Over the past year I’ve learned quite a bit about building traffic and driving awareness of my personal blog. I haven’t done very well from a search perspective. There are certainly some improvements I could make that would make my blog a little more search friendly, but I just haven’t made it a priority.
What I have done well however is utilizing social media. It’s pretty much the sole source of all my blog traffic, and in my opinion, much more fun to manage. The following are the steps I’ve taken that I use and have found success in using social media to drive traffic to my blog.
Enable your readers. Make it as easy as possible for your readers to share your content. Utilize above the fold share buttons like Tweetmeme & Facebook Share. Also add more robust sharing options below the fold. My personal fav is the Sexy Bookmarks plugin for WordPress.
Write effectively. Most people are not interested in reading long winded blog posts. Getting to the point quickly and concisely is the way to go. Even better is using lists. Anything that allows people to scan and move through your blog posts effectively makes for a better read.
Titles are everything. When you share your blog posts on social media channels, in most cases you have one chance to entice someone to actually click through. Your title is the key. Be clever and descriptive, and once again, lists have a much higher click thru rate.
Share Share Share! It goes without saying that after you post, to share your content everywhere. Don’t just stop with Twitter or Facebook. Linked In Groups are a great way to drive additional traffic, and don’t forget secondary channels like Reddit, Digg and Stumbleupon. It only takes a few extra clicks on your part for the extra eyeballs.
Be vain. It’s OK to toot your own horn on your blog, within reason of course. If you begin to build a nice following on Twitter or with your RSS subscribers, let your readers know. By displaying your following, you build instant credibility, and your new visitors will be more likely to want to stick around and come back for more.
Eye catching image. While it may not seem very important, I’ve found that associating a relevant, eye catching image to my blog posts go a long way towards driving more people to my posts. Not all channels use a preview image, but ones such as Facebook and Digg do, and if you choose smart, they can contribute to higher click-thrus.
I’ve found all of the above to help contribute to growing my blog’s readership and traffic. I’d love to hear what has worked for you.