Five tips to get more traffic according to expert blogger Katie Lee
November 22, 2010 9 Comments
She’s well qualified to do so too: founder of blogging network Shiny Shiny, currently director of Miramus Ltd, a publishing company specialising in web content, and blogger at Dork Adore and Good Hooking (about knitting, obviously).
She whizzed through the basics of how to blog but gave some very handy tips to getting your work seen by more than just your coursemates/friends/family. We will be employing all of the below because there’s a lot at Wannabe Hacks which we don’t do particularly well and which we could certainly improve on…
1. Set targets to extend your community
Even if you think your blog is just starting out and your stats aren’t great, it’s still important to set targets and goals. It may be to get 50 people signed up to your email alerts or a minimum of 4 comments on every post or 120 Twitter followers by Christmas – each is important to get yourself out there.
2. Write for Google
Not as in go and work for Brin and Page but produce topical content that people will be searching for. At the moment this might be Kate and Will’s royal wedding, the latest person to leave X Factor or the Daily (the newspaper exclusive to the iPad reportedly being set up by Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch).
Aside from the actual content, make sure you stick to the facts in the first few paragraphs as Google places more prominence on these (e.g. City University launched their Interactive MA yesterday’ rather than ‘I’ve always wondered when a university would launch a course that has modules in blah blah’. Get to what your talking about quickly.
3. SEO (Search Engine optimisation)
The Chancer touched on the importance of SEO, which is one of the major things we still don’t know enough about or do well enough on Wannabe Hacks. Our recent post ‘News. Now.’ – a practical example of multi-platform journalism – perhaps should have been called ‘Journalism with just a mobile phone’ or ‘How to get a news story with your mobile phone’. My post on the Guardian Student Media Awards was stupidly titled ‘Putting the old guard into Guardian Student Media’ which a) was a bad attempt at a clever pun and b) would have been much better as ‘Guardian Student Media Awards pick same old student papers’ or something similar.
Sometimes it’s better to keep it simple.
4. Develop good CTAs (Call To Arms)
Twitter is a very good way to distribute content but think of other ways that people may come across your blog. Plug your post on Facebook (or create your own group for your friends to join), ask people to Stumble your post or Digg it or to bookmark it on Delicious. Be cheeky and make your readers part-time distributors of your work.
Katie suggested there’s even a place to a) tell people how long a post has taken you as it may convince them to have a read and b) beg/ plead for them to read it (not always, it gets annoying, but may work occasionally).
5. Feedback to your community as you go
Aside from targeting new visitors, it’s important to feedback to those who currently follow you on Twitter/ visit the site regularly. Let them know you’re growing, thank them for continually coming back and ask them what they would like to see from the site in the future. You could even give them a poll to answer on your blog’s strengths and weaknesses. We try to do this occasionally on WH (tweets asking our followers questions) but much more could be done (ie. dedicated posts to feedback, questionnaires etc).
Any other blogging tips you can contribute to the discussion? Perhaps you’ve had a spike in comments or hits as a result of something you’ve done? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us (@wannabehacks)…