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How to Write Tweets that Instantly Lead to More Traffic

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Whenever I write a new post, whether it is for BlogWorld or for one of my own sites, I automatically tweet out the link. Literally, it is automatic. I use a service called TwitterFeed to make sure every new link is tweeted, along with the title. I know some people are against Twitter automation, but I think in this case, the pros outweigh the cons. Many of my followers like the announcement when I write something new.

But I also tweet other links throughout the day, including some to my own sites – either the newest post I’ve written or a post from the archives that I love. These aren’t automated, and I’ve learned that just how I craft the tweet can instantly lead to more traffic…or it can lead to my tweet being ignored by 99% of my followers.

So here’s how I write tweets that get people to read my content:

  • I get away from the title/link/via formula.

When TwitterFeed tweets my link or I use a share button to tweet the link on a blog post I like, the automatic formula is Post Title – Link – via @whoeverwroteit. That can get you some clicks if it’s brand new content, especially if the title is compelling, but it’s not the best way to get a ton of traffic when tweeting older links or tweeting links for the second or third time. Mix things up so that you don’t become white noise to your followers.

  • Invite people to comment by asking a question.

People like to give their opinion on a topic. Unless your title asks a question, you aren’t really inviting them to answer anything when you tweet your link with the generic Title-Link-Via formula. One way you can instantly get more clicks is by leading with a question. For example, if I wanted to promote this post on Twitter, I could write: “What makes you most likely to click on Twitter links? Answer here: *link*.” People need to be invited to your blog sometimes.

  • Be a proud mama.

People want to read the best of the best. If you’re a prolific link tweeter (guilty!), taking the time to mark an occasional post as special in some way can entice people to click. For example, I might write, “I’m super proud of my latest post. I think it’s the best on my blog!” or “I just finished writing a post that means a lot to me. Would be honored if you guys checked it out.” Of course, include the link with your tweets and make sure that your claim of something special doesn’t fall short – use this technique sparingly and only when you do write something that you’re especially proud of posting on your blog.

  • Time your tweets well.

You’re going to get more clicks at 3 in the afternoon than you are at 3 in the morning, no matter what your tweet says. Beyond that, though, do a little testing and find specific times that work for your audience. For example, I find that bloggers tend to read more in the morning, so I tweet BlogWorld links in the AM, while I find that college kids are night owls, so I tweet After Graduation links at night.

  • Write short tweets.

People are more likely to click on shorter tweets for some reason. It also makes it easier for retweeting purposes. So even though you have 140 characters to promote what you write, try to use under 100 whenever possible.

  • Tweet about how you’re solving a problem.

Sometimes the title doesn’t do the best job of describing just how the post will help people. Even the title of this post, for example, might be straight-forward, but it isn’t quite as enticing as a tweet that reads, “Having trouble getting people to click your links on Twitter? This is a good post for you: *link*.” Titles should be enticing, but sometimes when you tweet about the problem you’re solving in a more conversational way, you get more clicks.

  • Write responses to things others have written – and tweet about it.

This post isn’t in response to another post I’ve read, but let’s say it was. I might still want to title it “How to Write Tweets that Instantly Lead to More Traffic,” but when I tweet about it, instead of using the title, I might say, “I wrote a response to @someonesname’s post about Tweeting. Do you guys agree with me or him?” or “I liked @someonesname’s Twitter post so much, I had to write my own. Here’s my take on the topic.” (include links of course). Not only is it enticing to read two disagreeing opinions on something (or opinions that don’t necessary disagree but build on one another), but you’ll also attract the attention of the other blogger and they might retweet your link or at least click in themselves to see what you have to say.

Above all, remember that Twitter is most valuable in terms of traffic when you keep two things in mind:

  1. You should be conversational, doing more than just tweeting your own links.
  2. You can’t be afraid of tweeting links completely. You can be conversational, but it’s okay to promote your work too.

So those are my Twitter traffic tips. What makes you most likely to click a link? Or what techniques have you noticed work with your blog when you want Twitter traffic?

 

Is Your Site Too Bouncy?

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Bouncy balls? Lots of smiles! Bouncy readers? Not so much…

Right now, I’m compiling links about bounce rate for Brilliant Bloggers, and it struck me that a lot of bloggers out there might not even know what bounce rate is and why they should want a lower number. So, I’ll get to all the links and tips for creating a stickier blog tomorrow…today, I thought it might be helpful if we all talk about why this matters in the first place!

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is a number hidden in your states, usually reflected as a percentage. This is the one case when a lower number is better! Basically, a bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave your site after reading only their entry page, the page that got them to your blog in the first place. They don’t click any internal links. They don’t go to the home page. They don’t click the “read more” button. They just leave.

So, you actually want a lower bounce rate. The lower the rate, the more people are sticking around and checking out other areas of your blog, maybe even subscribing to your RSS feed or mailing list.

They Like Me…They Really Like Me!

Traffic is a great way to measure your success as a blogger, but I think sometimes the numbers can be more complex than we’d like to admit. Traffic spikes from, for example, a popular post on StumbleUpon can make your monthly totals soar. However, when you look at the bounce rate from that traffic, it tends to be very high.

It’s not that you didn’t have great content, because if you didn’t, it wouldn’t have gotten popular on StumbleUpon, but it’s more important that a person likes you, not just your blog posts. When a person is interested in you, not just your content, they want to read more, and they even want to subscribe or bookmark so they can stay connected in the future.

Readers to Consumers

Your readers consume your content, but you want them to be a consumer in another sense as well – you want them to buy your stuff, whether that’s items through affiliate links or your own products or services. People who bounce away from your site quickly don’t become consumers. The next step after becoming a consumer is becoming a brand advocate, where they actually go out and tell other people to buy from you as well…and that definitely doesn’t happen when they bounce from your site quickly!

Tricky Stats

Bounce rate is just one part of understanding your stats. I think it’s important not to have blinders on when examining numbers. Even bounce rate doesn’t alone accurately reflect what is happening on your site. Stats are tricky! But don’t ignore bounce rate, especially when you see a traffic spike. Understanding whether or not people are sticking around to check out the rest of your blog can help you create better content.

How much importance do you put in bounce rate versus raw traffic numbers? Leave a comment to tell us!

The 12 New Media Days of Christmas 2011: 5 Traffic Tips

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During the 12 New Media Days of Christmas, we’re counting down the days until 2012 comes by featuring some of the best blog posts of 2011 from awesome writers within the BlogWorld community! Skip to the end to read more posts in this holiday series and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’ve written a post about today’s topic!

When it comes to blogging, the numbers matter. Without traffic, you can’t build a brand. Without traffic, you can’t sell advertising. Without traffic, you can’t spread your message. Without traffic you can’t sell your products. Unfortunately, the “if you build it, they will come” model of blogging doesn’t really work. Great content is often buried in the bottomless void of the Internet, and even the best bloggers in the world occasionally write posts that are fantastic, but go relatively unnoticed. So the topic of traffic is relevant to all of us! Here are some awesome posts about this topic:

1. How to Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog—With Less Effort by Amy Porterfield at AmyPorterfield.com

This is the last post in an entire series by Amy called “How to Create Bite-Sized Content Your Readers Will Devour and Share.” In this post, Amy talks about the need to find your own sweet spot when it comes to the effort you exert trying to get more traffic to your site. The answer is going to be different for each person, but the overall concept is that you don’t need to do everything. You just need to do what works for you. Writes Amy,

The good news is, you’re probably already doing a lot right. Really. You’re probably already doing at least 90% of what you need to do to hit your own sweet spot.

In fact, you might be doing too much.

Let’s look at what you HATE doing. Some people hate, hate, hate Twitter. If you hate Twitter, maybe you’re doing too much there—or maybe you’re wasting your time. Often, when we don’t love something, we don’t do it very well. The same goes for Facebook, your blog, and any other social media you do.

Amy created the 4-week video training program The Simple Social Media Formula: Social Media on Your Terms and is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies. You can find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @amyporterfield.


 

2. Why Guru Strategies for Blog Growth DON’T WORK… and What Does! by Danny Iny at Firepole Marketing

This post from Danny covers everything you need to know about building your traffic, using the idea that you don’t need to use the “slow and steady” strategy, but you do need to do what’s right for your current level of success. That’s why what’s working for someone with a million hits a day probably won’t work for you. You need to get to that level first! From the post:

No, this isn’t a post about how you should be patient and take things slow and steady, because eventually you’ll win the race.

(As Sonia Simone said in a recent radio interview, “slow but steady works, but we’ve all had the experience of being beaten to the finish line by a jack rabbit with ADD!”)

The point of this post is that the fastest way to grow is by using the strategy that fits with your current stage of growth. The more appropriate your strategy is to your stage of growth, the faster you’ll outgrow it, and be ready for the next one!

You can find Danny on Twitter @DannyIny. He’s also the co-author of Engagement from Scratch! and founder of Bowl of Goals.


 

3. 49 promo ideas. simple, grand + the tried n’ true. by Danielle LaPorte at White Hot Truth

I love the ideas for promotion that Danielle offers in this post. Some of them are old standbys that everyone tells us to do to drive traffic. Others are pretty unique ideas that I haven’t heard anywhere else. All of them are fantastic! Go through the whole list or pick and choose what makes sense to you.  Whether you’re launching a new business or trying to build traffic to a site you already run, these are great ideas. Here are a few examples of the tips Danielle gives:

15. Don’t be shy about all the awards and accolades you’ve earned—create a special section on your site’s About page just for that.
16. Have ongoing giveaways on your site to engage customers, generate content, and build up subscriber base. e.g. “Answer Today’s Q&A and you’ll be entered to win the Awesome Gift of the Month.” Get cool people to donate the Awesome Gift (or Service) of the Month and they’ll help with the buzz.
17. Host a Story, Poetry or Photo contest that’s related to your industry. You could take the best submissions and turn them into an e-book, or you could partner with a print magazine and the winner would get published.

You can find Danielle on Twitter @daniellelaporte. She’s the creator of the Spark Kit and Your Big Beautiful Book Plan and has a number of free downloads available for readers.


 

4. Are You Taking Advantages of Recurring Posts? by Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income

What are you “known for”? What do readers enjoy looking forward to reading on your site? Hopefully, every post your write keeps them coming back for more, but doing a recurring series makes a lot of sense. Traffic isn’t just about finding new eyeballs. It’s also about keeping current readers coming back to your site more often. In this post, Pat talks about how doing a recurring series can boost your traffic. He writes,

Are you giving your audience anything specific and regular to look forward to?In other words, is there some type of post that you publish consistently over and over again that becomes a true unique element to your brand?

Pat’s free ebook guide is available on his blog’s sidebar. You can also like Smart Passive Income on Facebook and follow Pat on Twitter @patflynn.


 

5. How to Improve Google Rankings for Your Older Posts in 4 Easy Steps by Ana Hoffman at Traffic Generation Cafe

Oh, Google. You are the bringer of traffic, but the bane of my existence. I couldn’t write a post about traffic and not include any links to information on boosting your search engine rankings. In this post, Ana writes about the step by step process to actually put your old post to good use. You’ve probably spent hundreds or even thousands of hours writing those old posts, so you deserve to get a little traffic from them! Just a few small changes can help make good (but old) content more visible on search engines. Writes Ana,

Blogging is never a “publish and forget it” sort of deal.You publish a post, you answer comments, you build links to it in hopes of ranking it high in search engines so that you can start getting organic traffic on autopilot.

Then comes the day of publishing a new post – for many of us, it’s the following day.

And what happens to the previous post? Previous 10, 20 posts? That’s right – who has the time?

If you make the time for your old content, you can see great results! After checking out this post, you can find Ana on Twitter @AnaTrafficCafe and add Ana to your Google+ circles. She’s the author of 7 Steps to Complete Search Engine Domination, which is available for free on her sidebar.


Other posts in the 12 New Media Days of Christmas series will be linked here as they go live:

12 Bloggers Monetizing
11 Emailers List Building
10 Google+ Users a-Sharing
9 Vloggers Recording
8 Links a-Baiting
7 Community Managers a-Managing
6 Publishers a-Publishing
5 Traffic Tips (this post)
4 New Media Case Studies
3 Must-Read New Media Interviews
2 Top New Media News Stories of 2011
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

You can also check out the all the posts from 2010 and 2011 here, and don’t forget: If you wrote a post in 2011 about today’s topic (traffic), PLEASE leave the link in a comment below to share with the community!

What Irish Drinking Songs Taught Me About Blogging

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This weekend, my sister is visiting me from Pennsylvania (I live in the DC Metro area). I decided to take her to my favorite bar in town, which happens to be a Irish pub. While we sipped some drinks and caught up on life, we enjoyed some live music, including a few Irish drinking songs (of course).

The singer played a pretty wide variety of songs, and I noticed something commonly shared by the songs the audience seemed to like the best: They are interactive.

That’s a lesson we can learn about blogging as well. People love being able to interact.

Many Irish drinking songs are interactive because there’s some kind of audience call back line. In other words, the singer says a line and the audience yells something back in response. In a rowdy bar, this can be pretty fun! There are also songs that have hand motions, songs that require you to do a task (most commonly, take a drink), and more.

Here’s how this can translate to the blogging world, no alcohol required:

  • Ask your audience a question at the end of your blog post.

Like a call back line, ending your post with a question invites your readers to say something back to you. Sometimes, readers have to be encouraged to respond to your posts, especially if you don’t have a normally vocal crowd. Try getting people warmed up with some topics that are highly controversial, in the same way the performer at the bar warmed up the audience with some old favorites like Sweet Caroline. Don’t bait your readers, but make it easy to comment with a post that elicits an emotion. As your readership grows, you’ll start getting responses to other blog posts as well – but it always helps to ask that question or at least remind people that they can leave a comment.

  • Teach them the words.

Inactive songs are pretty useless if no one knows the words or hand motions. The performer at my pub always tests the water a little to see how savvy the audience is. If there are a lot of people there who know the correct responses, he just plays the song. If not, he gives the audience a little tutorial or even invites someone (usually someone who’s already had a few beers) to the stage to help him and lead the audience.

Similarly, you have to “teach your readers the words”. When someone new shows up on your blog, they don’t know the lingo or where to start. If you don’t give them a little guidance until they find their way, they’ll leave. So consider making a “best of” page or “new users start here” page. If you have weekly or monthly features with unique names, explain at the beginning of these posts what they are (one or two short sentences should do). Link to some related posts at the end of each post or throughout. Until your readers know your site like the back of their hands, they need your help!

  • Make people smile and then encourage them to pull out their wallets.

One of the songs the guitarist at my pub sings almost every time I see him is “Piano Man” – I know, it’s a funny song for a guitarist to sing, but I understand why he does. He never leads with this song. He waits until the bar gets pretty full, sings a few crowd-pleasers, and then starts strumming Billy Joel. Why? Well, if you don’t know the song, there’s a line that goes: “And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar” – in other words, all the people at the bar tip him. Whenever he sings that, he stops and goes “AHEM” and sings the line again. It always gets a laugh, but you know what? At least two or three people run up and stick money in his tip jar.

This would get annoying if he did it all the time, but by that point in the night, everyone’s had some drinks, and we know we like this guy. He’s played some of our favorite songs, he’s made us laugh, and we’re having a good time. So of course we respond with tips. On your blog, it’s the same idea – let readers get to know you. Entertain them (or teach them something – preferably both) and then when they’re happy and know they like you, ask for their money. Don’t be afraid of the ask. It can get annoying if you beg or encourage them to buy too often, but if you never do, they might not remember.

Three Ways to Use Twitter Lists to Build Blog Traffic

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When I first signed up for Twitter, I didn’t use the list function at all. I didn’t even realize they had one, and I was following so few people that it didn’t really matter whether or not I had them categorized. As I began to “meet” people online and the number of people I followed grew, I suddenly needed to create lists in order to make sure I didn’t miss the tweets I really wanted to see. I have lists for blogging friends, lists for people I know in real life, lists for those I’m following who are gamers, and more. Organization is important to me, so I make good use of lists.

But lists are great for another reason too. When used correctly, they can actually help you build blog traffic. Today, I wanted to talk about three ways I’ve seen people using lists to drive traffic to their blogs, including some tips I’ve done myself.

Disclaimer: I do not encourage you to have “fake friendships” on Twitter or other social media sites. Basically, tweet with people because you like them, not because you think you can leverage your friendship to make money in the future! These tips are simply ways you can organize Twitter to make it more effective for driving blog traffic while still maintaining friendships and meeting new people.

Twitter List Tip #1: List chat participants.

I love taking part in Twitter chats, including our very own #BWEchat (held every Wednesday). When I participate in a chat that has to do with my blog niche, I like to add participants to a special list. After all, they’re all talking about the same topic, so they must be interested in it! Throughout the week, I often see chat participants asking questions about the topic at hand, and I can swoop in to answer them, even linking to past blog posts if relevant. Throughout the week, I’ll delete people who don’t engage or are spammy, follow the people who are friendly, and then clean out the list to prepare for the next chat.

Twitter List Tip #2: Create a list for conferences.

BWELA is coming up in less than a month, so now’s prime time to start preparing for BlogWorld and test out this tip for yourself. As you see people tweeting about going (follow the #BWELA hashtag), add them to a list of your own and interact with them. You’ll make some new friends, and be able to plan some great meet-ups while you’re in LA. The added bonus (and traffic-driving portion of this tip) is that most people who are going to meet you in real life take a moment to check out your blog.

Twitter List Tip #3: Go for the multiple RTs.

People retweet posts all the time. Sometimes because they’re friends with you already, while other times because they just happened across your link via a friend or search engine and liked the post. Those are people who have already raised their hands and said they like your blog! Add them to a list and build that relationship. You can even notify them when you’ve written something similar to something they’ve retweeted in the past (though try not to be too spammy).

Do you use Twitter lists to build traffic? Share your tips with a comment below!

46 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Triberr

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Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Triberr

I want to dislike Triberr. I really do. When it comes to social media, the a-word – automation – is worse than any four-letter word out there. But everything I’ve read about this service really impresses me! The concept is simple – you join a tribe with bloggers you like and everyone in the tribe tweets out everyone else’s links. What makes me really like this concept is that not only do you have control over what tribes you join, ensuring that you aren’t promoting bloggers you don’t want to promote, but you also have the option to moderate the links you tweet out. So, even though it’s automation, it’s automation with a lot of moderation…and I like that.

Without a doubt, there are people who don’t like Triberr. As with everything, there are people going to take advantage of the tool, trying to game it for their own benefits. There’s also the social media “noise” factor. Those who don’t like Triberr definitely make some good points.

I don’t personally belong to Triberr…yet. Right now, as far as I can tell, it’s still invite-only. But it’s a really great concept and I’m starting to see more and more bloggers signing up to at least give it a try. Luckily, members are also starting to talk about their experiences with Triberr on their blogs as well, so today, I wanted to share with you some of the brilliant posts I’ve read about Triberr.

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

4 Things Triberr Reminded Me About Twitter by Neal Schaffer

In this post, Neal talks about his experiences with Triberr in a more traditional type of review, but then he goes on to talk in depth about some things using Triberr has taught him about the way people use Twitter. There are good and bad aspects of every social media tool, and I think Neal does a great job talking about both the good and bad of Triberr. Check it out and then find Neal on Twitter @NealSchaffer.

A Leap of Faith that Brought a Metric-Ton of Traffic by Robert Dempsey

I think this post by Robert Dempsey does a great job of giving readers a little overview of Triberr, but what I really like is seeing his stats and how Triberr has affected his traffic. Robder sums up his experience in three words: holy monkey butt. Check out the post to find out why and then follow him on Twitter @rdempsey.

How Triberr Achieved Massive Success by Beny Schonfeld

This is an awesome video interview with Dino, one of the co-founders of Triberr. He talks about what Triberr is and why is has become so successful, and as an added bonus, if you’re willing to send out a tweet about it, you can download a free ap success guide with all the lessons you can learn from Triberr’s success. After watching the video, check out Beny on Twitter @appeando.

BONUS: With so many posts about Triberr, it was hard to pick just three to highlight. If you’re on the fence about checking out this social media tool, the post you definitely should read is Review of Triberr: The Twitter Promotion Powerhouse by Ben Barden (@benbarden). This has detailed lists of pros and cons of Triberr and is, in my opinion, one of the best posts out there on this topic!

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about Triberr? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link!

Next Week’s Topic: Finding Post Ideas

I’d love to include a link to your post next week – and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

Four People Who Aren’t Reading Your Blog (And How to Get Them To Change Their Minds)

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Sometimes, it can seem like the only people reading your blog are other bloggers – and let’s face it; for most of us, other bloggers aren’t our target market. It’s really great if you have an arsenal of blogging friends on Twitter to support you because you write great things, but they aren’t going to buy your products because, frankly, they don’t need them.

So let’s talk about the people who aren’t readying your blog – and how you can get them to change their dreadful ways!

1. A-Listers in your Niche

No matter what your niche, their are certain bloggers who have been around the block a time or two. It’s the a-list: the bloggers who seem to speak at every conference, publish books based on their blog topic, and have an army of rabid fans. Who doesn’t want an a-lister to read their content?

  • Why They Don’t Read Your Blog: A-listers are super busy. Not only are they bloggers themselves, but because they’re popular, they’re getting pulled in about five thousand directions at every moment of the day. They usually don’t have the time to go out and explore new blogs or even check out blogs that are recommended to them unless the recommendation comes from something they really trust.
  • Why You Want Them To Read Your Blog: It goes without saying that an a-lister who reads your blog can potentially bring in tons of traffic if they promote your content. If they like what you write, it could also lead to joint ventures, guest posting opportunities, and awesome recommendations in the future.
  • How to Change Their Mind: It isn’t always easy to attract the attention of a busy a-list, but what I’ve found works best is to mention them in some way. For example – I wrote a post called “Scott Stratten Doesn’t Know Who You Are” back in October, which mentioned Scott, Darren Rowse, Chris Garrett, and Brian Clark – and three out of four of those a-listers in the blogging/new media niche actually replied to me on Twitter, with two of them taking the time to retweet.

2. Your Non-Blogging Friends

Most of us have friends who don’t really “get” the whole blogging thing. Even if you mention that you’ve recently written something they might like, they don’t read it. It’s like pulling teeth, which can be super frustrating if you’ve written something that is exactly what they want or need.

  • Why They Don’t Read Your Blog: They don’t think there’s much value in blogging – why would they want to read your online diary? They don’t realize that many of the sites they read are technically blogs. To them, blog is just a four-letter word.
  • Why You Want Them To Read Your Blog: If they’re your target market and you can actually hook them, they’ll be the first to line up in support when you sell a product.
  • How to Change Their Mind: Stop referring to things they might find valuable as “blog posts.” Instead, call them articles or resources. Write something that’s super high-value and email your non-blogging friends with the link, making no reference to the fact that it’s from a blog. In the email, include instructions at the end teaching them how to sign up for RSS via email (again, call it something less blog-sounding like “email alerts when I write something similar”) – and definitely include a link to your Facebook fan page.

3. Kids

Not every blog is perfect for a younger market, but some bloggers are missing out. “Kids” doesn’t just have to mean pre-teens. I’m talking about anyone under the age of 18. There are millions of high-school-age young adults out there, and that could be an untapped market for you.

  • Why They Don’t Read Your Blog: Young adults are super tech-friendly, but most don’t really go online to read anything, unless it is the latest entertainment news or something they’re researching for a school project. They don’t really seek out blogs, so unless someone tells them to check something out, they probably aren’t going to find you via a search engine.
  • Why You Want Them To Read Your Blog: Like it or not, kids have TONS of buying power. They may not line up for your latest ebook, but if you sell stuff via affiliate links, having the young adult crowd on your site can be a major advantage.
  • How to Change Their Mind: Boost your Facebook presence. Most kids aren’t on Twitter yet, but millions upon millions in the 13- to 18-year-old range use Facebook to share stuff they like. If you can get them passing around your links on Facebook, it’s worth more than SEO ever will be for attracting that audience.

4. Guest Post Readers

Writing guest posts can boost your traffic – or can it? The idea behind guest posting is that you’ll reach a new audience, but the fact of the matter is that many people who read your guest post won’t click through to your blog – they’ll just leave a comment there if they are so inclined and be on their way. Guest posts are undoubtedly good for brand recognition and back links, but they don’t always produce traffic in the volumes you want.

  • Why They Don’t Read Your Blog: This is a tricky one. Some readers just like what they know (i.e., the blog where you guest posted) and don’t click many links. Some readers don’t have time to read more posts. Some readers are new to that site and want to explore there first, but then never get around to checking out your site. There are probably tons of other reasons as well.
  • Why You Want Them To Read Your Blog: If your guest post was a sample of what could be found on your site, a reader who clicks through will probably like your blog as well.
  • How to Change Their Mind: Make your link irresistible. Something I’ve noticed with my own habits: I’m much more likely to click through after reading a guest post if they link to a specific post they’ve written recently, rather than just the blog home page. Pick something with a super attractive headline and use that in your bio.

Why Your Comments Aren’t Driving Traffic

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Back when I first started blogging, I remember that people were comment-crazy. I got my start writing for someone else’s blog network, and one of the things they drilled into our heads in the writers’ forum, employee training, etc. was that if you want to grow your blog readership, you need to leave comments on other blogs in your niche.

Not exactly the traffic you were expecting?

Comments are awesome. I love getting comments. When I feel passionate about a topic, I love leaving comments. But the truth? Comments don’t drive traffic.

Several years ago, I started my first blog, called the Millionaire Blogger, where I tracked my efforts to make a million dollars as a blogger (total, not per month or anything). One of the most popular posts I did there was a case study I did. For one week, I went out and commented everywhere. My goal was to leave 100 high-quality, helpful comments on blogs in my niche, and by the end of the week, I had exceeded that number. I tracked my stats very carefully. The results? I saw a very, very, very minor bump in traffic. The traffic wasn’t sticky at all. I didn’t receive more comments on my own posts than usual.

So why aren’t your comments driving traffic? It likely has very little to do with what you’re actually saying. Someone who leaves crap comments that are filled with backlinks will likely piss off the blogger and the community where you’re leaving those comments, but someone who leaves a helpful comment isn’t going to see much better results in terms of traffic back to their own website. It’s not about your content.

It’s about community.

If you wander around your niche and leave comments randomly, people may read your comment and enjoy it, even respond, but they don’t know you. They’re on that blog because they’re part of that blog’s community. They are looking for a new community. They care about your in the context of that blog’s community, but they have no push to get to know what you’re doing outside of that community.

The only way to change that, to make them care about who you are outside of that community is if you become part of it. If you’re there every day giving awesome tips and adding to the conversation, if you’re part of the forum, if you’re active on Twitter within the community, if you start showing up on the blogs of other commenters…then, people will start taking notice. Naturally, they’ll become curious about you and check out your site, and maybe even become part of your community.

In my opinion, though, commenting is not a good traffic-driving strategy. Don’t comment on others’ blogs because you’re hoping to see traffic back to your site. It’s a highly inefficient use of your time. Comment on others’ blogs because you actually have something to say and want to be a part of their community.

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