Friday, October 30, 2009

Tips to Build Traffic to Your Outdoor Blog or Website

With the growing interest in blogging as a means of online promotion and branding, a lot of marketers are starting blogs to promote their opinions, products, books and services.

Blogging lets you post your thoughts and photos on the "Net and interact with your web site's visitors. Whether you're writing your own personal journal or looking to influence audiences.

• Publish your thoughts, opinions, and comments in your own blog.
• Generate and publish RSS feeds for use on other related blogs, websites and other directories.
• Post photos, images, videos or animations—create a truly personal blog site.
• Get feedback and have conversations with visitors to your site.
• Personalize your Blog with your own unique domain name—or integrate it with your existing site by setting it up as a sub-domain.

But a blog is like a website. "Write and they will come" isn't exactly a magic formula to bring in traffic by the boatload.If you need to promote your website in order to build traffic to it, you need to promote your blog as well.

Here are 10 ways you can become a well-read and influential outdoor blogger and greatly increase your blog traffic.

1. Write Posts That People Will Want To Read.
This should be common sense, but many marketers tend to forget that their readers are real people and that you need to use the principles of online copywriting to make your headlines and copy interesting to your readers.

If you write posts that people enjoy reading, they will reward you by returning to your blog regularly.
Make your posts conversational, pithy and topical. Keep them short and stick to one topic per post.
Write often and regularly so that both readers and search engines visit your blog more often.

A controversial post can be a little scary, but that is actually what you want to do once in a while. Be careful here, but this type of self promotion can generate some buzz from hundreds of sources, thus bringing you massive traffic.

2. Optimize Your Posts for Search Engines
This topic is covered in detail in this article on "Search Engine Optimization For Blogs"

But here are the most important rules to follow to get your posts listed for keywords of your choice.

* Make sure your blog URL contains the primary keyword you want to optimize for
* Use your primary keywords in the title of your post
* Use your secondary keywords in the body of your post
* Use your keywords in the anchor text of links in the body of your posts

3. Submit Your Blog and RSS Feed To Directories
If you publish a blog you should submit your blog and RSS feed to big directories like BlogCatalogue and FeedBurner, as well as the numerous blog directories and search engines.

Best Blog Directory And RSS Submission Sites
Another list of sites to submit your Blog is.

4. Ping The Blog Services
There are a number of services designed specifically for tracking and connecting blogs. By sending a small ping to each service you let them know you've updated your blog so they can come check you out.

Bookmark the Ping-O-Matic ping results page so you can visit it and quickly ping a number of services with a single click.

5. Build Links To Your Blog
I recommend the methods here as the best ways to get links pointing to your blog

* Link to your blog from each page on your main website
* Trackback to other blogs in your posts
* Post legitimate comments on other blogs with related topics
* Offer to exchange links with other similarly themed blogs and websites

6. Edit Your Blog Posts Into Articles
One of the best methods for promoting your website is to write articles and submit them to article directories.

The suggestion for extending this to edit your blog posts into articles and submit them to directories came from the coach at "Explode Blog Traffic" who also has other noteworthy suggestions at his blog here.

You'll find an extensive list of article directories here

7. Create Buzz About Your Blog
Creating a buzz about your blog posts and topic in the local and online media will give your marketing a viral component.

* Create a controversy around your blog or it's topic.
* Distribute bumper stickers, t-shirts or other merchandise with your blog's URL and tagline.
* Write a press release about something newsworthy and tie it in with your blog topic.

8. Capture Subscribers By Email
It may seem strange for a blogger to send out updates by email, but email is still the #1 choice of most people who want to receive news and information.

Using a free service like Bloglet to manage your subscriptions is easy and it allows your subscribers to manage all their subscriptions from one interface.

9. Engage Your Readers
At the end of your post or article, engage your readers by asking a question, or ask your readers for their opinions or to share stories about your post. This allows readers to engage in the conversation and allows you to build a rapport with your readers.

You build rapport by responding to every comment and encourage further discussion.

10. Get Social!
Each day millions of online conversations are taking place on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more. Don't let the conversations happen without you!

One must have for any business or blogger is a “Fan” page on Facebook. The same rules apply here as your blog. You goal is to engage your readers, b personal, maybe share information that is ONLY available on your “fan” page and give your “fans” a reason to follow you and your blog.

There are widgets that are available that will allow your blog posts to automatically be share across major social websites such as Twitter and Facebook. You may get the “Share It” widget here:

Another must have widget is the “Add This” widget which allows your readers to “bookmark” or “share” your posts across more than 150 social marketing sites. You may get this widget here:

However, if you want more control over your list and don't mind mailing out the updates yourself, you can use an autoresponder system to capture and follow-up with subscribers.

RSS responder is a new script that allows you to keep in touch and follow-up with your subscribers without the hassle of email.

These tips should give you a good start to building your blog traffic. There are the same tactics that I used to make “She’s So Fly” one of the top fly fishing blogs in just 4 short weeks with over 50,000 page views.

By Brent Vanderstelt

Note from the editor:  Brent Vanderstelt is a web developer, internet marketing expert and owner of Social Media Marketing LLC.


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