It is almost a guarantee that if you produce a blog, yet do not use any methods of promoting it, that it will sit unnoticed and unvisited for a long time, perhaps years! You need to tell the world about it and do so by getting links to your site. These links will not only bring traffic to your site directly, but they can also boost your search engine rankings since search engines like to put the popular sites at the top of the results. Also, you need to increase traffic to your blog in other ways.
Here are some methods:
1. Get your site listed in related directories. For example, if your site is about web hosting, do a search using the keywords web hosting directory. From this search, we find a site like this that offers to have you list your site in their directory.
2. Join related forums that allow you to post a link back to your site in your signature file. Using the model train example, you would find these by searching for web hosting forum or web hosting discussion board. In this forum, signature files are allowed since you see links at the bottom of many user’s posts.
Warning: You should post in a meaningful and helpful way for a full month before including your signature file in your profile – joining a forum just to post your signature file is considered spamming. Also, once the signature file is added, it will show up in the bottom of all those meaningful posts you made.
Second Warning: Do not post soliciting visitors to your site – that is generally not liked. You can, however, post a link in the context of answering someone’s question if you are a respected member of the forum and the practice is allowed. Just remember that the more meaningful your post is, the more likely it is that someone will take a look at your signature file link and follow it up. Besides getting direct traffic, forum signature file links also help your rankings on some forums.
3. Join Bloglines and get your blog listed in its blog directory. “Claim” your blog – follow the instructions shown on your account page. A note about the “claim code” they give you to verify that you own the blog: Insert it near the beginning of your last post since if your insert it too far down their automated checker may miss it. In fact, place the code after your very first line – that is what I had to do.
4. Join the social bookmarking sites Digg.com, Stumbleupon.com, Delicious.com, and Reddit.com. Submit each of your posts to each of these sites. Search for and install the AddToAny plugin or Shareaholic plugin and have the Add To Any button placed at the bottom of each post and page (see the bottom of this page). Not only your visitors can use this but you can also use this to submit your own posts.
5. Create a Facebook Page (you need a Facebook account first), a Google Plus page, and a Twitter page and post a summary of each new post to each of these. These 3 social networking sites together get more traffic than nearly any search engine! Also, these pages will often show up high in Google search results. Note that you can have Facebook automatically post each update to your Twitter page.
6. Look for opportunities to be a guest writer on other popular blogs or websites related to yours. I have a (now) very popular website that was going nowhere after a full year! Then I wrote an article (with links back to my site) for a well established related site and the result was an amount of traffic even greater than I was getting from Google (at the time). (I wrote a very detailed and informative article by the way) But also, the links in that article helped my Google rankings and so it was not very long after that my Google traffic increased dramatically as well! A way to find such blogs would be to search for blogs related to your topic and identify those with guest posters. You might then have to contact the blog owner. Using the web hosting example, you could search for web hosting guest post– the very first result featured a guest poster. Also, the search for web hosting guest author revealed a bunch of sites with guest authors.
Note: Do not use those same articles you wrote for others on your own site but rather rewrite them completely different – otherwise your own site’s article might be considered as duplicate content by the search engines.
7. Write articles at Blogsjunction. This is the most respected article directory and their articles will often be at the top of search results. You are able to include a link back to your site in a “resource” box along with a link in your article. Write good enough articles and others will post them on their site along with the link back to your site. So you get traffic two ways: via search results and from your article being posted on other sites. Note: Do not use those same articles you wrote for Blogsjunction on your own site but rather rewrite them completely to avoid any duplication penalty in the search engines.
8. Trade links with closely related sites. The key here is that the sites must exclusively contain content closely related to yours. Also, only trade with sites that trade links exclusively with related sites. Do not trade with sites that will include your link in some massive links directory – it might benefit them but it will be a complete waste of your time. Returning to the web hosting example, a search for web hosting “trade links” and web hosting “add your site” revealed 4 or 5 likely sites to trade with, all top-ranked. Note that often you will be asked to link back to the site.
Or you can get here: Blogs4people
9. Get your site listed in the major blog directories.
10. Help your site visitors! Be willing to help your visitors with any questions they may have. This is, perhaps, the most powerful way to advertise your blog. You have heard the saying “There is nothing like word of mouth advertising” – this is it. One person helped might tell 5 or 10 others. And, if they have their own blog, Facebook page, or other social networking tools where they list their favorite websites, they are more likely to give you that all-important natural backlink that will help your search rankings. All you need to do here is plaster “Email me if you have questions” links all over your site. People appreciate this type of personal help and attention – make it a priority to give it. As a courtesy, you can ask them to submit your blog to their favorite bookmarking service or ask them to join your Facebook Page.
11. Place social networking add-on buttons to your site. This allows visitors to easily add your site to the many bookmarking services available. I use the Shareaholic WordPress Plugin on this site (see the bottom of each page or post). You would add these to a Google Blogger blog via a gadget. Also, you might want to add a separate Share on FaceBook button since many new Facebook users are not familiar with all the other services and may overlook the Add to Any button. You can add FaceBook buttons via plugins (WordPress) and gadgets (blogger) as well. Just search for plugins or widgets using the word facebook.
12. If applicable, submit a link or even create a new page at Wikipedia.org. This can lead to a lot of traffic, but be very careful not to submit links or pages unless they truly add value. For example, if you were to create a very comprehensive web hosting blog you could add an External Link to your blog. You must create an account in Wikipedia in order to edit a page – it is free and easy to do and you are not obligated in any way after joining. But it is a little bit difficult.
13. Create YouTube videos relating to your blog. These can consist of screenshots or images conveying information with voice added using a mic all put together with Windows Moviemaker. In your YouTube video description, list the URL of your site first, without the www in the URL and it will automatically be parsed as a live link!
14. Answer questions on Yahoo Answers or Quora. This is easy traffic! Just pick a category related to your blog and include a link back to your site if appropriate. Don’t spam – just answer the questions!