Getting blog traffic

Whenever I have a conversation about blogging, the question of , “How are you getting blog traffic?” always comes up. Most are hoping to hear the one thing that will instantly get them recognition and traffic.

The bad news is that there is no one thing. Rome wasn’t built in one day and neither is a blog. It takes doing several things right—and doing them over a long period of time.

The good news is that I have created a list of techniques to increase your blog traffic, some of these I already have used and others I plan to use at one point or another:

  1. Be topical… write posts that need to be read right now.
  2. Learn enough to become the expert in your field.
  3. Break news.
  4. Be timeless… write posts that will be readable in a year.
  5. Be among the first with a great blog on your topic, then encourage others to blog on the same topic.
  6. Share your expertise generously so people recognize it and depend on you.
  7. Announce news.
  8. Write short, pithy posts.
  9. Don’t write about your cat, your boyfriend or your kids.
  10. Write long, definitive posts.
  11. Include polls, meters and other eye candy.
  12. Tag your posts. Use del.ico.us.
  13. Coin a term or two.
  14. Do email interviews with the well-known.
  15. Use photos. Salacious ones are best.
  16. Be the anonymous one.
  17. Encourage your readers to subscribe.
  18. Start at the beginning and take your readers through a months-long education.
  19. Include comments so your blog becomes a virtual water cooler that feeds itself.
  20. Assume that every day is the beginning, because you always have new readers.
  21. Point to useful little-known resources.
  22. Write about stuff that appeals to the majority of current blog readers–like gadgets and web 2.0.
  23. Write about Google.
  24. Don’t include comments, people will cross post their responses.
  25. Write posts that each include dozens of trackbacks to dozens of blog posts so that people will notice you.
  26. Keep tweaking your template to make it include every conceivable bell or whistle.
  27. Write about blogging.
  28. Digest the good ideas of other people, all day, every day.
  29. Invent a whole new kind of art or interaction.
  30. Post on weekdays, because there are more readers.
  31. Write about a never-ending parade of different topics so you don’t bore your readers.
  32. Post on weekends, because there are fewer new posts.
  33. Don’t interrupt your writing with a lot of links.
  34. Dress your blog (fonts and design) as well as you would dress yourself for a meeting with a stranger.
  35. Edit yourself. Ruthlessly.
  36. Don’t promote yourself and your business or your books or your projects at the expense of the reader’s attention.
  37. Be patient.
  38. Give credit to those that inspired, it makes your writing more useful.
  39. Write about only one thing, in ever-deepening detail, so you become definitive.
  40. Write about obscure stuff that appeals to an obsessed minority.
  41. Don’t be boring.
  42. Write stuff that people want to read and share.