Increasing your blog traffic – A how to guide from ‘Crunchy’ herself

I was inspired to write about how to increase your blog traffic after reading a friend’s recent post about navigating social media sites. Since I’m not that schooled in social media sites yet, but I do have experience with growing my traffic through other avenues over the years, I wanted to pass on what has worked for me.

bloggingWithout further ado, here are the Crunchy Domestic Goddess’s tips for attracting more readers to your site. (Edited to add that from the time I initially posted this, I’ve since thought of three more things and added tips 6-8.)

  1. Comment, comment, comment – Seriously. To attract new readers you must first share the love by leaving comments on other blog. It’s fine to lurk sometimes, especially when you just don’t have the time to leave a comment (we’ve all been there), but the thing about commenting is that it lets the other blogger know you’ve been to their blog and that you want to contribute to what they are blogging about. It helpful if the blogs you leave comments on are similar in nature to your own or that you at least share something in common, as like tends to attracts like. They will soon notice that they have a new reader (who leaves them comments – bonus points for you!) and will mosey on over to your blog to see what you are all about, and in many cases, return the comment love. I believe this, by far, is the most important thing to do to attract people to your blog. I try to return comment love when someone comments on my posts, or shoot them an email response, but it doesn’t always happen. Regardless of if it happens every time, it is a goal of mine and I do sincerely appreciate your comments. 🙂
  2. Twitter – A new discovery and obsession of mine. From Wikipedia: Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send “updates” (or “tweets”; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website, via short message service, instant messaging, or a third-party application such as Twitterrific. One of the thing I like about Twitter (other than the ability to mass spam your address book of course) is that you can see who your “followers” have in their lists and then start following them, and your list continues to grow and grow, exposing you to new blogs and potentially exposing them to yours. It’s instant feedback and interaction and just plain fun!
  3. Blog carnivals – A blog carnival is when several people all post about a similar topic on the same day and often link back to other participants in the carnival or the host of the carnival posts the links to all participants. These are a lot of fun and a great way to meet bloggers with similar interests as you. A few of my favorites are Best Shot Monday, Wordless Wednesday, the Motherwear Carnival of Breastfeeding and now Haiku Friday. Some others I’ve seen are Works for me Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, and Make It From Scratch. I’m on the lookout for a good environmental/green carnival too. Anyone have any suggestions?
  4. Giveaways – Consider participating in the Bloggy Giveaways that Shannon from Rocks in my Dryer hosts every few months. It’s a great way to attract a lot of people to your blog in a short amount of time. Chances are some of them will like what they see on your blog and return.
    I also like to periodically hold my own giveaways generally by way of reviewing a product and then offering it or something similar up in a giveaway. Sometimes I ask that people link back to my blog which helps increase my traffic and boosts my Technorati Authority and Google Page Rank. Other times I make it optional. Check your Google page rank or learn more about claiming your blog and finding your authority on Technorati.
  5. Social networking/media sites – Social networking sites are another good way to get your blog “out there” and, again, meet more bloggers. 🙂 Some that I like are BlogHer, Maya’s Mom, and Cre8Buzz, and there are many others out there to choose from.
    Then there are sites like Digg, del.icio.us, Reddit, StumbleUpon, sk*rt, Slashdot and others. The premise here is someone submits a post that they like, then others on those sites can vote for it, increasing it’s popularity. If your post gets enough votes, it could end up on the front page of the site, sending your traffic through the roof and, ironically, often crashing your blog (known as the “Digg or Slashdot effect”)! I haven’t ventured into these sites much yet myself, though I did have hubby Jody help me put the sk*rt button at the bottom of my posts. I have, however, seen my traffic grow as a result of a cool blogger posting one of my blog posts on Stumble Upon. She stumbled Julian’s birth story and my traffic took a big jump for a few days.
  6. Signature – Add a link to your blog in your signature on any message boards you may post on. This gets links to your blog “out there” and will invariably attract people curious to see what you are all about. While I don’t do this on all of the message boards I post on, I do do it on a few. Note: if you don’t want certain people knowing about your blog, then it’s best not to post it wherever you interact with them online.
  7. Post regularly – I think people are more likely to return to a blog if they know it’s going to have new content at least a few times a week. (I’m amending this to clarify that quality matters over quantity. Thank you, Dawn and Jenni for mentioning that. Though I still believe it’s important to post regularly.) On the flip side, I do think you can overdo it. The temptation to post everything all at once can be great, especially when you have a lot of things you want to blog about, but I think it’s best to space out posts to roughly one per day. Personally in the past I’ve been turned off by blogs that update several times a day (which is what I’m doing today – LOL). It just gets too hard to keep up with them then.
  8. Link to others – If another blogger wrote about something that inspired your post, link back to them. Everybody appreciates a little linky love.

Whew! So there you have it. If you really want to grow your blog I believe you must put forth some effort other than just writing amazing posts. It takes time and energy, but you will soon reap the benefits of your labor, and meet some great people along the way!

Happy blogging! 🙂

Oh, and if you’d like to share things that have worked for you, I encourage you to add them in the comments. Thanks. 🙂

*Cartoon from Base10

61 thoughts on “Increasing your blog traffic – A how to guide from ‘Crunchy’ herself”

  1. all totally true. It really goes without saying to add “quality content” is a must, but what the heck, I’ll toss it out. 🙂

    (which is part of why blogs with multiple posts a day are rough to keep up with – it’s hard to be quality with quantity that high)

  2. thanks for all of that. very helpful. i am still confused as to what all of this is and how they are different:

    Then there is Digg, del.icio.us, Reddit, StumbleUpon, sk*rt and others.

    do you have another post somewhere that explains all of it??

  3. good list…i second the carnivals – not only do they drive traffic but i really start to feel like i’m part of a regular community – a playgroup!? although the traffic is good, i also blog for the personal connections and i really enjoy making friends!:-)

  4. Thanks so much for this post- it is great. I may try some of the carnivals and bloggy giveaways in the near future. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us all. 🙂

  5. Good post, but I second Dawn’s comment. I am more likely to return to a blog with good content than I am to a blog with many daily posts which are inane.

  6. You know, this was the perfect thing for me to see today. I was popping over to see what was new and you posted on just the thing I was wondering about.

    Thanks!

    Now, how do I join the breastfeeding carnival? : )

  7. lots of good points! I agree I tend to revisit places that have quality content. twitter is a good place for the daily burbly stuff, but blogs are good for more meaty stuff …er.. apologies to vegetarians 😉

  8. Great advice…and i adore your site. I often send quotes of yours via email along with the link to your page to my friends and family! My doula site at JulianArts.com isn’t nearly as good or as informative…but i am working on it and hope to become “insanely useful” as WriteToDone.com says!

    Keep up the great work and keep being so darn clever!

  9. Thanks for a great post!
    I’d like to add one more… Facebook. You can add your RSS feed there, it has a blog friends application and it’s a greta place to network, and get readers for your blog. And not just readers, but content too – I blog about my Facebook friends now 🙂

  10. Thank you so much for these valuable tips! When you start bloggng, obviously you want to be read, not just vent over the keyboard to no one. My humble blog is vry simple but even though I’d love to get more traffic (for all the reasons… i’s great to meet new people, i’s intersting to get a new view to your thoughts, etc). So I’ll start following your tips… Now I have to know what’s this Twitter about! Kisses from Nydia.

  11. Eco-friendly blog carnivals…well, I recently read somebodys post with a dozen ideas of things to do to reduce your carbon footprint…that inspired me to write a similar post. Perhaps you could start something like “Save the world saturday” where everybody posts one thing they will do in the coming week to help save their little corner of the world! The following saturday they would check in with how they did, and maybe commit to something for the next week.

  12. Thanks for your post, which I gladly discovered through momgrind’s silly(ish) blog promo post. As a brand new blogger, it was heartening to find that I’m already doing some of the things you mentioned, albeit s-l-o-w-l-y. Gotta put the baby first!

    Another thought that I’ve had, though it relates only tangentially to blog promotion, is defining your mission — which I noticed you’ve done nicely in your tagline! I’ve realized that now that I’ve experimented with a few posts I really need to write a mission, so that I have something to keep me going as well as to help me define my content. Not just a “to blog about x” mission, but a “I want to accomplish this for the greater good” kind of mission. I think it’s that kind of approach that will really keep my efforts at blogging and promotion on track during the “darker moments with my self” as it were. (Try 2am in bed after nursing and can’t fall asleep!)

    Thanks again!

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