Blogging

increase blog traffic

Bloggers Best Sources of Start up Traffic

Starting a blog follows a certain process:

First: You purchase a domain name and web hosting plan.

Second: You set up your blog’s theme and the design layout.

Third: You add about 15 great posts to it your blog for staple content (don’t forget to keep adding them though, that might help you in the long run)

Fourth: You get people to read your posts.

Fifth: You convert your new readers to a community

Sixth: You leverage your community to grow your blog more.

Blogging is easy, right?

Sure it is if you’ve got the right plan. You may or may not know this by now, but getting quality traffic to a website can be one of the most painful tasks of all time, or it can come as second nature.

There is no in-between on this one

The first two steps above are completely in your control, you can build a blog and get content added to it relatively quick. But, the other factor has elements beyond your reach… so you’ve got to stretch out and reach them.

You have to pick up your torch flame and lead some people back your way if you want readers on your blog. The best way of jump starting a blog ASAP is by guest posting!

How to Get Traffic to your Blog?

If you plan to blog, especially for a living, then you need to adapt yourself to extending your reach.

Your blog is your safe haven online, and it will stay a ghost town unless you make it inviting. Look at guest posts as party invitations, and have your blog geared to snag some readers and build a community.

It’s not difficult to sacrifice a post here and there for the sake of actually getting people to your blog! In this post I will share a small hacks to get traffic to your blog.

Guest Posting

Guest posting on other blogs gives you a chance to build your credibility in your niche, to start a loyal readership, and to connect with others who have grown their blog to a point you plan to reach.

guest posting

That last part is important because their growth will directly influence your own growth.

Here are a few “Google Hacks” for finding blogs to post on:

These are simple search queries you can run for narrowing down a Google search on finding blogs to post on.

What you should do before submitting any posts is to read their blog, read the comments, and then decide what kind of content they have already compared to what the people like to read.

Also, make not of any unanswered questions their previous posts might have. Take these ideas and construct a blog post that flows with their current structure and they will take you up in a heartbeat.

“submit * guest post” [your niche]
“write for us” [your niche]
“write * guest post” [your niche]
“guest posting opportunities” [your niche]
“guest post” [your niche]
“guest posting” [your niche]
“submit your post” [your niche]
“submit * post” [your niche]
“contribute” [your niche]
“contribute * post” [your niche]
“contribute * guest post” [your niche]

Note: the * insert acts as a “wild card” when using the phrases as search terms. The quotations will search for the exact phrase on a website locating guest posting opportunities.

However, if you were to search “Submit Guest Post” you would overlook anything that is worded like “Submit A Guest Post”. If you place a wild card symbol, *, in the place of the “A”, it will include any words there that would normally cause the phrase to be overlooked.

This includes ‘you’, ‘an’, ‘a’, and ‘your’. Anything you can think of will be included where the asterisk is for your phrase to find the largest number of posting opportunities.

I’ve got a few more strategies lined up on this topic to share with you guys (such as how to plan guest post topics, get your blog post approved, and maximize your benefit from it), but I’m saving all of that for another day.

For now you need to know the importance of guest posting and what possibilities can come from it.

Now, if you have your own thoughts on this I’d love to hear them. Have you been featured before on someone else’s blog? Were you nervous about it when you first sent it in? I know I was, but I was more excited than anything.

Leave me your thoughts below in a comment, I would love to hear them!

blog design

7 Blog Design Must Haves to Take Your Blog Up A Notch

The elements that make up an efficient blog design are numerous, and many of them are only optional. However, there are a few elements to consider that are in my opinion “must haves” if you want your blog performing at the level of some of the other blogs you read on a daily basis. Here are a few great strategies and simple tweaks to implement on your blog that will boost your RSS readers, the blogs readability, and rate of viral sharing.

#1 Consider Minimalism

I don’t mean by stripping down your blog to nothing but white space and words (though it’s already been done and proven to be successful). What I mean is avoid common blogger pitfalls of

  • Clutter looking backgrounds
  • Congested sidebar widgets
  • More menu options than is needed
  • Color schemes of more than 3 primary choices

I see too many blogs (even some that talk about blog designs) that don’t follow these rules. I find myself being distracted by my peripheral vision from all the chaos that surrounds the most important part of the blog: the content.

If you practice including only what’s necessary in your sidebar, determine a way to efficiently combine your menu options, and keep your colors from clashing all over, you’ll find your time on site increasing as well as share rates and reader subscriptions.

#2 Plug your social sharing in the right places

There are a few rule of thumbs I tend to go by (and notice a lot of professional bloggers doing so as well) that make social sharing easy, quick, and much more sensible than what a lot of people try to pull off.

social share

 

One element that’s successful for sharing is having the floating share widget that decides to tag along as you scroll down the page. If it’s done in a way that’s inconspicuous but still prominent, people will start to use it. I’ll be coming out with a post here soon detailing how to add that to your site, but for now the most important thing to consider for social media is how to incorporate it at the end of your blog posts.

#3 Show related posts at the end of every post

This strategy is used in the above example, but I didn’t explain the concept behind why it’s important. It’s pretty obvious: you want readers to stay longer and be more engaged! What’s the best way to keep them on your site? Simply by making it impossible to not read the related posts below, that’s how.

Your posts should deliver great content, but should also spark there interest for more on the topic. The final solution for tying it all together is to plug in the quick access to more information where it’s most crucial to see: at the end of each post.

#4 Easy accessibility throughout your blog

Nothing in your blog should be more than a click away. MAXIMUM two clicks, but even that’s avoidable. Your home page should be available through a link on the menu and by clicking the logo. Post access should be through choice of categories, in related posts sections, in a recent post section, in the sidebar, or in the footer.

You need to have content available on every page for instant access to keep people flowing through your site’s content.

The same goes for RSS subscription and social sharing. You want each post to be sharable, and you want to bait them for subscription in the sidebar as high up on your site as possible (also called above the fold, which is what’s first displayed when your site is loaded). These are the things that get your blog read, subscribed to, and shared more effectively.

#5 Try keeping your image usage clean

Don’t have a thousand pictures on your blog, but rather use them sparingly and with reason. For example, pictures as thumbnails for excerpts are fine as long as they entice a visitor to click and read the post. Any other reason to have a picture there should be better thought out.

The best way to determine what image to use is by incorporating relevant images into your blog posts. This has a positive stimulus on the reader by breaking up post text and adding a bit of personality to your writing. Use the same picture for you excerpts on the front page.

One more thing to note is that you should keep your image policy consistent. If you don’t use images in your excerpts, keep them all that way. If you do use images in your excerpts but happen to not have one in a blog post, just take a thumbnail version of your logo and plug it in to make it fit in with the rest of your posts that have thumbnails in the excerpts.

#6 Keep your logo relevant, precise, and professional

Your blog logo is important for a few reasons. It is connected to your brand image, it is connected to your blog’s persona, and it delivers a first impression of what to expect from the rest of the blog.

For design purposes though, you want to keep the logo relevant to your blog’s message, for obvious reasons. You want to have it occupy little space on the page rather than pull too much attention towards it, and you want it to appear professional. If you can make a good logo yourself do so, but if you’re not much of a graphic designer you may have to shop around. I suggest looking at Fiverr first if your on a budget.

If you have Photoshop but lack design talent, consider searching for logo tutorials and applying the steps towards your own “vision” for your site’s appearance.

#7 Color scheme and blog size make up your readability

Almost every theme allows for color customization. If not, you should probably find a better theme to work with! With that said, you want to make sure your color choices are kept to a minimum and do not overly clash to a point that readers will be distracted.

Also, with your blog you want to make it’s visibility best as possible. For this I suggest increasing the size of your blog due to the fact that resolutions are always increasing and if your blog stays with the stone age screen sizes it will begin to appear smaller and smaller on these ever growing screens! This also gives to the ability to increase the font size which is shown to lower your blog’s bounce rate.

I hope you find these tips helpful, and please share them if you did! Feel free to share your own experiences with designing your blog that have helped out in a comment below!