How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

14Mar2012

If you've just begun blogging, you're probably eager to see the traffic start flowing to your site. After all, blogging without followers feels a little bit like talking to yourself, and no one wants that! You probably have an internal vision of your blog as an active forum with comments, discussions, and lots of readers checking for your updates. Patience, grasshopper.

To start, share your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter , and encourage the friends you have there to begin following your blog. You can add a widget on the sidebar of your site so that anyone who wants to keep up with you can subscribe to your feed or submit their email address to receive a notification when you make a new post. The people most likely to follow you at this point are your friends and family members, so make sure you're tapping into those resources to get your blog rolling.

Of course, you want to expand! You're taking the time to make well-thought-out posts, and in doing so, you're sharing a part of yourself with the world. The problem is: how do you get the world to show up and appreciate your effort? It takes time and dedication, but it can be done.

First, think about your topics. If you're writing about a specific hobby, seek out online forums for people who are into those hobbies. Add a link to your blog in your profile and signature, so that when you reply to a post, other members know to check out your site. Find others who are blogging about the same topics, and ask them to trade links with you. Participate in blog hops and other networking, and consider attending a conference for mommy bloggers like yourself.

Along the way, you will probably receive offers from SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) companies offering to get your site ranking well in Google - for a fee. SEO quotes can be extremely high, and most new bloggers have no reason to pay high prices to make their blogs popular. Popularity will come in time, through networking, and by updating your blog at least a few times a week.

That's right, the more you update your blog, the more likely it will be to start ranking well in Google and catching the eye of readers who come in from other sites that have linked to you. Ideally, you should post in your blog 2-3 times a week, but there's nothing wrong with posting more often, either. I know it feels like you're talking to no one at first, but pretty soon, friends will start trickling in to comment.

Once you have a solid archive of posts on your blog - enough to give new readers an idea of what to expect from you - you should create a Facebook page just for your blog. (Here's an example: I recently created this page for my book blog). Again, don't be afraid to promote this page among your friends and family members, as well as in any other communities you visit. Just follow the rules; no one likes to be spammed!

As you begin to get comfortable promoting your work, the number of followers you have should increase. At that point, you can start thinking of ways to monetize your blog - a subject I'll be posting about soon!