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My (Slow-Paced) Quest To Increase Blog Traffic

I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, but I’m really enjoying it. Writing is a great outlet for me personally. I especially like conducting online research before finishing a new post because I’m learning with you, my wonderful readers (I mean that).

Some of my traffic-increasing efforts have been more successful than other. Please make any and all suggestions for helping me increase traffic because I’m anxious to hear what has worked for you!

The basic plan I have for ThoughtfulConsideration.com is this:

  • Present fresh, high-quality posts that will be of interest to you
  • Share new ideas and perspectives and make you think a little bit
  • Generate traffic through the above bullet points
  • Monetize that traffic with my first goal being to recover my costs (domain name registration and web hosting), starting with Google Adsense

All the posts I’ve read on creating a successful blog have talked about being patient in the beginning and focusing on creating valuable content that will bring in (and bring back) visitors. After two months of working toward that goal, I’m anxious to see an increase in my traffic.

Up to this point I’ve taken the following steps to increase traffic:

  • Participating in Blog Carnivals/Festivals — this is a lot of fun because it brings together fellow bloggers who have similar interests and creates a sense of community
  • Bought an online ad — After reading Silicon Valley Blogger’s post (Million Dollar Home Pages Galore) I broke down and paid $12 for an ad on www.JustAddADollar.com. It was capricious and probably not money well spent, but I thought I’d give it a shot. So far that has given me fewer than five clicks in more than a week. On the one hand, that’s not a lot of traffic. On the other hand, my ad still has the top (and most visible) spot!
  • Occasionally commenting on other blogs — this isn’t something that I’ve made a major practice of, but as often as people are kind enough to leave comments on my blog, I try to both respond below their comment and read/comment on one or more of their posts on their blog.
  • Link Exchange — two people have approached me about link exchanges and I’ve been more than happy to participate. Both blogs have great information and I’m pleased to see some (albeit fairly minimal) traffic through that method.
  • Blog Directories — I went a little crazy on this one, spending a couple of hours registering on (and submitting my blog to) as many as I could find. So far, the traffic hasn’t been anything too substantial but I think it’s been beneficial. Some of those links show up in Google search results, but strangely not as back links.
  • Linking to other blogs — many sites allow pingbacks which gives you another inbound link which helps for both SEO and bringing in new visitors.
  • Some minimal SEO (search engine optimization)
    • removing extra text (“e-mail this post” and “print this post”) at the beginning of posts because it was showing up in the Google search results and displacing the actual content
    • using the Optimal Title WordPress plug-in
    • changing my permalink convention to something more meaningful than the default
  • Inter-linking posts on my blog and using the Related Posts WordPress plug-in

In addition to continuing to use the above methods, here’s what I’m planning to try next:

  • Hosting an occasional Blog Carnival/Festival
  • Using Technorati.com tags in my posts (I’m still not sure why I haven’t started this sooner)
  • Commenting more on other people’s blogs
  • Linking to more blogs (when relevant) for pingbacks
  • Do more linkbaiting (i.e., writing more “bookmarkable” posts)
  • More SEO

Text Link Ads

I’m a little frustrated with the following thing:

  • Google.com – even though I did finally get my sitemap working properly and my pages are being indexed, Google isn’t taking note of any “back links”. Even Technorati.com says that I have 13 links from 11 blogs, and I know that I have quite a few more inbound links than that which Google should be picking up. I’ve conducted some research to try to determine why Google hasn’t noticed my links, but as of now, this still remains a mystery.

Here are a few more posts I’ve enjoyed where people discuss methods of increasing traffic:

Please do leave any suggestions that you have regarding non-deceptive, free ways to increase blog traffic. I’m especially hoping you’ll share techniques that have worked well for you.

25 comments to My (Slow-Paced) Quest To Increase Blog Traffic

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