Blog Traffic: 3 Ways to Consistently Get People to Your Blog

Blog TrafficComments and traffic: crack for bloggers. All blogs have their share of “lurkers” (those folks who read and never comment) and then there’s the segment of regular readers who never actually visit your blog on your site because they get your content in their reader or via email. Convenience is a conundrum for bloggers looking to increase interaction and traffic figures. Unfortunately, there’s no Easy Bake Oven for blogging success – but I can give you tips on how to get people out of their readers and inboxes and back INTO your blog…and garner new readers in the process.

Entice Them

Why would anyone want to come out of their warm RSS reader womb and back into your blog? Because you’re offering something for their time. Step 1: Think of where you’re spending your marketing dollars and time. Step 2: Consider what your readers are worth to you. I write for a living, so my readers are the heart and soul of my day to day. How do I thank them for their time? A reward.

Readers: This week, there is a $25 iTunes Gift Card up for grabs. Just leave a comment with a verifiable email address (required) and in that comment, give me a link to a site you frequent that runs a kickass promotion for its readers. It can be ANY site – you are my eyes and ears. Tell me what other people are doing and WHY you like it. Next Friday, I’ll announce the winner. It’s the WHY you like it that will win you the gift card. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Do Your Homework

When’s the last time you actually looked at your blog subscriber email list? Get off your ass and get your nose in a book – your blog’s Little Black Book. It’s amazing what you can learn by doing a little homework. Pay attention to the people who Retweet, consistently comment and Stumble or bookmark your content. THANK THEM. Interact with them. Engage. Why would anyone leave a comment on a blog where the blogger doesn’t bother to interact? There’s an old adage in the writing world that goes something to the effect of “If you don’t read, you have no business writing.” I stand by that 100%. When you begin to consider your blog as a classroom, your readers as students and yourself as the teacher, it becomes evident that your class can’t go on autopilot. You need to interact and give them a reason for showing up.

Run an RSS Subscriber Contest

When the new RedheadWriting.com site goes live in February, you’ll see a sexy little RSS Subscriber contest come online. I’ll run it for 30 days and then pick a grand prize winner and 4 additional winners. But how the hell am I going to track who truly subscribes? This great post about tracking RSS contest subscribers from Weblog Tools Collection has it down to a science. Be sure to read through the comments as well – a gem of a find and thanks to Thaya Kareeson for a kickass post that is actionable and on-task for the blogger looking to grow their reach. And a tip about running contests: give away something with a high perceived value. The last contest I ran, I gave away an iPod Touch as the grand prize. It’s why I use iTunes gift cards as weekly prizes. I’m not giving away an mp3 player – I’m giving away an iPod. Whether you’re an Apple fan or not, the iPod/Apple brand carries weight with a large audience. Don’t give away shit people don’t want. It’s like forcing people into a crappy white elephant gift exchange and all you’re going to get for your time is a used tea cozy.

Tonight’s Special Guest

If you’re looking for traffic, look for guest blogging opportunities. I’m a paid contributor for my weekly Dear Redhead column at ToyWithMe.com. I love it! It’s another reason to do your homework – leverage your network to offer your services for a guest blog post. While paid opportunities are difficult to come by and usually require you have a fair-sized following to back up your case, look at it this way: an hour of your time twice a month for unpaid guest blogging opportunities on other blogs gives you exposure to new audiences and the opportunity to build your brand affinity outside your own readership. This gets people out of their reader and into your blog (or your GUEST blog on another site). A few tips on how to make the most of this:

  • When you have a guest post, create a post on YOUR blog that gives a lead-in and link to the other blog. Your readers have no choice but to click through and check it out!
  • Request that the guest blog link back to your home page or a particular related article on your blog. This encourages NEW readers on that blog to click through to YOUR site.
  • Better yet, embed links in your guest post (without being a spammy asshat, mind you) that link back to your blog. It’s best to discuss this in advance with the blog owner. Don’t kick someone in the balls for giving you a chance to grow your readership.
  • Offer a reciprocal guest post on your blog in exchange!

A note about requesting guest blog opportunities: When you contact a blog for the opportunity, give them reasons to say YES. List your Twitter following, current subscribers, other key audience factors and how you’ll promote the piece. Many sites have submission guidelines – be sure to follow these. Can’t find anything? First, be sure that they accept guest bloggers. Secondly, send an email through their Contact page. And spell check, for the love of all that’s holy. Spell check.

10 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
The Redhead
The Redhead

Thanks for stopping by, Erin!Erika NapoletanoHead RedheadRedheadWriting (da blog)Follow RedheadWriting on Twitter (da tweets)Be a fan of RedheadWriting on Facebook (in da face)

Erroin Martin
Erroin Martin

Great post. Be bold and go out and grab some readers. I love it!The van pic screams predator!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Hah! Thanks Miss Ellis! I'll be on the lookout for you and your candy porn van...with a simultaneous eye on your RSS numbers ;-)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Hah! Thanks Miss Ellis! I'll be on the lookout for you and your candy porn van in the Denver Metro area ;-)

elaineellis
elaineellis

Good advice! But personally, I'm going with the scary child molester van and offering free candy around Denver. PS - Heard you rocked it at #CWC10!

Marie
Marie

Hi!It looks like the first thing to intruduce me to any blog site IS social networking (I found you're website via twitter ;)). Websites like facebook, twitter, Youtube, and any kind of discussion forums. What I like about these sites: information. Information is the most important value for me.- it is fastest & cheapest way to reach a blog fan- all the headlines in one place- common topic of interests- more and more people, friends of friends check the same blogsite (it's like a flood effect)Here are some blogs with giveaways:http://stealsdeals.blogspot.com/http://www.vivawoman.net/category/giveaways/http://www.stacyfrancisblog.com/http://www.classymommy.com/blog.htmWhat I like about them ?- frequent updates- clean & attractive website layout !!!- periodical giveaways- not too many ads on the website- humor- some pictures, maybe videos- tags MarieV.

Jim M.
Jim M.

Do you know if there's a way to deal with unverified email addresses in Feedburner? I think about 20% of my subscribers are unverified. Does that mean they're not getting my posts via email or is it a non-issue? Thx.

davisesq212
davisesq212

http://www.mygiveawaytoday.com/ is a site I go to a lot because they have a daily giveaway. Sometimes its more than one giveaway. That keeps me always going back for more. More than just giveaways, the products are thoroughly reviewed, not just a brief sentence or two.

tarable
tarable

I'm sure you already know, but Greeblemonkey does a REALLY amazing job with giveaways each month. She's passionate about music and photography, so her contests have to do with those topics. Since I love her taste in music and her pictures, I'm always going to her site to enter. Unfortunately, I'm not the only one. :(If you don't already know: http://greeblemonkey.com/

Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by RedheadWriting and Phil, Colorado Law Compass. Colorado Law Compass said: RT @RedheadWriting: Blog Traffic: 3 Ways to Get People to Your Blog (comment contest for $25 iTunes gift card!) http://bit.ly/8Nborj […]

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by RedheadWriting: Blog Traffic: 3 Ways to Get People to Your Blog (comment contest for $25 iTunes gift card!) http://bit.ly/8Nborj