These days everyone has a blog but most of them float unread out on the internet cloud. So the big question I keep hearing is how do I get more traffic to my blog? The answer is simple, and if you are willing to put in a little time you can do it for free as well.
Blogs are more or less just like any other website out there. Sure they are designed to make it easy for bloggers to post news, images, and video without much computer savvy but in reality they are just user friendly mini-websites. So now that you have one you want to get more traffic to it so here's a few of the free and basic first steps to increasing your blogs traffic.
1. Blog About Something People Care About
Seriously - if nobody cares about your blog because it's just random talk about what you ate that morning you aren't going to pick up a lot of traffic. However, regardless of how weird your interests may be someone out there also cares about them. So this one is an easy - just blog about something that someone else can relate to.
2. Submit Your Blog to Directories
This one is also easy but takes a bit of time. There are a lot of free services out there where you can submit your blog to. They are basically like giant phonebooks for blogs and once you add your blog to their service more people will be able to find your blog. You'll be able to categorize your blog and many of them let you use your own "tags" which are basically key words. Just jump on your favorite search engine and type in something like "free blog submission" and you'll find lots of sites which can help you out.
3. Have a Blogroll
Blogs often have a list of links somewhere that lists the other blogs or websites that are related or that the blogger enjoys visiting. If you want to help increase traffic find some sites that will trade you a link on their blog for one on yours. Don't get too carried away with this though as you can actually lose traffic if you abuse this. This is where you start to get into the internet's deeper and more inner workings so for brevity we'll just leave it with this: you don't want more than about 100 links on your front page or you might actually decrease your chance for big traffic.
4. Submit Your Blog to Feedreaders
Most blog services have the ability to create a "feed". You might hear people talking about RSS, syndication, or feedreaders. Basically what this means is each blog creates a list of what posts have been added to it much like headlines for a newspaper. You can find sites out there like the Blog Directories which you can submit your blog feed or RSS to. If you do this they'll pick up your headlines and people can then dig through them for interesting blogs. The best part about these feed systems is that most continue to check your blog for updates so once you've submitted it you can just reap the benefits!
5. Blog Often and When Appropriate
One mistake some people make with blogging is blogging when they have nothing useful to say just to get another "post" on their blog. If you are doing this then you are going to have a hard time making fans who are interested in saving your page in their favorites or bookmarks. However, you want to often update your blog. If you don't post regularly then you'll bore your fans. Blog often, but make sure you're blogging something of interest.
6. Make Sure Your Blog Has a Theme
If you're blog is all over the place you'll have a hard time putting together a fan base. You may get a few hits here and there by random people but you want to build a community. To do that you'll probably want to pick a few categories you're going to post about and stick with them. If you are the type who likes to make random posts sometimes you could just make a category called Random Thoughts or something along those lines but again be careful.
7. Pingbacks and Trackbacks
If you want people to visit your blog then visit other blogs that are related to yours and get involved. You'll find that people often leave comments with links back to their own blog or another related blog in the comments. These are part of the pingback/trackback system which can be a lot of fun and also get you a lot of additional traffic. Avoid spamming though as you'll just irritate potential friends and you'll likely have your comments removed and lose your comment ability.
8. Appearance Matters
Every blog service offers templates which can make your blog look unique or have a style you feel fits. Often you can also customize your blog with custom graphics and tinker with the layout. While this can really help your blog be careful that you aren't making it irritating to potential readers. Not many people want to come to a blog that hurts their eyes to look at or which has loud music they don't like.
There you go, 8 simple tips on how to increase your blog traffic. The last thing to remember is that building up your blog traffic is going to take time. Depending on the potential number of people interested in your topics and your other blogging related skills it could take weeks and even more likely months to really get things going. If you blog it, they will come!