10 Tips for More Blog Traffic

Mary Nicklin brought up the thread about Basics on building traffic. I wrote two extensive answers which gave me the idea of writing a summary with the focus on side kicks.

What are side kicks? Side kicks are all aspects of generating traffic through external links, social bookmarking, article tagging, creating external services and using old school emails to inform about your services opposed to the work you invest on your Blogs main content.

Side kicks are an important aspect in your daily schedule decision compared to the effort for ‘just’ writing another article. I’ll try to motivate you to invest some time in side kicks because of their great impact on traffic in the short and in the long run!

Right now there are numbers around that every day 70,000 new blogs are created. How can somebody develop a strategy to build up traffic or improve the traffic stream coming to his website? “Produce a lot of fresh content” is one of the standard answers. It is true! But don’t believe that writing 15 articles a day gains incredible more inbound traffic than just one or two. And the Blogger Burnout will be coming to you pretty soon!

Side notes: some recommended number crunching from Dave Sifry (Technorati):
State of the Blogosphere, February 2006 Part 1: On Blogosphere Growth
State of the Blogosphere, February 2006 Part 2: Beyond Search

For a better overview I will not list the classical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) approaches for websites like page title, page name,
meta description, keyword optimization, directory entries, … there
are so many nice articles on performancing.com or on the Internet about
basic website SEO which you should use.

My cooking recipe for fast SEO results“. The approach is that you can use the support of modern blogging technology as a side kick to gain inbound traffic and fast search engine attention:

  1. Claim your blog at services like Technorati. Fill in all keywords for every single blog!
  2. Use Ping services like PinGoat (important changes announced!) or Ping-O-Matic. These two and more are optional services are integrated in the publishing workflow of Performancing for Firefox (PFF).
  3. Use FeedBurner for your RSS publishing. They offer nice optimization, publishing and statistical features.
  4. Bookmark every article at del.icio.us (and other appropriate bookmarking services). That service is also integrated in the publishing workflow of Performancing for Firefox (PFF). As PFF is not giving the option to fill out the del.icio.us ‘notes’
    field it is a good idea to edit that bookmark manually and add some
    excerpt to it! The question came up if linking every article to del.icio.us would be
    aggressive? Remember that you post your article link to your personal
    del.icio.us profile. What can be wrong about that?
  5. Use extensive tagging and keywording inside your articles and on services like del.icio.us. Del.icio.us bookmarking and Technorati tagging is also integrated in the publishing workflow of Performancing for Firefox (PFF). I get pretty much of my traffic through people who are subscribing or
    clicking on certain tags and also some traffic from certain tags in my
    personal profile.
  6. If blogging about another blog or linking to other blogs try to send them a trackback. The trackback URI is normally published in public somewhere on blogs which support it. That service is also integrated in the publishing workflow of Performancing for Firefox (PFF).
  7. Use Flickr for your public photos. Link to the articles in your Flickr descriptions. Again: use extensive tagging and publish to groups and picture competitions!
  8. If using a photo from somebody else (from Flickr or other sources) for one of your articles always ask for permission and after publishing the picture add a comment with a link to your article. It is polite to add the photographer as contact and to make the used picture a personal ‘favorite’.
  9. If linking to somebody always send them an email about your new link and how to find the link. If it fits your niche always ask them to actively inform you by mail if they have something interesting for you to blog about. That way you will build up your network.
  10. Whenever possible you should add a link to a keyword in Wikipedia in every appropriate language.

A more advanced and time consuming practice is to create some secondary blogs and recycle your content there with
links to the original page. This is sometimes very useful because some
hosting services are accepted differently by different search engines.
Especially if you want to reach foreign markets it is good to find a
free blog solution which is hosted in that target area. This paragraph is not on the list above because many of the mentioned methods ARE already secondary blogs even if they don’t look like!

If you have money to spend and you want quick success you might even think about buying traffic for certain keywords and phrases through the Googels AdWords program. This paragraph is not on the list above because in my opinion it needs a lot of experience to get real value for the money.

All this promotion gives you a realistic chance to be picked up early by the SEs and that your blog starts with a nice range of links. On my new ‘local newspaper’ project I made the experience that Google kicked in almost immediately without any sandbox delay.

As a resume of all this writing I draw the conclusion that it is my recommendation is to NOT post articles in a high frequency. Instead invest that time in creating appropriate side kicks!

A last word about productivity with side kicks: Create a checklist for your specific side kick workflow! Every time you are planning to publish an article
open or print that checklist and do it step by step. By developing a routine for all these points the process will accelerate and the results will get better.

Copyright © Markus Merz 2006 – All rights reserved

Keywords / Categories / Technorati Tags: Markus Merz, 2006, website, Blog, blogging, promotion, sidekick, traffic, SEO, del.icio.us, flickr, technorati, workflow, performancing feedburner, pingoat, ping-o-matic

25 thoughts on “10 Tips for More Blog Traffic

  1. Additional only,

    I have another tips to increase your blog traffic, please take alook below :

    1.Write about blogging.

    2.Digest the good ideas of other people, all day, every day.

    3.Invent a whole new kind of art or interaction.

    4.Post on weekdays, because there are more readers.

    5.Write about a never-ending parade of different topics so you don’t bore your readers.

    6.Post on weekends, because there are fewer new posts.

    7.Don’t interrupt your writing with a lot of links.

    8.Dress your blog (fonts and design) as well as you would dress yourself for a meeting with a stranger.

    8.Edit yourself. Ruthlessly.

    9.Don’t promote yourself and your business or your books or your projects at the expense of the reader’s attention.

    10.Be patient.

    11.Give credit to those that inspired, it makes your writing more useful.

    12.Write about only one thing, in ever-deepening detail, so you become definitive.

    13.Write in English or Chinesse.

    14.Write about obscure stuff that appeals to an obsessed minority.

    15.Don’t be boring.

    16.Write stuff that people want to read and share.

    Thank You…

  2. Great Tips! An increase in blog traffic could mean the difference between making money online and being an online failure.

  3. But you got the point that most of those side-kicks do create backlinks which will create awareness which then probably will create the backlinks you are talking about?

    I.e. building a nice profile page on Facebook the way I described it will bring people to your content which will probably link to your articles or bookmark them…

  4. I have to agree that content is very important but you need to know how to get backlinks too and i’m talking about those one way links not reciprocal crap.

  5. Yes content is #1. Definitely. No discussion about that.

    But why not generate different snippets of content at other places as I say to improve the authority of your #1 article for that subject?

    NEW and related: SEO: Reciprocal links are NOT dead

  6. Hi,
    Its a great post.I found it is very interesting and more informative.you have bring all good points.The best way to increase the traffic is make your content rich.Content is the king.Everyone should understand this first.Rich content will automatically drags the good back links and increase the traffic.So Concentrate on your content first.Then proceed to other promotion methods.Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. Side kick of the day (old school 2.0)

    It’s always said and mentioned everywhere: Drop a link to your page wherever you comment or post in a forum.

    In addition, just as a reminder, as new media pages are popping up everywhere.

    1. Post your pictures or media on several of these services (Flickr, Zooomr, 23hq, eefoof, …). If your picture has IPTC metadata and the services import that data then the workload will be minimal.
    2. Create one or multiple groups on these services!
    3. Subscribe to the multiple RSS feeds of your niche by choosing your niche tags and monitor your topic actively … also on these media services!
    4. And here is the old school side kick 2.0: Get yourself a standard signature for all these services and when commenting post a link to your profile on that service and include a link to your website.

    Often said but people don’t do it.

    Tools: To manage the multiple signatures install the Firefox extension Clippings or use some automatic hotkey expander i.e. AutoClip.ahk.

  8. This was great! Thanks for posting it. I can see some of the things I am not doing correctly or taking advantage of!

  9. In an email I received two questions:

    > 1. Should I use Flickr?

    For promotional purposes posting pictures from your Flickr account helps to increase traffic to your site.

    You have to see Flickr as another blog. You link to Flickr and you have to make sure that your Flickr pictures link back to you. If you engage in the Flickr community by comments and taking part in competitive groups you should also have a signature linking back to you.

    Before you start using Flickr you should read the Flickr policies carefully! They don’t want you to use their service as an archive or for serving webpage graphics!

    > 2. For #10 in the list, does it mean to get link from wikipedia website?

    If you cover a Wikipedia subject it would be bad not to be linked from Wikipedia. My example is my site. I am publishing a local newssite about a place in Germany called Hamburg St. Georg. As I am one oft he authorities on that subject I have links pointing to my site on the appropriate pages (Wikipedia, Wikitravel). You have to cover a very targeted niche in a section or category on your page.

    Side kick of the day – promote tag traffic

    If you know that you are (always) on page one with one of the appropriate tags it might also be a good workaround to post i.e. Technorati links which don’t link directly to you!


    Use rel=tag or rel=follow if setting a link somewhere. “rel=tag” is very SEO effective if you use a very short link text like a short keyword sequence. And never ever forget to use the title tag.


    Hamburg Informationen

    Hamburg Informationen

    That’s what I call a double side-kick 🙂

  10. Sorry, for not responding earlier.

    Re: Why having a link in Wikipedia?
    I have made the experience that Wikipedia gets me a very steady stream of targeted visitors. I made the experience when doing a corporate blog (news portal) for a stock photography agency and right now during my work on a local info blog. One guy even sent me an email and gave me (redirected) his domain to mine two days ago because he felt like somebody is taking active care on the subject.

    Re: Recycling content
    Some readers prefer a different design. Some readers prefer a different blogging platform. Some readers find you through the blogging platform search form. Those are the very first and very simple reasons spontaneously coming to my mind. I am absolutely not saying that somebody should create ‘zombie blogs’. For testing purposes I have created a few blogs on different platforms and I am just not going to let them die.

    It should be clear that a photo post on Flickr or creating your own Flickr group in fact is a blog post and creating a group means creating a blog. The same is valid for del.icio.us and Technorati (and other services). The side kick is the additional possibility to link to your main blog(s).

    I forgot Newsvine which is nice possibility to post English articles (posting! not just seeding your links). But I am just starting to get more in depth info about Newsvine.

    Side kick of the day – Networking on the web
    If you are blogging in a certain corporate branch it is a very good idea to become a member of the branch specific networks and/or a more general network. As I said somewhere in a previous comment visiting the specialized fairs and spreading your business cards will tell people that you take that branch serious.

    I am i.e. a premium member of OpenBC which is a very professional general open business network platform/system. There is a free membership available but for a more serious usage a premium has to be paid. Networking in such a closed environment doesn’t bring you much traffic but your profile is exposed to many people and you have the possibility to present yourself and get new contacts (actively or passive). If you want to check out OpenBC here is my anonymous invitation link. It gives you a free trial of the premium service for 31 days. There is a good guided tour in many languages available from that page.

    What networks would you recommend (beside performancing.com)?

  11. That’s what I should have written. While I get some traffic from WP, some of those links were a bit hard-earned. Together with their biases – or at least those on my side of things being less willing to obsessively keep adding the truth back into their biased articles – when I “link” to WP I tend to do it with just a bare, non-HTML link. I’d have a great deal of trouble linking to them on a regular basis with regular links.

  12. You said:

    Whenever possible you should add a link to a keyword in Wikipedia in every appropriate language.

    That should be changed to read “whenever possible you should link to one of the sites in George Manty’s performancing profile”

    Actually, I understand where you are going with that, but why give wikipedia all the link love?

    The idea is that linking to sites that rank high for the keywords you are targeting, helps your search engine ranking. However, that is not always wikipedia (nor should it be). Sometimes wikipedia makes perfect sense to link to, but a lot of the time there are better written, more relevant, more in-depth articles/sites to link to.

    Threadwatch recently had an interesting post on Wikipedia’s reluctance to give out links themselves? I am not so sure I would want to give Wikipedia links, if they are going to stop giving useful links out.

  13. “A more advanced and time consuming practice is to create some secondary blogs and recycle your content there with
    links to the original page.”

    Do you mean that you condone the creation of “Zombie Blogs”. Perhaps you could expand on this issue. I would think that SE’s would be very interested in your talk of this practice.

  14. It’s all common sense and a lot of work 🙂 I wanted to point out the importance of building up a routine to publish your main content on secondary distribution lines what I call ‘side kicks’.

    I have to excuse for some strange line breaks in the article. It seems to be an issue with the PFF alpha I am using. I did not clean the article so that Jed (the poor guy who has to deal with all the PFF issues) can have a look at it.

    I would love to hear about more possibilities to get those side kicks.

    Update: Maybe I should start with an example for another useful side kick web application 🙂

    AirSet – my event calendar

    My new ‘local newspaper’ project very urgently needed some kind of event calendar. So I looked for a good web calendar with some features. I found AirSet (read more … a free Web 2.0 PIM application …) to be pretty good and created a private calendar and a public calendar. The public calendar is published to the public calendar directory (sic) and it also throws out some nice RSS streams which I will integrate in my ‘local newspaper’ in the future. Of course I have been throwing these feeds into Feedburner, Google, Yahoo and MSN. Right now it only runs parallel to my project but I am planning to use it for an event driven opt-in email newsletter.

    More sources and helpful lists for web applications:
    Web2.0-tastic – my office outside the office
    The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005 (web2.wsj2.com)
    More Great Web 2.0 Software (web2.wsj2.com)

  15. I found this to be really useful, Marcus, thank you. I set up a pure link blog on a separate domain to gather links across my own network. One day in I can see from the stats that the problog site I’m currently building is benefiting from this move.

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