Guest Post By Brian Martinowich.
One of the biggest hurdles encountered by beginning bloggers is increasing blog traffic above a few dozen daily page views. Producing content for a small audience is frustrating, especially when you’re unsure whether your efforts will ever be appreciated. Even more experienced bloggers who have more than 1,000 daily readers can find themselves on a plateau and in need of some tactics to kick their traffic up to the next level.
Blogs with several hundred thousand daily readers have more than luck — they’ve built a loyal readership by creating a strategy that relies on a variety of proven tactics. If you’re looking for more readers, try these 10 tactics to increase traffic to your blog:
1. Make sure that your blog design draws readers in.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on the layout of your blog. A simple design that’s modern and clean will encourage readers to check out your content. Don’t underestimate the power of images; they can attract readers and increase your chances of being found by search engines.
2. Publish quality posts on a regular basis.
As Google and other search engines refine their algorithms, stuffing content with keywords is no longer a guarantee of a high search engine rankings. Publishing quality content that is useful, interesting and even controversial will attract readers, and make them want to come back for more.
3. Provide in-depth content once or twice a month.
In addition to short daily posts, publish articles once or twice a month that provide added value in your blog niche. Examples of in-depth content include lists of resources, how-to guides and detailed analyses of important issues. Spend extra time on these articles since your goal is attracting other bloggers who will link to your articles and readers who will return to your blog.
4. Use SEO wisely.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help your content achieve higher search engine rankings. Learn how to use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to identify popular keywords related to your content, then add these keywords in a natural way to your posts. Use relevant keywords without overdoing it; overusing keywords will decrease the quality of your content and discourage readers from returning.
5. Use outbound links.
Provide links to useful content elsewhere on the web as a service to your readers. Outbound links can also help your blogs get noticed by the owners of the sites you link to and increase you search engine ranking.
6. Add tags to your posts.
Your blogging platform should allow you to add tags (also known as metatags) to each post. They are keywords that described the information in the post. Tags are used by search engines to help identify relevant content for searches.
7. Build relationships with your readers.
Allow your readers to comment on posts and ask questions (use an approval mechanism to thwart spammers). Foster two-way conversations, and build reader loyalty by posting responses.
8. Spend time networking.
Spend time finding out where your potential readers hang out online. Become an active member of your niche community by reading other blogs and leaving useful non-promotional comments that contain the URL of your blog. Other readers who like your comments will be encouraged to click through to your blogs.
9. Invite readers to subscribe.
Provide standard mechanisms to allow readers to get updates through e-mail and an RSS feed. Your blogging platform should already have the tools to do this.
10. Use social networking to promote your posts.
When you publish an especially useful post, submit it to social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon. You can also set up Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts that link to your blog and update them when you publish. Some successful bloggers take promotion one step further with a dedicated app that notifies readers of updates.
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