Easy Steps to Draw More Traffic

Ad revenue not what you hoped? Here are some ways to turn it around.

Trying to earn money from a blog can be a discouraging proposition; many bloggers create quality content with attractive design, but never see the ad revenue they’re anticipating. Thatedeguy has already outlined excellent services to monetize your blog, so we’ll focus on drawing traffic, which will determine your success regardless of the monetization strategy you choose. If you’re not implementing these simple strategies, you’re missing out on easy ad revenue.

Get Specific

Not that Kind of Traffic! img credit: © by epSos.de

Your blog’s niche determines who your competitors are, how big your readership can be, and how much work it will take to get noticed. The idea here is to have as many readers as possible, with as few competitors as possible. Let’s suppose you want to write a generic “car blog”, for instance. If you Google that phrase, you’ll see that your front-page competition is Jalopnik, Autoblog.com, and Car and Driver—big blogs with big SEO budgets, who will make sure your little blog stays in the wasteland of page 12 on the Google rankings for all eternity. Narrow your topic down until the front page results for that topic are small but successful blogs—the kind of competition your blog can handle.

…But not too specific

You want to make sure your niche is something readers care about—so take a look at Google Insights to see who is searching for key phrases related to your blog. If there are only one or two people searching for those phrases in a given day, you might want to consider broadening or even switching your niche altogether. If you’re dead set on covering your chosen topic, recognize that those one or two visitors are the only shot you have at making money, so you’ll have your work cut out for you.

Maintain a consistent content stream

Nothing kills readership like erratic updates, so commit to updating your blog on some kind of regular basis, even if it’s just weekly. Loyal readers (the kind who will share your posts and expand your readership) enjoy the “ritual” of checking for updates, so don’t disappoint. You can undo a lot of hard work with just one or two missed posts.

Keep your content web-friendly

Successful bloggers know that writing online is not like fiction, or school essays, or even print journalism; people read online content differently, so you need to know how to write differently. Attention spans are shorter online, so keep your content clear, concise, and well-organized. A few ideas:

  • Unless you’ve got a very dedicated audience, 1000 words should be your ceiling for a single post. If you can’t say what you need to say in that space, consider narrowing your topic or publishing it as a series.
  • Clearly subdivide your content. I chose bolding and bullet points for this post, but don’t think your blog is too good for “top ten” or numbered posts—Cracked.com and other heavy hitters have built online empires on that format. It’s easy to read, easy to write, and numbered titles grab the reader’s attention.
  • Include visuals. Buying images for every blog post might be prohibitively expensive (and using images that don’t belong to you is a bad idea, obviously), but for a post you’re particularly proud of, seasoning it with a couple great pictures can really help users stick with you.

Don’t try to go it alone

This is probably the biggest mistake that keeps amateur bloggers ‘amateur’. If you want to make money blogging, understand that networking is part of the job. Find successful blogs in a related (but not competitive) field, contact the author, and offer to guest post. Include a link back to your blog in your bio—as I’ve done below—so that their readers can find your blog. This will also help search engines notice that your content is solid and authoritative, which will help your rankings. Never stop building your network, and don’t be afraid to offer your best content—if you want someone besides Mom reading your blog, guest posts are the way to make it happen.

 

Tiffany Gantt is a staff writer for ApronAddicts.com, a website dedicated to the love of cooking and looking good while you do it! You can often find her getting creative in the kitchen as she whips up something yummy in one of her flirty, color coordinated aprons.

 

Directory Links Get Discounted by Google

For quite some time, Google has suggested that a good way to increase your ranking in the Google index was to get yourself listed in a few reputable directories.  Of course, much like any other thing that Google admits might help, directories became the go to place to get yourself some nice links.  And an industry was born.

Now, Google has removed that suggestion from their webmaster help guide.  Does that mean the end of the directory industry?  I doubt it.  In fact, my guess would be that it doesn’t change much of anything.  Google probably hasn’t given much weight to most directories for quite some time and is finally letting us know about it.

Personally, I don’t use many directories when I start a new website.  I find the majority of them to be repositories for spam sites and don’t want to associate my sites with them.  Instead, there are plenty of other ways to go about getting links like blogroll exchanges, paid links (don’t pretend you don’t.), and a variety of other programs and strategies that can attain you plenty of quality links in a short amount of time.

Plenty of links will do you no good if you don’t have plenty of content too.  You’ll still get some traffic, but having the content can mean the difference between a visitor that shows up and a visitor that shows up and stays.  Which would you rather have?  If I were you (I’m not, but if I were), I would spend about 75% of my time on content and the rest on link and traffic building practices.

Top 5 Referrers for May 2008

Another month has passed us by and here we are with a top 5 referrers post again.

Once again, Mark and Burt hold the throne as the biggest referrers.  Most of the traffic from Mark comes from his page for the Yahoo/eBay/Amazon mashup.  And most of the traffic from Burt comes from his Links page on Osworld.biz.  The blogs.payscale.com traffic is old traffic from a link a long time ago.  It must get decent search traffic for them as it’s still pushing through a bit for me.  And, finally, the traffic from nicusor.com and linkbuildingbible.com are from NoFollow lists.  I still use NoFollow here, only you have to leave 3 comments before it kicks in.

So, it would seem that if you want a link in one of these top referrers pages, all you need to do is add a link to this site.  Someone has to uproot Mark and Burt don’t they?  Sounds like a challenge to me!

Top 5 Referrers for April 2008

Well, here’s the list from April of the top 5 referrers to this site.  Reminder: this list does not include sites like Google, Stumbleupon, and the like.  Only blogs and such.

  1. 45n5.com
  2. osworld.biz
  3. jackhumphrey.com
  4. blogs.payscale.com
  5. nicusor.com

It seems that 45n5.com and osworld.biz have a pretty concrete spot at the top.  So far, no one has been able to unseat them.  Not even accidentally.  😉  Well, I guess bloggingexperiment.com did sneak in there once in November of 2007, but I’m not entirely sure that wasn’t because of a ad that I place there around October.  That is another thing to note with this list.  I try to weed out the places that I advertise.

Thanks to all of my referrers whether you make the list or not.