Sunday, February 07, 2010

How To: Improve Blog Traffic

Now that I’m back on a kick to monetize my blog without sacrificing my content to a bunch of wasted junk none of my viewers care to read about the thought occurred to me that some of you might want to have a few tips on how to get the best out of your blog without spending money to do it. Here are a few tricks I can share from my own experience:

Get the Traffic OFF your homepage and ON to the pages you want them to see.

Blogs are two-sided in their simplicity. The fact that users can come to your homepage and read your most recent articles means that most viewers never leave the homepage. If you’re like me you want to know what articles they find the most interesting, what they visit the longest, and what they visit the least. If you can entice your visitors to click on the article titles, you can get a better understanding of what they actually like. Otherwise, your homepage statistics may say you had 1000 visitors today, but you can’t tell any more than that.

Using the “read more” feature, or what Google calls “After the jump” means users click on the article to read the full article. It also helps to keep your homepage content shorter if you have a blog where the main page is fifteen pages long or more.

For more information on how to setup “after the jump” on your blogger blog, check out Google’s instructions or leave a comment and I’ll help you with it if needed.

Blog Reporting and Visitor Statistics

Knowing what your visitors care the most about is singularly important. To do this requires some sort of tracking software installed on your blog. Don’t be intimidated. Setting up advanced counters and site trackers is pretty easy, even for the blog novice. If you can cut and paste, you’ve got it made.


Personally I uses two tracking statistic programs on the CW blog, Sitemeter and Google Analytics, both of which are free. To see the details generated by Sitemeter, look at the bottom right side of my blog and click on the visitor number. I have my blog statistics set to public so you can see how this work. You can get sitemeter for your own blog or website for free at

Google Analytics:

Google analytics (avaialble at ) is another free tool used by many large corporate websites. It has the ability to track visitors and page loads and provide amazingly indepth statistics about your viewers. Though I personally recommend it highly, I would hesitate to suggest it if you’re new to blogging or web site creation. It’s very robust and very powerful but it’s also fairly difficult to use correctly because it has so many options to pick from. To truly utilize Google Analytics will require some dedicated time and patience. Check out the help videos, tutorials, and give it time. It will pay off after you get used to it and learn how to leverage it to discover the information you want to know about your blog.

Social Networking Your Blog

Adding social networking features to your blog is an extremely easy way to get more traffic to your blog, but it takes time on your part to implement. If you look at the bottom of my posts (you can’t see it on the main homepage) you will notice links to Digg, Delicious, Facebook, Technorati, and others. If you want to know how to add these to your blog, ask me and I’ll help with the implementation, but that’s not the focus of this article.

The important thing about having social networking icons on your site is USING them. I spend about 5 minutes of each day clicking on each of those links on each of my blog posts. Doing so submits my post to Digg, Delicious, Technorati, facebook, twitter, and others. Submitting them yourself only grants you one small view in the fanbase of each site, but it puts your link out there for others to see on those sites and maybe, if your content is relevant enough, they will link others. Sites like Digg and Technorati, StumbleUpon and others are extremely community driven. A few good links from those sites can get you more blog trattic in one day than you’ve had in months. But your information NEEDS to be relevant. Simply submitting traffic to these sites will quickly get you flamed out of existence, so be considerate of the communities you are posting to.

DIGG USERS: If you found this article on Digg, please Digg it once to prove my point. I’m not looking for incredible ratings, but I’d like to show visitors the effect Digg and sites like it can have on the ratings.

That’s all for now! Time to go watch the SuperBowl!

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