From time to time, people trying to get started in blogging ask me for advice about raising their site traffic. Often, new bloggers believe that the key to big site traffic is to get included in the blogrolls of as...

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Jeffrey Feldman, Editor-in-Chief
Frameshop, 01/01/2007

From time to time, people trying to get started in blogging ask me for advice about raising their site traffic.  Often, new bloggers believe that the  key to big site traffic is to get included in the blogrolls of as many other websites as possible. Blogrolls are links of sites that the site editor or blogger has chosen--a list of favorites.

It's true that all links draw traffic, but in my view blogrolls do not really generate enough traffic to help us when we are getting started.  One reason is that blogrolls  tend to be placed in an out-of-the-way parts of a web page:  the right column, below eye level.  Marketing studies have shown that the bottom half of the far right column of a web page almost always has a very low click-through rate as compared to the top-right spot.  So, simply by virtue of where most blogrolls end up on a page, they rarely generate traffic.

But there is another reason, too.

Blogrolls are,  by and large, relicis of a bygone era of blogging--a time when a list of sites was part of the exciting information that a blogger provided for his or her readers.  That is no longer the case.  Now, blogrolls are more lists of affiliation, statements about site identity and notification of community membership.  As such, few readers look to them as places with current, valuable information.  Instead, most readers of any blog look to the front-page posts themselves for those valuable links.

So, if we are talking about new bloggers who want to raise weekly traffic from, say, 500 to 2500, blogroll links do not really register enough such that it will help them to solve the problem.  Given that, if someone came to me and asked how to up their weekly traffic by 2000, I would never say "Blogrolls--get on lots of blogrolls."  Instead, I would say:  "Look at how you are marketing to see if you can do better." 


- Try a few posts per week written just to increase traffic. 
- Try more social networking to introduce people to your site.
- Try looking for readers in new places (Facebook, MySpace, 
- Try aiming for more engaged readers (e.g., campaign volunteers).
- Try cross-posting to a few high traffic, open forum sites. 
- Try streamlining your site design. 
- Try posting ten small pieces per day instead. 
- Try one long piece instead. 
- Try adding images to your posts. 
- Try video. 
- Try adding a blog partner. 
- Try live blogging a few events.
- Try sending your daily email burst weekly,
- Try including a few posts about national politics.
- Try a few posts about foreign policy.
- Try posting links to your blog on a bloggers Google group.
- Try, try, try...

Then, after doing all that or a few weeks, step back and see what worked and focus on that for a while.

In other words:  try lots of small, innovative marketing tactics to see what does and does not work, then retool.  And keep trying until you hit the formula for your readership.

Good luck!  And please feel free top post a list of suggestions in this thread.


(posted 11.31.07)

© 2007 Jeffrey Feldman, Frameshop   

© Jeffrey Feldman 2007, Frameshop

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