
  • Step-by-step guides that solve a problem that you are having
  • A 30,60 or 90 day daily tasks plan with a desired outcome when completed

Think about the countless number of health blogs which provide you a workout plan and nutrition guide that you must follow everyday and they promise that you’ll lose 10-15 pounds when you’re done. I’m I correct? Look at the number of social shares these particular types of content get, you’d be surprised at how often people shared it on their social profiles. They are popular because they provide an action plan that the reader can follow to achieve the results.

Action Plan #4:

If you’re just starting to blog then keep this strategy in mind when you are writing content , however if you have content already published then it’s important to go back and include a “Action Plan” towards the bottom of your posts. Every post which has given your reader an idea should include ways to implement it right away in their business.

You’d be surprised how effective this strategy is when selling eBooks or affiliate products because the content is a way to pre-sell the item and the actual product is the action plan or resource they purchase.

Traffic Tip#5: Your Visitors Should Be #1 Not Search Engines

If you’ve been asking this question: How to increase visitors to my blog? Here is the best answer…

Write content for your visitors and not the search engines because focusing on search engines will definitely jeopardize the quality of your content. People often think that if they can attract organic search traffic it will help them increase the popularity of their blog but they couldn’t be more wrong.

When people focus on writing content for the search engines they often stuff their content with keywords and make that their number one priority. I can’t stress the importance of quality content and how after the recent Google updates the best content gets the most traffic. Your main focus should be writing for humans, not bots because short-term you may achieve a boost in rankings but overtime once visitors start reading over your content and are NOT impressed your bounce rate will increase pushing you further down in the rankings. Google takes into account the amount of social shares a piece of content gets to determine priority so poor content will fail to generate any momentum within social networks.

Action Plan #5:

Get a marker and on a piece of paper write in big letters the importance of quality content. Take the piece of paper and put it up on the wall in front of you so you always see it. The goal is to embed that idea within your mind so every time you write a blog post it’s the best piece of content you’ve ever written.

Traffic Tip#6: Use The Broken Back-link Method

An awesome way of getting huge amounts of targeted traffic is by using a FREE Chrome extension called HREF (check my links).  You’re helping other blogs your niche which have hundreds of pages locate and fix broken outgoing links. Helping these blogs will give you an advantage which I’ll discuss in the next paragraph.

Head over to Google and type in your keyword + blogs to find other bloggers who are in the same niche as you. The goal is to find popular blogs who have a huge following and hundreds of pages. I normally skim through posts which have been published around 1-2 years ago but still have a lot of search traffic. In order to determine the popularity of search volume you can easily use the Google Keyword Tool.

The keywords to search are going to be in the posts “TITLE” and the “URL”

When you have the post open in your browser you can “view source” to locate the keyword within the title

Run the HREF tool to look through the post and find links that have been deactivated because they NO longer link out to active websites. You can now write a similar post based on the keywords and contact the owner of the blog letting them know of the broken link and providing a link to your blog post as a replacement. Make sure your content is relevant and better then the deactivated posts content so that the blog owner will be more than happy to replace the old link with your new link.

Action Plan #6:

Install the Chrome HREF extension by clicking here.

Take the time to start skimming through a few relevant blogs and putting the tool into action. Get a feel for how it works and create a game plan for going forward. You may want to start doing some keyword research to find the right blogs to target.

Traffic Tip#7: Steal Your Competitors Links

One of the worst ways to lose credibility blogging is providing your readers with outdated content. This is what many power bloggers are victims of because handling thousands of posts written throughout the years has made it difficult for them to keep an eye on what external content they link to. For example, I’m Blog (A) and have written a post on “beach vacations” I’ll probably want to link my content to another Blog (B) who provides a list of “10 popular beach resorts”.  As my blog (A) grows I’ll forget about my link and the list might become outdated if blog (B) has not updated it. Why not use this to your advantage?

If I started a blog (C), I can write a post on “30 popular beach resorts” and send it to Blog (A) contacting them through email telling them that a link they have to a site (B) is outdated and if they can link out to my post since I’ve provided new updated information. Why will this work so well?

It works so well because no one wants outdated information on their blog because it ruins their credibility for providing reliable information. The success of your blog depends on high quality content and being associated to outdated information will hurt your chances of growing and keeping your existing readers.

To find content just visit relevant blogs in your niche and skim through their content. Focus on finding posts which have external links to numbered lists like “10 Beach Resorts” or “20 Top vacation Spots”, etc. Create a blog post better with the best updated information and contact the blogger who has the external link telling them what you’ve created and how it can help.

Action Plan #7:

It’s time to get to work and find content that you can recreate. Write down a few ideas and take your time improving your content. Give the blogger who you want the link from more than enough reasons why you deserve the link. The main reason should be the quality of your post.

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Traffic Tip#8: Make Your Blog Posts Longer (It Works!)

Many people have produced case studies on the effectiveness of longer blog posts and the results have been able to shed some light into this question: Does longer content increase blog traffic?

In 2013 I had written 3 posts all in the same niche but different lengths; 1st/300-500 words, 2nd/600-1200 words, 3rd/2000-7000 words.

Within 2 months the 3rd posts which had content well over 2000 words had increased in traffic almost 200% and was amazing. It seems there are several factors that helped my post outrank almost all others which were relevant and from my competition.

First, it was a high quality post which covered everything in detail and provided them with a systematic approach to solving their problem.

Secondly, when I had shared it on Twitter using a sponsored “Tweet” through people who had established niche targeted Twitter accounts, my post received enormous shares on many social networks. Matt Cutts from Google SPAM Compliance has made it clear that even though shares DO NOT directly influence SERP’s they do count as valuable links back to your page which can increase your search rankings. Here is what Matt Cutts has to say…

“Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index so if something occurs on Twitter or occurs on Facebook and we’re able to crawl it, then we can return that in our search results. But as far as doing special specific work to sort of say “you have this many followers on Twitter or this many likes on Facebook”, to the best of my knowledge we don’t currently have any signals like that in our web search ranking algorithms.”

Since each page is treated individually on Twitter the more “Tweets” or “Likes” you receive means that they each represent a valuable link back to your page.

Third, there has been a lot of debate over bounce rate and the effect it has on your overall search rankings. If bounce rate is an indicator of how long people spend on your page before leaving then I would conclude that a high bounce rate means poorly written content. There is no definite answer to this question with many people leaning one way or another so I’d rather be safe than sorry by keeping my bounce rate as low as possible. If Google does announce bounce rate metrics in determining rankings than at least your content will NOT feel the effects since you’ve already put the effort into creating the highest quality content.

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Traffic Tip#9: Regular Writing Schedule Means More Traffic

I can’t stress the importance of posting regularly and how you can double your traffic within 1 month by consistently posting quality content 1-2 times per week. If you have great content but are posting once a month than even your loyal followers will get tired waiting for you to post new content. Here’s why…

Each time you post content it doubles the chances of your content being shared on social networks by your loyal followers. Social shares can generate momentum and attract new people to your blog increasing your views and newsletter subscriptions. If you have Google Webmaster Tools you should know that whenever new content is added to your blog the Google Crawl algorithm will calculate the frequency content is added to your blog indexing your site much quicker.

A few weeks back I contacted Jaime Shine and asked her this question: What was the hardest challenge you faced when you first started to blog?

She answered back with complete professionalism and shed some light on the importance of a regular posting schedule…

“HI Rizvan,

 Thank you for your kind words about my blog! I really appreciate you taking the time to visit and hope you continue to enjoy the content. I love your idea and would be happy to contribute. 

 What was the hardest challenge I faced when I first started to blog?

Commitment… You have to commit to posting quality content on a consistent basis in order to succeed in the blogging world. I was very sporadic when I started which hurt my efforts to develop a loyal following and my search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. For 2013, I committed to publishing on-topic content twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), and by and large stuck with that schedule. It was manageable on my end yet really helped me grow my readership base. 

By publishing consistently on specific days, you let readers and search engines know when to come back to read the latest post. For a small business owner or personal blogger who works full-time, that can be a challenge. The key isn’t X times/week; it’s to publish relevant, quality content consistently. Whether that’s daily, twice a week or twice a month, set a schedule that’s realistic for you to manage. Quantity doesn’t equal quality, so don’t overwhelm yourself with a too-intense schedule you can’t keep. 

 Cheers,

Jaime”

Action Plan #9:

If you’re using WordPress for blogging then there are FREE plugins available that will get you in the habit of posting regularly while following a schedule. The WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin gives you complete control of your posting schedule by organizing the way you publish your posts. One of the biggest problems that bloggers face is remembering what content they have scheduled to write for the following weeks. For example, experienced bloggers brainstorm several topics at one time but have difficultly prioritizing them for publishing. The WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin solves this problem by giving you a tool to…

  •  See all of your posts and when they’ll be posted.
  • Drag and drop to change your post dates.
  • Manage your drafts with our new drafts drawer.
  • Quick edit post titles, contents and times.
  • Publish posts or manage drafts.
  • Easily see the status of your posts.
  • Manage posts from multiple authors.
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Traffic Tip#10: Know and Target Your Audience

Any serious blogger will tell you that before they started writing they understood who their audience was and created content that focused on them. Blogging is a community of people who have the same interests as each other sharing information through their own blog, social network, community, etc.

Knowing your target audience and creating content which solves a problem that your readers are having will spread within the community very quickly. This strategy for generating traffic is priceless because you’re NOT targeting people who have nothing in common but people who share a common interest. Imagine having a blog with 30,000 readers and these readers have social profiles on Twitter & Facebook with 10,000 followers. If they share your piece of content with each other it can generate a lot of FREE targeted traffic all of which can generate profit for your blog.

How can you find your audience?

I’ll explore two ways I’ve used to understand my audience more in-depth.

Before gathering data make sure you have at least 2-3 URL’s of your competitors as they are related to your niche and their audience would be a perfect indicator of your audience.

Quantcast: A FREE audience demographics tool that provides statistics on what kind of people visit the website. All you need to do is type in a competitor’s website URL and you’ll find out: Traffic, Country, Gender, Education, Income, Household and Ethnicity.

The only downside is that the Quantcast measurement script must be installed by the owner of the website so the tool can start collecting data. If the script is not installed then this tool is useless. However, there is a perfect alternative…

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Alexa.com: Tool which collects the same data as Quantcast.com will guarantee results as long as the website has enough traffic to calculate statistics. It’s a FREE tool and you can upgrade to Alexa Pro to digg deeper into the competitors audience and trends.

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Action Plan #10:

Use Google to find the top blogs within your niche by typing in “Top (your keyword) blogs”. For example, if I’m looking for the best affiliate marketing blogs, then my search term would be “top affiliate marketing blogs”.

Write down the names and URL’s of the top 4-5 blogs and head over to Quantcast and Alexa to gather some data on your audience. Write down country, gender, education and keywords and group them altogether looking for a specific trend within the results.

If you notice that most of the traffic comes from men living in the United States who are in college with keyword: blogging, make money online, affiliate programs. I would write topics related to these groups of people…

Here’s a good example: “10 Ways for College Students to Make Money Online

Traffic Tip#11: Harness The Power of Twitter

Twitter is an awesome social network and people are always willing to network with people within their industry. For my blog, I recently setup an account to harness the power of the Twitter blogging community and the results have been awesome. I had NO previous knowledge about how to get people to follow me so just used their advanced search feature to find people who have the same interests as me. For example, here are some of the search phrases I typed in…

blogging tips” with the results containing people who recently Tweeted about “blogging tips

affiliate marketing” with produced the same results and brought up a list of people who Tweeted about “affiliate marketing

Head to the Google Keyword Tool and find relevant keywords within your niche and type them within the Twitter search bar. Start adding those people who are “Tweeting” those keywords. You obviously know that you guys have something in common and they’ll be more than happy to follow you back.

However the real game changer was visiting niche related blogs who are powerhouses in the industry and browsing over their Twitter Followers. All the people following them are people who obviously have the same interests as me so I decided to add them. The results were awesome because in two weeks I got 363 Twitter Followers all who are newbie’s in both the blogging and affiliate marketing niche.

The important thing is to make sure your profile has been setup to include details about your business & interests. I included a link to my website within my profile that generated a bunch of clicks from those who wanted to find out more about my blog.

Write a killer blog post and Tweet it to all your followers. Once you’re done typing your message add this to the end “Please RT”. You’re asking your followers to “Retweet” your “Message” to their followers and the response can be mind blowing. The important thing is to write one of the best pieces of content you’ve ever written so when people visit your blog they’ll start sharing your post on different social networks. This will be an enormous traffic spike for you and the opportunities are endless after that!

Action Plan #11:

It’s time for you to start building your Twitter account with more relevant followers. Start by heading over to the Google keyword Tool and finding 3-4 high volume keywords in your niche to conduct your own Twitter search. Remember to use quotations when searching, for example “keyword”.  Skim through the results and start following 5-10 people per day and increase once you start seeing positive results.

Next, visit the Twitter accounts of the top 4-5 bloggers within your niche and add 5-10 people from their list to see what kind of response you get back. Enjoy!

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Traffic Tip#12: Harness The Power of Facebook Ads

When people often ask the question: How to increase blog traffic, they get a list of useful and useless traffic sources. However, Facebook Ads is definitely a powerful traffic source if you know how to utilize it correctly. First, it has millions of users from all over the world, secondly it can be configured to target precisely your audience and third the traffic can be sent to an external URL or your FB fan page.

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With Facebook the game plan should be to keep building your fan page and grow your community. Every time you create a high quality piece of content you should post it on your FB page asking you’re Facebook community to “share” it with their friends on their timeline. Let’s crunch some numbers…

Your Facebook page has 5000 people and each person in your community has 500 friends. Let’s say 1/2 of them “share” your post with their friends (2000 x 500= 1,000,000). Some people might not see the “share” because of their privacy settings so let’s cut that number into ½ which gives us 500,000.

This is a potential 500,000 new visits to your blog out of which ½ of them are potential email subscribers, Twitter followers or will become part of your FB community. The traffic can be endless and if they keep sharing then it’s like a chain effect which keeps growing. I’m getting excited just talking about it!

So,

How do you get the most out of Facebook Advertising so you can grow your page?

Here are the settings that I recommend…

What kind of results do you want for your ads?

Select…”Page Likes and then your blog community page from the drop down. When selecting an image upload your wall image or your blog logo so you continue to build your brand.

When writing text for your ad keep it simple, for example write “If you love blogging, then hit “Like” or if you have an iPhone app blog use: If you love the Apple iPhone, Hit “Like”. These are just examples and it’s important to keep it relevant to your blog. People on Facebook are usually skimming through the pages so you need to catch their attention right away.

Audience:

Facebook allows you to precisely target the type of people relevant to your niche. In “Traffic Tip #9” you did some research on your competitors to get a better idea of their audience. Refer to “Traffic Tip #9” if you haven’t done that yet, simply use the information gathered and plug it into FB ads. Select the country, age group, gender and enter a few keywords where it says “Interests”. You can use Google Keywords Tool to generate relevant keywords and narrow down your target audience .

Campaign Budgeting:

You have three options: CPC, CPM or Bid for “Likes”…

Use the bid for “Likes” option as Facebook has created this method of advertising to increase FB “Likes” on community pages. Your bid will be optimized to get more Page likes. You will be charged every time someone is shown your ad.”

Your ad will only be shown to those people who are inclined to like your page and have relevant interests as you. This increases the likelihood that someone will “Like” your page and join your community.

Your pricing will depend on how well you target your audience so here’s a few tips:

First setup around 5-6 duplicate ads all targeting a different audience, then

  • Have all of them target different age groups in intervals of 10 so 15-25, 26-36, etc
  • Play around with the images by adding borders using bright colors like red, yellow and green because statistically they engage the users much more when they skim through the page.
  • All target different countries and then the best 2-3 countries you can group them into 1 campaign afterwards.
  • Different interests so you know what group of people join your group and you can group them into 1 campaign afterwards.
  • Target males, females and both
  • Increase the bids slowly to see how this effect’s how often (frequency) your ads are shown to the audience.

Once you’ve gathered the data you can group all the results into 1 ad to optimize your campaign and boost your page “Likes”

For additional resources, here’s another article on Facebook Ad’s optimization.

Action Plan #12:

Put “Traffic Tip#11” into action by setting up and optimizing your own campaign. I would love to hear about your results so please share them with us in the comment box below.

Traffic Tip#13: Send Content to People Mentioned Within Post

If you’ve written content that you know will stir a buzz then it’s time to consider how you can utilize the power bloggers within your niche. Many times people will write content on other bloggers like interviews, expert opinions or even reference an awesome post that they’ve written. Use this to your advantage.

By now you know that two things matter the most when building a reputation as a creditable blogger: quality content & targeted traffic; both of which other bloggers would love to be associated with.

For example, here is a post that was written by Richard Marriot: 55 SEO Experts Reveal 3 Favourite Link Building Tools, who contacted 55 power bloggers within the industry asking them for their top 3 favorite link building tools. This article is ranking number 1 on Google for the search term “link building tools” and currently gets 590 global monthly searches through Google. This keyword has an increasing trend which means each month it’s increasing in search volume for the last 2-3 months.

Let’s break this down a little…

If I were a power blogger and someone wrote a high quality post referencing my opinion on a topic and promises to provide a link back to my blog, would I share it with my social network if I was emailed the URL to the blog post…You Bet I would! Not to mention that the social shares would help boost the post to number 1 for a high volume keyword which over the next several months would bring targeted traffic to my blog.

It’s important to do things differently than other people and taking risks which mean’s to network like crazy and send other bloggers your content. If just 1 person out of 50 people ends up sharing your content with their network of people, that can make the difference between an unknown blogger to one which finally has some credibility.

Action Plan #13:

It’s time for you to do some serious research and find a problem that many beginners are having within your niche. Before writing your content why not ask 10-15 power bloggers within your industry and get their opinion in exchange for a link back to their blog. Put together a post which outlines all the different opinions collected from the people you contacted and publish it on your blog. Send the link to the 10-15 bloggers and ask them to “share” it with their network. You’d be surprised at the response.

Traffic Tip#14: Always Include Images & Videos

Google has made it a known fact that they do index images and videos, here’s what they have to say:

With image search, just as with web search, Google’s goal is to provide the best and most relevant search results to our users. Following the best practices listed below (as well as our usual Webmaster Guidelines) will increase the likelihood that your images will be returned in those search results.”

Head over to Google and type in a search term, you’ll have the option to select images or videos right below the search bar. Select “images

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It’s very important to name your image files correctly which means to include your keyword when saving them. Here are a few examples from the Google forums:

The focus should be on the image name and ALT tag:

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So how does this translate into an increase in traffic, it’s very simple, you’ll notice that when Google returns images results you can click on the image to enlarge it. On the right of the image is text: visit page

If a visitor clicks “visit page” they will be directed to the blog home page.

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With videos Google returns results from YouTube and if you have your URL embedded within the description that can translate into a click.

As your blog begins to grow and you write more posts, embed some images within your content which does two things: First, helps readers understand the content providing a visual cue. Secondly, you’ll have hundreds of images & videos from a collection of posts that are being indexed by Google which can be an awesome source of traffic through image and video search results.

Action Plan #14:

Skim through your blog posts (if any) and add images and videos to content where you believe that it will be an asset to the reader. For example, if I have content with title: “How to Write and Format Your Blog Posts” I might want to include a graphic showing where to add the intro, headings, sub-headings, images and conclusion.

Remember the rules when saving the image before uploading:)

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Traffic Tip#15: Post in Relevant Forums & Blogs

Blogs and forums are one of my favorite traffic generating sources because the audience is precisely targeted to the type of people who would like to attract. Forums have been around long before social networks and continue to be a vital source for information. There are so many forums that it’s impossible for me to even try and guest how many are online but one thing is for sure; there is a forum for every single niche you can think of.

The reason forums have been so effective in generating traffic is because it’s a portal dedicated to solving problems. People will post questions in the right category and answers are provided instantaneously. The more problems you help solve, the more perks you get like the ability to add a signature below every single forum post you publish. A signature is a link which you can setup pointing to any website which in your case would be your blogs home page or sub-page.

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Let’s look at some statistics of popular tech forums:

If you are active on any or all of these forums and have been an active contributor the traffic opportunities are endless.

As a matter of fact, Shoemoney.com who is one of my favorite all time bloggers stated:

“When shoemoney.com started 99.9% of the traffic came from forums like forums.digitalpoint.com & seo-guy.com. I never got into webmasterworld but its another really good forum. Digitalpoint worked very well because you could put your blog in and it would display your latest blogpost in every post that you made. I even purchased the rights to have other people show my blog posts that had over 10,000 posts or so.”

It is reported that Shoemoney.com makes $30,000/mo (+) or (-1) and having 99.9% of your traffic come from forums back then was a huge contributor in his success.

Combine search terms to find relevant blog, for example, keyword + forums – replacing keyword with your niche.

Posting comments within popular blogs is another great way to generate enormous traffic. It’s important to target relevant blogs and provide useful insight on the post you are leaving a comment on. When you publish your post you will be able to add your name, email and website URL.

Combine search terms to find relevant blog, for example, keyword + blog – replacing keyword with your niche.

Action Plan #15:

Research relevant forums & blogs within your niche by performing a search on Google. Start slow with 1-2 forums & blogs and provide your insight. With forums before you can add a signature you may need to contribute to the community and build your reputation. To find out the prerequisites for adding a signature visit the forums FAQ and type “signature” into the search bar.

Take your time and post quality content on both forums & blogs because spamming will get you banned and you will lose a valuable traffic source. Start by replying to 1-3 forums posts daily and increase as you get more comfortable.

Tip: If you have a tutorial that will be perfect for the forum then start a thread which is a “topic”. Starting a thread will allow you to generate even more traffic.

Before posting a tutorial make sure you have a signature setup. Here are some benefits of starting a thread…

  • You’ll be number one on the list of replies (more visibility)
  • Build more credibility and people will visit your blog. A tutorial shows that you have knowledge on the topic and attracts more people
  • Other members will post questions regarding the tutorial and when you reply your signature shows on the bottom of each reply.
  • Building momentum allows you other forum benefits like ability to send messages, moderate other members and advertising opportunities.

Traffic Tip#16: Run a Contest

There are so many untapped traffic sources online that sometimes I get amazed at how often people complain about not being able to generate any momentum for their blog. Setting up a simple contest can generate hundreds of unique visitors each month. For example, when blogs are beginning to grow they are looking to invest some money into rebranding starting with developing a new logo for their website. The problem is just because bloggers can write content doesn’t mean that they can design logos so they often rely on others to get the job done for them.

Introducing 48hourslogo.com, a website that allows you to setup contests and ask members to design a logo for you. Award the winner a cash prize and the higher the prize the more visits you can get from click-throughs. The website has an Alexa rank of 32,689 well below the 100,000 mark and can be an awesome source of traffic.

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Simply setup a logo design contest and provide your website URL in the headline and in the description ask the designer to visit your webpage to become more familiar with the colors and layout. This strategy when I was working on a client’s blog gave him an average of 50-100 unique visits per day.

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Note: I didn’t bother setting up a contest for this blog (ranktactis.com) because I’m starting from scratch and this blog is a case study for new bloggers. Please refer to My Mission Statement for more details.

Here are two other popular contest websites that you can utilize for traffic…

Action Plan #16: (Optional)

If you have not designed a logo for your blog then you may want to utilize the power of having a contest through 48hourslogo.com. The listing price is $29 initial payment and can be a huge source of traffic.

Traffic Tip#17: Do The Opposite of Everyone Else (Be Negative)

Many people are often addicted to getting on the first page of social networks like Digg.com, Delicious.com and StumbleUpon.com. Getting on the front page of any of these social networks can be huge for generating hundreds or even thousands of unique visitors to your blog. How? I look at social networks like a chain effect of events which once triggered can continue to build more momentum each day.

You have to remember that people have different opinions about everything and if you can tap into the users preference it can go a long way, for example, a long time ago I read a blog post by one of my favorite bloggers Jeremy Schoemaker from Shoemoney.com who experimented with a few different things trying to get on the first page of Digg. You’d be surprised what worked, it was an image of a guy pissing on Microsoft.

You can check out the post here.

Many users on Digg.com I guess were Linux and Apple lovers and when it was shared it was like a firestorm that just spread.

If you write product reviews you’ve probably noticed that when you outline both the negative and positive aspects of a product it boosts the credibility of the reviewer.  Here’s something that I found online at Expand2Web.com

“According to a study, 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores, while 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see anything negative at all.”

It’s important to build your own identity which includes speaking your mind and stating your opinion. There will be people who agree and disagree with you but either way it will build momentum with your supporters who will share your opinion if they find that it has some depth to it.

Traffic Tip#18: Participate on Yahoo Answers

Yahoo Answers have proven to be a valuable traffic source for my blog generating hundreds of new leads each month. This community allows active members to post & answers questions. The power to generate traffic from this community relies on your ability to answer questions and boost your credibility to become a Level 2 member. Only Level 2 members are able to embed URL’s with their answers and the more you post the more traffic generation potential you achieve.

If you are trying to promote your blog then focus on categories relevant to your blog so that people can click your URL as an additional resource. An awesome trick that used is writing content that is full of resources and then answering a relevant question within Yahoo Answers adding a link back to my content resource on my blog. This strategy is called “hook and bait” which provides a community member with a useful answer to their question on Yahoo and then points them back to my blog to find other helpful resources.

When you arrive on the Yahoo Answers home page it’s important to know how to narrow down questions relevant to your blog. Use the following to combine your keywords together: “keyword + how to” or “keyword + why” or “keyword + what is”, these are question based combinations targeting your keyword.

* Replace “keyword” with your blog’s main keyword.

Overtime you’ll notice traffic beginning to trickle in from Yahoo Answers. Enjoy!

Action Plan #18:

Go to Yahoo Answers and start answering some questions relevant to your niche. Use the search combinations indicated above to narrow down the questions. Once you’ve picked up momentum and are able to embed URL’s with your answers, it’s time to put the plan into high gear.

Group 4-5 questions from Yahoo that community members need help with then write a high quality post for your blog answering each of those questions. Combine everything into one amazing piece of content using images, videos and provide examples to make your post really stand out. Head over to Yahoo and answer the questions that you previously grouped providing a link back to your blog content.

Traffic Tip#19: Advertise on Google Adwords or Other PPC

Generating traffic through PPC networks was a lot more effective before social network marketing gained traction around 2005. Facebook and Twitter began to pioneer what is now known as social marketing making it easier for people with similar interests to connect and share information. This does not mean that PPC marketing is obsolete but just that there are better ways to connect with people who have similar interests.

Illustration showing decline of PPC networks per year: Provided by ReachNetwork.pro

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Google continues to be a powerhouse in PPC marketing because a bulk of their profits is derived from the Adwords program. There are many other PPC networks that perform well and are much cheaper then Google however it’s important to test everyone studying the CTR sticking with the network that gives you the most bang for the buck.

PPC networks have often been criticized for being tough on advertisers making it very difficult for them to get their campaigns approved. I personally do not use PPC networks for that same reason and that they can pull the plug on your campaigns any time they feel like.

I’m going to keep “Traffic Tip#18” as short as possible because even though PPC advertising can be a very lucrative traffic source I do not recommend it as your starting point. There are many cheaper alternatives that perform much better however if you have a few extra dollars then go ahead a setup a few PPC campaigns to see what type of CTR & traffic you can gain from your efforts.

Traffic Tip#20: Add an Opt-in Form to Your Blog

Collecting your visitors email address is one of the most valuable traffic generation techniques. When you visit other power blogs in your niche you’ve noticed that they always try to collect your email address. The reason is very simple they understand the long term value each visitor brings to your blog. For example, these email subscribers become repeat customers through a sequence of follow-ups that you setup through your auto-responder. Here are two ways that email subscribers can help increase the traffic to your blog.

Before continuing it’s important to know that statistically each email subscriber has a value of $17-$25 which is through either purchase’s made through your blog earning you affiliate commission or referrals of other visitors that convert into a sale.

First, email subscribers are a huge repeat traffic source often returning several times a day reading new content updated to your blog or referring new members to content they might be interested in. Much of this has been possible through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Digg or even Delicious. Many blog owners will often send out a follow-up emails to their subscribers at the end of each week providing links to new blog posts etc. In turn these subscribers will forward the email to their friends, families or co-workers and add a mental note to take time out daily to read over the new content posted.

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Next, selling relevant products is much easier when you have 5k-10k email subscribers on your list. For example, if you are part of an affiliate network and have a new product which you feel your loyal subscribers will enjoy then it’s much easier to blast an email to your subscribers with the pros and cons of the product then it is to create a new advertising campaign on ad networks which will cost you both time & money. Here is a quick strategy I use to boost traffic to my blog whenever a new affiliate product comes to the market. I write an honest review outlining the pros & cons of the product. Make sure you describe the product in full details and embed videos so your visitors can get a good idea of the benefits this product offers. Make sure that both the top and bottom of your product review has social share buttons and the bottom has a comment box because as you’ll learn in “Traffic Tip#20” Google does index comments posted by users on blogs. Put your plan into action…

Blast an email to your subscribers about the product and how it can help them grow their blog and make sure to include a link back to your product review on your blog. The visitors who read your review will both share and comment with people on their social profiles. Remember that your visitors and their followers all share the same interests so traffic will slowly start to trickle down through social networks.

Action Plan #20:

If you do not have an opt-in form to collect your visitors email address then it’s time you incorporate one into your blog. Sign up with a reliable ESP (email service provider), I would recommend aWeber because I’ve been using them for years and they are very effective. It’s important to use an ESP that has little downtime and provides an all in one solution. aWeber provides pre-created forms, easy follow-up setup and most importantly when you send a message it gets delivered to your subscribers.

You can visit some other blogs in your niche to see how they utilize opt-in forms like where they include them in the content, in the side-bar and how effective pop-up opt-in forms can be for collecting visitor info.

Get started with aWeber for $1 Only

Traffic Tip#21: Internal & External Linking

Many people are under the impression that only internal linking posts on your blog will generate traffic. However, both internal and external links are a great way to increase blog exposure and generate new traffic to your blog.

First, when internal linking relevant posts together you increase the likelihood of more social shares. Instead of a visitor “Tweeting” or “Liking” one of my posts, they might find other valuable content through an internal link on my blog that they will share as well. All of these “shares” will be posted on the social profiles of my visitors which increases the chances that they will be seen by their followers who click-through to my blog. This means I have a 50% chance of that visitor becoming a fan, follower or email subscriber.

If your using the WordPress platform to host your blog, there are several plugins available to identify relevant content automatically. The best plugin so far is SEO Smart Links which creates internal links on your site depending on keywords you’ve configured during the set-up process.

External links provides a different kind of value and long-term can double or triple your blog traffic. First, an external link to a blog providing relevant content adds credibility to you. Visitors will trust your blog much more knowing that your blog does provide value both internally & externally.

External links have a high chance of being discovered by the blog you link to because it’s becoming a routine for bloggers to check how many links they have pointing to their website. They use tools like ahrefs.com and majesticseo.com to get a report on the domains pointing to their blog and sometimes go through the list clicking new domains to find out what type of websites they are. There is a high likelihood that one of these bloggers will find your website of value especially a specific post you’ve created and “share” it on their social network. This action alone can generate thousands of new visitors to your blog. Don’t be a link hog and share the knowledge by external linking to relevant content.

Action Plan #21:

Take some time out every day to organize your blog by internal linking content and if possible external linking to other valuable content. Don’t create too many links but enough so that a specific piece of content provides additional resources to the visitor.

Install the SEO Smart Links plugin within the WordPress backend of your website.

Traffic Tip#22: Solo Ads & Sponsored Tweets

With this approach you are utilizing the power of other peoples email lists or social profiles. Very effective at generating enormous traffic since the email lists and sponsored Tweets you select will be relevant to your niche. The process involves finding a blogger who has a huge emailing list they’ve built over several years, for example I’ve seen some power bloggers with lists as big as 30k-70k subscribers with some of them more than willing to send out an email blast as long as it’s relevant to their niche. Here are 2 ways that you can locate solo opportunities….

First, visit relevant blogs in your niche and contact the owners directly asking them about solo ad opportunities. Many of them will not advertise opportunities on their blogs but might engage the idea if you contact them directly. The cost for a solo blast usually depends on the size of their lists and if these power bloggers have built a reputation for good quality content then the list is very responsive to any email they send out.

You can do a quick search “solo ads” to find communities that offer solo ad opportunities. There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing a solo ad. If the price is too low, be careful at the list quality because anyone with a high powered list would not charge a low price. Next, make sure that you purchase a solo ad from those people who have a list relevant to your blog since this will optimize click-throughs.

It is very important that you send your solo ad provider an awesome creative (message) to be emailed. I would suggest asking them to write a message for you since they have experience with sending emails and would have a better idea of what gets inboxed, read and clicked.

Sponsored Tweets are different then solo ads because instead of utilizing some ones email list you are taking advantage of their Twitter followers. You are paying a blogger to “Tweet” a message to their followers about your product or content. Relevancy does matter because a Tweet about “SEO” to followers who are more interested in “automobiles” would not create a buzz. Focus on Twitter accounts relevant to your blog so contact bloggers who are in the same industry with live Twitter accounts (30k-90k followers).

BuySellAds.com is a great website to purchase both Tweets and Email Solo Ads. The interface is very easy to use allowing you to filter down category, price and followers. Most importantly each website listed on BuySellAds.com have been screened to ensure that the highest quality transactions take place. Visit BuySellAds.com now!

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Traffic Tip#23: Create YouTube Tutorials (Amazing)

Another one of my favorite bloggers Matthew Woodward is probably the best at utilizing YouTube to generate thousands in traffic each month. He spent 100-120 hours producing a tutorial on Tiered Link Building and then gave it away for free on his blog & YouTube. However, read what he has to say about the results:

“In the past 12 months that series has had a total of 99,882 visitors watching them for a total of 284,253 minutes generating nearly $15,000 in affiliate commission”.

If you do the math that’s 273.64 visitors per day this tutorial generated for his blog and since then his blog has continued to grow. Keep in mind that each new visitor alone has the potential to double or triple your traffic through referrals. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve visited a blog and shared the content on Twitter or directly with friends.

Creating tutorials for your blog is not a difficult job if you plan it out the right way. For example, start off with a blueprint on what you’re trying to accomplish with your tutorial. Do some research and find out some problems that people have in your niche and make sure to write them down on a piece of paper. If you can group them together then you can create one long tutorial providing a solution to the problem. You need to know how to use your tutorials to push traffic to your blog. Here’s something that works very well…

You have to focus on two main things when creating a tutorial:

First, focus on the tutorial itself like researching, main topic, video editing and uploading to YouTube. Next, you need “bait” content which you’ll use to get people watching your tutorial over to your blog. For example, if I’ve created a tutorial on “link building techniques” and show people how to use article directories to built one-way links to their website then my “bait” content would be a list of 80 FREE article directories that people can submit content to build links. I’ll post the list of 80 article directories on my blog because I know from experience that finding article directories online is very difficult and takes a lot of time so this list is a valuable resource for my visitors.

Use Screencast-O-Matic to create tutorials. The basic version is FREE so start by creating simple tutorials until you get better then you can upgrade to the Pro version for added editing tools.

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 Traffic Tip#24: Add a Link in Your Email Signature

Can you count the number of times that you’ve sent out an email to a friend, family member or a simple inquiry email regarding a product or service, probably not…right?. Have you ever thought that these people are all potential traffic generators? For example, imagine sending an email and they click the link within your signature and enjoy an article you’ve written and share it on their social network and another 5 people read and share it on theirs. All of this can generate some serious traffic to your blog mainly because the traffic opportunities through social sites like Facebook & Twitter are enormous. Social sites have always been considered “chain effect” websites because they produce an action which once started just keeps growing.

It takes about 2 minutes to setup a signature for your outgoing emails so take advantage of this FREE feature that you have included with your email account and setup a clickable signature.

Action Plan #24:

Setting up a signature is very easy so go do it now by logging into your email account, go to settings and then “add signature”. The setup process is slightly different depending on your email service provider so visit the help section where you can find the process for setting up a signature with your ESP.

My Final Thoughts

Generating traffic can be a difficult task for anyone who doesn’t know where to get started. I hope that my 24 Tips to Increase Blog Traffic will guide you in the right direction.

How can you use the information I provided?

Well, follow it step by step marking down each “Traffic Tip” once you’ve completed it. It’s important to have a way to analyze the traffic generated through different sources so use a tool like Google Analytics to effectively traffic where the traffic is coming from.

Over the course of several months you will have a good indication of what’s working for you and then focus your attention on those traffic sources.  Building a successful blog is not a difficult job but the initial testing process to find what works and what doesn’t can be time consuming.  Keep pushing forward and stay consistent because if you don’t then in about two years you’re going to look back and be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do then by the things you did do.