Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How to get more traffic to your weblog

got an e-mail a couple of days ago from a guy who wanted to know how to increase traffic to his weblog - god only knows why he chose to ask me, but there you go. I'm not entirely sure that my advice was quite what he was looking for, because I didn't give him any revolutionary tips about secret search engine strategies or ways to control and influence the minds of young, hip and trendy scene-setters. In fact I can summarise what I said to him in just a few points:
  1. Search Engines: You can get traffic off search engines, but is it the kind of traffic that really interests you? The people who seek your site by running a search about "Sex with lubricated badgers" are going to be disappointed with your thoughts on identifying the gender of the black and white animals. And if you're hoping to catch people who are just looking for a good weblog, remember that there are hundreds of thousands of other weblogs which are just as likely to appear in their search results. My opinion? Don't bother.
  2. Site of the month/day/week etc Again - why bother. Most of the sites that give out awards do so to get traffic, not to give it to other people. And if they're easy to win, they're essentially useless, and will clutter up your site with badges and logos and buttons. If they're not easy to get mentioned on - such as Blogger's "Blogs of note", then your chances of getting a link are almost ridiculously small - and frankly would be enhanced by paying attention to the only really important parts of the weblog process... Which are...
  3. Good quality design and content It may be dull, but it remains true - if you write good stuff and present it elegantly, then you'll be well read in no time at all. Case in point - Trabaca is a site that I stumbled upon fairly recently. I've got quite entrenched in my weblog reads of late, and don't tend to wander that much. But this site had an immediate visual impact for me - and it stuck in my head because of that. And then I discovered that it was a delight to read. So now it's a regular destination for me. That's the best model for encouraging regular visitors to your site - give them something worth coming to.

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