Thursday, November 13, 2008

Traffic!

There are three types of bloggers.

Type 1: I blog because it's fulfilling to me as a person, and I don't need an audience.

Type 2: I blog to keep in touch with family and friends--only. I'd prefer that strangers not read my blog.

Type 3: I might have some of the motivations of Type 1 and Type 2, but I really want as many people as possible reading my blog! I LOVE an audience! Please, please, please read! Pretty please?

I might as well not even sugarcoat it. I mean, I have a degree in theatre--clearly I want an audience! I am a Type 3.

Recently I've gotten questions from some fellow Type 3s, wanting to know how to get more people to read their blogs. I'll start with the disclaimers that there are far more successful blogs out there than mine, and I'm by no means an expert. But here are a few things I've learned about driving traffic to my blog. Please add your own in the comments section! (Type 3s love blog comments.)

1. Put a link to your blog in your e-mail signature.

2. If you are active on an Internet message board, put a link in your signature. Invite others on the board to share their blogs, and be sure to share yours too--this is a great way to get new readers and to discover some fun new blogs to read.

3. Post interesting or funny comments on other blogs. Lyndsay (whose hilarious blog you should definitely read) told me once she noticed people were clicking her name and visiting her site after she'd left a funny comment on a popular blog. Make sure it's genuine--that you're commenting when you actually have something to say, on a blog that really interests you. You can include your blog URL in your comment too, but be aware some bloggers don't welcome such self-promotion. Blog URLs are always welcome in comments on my blogs, as long as you post a real comment too, and as long as your blog is not of an adult (XXX) nature.

4. Think of an idea that is truly unique, and start a blog based on that. My One Minute Writer blog uses an old idea--writing prompts--but changes it by adding a one minute timer. The CrockPot Lady started the first-ever Crock Pot recipe blog, committing to post a recipe every day for a year--and has a huge readership. You may eventually get more traffic at a blog that offers something unique, though it may take awhile for interest to build and for the word to spread.

5. My dad has a fantastic new blog, and he writes his posts every night, setting them up to publish at the same time each morning. (To set up future publishing on Blogger, click "Post Options" below where you type your post.) I've started doing the same thing (when Blogger's software cooperates.) I always know I can check my blog roll early in the morning, and one of my dad's posts will be there. Routine may help your readers to be more consistent and will certainly help you to be more consistent! Which brings me to the next tip....

6. Write regularly. For me that means once a day (sometimes more often!) For you it may be a little less frequently. Just know that if you take three months off blogging, especially with no explanation, you may lose a lot of readers.

7. Respond to comments with a comment of your own. My sister Becki (beckiwithani) suggested this to me, and it's a great way to show appreciation for those who comment on your blog...and to get them to come back!

Some people have asked me how to become one of Blogger's Blogs of Note, since my traffic went up quickly when my other blog was given that title. Unfortunately, there's no way to "apply" to be one of the Blogs of Note; you just have to hope the folks at Google/Blogger find out about your site in some way. In other words, if it happens, great...but don't depend on it to increase your traffic. (Psst--See the comment by Mike Fan below, on how to apply--seems I was wrong! SHOCKER!)

Now, on a serious note--as a Type 3, I have to consistently remind myself of something very important--My worth as a person is not based on how many blog readers/commenters I have! Even as we Type 3s hope for more traffic, maybe we can also learn to take more pleasure in the process as we keep in touch with our families and friends. Those Types 1s and 2s may have it right after all.

33 comments:

Tia said...

I have been meaning and meaning to congratulate you on getting the blog of note and increasing your readership so much! Way to go!

Heather said...

Thanks for the tips. I started my blog under the guise of keeping up with family and friends...but then again, I majored in film, so...I checked out your Dad's blog. He is such a...gentle writer. I don't know how else to put it, you're just at ease reading it.

Tabby @ ♥I Choose Bliss♥ said...

These are great tips! I agree with you on my self worth not depending on how many readers or comments I receive. I was over the moon behind receiving one follower now I have 8!
I almost had a heart attack from the sheer joy of it! LOL

Have A Great Day!

Lyndsay said...

Beth,

What good tips. From a fellow type 3, I can appreciate them! Thanks for linking me (yet again!), now I need to put some of your other suggestions to use.

One new one I have is to get more engaged with your readers. Ask them questions instead of just putting your thoughts out there. When I ask people to give their opinion, my comments are always a lot higher.

Lyndsay

Bri said...

What a coincidence that I JUST started a new blog (youre-a-poet.blogspot.com) and then came to read your blog about getting more traffic. Maybe I will get lots of traffic and maybe I will just have another blog dedicated to my poetry. Either way, I'm excited to have started a new blog and many thanks to the inspiration from One Minute Writer!!

Jenners said...

Thanks for sharing your ideas! As a new blogger, I appreciate any input I can get. I thought I was a Type 1 until I began to get a few comments...I think I'm definitely a Type 3 as well! As an old friend whose been doing a blog for several years told me: "Comments to bloggers are like crack cocaine to an addict." After I got my first comment from a person I didn't already know, I was hooked and was compulsively running to the computer to check for new comments. I can imagine it could end up being very time-consuming though!

Your blog is terrific -- you have such a warm and accessible way of writing and your One Minute Writer blog is sheer genius!

And, in the spirit of self-promotion (ahem), my own blog:

http://mrsfligs.blogspot.com/

Mike Fan said...

Just a note to everyone: a Blog of Note is added every weekday, so there's a pretty good chance your blog will one day be one! The way how to get yours recommended as a Blog of Note is to go to:
http://help.blogger.com/?page=wishlist
and recommend your blog (if you're type 3) and/or someone else's blog.

http://365sonnets.blogspot.com/
(You can tell I'm a type 3 :)

Sam said...

Thanks for mentioning my blog. As a fellow "Type 3," I appreciate it! I think I know what type Chickie is. What do you think about Zoodle?

Dad

C. Beth said...

Tia--Thank you so much!

Heather--What a nice compliment for my dad. He's awesome. :)

Tabby--Ha, I can definitely relate to that!

Lyndsay--GREAT tip!

Bri--Congrats on the new blog--I'll check it out!

Jenners--Oh, yeah, great way to describe comments! Thank you for the very nice compliments. :)

Mike--WOW, I had no idea you could recommend your own blog! Thank you so much for the link! I added it to my Q&A on TOMW too, and credited you with a link to your sonnet blog (you Type 3, you!)

Dad--Hmm...I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if Zoodle is a Type 2 but of course if he's a Type 3 he comes by it honestly!

mevsmysoul said...

Hey Beth!
Accept my greetings since I am leaving my comment for the first time:)
I must say it is a very apt blog regarding making a blog success. Coincidentally your blog is actually a sequel to my post that I posted today. Please take out sometime to visit it: Why the hell should I blog?

Though I have just ventured into blogging, let me tell you that after reading your blogs I find there are lot many things in common with us. Like I am a passionate crafter and love to experiment with food too. Perhaps you will find me hanging around your posts quite often ;-)

mommyslittleblog said...

Beth,

I, too have been meaning to send some congrats your way! How exciting!! I think lyndsay and jenners made excellent points- as I have seen my comments rise with witty posts on other blogs. I also have found myself running to the computer at time- *as comments are like crack*. I try to remind myself I have a family though and a job, which means the blog is only a hobby.

Coming from a background in debate, I'm definitely a Type 3 and I have shouted it on more than one occasion, so I know you already know this!

As for a tip of my own, I think for some (not all) it's important to have a set subject that can be expanded on; along with consistency and substance.

That's my two cents!
Again congratulations!! And, you're welcome to direct some of that traffic my way at anytime. :P

C. Beth said...

mevsmysoul--Welcome!! Thanks so much for visiting! I'll check out your blog.

Brook--Thanks for the input! And for the congrats. :)

***I've edited the post--see tip #7 above. It's a good one, and I forgot to include it the first time!***

Adlibby said...

Definitely a type 3 newbie here. Thank you so much for your tips. The writing part is easy for me -- it's the blogging part that confounds me! And I'm a little overwhelmed at what a supportive bunch bloggers are! Go team!

St0rm187 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inkpot said...

I think I'm a type three blogger as well. Thanks for these tips Beth. I would suggest putting photos on your blog as well to get more attention. While I don't do this yet myself, I have noticed that blogs with a lot of photos tend to get more attention (even if the photos are totally random). I'm off now to impliment some of your good suggestions. I have to thank you, I've already got some extra traffic since taking part in TOMW! :) Hope you are having/have had a good day.

Roxy said...

Beth, While watching Opra yesterday she made this offer and it FREE through snapfish. The answer to your child's artwork.
The offer expires tomorrow.
it's a GREAT idea.
Roxy



Previous
Overwhelmed by what to do with growing piles of your child's art projects? Peter has a great solution! "Take digital photos of their artwork, upload them to Snapfish.com, and they will send you back a beautiful, bound book of the kids' artwork. So, over time, you can build a library of your children's artwork—let the pieces go, but keep them in this form forever."

To help you get organized, Snapfish.com is offering The Oprah Winfrey Show viewers a free 8" x 11" custom-cover photo book! *

Create a Snapfish.com account now or log in to your existing account to receive this special offer. Get your free book!

* This offer is only good for one standard 20-page 8" x 11" custom-cover photo book per household. Coupon dispersal ends at 11:59 p.m. PST Friday, November 14, 2008. Free photo book must be redeemed by 11:59 p.m. PST Sunday, November 16, 2008. Offer does not include customary shipping and handling changes or additional pages. Offer applies only to mail-order delivery to U.S. customers. Offer cannot be combined with other coupon codes. Coupon cannot be resold or otherwise transferred and is void on the earlier of redemption or the offer end date.

Due to heavy demand, you may experience some slowness navigating to the website. Please be patient and try again later.

Janice said...

Beth- I definitely started out as a Type 2. As a teacher, I preferred my anonymity and keeping my private/personal life just that- my blog was more a venue for keeping friends and family posted beyond the occasional online photo album. But as I started writing more, I began to see the universality of some of my posts, and how they may connect with readers I've never met before. Yours do just that- I'm a new reader, but you write with such a friendly, familiar tone (and you have a great sense of humor). I'm glad to have found your blogs!

Dan & Hillary and little Russell said...

You are a great blogger b/c you post often and keep the posting light and funny;-) I blog for family and friends and try and keep the overly serious stuff to myself.

Dina Maas said...

Thanks for the great advice! If asked outright, I'd probably say I was a Type 1, but then I'd have to admit I'm a Type 3 too. Also, thanks for the link to your dad's blog!

www.windcanyonwritings.blogspot.com

C. Beth said...

adlibby--I agree; bloggers rock! Thanks for visiting mine. :)

st0rm187--"Tales From the Ghetto" would be a great blog title!

inkpot--YAAY for increased traffic! Thanks for the tip too. It's amazing how many bloggers are really talented photographers (NOT me!)

Roxy--Thank you so much! I added it to my Snapfish account and hope to get the book made today or tomorrow! Awesome! By the way, for anyone reading, here's the link: http://www.snapfish.com/freebook2008

Janice--You are so sweet! What a wonderful thing to say and I appreciate it so much. Hope your blogging goes really well!

Hillary--thank you so much! Yeah, I usually keep most serious stuff to myself too. At the beginning I did more serious stuff, but my blog "evolved" and now it's more lighthearted. I figure most of the serious stuff is what I can share with my close friends, not the whole world (with some exceptions.) And...thank you!

Dina Maas--No problem; I hope you enjoy his blog as much as I do!

Hopialikeit said...

Hi Beth! Consider me a fan of your blogs from Manila, Philippines. I've just finished scanning some of your articles and will definitely read some more. The One Minute writer is an altruistic idea that will have you reaping more psychological and spiritual income in no time. God bless you for that.

I'm a fellow type 3 blogger. Though a newbie blogger, I'm optimistic about the possibilities of affecting people in a good way, however small. My loving wife (we just got married 9 months ago)encourages me to write positive stories that aim to uplift the human spirit. I definitely found inspiration in your blogs. I'm sure my wife will be your fan, too. God bless you and your family.

http://hopiablogger.blogspot.com/

Rebecca said...

you are so funny... audience and all! I think I fall under between type 1 and 2... family and I enjoy it. I enjoy keeping in touch with you as well!

Eugene said...

Cheers for Type 3s!

(But I'm too young to drink... I just wrote that...)

Shawn Michel de Montaigne said...

Excellent suggestions; thanks.

I love blogging. I also love looking around the blogosphere and seeing what other people are doing. It gives me great ideas for my own.

The very best to you and this project; I look forward to visiting again soon!

Mike Fan said...

Yay! I got a link to my blog :) I hope it helps a lot of people. There are some undervalued blogs with excellent posts everywhere!

http://365Sonnets.blogspot.com
http://SomeTurbidNight.blogspot.com
http://VoglioTempo.blogspot.com

Trudi said...

Well, I started as a 2. So far, I've turned out to be a 1. All while secretly wanting to be a 3.

Chris said...

I just found your blog today, after searching the "blogs of note" on my blogger dashboard. I am clearly a type 3. I have a private family blog I write, and a public sports blog about my favorite football team. I'm toying with a new idea as well, which has no posts yet, while i figure out my "voice", if you will.

Basically, it feels good to write every day and this post, and your blog, have added more inspiration to my newfound interest in blogging.

So, thank you! I look forward to being a follower of your blog!

Here's my shameless link:

http://detroitrams.blogspot.com
http://ntm-chris.blogspot.com

Gillian said...

I found your blog in Blogs of Note -- congrats! I recently started my first blog, on a topic I am very passionate about - eating! I have been searching for tips for increasing traffic to my site to build a readership so I guess I am a Type 3, as well! Thank you for the tips; they are all so relevant.
My self-promotion, which admittedly, feels a little funny:
http://www.veg-out-gillian.blogspot.com/

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Congratulations
and many thanks for inspiration
from a type 3 wannabe :)

DandAinNYC said...

Thanks for all the suggestions! I started my very first blog when I moved from Oklahoma to New York so I could keep up with friends and family, but after seeing so many other blogs with many followers, I, of course, want my blog to get noticed! Recently I've been blogging about my journey across the ocean to Europe (I've been here for 2 months already). I have many pictures and links to other sites. Feel free to check me out: http://dandatraveltheworld.blogspot.com/ Thanks again, I look forward to seeing the new one-minute idea daily! - Amy Denev

Janichay said...

Ok... take two. I'm not sure if my first attempt to comment is just lost in cyberspace or if I did something wrong!

Thank you so much for your One Minute blog and this particular post. It has been very helpful, and the comments you recommended we read. - A total answer to a question which had crossed my mind earlier this evening.

I think I am a conflicted/complex type 3! Reason being, I have come to a point in my life when I just want to be happy being 'me', and so don't want to need an audience. Yet, I have felt for a while that I may have a gift in the area of writing, and that others may enjoy what I write, so would LOVE an audience :-)As a sidenote, I also think I am one of those types that could become serioulsy addicted to it, and totally hooked on the buzz of any comments/followers I managed to get! :-)

After procrastinating about writing for years, I have FINALLY taken the advice of a cousin and started blogging. My first post was on the 28th Dec. The hope is that it will help me to build the daily joyful discipline of writing. - If I'm honest I have lacked discipline in this area for TOO long. I am also hopeful that it may pave the way for other things.

I found your One minute blog by clicking the next blog option, which after a few clicks took me to a lady's blog who had one of your buttons. It was the one which says: "There are 1,440 minutes..." It was so apt to my situation, so I clicked it, delved so much into your site that I couldn't even trace back to tell you whose blog I found you through! And am now saying a rather LONG thank you.

Thanks again, and if anyone wants to see my blog beginnings, feel free: http://thelastpages-janichay.blogspot.com/

Say Anything Notes said...

Hi, I am following a link from someone that posted a one minute writing post...very interesting idea...fantastic actually...and then I jumped over here..for these wonderful tips...also a fellow SITS sister...so saying hello! Thanks for the tips! Lovely blogs!!! I'd have to restrain myself for the minute, but I'm sure it's well worth it, he he.

Tora said...

Thank you for those tips on getting a traffic to my blog. I´m kind of 1,2,3 person LOL but I know I do want more traffic on my blog so I guess I´m more of a 3 person rather then 1 or 2 LOL.
My blog url: http://www.agnarogn13.blogspot.com and you are all free to come and take a look and if you like you can grab my scrapbooing-freebie´s on the way - or just brows and see some photos from Iceland - where I live.
Have a good time :)