September 22, 2017

7 best ways to bring traffic to a website or blog

An eternal question, asked all the time and on almost all social media platforms! We bring you here the distilled wisdom which is current and effective in 2017 and will remain so in 2018.

Before we go to the techniques, let's hurriedly remember that what we need on our blog or website is relevant traffic, not any type of traffic. Whether for spreading your messages among people who will appreciate them or for earning money from blogging, relevance of the traffic is of paramount importance.

What relevance of traffic means is: Are the people who are visiting your blog interested in your content? When the traffic comes from bots and spammers, people who landed on your page due to presence of your website on search engine pages for wrong search terms, people landing there due to your email or someone's reference or a link but finding your website not what they were expecting, traffic from link farms, traffic for which you made payment, or your own traffic - this is poor quality traffic.

We often get frustrated because even after following all the advice that we get from experts, the number of visitors to our blog does not rise significantly. If your blog suffers from this, please read on. 

Many times, it so happens that we concentrate on one good thing (e.g. quality) but ignore some key areas. I have said it before and allow me to repeat that if you set up a shop in a busy street full of buyers but do not show up your product to people by display and advertisements, you will not be able to sell it, however great the product might be. 

Conversely, if you spend too much energy on selling the product but the product is bad, potential buyers will come to know of its poor quality and you will lose buyers.

So, the key is to have a blend of good product and good promotion.

I am presenting below, the 7 best tips for getting relevant traffic to a blog on long term basis. I have grouped very similar tips in one point. Please note that all tips do not work on all websites. You need to choose what you think are the best suited to your website, analyze the results after a few weeks, experiment again and then stick with what works best for you.
 

These are the 7 best techniques for getting tons of traffic to your blog:

 

1. High quality of content and relevance to target audience

 

Though this look obvious, it is also the most ignored mantra of getting targeted audience. Quality of content matters the most not only to keep getting regular stream of visitors but also for retaining them. At the same time, it is necessary that the content must be relevant to the people you are targeting. 

Quality content that gets attention and is shared/ referenced has one or more of these attributes:
  • Has well-researched information
  • Has actionable advice that is based on experience
  • Has information that helps the users, better if told with the help of illustrations or a video
  • Is grammatically correct and the language used is of high standard  

Google says, it likes long posts as these are likely to be better researched.

Presentation of posts matters too. It has been found that well-formed headings and titles get more readership. It helps in two ways: on the blog, the visitor gets hooked and reads more of the article; and whenever the title appears as a hyperlink (in search results, others' websites...), the surfer is prompted to click on them. 

Putting of visual content is found to be more shared on social media and clicked. 

2. Regularity of updation


Freshness of content and its regular updation are essential for long-term success of blogs. Being regular helps by coming on search pages. It also makes people bookmark/ subscribe to the blog so that they get their dose of information regularly. 

3. Social media engagement


Earlier, blogs themselves used be magnets of social media, but no more. If you want people to discover and come back to your blog, you need to be active on social media. 

Social media engagement includes being active on the most popular platforms of the day (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), placing content on social bookmarking sites (e.g. Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit), sharing content on chat apps (e.g. WhatsApp), being active on forums/ communities/ social groups, commenting on others' blogs and so on.

Do choose the social activity that is best suited to your type of blog. Also consider whether you feel happy socializing on a particular platform so that you don't get bored of it after some time. 

I find Twitter chats and Google Plus communities a good way to attract attention. However, the Google Plus communities and Facebook Groups stop helping when they become too big and most members are interested only in posting their stuff and not engaging meaningfully. 

If you are a new blogger, guest posting on popular blogs can result in traffic coming to you from that blog. However, be careful about posting on websites that sell or aggregate articles.

Posting interviews of celebrities and other popular figures is seen to draw traffic to blogs. That also leads to healthy long-term interaction with these crowd pullers. If new, you can start with popular bloggers, local heroes and achievers and artistes.

You should give social buttons next to your posts so that if a reader likes your post, he instantly shares it with others on bookmarking platforms such as StumbleUpon or social sites such as Google Plus.

Please also remember that social media engagement needs reciprocity and willingness to spare time for others. You should not all the time promote your stuff, nor should you directly ask others to 'like' your post or follow you. 

Social media is a big time sucker, and so be choosy.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


You cannot afford to leave SEO altogether. However, you need not be too obsessed with it, because unethical and overly done optimization can invite penalties from modern search engines.

Very simple yet effective SEO techniques include:
  • Giving the blog a relevant title and each post a relevant headline
  • Giving a meaningful description to the blog
  • Putting long-tail keywords in the content in a natural fashion
  • Linking other posts on the same blog when the content is related
  • Optimizing images with alt tag

5. Subscription building


This works quite well for all types of blogs. You can offer an ebook or something similar that your potential audience will find useful, when people subscribe to your blog. You can also think of an embedded or pop-up subscription form on the blog, so that when people like your content, they opt to get email updates from you. Over a period, you develop a big email list of people who love to get emails from you.

6. offline promotion


Publicize your blog and its important posts by sending emails to friends. Add your blog URL on your visiting card. Attend blogging meets and workshops. Such type of publicity might not give you big traffic but it adds to your brand building and recall among people.
 

7. Paid advertisements


If you want to grow the blog fast, you can think of paid advertisement as one of the main activities for its promotion. Though you end up spending money, you get almost assured traffic which may earn you more than you spend on advertisments.

Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube - all have their own advertising plans, starting from a few bucks a week. You need to choose the best platform and then target the advertisement well so that the ads are served to the potential buyers/ readers. My experience is that Google (through AdWords) and YouTube are very effective for blogs.

What not to do in trying to get traffic to the blog:


Let me quickly list some techniques that have become less effective in drawing traffic or are a waste of time or can result in penalties from Google etc:
  • Blog comments are now quite ineffective unless you make highly pertinent questions or share experiences. Commenting on others' blogs just for getting reciprocal comments is a waste of time. 
  • Do not comment just for getting backlinks; most good sites now have 'nofollow' linking to URLs that come from unknown people.
  • Directories are useless, except when they list good blogs. Moreover the listing should be transparent, and with no obligation to put their badge or code on the blog or payment.
  • Avoid at all costs link farms or link exchanges in which people link one another's site to make them artificially popular.
  • Do not fall for offers of thousands of likes/ links/ backlinks. They are often a sham. There are also such people on websites such as Fiverr. Beware of such offers!
  • Don't guest post on blogs that have no standing.
  • You might get advice to make your posts controversial or gossipy so that people get interested. Agreed that such posts can go viral, but do that only if you are sure of your standing; otherwise such adventures may badly backfire.
  • Some people suggest writing small posts in big numbers. If your blog is on daily news or something like that, fine. However, serious blogs are better off with well-researched posts, some of which should be exceptionally good and long.

September 15, 2017

trawellblogging : a fine travel blog by Rajat

Pack-Ur-Bags
https://trawellblogging.com/

"A travel planning blog focused on self-planning your trips, both
domestic and international. It deals with using travel maps, public transportation systems, airline miles and hacks, accommodation reviews and travel insiders. The blog lets travel bloggers and other travelers
learn 'how to convert their travel expenses into investments'."
-Rajat