I’ve started and (rather) successfully managed around 7 blogs until now. Each attempt has been a bit more successful than the previous one, each building on the shoulders of its predecessors. So, since nothing beats a little bulleted list, here they are – top ways to bring traffic to your freshly launched blog:
- Step 1 – Write content with nice titles
Obviously, your blog needs content that visitors can read. No one will come just to see the default first post from WordPress, isn’t it?
- Step 2 – Submit your blog to Google and optimize for it
Google finds your blog only if there are some other websites that link to it. So you should start building links that point towards your blog. A simple way is to bookmark it into del.icio.us, for instance, or add it in the signature and your profile on other social websites. One more complex but more efficient way is to create a Google Webmaster account and submit your blog there for indexing. Having nice titles in the articles, and having your blog optimized for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a guaranteed source of traffic, once your blog gets several months of age. Depending on the subject, Google could bring you up to 99% of your blog traffic.
- Step 3 – Comment on existing blogs or forum threads
Once the previous steps are done, you should start getting some real readers – go comment on your favorite blogs. Most blogs allow comments to mention their website/blog, so you should mention yours. Beware, though – you don’t want to leave lame or spam comments. Try to add something to the conversation instead. Still, most times a simple “nice article, I learned a lot from it” will do.
- Step 4 – Try bringing in THE SOCIAL CROWDS
The previous steps have been little peas. If you want to be a successful blogger, you need much more than that. You need thousands of visitors and hundreds of incoming links. Nothing beats social bookmarking websites to it. First, you need to write some cool articles (such as this one), then submit them to reddit.com, digg.com, stumbleupon.com or other similar websites. If enough people find your article appealing, they will vote it up, which means more people will see it and (hopefully) will vote it up. Etc. You get the point, it’s a cascading process. A hard one, but if it works at least once, your road to success is cleared. The problem with the above mentioned websites is that getting on the first page is extremely hard, as you need lots of votes. So, instead, you can focus on smaller, more regional social bookmarking websites. For instance, for one of my blogs in French, I only submitted my articles to the French digg clone, scoopeo.com. I only needed 15 votes to get to the first page, which in return brought me like one thousand visitors.
- Step 5 – Trackbacks
If you have a smart blogging engine (wordpress will do), whenever you link to an existing article somewhere else, a trackback is created- in most cases, this means a link towards your article will appear among the other article’s comments. What this means is that, when you link to famous bloggers, they will automatically link towards you. People will come.
- Step 6 – Submit your blog to directories
Blog directories suck, in most times. They are like unofficial “blog tops” that only bloggers look at. There are other directories that can bring you interesting and relevant traffic. For instance, as a Ruby on Rails programmer, I added a links to my profile(this blog) on the official Ruby on Rails wiki – the page about freelance programmers. While this doesn’t bring me a lot of traffic, the people that come here from there are like-minded professionals with interesting offers. I actually got my current job this way.
- Step 7 – Write extraordinary pieces(link baits)
This is obvious, but still. An extraordinary piece has the chance to make it onto Digg’s first page, and be linked-to by other famous blogs. This is the case of my current blog project, which had a spectacular growth the last week, all thanks to great articles, Digg and other blogs.
- Step 8 – Ask your friends to write about you
Your blogger friends can occasionally link to you if they like you. Or add your link in their blogroll, etc. This is how my personal blog has its traffic – not because of great articles, nor because of social crowds, but because it’s liked by other bloggers.
Well.. that’s about it. Basically, with enough perseverance and enough blogging talent and a couple of friends, you can easily get a medium-traffic blog. From there to greatness, though, the path is hard – I’m still learning