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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?


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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.

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