Traffic Quality not Quantity

The appeal of tons of traffic can be intoxicating, and of course lots adoring fans are a nice idea. But if you are blogging for the benefit of creating revenue, you will want a certain type of reader group coming to your site, rather than everyone on the Internet. Finding your target audience can be tough, but it is not impossible.

Participate on relevant websites that already have the type of readers you desire. Obviously thousands of hits are great, but if only three of those hits are from people who are interested in your blog, you are not targeting the right audience with your techniques. You want the bulk of your readers to have a genuine interest in your content, rather than being just passing-by readers.

Search Engine Optimization

You would want to keep search engine optimization techniques in mind with any type of website you built, the same goes for blogs. However, your content is constantly changing, so it should be handled differently. Search engine optimization (SEO) is about creating a website with search engines in mind. Search engines crawl or index websites in different methods to populate search results. Paying attention to what search engines index, such as certain headings, titles, and content arrangement, can help boost your ranking in search results.

Of course, there is always the chance that appearing in search engine results is undesirable for reasons of privacy and spam prevention. There are steps you can take to avoid being indexed by search engines.

A business blog naturally has different goals than does a blog for a hobbyist, so you will need to address specific areas more aggressively, depending on the topics and what kinds of ranking you hope to achieve. Paying careful attention to what you title your entries, for example, can influence what and how people find your blog. What you post may not be immediately indexed, so anticipating what could end up in search results may guide searchers to drill into your blog for further information. Search engines get clogged up with blog content so easily that getting in is not the problem. It is ensuring that what does get in is meaningful or has keywords that invite desired readers to come have a look.

Promoting your Site

Tossing a blog up and sitting back to wait for the readers to spill in is a surefire way to be sorely disappointed. Here are a few tips to invite traffic to your blog:
  • Tag your entries and register your site with Technorati. Get your blog into Technorati and start tagging your entries. It sounds like a hassle but helping people find things is a key component to building readers.
  • Promote your RSS feeds. Your RSS feed will tell readers where to find your site and keep their curiosity peaked. Hopefully, your RSS feed will prompt readers to visit your site to comment and participate.
  • Provide fresh and alluring content. If you do not plan on posting daily, at least make the posts you do put up worthy of the visit. Traffic is about building repeat business. Make sure you keep your readers wanting more.
  • Keep your site free of errors and clutter. It is important to keep your site running smoothly. That is not to say that the occasional snag will destroy all of your chances at building readership, but a perpetual code error or a broken feed can deter people from coming back. That is also true about extraneous content. You want people to be able to find your entries; try to keep the extra bling, like distracting scripts and blinkies, to a minimum. Keep it simple, clean, and unclutered. Deliver your content properly and build from there.
  • Participate in the blogging community. Interacting with the community from which you hope to acquire readers is essential in getting the word out about yourself. Provide thoughtful commentary on other related blogs, and reply to the people who do visit yours. Just because they visit once does not mean they are permanent visitors. You will need to give them a reason to come back again.
  • List yourself in relevant directories and webrings. Peppered around the web are directories and webrings for every topic you could possibly want to find. Consider listing your blog in a few to get the wayward web traveler to find you. You may visit Google to search for your blog topic. See what comes up and visit a few sites to see what strikes your fancy.
  • Link to other blogs. Consider linking to other blogs that interest you. Not only will you build a list of sites you enjoy reading, but you could also aid in the interconnectivity of blogging. Blogs allow people to discover new sites at nearly every turn. The sites you link could reciprocate and lend their readership the chance to discover you.