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7 Traffic Tips For First Time Bloggers

By:     Topics: Get Web Traffic

I’ve been blogging now since the end of April and i’ve learnt a lot along the way, here’s a selection of tips that I wish i’d been told about when I first started out.

Tutorial Submission Sites

This was the very first way of bringing traffic to my site as it’s simple and easy to do and will likely send about 500-1000 people per post. When you first start out and you’re not in Google, and you only have a following of about 100 people a day, it’s hard to get traffic any other way, so by submitting your posts to sites like Good-Tutorials, you’re almost guaranteed targeted traffic of people who want to learn about what you’re writing. Sites like Good-Tutorials also rank in Google for the posts that you submit to them, so it’s a good way of getting into Google too. I’ve tried other tutorial sites, but Good-Tutorials seems to be the best one for my niche of photography.

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Google

Firsly, after writing each post, spend about 5 minutes coming up with a good selection of different keyword phrases that someone may search if they wanted to find the information on your post. I write a photography blog and 1 word phrases like ‘Canon’ or ‘Aperture’ will do absolutely nothing to help drive traffic, but phrases like ‘What does aperture do’ and ‘Understanding focal length’ make a noticeable difference. Once you’ve been indexed into Google, you need to think about how your posts are going to look amongst the other 9 in the list; choose a title that accurately describes what you’re writing about and stands out. 

Twitter

Twitter probably my favourite way of marketing my website as the growth is rapid and the results are clear. In only about a month and a half i’ve managed to find 1500 followers on my twitter, by implementing only a few basic techniques. Firstly, post content relevant to your niche, even if it’s not from your own website; this will gain you followers and when it comes to posting your own content, you’ll be considered an authority. Secondly, interact with your followers and help them out if they’re asking advice; other people will see this and follow you, knowing that you’re a person and not just a username. Thirdly, don’t miss the opportunity to plug regularly to your own website and Facebook page to help build stronger, and more focused traffic.

Facebook

I like to think of Facebook as a better quality version of Twitter because people only tend to update once or twice a day, as apposed to the 20 times you may be used to on Twitter. This means that people recognize that the quality of content is good, and your posts aren’t being lost into a stream of nonsense. Only post your own orignal content about once a day at the most on your Facebook, otherwise you’ll find that people will unlike the page and stop reading your site. It’s a good idea to plug your Facebook page to your twitter followers, as you’re likely to pick up a few fans there too.

Reddit / Digg / StumbleUpon

I’m a big Reddit user (time waster), because you can subscribe to different sections that link to content relevant to your interests, which are then voted on by the users depending on how good they are. Posting to sites like Reddit means that your information is being posted (if it gets voted up enough) to thousands of people that are into the same thing. If you’re writing tutorials, then this isn’t the best place to post them as people who actively want to learn something, google it – it’s much better for posts like ‘Top 20 this…’ and ’10 Reasons why…’.

StumbleUpon is similar to Reddit in that you get sent relevant content that you’re interested in, but It works slightly differently because it helps you to find different content that you may not have found through search engines; it’s content that other people have stumbled upon. This is particularly useful when you’re first starting as your website is hard to find through any other means. StumbleUpon counts for 42.5% off all the unique visits that we’ve had to our new website, and although they don’t stay as long as other visitors, the traffic definitely helps.

RSS Readers

Allowing people to subscribe to your RSS feed ensures that people wil be regularly updated on your new content and reminds them to revisit your website. RSS feeds are becoming a little out of date now, unless you use them to pool many websites into 1 place, and I’ve found that we’ve got about twice as many fans on the Facebook page then we do RSS subscribers. 1 very good feature of people collecting your feeds into a Google reader is that when they search for something on the internet, any relevant feeds from your website will appear at the bottom on their Google results page, helping to drive more traffic to your site.

Word Of Mouth

This is probably my favourite way of getting traffic because it’s free and unpredictable – you never quite know who is going to plug your website and how much traffic they’re going to send your way. The best way to get word of mouth going to is to post controversial posts that talk about actual people and your opinions on them – people are never going to 100% agree with what you’re writing which leads to commenting and other interaction. At the beginning of June, I posted a blog post called ‘Top 20 Most Influential Photographer Bloggers‘ and because I was posting about people in a way that massaged their egos, they happily shared it with their followers and it got bounced around the internet. Have a look at the image below – the spike in the middle is from when I posted it and it started to get picked up. 

A sudden spike in traffic helps the website greatly and as you can see, every time we’ve gotten a spike, the day to day traffic has improved. This is not however the main advantage of having lots of people around the internet share your content, it’s the difference it makes to your search engine traffic, as you can see from the image below. Google loves it when other people share your posts as it sees it as respectable content that is worth sharing with other people, so posts like this really make a huge difference in the long term. If you’re interested in reading more posts from me, check out the other post I’ve written for this website, or the website I own and run with Michael called ExpertPhotography.com

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  • Onibalusi Bamidele

    Thanks a lot for the awesome post Josh!

    You listed some really great ways to get traffic to a blog.

    I like your tip about using tutorial sites and it can be very effective in the design/photography niche. I’ve been focusing most of my efforts on getting more traffic from Google these days and it seems to be working for me.

    Stumbleupon can also be a great source of traffic – especially if you want some server-crashing traffic…lol!

  • Income Insiders

    Josh, I agree with you the Facebook is better like Twitter for traffic. When TW send one visitor FB send us over 100 visitors.

  • http://www.makemoneymax.com Amit

    Stumbleupon is great for Traffic ,Thanks for the post.

  • http://www.ericdgreene.com Eric D. Greene

    Thanks – glad to hear your site is getting increased traffic. I like using Twitter and Facebook the most. Social media is where it’s at!! :) But of course the other sources are not to be ignored either.

  • Nic Penrake

    You two make a good team! I’m sure you have fun working together. I’ve been working with my 11-year-old daughter on a video – which has been fun. She did the powerpoint graphics and edited the Camtasia. Nice to include family.

  • Prajwal Shinde

    Great Post Josh,

    Submitting tutorials to gain traffic was a very good tip for me. I get most of my traffic from Youtube and google. I have not yet learn’t to drive traffic from social media yet. Hope to implement your strategies and drive some good traffic to my blog.

  • http://www.lifechitect.com Lifechitect

    There are many ways to generate initial traffic to your site.

    Twitter and other social media sites are great ways of doing this.

    Youtube is also a great strategy. Just post a few videos and add a link to your site.

    Great article as usual.

  • rick

    Stumbleupon sounds very interesting. I haven’t looked in to that one yet.

  • Alexis

    I’m grateful you opened my mind on Tutorial submission sites. I have to said I had never heard about it before reading this post.
    Thanks buddy!

  • Chukwuka Okwukwe Chukwuka

    Great technique and traffic tips.

    I’ll surely work on them

  • Marijan Sivric

    I don’t have a blog but I’m sure I could apply these tips to my forum! I could create cool webmaster related tutorials and submit the as forum threads and then promote the tutorial URL on webmaster forums! Thanks for opening my eyes!

  • http://www.blogincomelife.com valentina

    Thanks for the tips Josh … those are impressive numbers and in just a few months too! the big think I am taking away here is the tutorial sites – I’ll definitely go and find them for my niche(s)

    • http://www.webuildyourblog.com Andrew @ Blogging Guide

      Pretty amazing… As a blogger it is hard to come up with quality blogs but despite the hardship, looking into the traffics that you gain will make you feel better and very proud.

  • tunji bashar

    that is extremely good i have two weeks down the road thinking of how to drive traffic to website but now i hope this will really help me to do so. i really thanks you in advance

  • Richard

    Good to see such high numbers, and thanks for taking the time to keep us updated.

    However, the numbers are high, but how many of those visitors are referrals from this blog? Also, are you on track to start making money from it in the timeframe you wanted to? That was the point of starting the blog, wasn’t it?

    • http://www.expertphotography.com Josh

      Income diary has accounted for 1.95% of the traffic to ExpertPhotography so far. Thanks, Josh

  • http://www.techcrates.com Salman @ Tech Blog

    Great techniques to draw traffic… Thanks for the awesome post 😉

  • Adelola

    Am surprised you left out article marketing as one of your traffic source.All the same, i think u are doing a very good job.Keep it up man

  • IMpopstar

    Wow man, you really get results! Yeh, I think Twitter works best if you take the time to interact and actually respond to your DMs plus I find mytweetplace.com useful to catch RTs and mentions. Including a follower in your tweet like “tweet tweet @follower” pulls attention too!

    I find in going thru my Twitter DMs that a lot of people invite me to be friends on Facebook too, so the 2 sites are very interactive – you can msj people on FB and really get to know them. These are very targeted leads and JV partners. Powerful connections.

    Just reading comments on blog posts like this is cool – click on some people’s name link, see where they lead you – I’ve discovered some hot blogs this way – it’s all about community!

    StumbleUpon works like magic in Twitter tweets – people love the su.pr link so aim to use this & get RT’d! I love these sites :)

    Specialist forums were all the rage before any of this web 2.0 hit the net, and really, these can be the coolest place to meet leads & business partners. Try guest posting for other bloggers – that’s HOT now! Enjoy!

  • Karen A Hay

    Wonderful post Josh. Many great points and I too really like the tip of using tutorial submission sites. Really like your blog. Also the comments left have been helpful as well.

  • Ron Haggerty

    Wow… your traffic speaks volume for blogging such a short time. 7 Great Tips for anyone looking to increase their traffic… which I suppose is just about anyone blogging!

  • jo

    awesum list micheal,i hope my analytics chart looks like that in the future :)

  • http://everythingscrapmetal.blogspot.com chillfO_O

    Just came across this site, I didn’t even think these tips would work because I tried everything, but it worked!! Thank you so much for this information, I only got about 10 visits a day, and I did what you said now i get 100+ average a day! 😀