For many of us, the idea of generating a significant income on the internet is not just a dream; it is a goal that we work at on a regular basis. While it would be great to be able to write something that would bring a flood of traffic to our site, the truth is, it doesn’t usually happen that way. Oh, there are a few that happen to be in the right place at the right time, but for the majority, building a readership is a process that takes time.
Those who have worked their way up know that a vital piece in that process is building your network. That isn’t something that happens overnight. Don’t think you can sequester yourself away for a weekend, and come away with a well developed network. It takes consistent effort over time for your network to grow.
If you are new to this, forget about the flood of traffic. For now you need to focus on starting a trickle of traffic. Over time that trickle could become a small stream, and eventually a river. There are things you should be doing on a regular basis to get that trickle started. Later, after your network is large enough to support itself you will probably abandon, or at least reduce your efforts, on some of these, but in the beginning they are very effective.
Anyone who is anyone in internet network building will tell you, “Content is King.” If you are going to spend the time and effort to attract people to your site, you need to make sure you have something for them when they get there. Great content will not only keep them on your site longer, and make them curious enough to pike around a little, it is content that will bring them back, and turn them into regular readers.
Despite the fact that this advice is so prevalent, many new bloggers treat this step as optional, or something to work at while you are doing all of the other steps. If that is you; Stop. By taking the time to work on great content before you start spending significant effort to attract traffic, you will see better returns on the time you’ve invested in the long run.
Without content, you are spending a lot of energy bringing in new visitors. they come to your blog, but they donâ€™t find much of interest, so they leave. Now you have to spend your efforts trying to lure them back. The result: wasted time and wasted effort.
Start with concentrating on longer, more substantial articles. Short pieces are OK, and they can serve a purpose, but longer pieces tend to attract more attention. Make sure you have at least 8 – 10 of these articles in place before you start worry about traffic. Once those are in place, make sure you are posting new material on a regular basis. Keep it fresh and interesting. Also, don’t stop writing longer pieces just because you have your 8 – 10 opening pieces. Make sure you continue to add substantial pieces regularly.
Once your content is in place, you can start thinking about bringing a little traffic in. One great way to do that is to find blogs that would attract readers that are similar to the readers your are trying to attract. For instance, one of my other blogs focuses on owning and operating a successful restaurant. I wouldn’t see much success by commenting on a parenting blog. Instead, I focus my efforts on small business and entrepreneur focused blogs. I want to reach readers who are interested in running a small business, or may be thinking about getting into the restaurant business.
Once you have located a few appropriate blogs, begin commenting on articles that have been posted. Don’t just post a quick “Nice post” comment. Make sure you have something to add to the conversation. Find a point that the writer made, and take it a little deeper. You could also take issue with something the writer said, but be very careful with that tactic. You may hurt yourself in the long run if you come off as being adversarial.
One technique that some bloggers use is to occasionally use the comment to point back to a relevant piece on their own blog. Again, be smart if going that route. The article you are sending them to has to be directly relevant, and if you over use the technique, it will look like a cheap ploy to steal traffic.
The value of commenting on other blogs is that every comment is accompanied by your name, and a link back to your site. When you comment on a regular basis, readers start to recognize your name, and if you are making insightful comments, some of them will venture over to your site to see what else you have to say.
Trackbacks are kind of an indirect method of building traffic. While readers aren’t led to your site by the trackback, it may catch the attention of the blogger you are linking to. If they like what you said, and they like some of the other posts on your site (great content), many of them will return the favor and link back to your site. If the blog tracking back to you is large, it could result in a nice increase in your traffic.
Try to focus on smaller to mid-sized blogs for the greatest benefit. While catching the attention of the big guys would mean a huge traffic bump, it is a lot harder to get noticed by them. The large, more popular blogs have huge readerships, and they get hundreds of trackbacks on a regular basis. While it can be done, it takes a great deal of consistent effort to see any effect.
A more effective strategy is to focus on smaller blogs, building a relationship, and growing together.
Monday, Steven Snell wrote about writing for money, and he made a couple of points that relate to building your network; writing for other blogs helps expand your network, and it helps to build name recognition.
This is another technique that can yield good results, but it doesn’t happen right away. Before you can expect someone to allow you to write for their blog, you have to show that you are capable of writing something worth reading (again, great content). When you focus your efforts on building your own blog, you can use your blog to market yourself to other bloggers.
There are a couple of ways to get guest blogging gigs. The first is, ask. Offer your services to a blog that you have built a relationship with. Like everyone else, bloggers are busy people. By having someone else writing an occasional post it frees up a little of their time. Some of them may offer to pay you for your efforts, but for now getting paid isn’t the issue. You are looking for opportunities to attract traffic to your site.
The second way to find other blogs to write for is to check out the freelance writing job boards. It is hard to write for a blog every day. Some blog owners decide that it is worth paying someone else to contribute, and they post those offers on job boards. If the subject is something you’re familiar with, you may end up with an ongoing way to build traffic.
While the popularity of Blog Carnivals seems to have diminished somewhat, it can still be a good way to get noticed. To take part in this, go to Blog Carnival ( and submit one of your posts. If your article is selected, everyone who subscribes to that carnival will get a notice about your article, along with a short blurb about the article. They can then go to your blog to read the full article. If your content is good, they will check to see what else youâ€™ve written.
Like investing, building traffic works on compound interest. You start with a trickle of traffic and build on that. As that trickle begins to grow, you will find more opportunities to reach greater numbers of readers. Over time, with consistent effort, your readership will grow, and eventually your network will reach a point that it grows by word of mouth.
It all starts with great content!
Popularity: 13% [?]