Driving traffic to your blog – what works?

Over the past four weeks I have been testing out how to drive traffic to my blog. There are so many articles out there telling you how to increase the traffic, but I wanted to see what really worked online, so I tried the following:

  • Submitted the URL to search engines and blog search (Technorati, Icerocket, etc)
  • Submitted the URL to StumbleUpon
  • Subscribed to Traffic Generator websites
  • Updated Facebook, LinkedIn and messegner status with URL
  • Commented on other peoples blogs (usually high trafficked)
  • Commented on Election 2008 Twitter site
  • Joined so many different social networks (Tumblr, MeeID, Popengo, etc)
  • Added an RSS feed to the blog (Thanks Scott for your help)
  • Networked and communicated with bloggers
  • Thanked anyone who commented on my site (that I didn’t know)

So what worked?

Here is the blog stats for this blog daily over the last 4 weeks and then weekly since I started.

My blog  - daily traffic as at 28 September 2008

My blog - daily traffic as at 28 September 2008

My blog  - weekly traffic as at 28 September 2008

My blog - weekly traffic as at 28 September 2008

The key drivers of traffic have been internal emails, status updates on my profiles and press. The other activities have helped spike traffic for the day and keep it higher than the initial levels, but this shows, like all campaign sites, there needs to be a level of focus and attention paid to driving traffic. If you just leave the site/blog to find it’s own traffic, it doesn’t happen. It is hard work, but maintaining sites is so important.

LEARNINGS

Throughout this process, here are the top five learnings:

  1. StumbleUpon – Constantly delivers around 20 people to the blog a day.
  2. Comments – High profiled and trafficked sites are a great place to start getting involved and making sure your presence is noticed.
  3. Search – A key drive of traffic, but most keywords have been around my name ‘Dominique Hind’.
  4. WOM – Leverage your own networks. Most people have a range of social networks they are members of – update you status to include your URL, send an email to your network, profile it in your website, etc.
  5. Dialogue – get involved with people who are visiting your site, include them on your blogroll, email them and utilise their networks.
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8 Responses to Driving traffic to your blog – what works?

  1. writingiswriting says:

    My (other) site is on Stumbleupon, but it doesn’t get any traffic. It’s been recc’ed by the person who discovered it and me 🙂 in there. What do you suggest I do to get some Stumble love?

  2. I think that with StumbleUpon, like Digg, you either get lucky with something that grabs a little slice of zeitgeist, courts controversy, is a genuine scoop, etc., or you construct your own little network to push your content out there. So it’s a combination of network and quality content – ideally a goodly amount of quality content.

    But, the 300lb gorilla in traffic acquisition is search. In Australia Google has about 90% of search engine usage, a higher level than most countries, so getting your blog/site Google-happy is paramount. Treading that line between writing for both SEO and the reader. But if traffic is the goal, SEO has to be what leads your efforts. Getting the keywords you want to target early in the title and content summary (or what appears in the article’s meta content tags) , and being sure to get the keywords in the body of the content.

  3. Mark Baartse says:

    Here’s a good post from the Grok legends about how to get blog traffic. It’s not good news – quantity trumps quality. I’ll take your quality over 99% of the quantity blogs any day.

    http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/09/25/the-more-you-post-the-better-you-rank/

  4. Yes, but scanning that list of top 100 bloggers, there’s more than a few ‘uber blogs’ comprising that list – lots of writers on staff,so it’s to be expected that they are putting up a high number of daily posts.

    Not only are they high in staff, they’re high in backlinks, so they all have a very high Page Rank. High Page rank = good search traffic.

    I think quality has it place, and non-uber blogs can still do well – and grow – looking to the basics, making the most of networking and paying strong attention to SEO.

  5. Pingback: Watching the Detectives, it’s so Cute! | Developing OTFA

  6. Pingback: Traffic driver with results - commenting on posts « Dominique Hind’s Collective

  7. Pingback: What’s working on my blog? Stats update « Dominique Hind’s Collective

  8. boyofbow13 says:

    On WordPress it is quite easy when you write the title of your blog. Click edit and change words like a, and, the, as, etc for words that will get hits being sexist words like underwear, stockings,etc. if you want hits only from people with same interest as blog use words that they would search for. this practice does not alter what your title looks like. Alistair

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