Part 3 – How To Increase Your Blog Traffic (and other blogging advice)

by SomeGirl on August 21, 2011 · 20 comments

Wow, this topic could go on and on… But, in an effort to keep us from having a 20 part series, I’ve decided to make a bullet point list for Part 3 of How To Increase Your Blog Traffic (and other blogging advice). Please read part 1 and part 2 before you read today’s post.

Now, since you already know I like to follow the 300-500 word rule, I’m hesitant to publish this post with it’s who-knows-how-many words. But, I figure it could be something that you bookmark and go back to when you have the opportunity to sit down and read a TON of blogging information.

With that said, here is today’s jam packed post (with no pictures, sorry about that!).

How to increase your blog traffic:

  • Read part 1 and part 2 of How to Increase Your Blog Traffic (and other blogging advice). :)
  • Include your blog URL at the bottom of your emails with a short tagline.
  • Have a FB page with vanity URL where your blog name goes immediately after the .com (for example http://Facebook.com/somegirlswebsite)… Find out how by googling “create FB vanity URL”
  • When using FB or twitter, don’t simply share your newest blog post, share helpful information, ask questions, or simply update like you would your personal page – let your personality shine forth (use the PBT principle).
  • Unhook your blog from Networkedblogs’ automatic FB feed, which may mean unsubscribing to the service. All networkedblog posts get lumped together on other people’s FB news feed. The other day I saw a blog post shared through this automated system and underneath it read “see 93 others like this” referencing all the other posts my FB friends/liked pages shared through this service.
  • Take part in weekly link ups. Don’t expect to see a lot of traffic from this, but do expect to find some new blogging buddies by looking through the posts to see who else is linking up with similar interests. :) There are link ups (aka memes, carnivals, blog hops) out there for every day of the week. If you have some favorites, I’d LOVE it if you’d share them in the comment section below… Thank you! Btw, each week I host Thought-Provoking Thursday and the link up list is usually up and running around 9 pm on Wednesday evenings. (Wondering what a link up is? See explanation in the comments below or click here.)
  • Host your own link up. Be prepared for it to take time to get others to jump aboard.
  • Smile when you write, tweet, FB. People like to be around happy people… If you’re not happy, I pray you will be filled with great joy and peace, and that you will cast your cares upon God for He cares for you! You are loved! ♥
  • Install google feedburner (or another feed service) and make your RSS subscribe button visible.
  • Use the WordPress plug-in “what would Seth Godwin do?” to display a greeting to visitors letting them know how to receive new posts via email or reader (learned about this from bloggingwithAmy.com).
  • Have business cards made that match your blog design. They’re great to have when you mention to someone in casual conversation that you blog. (Btw, now is the perfect time to order business cards for your blog (blogger cards) from my sweet friend and neighbor, Shell, who has a Relevant11 special going, but you don’t have to be attending Relevant to get the great prices!)
  • Start using StumbleUpon… Give a “thumbs up” to your posts and other posts you read and like. Share the stumble love!
  • List your blog with Technorati and other blog listings to get links coming back to your site… Increasing page ranking.
  • Install social media share buttons at the bottom of each post… Make it easy for other to share your posts. Include twitter, FB, stumbleupon, Google Plus.
  • Be authentic and be authentically you! In everything from your design to your writing style, let it reflect who you are.” – Lisa from www.thearmychapswife.net

How to decide what readers would like to hear:

  • Write for an audience of One (via Ann Voskamp at last year’s Relevant conference) and pray that God will be glorified through your words.
  • Try not to get stuck wondering what others want to hear, but think and pray about what you want to and/or feel led to share.
  • For those just getting started: Consider making your blog title generic enough that you can change topics when needed.
  • Make sure you live your life outside of the computer so you have something to write about. ;)
  • Out of curiosity, I posted a survey question on SomeGirl’s Website and found that most who responded read their favorite blogs for inspiration and to find out what’s happening in someone’s life. Keep that in mind as you write your posts, even if they’re just about “how to increase your blog traffic” you might want to mention that you’re out enjoying a morning off from motherly duties while your sweet husband has some special time with your boys… it makes what you write all that more interesting. :) (And having the morning off does all kinds of wonders to a mother’s worn out soul!) – Ok, so that was written on Saturday morning, but I didn’t want to publish all 3 posts in one day so I held off until tonight. Now I’m going downstairs to finish watching Gone with The Wind (which I started watching for the first time over the weekend… and I love it!). :)
  • Look at what searches are leading to your blog. Also what posts receive the most interaction.” – TeriLynne from www.terilynneu.com (google anayltics is good for that)
  • “Don’t blog about things that are trendy. Stick to your passions whether or not they are cool! Your fire might ignite a trend!” – Sharla from thechaosandtheclutter.com
  • “Don’t figure out what readers want to hear, figure out what you have to say that someone else might find useful.” – Michelle from intentional.me
  • “Don’t try to force it. Write about what comes naturally, not what others are doing.” – Michelle from intentional.me
  • “Blogging should be a hobby and something you enjoy. Remember your blog doesn’t have to be like everyone elses. For me my blog is like a diary that I can share with friend and family.” – Kathy from www.kathysclutteredmind.com

How to make your blog attractive:

  • Keep your blog simple so the content stands out. If you aren’t good at design, consider hiring someone to design your blog for you. I hired Erin at Design by Insight to create this lovely place, and I’m SO glad I did!
  • Make your blog aesthetically pleasing… avoid harsh colors and music. If you just really love music on your page, which most people don’t, please put the play/pause button on the sidebar where others can quickly access it to turn the music off… (my ADHD mind can’t handle the distraction).
  • Stay positive. Even when you’re down and out there’s always something positive to be found… Look for that positive and work it into your posts. Being positive in a negative world is very attractive. :)
  • Look at blogs that you like and see how you can use those ideas on your blog. {colors,layout,theme} etc.” – Aurie Good from ourgoodfamily.org
  • “You can make your own header using picnik.com… If you can follow a tutorial on how to make a button, you can also make a header.” – Michelle from intentional.me

Other blogging advice:

  • For all that you need to get your blogging life in order, check out The Organized Blogger eworkbook, soon to be released by my sweet, sweet friend Michelle of So, I Married a Mennonite. {get a taste of what’s to come by clicking here}
  • Install the Alexa.com toolbar on your browser (not visible on your blog) to have your visits to your blog count in your Alexa ranking (useful if you desire to have advertisers on your blog).
  • “Dont focus on your stats page, it will drive you nuts.” – Whitt Madden from bethedomino.org
  • “Work on a lot of content ahead of time and have future posts scheduled!” – Alicia from AliciasHomemaking.com
  • “Start out on WordPress.” – Amy from www.AmyBayliss.com (and agreed with by many others in the blogging world)
  • “If you really like your blog name and think you want to blog for the long haul and possibly as a profession go ahead and spend the $15 or so and buy your domain name, even if you choose one of the “free” platforms to start out. It saves a ton of hassle in the long run.” – Heather from www.atthepicketfence.com
  • “Have fun with it and don’t freak out the first time you see HTML or CSS mentioned when your Google background changes. It isn’t as hard as it seems and you don’t have to be tech savvy to have a good blog. Writing for the love of writing and sharing is really what it’s all about, anyway.” – Lara from Signing with Lara
  • “Another great resource for blogging tips from a Christian problogger is tentblogger.com” – Kelly from Kelly Singing
  • “Before starting a blog, realize the time involved.” – Kelly from Kelly Singing

And, most importantly:

  • Keep your priorities in line, no blog is more important than the ones you love. Jon Acuff has written some great, short articles on this topic (see: Losing sight of the tweets that matter most and 3 things Zig Ziglar told me at lunch )
  • “Make sure you think through your blogging schedule and have someone to keep yourself accountable to (like your husband) so that blogging does not take over your life. If I blog all about being a mom and neglect my little ones, then all is vain. The computer can so easily become addicting and take over all of life, so have a plan in place to keep that from happening right at the start. Your family is your top priority!” – Jenny from www.amothersheritage.com

I hope you’ve found this series helpful (and not too overwhelming)! I’ve enjoyed passing along what I have learned along the way. If you have anything to add, please feel free to share it in the comment section below…Thank you!

Love,

♥ Michelle (aka SomeGirl)

Thank you to all of my twitter and FB friends who graciously shared advice with us!

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{ 20 comments }

Debbie Viverito

I’m so glad to have connected with you. Thanks for all you are doing.

SomeGirl

Aw, thanks, Debbie! Glad to have connected with you, too!

Deb Chitwood

Awesome post, Michelle – even without pictures! Lots of great technical advice as well as suggestions to keep things in perspective. I really like your advice about thinking and praying about what you’re led to share. I try to do that, and I find I’m much more likely to have people say that a post was published at the perfect time for them. And wonderful to end with keeping priorities in line!

By the way, I love Thought-Provoking Thursday. Also, Nicole at OneHookWonder.blogspot.com and I (LivingMontessoriNow.com) co-host Montessori Monday for Montessori lessons and activities! :)

SomeGirl

Thanks for you encouraging words and for sharing your meme! I’ll try to remember to do a shout out to it in a post coming up. :)

KellySinging

Thanks so much, Michelle for compiling all of this for us. It must have been a lot of work.

SomeGirl

It was fun. I like to help when I can. :) Thanks for sharing your advice with us!

JamieAnne

Great advice Michelle! Thanks so much for taking the time to post these.

SomeGirl

Thanks, Jamie! You’re welcome. :)

Teri Lynne

Thanks, Michelle, for including me! And this series was just awesome!! I learned so much from every post.

SomeGirl

Thank you, Teri Lynne! I appreciate that!

Sharla

I’ve really enjoyed this series and will be coming back to this post to check out more of the links mentioned. I agree with everything you’ve said, especially about being careful not to let blogging take over your life and remembering your priorities.

I just started a Blog Hop last week (Truth Tuesdays) and so it was neat to see that tip on your list! It was also reassuring to hear that it takes time for hops to gain momentum!!!

And thanks for including me in this fun series!

SomeGirl

It took quite a bit of time to get Thought-Provoking Thursday going. And I started a link up before it that never took off… but Truth Tuesdays sounds like a great meme! Hope it gains momentum quickly. :)

Thanks for sharing your advice with us!

Barbara

So much info! Will definitely bookmark this and work through it one week at a time; thanks so much.
One question: how do you “Unhook your blog from Networkedblogs’ automatic FB feed”?
Thanks, Michelle!

SomeGirl

You’re welcome! Hope you find it helpful!

I didn’t look very hard before, but just deleted my blog from their service. That’s the only way I found to unhook it. Now I manually share new blog posts on FB. It takes more time, but the new posts don’t get lost like they were. :)

Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies

What a great post! Thank you so much for sharing this insight! I’ve been blogging for 3-4 years now but this last year has really taken off (for me) and I appreciate getting some inside tips like these!

SomeGirl

Thanks, Michelle! You’re caterpillar photos are awesome, btw (and you’re message is great!). No wonder you’ve seen your blog take off! :)

(for anyone reading this and interested, see Michelle’s post here: http://www.bloggingfromtheboonies.com/2011/08/everyday-miracle.html)

barbara

pretty ignorant here… don’t know what a “link up” is. But on my blog, we have Wednesday’s W’s each Wednesday and different people share on the topic. Check it out at http://www.mylifeasanadventure.com
Is that a link up?
Thanks again, Michelle!

SomeGirl

A link up is where a theme is chosen by one or more blogs together and other bloggers write about the same theme then link their posts… it’s what we do here for Thought-Provoking Thursday. Some others you’ve probably seen around are Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family and Wordfilled Wednesday at A Holy Experience. The bloggers writing under the theme add a link to the host blog and then share a link to their blog post on the host’s blog post. (ex: http://somegirlswebsite.com/showing-love/2011/08/this-is-your-life-thought-provoking-thursday/)

Thanks for asking that! I bet there are lots of people reading with the same question.

Amy Bayliss

Michelle,

This is a great series and I love that you pulled bits from everyone to include in this post. I learned a lot. Great job, girl!

Kristen @ Joyfullythriving

Great list! I made sure I set aside time to read and really ponder all of these so I could apply them to my blog (and life). I finally took the time to install the WWSGD plugin, too!

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