Saturday, December 09, 2006

How to Get People to Read Your Blog

by Paula Neal Mooney

Now that my blog traffic numbers are increasing -- thank You, Jesus! -- I'm getting questions from various folks about how to get people to read your blog.

So I figured I'd better start blogging about what I've learned thus far on how to increase blog traffic:

* Blog every day, even several times per day.
I got this tip from Fred Wilson of A VC, who is quoted in the December 2006 issue of Business 2.0 as saying, "I've found that having something new on the blog every day is the single most important thing to building an audience."

* Use sensational headlines...
Fred continued, and I agree with him.

Yesterday I created a post called Ellen Pompeo Playboy Pics Reveal... that I think will get lots of hits just from that enticing title alone. I'll keep checking Google Analytics, which gives bloggers all sorts of great data analysis about how folks are finding you and what posts they're reading.

* Post interesting pics...
...with every post. We're all visual creatures. Pictures draw our eyes to stuff first.

That is why I have this somewhat embarassing image of me as a 9-year-old 5th-grader (I skipped 1st and 3rd grade) attached to this post. Just wait till y'all see my buck-toothed high school senior pic.

So glad my mom finally got me braces my junior year of college at Florida A&M University...

* Get personal.
Okay, so you don't have to get as personal as Dooce if you don't want to, but she is drawing 2.5 million -- that's right, million -- pageviews last I heard.

Dooce has been blogging since 2001 and has developed a following because people feel like they know her. And they do.

* Write what people want to read.
So this morning I was going to post about my dad reading my blog, but reader desire lead me in another direction -- writing this post!

Also, check Technorati's popular search term list as well as the Yahoo! Buzz Index - Today's Top 20 Overall Searches to find out what kind of info people are looking for.

That's how I find out about Carmen Bryan, and I didn't even know who she was. Now that blog post is my top pageviewed post at the moment.

* Get the story first...
...and get it indexed at the top of Google and Yahoo search results so that people searching for terms like "Kramer nigger" can find your post.

The minute I saw Kramer's infamous rant on TMZ.com I smiled (after getting over the shock of it all) because I knew I could post about a story that hadn't broke yet but would be worldwide news in a way that would fulfill SEO (search engine optimization).

There's a whole world full of info on SEO, but basically it boils down to predicting which two or three or four words people will type into search engines, and making sure those words make up about 4 or 5% of your piece's text.

And it helps to bold them.

This keyword density analysis tool is the best I've learned about to paste my text and check my percentages.


* Promote your pieces like crazy.
I'll have to do an individual post in the future to do this justice but research all the places to submit your newly created blog posting's link to Google, Yahoo and social bookmarking sites like Digg (though they think they banned me) and del.icio.us and others.

Get your blog claimed on Technorati if you haven't already and ping them and other places using ping sites like Pingoat and Google's blog pinging services.

Favor other people's blog and favor your own.

Post your blog's link everywhere in the blogosphere by reading and commenting on other people's articles and blogs.

Pretty soon you'll become known in the cyberworld.

* Fulfill missing content.
As soon as I read in my local paper that Ellen Pompeo had posed for Playboy, I Googled and Yahooed "Ellen Pompeo Playboy pics" and "Ellen Pompeo pics" and didn't get many (if any) search results.

That's how I knew that post would get good rankings.

That's the same deal with the crazy Lil' Wayne and Baby Kissing Photo...Rapper Admits it is Real piece, which got tens of thousands of pageviews across all the platforms I use, which reminds me...


* Blog on multiple platforms.
I have a few blogs.

There's this blog, my Associated Content page (which isn't really a blog), my Orble "You Gotta See This" blog, and my MySpace page (which I seriously need to update) just leading folks to this blog.

It helps to use other platforms to drive traffic to them and your blog 'cause you never know which article on which platform will get indexed first and higher.

* Interact with your readers.

Don't ignore your comments section.

People need to feel heard, so ask open-ended questions and answer theirs.

Answer emails.

Post your email address.

Robert Scoble even posts his cell phone numer. I might do that in the future for a specific purpose I'm thinking of.


* Blog the truth
A great lesson I learned from the old Scobleizer, who criticized Microsoft -- his former employer -- when they had a crappy product and praised them when they did good.

That's how he developed such a large following. He didn't pander to the higher ups just to make nice and his readers appreciated that. People can smell a rat a mile away.


* Blog because it's your passion.
Do it every day and stick with it only because it's your passion -- not just because you want to make six figures from blogging like Darren at ProBlogger (more on how to make money blogging later, but Darren's blog is excellent!) does.

Do it because there's an all-consuming Holy Ghost fire burning in your belly to get the words out of you.

Only He can provide that "it" factor that will bring more and more people to you.

There's my sermon for today. I feel like Rev Run texting his followers in the tub.

I'll start posting more detailed posts on how to make money blogging and the more techie tips on how to exactly enact each of the steps I've discovered have helped me increase blog traffic, so either subscribe to my RSS feed or for emails in the email box above and below and all over this page or bookmark http://www.paulamooney.blogspot.com/ for future updates.

Plus, pray tell oh high pageviewed bloggers: What are your biggest, baddest tips for increasing pageviews?

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11 comments:

Malcolm Z said...

Great article. I'm looking for inspiration on how get going with writing my blog. I tend to put up a few articles, then stop for a few months (or completely!). Write every day, several times a day, great headlines, stories when they break - great tips worth repeating.

Charlie said...

Paula,
I found this post on AC. It's very informative. I've been blogging for two years now, but really haven't found an audience. My Google Analytics page shows 30-50 pageviews a day -- which is not much. I'm not trying to make money from my blog, but I would like to know that people are reading my blog. I'll try using more of your tips. THANKS for the article. And throw me a bone, if you like -- and list my blog on yours. BTW, I'm glad to see you're a fellow believer. Praise God for Christian bloggers! :-)
Charlie of The Sope-Bocks
http://sopebocks.blogspot.com

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Hey, thanks, Charlie. And thank God for Christian bloggers out here in the blogosphere boldy proclaiming His Name.

Your blog looks GREAT so far at http://sopebocks.blogspot.com from what I've read. Great pics and interesting posts. Yeah, that model who died from anorexia was so sad.

I've bookmarked you under my "Blogs I Read" folder. Hopefully you'll get a lot more readers implementing some of these tips. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you!

Richie said...

Excellent article Paula. I've found it difficult to get my blog off the ground but I'll try your advice and get back to you with the results.

Anonymous said...

This was interesting and helpful. I've been running my blog for 6m and have been looking for a way to boost views :)

~Kym
www.celebritydogwatcher.com

James said...

Paula, I am glad to find you, You are putting forth the effort, I have been at this since late October, blackinbusiness.org, I learned from this post, come visit.

Peter said...

Again, great material. When does the lady stop?

MW Entrepreneur said...

Yes check me out new name new blog http://www.technthreadz.net. This is a great post for new bloggers on the block like myself. I did not even know what "ping" was except the hot table game crossing the nation and recently the big screens. Now after reading this I hope to bring my readership up to 10 from 2. A great accomplishment.

Benin "Mwangi" said...

Wow Paula, you really know your stuff. Those are a lot of tips you mentioned and I think if I can consistantly implement even two or three I'll be in good shape. Particularly the blogging more often part and breaking the news first. Wow....

kweenkong said...

Excellent article(s); really glad I found you. I'm considering monetizing my new blog. If I do, I'll definitely put some of your excellent insight to use.

Tonya Mitchell Peele said...

Paula, thanks for so much information! I currently blog sporadically so I now know I have to get on the ball if I want to get my message out about women and self-renewal!

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