I recently participated in an interviewbattle on Daily Blog Tips which puts bloggers head to head such as Rand Fishkin vs. Lee Odden . This one was of course Marketing.fm vs TheFutureBuzz or Eric Friedman vs. Adam Singer
The final question was the catalyst for this post which I wanted to explore further.
10. What is the best way to increase website traffic?
Treat your blog like an island. It needs supplies, traffic ports, trade routes, and visitors to remain habitable. Ignore one or more of these metaphors and your blog can become a deserted and desolate island fast – pay attention to each and you will have a favorite destination of visitors who want to come back.
Treasure Island by Aaron Escobar
Treat your blog like an island
Your blog is out there in the ocean of other islands and can be washed away and forgotten, or turn into a thriving place to visit. By treated your web property like a real property you can gain long lasting value and not get discouraged when things are not going your way (read: no traffic)
Without the right supplies your blog will die.
Building a good foundation means traffic can come to and from your blog in the easiest way possible. To help this process along I recommend a solid SEO plugin for WordPress. This also means getting ready for visitors and clearly explaining your purpose and who is writing. Providing clear and concise information can provider users with a much better experience.
Provide a way to contact you! This is constantly forgotten and it is too easy to overlook this step. With a simple for from Wufooor even a WP plugin you can have a contact form up in minutes.
You also need to get out there and participate in conversations that interest you and pertain to your blog. Notice I did not say “go comment all over the place” but rather comment where you feel you have further questions about a post or can add to the dialogue. This builds a solid “trade route” between your blog and others as your name and URL should always point back to your island.
Establish links to your inspirational sources. These will usually be one way links, but in time the favor will be returned. As an established source of quality information your island will too become a place people WANT to link to.
Getting ready for visitors is important – especially in an age where too many visitors can sink your entire island and new people have nowhere to go. This metaphor can be explained by checking out the Digg effect or knowing that a lot of visitors can make a blog slow down. To avoid this use a simple cache plugin for WordPress.
You also need a clear and concise path for visitors to follow. Checkout one of your posts and see how it feels to navigate to each of your pages. Confused? So are your visitors. Give options, provide other links deeper into your site, and give opportunities to find more information.
I think this island metaphor is just about used up – but I hope it provides some insight into what is needed to create a successful blog. I learned some of these lessons the hard way so hopefully sharing them with you will save you the trouble.
Have other ideas? Let me know in the comments and prove that this blog is not a desolate island alone in the blogosphere!
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