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I finally got around to updating my blogroll. My apologies to those of you who have taken the time to read my blog and comment, but I haven’t included you. If you don’t see your blog there, please let me know!

Your blogroll is a very important list. Taking the time to acknowledge and thank those who come to your site has its own rewards. I mean, think about it. If someone put you on her blogroll, wouldn’t you tend to visit her site more often? I would. Anyone who puts me in his or her blogroll gets a special place in my RSS feed reader, and I try to read everything written. I also try to comment, too. That’s what blogging is about.

Cultivating relationships on your blog takes time. I haven’t blogged here for very long, but I’ve made friends, and I value their friendship, not only because they read and comment on what I am sharing, but also because I feel as though I’ve found kindred spirits, others who share the same goals and the same passion as I do.  Although I’ve never met these people in real life, I am happy to have found them, and I am happy they have found me.

Today’s post, however, really isn’t about thanking my readers (although I did want to take the time to do so).  I’ve dubbed Tuesday to be “blog marketing day for writers.”  This will be the day that I share some tips that I’ve gathered for generating some more traffic to your blog.

Building traffic to your blog, if you are a writer, is something entirely different than, say, a blog whose purpose is just to make money.  By money, I mean the advertising kind such as Google Adsense or paid blogging posts, both of which are no-nos here at WordPress.com.  Perhaps it is because, as a writer, we don’t care about making money that way.  Okay, everyone likes money.  I wouldn’t say no if an extra $100 drops in my lap.

But it’s also not the reason I blog.

My secondary goal for this blog is to reach out and find people who are doing what I am doing – writing a novel – and sharing my experience with them.  That’s not my only goal, because if it were, I have achieved it.  My primary goal is to write my novel, and then when that is finished, I want to shout out to the world, I did it!!

So, if you are a writer, your aim is not to generate money from your blog, which again would be nice if it happened, but it is to tell people that you wrote something.

The point of this is that I’d like to tell as many people as possible.  Maybe I’m narcissistic, but there, I said it.  Okay, in order to tell many people that I completed my goal, I must also have a lot of people to tell, which is where driving traffic to your blog, and your blogroll come in.

Go out and find 5 to 10 more popular blogs and put them in your blogroll.  While you are there, comment on posts.  Go back regularly.  The reason for this is very simple.  If you haunt their site often enough (and they do read your comments) and you send them enough traffic, they will notice.  If they notice, and they appreciate, then they are going to send traffic back to your site.  Once your site gets more popular, do the same thing again and this time, aim higher.  Every blogger got there because he pays attention to the blog traffic reports.  Give him a reason, and he will reciprocate.

In summary:

  1. Put anyone who regularly comments on your site in your blogroll.  Be sure to visit their sites, too, and comment on their posts.
  2. Find 5 to 10 more popular blogs, and put them in your blogroll.  Be sure to visit their sites, and comment on their posts.
  3. Change up your blogroll every so often.

Let me know what you think.  Anyone with any success stories?


If you liked my post, maybe you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter or subscribe to my RSS Feed.

So I am writing a report on how to drive traffic to your blog, which I will offer free to my readers if they sign up to my newsletter.  (I haven’t written it yet, but it will be available in about a month.)  I’ve hit the point in my eBook where I talk about using Feedburner as an RSS service.

There are three different things here that I would like to mention.

First, I decided that I was posting too frequently for my own good, with several people signing up to my RSS feed but then dropping off of it.  In my gung-ho-ness to get my word out there, I decided that I was just being annoying rather than helpful, so I’ve decided to scale back on my posts to three times per week.  With this, I also decided that my posts were not long enough, and that I should write more, but less frequently.

Second, my most popular posts are by far the updates to my novel writing.  I have no idea why, but perhaps people like to see the progress that I’m making, or perhaps these are the most personal about myself, so I decided that I was going to keep those posts but make them on Saturday, to hit what should be the best traffic.

And I discovered that I didn’t pay attention to my RSS feed link on my web page.  As it turns out, it is built into my blog theme, but now I have the problem that I might confuse everyone.  Do they click on the RSS feed at the top, next to the icon, or do they click on the link that says “RSS feed”?  Unfortunately, this means that I might have to change my theme around, but I can’t decide on one that I like too much.

Anyway, the reason I like Feedburner is because you can do a bunch of stuff with your feed, such as put Twitter links and such and such in the feed, something that you definitely can’t do with a plain ol’ WordPress one.  Alas, I don’t want to confuse everyone so I opted to keep the plain one, and bag Feedburner, until such a time when I can change up my site a bit.

But why even have an RSS feed to begin with?  How does this drive traffic to your site?

The answer, simply, is because readers and visitors are going to come to your site in many different ways, and you need to provide all the different ways they will come to it.  I know that I do not go to every blog that I like everyday.  I catch them all in my RSS feed reader and then I peruse them at my leisure.  Then, if I like a blog post enough to comment on it, I click the link and I comment.  If I want to read the entire article (as some articles in a feed only show the first few paragraphs), then I will.

This is the basics of journalism, and I guess blogging is a type of journalism.  People only read the first paragraph or two before they move onto something else.  An RSS feed is something like a newspaper, a collection of news articles all in one place.  Like a newspaper, people are going to pick and choose what to read.  For you, as the blogger, that means that you are going to have to write for those of us who like to use a RSS feed reader.  It that means that you have to “capture” them in the first couple of sentences.

I love this concept.  As a wanna-be writer, this helps me define my writing even better for my audience.  Call it “practice” or call it “business savvy” or call it “journalism,” but whatever the designation, it is makes me a better author.

So, tell me, do you use Feedburner?  Why or why not?


If you liked my post, maybe you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter or subscribe to my RSS Feed.

This post is a continuation of Google Webmaster Tools and Increasing Traffic by Linking a Little Farther.

The story so far: We’ve delved into Google Webmaster Tools and we’ve come up with the top search queries used to find our blog.  We’ve taken these search queries and we’ve linked to relevant posts from our other posts.  And then, we’ve written and created some more blogging posts, making sure to link to our post that was popular.  In my case, I want to highlight my post, “Choosing a Pen Name.”

If you’re wondering why that search query has come up as a popular in Google Webmaster Tools, I have no idea.  In fact, I don’t think that post was anything special at all.  Maybe lots of people are looking up choosing a pen name.  For right now, I don’t question it.

Our aim is to interlink at least ten links to that post, whether they are existing links or newly created (“blogging prompts” as I discussed last week).  Today, we are going to go the last step, and we are going to use the social media and our friends to push it even farther. Read the rest of this entry »

This post is a continuation of Google Webmaster Tools and Increasing Traffic by Linking.

The story so far: we’ve now learned to take Google Webmaster’s top search queries and use it to link to a particular post, which will help increase the Google bot indexing of our site.  For our example, my query was “choosing a pen name,” which I went back to my previous posts and put a link there.  Today, we’re going to take it a step farther.

Today we’re going to do an exercise that I like to call “blogging prompts.” Read the rest of this entry »

Recently, I signed up for Google Webmaster Tools.  You can add the code right here in WordPress by the “Tools” menu on the left hand side in the Dashboard for your blog.  Webmaster Tools gives you a great little set of data, much like the one that you find on the main page of the dashboard, but much more intuitive for analyzing traffic to your web site.

The most useful area is the Search Queries section.  Here, you will find all the searches that other people used to see your blog. Read the rest of this entry »

The other day, I blogged about a nifty, free article 101 Best Websites for Writers. Emma, over at EM Biddulph, reposted it on her blog.  This, of course, made me remember about a Cross Promotion group that I used to belong to, which is now sadly defunct.  However, the principle is still sound, and her post is a perfect example. Read the rest of this entry »

Today I found a nifty little feature called Post Tags.  This may come as old hat for those of you WordPress gurus, but let me share something to all who do not know.  WordPress tags are a powerful way to drive traffic to your blog. Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve recently become obsessed with Castle Age, a gaming app on FaceBook.  In the spirit of many other FaceBook games, you are required to frequently sign on and do upkeep.  In this case, it means doing quests, fighting battles with other players, and spending all your money.  In other words, it is a huge waste of time, albeit a fun waste of time.  Other than taking a quick break from reality (work), why would I play?

Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s a problem that every new blogger faces: getting web site traffic.

I’m a strong believer in the internet footprint.  This is where you create bits and pieces of traffic to your site, gradually.  The more footprints you have in the sand, the more others are going to find you.  How do you do it, if you are an author or wanna-be author (such as myself)?

Read the rest of this entry »

A very kind reader asked a few blog posts ago how I track the time of day and usage on the blog, to know when the best time of day to post a blog post.  I answered her in the comments, but I thought I would give some more details in a new post, as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

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