Finding the Traffic (Think Days, Not Months)

Hey newbies, welcome to my club.

Have a new(ish) blog?

Unhappy with the traffic it's getting?

The Voices of Wisdom are going to tell you that you can't expect any good traffic with a new blog. Unless you're a genius, or lucky. Or you bought it.

Far be it from me to question the Voices of Wisdom, but blah blah blah... whatever. Sure you can. Of course, our idea of "good traffic" might not resemble theirs. After all, they haven't been newbies for a long time.

At any rate, I had good traffic within about 30 hours. I say "good" because:

1. It was traffic, and
2. I made Adsense revenue by day 2.

I don't consider it "luck" (this isn't the first time I've had results like this), and if you look around my blog, I'll agree with you this ONE time - for argument's sake - that I'm not a "genius".

And God knows I didn't buy it.

So, ruling out luck, genius, or paid-for advertising, how do newbs like us get our idea of "good traffic", quickly?

Well, I'll tell you:

1. Content
2. Good advertising

If you think you have good content, perhaps your advertising sucks. If your advertising is good, time to take a critical look at that content.

What is good content?

Good content is stuff people want to read. Startling revelation, no?

Not going to get too philosophical about what qualifies as "good content"; instead, I'm just going to show you some "content" that I call "good" because people wanted to read it. And then I'll tell you why.

1. Sassy My Assy:

This post got me my first link, because: A., it was funny, and B., I was badmouthing another blog. Most people appreciate humor, and some people enjoy watching bloggers trash each other. I know I do.

2. How to Make 100 Dollars (Without Spending A Dime)

How-to's are cool. Remember that. This post is a practical tutorial showing people how to do exactly what the title says. Some will find that valuable.

3. Posts of Note 6/20/06

Most people on the internet don't have the time or inclination to go sorting through the morass of blog posts to find the interesting stuff. We do. Traffic ensues.

4. Shoemoney Dirty?

Gossip good. People don't do web searches looking for info on my blog (well, actually some people have, don't ask me why); but they definitely search on Shoemoney. People looking for info on Shoemoney will be interested in gossip about Shoemoney. 'Nuff said.

5. 5 Bald Bloggers

This is a little bit similar to #4, in that it references five (six, actually) popular blogs and their bloggers, so it's going to show up in queries about those blogs; the difference is that the title drew people who were similarly amused by the trend of popular blogs run by white bald guys. If you find something oddly fascinating, so will someone else.

What is good advertising?

Should I say it? I'm going to say it. Good advertising is advertising that brings you traffic. After you've recovered from that shocking secret, read on.

If you have good content, traffic is easy. Not huge traffic at first, but we don't care about huge traffic. Real traffic of any size is all we care about at this point. Here's what has brought me real traffic (no particular order):

1. Technorati

Technorati will give you traffic if you give it good content. Simple.

2. Feedburner

Similar to #1, but allows people to subscribe to your blog and read it on just about any browser or mobile gadget, and does a bucket of other things. Here's a good article on Feedburner.

3. Del.icio.us

Social bookmarking is sweet. Bookmark every post you make, others will see it. Some will follow the bookmark. Some will bookmark your bookmark, increasing its visibility; and finally, some will, in essence, subscribe to your bookmarks so they can see any new bookmark you make.

4. Comments on other blogs.

It will bring you traffic. However, don't make lame comments or otherwise be an obvious traffic whore. Be a subtle traffic whore. Add to the discussion.

5. I Post a lot.

If you're already getting bored with your blog, so are others. If you're posting irregularly because you've run out of things to say, you are getting bored; wrong blog concept, start over. Seriously.

Blogging, in large part, is about right now. Recently. Today. It doesn't always have to be so, but if you want "good traffic" now, it's probably going to have to be. Ping your readers regularly and they may just keep you around.

6. Google searches - Google Sitemaps

I was getting Google search referrals within about a week. I signed up with Google Sitemaps and got verified, but didn't actually submit a "sitemap" (doesn't work with Blogspot). At any rate, my blog was indexed within days.

Sign up and get Google traffic; easy as that.

There are many other ways to advertise, but the above has worked for me. I think it will work for you, too. As I find new ways, I'll update the list.

The conventional wisdom is that it can take months to get any "significant" traffic to your blog.

The cool thing about blogging is that it's too new for there to be any "conventional wisdom"; and the word "significant" cannot be defined by anyone but yourself. My idea of "significant traffic" happens in a week or less, and I think just about any blogger can do it.

I hope this article has been helpful to you. If I've missed anything or you'd like to share what works for you, drop a comment. Your fellow newbies are listening.



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