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When you are a newer blogger one of the riddles you struggle to overcome is how to drive traffic to your page. You will see hundreds if not thousands of articles on how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the best way to drive organic traffic to your site. Which is absolutely true, however SEO is a long game. Even if your SEO strategy is absolutely perfect, as a new site it can take many months to make it to the first page in search results for your niche. So where do you get your views? Easy, other bloggers.
Blogging is a community in its own right. There are 409 million blogs listed on Tumblr alone. There are 30.6 million active bloggers in the U.S. right now, according to statista.com, and interacting with as many as you can will drive traffic for the first few months.
We are all trying to be successful and make a living from our blogs. It isn’t a contest, teamwork makes the dream work. It may feel like you are competing against other bloggers but I promise you, that isn’t the way it works. Interacting with other bloggers helps you garner a following, and that following will spread your name, and talk up your site. If you work for it.
Visit other blogs.
Visiting and viewing other blogs is a good practice to maintain. It helps you stay up to date on trends in the community, and can supply you with ideas for new posts. Never steal another bloggers content, but it is perfectly ok to write about the something you saw on someone else’s site in your own words and style. You should visit a few blogs within your niche every week, and leave comments. Not just hello, or The Ragged Writer was here, but things that add value to the original post, or personal insights you may have about the content. Some sites even allow you to link your own blog in your comment. Which may attract a few visitors.
Reply to comments on your own site.
If you visit and comment on other blogs, people will begin to return the favor, and you should reply to every comment left on your page. If you engage and interact with your visitors they will continue to return week after week. The comment section should read more like a conversation, then just a list of individual remarks at the bottom of the page. I know what you’re thinking. If you have perused this site then you know that replying to comments is not one of my strong suites. And you want to know if I didn’t do it, then why should you. Well, it’s because I didn’t, that I know how important it is. I know that people that used to come to my page every week stopped coming because they felt insignificant or ignored. You may even begin to build professional relationships or friendships with people that have already been through what you a going through, and their experience and advice will prove to be incredibly valuable.
Subscribe to informative blogs in your niche.
If you find blogs that are full of great content, informative, up to date, and pertinent to the industries you write about than following them should be a no brainer. Subscribe to their newsletter. Sign up for email notifications of new posts. It is extremely important to stay current and informed in your niche. You may not be the first to know, but you should never be the last. If someone seems to have the inside track, than get in line directly behind them. Besides, people tend to reciprocate. If you are following and subscribing to bloggers in your niche, then a percentage of them will follow or subscribe to your site also.
Share on social media.
Join blogging Facebook Groups and post your work when allowed by each individual group’s rules. Post on Twitter and Pinterest also. You can acquire reasonable views by “selling” your work, but you will fare much better by being part of the community. Share your posts to social media, but share posts from other bloggers as much if not more than your own. Spamming your content to the same 100 twitter followers over and over will not get you any more readers. But, if you catch the attention of, and impress 10 bloggers who share your work with their 100 followers, then you’ve just received a big boost to your page views. When you share someone else’s work, be sure to leave them a comment telling them. It lets them know someone appreciates their work enough to introduce it to their network. People will generally reciprocate by visiting your site, and if they like your work they may share it as well.
Eye catching headlines.
It is important to get your work in front of as many eyes as possible because only a percentage of people who see your post will actually take the time to read it. For example, if all 1000 people in the paragraph above actually see your post only 80% will take the time to actually read the headline (CopyBlogger). Of that 800 people only up to 20% will read the post. Whether it’s 1% or 20% depends on your headline. If you title your new post “My New Post” then only the insanely curious will click through. However, if it’s titled “20 Reasons this Article is so Genius that the only Title I Could come Up With Was ‘My New Post’” then I’m going to read it to find out if it is in fact genus, or as cluttered and rambling as the title. It doesn’t actually matter why I would open it, only that I would because of the headline.
Building and maintaining reputation.
Be the authority in your writing. You don’t have to be The Expert, but you should know what you are talking about. That doesn’t mean you can only write about things you have done for a living, just make sure you research your topics thoroughly, and site your sources. Do not state facts without being able to back them up, or at least stating how you got that information. You don’t have to link every source, but you should always site it.
If you are writing about your own experiences try to be as open and honest as possible. Everyone understands that there are things you don’t want to share with the world, but you have to share enough to form a connection with your readers. And for god’s sake don’t make big bullshit claims. Don’t tell people you can teach them how to get 1000 page views a week, when you wrote a post last week about this being your first site and it’s only a month old. If your readers trust you, they will keep coming back. If they don’t, they will make it known.
Many sites accept guest posts. Guest posting is writing content for an existing blog other than your own. Generally doing so will cumulate links back to your site or Backlinks. Backlinks are the primary form of off page SEO. Basically if your site is linked to a reputable site, than google believes you must also have a reputable site, therefore ranking you higher in searches. You are judged by the company you keep. If you have a lot of good friends, you must be a good person, or in this case a good website. This is why your reputation is so important. When someone offers you a backlink they are putting their name at risk for your benefit. If they feel like they can’t trust you, than they will not take the risk. On top of backlinks, guest blogging also offers exposure to a new group of readers that you may not have been able to reach otherwise. Essentially, guest blogging is extremely beneficial in both short and long term returns.
The biggest tip I can give to anyone starting a blog or thinking about starting a blog, is Be Part of the Community. Interact with other bloggers, be it through Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, or actual blogging communities. Don’t just drop links to your posts in your groups and run off. I spend the majority of one day a week, usually Friday, reading the blogs that are linked in the groups I belong to or follow through email, and commenting on them or sharing them on social media. You don’t have to read everything. It is perfectly ok to stick to your interests. A single guy who lives alone doesn’t have to read 10 mommy blogs a week just to prove he is part of the group. Just understand that if you write primarily about video games, mommy bloggers may not be reading your work either. That is the truly amazing thing about blogging. There is literally something out there for everyone.
However the thing you need to realize is, quality content is incredibly important. Probably the most important. You can do everything else perfectly, but if you don’t put the time and effort into your writing, you won’t get anywhere. No one will attach their name to your work, by sharing or linking it, if it is full of typos or misinformation.
Write well, be a valuable member of the community, and traffic to your page will take care of itself for the first few months. You may even come away with a few lifelong followers.