Since I am a bit brain-dead today due to boarding 4 dogs (one being an incredibly cute 7 week old puppy that has to go out to potty every 20 minutes on the nose) and having the kids home from school over the past two days - I am going to do a really straight foward, totally non-witty, hope you get some good from this, type of post.
One of the biggest questions I see in Blog Land is "How do you increase your readership?" I was asking myself this very question two months ago. I decided to really give Monetizing my blog a good shot, and the only way to make this work is by vastly expanding who visits my insane ramblings each day.
This is not such a hard feat if you have a website devoted to one thing or another. If you are selling something, a marketing wiz, or something that has succeeded in making serious cash blogging - then people will search for you. If you're like me, and most bloggers, you're a little random. I blog about life, kids, work, dogs, politics, news, fitness, health... whew! Where's the market for THAT blog, hu?
If you're a fellow Mommy Blogger and are looking for a way to get more people to regularly visit, then get ready for some linky love. Here are some of my new favorite websites to help drastically increase your page hits, visits, and regular readers quickly.
1. Blog Carnival - Joining up with blog carnivals are a great way to get more people to come and visit. I've actually found some REALLY amazing blogs that I now follow by searching for specific topics that interest me via Blog Carnival. Make sure to pay special attention to when the next addition is about to launch before you submit any posts to blog carnivals. If it's blank.. skip it and find another carnival that's being updated more regularly. Submitting great writing to a dead carnival does nothing for you.
2. 5 Minutes 4 Moms - Whether you're a business blogger or a mommy blogger, you will almost definitely benefit from this site. I've only been there for a couple of weeks but LOVE it. Great source of friendship, fellow bloggers, and people that have succeeded and are more than willing to give tips. Also found a couple of awesome blogs that I now follow here.
3. Blog Frog - super cool site. Lots of great bloggers that you can link up with. When you comment on someone's blog that has blogfrog, it will also link your website on their mainpage.. it can really boost your readership.
4. Link Referral - Just started this.. totally didn't believe it would work - IT DOES. 100% free. You can choose to upgrade and pay to increase your ratings on their website, and that in turn gets more people to read your blog, but I've not done that and have had about 10-20 people a day visit from Link Referral. The more you do on their site (RE: visiting other people's websites and rating them) the more your ratings increase. The more they increase, the more people you'll see. Truly, started seeing results from this on day 1.
5. Search Engine Optimize - SEO is all the rage in the writing world. If you can't write an article that naturally flows and is packed with words that Google, Yahoo, and all of those other search engines seek out every minute of every day - you'll never get work. Why? Publishers that head up online publications need people to find them. Especially if they're an up and coming company. Same holds true for your blog.
You may write the most beautiful, funny, or informative post - and it won't matter a bit if people can't read it. The basis of SEO is simple. Ask yourself, "How would I search for this topic on a search engine?"
Sometimes simply creating a great SEO title for your posts is all it takes. It works for me! I typically avoid witty, cute, or artistic titles to my posts for this very reason. I want more people to read it - so I try to make it easy to find. According to my stats, tons of folks are finding me on Google - so it does work! Give it a try!
6. Build Relationships with Bloggers - Visiting other people's blogs is great, but if you never give them any comment love, a relationship simply won't develop. A very simple way to increase your blog traffic is to find blogs you honestly enjoy, and comment away. Their readers will notice your remarks, and well written comments often lead to well written blogs. (I've found some of my favorite bloggers via their comments on my blog or on blogs I visit.) One rule - never comment and expect something in return. It will just lead to frustration and burn-out. Hence the part about finding a blog you actually REALLY like.
7. Find Blogs like Yours - Aside from The Blog Frog, 5 Minutes for Moms, Link Referall, and Blog Carnival, another great place to find blogs is Technorati.com. Just try it out... you'll be hooked.
8. Regular Posting - The more often you post, the more you're site will be searched by those great search engines. Also, posting regularly keeps your readers interested. Optimally, you'll be putting up new content 5 or 6 days a week.
I've been following these links and these rules for about a solid month. Since I started, I've almost tripled the hits on my blog a day, and the time people are spending on my blog has also dramatically increased. These steps really do work! Whether you just want to share your information with more people, or want to draw more people in for effective monetization - give these sites a try. Report back! Let me know if they also work for you.
Have your own links to share that have helped you? Drop some link love in the comments!