Getting hits on your blog is not easy, but if you get it right it is very satisfying and rewarding to know people regularly pass by and visit your own blog. Here are some tips to get those hits and i get things there is no reason why you cannot become one of the best bloggers around.
1. Blog Topic
The topic of your blog is really important. When you want lots of hits you need to consider where you are going to find the readers. If you are writing about the cracks in your walls, you need to know where to find the people who like to read about it! Otherwise you are doomed.
2. Search Engine Friendliness
You must flirt with Google like a fine looking female at the dance.
As much as we hope for a regular readership finding your blog on authority sites is where many of your readers will come from. Google is the Internet, you just need to accept it. It is every Political bloggers dream to be at the top of the list when someone types in “Politics Blog” into Google. If someone types in “Random political blog from some unknown wannabe in the North East of England” I want my blog to come up. If someone is searching for what you write about it is a good idea for them to visit your site. Clever trickery to boost your search engine rankings are the key, but you must play the tune or your blog hits will suffer. Rightly or wrongly Google does have that level of influence now where sites must cater to their needs.
To do this you write your keywords into the post, no more than 2% of the words. My blogs keywords are things like “Labour, Politics, Political blog” and so on. The following phrase would be a bad example. ‘This post is designed to help bloggers get more hits’. It is better to tweak the wording slightly and be more targeted. Hence… ‘This posting is designed for anyone asking the question, “How do I get hits to my blog?” ‘ The search engines match the exact phrase with the search term and that gets you higher in the rankings and when people see the post match’s what they are looking for, they read your post, magic!
Note that Google are constantly changing their algorithms over what is important to their index of search engine ranking placement. By all accounts, and their own admission, they use very complex combinations of factors to find relevancy in pages.
My probably flawed attempt to simplify the Google algorithm would be that basically the more hits you get, the more relevant your pages are and the more back links you have makes Google believe your page is an authority on the keywords you are using. Google then looks to offer the page as an answer to whatever query you match. It believes your page is better to solve the need of the searcher. You then get more hits.
If you do nothing else but drop in the main keywords into the titles of your posts, which are extremely important, and in the main text body of your page then you are halfway there. Bare in mind major companies employ search engine consultants to maximise this sort of thing so just do your best here.
3. Communicate with other Bloggers
This is my first rant. I have found that on the whole most political bloggers do not link to me easily. I chose a selection of links that you can find on the right that I actually read rather than just spewing random links all over the place. Many of the blogs I have read particularly in the Political sphere have tons of links. A link in there to your blog is good but generally lost in the volume. But it is still a good idea to contact all of the blogs and ask for a link. I must mention that some of the blogs I contacted were excellent and linked to me straight away. Around 20%. So, like sales, this is a numbers game.
You should canvass for link probably after your blog has been actively updated for 10weeks or so. Hopefully the incoming blogger, who no doubt will have an inflated sense of ego because they are “established”, will want to see you are a reasonable blog before linking. To be fair to the established blogs a lot of blogs come and go. You need to show you are sticking around for the long haul. Should they decide they will return to your blog, they will most likely place a link to you on their blog. Some bloggers will even make a small mention of your blog in their posts which encourage viewers to click through. You should write a small post on your blog thanking them if this happens, this can solidify the abstract relationship and make the linking friend more positive towards you.
I have found a general aloofness in people when discussing links. Some are very protective over their status when linking to someone else when to it really makes no difference to their blog. I start off by linking to everyone but over time I remove links that either ignore my email, or only have the Industry set of links on their site. New bloggers should be encouraged and a link costs nothing. Oh, and never pay for a link unless you have a commercial reason for doing so.
A simple email asking for a link with your display name and url should be enough. Offering reciprocal links will not help you to begin with. Most blogs you want to share with are far more established and they will know their link to you is far more valuable to you than vice versa. Better to say “I have already linked to you and would like you to consider linking to me if my blog fits your criteria”.
You can always remove the link at a later date if you do not get a satisfactory response. If your blog goes nuclear and becomes one of “the” blogs to read in your niche then links will appear everywhere anyway, so do not worry if bloggers are cool with you to start with. You might also be a little reluctant when contacted regularly by new bloggers seeking to get established.
4. Blog Directories
There are tons of blog directories that you can add your site to and doing so is a good idea. I am unsure just how effective they are but you can certainly do worse than have your link in there as the search engines notice the link to you. I am always concerned that everyone adds their link assuming others search the directory site, but many will simply add their link and carry on with other things. If you do post your link, using the brute force approach helps. Add your site to Technorati, Bloggerama, and most importantly any niche specific directories that your blog would get great coverage appearing in.
You can get a lot of new readers from something like this and often the thing that sends your blog to the 100 – 500 views a day page is a ringing endorsement from an award site or major blog of authority. If it was really easy every blog would have a ton of visitors, and they do not but as I will say many times, over time you will get noticed.
5. Write Interesting Posts
Sorry, but you must take care to construct good and interesting posts that engage the reader. I prefer a combination of short quick posts to longer more thought out postings. In terms of regularity, I think one post everyday should be enough, or one every three days. Readers will not mind if you post even once a week if the quality is good enough, however having a daily readership expecting daily updates and then blogging once a week suddenly lets down the quality of the blog.
Decide a post frequency from day one dependent on what you can legitimately (be realistic) write and then stick to it. Readers visit your blog because they want to see what you are writing, do not give them a reason to not revisit again. Many blogs start off with a bang then fade to nothing, this infuriates readers. If you want their regular hits you must do your bit.
Avoid starting posts with “Sorry I have not posted for a while”. The date of your previous post will be enough and this highlights to a new visitor that in all likelihood you will not be returning for a while. Many blogs fall by the wayside, a classic sign of this happening is the posts starting with excuses. A blog should be something you enjoy doing, if it becomes a chore then the point of doing it is lost. If you feel you cannot write as much as you would like, why not ask for a contribution by someone you know who might make your blog great. Some of the best blogs in the world have more than one writer and three writers writing across the week will mean regular updates.
Keep posting, and keep doing all of the above. Every little helps. If it is good enough for Tesco who make millions everyday it is good enough for me!
Over time your blog becomes an authority because your readers learn to trust that you are going to stick around for the long haul. This makes you look more professional. Having a well established blog over time also lends itself nicely to the search engines appreciating you as well. As time passes more and more of your posts will be indexed and you will find that other bloggers, directories and other links happily find their place in the search engines. This helps your blog get established as a site that has been around for some time. It can take up to six months to be indexed fully by a search engine and climbing the ladder within your keywords so patience is a massive part of blog success.
You gain new readers over time and increase your readership. Humans are creatures of habit, give them what they like reliably and they will come back and keep coming back.
Twitter allows you to post updates about you or your blog. The world has gone twitter crazy. You can use a blogspot application or WordPress plug-in that grabs your tweets and place them on your site via a feed. Use Twitterment to find other Twitter uses in my niche and use Tinyurl.com to shorten your posts permalinks. I run another site and get a ton of hits from twitter. People love tweeting so engage in conversations. I write short introductions to my posts then encourage a click through using phrases designed to build interest from my readers.
For example, I might tweet “Read about my views on youth employment, I might get banned for this… ” I obviously add the link as well.
Twitterment is a search engine of Twitter so finding people tweeting about what you are blogging about are great people to follow and pitch your blog to. In theory many of them will be very interested in what you have to say.
Do not be all business in your tweets. Use twitter to say what you are up to in life too. Stephen Fry has almost one million followers because he is cultured and says intelligent witty things in his tweets. If you are engaging with words and use the right ones Twitter can get you plenty of hits for your blog. Announce anything from posts, a special offer (if you sell something) a blog re-design or a funny video you have posted.
People like to watch video. If you have the equipment and the inclination to use video then share it on YouTube and embed the code into your website. This will encourage viewers, providing the video is reasonable. Edit it slightly but do not go too far as part of YouTubes allure is the basic but useful video you can watch. If you are a bird watcher, a weekly collection of your clips would go down well. If you are a football blogger, a weekly discussion with a friend on the latest news like the TV show The Sunday Supplement would get viewers.
You will need a thick skin as viewers do not hold back with comments, but a critical viewer is still a viewer and even though some comments are cutting people generally watch video because they like it, despite what they say. Criticism is an attempt to engage so comment back and discuss.
The key concept for your blog is to embed your video into your blog AND integrate the link to your blog into the video. This encourages blog viewers to view the video and people finding the video first at YouTube to then visit your blog. If they like the video they will probably like the blog so encourage back and forth visitors.
Some blogs just get hits. Others struggle, but over time it gets easier I’m told. I believe you can do it if you are dedicated over a long time things do tend to work out. Patience, application, a thick skin and perseverance are the key to getting 1 million hits.