Twenty five steps to increase blog traffic

dream ladder In blogging content is king and marketing is queen. If you write high quality original content and promote it then the result may be an increase in organic traffic, or not.  If it’s not easy to locate your content in search engines then there will be no increase in new traffic.  Thus, what determines success is two things:

  • whether or not your content is found,  and
  • whether or not the readers who do find it become subscribers.

Bloggers and their readers are co-creators of a  blog’s brand and that brand is ever evolving.   It’s important to invest time into finding the correct niche for your blog and formulating your goals.  It’s likewise just as important to examine your blog in terms of  growth models.

If you want to increase traffic then don’t listen to anyone who professes there are passive ways of doing that. Increasing traffic to a blog is hard work. If you want your blog to rank well in search engine results then that begins with creating and publishing original content ie. unique content that cannot be found anywhere else on the internet.

In the final analysis, all bloggers need to focus on creating relationships with other bloggers by leaving meaningful comments on their blogs, and by encouraging “organic” traffic that translates into a faithful blog readership for your own blog by responding to the comments you get.

Organic Traffic: Organic traffic is any traffic that comes to your site without being paid for. This includes people who visit via links in forums and blogs, traffic from search engines, traffic from word of mouth, or traffic from bookmarks. Organic traffic generally comes to a site naturally and is not driven by marketing campaigns.

Inorganic Traffic: Inorganic traffic is traffic that is pushed via marketing campaigns. Banner ads, search engine ads, etc generate inorganic traffic. Generally speaking this form of traffic is semi-immediate depending on how much you blanket the Web with your advertising and slowly dies out over time unless more money is spent to build a new marketing campaign.

Updated October 2, 2013. There are 25 basic steps to take to increase traffic to your blog. Here are the steps:

  1. Structure a reader and search engine blog;
  2. Learn How to Identify Your Blog’s Target Audience;
  3. In blogging content is king create unique, high quality content and learn how to write high quality blog posts  and use the 10 Guidelines for Writing Engaging Posts;
  4. Learn basic SEO so you can use keywords effectively and apply basic SEO to your headlines,  blog and posts;
  5. Learn and apply the 6 Ways to Make Google Your Blog’s Best Friend;
  6. Create at least 4-6 pillar posts  and continue to create and publish more pillar posts;
  7. Select and link to appropriate anchor text;
  8. Link to authoritative sources in your posts;
  9. Deep link to your earlier related posts in your new posts;
  10. Assign appropriate categories and tag your posts with care;
  11. Link to related authoritative blogs in your blogroll;
  12. Provide RSS feeds for subscribers;
  13. Having a well designed theme is important, evaluate your theme for effectiveness, and if required, create a new header,  make improvements or  replace your theme with a mobile friendly or responsive width theme and reduce page loading time;
  14. Avoid cluttering your blog with widgets that lack reader value;
  15. Buy your own domain;
  16. Verify your blog with the major search engines;
  17. Get organized, use an online to do list by developing a blogging workflow;
  18. Leave meaningful comments on related blogs;
  19. Encourage comments on your own blog;
  20. Develop relationships with other bloggers so you can build a blog readers’ community around your own blog;
  21. Join social networks and social media sites and promote your blog posts;
  22. Promote your blog through forums, online groups, and  selected directories;
  23. Develop a social media time management strategy and stick to it;
  24. Become a guest blogger on sites with higher page rank than your own site;
  25. Set your goals for becoming a better blogger, achieve them to take your blog to the next level.

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123 thoughts on “Twenty five steps to increase blog traffic

  1. Pingback: What’s your take on advertising on blogs? | one cool site

  2. Interesting reads, links and information…quite a bit to learn from you blog and how you present your project.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer the comments :) You have a new follower (for all that its worth).

    Have a GREAT day!

    • Hello there,
      Yes, I do treasure comments and do reply to them. Thanks so much for yours. That said do know that sometimes I fall behind and I’m late in answering because I work in my hubby’s business and I do contracted work as well. Blogging is my hobby.

  3. Lovely informative blog – I’ve learned so much already. Do you have time to answer any questions regarding the tech on individual blogs?

  4. Pingback: Google Encrypting Keyword Searches, Ads Exempted | one cool site

  5. Pingback: Planning, Planning, Planning, then BLOG ! « Denis McCaul

    • I’m happy to hear that you find my articles to be useful. As our usernames are already linked to our blogs I consider signature link drops at the end of comment to be uneccesary and I remove them all.

  6. Pingback: Organic and Inorganic Traffic | Blogging Perspectives Daily

  7. TiTi
    I have a difficult time with leaving meaningful comments. Sometimes I’m just not able to articulate just what it is I want to say related to the post. And feeling that perhaps what I have to say adds no value. And more often times than not because of this I will shy away from commenting seeing as to how the other commentators are able to articulate so well.

  8. Good tips….I am implementing these for mine’s too. By the way in 10th tip,what’s ” ~~~~”??

  9. Thanks for your words of wisdom :)

    I’m now a subscriber, this tips are really helpful for a newie such as me, I’m glad I’m having my official launch on Sunday so I can put some of these points into practice, I do however have an intro so people know what to expect.

    Thanks so so so much for letting me know about your blog

    Ginga Ninja

  10. This might be a little off topic, but from viewing your site it appears you know a little about coding, Internet traffic, etc. I was wondering if you had any problem with bots? Not the indexing bot from a search engine, but a bot coded for spamming etc? I used to find a lot of them, in fact hundreds at a time on our forum sites, websites with posting or form sending, etc.

    That would be the kind of traffic you might not want to your site. Most of them are the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server controled bots, a few are Java coded, PHP, etc. I wonder if they have come across the ip’s of blog sites, I have been working with networks and the internet since the early 90′s and after about 1999 or so bots became more of a problem. We run both NTFS (Windows Servers) and Unix Servers and do our own hosting, including DNS.

  11. Hi, I found your article informative .. I love blogging and started out with a regular blog site at Word press not a web site, I’ve since bought my own name.com on Go Daddy, but I still haven’t bought an actual Web site, but I guess after reading your post, what your saying, is I should, I am just writing for my own enjoyment, about My own quirky opinions about life and daily happenings, & Politics, etc. but I really DO want people to read, so where would you say I should get/buy my WEB page? It’s true when I try to do a lot of the suggested things for traffic I can’t do them, since I’m just blogging, not with an actual WEB site. I would appreciate your input if you have the time.. Thanks Evelyn

    • A blog is a website so I don’t know what you mean by “actual website” unless you mean you do not want visitors who engage in discussion and only want to create a one way communication noticeboard.

      4 Blog and Website Differences from http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2009/05/02/business-blog-website-or-both/

      (1) The main difference between a blog and website is the communication style. A website is a noticeboard communication style. A blog is designed for interactive communication.

      (2) Blogs encourage conversation, websites do not and that’s why businesses with websites are adding blogs, and sometimes forums and wikis to them for complaint handling, customer feedback purposes and for collaborative purposes.

      (3) Blogs publish current news with date and time stamps, most websites do not. The information most websites provide is static, rarely updated, and the sites are often poorly maintained.

      (4) Blogs have RSS feeds, websites ALONE do not.

      We can set up a blog as either a page based structure as a “website” or as a conventional post based structure. Please see here > http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/05/12/better-blogging-at-wordpress-com-pages-and-posts/ and here >

      That being said, no matter which structure you choose these 25 steps for increasing traffic still apply.

  12. Good stuff. Enjoyed the article and hopefully can use some of its hints and tips! :D

    • If you work your way through all of the steps you will have done the utmost you can to increase inorganic (unpaid) traffic to your blog.

  13. Pingback: Organic and Inorganic Traffic « Blogging Perspectives Daily

  14. Ok Thanks! I did not realize the point regarding the link from username. Did I leave a link to something in my post that was unacceptable? I will try and find an SEO Pro. ;)

    • Thanks for reading my commenting policy. I’m savvy to all the sleazy tricks employed by opportunists. That why my commenting policy contains exactly what every person who considers trying to use my blog as a means of driving traffic to their commercial site(s) needs to know. The first link deletion is a warning. If I receive any follow-up attempts from the same source then I add them to my comment blacklist and feed all the information to both Akismet and Defensio spam filters.

  15. TT : Awesome info! After reading-rereading your posts, I still have questions. Let me try to pose them as clearly as possible. I am working with an Internet Marketing firm and we have a WP Blog client. There are some static pages and I am stumped as far as traffic is concerned. Plugin-activated, titles there, headings good, no images. Now the questions;
    1) How important are the actual posts for the SE’s? I mean what if the client wants to use WP only to put up some static pages, but no posts? Will that affect the rankings with SE’s and the traffic to the site?
    2)About links connecting to the blog and vice versa – you have amply emphasized the importance of linking your blog to others and vice versa. Do you mean to say that if one simply sets up a particular blog (some static pages only) and does not blog elsewhere or submit to directories then this is directly going to affect the incoming traffic and rankings with SE’s?
    3) If we do not regularly blog/post articles, and obviously consequentially do not link to others, will the SE’s actually not index our site after a while (inactive blog site = dead site?).

    any help you can offer…..is highly appreciated in advance.

    AS

  16. I’m sorry, I’ve been a bit busy myself these past few days. I hope you have a blast with your friends.

    About the book option, no I hadn’t known about it! But messing around on my own, I’d managed to put a static page as the default home page, which guides the prospective reader over to different sections (mini indexes for different works?) on the blog.

    Well, right now there’s only one story-world in play, though there’s another one I need to start very soon.

    I’d initially thought after reading that link that the book option may not be the best, as I’m writing (or plan to be writing) in different ‘books’ at the same time, but I could just divide the index by books…

    I’m not fully awake yet, so I’ll think this over again when my wits have come back from lunch. And I’m looking forward to that post you were talking about.

    • Songs for Clarion
      I’ve been thinking about this and have decided I don’t have enough personal experience to write a post on this subject. I know what the basic SEO elements for bloggers are and how to use them. However, as you point out the nature of your blog is more “book-like” than it is blog-like. So to make a long story short I won’t be publishing a SEO type post.

      I think the best way for you to increase traffic will be by joining smaller social networks in the writing niche, so I’ll do some research on that and then publish a post focused on blog promotion for those who have blogs like yours. That won’t likely be this week as I have a workload in our business and I just got two new dogs who are in the bonding and settling in period.

  17. I found your article through your postings on the forums while looking for tips on increasing traffic. Very helpful, and I appreciate you taking the time out to post things in aid of the clueless (read: Me and my peeps).

    I was wondering though, how I could take your advice and apply it to my own blog, because it seems that my chosen niche may be slightly harder to promote than most. My spiffy new blog (as I’ve started calling it) is an outlet for my fiction (in serialized form). There are a couple of specific problems I have about how to properly apply your advice:

    1. Post titles: As these almost always take the form of chapter headings (and my current focus of work takes chapter headings from character names), it’s very difficult to for me to create post headings that would even remotely be of value in SEO.

    2. Post Content: In a similar vein, the posts are made up of the actual writing of the stories… and writers are notoriously protective of their creations, I have deep misgivings about keeping anything other than the story in mind when I’m writing them.

    3. Social Networking: Now, I may (read: absolutely am) be a newbie (read: Completely clueless creature), but I have no idea how I’d go about finding the appropriate communities and blogs. Most blogs I’ve read or come across are political blogs, self help blogs, blogging tip blogs, etc. I’ve yet to organically come across a writer’s blog where said writer actually POSTS fiction, as compared to just, you know, blogs about his life and the process. I’m also wary about fanzines. There’s a lot of horribly articulated fiction on the internet (and some pretty damned good fiction too) but it’s mostly in fanzines, where fans of titles write fan fiction in universes created by other people, and of characters that do not belong to them.

    4. Quality images: What? Pictures? In a book?! Well, alright, it’s not really a book, and why not take advantage of the medium to add illustrations? Trouble is, since it’s original fiction, I’d have to actually hire somebody to make me all those pretty pictures to put into the posts. Or would that even be appropriate? Either way, budding writers are also notorious for being largely broke, and I wonder if I can afford this. How necessary is this element, really?

    But I ramble. Any advice you can give?

    I don’t see the email/website/etc fields in the comment form so I’m assuming my logged in status is enough to fill out all that information for me.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time!

    • Hello there,
      This is a long weekend in Canada and I’m visiting with friends I don’t see very often. I will answer your questions later today. :)

    • @Songs for Clarion
      I still have company who will not be leaving until this evening. You questions are far to complex to fob off short snappy answers to so I’m going to publish a post and deal with them in it in this upcoming week. Thanks for being so patient. I really appreciate it because I rarely get to visit with the friends who are here with me now.

  18. I think that SEO is one of the most important Traffic Factores i would advise everybody to learn it because it is free and it can ehelp you dominate a market.

    • @George,
      In case you missed this fact my blog is not monetized and those readers posting comments on it do not blog for bucks. We blog because we are passionate about the subject matter we blog about and because we know we have content that’s worthy of sharing with others. If you want to know why I removed your link simply read 5. in my Commenting Policy found here. http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/commenting/

  19. Pingback: Generating Traffic « Blogging Perspectives Daily

    • @quixoticzephyr
      There are many distasteful tactics that can be used to increase traffic in the form of ad clickers to a blog, but there are no shortcuts to increasing the numbers targeted readers to your blog. Targeted blog readers are those who already have an interest in the subject matter you blog on. They use search engines to locate blogs with content that interests them. They are less likely to become ad clickers (most even use AdBlockers) and more likely to become regular readers and subscribers, who leave comments and recommend your blog to their colleagues.

  20. I read your 25 notes and checked my blog validation. I am not a technical writer, nor do I understand a lot of the lingo I am seeing in your posts. It appears I have several errors relating to code. many errors indicate a correction via CSS or XHTML. I have no idea if this is really important or what? WordPress support says there is no need to worry about code, so it’s confusing. If the solution is simple, where are the preferences or settings for this stuff?
    What if I do nothing? Is there some legal reason to delve this deeply into it, or is it a matter of personal perference?

    Thanks for your time on this.

  21. Thank timethief..!
    You can’t imagine how you are helping me.
    Really it’s avery good article to increse blog traffic.May GOD bless you..!
    Thanks again

  22. It is interesting how you take the time to respond to the comments here.

    Re: #24 Isn’t it necessary to reword your articles before submitting them to article directories?

  23. Hey timethief,

    Great advice I will surely put them to use. I have recently started blogging (I am 16) and I am liking it. I was wondering if you could take a look at my blog and see if there is anything I can work on. I really want to get my opinions out there.

    Great blog.

    • @James
      I won’t be doing any blog assessments this summer as I’m very busy at work and at home. Thanks for the feedback on the post and best wishes with your blog.

  24. Wow great post you gave me a lot to consider, I didn’t even think to link to older post. Actually all of these tips are very helpful thanks for sharing.

    • @Larry
      I make it a practice to link to my older related posts using appropriate anchor text that names the article I’m linking to rather than sending any Google juice to “click here”. By doing this I’m assured that the Google spiders will keep my older posts in the index and search results, and that means they will be available to potential readers using the search utilities.

  25. Excellent blog. I see a lot of hard work went into these 25 steps. Do you suggest ever using articles in your own blog that are free you use from some of the article websites?

    Thanks for the info.

    • @fredg61
      Hello there. Yes a lot of hard work into these 25 steps which are under my copyright. If you want to submit articles to sites that supply content to those who cannot or who will not create their own then this link will be useful as I have reviewed 22 such sites in it. Article writing and backlinks

  26. Thanks for great information here, sharing of what you learn from blogging. I should remember this steps to increase my traffic on my blog and also engaging about the readers or people who is visiting my blog. Again thanks…

    Cheers,
    Julius

    • @talkingbees
      Hello there. I’m sorry but I don’t have the time it takes to assess, review and offer advice on individual blogs. You will have to work through the information and do the best you can with your blog.

  27. thanks for the tips. It’s hard to get more traffic to my blog because I didn’t know any of these 25 steps before. They are very useful and I’ll follow some of them.

  28. If you ever want to read a reader’s feedback :) , I rate this post for 4/5. Detailed info, but I just have to go to that damn msn to find the missed pieces. Thanks, anyway!

    • Thanks so much for leaving a comment and a rating on the post too. I don’t know what you mean about going to MSN for missing pieces. Can you explain that to me please?

  29. @ Timethief

    It was quite helpful…..

    Thnx…

    you are Doing a Great Job!!!!

    Cheers

    Kunal

  30. Thanks for sharing all these links, and yes content will always be there as the main factor that can drive in the site traffic. It is important that the contents should be regularly updated.

  31. This is a great article and I’m sorry I haven’t read it sooner. But aren’t you going against your own advice? #18 says “buy your own domain” but here you are on a wordpress.com blog ;)

    Also, have you taken any steps to get this article ranked? It’s PR0 and I can’t find it in the SERPs.

    • @JP
      A compliment from you – wow! I value it very highly. I do have a domain for my personal blog but I’m loathe to move this one off the wordpress.com platform and away from the wordpress.com global tag pages and the traffic from them until I ‘m fully recovered. However, once I’m fully recovered I may do that. No I have not taken any steps to get this article ranked. SIGH … something else to put on the to-do list. :(

      • Understood. A lot of your other pages are PR3, so no rush. I subscribed to your blog, it’s one of the few SEO blogs with useful advice.

        I wonder if you can set up a wordpress.com blog and just point it to your ‘real’ blog? If so, I’ll sign up immediately!

      • Timethief, you have a lot of interesting ideas – here, as well as on your comments on BlogCatalog. I’ve never really thought about traffic generated from being hosted on WordPress.com. Given that you can’t monetize your WordPress.com site (vs a self-hosted WordPress blog), I’ve never really invested a lot of time on the mothership. But I wonder if there isn’t a way to generate traffic. Perhaps a mirror site with links actually pointing back to your “real” blog?

        • The wordpress.com Terms of Service states that no wordpress.com blog or content in it can be used for or designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites …

  32. very good article.. I’ve recently begun to use EZines, and will try some others.. any recommendations for other sites to leave my content that are worth the effort? – Jose S

  33. Comprehensive post. I find though that just mastering 3 or 4 methods is all it takes to increase and maintain traffic to your blog. Great content, bookmarking and aggregators seem to be the greatest source in my experience

  34. @Diana
    I heartily agree with both of your tips. Previous to my accident I published a minimum of 5 times weekly and when I could no longer I saw the momentum decrease. I rarely get the time to do a batch of posts and schedule them for later publication but when I do it’s great. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  35. I’ve done a lot of these things, but I’d say another tip is to be consistent. I haven’t been able to write as much as I used to (now about 1 time a week compared to my previous 3-4 times per week), and I lost a lot of the momentum I was getting traffic-wise because of it. If you don’t have the time to post, write a bunch of posts at once and schedule them to be automatically published on a certain day.

  36. Great post, I especially agree with #2 and #11. Website owners have become so focused on link building (and PageRank). Many of them fail to realize that building great content is a better use of time. If you have great content people are going to link to it naturally. I think that’s why google loves blogs more than a static website. The content is updated frequently and the outbound links are built upon “quality” rather than link exchanges. Anyway, great post Timethief. You’ve found a new reader.

  37. @gdenarayana
    You’re welcome and thanks very much for letting me know that you appreciate my posts. It’s always good to receive positive feedback. :)

  38. dear timethief,

    you had a complete guide here, and i must opened and learned i one by one ;)

    thank you so much, i need to read all of those articles that you’ve write, once again..thx :)

    best wishes :)

  39. Thank you very much for taking the time to share this valuable information with us. I have just started blogging and so this was really helpful. Cheers!

  40. When I first started my WordPress blog, I looked at a lot of articles for getting traffic. 5 months later, I think this one had the best content. A thumbs up!

  41. @Scott
    Thanks for the compliment. I have success networking at Blog Catalog and at stumbleupon I find many great sites. But I have found the noise to sound ratio at twitter to be a real turn-off. I don’t need people to tweet me & tell me what they are eating for lunch … lol :D

  42. Great tips! I wish I had read this before I started my blog. Unfortunately, being a website developer didn’t mean I know all there was to know about blogging, and I learned through trial and error. I have found my most success through social media sites like stumbleupon and twitter. On top of getting more blog traffic, these sites have allowed me to network with people that have provided me with invaluable insights.

  43. Great Post abt Web promotion….In this Time of search engine war, Every site need Good SEO Services to be on the top of the Major Search Engine in order to make good business

  44. @madmadmargo
    When I first became a blogger I didn’t understand the jargon and I became determined to learn how things worked. Here I am still at it and whatever I learn to do pass on with as complete instructions as I can provide. I’m so glad you are willing to try yo improve your blogging skills and blog so you increase your traffic step by step. Thanks for the recognition and encouragement to share more. :)

  45. Of all the posts I’ve read on this subject, this is the only one I believe I will actually implement its fine tuned suggestions. Excellent information! I’m off to improve my traffic, one step at a time.

    Stumbled.

  46. Very informative post timethief, I came here from the search engine searching for digg mutual friends and stumbled in one of your pages (Importance of Digg Mutual Friends). The funny thing is I didn’t thought it’s yours until your face icon appear on my browser. I haven’t have a chance to visit your site thru BC that’s why I don’t know. Anyway, keep your passion alive, see you at BC:)

  47. I’ve been reading your inputs from the forums and it was good. I was learning from you. Can we exchange links? I’ll put you on my blogroll first. Here’s mine ____________________

  48. Purchasing your own domain and web hosting for it are the best investment you will ever make. Blogs on free hosted sub-domains simply do not have the credibility that blogs on domains have. Also pre-purchasing years in advance when it comes to domains definitely has a bearing on page rank because it’s indicative of a long term intention. When Steve Pavlina began his personal development site there were very few blogging on the same topic now he has expanded into the make money area, and there are many others blogging on personal development. In fact, last year Priscilla Palmer’s personal development bloggers list topped 500 sites.

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