We've covered a lot on the subject of how to start a blog. While it's been a lot of information it's all aimed at minimizing the learning curve so that you can hit the ground running successfully. With that said, lets recap what's been covered so far.
Part I was about determining the blogs goal, purpose and finding your voice.
Part II was about who is searching for your content, niche and keywords.
Part III was all about the domain name.
Part IV focused on hosting.. where should you house your website ?
Part V was about the money and generating revenue from your blog.
Now we find ourselves in the last installment of this blog series and that is on blog traffic and promotion.. more specifically why is this such a difficult task, why do so many struggle with it and how can you get more people to your website.
You can trust that there are responses from every corner of the internet on this topic and everyone has an opinion and perspective.. some good, some bad, some of it’s worthwhile and some of it’s garbage, but either way, for your own needs you’ll probably have to sift through it all like the rest of us to find the information that works best for you. However, hopefully I can help in that regard with my own take on the subject. Nevertheless, if there are some blogs that I would recommend to supplement this blog post it would be the following:
Kim Roach of Buzzblogger
Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic
Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Cafe
Neil Patel of Quicksprout
Darren Rowse of Problogger
These are all very informational resources to give you more ideas on growing your traffic. Each blogger I've mentioned has amassed quite a following and has traffic stats that many if not all of us have aspirations to reach as well. While we're on the subject of informational resources, please watch out for my next blog post that will feature a post that has taken me weeks to write on over 100 ways to increase website traffic and / or promote your blog. So while this section is the end of this blog series, my next post, albeit separate will compliment this section as a resource for you on the conversation of website traffic and blog promotion.
Nevertheless, in this blog post, I will focus the conversation on explaining traffic methods that just don't work anymore and why you should stay away from them. You may be thinking.. hey, just show me what works, but my thoughts are that when you're seeking out or implementing traffic methods.. it's really a lot of experimentation and it's better to know the bad neighborhoods to stay away from so you don't put your blog at risk for a penalty sometime down the road.
So lets start with the most basic. Understand that Google wants and has "always" wanted to provide users with quality information. If you're not producing quality content, just know that you're not going to make it that far in this era of content marketing. So don't go the "thin content" route. If you're a microblogging website, then my suggestion is to produce content regularly and by that I mean you should be writing "everyday". So while your content is going to be thinner than the traditional blog post, at least your blog will have a lot of it consistently over time which will look good to Google.
The next tactic to stay away from is reciprocal link exchanges. Unbelievably, I still get email requests for this type of linking. It's so 1999... well maybe not, but it sounds good to say it like that. Nevertheless, anything that you do that looks like a manipulation of the search engine is bad and reciprocal linking just looks terrible, not to mention it's a dead giveaway that says, "Hey Google, look at me.. I'm going after a cheap, useless link so I can inflate the number of backlinks that I have". You can count on getting hit with a Google penalty if you're caught doing this.
It may sound like a great idea when the newest backlinking tool comes out for ten dollars claiming you can build links on autopilot, but I'd steer clear of offers like that. Obviously the more quality links you have can lead to more authority, better signals to Google and better rankings, but that's something that you're going to get through sheer diligence, patience and hard work. There's no free lunch when it comes to getting backlinks. Many have tried and failed miserably. Any software that claims to be able to get you thousands of links is probably more than capable of doing it, but all you're going to get in the long run are backlinks that you couldn't give away even if you wanted to. Your backlink numbers will look great, but they won't have any value whatsoever.
Article marketing is another tactic that has had it's day and is now a thing of the past. Your time is better spent elsewhere. After the Google Panda update, websites like well known Ezinearticles were hit badly. Back in 2011, after examining Ezinearticles traffic statistics, they were seeing millions of monthly visitors and just one year later, over half of that traffic disappeared. Article marketing used to be a traffic strategy that everyone advised was the way to go to get backlinks and website exposure but let's just say that no one really talks about article marketing anymore.
Another one is the use of link pyramids. It’s basically a layered linking technique. You may also hear this referred to as building backlinks to your backlinks in the form of a pyramid. You start at the top with your main website, then point a bunch of high page rank sites to it and then layer it again below those with a bunch of low power websites. However, again it’s a manipulation of the search engine and they leave “footprints” that Google can sniff out. Once Google caught on to that, it became a poor method to use. So with that said, link pyramids is a website traffic method that you want to stay far away from as well.
The last one I’m going to mention is private blog networks. There are many that would argue that you should use them and many that would agree with my stance on them. Here’s the dirty truth about private blog networks. They work… and Google knows it. Private blog networks known as PBN’s can rank a website faster than nearly any other website strategy and as a person looking to rank their blog, you’re going to come across people selling spots on their PBN’s and guess what.. you should avoid that strategy regardless of the temptation. You should avoid it because Google has bitten quite a few private blog networks over the years and it’s getting better and more efficient at sniffing them out. Once the network is taken down, “everyone” loses rankings and suffers a major Google penalty. It can take years to recover from a Google penalty.
Nevertheless, getting traffic can be difficult because doing it the right way means putting in a lot of work and when it comes to straight talk, there’s a lot of people that pursue the traffic by taking a lot of shortcuts to get there by using automated methods, bots, scripts and other ill advised strategies that aren’t best practice or long term sustainable solutions. However, whether you’re a newbie blogger or an advanced blogger, there are many ways that you can acquire traffic to take your blog from zero visitors to thousands per month.
So with that said, refer to my post on over 100 ways to get traffic to your website which will result in greater referral traffic, more exposure, more visitors and more promotion for you, your blog and your brand.
I want to thank you for reading this blog series and I hope that you’ve been able to take at least a few nuggets of information from this that will ultimately help you to avoid mistakes that others have made when they decided to start a blog too.
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