Showing posts with label Ali Luke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ali Luke. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Six Ways to Get Traffic to Your Blog – Without Getting Penalised by Google by Ali Luke

All these tips are ones that you can do right from day one … but they’ll also help you out if you’ve been blogging for years and struggling to get traffic.

#1: Write Content That People Want to Read and Link To

Before you put any other traffic-generation tips into practice, you need to make sure your content is as good as it can be.
To get traffic, you need to have content people want to read. It needs to be:
  • Useful or entertaining (or both!)
  • Well-written
  • Nicely formatted for easy reading
When other people link to your content – with no prompting from you – then you’ll know you’ve got it right. These links are also really valuable, as Google views them as natural and trustworthy.
Go further: It’s OK to occasionally ask someone for a link, but only do this for your very best posts. Don’t ask the same people all the time – and don’t target top A-list bloggers when you’re just starting out.

#2: Use Social Media

If you aren’t already on Twitter or Facebook, get started with one of them.
You don’t need to be on every network out there: focus on one or two that you’re comfortable with, and that are a good fit for your audience. (If you’ve got a business-focused blog, for instance, you might find your readers are more likely to hang out on LinkedIn.)
As well as getting traffic from links shared on social media, you’ll get new followers, plus some bloggers will use links they’ve tweeted as the basis of a weekly round-up of their niche.

#3: Leave Comments on Other Blogs

In the early weeks and months of blogging, leaving comments on other people’s blogs is a great way to get some extra traffic. You might only get a handful of visitors from a comment – but if you leave five comments every day, this will soon add up.
Make sure your comments add value to the conversation, and use your real name (or pseudonym) not a keyword.
Go further: Reply to other readers’ comments and questions, rather than just adding your own thoughts. This is a great way to connect with them as well as with the blogger.

#4: Be Generous in Linking Out

How often do you link to other bloggers? If it’s rarely – or never – then you’re not giving them much reason to link to you.
By being generous with your links, you’ll often find that a blogger will return the favour. You may also be able to strike up a relationship them, potentially helping one another out in other ways too.
Go further: Link to other bloggers in your guest posts (see #6); if they receive a link from a high-profile blog as a result, they’ll definitely be grateful.

#5: Use Your Email Signature

Email signatures are often overlooked as a source of traffic. Look at it this way: you probably send multiple emails every day, and some of those will be to people who don’t know about your blog (or who haven’t visited it in a while).
Include a link to your blog in your signature – perhaps with your tagline, or a few words describing what your blog is about.
Go further: Do the same with your signature on any forums you belong to, if this is allowed.

#6: Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs

Guest posting is a great way to grow your blog fast. It gets your writing in front of a new (and usually much bigger) audience, and you’ll have a short bio at the end of your post to link to your blog, or a post on it.
You’ll get traffic directly from your guest post, but the link itself is valuable too and will help your blog rank more highly in search engines.
Google regularly cracks down on low-quality links, however, so make sure you’re only guest posting on high-quality, reputable sites.

Go further: List the top five sites in your niche that you want to guest post for, and study them carefully to find out what types of post they publish.

If you try to get traffic to your blog by dubious methods, Google will sooner or later crack down and you’ll find your traffic gone.

Quick definitions: “Traffic” means readers coming to your blog – the more, the better!
A “backlink” is a link from another site, pointing to your site. It might go to your homepage, to another page, or to a specific blog post.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Four Types of Popular Blog Post That Don’t Require Much Writing by Ali Luke

Do you wish you could produce great blog posts with a minimum of writing?
Well … you can! And they might even turn out to be some of the most popular posts on your blog.
I’m not talking about using video, audio or images here – though all of those can work very well. You can create a normal, text-based post without doing much writing at all.
Here are three types of blog post that often go down very with readers. You won’t need to write more than a few sentences for each (unless you want to).

#1: The Quotes Post

Lists of inspiring, motivational or useful quotes are hugely popular – with good reason. They offer bite-sized, easy-to-digest chunks of advice (or doses of humour).
To put one together, use sites like BrainyQuote and Goodreads to find great quotes on your topic. You might also collect quotes from books, websites, etc during the normal course of your reading and blogging: store them safely for future use.
How to Flourish: 17 Quotes On Living, Being and Doing (Charlie Gilkey, Productive Flourishing)
This post had over 1,400 shares on Facebook – and I know it’s one of Charlie’s most popular pieces. Yet the only words he wrote are a single-line introduction, and a two-sentence conclusion linking to a follow-up piece.

#2: The Interview Post

If you’re not an expert yet, turn to the people who are. An interview post is a win-win-win: it gives you content you couldn’t have written yourself, it raises your interviewee’s profile, and it provides a fresh perspective for your readers.
Interview posts take time to put together, especially if you’re interviewing several people at once (which can make for a really good resource). Make sure you plan ahead and allow time for busy bloggers to get back to you with their answers.
Six Inspiring Experts Answer Five Questions on Writing and Blogging (Ali Luke, Zen Optimise)
I put together this post a few weeks ago for Zen Optimise (where I’m Head of Content). Although I wrote quite a long introduction, it only takes up a fraction of the post – each of the six interviewees provided generous, in-depth answers. Daniel’s one of them, so you may want to check out his tips!

#3: The Discussion Post

This type of post works best once your blog has been running long enough to build up a loyal audience of engaged readers. Instead of writing about a topic yourself, you simply pose a question – and watch the comments come in.
Discussion posts can build engagement and community, and they can also be a rich source of ideas for future posts. (You might write a post quoting some of the best comments, for instance – in a similar way to Great Guest Post Pitching Advice from Two DailyBlogTips Readers.)
DISCUSS: How Often Do You Redesign Your Blog? (Darren Rowse, ProBlogger)
Darren runs discussion posts on a regular basis, with readers adding their answers in the comments. Many readers will write quite in-depth comments – several sentences or a couple of paragraphs.

#4: The Recap Post

New readers often miss out on your older posts, and readers who’ve been around a while may not read every post. A recap post – covering the previous month, three months, six months, or a year – is a great way to showcase some of your best work … without doing much writing.
In your recap post, you’ll obviously put the titles of and links to previous posts, but you might also copy their opening lines or a key paragraph. Once you’ve created one post like this, you can reuse the format again and again – saving you even more time.
Don’t Miss Out: Read Our Five Top Posts from October 2013 (Ali Luke, DailyBlogTips)
This was a quick post to write, with a short introduction and conclusion, and a main body made up of the top five posts of October – each one has the title, date, and a short excerpt.

I’m sure there are a few tricks I've missed! Drop a comment below and let us know your ideas for creating posts without writing much.