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The goal of most bloggers is to increase the number of people who come to their site. There are many ways to do this: from SEO to just plain street smarts. However there are some simple things that bloggers often forget in lieu of the trendy and flashy. Here are some easy, simple ways that you can increase your blog traffic:
1. Enjoy what you write
The first step to writing anything good is to enjoy what you write. If you do not like your blog post subjects then your readers will not want to read it. Just like people in customer service are told to smile when they answer the phone because it affects their voice, you should smile when you blog because it affects your writing. Attitude is so, so important. If you are positive, upbeat and passionate about your blog then that will come through in what you write. Love what you write or do not write at all. Of course, we all have bad days. When you are having an off day, I suggest taking a break and coming back to your blog when you are in a more positive frame of mind. You can even create emergency posts on really good, productive days to use when you are feeling down. That way you can keep up your regular posting schedule.
2. Post regularly
Speaking of a regular posting schedule, you need to post on your blog on a consistent and regular basis. Whether that means seven days a week, five days a week or Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, it is up to you and your blogging audience. Different blogs require different posting schedules, but all blogs require that you keep them up. Do not let your blog languish without updates for days or even weeks on end. You will lose tons of traffic that way. The only way to keep readers coming back is to continually provide great information on a regular basis.
3. Write good titles
A title is the first thing that any potential reader is going to see. You need to make a good impression right off the bat. A good title is worth more than ten thousand words of text alone. A title should connect to the reader, should give some indication of the blog post’s length and subject, and should be no longer than ten words at the max! Remember to format your title correctly and try not to use over used phrases like ‘best ever’. Whatever you do make sure that your title is pertinent to your blog post’s content. There is nothing that will turn a reader away from a blog faster than a title that lies to them. When you create a title you are promising a reader that the content will have at least something to do with it. Better yet, your title should have everything to do with your content. A good blogger will not have to lie to get readers in.
4. Keep it short
Blog readers are busy people. They do not have time to sit and scroll through pages and pages of your blog. The best thing you can do when creating new blog posts is to keep them short. Try to stay under two thousand words for the best effect. Of course, sometimes there are blog posts that are too short. Anything under two hundred words that is not a link or image description comes to mind, but usually shorter is better. Blog readers appreciate posts that can be glanced over quickly and do not ramble on for too long. If you can’t summarize your post in a sentence or two then you may want to think about splitting it up into a post series.
5. Use lists
As a subsection to keeping it short, lists are also a great way to go. Lists allow readers to scan a post quickly and glean what they need. Then they can take the time to read the post in detail if it pertains to them. Lists are also good for readers because it gives them a sense of how long the article is. If you come across an article with ten tips you know it will not be a long read, but if you come across one with one hundred tips then it will take quite a bit longer. This ability to know ahead of time how long an article is helps readers to get their mind set before they ever start reading. A list is also good for the blog author because it helps to keep him/her on topic and also allows to make sure the author has made all the points he/she wants to.
6. Use headers
If you do not want to do a list post but you have several points you need to make then a good thing to do is to use headers. Headers help to break up long blocks of text and give readers the ability to know what each section is before they actually read it. This can make a blog post go from intimidating and unreadable to easy and informative. Headers are easy to create and work well on most blogs, so formatting should not be an issue. Even the most basic HTML programmers know how to create a header text. I recommend going bold with your heading to make them stand out even more.
7. Small paragraphs
When you have a lot of text you do not want to frighten off your readers. Even with headers a large hunk of words can look like a snore fest to a reader who is low on time. Instead of writing your blog posts in one big paragraph try to split that text into smaller paragraphs. About three sentences per paragraph is a good goal to shoot for. I know that it probably goes against everything your high school English teacher taught you, but this is not a research paper. Blogging is a whole different animal.
8. Use images
A great way to get more people interested in your blog posts is to use images. Human beings are primarily visual creatures. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Exploit this to your advantage by adding images to your blog posts. You can find free images from amateurs on paces like Flickr or even free stock photos from places like freedigitalphotos.com. There are many different sites that offer free images that anyone can use, just take a look around. A cute, funny, beautiful, or unusual image is a great draw to get in new readers and is well worth the short amount of time it will take for you to find it. Make sure the image is pertinent to your blog post and you can even optimize it for Pinterest by adding your blog’s web address or your blog post title. All it takes is a few seconds of editing in paint or a free online photo editing program and you have a personalized image for your blog post.
9. Tag appropriately
I know that a lot of bloggers use WordPress or Blogger for their blogging platform, mainly because they are the easiest to use and personalize. One thing you need to remember though is to tag your posts effectively. That means using wisdom. A lot of tags will not get you good traffic, nor will tags that do not fit your content. Look at other blogger’s tag clouds and what people are searching for in your blog’s niche to find out what you should tag your post with. Keep it under ten tags per post for the best results.
10. Use name recognition
This is an easy way to get lots of new traffic to your blog fast. Using names that people will recognize, like Batman, Justin Beiber, Elvis Presley and so on will get people interested in what you are writing and will also show up in searches for that name. From fictional characters like Mr. Darcy and Tony Stark to real life celebrities like Emma Watson and Keanu Reeves, name recognition will get your blog posts into new reader’s field of vision and make them stop to find out who you are. A caveat to this: you must make your blog post pertinent to the name you use. Do not mention a name in the title and then never bring it up again. A good blogger does not try to trick readers.
These are just a few ideas that you can easily use to bring more traffic to your blog. The first rule of good blogging is to enjoy what you are blogging about. Everything else will come from there.
Allison Foster writes on behalf of www.nannyclassifieds.com. It provides a great solution to the needs of both nannies and working parents for finding anything on the internet.