My top traffic tips

One thing I get asked regularly by new bloggers is how I manage to get hits on my site, and comments on my posts.

sky_8855Now I am by no means a massive blog star (like Ree Drummond or Mia Freeman or Heather Armstrong) but I am very lucky that I do usually get at least a couple of hundred hits on this little bush blog every day. These people come from all corners of the world, from places I would never have dreamed people would be interested in me or my world.

I should say up-front that during my five years as a blogger, I have stumbled along quite a bit, sometimes posting to underwhelming response. But I won’t pretend for a SECOND that I don’t LOVE seeing people reacting to something I have shared – that’s the joy of blogging, that two-way play between blogger and reader.

The following are very general tips, and are definitely coloured by my background and attitudes.  Also know that I am not the least bit business-like about blogging and the bottom line is never my motivation.

So with my shortcomings acknowledged, here are my tips on building an audience for a personal blog:

  1. LOVE your blog – I see mine as my little virtual home , I love it and feel comfortable there and I hope others feel the same way when they arrive at my front page for the first time (or the 100th time).  Aim for the sky – so much is free or very low-cost on the internet (fonts,designs etc) so tweak til you are content!blog
  2. WRITE when inspired – sometimes hard to do, because life has a way of taking over, but getting that basic bit onto the screen usually only takes ten minutes and the quality of a blog post always reflects your mood – if you are bored or busy, it shows! If you are passionate and inspired it will evoke something similar in your visitors.
  3. BE the reader you want to visit your site – take the time to leave comments on good posts at other blogs, even if they are just short messages. If there is no facility (like a ‘website’ and ‘recent posts’ option for commenter’s) then also leave a link to a RELEVENT and interesting post of yours – often that blog author will check you out, and their readers might too. But be respectful and don’t use their comments section as a total ad for your blog.  You never know WHO might add you to their favourites list, when you develop a blog friendship!mentionsree
  4. Know your reader, but don’t be too limiting. Check out other blogs who reflect the kind of area of interest you cover – see what works for them.  Don’t copy exactly, but maybe you can adapt an idea that appeals to you (a competition, slide show, whatever).
  5. USE Social Media wisely – sure, promote your blog posts on Twitter and Facebook, but don’t let that be the ONLY thing you do there.  People will stop reading if self-promotion is all you do – save some of that wit and sparkle for the odd entertaining tweet and that great photo you took this morning on Facebook.  Many people find blogs via social media but their interest needs to be engaged first.  Give them a taste of what you can do…twitter
  6. Share the linky love. Be happy to share other bloggers links with your contacts – ‘sharing the linky love’ is an essential thing in blogging (in my opinion). If you love someone’s post then share it on other social media – tweet it, Facebook it. I have a whole pages set aside for it – one is  ‘bush bloggers’ and I am about to re-do my ‘favourite blogs’ list. I’ve found that others are often happy to return the favour and send some of their traffic your way. Of course, people only stay if they connect with your blog, but getting them there is half the battle.linkylove
  7. RESPOND to comments where possible - either in your comments section, in email reply, on twitter or Facebook, try to acknowledge your readers efforts. The beauty of blogging is the two-way interaction. I don’t always manage it (usually just a time thing) but I do try, especially if someone has made an especially good/funny/insightful comment.reply
  8. ASK a question.  Sometimes it’s easy to talk AT people, as if you are on television or writing a book.  But blogging allows responses – make it easy for people to start their comment by inviting them with a query.  You often get a different perspective on your topic and can learn a WHOLE lot about your readers (which is a fabulous thing generally!).
  9. DON’T get obsessed with comment numbers. I find that my stat-counter (this is mine but there are often inbuilt ones in Blogger and WordPress) tells you more – just seeing people regularly visiting gives me a kick. If they happen to make the effort to comment too, it’s a massive bonus and I appreciate that they clicked onto my site anyway.stats
  10. DON’T compare yourself to other bloggers. We are all unique and this is not a competition. Well, it shouldn’t be. I am inspired by many hugely talented people out there but what I do (and what you do) is unique. Enjoy that and share that. It’ll be what makes you successful.
  11. REMEMBER why you blog. For me, it’s about sharing my world, my images and connecting with people from all walks of life. Comment numbers have never driven what I do, or discourage me from posting something up. If I love it or think it needs saying or sharing, I do it. Sometimes the thing you think will generate the least response, will go off.  Otherwise you have gotten something off your chest (and out of your photo card) and documented it for your family. Because the most important reader you have will ALWAYS be you.

So there you go.  A little world-wide web wisdom from this bush blogger.

sky_8860

Does this help you?

If you are a blogger, have you tried these tips? 

If you are a reader only, what makes you respond the most?

And would you add anything to this list?

45 Responses to “My top traffic tips”

  1. What great blogging advise in particular remembering that it is your blog and to love it and remember why you blog. Numbers have never bothered me. For me it was more about sharing a different way of life. What I blog about has changed dramatically over the last few months which has made it hard to write posts and generate interest I feel. Have you ever had hard patches?
    Anne´s last blog post ..She has got Wings

    • Well I often have periods of time where life really floors me (usually cause I am on the road and having trouble editing images or out in the paddock and utterly stuffed when I get back to the house and my computer!) but people seem to forgive me those lapses. I think sometimes a little break is good – you can be fresher. Like I said, sometimes I don’t get massive numbers of comments, but I can see lots of people reading, or they simply veer off and check out something else on the blog. That IS one thing I should have mentioned – including relevent links BACK into your archives within the post. Can be the start of a lovely trawling session for the reader! :-)

  2. I kind of feel like my blog is a place where people come to visit. I guess I don’t pay much attention to traffic either. I like the idea that when I’m gone from this earth, there will be a place where my kids can come and hear my voice once again, if they like. That’s all.
    Debby´s last blog post ..Spamalot

    • YES! Absolutely… there is a little piece of me right here, and a reflection of my love for my family and what I do. That really is enough!! :-)

  3. I am two under you at PW’s place. Still don’t know how I achieved that honor but I do get traffic from her.
    I agree with all that you said, especially the part where you write when inspired. I don’t write a daily post just to publish one every single day.
    Kate´s last blog post ..What the what?

    • I KNOW. You were there first (I win on the ladder thanks to the alphabet!)… I saw all this new traffic and traced it back to that page – was gobsmacked to be included on such a stellar list. Ree’s generosity is one of the things I have been inspired by – Bossy was another who happily shared the linky love too! :-)

  4. Great post! I’ve been putting some real thought into why I do this lately. Initially I thought it would give me a ‘reputation’ to get me into writing a column or something. That has since happened and I’m starting to set new goals for myself! You listed some great tips. Well done! x

  5. lol – I think I transgress horribly in at about 3 of your tips – and it shows…
    jeanie´s last blog post ..Paradismal Displays and Diction Delight

  6. I’m mostly just a reader, and I must say that I really do come back here regularly because I know it will feel like a glimpse of home. (OK, not MY home, but it’s more fun to visit someone else’s home, right?)

    I have given some thought to blogging, even have maybe a half dozen posts on a very basic blog of my own, but I can’t decide if it’s something others might want to read or even something I ought to encourage others to come and see. In some ways, my childhood really did put the “fun” in dysfunctional. I struggle to perceive the line between saying nothing vs. over-sharing, and hope I don’t cross it too frequently. I suppose my problem is that I haven’t quite managed to commit. Is there a “market” for sometimes-funny anecdotes from the past? My present isn’t what I want to tell about, the dark shadows are just a bit too heavy.

    • I think the key is to always write for you. IF you want to get those stories and idea and observations out, you can. You know you can choose who can see your blog? It can be completely private if you want. True!
      :-)
      BB
      PS So sorry you are dealing with darkness atm. That sucks – everyone deals with it differently – some of the world’s most successful bloggers happened because they shared a little of that darkness. (Think Redneck Mommy). Do what feels right and comfortable for you. xx

      • Redneck mommy is actually why I thought I might blog, but her blog has bitten her once or twice, too. Part of my reluctance is that I may be facing court, and I don’t want to find out that something I posted gets twisted and used against me. Hence the stories from back-when, instead of current events. (Then I’m a fool, and post things on facebook, so who am I kidding, really?)

        I want to be positive, in hopes that the light will chase away the shadows. Some days it’s easier to sit back and read, passively.

  7. I am just a reader, no blog here. But I love your blog and find all your posts interesting. You offer a side (down under!) of life I’ve never experienced, plus I love blogs about farms and ranches. Your photos are wonderful and your kids are adorable. You’ve inspired an interest in and love of Australia. I just started watching “McLeod’s Daughters” on Netflix, and it does make me think of you. I think your tips would help any blogger.

    • ‘Just a reader’??? No such thing… you made my day today Nancy! (I do happen to have the best readers ever, don’t I?).

  8. What a wonderfully informative post!! Not only do you wow us with your photography, you are filled with wisdom as well. :) Seriously, you have some very good pointers here.

    I’ve really cut back on my blogging in the past year, but when I do post, I love to interact with those who comment.
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Palm Sunday 2013

    • Oh STOP. Okay, don’t stop. Thanks for the sweet comments Kelly – thanks for hanging around this little bush blog for so long! Hope you get inspired on the blogging front again soon.

  9. Watched more of McLeod’s daughters. Thanks to you I’ve known what jackaroos and campdrafts are, plus many other expressions new to a Yank.

  10. Well, I just love this blog too. I guess it shows since you can tell that I am here somewhere reading. Jumping up and down to catch the phone, or changing laundry loads, or running and doing something. DH wonders what’s got me so engrossed on this computer. Great stuff I tell him. I am always showing him your pics and he thinks your pretty cool too! LOL. I am a reader, so when I am interested it’s like trying to put a book down
    Great post.

  11. Hmmm, just tried to post on jeanies blog and I think it went to cyber space. Dang it, I guess it wouldn’t take my acct? I must have messed up somehow, I have never heard of blogger.co though except on your sidebar. Never used it before, leave it to a yank huh? LOL

  12. Its great Carol – I actually got your comment (and may use one of BB’s tips and respond!!)
    jeanie´s last blog post ..Paradismal Displays and Diction Delight

  13. Hey Jeanie, I just posted again on your page.

  14. Great advice BB. I think it’s so important not to lose track of why we blog, and that reason is vastly different for every person. It is so easy to be influenced by other blogs and sometimes think you don’t measure up. I print my blog every year, and hope that in years to come, my grandchildren and beyond may gain an insight into who I was and the life we led that otherwise they wouldn’t.
    Fiona´s last blog post ..Cross Country by the Sea

  15. BB, I deserted you for a bit today and read a post where Jeanie made shortbread that she said wasn’t very pretty, well, it looked pretty to me. She is supposed to post it, if she doesn’t I need you to wop knots on her head til she does, LOL. Ya hear that Jeanie?!

  16. Nice one BB. Still don’t quite know how you find the time to do it all. I have a huge list of all the things I need to blog about – will just have to tackle them one passion at a time ! xx

    • Indeed Jac – and knowing you, those passions will light up the screen! (Where is your blog link in these comments though??).

      THanks for being the one to ask this question most recently, and prompt me to blog this topic. A birdie tells me that BlogHer might even be sharing it… see guys? You never know where things will end up…
      :-)
      BB

  17. Ah fabulous for BlogHer! Just about everyone who has blogged for a while has a ‘traffic tips’ and it’s so important to be relevant to your community. :)
    You know how shy I am?
    Oh all right, here I am
    http://inspired2designau.wordpress.com

    Jac
    Jac´s last blog post ..Facebook Dimensions and the 20% Ad Rule

  18. Great tips. I plan to add this to my blogger group on Facebook. (Also blogging at http://www.theblacktortoise.com. and http://www.oncealittlegirl.com)
    Adela´s last blog post ..Girl ‘n Boots

  19. Just found your blog through BlogHer. I’m am new with my personal blog(blogged for a year for a past employer) with only 7 posts to my name. Find your tips very helpful. Am adding your blog to favorites.
    Samina´s last blog post ..Sew a French Seam

  20. Great tips, BB. I’ve been blogging for 18 months and really enjoy it. It is a slow build but it’s getting there. I’m passionate about the subject so that helps me come up with new ideas. (Divorce support). I found you on BlogHer which is a fab site for meeting fellow bloggers. Some days I just feel invisible with the enormous amount of people and bloggers out there. Hence my post on Blog Her titled “It’s a Blog Eat Blog World” I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments here too. I’ll be back to visit. Thanks again for those great tips.

    • Thanks Lisa – if you come back don’t forget to tick the ‘comment luv’ box so we can easily see your latest blog post! It’s why I put it there.
      Good luck with your blog and enjoy the community you build!
      :-)

  21. Great tips! Came by way of BlogHer. :)
    Alison´s last blog post ..On Writing

  22. These are great tips, different from other “how to get more traffic” posts I’ve come across on occasion and seemingly more practical.

    I have to work on writing when the mood strikes. And I’m pretty awful in my use of social media. Thanks for this little kick in the rear to get me to think of some things differently!

    • Thanks Amy… it wasn’t written really with the fully serious bloggers in mind. I don’t want hueg traffic – I want quality traffic. And I have it, because (I think) people are invited here gently. Let us know your SM ‘handles’!
      :-)

  23. I have only been blogging a short time. Your tips were very helpful. Blogging and familiarizing myself with all the needed technology has not given me a lot of time to comment on other blogs. I will definitely start doing that.

    • I adore the ‘look’ of your website – I don’t think any of us really have Time, but I have found that the washing up waits for me!
      ;-)
      BB

  24. I found you on BlogHer and really love your style. It’s so GOOD to see an Aussie representin’!

    My blog’s stats fascinate me – the posts I think will be winners are almost never the successful ones. It’s the quickies, the heat-of-the-moment passionate ones, the scary ones that go crazy.

    I’ll never know the secret, but I love blogging, I love the connection with readers and other bloggers. I love how the blogging community is so supportive and non-competitive (in my humble experience, at least).

    This has been an incredibly enriching experience for me!

    So glad I found you! Consider yourself followed.
    Michelle @ theycallmemummy.com´s last blog post ..No, Lil Wayne is not raising my children.

    • Hey Michelle – WELCOME! Yes, it is a quicksilver thing, finding that ‘blogging mojo’. Glad you are loving it, and delighted to have you here.
      :-)

  25. These are such great tips. I’ve been getting caught up with SEO, numbers, etc. — and I know they’re important — but it’s good to read advice that is really more about your motivation as a blogger and using your own judgment about how you’re doing. Allow the “numbers” about your blog to help you, but don’t become all-consumed by them!
    Jessica Smock´s last blog post ..Rethinking Attachment Parenting: More Confused Than Ever

    • Yes, totally agreed. I think it’s easy to get caught in a vicious spiral if you measure your success by numbers (either hits or comments really). Doesn’t mean what you are writing or sharing should change… not if it makes you feel something positive in the first place.
      :-)

  26. Awesome post! I have been blogging a little over a year and can relate to each item. I adore my blog, and why I am blogging, so that comes naturally to me. I am in it to share my cards and my crafts, and what I am enjoying most is the community! So many lovely people, and so many kinds of blogs to read and broaden my world.

    My crafts are my own, and I know I can’t compare myself to the “rockstars” of the craft world, but I can be the best Winnie, and that is enough.

  27. Absolutely! Be the best you can be, and take a little time to make contact with your ‘tribe’… leave those crumbs in the places you like to visit, so readers can follow the trail back to you.

    My ‘tribe’ is a magical mixture of gender, race, nationality and of varied citification… an ever-morphing group who reflect the myriad of interests and activites which intrigue me.

    Enjoy!
    :-)

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