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How Do You Drive Traffic?


I thought I’d write this post because every so often I receive comments about driving traffic to a blog or site.

I’m not so crazy about the term driving traffic, because when you’re stuck in traffic, the only vehicle you can control is your own. On the internet super highway, your blog is your vehicle and you attract visitors with content. You can’t force them to come (and please don’t trick them into coming), but if they happen upon your blog make it worth the trip so they will come back again.

There are many ways to attract traffic to a blog, but you must realize the only thing you can do with internet traffic is attract it in the form of writing quality content and place signs of direction. By signs of direction I mean letting other people know that your blog exists. It’s sort of like placing street signs and billboard ads.

A Few Traffic Attracting MethodsNo Traffic

Search Engines: Early on in the freelance writing game, every time I created a site I would go to the major search engines and use their “Submit a site” form and wait for the search engines to find me. Over time I realized that was an unnecessary step because the search engines always found me sooner or later. With Google it was always sooner and the rest of the search engines later.

Submitting RSS Feeds: Back then I always submitted my brand new RSS feeds to RSS directories. The more directories the better, or so I thought. Now I don’t bother with that either. Since many of my sites use WordPress, I have my new entries pinged (not so warm and fuzzy about how it works, but I do it anyway). The ping services I use are:

  • http://rpc.pingomatic.com/
  • http://api.moreover.com/ping
  • http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping
  • http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2
  • http://ping.bitacoras.com
  • http://ping.feedburner.com
  • http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php
  • http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/
  • http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080/
  • http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
  • http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2
  • http://topicexchange.com/RPC2
  • http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2
  • http://www.blogoole.com/ping/
  • http://www.popdex.com/addsite.php
  • http://www.wasalive.com/ping/
  • http://www.weblogues.com/RPC/

I don’t remember where I got this lists from, but I use it for each of my blogs. For WordPress bloggers, this list is inserted on the Writing page under the Settings menu option. Scroll down to Update Services and insert the list there. Don’t forget to save your changes.

Article Directories: I shared my opinion on article directories in my last post. I tried them early on in my online writing career but quickly discontinued the practice. Not only did I not like submitting free articles, but in my experience, it wasn’t worth the effort.

Social Networking: I find social networking such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Reddit and the like a little too busy for my liking. Some people do extremely well with social networking and if that’s your thing, I encourage you to do what works for you. It just doesn’t work for me (one of my personality quirks).

Forums: This is a great way to let folks know you exist. The trick with forums is finding the right ones. Be careful because some forums are a free for all of negativity and not necessarily a good place to be. On occasion, however, I come across interesting forums when researching information or trying to solve a problem (usually a tech problem). They can be a wealth of information and a place to encourage quality traffic as long as your participation is real and helpful.

Blog Comments: Similar to forums, with the right blog and the right group of people it is a great way of encouraging readers to visit your blog. CommentLuv  enabled blogs, give commenters a link back to their latest blog post. I’ve found a wealth of information by clicking on the Quality Content Signblog links of my commenters.

Quality Content: In my opinion, this is the best way to attract traffic to your blog. It’s not as quick as some of the methods listed above, but with quality content you’ll get repeat visitors and word of mouth visitors. Those are the best. With quality content, your readers will take care of the backlinking, social networking and forum posts for you.

One from the Vault: While I was writing this post, I decided to do a little search here on NJFM to see if I’ve written on the topic before, and lo and behold I had. So, I’ll quit yakking and link to last year’s post: Blogging, Writing Articles, Social Networking and Traffic

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • kidgas July 30, 2011, 8:47 am

    All I have been doing with my newest blog is following other blogs and commenting on appropriate posts. It seems to be working fairly well for traffic. I have developed many regular readers. It isn’t so good for earnings, but I am sure that will come later as my blog builds up authority and starts moving higher in the search engines.

    I tried 2 guest posts for the first time. The traffic impact was absolutely zero.

    On the other hand, writing good content has gotten me some links and mentions in other articles with a positive impact on traffic.

    • Felicia July 31, 2011, 9:46 am

      It seems that good comments along with good content is key. I’m giving your earlier tip on RSS readers a try. I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment, but I’m going to keep at it until I get the hang of it.

  • Gisela July 31, 2011, 12:30 am

    Another great post Felicia! Thank you for listing your ping sites, I had totally forgotten about pinging! There is so much to learn and the readability of your writing makes it a fun and interesting process. For now I’m sticking to having a handful of blogs on topics that are near and dear to me… as far as blogging goes. I’m taking full advantage of being able to schedule posts in advance and hope the blogs help me build my writing portfolio.

    • Felicia July 31, 2011, 9:46 am

      Wise approach. Doing what you love makes it so much easier.

  • Felicia, I love your statement “the only vehicle you can control is your own”. So true. Very useful tips, as usual. Always look forward to reading your blog and grateful for the learning experience.

  • Gip @ So Much More Life July 31, 2011, 9:24 am

    On my simple living blog So Much More Life, which isn’t intended to make much money but to help me get my life in order, I’ve found that commenting on similar blogs is the best way to get vistors. In this case, I’m looking for active commenters, not just visitors.

    I also updated my ping list several months ago with a huge list I got somewhere, and that seemed to help a little. Since it doesn’t cost anything and takes only a few seconds once, it’s a very good idea.

    I’ve also mentioned by name some other popular simplicity bloggers a few times, and that always gets me a traffic bump. People seem to like seeing what others are saying about people they trust.


  • Melissa July 31, 2011, 8:15 pm

    I don’t like the term “driving traffic” either. It’s been my experience, driving in traffic involves a lot of stops and starts, covering very little mileage in a whole lot of time. LOL The term “driving traffic” makes about as much sense as a soup sandwich!

  • Amanda August 2, 2011, 12:04 am

    Commenting on other blogs is by far the best way for me to drive traffic. I have not much interest in social media like facebook and twitter. It takes maintenance, and I don’t want to tell others fluffy, useless stuff all the time just to show others that I’m “active.” I may try article directories and forum in the near future to test the water. So, as far as traffic is concerned, there seems to be few I can use except producing quality content and blog commenting.

  • NextGen Writer Blog August 15, 2011, 1:55 pm

    I believe a mixture of blog comments, social networking and article directories is good. But a combination of Unique Quality Content and Search Engine Optimization is the best!

  • Alfred Mcanally November 27, 2011, 11:58 pm

    Blog commenting is a great idea in driving traffic, I do blog commenting a couple of months ago and so far it do good to me, I’m happy working with it.

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