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« Marketing pothole (#3 of 3): What will the boss think | Main | Why I don't have comments »

How to get traffic for your blog

My friend Fred, a talented blogger, asked me for advice the other day. Here's a partial answer, with a few apologies to Swift: (and when you're done with this list, feel free to read my post about shark attacks).

  1. Use lists.
  2. Be topical... write posts that need to be read right now.
  3. Learn enough to become the expert in your field.
  4. Break news.
  5. Be timeless... write posts that will be readable in a year.
  6. Be among the first with a great blog on your topic, then encourage others to blog on the same topic.
  7. Share your expertise generously so people recognize it and depend on you.
  8. Announce news.
  9. Write short, pithy posts.
  10. Encourage your readers to help you manipulate the technorati top blog list.
  11. Don't write about your cat, your boyfriend or your kids.
  12. Write long, definitive posts.
  13. Write about your kids.
  14. Be snarky. Write nearly libelous things about fellow bloggers, daring them to respond (with links back to you) on their blog.
  15. Be sycophantic. Share linklove and expect some back.
  16. Include polls, meters and other eye candy.
  17. Tag your posts. Use del.ico.us.
  18. Coin a term or two.
  19. Do email interviews with the well-known.
  20. Answer your email.
  21. Use photos. Salacious ones are best.
  22. Be anonymous.
  23. Encourage your readers to digg your posts. (and to use furl and reddit). Do it with every post.
  24. Post your photos on flickr.
  25. Encourage your readers to subscribe by RSS.
  26. Start at the beginning and take your readers through a months-long education.
  27. Include comments so your blog becomes a virtual water cooler that feeds itself.
  28. Assume that every day is the beginning, because you always have new readers.
  29. Highlight your best posts on your Squidoo lens.
  30. Point to useful but little-known resources.
  31. Write about stuff that appeals to the majority of current blog readers--like gadgets and web 2.0.
  32. Write about Google.
  33. Have relevant ads that are even better than your content.
  34. Don't include comments, people will cross post their responses.
  35. Write posts that each include dozens of trackbacks to dozens of blog posts so that people will notice you.
  36. Run no ads.
  37. Keep tweaking your template to make it include every conceivable bell or whistle.
  38. Write about blogging.
  39. Digest the good ideas of other people, all day, every day.
  40. Invent a whole new kind of art or interaction.
  41. Post on weekdays, because there are more readers.
  42. Write about a never-ending parade of different topics so you don't bore your readers.
  43. Post on weekends, because there are fewer new posts.
  44. Don't interrupt your writing with a lot of links.
  45. Dress your blog (fonts and design) as well as you would dress yourself for a meeting with a stranger.
  46. Edit yourself. Ruthlessly.
  47. Don't promote yourself and your business or your books or your projects at the expense of the reader's attention.
  48. Be patient.
  49. Give credit to those that inspired, it makes your writing more useful.
  50. Ping technorati. Or have someone smarter than me tell you how to do it automatically.
  51. Write about only one thing, in ever-deepening detail, so you become definitive.
  52. Write in English.
  53. Better, write in Chinese.
  54. Write about obscure stuff that appeals to an obsessed minority.
  55. Don't be boring.
  56. Write stuff that people want to read and share.

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#23 - no. People who use Digg know how to Digg. I don't need to see those social bookmarking icons ever again.

johnmoore: Or explain why Jim Rome sucks.
http://underscorebleach.net/jotsheet/2005/01/jim-rome

100. Write everyday.
101. Harness synergy and write on a topic you research regardless.
102. Mix it up a bit. If you don't allow comments, allow comments on only one post.

19. Do email interviews with the well-known.

Hands up who will do an interview with me!

Oh alright then I'll wait until I am Web 2.0 and an A listed blog!

Write about interesting topics that people want to link to. - Give useful tips, top ten lists, etc.

As this looks like this might be the only time I get to add a comment to your blog, can I just take the opportunity to say, I think you're great (#15) I've spent a lot of time over the past year reading your stuff and it has helped me alot (#49) and if you happen to be in Liverpool next Wednesday let me know, I'm having a bit of a do (#2 #4 & #8)

yours sincerely
The Artfinder (#18)

Lots to think about, thanks! Oh, and, Robert? I'll interview with you except for the pesky matter of me not being well-known.

1) Be an A-list blogger.
2) Fart really loudly.

That's all you'll ever need.

11. Don’t write about your cat, your boyfriend or your kids.
13. Write about your kids.

can someone please clarify this, should I be having kids or not?

"A-List Blogger" = certainly popular and almost certainly overrated. Pass.

Thanks for the excellent list Seth. I understand completely your opening up comments for a single post like this once in a while. For the person who wonders whether they should have kids or not, you may find the following article useful: "Do What You Want" at success-digest.com.

In my experience with Apple Matters I agree with many these (and thanks for the interview Seth!).

Three other additions I would add.

1. Make sure you are insanely passionate about what you are blogging about, because, over the long-term you will otherwise get bored real quick. This leads to number 2.

2. Longevity. Don't expect much in the first months, or year, or even two years. Think long-term.

3. Don't over-obsess about traffic but do over-obsess with quality.

blog about getting traffic for your blog
an Oroborous moment!

I know this is just a one-time opening for comments. So I just gotta comment & make it memorable :-)

Seriously I think Seth's last point was the most powerful. That was the REAL thing. I don't need to remember the rest. But if I just remember the last one - I'll get everything else right.

Thank you Seth for your contributions to planet Earth. You have been a big help with your books and your thoughts on this blog. As for me, I am at the start of the world with many places left to go. Keep poking your stick in the ground.

This is a good post, I think a lot of these ways to get traffic to your blog are just common sense.

For me, just posting on a daily basis gets me a number of hits each day. But I also read other blogs, respond to them (with comments, etc.) and generally stay involved in the field I write about (writing/literature).

I have also found that posting a few small ads announcing my blog on sites like Craigslist also get me some additional daily traffic.

But I agree that having good content that is up-to-date is the key ingredient. I'm not sure how post lengths affects readership though - I tend to write longer posts, but with short paragraphs.

I also just wanted to say that I love this blog. I am new to the world of "professional bloggin" and I'm still learning the ropes. This site has given me oodles of information and inspiration!!! Thank you and keep up the good work!

"21. Don't write about your cat, your boyfriend or your kids."

What about your very sexy girlfriends? ;)

Talk about other people - not just yourself. It conveys both credibility AND a sense of humility, which in turn breeds more credibility.

Comment on Seth Godin's Blog - and include the url to your own. This is probably the best way to drive traffic to your own blog.

Learning Chinese might be a good idea since there is over 1 billion. http://www.selfstarterops.com/shoud-i-learn-chinese

100054. Comment on an A-list bloggers popular post and say something useful.


100055. Do a keyword analysis with Nichebot.com or Wordtracker and use the words with the most traffic and the least competition in your article.. make sure it is good content, not just search engine fodder.

100056. Be creative.

100057. Talk about Sponge Bob Square Pants.. be funny

100058. Make Use of the technorati/AP News combination.. http://www.selfstarterops.com/technorati-is-teaming-up-with-associated-press

100059. Submit your blog to every single web 2.0 program in existance like Mr. VOXEFX
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=voxefx&btnG=Search

more at SelfStarterops

Good Luck to all on all your life endeavors (is that how you spell endeavors.. oh well no one will read this anyway.)

57. Blog about how to get traffic for your blog

Mr. Godin's contradictions are deliberate and enlightening. There are no rules for blogging---we are writing them as we go.

57. Try to let your cluelessness show as little as possible when you comment on Top Ten blogs.

Be yourself! If you have passion about your life, your business, your family, your interests and share that piece of your heart, your readers can't help but take notice.

Archive your favorite posts/stories so that folks can find them easily.

Tell your secrets. Readers want to know intimate bits, want to feel they share a moment with you.

Be truthful about your emotions, even when you're feeling down and out. I've made more friends blogging than I can ever imagine.

I like Birdie's approach--to be yourself. But "write about obscure stuff that appeals to an obsessed minority," is always something that is on my mind, because I've got so many interest in the obscure that I'm sure there are others that share them. If only I could find them, if only! Oh wait, that's what the Internet is for... now only if I'd stop posting the irrelevant and get on a topic of substance!

Be unique, in your own unique way - which translates as don't listen to other people who tell you how to blog. The most interesting blogs are the ones that do not follow the rules.

What about design? I say, have a "unique" and "sincere" design. The font you use, the major color and the logo or image at top; these help readers to visualize you blog. Visualization means, remembering. Remembering means, loyalty. Loyalty means, telling you story. And you know the rest :)

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