getting more traffic to your blog

Got a question from Bruce Reyes-Chow about how to increase blog readership, and thought I’d share with the public too. That’s the beauty of blogging, it’s easy to share information with the public instantly, and search engines help people to find it right here. And, if you’re sharing stuff that lots of people want to read, and you’re the only one with that info, then you’ll get a large audience. First, my executive summary, then more details.

  • Get registered with search engines
  • Blog well and blog often
  • Join the conversation
  • Provide valuable information
  • Share the web address via other media channels

Now, granted, I am not an A-list blogger, nor B-list, and barely C-list. (whatever that means — Dave Pollard extrapolated using Shirky’s Power law that there are 100 A-list bloggers, 2000 B-list bloggers, and 18000 C-list bloggers in 2005.)

  1. Get registered with search engines
    To get your blog to show up in Google, add your URL to their system. You’d need to do this with each search engine you want to be listed at (definitely hit the big 3: Google, Yahoo, MSN). You could also use those search engine submission services like AddMe or SubmitExpress. And you could also get added to blog search engines like Technorati, IceRocket and Google Blog Search. This makes you findable, but this doesn’t get people to come back. You’d want repeat visitors and people who return often. I’d spend my time & energy on content, which will get you organic search engine referrer click-thrus without paying for banner ads or AdWords. As you blog, write using phrases that are search-engine friendly. Sometimes, I’ll put in some extra phrases at the end of my blog post that would be synonyms to the topic I’m blogging about, so it’d be more findable.
  2. Blog well and blog often
    Blogging is writing. Writing well using good grammar and edits is okay, but not that critical. What makes a good blog is a personal voice, passion, personality, transparent authenticity, and opinionated. My rule of thumb: blog at least 3 times a week. (I don’t stick to this rule, b/c I’m not after an audience, per se; I blog when I have the time to say something or share some info.) Blogging is sharing your passion through writing online, and if a lot of people want to read that, then you’ll get a growing audience.
  3. Join the conversation
    Link to other blogs as you write, whether it’s to other bloggers’ comments, other websites, or other information related to what you’re blogging. Learn to use trackback. And, add comment on other blogs appropriately, while being sure to put in your blog’s URL in the correct field. If they don’t have a field for URL, I wouldn’t comment there. 🙂 Also, you could join blog carnivals and blog networks, but I haven’t found those to work very well.
  4. Provide valuable information
    This is related to organic search engine click-thrus mentioned above. Plus, it is good for the repeat visitors who look to you for a certain kind of perspective or as a source of latest intelligence on a certain topic. Recently, I had gotten infected by malware, twice, and I blogged about it, providing valuable information to the public searching for a solution to their malware maladies. I still get search engine click-thrus for that. This helps to increase readership, and even though these are not likely to become repeat visitors.
  5. Share the web address via other media channels
    Put the blog URL on a business card, and give out the card when you meet people. Put the blog URL in your email signature. Mention your blog URL in your podcast, vodcast, radio talk show, workshop presentation, t-shirt, television interview, whatever. People who want to hear from you may very well want to hear from you often from your blogging.

Here are some other great tips, from A-list bloggers:

Guy Kawasaki has blogged for less than 200 days and has already broken into the Technorati Top 50, and shares How to evangelize a blog. Robert Scoble, the Microsoft Geek Blogger, shares his tips for joining the A List. You may also find this quantitative analysis of the Secrets of the A-list bloggers to be revealing. Or, do like George Costanza and do the opposite of Scott Heiferman’s 50 Reasons Why More People Aren’t Using Your Website. [update 6/3/06: Seth Godin weighs in with 56 tips for how to get traffic for your blog]

For a more thorough treatment, I highly recommend Naked Conversations, a hardcover book about how blogs are changing the way businesses talk with customers. I’m about halfway through, might get through a few more chapters today. Very affirming of the blogging life, though more from a corporate business perspective than an individual personality perspective.

Update 5/14: just finished reading the Naked Conversations book on Sunday afternoon; chapter 14 and chapter 15 are available online for you to read. Actually, the whole book is online as blog entries, if you know how to dig through the archives. Chapter 11 has their 11 tips for doing blogging right: corporate blogging tips. (We had already celebrated Mother’s Day over a 9-course Chinese banquet lunch at Silver Fountain.)

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14 Responses

  1. ksc says:

    Here’s another tip:

    – Get friends who had more readership to link their blog on a post talking about “how to get more traffic to your blog”! I know Bruce Reyes-Chow and haven’t connected to him years. But now I know that he has a blog! 🙂

  2. David Park says:

    Bravo DJ, I need to do the same for my blog. Great tips. I’ll also be sure to use trackbacks more often.

  3. Justin says:

    Excellent. Thanks for taking the time to share this.

    I predict this will become a popular post on

  4. DJ – Thanks man for modeling your own advice and you will see that I am taking it by commenting 😉 Also what a cool way to reconnect some folks! Apreacite all you are doing for the community!

  5. junkhead says:

    Hey, excellent post. Thanks for sharing this info. I’m just starting to blog and value all the advice I can get.

  6. Thanks so much for the tips. I’ve grabbed those handy search engine add-me URLs and I really appreciate you taking the time to post this. Here’s one more happy blogging tip junkie you’ve helped!

  7. David Park says:

    While I haven’t done all of the tips that you mentioned DJ, I thought it was particularly encouraging to report that I have increased page visits to my own blog by over 250% from April to May. I think that’s fairly significant since I believe that the blog has a very niche conversation. Thanks again for the tips and the info…It definitely adds to the fun of blogging!

  8. SolShine7 says:

    This blog was extremely informative. Thanks for sharing the information with the rest of us. I found you on Reyes-Chow blog. He boasted about how good your blog was so I just had to check it out. And boy was he right! Thanks again.

    Check out my blog at


  9. James says:

    Would appreciate tips for those who weren’t known prior to the dot-com era. Would love for you to critique what I could be doing better in terms of my blog?

  10. Thanks DJ!
    This was very helpful.
    -Daniel Eng

  11. Awesome tips here, another thing i would like to add is to go into joint ventures with other bloggers, there traffic can bring you much more and vice versa