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Increase Your Blog Readership – 5 Ways to Get More Web Traffic

Getting more web traffic is the first step to making money blogging! These five tips for increasing your blog readership are from freelance writer and blogger Susan Johnston, who has a strong blog following.

Before her tips, a quip from a professional blogger:

“Making money from blogging requires you to do only two things: drive a lot of traffic, then maximize the income from that traffic,” says blogger and “dot com mogul” John Chow.

Ah, but doing those two things is harder than it looks! Monetizing a blog isn’t easy, but there are several proven ways to generate traffic and raise your blog’s readership, which covers Chow’s first step. To learn more from professional bloggers, read ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett — or visit ProBlogger. And, here are five tips for increasing your readership….

Increase Your Blog Readership – 5 Ways to Get More Web Traffic

1. Link liberally to other blog posts. Every blogger should have a blogroll with links to other related blogs, but I’d take that even further and link to other posts or articles within the body of your blog. It gives your readers lots of places to get more information on the topics they’re curious about. It can bolster your own argument when you’re linking to research or experts. It encourages conversation because you’re pointing to a specific post. Often the original blogger will come check out your blog, leave a comment, and perhaps link to you in the future (but this should never be expected, it must be merit-based). Penelope Trunk wrote a great post on nine ways to think about linking in a blog post. Maria Schneider has some smart ideas on using links as part of your call to action.

2. Contribute to other blogs or websites. Whenever you write a guest blog post or publish a new article, always try to include a link to your blog if you get a bio line, much like I’m doing now. I still sometimes get traffic from articles I wrote two or more years ago! In addition to article bylines, you could also include your blog’s URL as part of your profile on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites.

3. Comment early and often. Commenting on other blogs in your niche is a great way to gain readers who are already blog-savvy and interested in your subject. But only if you have something to add to the conversation. I don’t mind when someone leaves a quick comment like “nice post!” or “I completely agree with you,” but it’s unlikely that other readers will be tempted to click through to their blog. To increase your blog readership, post an insightful, well thought out comment and it’s much more likely to spark the curiosity of the blog’s writer and readers.

4. Think about offline promotions. The most obvious way to get more web traffic is through other blogs or websites, but it’s not the only way. You could attend blogging and social media events (and always bring business cards!), design a t-shirt with your blog’s URL, or speak on a panel about blogging or some other topic related to your blog. I’ve done all of these, and I’ll bet you could come up with many more ideas for promoting your blog in person. It works, because people like to see the person behind the blog.

5. Keep writing useful content. The single most effective way to increase your blog readership is to keep giving them what they want: content that gets them thinking, that informs, entertains, or otherwise draws them in. All the brilliant promotional strategies in the world won’t help if readers find your blog boring or if it hasn’t been updated for long stretches. If you’re stuck for ideas, you might take your cues from the comments section. Often readers ask a question that can spark a whole new post. Or look at what posts are getting the most traffic and/or comments and consider revisiting those topics.

Your turn! What marketing strategies have worked to increase your blog readership? Anything you’d like to add?

Susan Johnston is a Boston-based freelance writer and blogger who has covered business and lifestyle topics for The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, DailyCandy.com, Yahoo! HotJobs, and many other publications. Want to know more? Check out The Urban Muse or follow her on Twitter.

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12 thoughts on “Increase Your Blog Readership – 5 Ways to Get More Web Traffic”

  1. hi susan…nice post…..and my reply is almost an year after the discussion above….but george’s comment above made me wish I too knew how to leverage Twitter….currently i only have 5 followers there and I don’t want to go on a ‘i follow u-u follow me’ spree coz i dont see the point….

  2. @Susan: I’m a little new at blogging. Cranking Plot is less than 3 months old & I’m getting my feet wet. So, I guess it’s fear of the unknown right now. That, and wondering what I might have to say that is relevant to that particular blog. But I suppose that is the question all of us writers face when we submit to an editor/agent/publisher, so why shouldn’t it be the same for guest blogging? (rhetorical question!)
    .-= Guy´s last blog ..What are your big rocks? =-.

  3. Danielle Buffardi - Horrible Sanity

    Fantastic post. I wish this was around when I started blogging.

    .-= Danielle Buffardi – Horrible Sanity´s last blog ..A Writer’s Thoughts =-.

  4. I’ve been meaning to create my blogroll for all my Quips & Tips blogs, but just can’t seem to find the time!

    This is a good reminder that I should get on that. Building a strong blog – and increasing your blog readership – takes alot of time, and strategic time management!

    And, Guy, thanks for adding me to your RSS feeder 🙂 I like your idea of “Tips for Guest Posting” article….so you should see it in your reader soon!

    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog ..5 Tips for Increasing Your Blog Readership =-.

  5. Nice post! 😉

    Seriously, thanks for the practical advice. And it works! For instance, I did not know about The Adventurous Writer, but now I do! & it’s in my RSS feeder even now.

    The idea of guest blogging is a little scary. Do you have any advice for that?


    .-= Guy´s last blog ..Marseguro and Terra Insegura =-.

  6. Wow, a ghostwriitng gig that can carry you financially for a year? Man, I wish you could tell us all about it!

    I keep thinking of ProBlogger Darren Rowse’s recent post. I can’t remember which one it was, but in it he said that he tries dozens (hundreds?) of things on his blogs to increase readership, increase revenue, increase stickiness, etc. And for every one thing that works, there are at least 10 things that don’t.

    So, whether you want to increse your blog readership or sell more articles to print magazines, you need to keep trying different things until you find what works! And, remember that what didn’t work for your blog a year ago might work today…so tweaking old, failed ideas (like old article pitches that didn’t sell!) can be a route to success.

    Thanks for the post, Susan.

    And, my ever-faithful George, thanks for your thoughts and Twitter tip 🙂

    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog ..5 Tips for Increasing Your Blog Readership =-.

  7. Hi Susan,

    I think one of the most important things is to be real. Be yourself and be nice. Folks know the genuine article when they see it and are more likely to respond.

    Also, Twitter has been an amazing connection tool for my blog. I’ve organically grown followers and work hard at being a good member of the Twitter community. So far it has paid huge dividends, including a ghostwriting gig that should carry me through financially for more than a year.

    Excellent choice of a guest poster, Laurie!


    .-= Tumblemoose´s last blog ..The Matriarch of Blogging =-.