Five Tips for Spiking Your Blog Traffic

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For most blogs, traffic doesn’t come as a steady trickle, it comes in waves.

Content may be king, but, on the Web, promotion is queen. Here’s how to make sure your blog gets seen.

Writing a blog is a major commitment for any busy professional, especially for those of us who aren’t natural writers. Personally, I’m jealous of people who can whip up a blog post in 15 minutes – mine tend to take several hours, and that’s with a bit of editing help. Regardless of your writing skills, maintaining a blog is a major commitment. Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your time investment:

Promote yourself

Don’t assume your readers will find you online – you have to get in front of them each and every time you publish new content. For most sites, traffic isn’t a steady trickle: it comes in spikes or waves, and those waves are ultimately started by you. So always share your articles on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media outlet you’re plugged into. Then go out and comment on other people’s blogs, always linking back to your own.

Lean on your friends

This is both the easiest and most effective strategy. Assuming you’ve written something worth sharing, send a polite email around to your friends asking them to share, comment on, re-tweet, and “like” your posts in their Twitter and Facebook feeds. Recently, I sent an email around to 20 or so of my more social-media-savvy friends asking them to do just that, and sure enough, traffic for that post tripled. Of course, this type of link love is a two-way street, and you must (eventually) return the favour.

Learn from the experts

Seth Godin’s blog is the Bible of online (and offline) marketing. Like the Bible, his meta-list “How to get traffic for your blog” is long, full of contradictions, and essential – at least for anyone who worships at the Web altar. Some of his tips are clever and innovative; some are subversive and dishonest; all are effective. Another good read is Problogger’s tips on getting more comments on your posts.

Write about other people – the more famous, the better

In my experience, the posts that get the most traffic are the ones that interview or profile somebody with a profile. It’s no secret that people are fascinated by celebrity – and search for them, and read about them, more often. Even just referencing them can do wonders: my post from a few weeks ago that featured an image of Jim Carrey received above-average traffic, as did my post that mentioned entrepreneur Steve Jagger. There’s even a chance that famous person will promote your post themselves – provided they like what you have to say.

Have something interesting to say

None of this matters if your blog isn’t of value to your readers. Though it may ultimately be self-serving, you still need to produce content that other people will want to read and share.

Publishing a blog is a strategic decision: it can be a big time commitment, but it’s one of the best ways to establish your credibility and expertise. So don’t be afraid to promote yourself, ask your friends for help, or drop a few famous names here and there. Then, who knows: maybe you’ll become famous too!