How to Keep Your Blog Traffic
Copyright 2006 Tinu AbayomiPaul So you finally figured out how to get those visitors to your site, huh? Well, partner, it's not over. Now you've got to keep them there, while also bringing in new people, if you hope for your blog to be effective. How? I knew you'd ask that.
1. Pay closer attention to your audience than you do to your search engine rankings. Who knows what way the wind will blow in years to come. You may be able to do without traffic from Google one day - just like you're probably doing without traffic from Hotbot right now. However, you'll never be able to do without your clients and prospects. If you could you wouldn't be in business, would you? So pay attention to what your audience wants to hear. If you configure your blog correctly in the first place, you won't have to worry about a good ranking so much.
2. Shut Up if you have nothing interesting to say. And while you're keeping your lips tight, find something *really* interesting to say. Of course, I believe that there's never nothing to say. But I'm a writer and not everyone thinks that way. After the first six to eight weeks, post every day if it suits you and you have words of interest. But if you can sense that your posts aren't full bodied and home brewed, it really is okay to make us go without for a few. We'll live. We won't think so, but trust us, we will. Just make sure you have something darn near-earth shattering to share when you get back, so we will all sit up and take note. and realize that we missed you.
3. When you Do Talk, Do It Loud and Proud (Even if you find out later you were Loud and Wrong) It's considered impolite to behave like a Rock Star when you're having a business dinner, even if you are one. But guess what? When you're blogging, you aren't at a business dinner. That's not to say that you Have to be a Rock Star. You don't even have to be a Star. But you definitely want to be noticed, maybe referenced, and hopefully linked. A great way to do that is to be different. The most unique thing about you is You. Inject your personality in all that you do online. So if you have news, share it. Heck, if you have gossip share it, just always, always, always, link to your suspicions or sources. On the rare occasion that a high-profile blogger's information is totally off-base, they print a retraction. So don't be afraid to suppose. Just let us know you are sharing a rumor or a hunch or a fact or an opinion.
4. Do Unto the Blogosphere, and Make It Easy for Them to Do Unto You When I have credible sources, I link to them. Even if I read something from the Google Blog, but now when I first saw it first at Micropersuasion, I'm still linking to Micropersuasion. That's all there is to it. (And let me tell you - it's a Huge deal when Steve Rubel links to an article that you wrote even when it's not posted on your site - think about that the next time you're tempted not to link out because "they have enough traffic.") For the majority of people, I realize, that situation may never be in consideration. Most of the people reading this have nothing to do with search engines, public relations, or internet marketing. Well, I'm here to tell you that even if your business is timeshare resales, link to your sources. You never know who is reading and who is going to link back. Especially if you're in a business niche where twenty visitors eventually means at least one sale, find out what the neighborhood is like in your part of the Blogosphere, look around, and play nice with the other kids.
5. Blog Like You Talk - But if You Talk "Funny" Get Someone Else to Blog with You Nothing will scare your visitors away faster than landing in technobabble by accident. I landed at a friend's site about search engines, and the first paragraph I saw said somethinga bout (a+n) times the square root of pi and I clicked out before I even remembered why I went there. Don't get me wrong - if that's how you talk, keep it real. But if that's not the language your clients speak, you might want to either have an employee represent your company in the blog, or do a team blog that represents all the prominent voices.
6. Give Every Subscription Option Under the Sun Most people paying online are going to use their credit card or debit card, by far. How crazy would you have to be to say, hm, 90% of people use credit cards, but the hell with that. If they want my binoculars, their only choice is to send me $20 by PayPal on Tuesday mornings. In this same way, refusing to turn on your site feed, because most people are still following you by email makes absolutely no sense. Refusing to start an email list or offer subscriptions to your blog headlines, summaries or posts via email is equally nuts, particularly now that there are tools in place that will translate feeds to email for you. Not serving as much of your audience as you can is turning down money, plain and simple. Hopefully these tips will help keep visitors coming back to your blog. It's like the old adage said, it's easier (and cheaper) to keep your present customers than it is to constantly find new ones.
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