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How to get more blog traffic? Is the question every author website owner has asked at some point. After all, having consistent traffic is key to any successful author or business website. Without traffic and visitors, how can you engage with your audience and build a loyal tribe of readers?
There are many methods for driving traffic to your author website and it’s surprising how little writers and authors are doing to implement strategies to drive traffic. You can’t expect to wake up one morning and find ten thousand people instantly visited your website overnight. You have to be proactive and take action to implement traffic generation tactics.
Over my blogging career, I’ve implemented many tactics as part of my online marketing strategy. Book Cover Café has grown from just a dozen visitors a month, to thousands of visitors a month.
Here’s some traffic driving tactics that have worked for me and author clients over the last couple of years. There are no push button overnight magic blue pills here, just tried and true tactics that work over time.
1. Create quality content worth sharing
This is number one for a very good reason. Create blog posts that provide great value to readers. You’ve got to write blog articles that people actually want to read. If not, they won’t come back and it doesn’t matter how well you optimize your website for sharing and syndication.
Also, search engines such as Google are giving priority to websites and blogs with the most relevant quality content. So make this your first tactic that you focus on implementing.
2. Blog frequently
When I first started out blogging I only published articles on average, once a fortnight. When I increased that to twice a week, I found a sharp increase in traffic. This has also been the case for authors who are regularly blogging about their topic. The more content you have, the more there is for readers to enjoy and share. This equates to more traffic.
3. Improve your blog and page metadata for SEO
What does this mean? This simply means, make sure you are optimizing your blog posts and author website pages for SEO or in other words making them ‘Google friendly’. Be sure to add metadata, which is your keywords, descriptions and titles to the SEO section in your blog posts. This helps your content to be easily indexed by search engines. This is one reason why I recommend authors have a self hosted WordPress website.
4. Send an email broadcast
When you have a new blog post available, send an email to your subscribers who already enjoy your content. Having a reliable email tool like Aweber, makes this a snap.
5. Harness the power of social media
Use social networks to be visible where your readers are. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google + and LinkedIn are powerful ways to connect and build your networking partnerships, relationships, get in front of readers and offer your blog posts. The question of how many should you focus on, depends on which you prefer using and which channels your target audience is using.
6. Make it easy for visitors to subscribe to your blog
You can’t depend on your readers to remember to visit your website multiple times a week. People are busy, so make sure they can easily subscribe via RSS or email. Have both, so you don’t alienate those who prefer one over the other. Make sure these subscribe options are ‘above the fold’, the top portion of your website.
7. Use social share buttons
These are the share buttons you see on blogs and websites. They have the ‘Tweet’ or ‘Like’ buttons before, after or beside the article. This allows readers to easily share your content with their audience. There’s many plugins that enable this, some better than others. Plugins I like are Socialize and Digg Digg, due to their appearance and customization options.
8. Write guest posts for other bloggers related to your topic, genre or industry
Writing a blog post for another blogger is a great way to get exposure to their audience and in turn grow your own. It can provide a surge in traffic and also a constant trickle over the long term. How do you start guest posting? From building those important relationships with others first. Twitter anyone?
9. Comment on other blogs in your genre or industry
Blog commenting is a powerful, yet underutilized tactic by authors, largely because they are too shy or timid. As an author you no doubt have more to contribute to those in your genre or industry than you think. Once you’ve done this a couple of times, it gets a lot easier. Then when you see the additional traffic come in from those who click on your link in the comments you leave, your eyes will open.
There you have it, some proven tactics on how to get more blog traffic. Now it’s up to you to take action. What other traffic tactics have you used?