10 Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Blog, and why they won't work for you
Funny Cat Photo Sure to Bring More Traffic
Courtesy of theChive
So I've been running this blog for two weeks and I haven't gotten the 324k views I was expecting. This is a total bummer, and makes me feel like a total failure. Oh, you've been there? Well, cool. At least I'm not alone. Start following me (and I'll follow you back, I promise). This less than stellar launch has lead me to waste countless hours doing research into "How to get more traffic" (this is a legit link with some really good ideas if you are actually looking to gain some helpful insight). This has lead me to come up with MY top ten list of things to do to get more traffic to your blog, and why they won't work for you. This list is in no particular order, because I just don't care that much):
1) Social Network
Why It Won't Work For You: Assumes you already have people in your life who love you and are interested in your current and future well being. If you, like me are like the unpopular kid with snot on their shirt, then you're out of luck with the hipster social network crowd.
2) Use Stumbleupon
Why It Won't Work For You: Assumes you already have a billion people following your blog. Seriously, the only blogs that show up when you "stumble" are blogs from fortune 500 companies or people who have invested years and years of salary (gained at a real job) in getting their blogs "seen". You don't stumble across anything here, you land face-first in a giant, well-financed, pile of main-stream-esque media poo.
3) Post on Forums
Why It Won't Work For You: People on forums are just as self-involved and narcissistic as you are. They are not there to help, make friends, share insights, or be useful. They are there for the same reason you are: to get other people to look at their blog. They don't give a shit about you, and won't bother to click your signature link. And you won't bother with theirs either. Trust me.
4) Post Meaningful Comments On Other Blogs
Why It Won't Work For You: The person writing the blog may get a quick "oohh, that felt good" from it, but chances are, they have a zillion other comments from people who are following their blog, so they don't need you to feel good. Much like posting in forums (or blogging at all, for that matter), no one cares about what you have to say and won't click your signature link even if you remember to put it in your comment. And most are no-follow links anyway, so it won't even help trick google into thinking you're more popular than you really are.
5) Guest Blogging
Why It Won't Work For You: As I have said, time and time again, no one cares what you have to say. That is why no one is reading your blog. Why the hell would someone who is at least moderately successful let you sully their blog with your stink of failure?
6) Create a "Best Of" List
Why It Won't Work For You: You create a list of the "Top 10" blogs in your niche, and expect the traffic to come rolling in because, just like you, bloggers in that niche are doing the same thing you are: doing competition research. Or, you somehow get a gaggle of readers who are interested in the niche looking for new blogs. Why this won't work: 1) you can't include your blog with good conscience unless you really are one of the best (which you're not), and 2) the blogs included in your list see you as a floater in their gold-lined in-ground swimming pool. They are unlikely to acknowledge your saying they are on your obscure top ten list. Who are you, anyway?
7) Write For An Audience Likely to Share
Why It Won't Work For You: I was always told to write about what you love, or hate. Not to write about what others love or hate. If I did the latter, I would be a cat photographer and write a blog about all the crazy things that cats do; posting photos of cats in hats, cats dancing on the table, cats in costumes... and it wouldn't be too long before my blog would go static due to my violent suicide. What good is having a bazillion people following your blog if your blog makes you want to drink bleach? My "audience" (all three of you, whom I live for... thank you for not making me drink bleach!!!) are people unlikely to share because they don't even have time to shower, let alone "share" nonsense they find on the internet. But I love you anyway.
8) Make Your Content SEO Friendly
Why It Won't Work For You: No one is searching 'How to clean poop out of the dryer" or "Why my grandma smells like vinegar". But these maybe the random craziness that makes up your life, and thus you want to shout it to the world. You can litter your post with "How to clean poop out of the dryer" links but if no one is googling it, no one will find you. And people are looking for shit you just don't care about: Kim Lardashian (not a typo), How to Lose 30 lbs in 5 days, Binders Full of Women, Prostate Cancer, Bike Repair, etc. So unless your target audience is searching for "How to give a cat a bath", SEO the crap out of your blog and no one will know the difference.
9) Use Graphics
Why It Won't Work For You: Graphics actually do bring in traffic. On my other blog (a wedding industry blog for work) I get a lot of traffic from the graphics I include, but so what? These people are googling something like "Red and Purple Wedding", they look at images and a post I wrote 12 years ago with an inspiration board pops up. They click. Go to my Blog. See the full size graphic, and leave. They got the eye candy they were looking for. That leads me to porn. Unless your blog is about porn, graphics are not going to keep people coming back. Or cats. Photos of cats seem to work too.
10) Enable Subscriptions via Feed and Email
Why It Won't Work For You: How many blogs do you follow religiously? Now just think, 1/116th of that number are likely to follow you religiously. There are a lot of blogs I really like, and a lot of individual blog posts that I think are great, but I sadly don't 'follow' most of them. I am overwhelmed as it is by the sheer magnitude of cool stuff out there I wish I had time to focus on. But sadly, I spend a majority of my time at my full-time job (being a mom), being self-absorbed (i.e. trying to get this blog off the ground), and the other 15 minutes are spent in the bathroom. Now what makes you so special that you think you will be able to steal minutes from my precious potty time? I guess I could multi-task, but that is just gross.
So in the end, write your little heart out about what you love. Just like the kids who played magic cards in high school, your crowd will eventually find you. And if they don't, you can't blame me for not warning you.
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