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7 Actions that Increase Blog Traffic by 25.3% [Traffic & Conversion #1]

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

How to Increase Blog TrafficWe all want to increase blog traffic.

And we all would like to make more money.

That’s why it’s important to take a strategic approach for growing our blogs.

Starting last month (September) I made the commitment to focus on increasing readership for the Steve Scott Site.

My goal is simple:  Get more blog traffic and convert readers into ‘action takers.’

In addition, I’m also implementing the same strategic approach with my niche affiliate sites.

The end result is a series called Traffic and Conversion.

Each month, I’ll test something new with my sites.

Then I’ll report back the results.

The idea here is to provide YOU with specific actions for expanding your Internet business.

I’m pretty excited about this series.  I think you’ll learn a lot from it!

To get things going, I’d like to talk about something that’s important to any blogger…

Increase Blog Traffic in September

Increasing blog traffic starts with a solid foundation.  You want to establish a routine that slowly grows the reach of your site.

As an example, in late August I create an aggressive content-marketing strategy.  The result?  I increased my blog traffic by 25.3% in one month.

Here are my stats for the month of August:

Blog Traffic Stats - August 2011

There are three important metrics here:

  1. 14,219 Visits
  2. 80.60% Bounce Rate
  3. 1:21 Time on Site

Moving forward, my goal is it to improve upon these three numbers.

Now let’s take a look at the stats for the month of September:

Blog Traffic Stats - September 2011

Did my site grow?  Here are the results:

  1. 17,827 Visits (+25.3% increase)
  2. 77.95% Bounce Rate (-2.6% decrease)  <— A lower bounce rate is good.
  3. 1:43 Time on Site (+27.1% increase)

I’ll admit it…  These numbers aren’t earth-shattering.  But I’m really happy with them.  Why? Because I’ve been at a plateau for the last year.  These show that blog traffic has significantly grown in the last month.

The best part?  I increased traffic to my blog because of 7 specific actions that rely on a fairly aggressive content marketing strategy:

#1 – Focused on Creating Great Content

We all know that “Content is king.”  Truth is, increasing blog traffic starts with exceptional content.  In September, I wrote four “Massive Valuable Posts” (MVPs) that go beyond a standard blog article:

The idea here is to create a great impression with blog readers.  These posts are designed to attract new traffic and maintain the interest of past readers.

Any “blog traffic strategy” should revolve around providing excellent content.  In other words, give people a reason why they should come back.

#2 – Improved Reader Experience

Some of my posts are 3,000+ words in length.  That’s a lot of text to read!

That’s why I’ve made two tweaks to improve reader experience for my blog posts.

First, I now use images that act as section breaks.  (You can see an example at the start of this section.)

Has this helped increase blog traffic?   I don’t think it makes a difference in the short term.  But these section breaks make it easier to read my posts.  Ultimately this will keep people coming back for more!

Sidebar:  I’m thinking about creating a post showing how to create these section breaks.  But I’m not sure if it’s something people want.  So please let me know (in the comment section) if you’d like to learn more about this technique.

Next, I’ve made the posts easier to scan

Most people don’t read everything word-for-word.  Instead they look at the “attention-grabbers” (headlines, bullet points, bolded text, etc.)

I now write my posts for the people who like to scan.  I use short text, lots of bolding and indent some areas.

Again, I feel this is a way to make posts easier to read.  In the long term, this should increase repeat blog traffic

#3 – Commented on Other Blogs

Blog commenting is a traffic tactic we all use.  The trick to making it work is to have a system.

First off I comment on every site that leaves one on mine.  Usually I’ll add to the discussion and point out stuff that’s been personally helpful to me.  The idea here is to increase value to what’s been written.

Next I visit 10 to 20 new sites a week.  Usually I’ll go to sites I’ve discovered in the Make Money Online / Lifestyle Design niche.  My goal is to start conversations and network with new people.

Finally I recently installed the Comment Luv premium plugin{Not an affiliate link}

This provides a great one-two punch if you have a Do-Follow blog.  (Like mine.) Not only does this tool encourage people to leave comments; it provides an incentive to share my posts through social media.

Blog commenting has gotten a lot of flak lately.  Many feel it’s not a viable way to increase blog traffic.  My opinion is it still works.  Just be consistent and you’ll get results!

#4 – Improved Twitter Activities

Twitter has always scared me a little. Why?  I’ve always had the fear that it kills my productivity.

This changed when I figured out how to blend automation with being a real person.

To start, I use Market Me to schedule a series of posts.  So every day, my Twitter stream includes:

That’s it for the automation.  What’s cool is my followers get six high-quality Tweets – No matter what I’m doing that day.

Next, I spend about 10 minutes each day going through my Twitter lists.  Here are a few ways I add personality to my Twitter actions:

1)      Thank anyone who  re-Tweeted one of my posts

2)      Respond to any questions or comments

3)      Re-Tweet content from other bloggers that’s interesting and useful

4)      Reach out to people who have taught me an important technique

5)      Post an update that’s related to what I’m doing with my business

Frankly, I don’t consider myself a Twitter expert.  However I typically pull 100-200 visitors a day using these steps.  Not too bad if you ask me.

#5 – Implemented a Blog Post Promotion Plan

I follow a simple plan after every blog post.  This helps me leverage existing assets and immediately let people know about content I’ve just created.  (Plus I get a few extra backlinks to the article!)

Here what I do to promote most of my blog posts:

  1. Email my “Steve Scott Site” list subscribers
  2. Email my Affiliate Marketing without the Bulls**t customers (Only if the article is related to affiliate marketing.)
  3. Schedule 5 to 7 promotional Tweets for the upcoming week
  4. Add a link and description to my Google + account
  5. Ping the post using sites like Pingomatic and Pingler
  6. Post it on Blog Engage
  7. Post it on Stumble Upon
  8. Post it on Blokube
  9. Post it on Amplify
  10. Post it on 3 of the following sites (always mix it up): Blink, Social Adr, ShetoldME, Best-reviewer, InfoPirate, Faves, Jumptags, Delicious, URL.org, MysiteVote, Stumpedia, Mister Wong, Redgage, Social Marker
  11. Comment on a few Do-Follow blogs using the primary keyword as an anchor tag.

This is a pretty basic plan.  The idea here is to create an immediate bump in traffic a few minutes after I hit the Publish button.

#6 – Networked with Other Bloggers

Networking with other bloggers is a technique that has a lot of long-term value.  In addition, this action can also generate lots of daily blog traffic.

As an example, I included a number of bloggers on my 68 Free eBook Post.  Some were people I knew.  Others were bloggers I admired, but never spoke with before.

After publishing this post; I sent each person a Tweet like this:

Twitter Networking with Bloggers

I’ll admit it was a bit spammy.  That’s why I didn’t ask for anything in return.  Instead I simply said I included their report and told them where to find the link.  That’s it!

The result? 

I made a few connections with people who have a lot of reach.  Plus I generated a lot of extra traffic because many promoted this post over Twitter:

68 Free eBook Downloads Blog Plost Stats

What’s interesting about this metric is the average reader spent almost SIX minutes reading this article.

That’s a lot of time for a blog post!

#7– Created High-Value Pages  

The one thing that bothers me about my traffic rates is my bounce rate.  This is the percentage of people who come to my site and leave after reading one page.  In other words, this figure shows how many don’t stick around to read more articles.

For August my bounce rate was 80.60%.  Not good.

For September my bounce rate was 77.95%.  Still not good.

I can make excuses for why this number is so high.  (Like how I get a lot of “junk traffic” from people using Google Images.)  But there are also a number of ways I can improve upon the bounce rate.

One thing I’m doing is creating what I call Most Wanted Result (MWR) Pages.  These act like mini-wikis where I educate and focus on increasing list subscriber numbers.

My goal is to create dozens of these pages.  Then I’ll link these on the blog posts that get lots of search engine traffic.  Ultimately I think they’ll decrease bounce rates while creating repeat blog traffic.

Coming Soon: Traffic and Conversion #2

That’s it for this month’s installment of Traffic & Conversion.

In the next thirty days (and beyond), I’ll test a LOT of things:

  • How to turn “junk traffic” into loyal readers
  • How to decrease my overall bounce rate
  • How to increase search engine optimization
  • How to increase on-page optimization
  • How to quickly build profitable niche affiliate websites
  • How to improve sales page conversions for my two information products
  • How to increase opt-in rates on my squeeze pages

Right now, I can’t predict what I’ll talk about in next the part of this series.  What I can guarantee is I’ll only talk about something that has proven to improve my traffic and conversion rates.

Questions?  Comments?  Please respond below…

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 98 comments }

Brandon

Blog commenting is my best method, 2nd to none other than guesting on high traffic sites as an expert author.

Steve Scott

Agreed. Commenting is a wonderful way to drive traffic… As well as get links. Guest posting may be my “traffic riser” within a month or so. I have not been taking guest posting for action (although I know how good it is). Just a matter of finding the time.

Perhaps for November I will make a push to do 5-6 Guest posts and report in December how much THAT helps (I am sure it is worth a few %.)

Camyden

I was just waiting for my host to upgrade my server with PHP 5.3 (dang wp plugins that use SOAP lol) and I saw your post come through my reader. I would totally be interested in how you do the images for the section breaks as well as where you typically get the images at the beginning of your posts.

Thanks Steve, always learn a lot from your posts.

Steve Scott

Camyden

Sounds good then. At least 1 vote for so far!

Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

-Steve

John Falchetto

Great post Steve
As a digital baby I am always looking to learn from experts in the field.

When I started the Expat 30 challenge I had one goal, increase traffic and increase inquiries. So far in the past 19 days the challenge has been running my traffic has almost doubled and I have signed two new clients.

I Kicked Livefyre out and added CommentLuv Premium and also moved to Thesis.
I like your approach to Twitter, sound and very efficient with time. I use hootsuite
how much better is Marketme?

Steve Scott

Awesome John!

I can’t tell you how much I hate Livefyre. I have read quite a few posts and not commented because of Livefyre. -I guess that can be a good quality check, though.- Because when I comment on a livefyre blog, I really want to comment. LOL

My understanding is that with the premium version of Hootsuite it isn’t very different from Marketme. I used Hootsuite for a while, but that was before they updated it and made a premium version.

TBH, I know some people hate it. Brankica, for instance, did a scathing review. I do like it, though, but maybe that is because I still try to limit my time on Twitter. Maybe people that really engage are better off w/Hootsuite or other. I dunno.

(Hows that for a sales pitch…lol)

Thanks for dropping by John!

Brankica

I think that is the point with MMS. It depends on how you use Twitter. I think it is a better tool for those who don’t spend much time on Twitter which you don’t and I do. So all the features they have are not what I need at all. On top of that, their big feature was the easy way to find followers, follow them by keywords and then mass unfollow, which is completely opposite to my Twitter strategy. But if I hadn’t tried it already this would be a perfect sales pitch, Steve 🙂

Aren’t they free now?

Steve Scott

Brankica,

Thanks for chiming in here. I know you are a heck of a lot better at the “really connecting” on twitter thing. I just try to mimic that, but also do it as expeditiously as possible. So I do like the mass adding, then the ability to find and refine those people (like yours) who’s content I love.

Cristina Ansbjerg

I love that you posted a “Blog Post Promotion Plan”. I’ve been looking for it for a while now. I do some of those things but I need to improve that part a lot.

P.S. I vote for a post showing how to create section breaks.

Steve Scott

Hope you get some good mileage from that. The amplify site posts to a lot more than just that site too. I tend to now just “link URL” and add an original blurb. It then updates from Amplify automatically to a blogger blog, Tumblr, postereous and a few others. Good for the occasional extra backlink.

Here is an article i talk about that in more depth:
http://www.stevescottsite.com/get-more-blog-traffic-blueprint-week-14

….and vote noted #2 for the article.

Thanks for dropping by cristina

Robert Dempsey

Again another post I’m going to be mentioning on my New Social SEO podcast Steve. Fantastic advice.

I’ve found that making a blog more readable does increase the number of visitors you get because people are more likely to share it. If a blog is a big jumbled mess you’ll get no love.

Resource pages are helping a lot for increasing time on site as well. Figuring out the best ones to make is the challenge.

Steve Scott

Robert,

Readability certainly helps. Few things frustrate me more than finding a blog and having it be a jumbled mess. Likely this site has a way to go, but always working and experimenting is the only way you get those improvements.

Eugene

So what you’re saying is it takes a lot of work? Damn it! There go all my plans .

Great post Steve. I think the making it more readable and “scanable” is definitely a big boost. I’ve noticed that my blog posts got longer and longer with time and realized no one online has the attention span for it. That’s why list post do so great, you can scan them easily.

Steve Scott

Eugene,

All work; no play for you!!!

Having a blog look clean and the post be scanable is important. But the longer it is, the more important it becomes. Not everyone wants to read 3000 words. I get that. But when you can make it clear what sections talk about they can easily find the 500 words in it that really interest them and leave happy.

That is what it is all about. making people leave happy. If people can leave your site thinking that they learned 1 important thing they didn’t know before you have done you job.

Thanks for dropping by, I am sure you are busy with YOUR new site!

Eugene

Yeah, it’s giving me something to do 🙂

Bethany

Great tips! I also just bought the CL premium and I’m hoping I see a difference in both my blog and niche sites. And thanks for the tip about Market Me! I just started on Twitter last week for my blog and I think the main reason I didn’t want to initially is because I already waste enough time on Facebook.

I think I also tend to run on, so I should learn how to structure the posts so they are easier to scan. I’d love a post or something that teaches you how to do it! All I know how to really do is make sure I have short-ish paragraphs and use headers for some paragraphs.

Steve Scott

Bethany,

Yeah I like CL premium a lot. Although I liked CL basic before that too…so it is an easy sell.

I do think Twitter absolutely needs management. For me Marketme is awesome. But the MUST is to have some sort of management tool you can really get behind.

Grady Pruitt

Scott,

Many of these things I’m doing myself already. I always try to follow people who are following me, visit sites from people who comment on my site. But some of the other things mentioned here are things I need to start doing myself. These are all some great suggestions.

Thanks for the great post!

Steve Scott

Thanks for dropping by Grady,

I certainly hope some of these suggestions help ya!

-Steve

Janet

Steve, aloha. Voting YES on learning how to do Section Breaks. What a difference it makes in the readability. Most likely you will find that this look does keep the reader more engaged.

Your stepped up activities on twitter will definitely drive more traffic to your site. It is something that I see on a consistent basis on mine.

You blog post promotion plan sounds great and I will definitely be implementing some of them.

In checking, I notice you are not on Triberr. Not to get into a pros and cons of Triberr, however, you might want to think about being part of a select tribe of a half dozen or so people. Your followers will appreciate the additional quality content you are sending them aside from yours. Or, if you don’t want to join Triberr, think about sending up an informal group or club where you agree to tweet each other’s posts with a comment.

Since this is the beginning of the month, I am going to note my stats and then implement some of your action steps. That’s one of the things that I so appreciate about your posts, Steve. As soon as I finish reading and commenting, there is something that I can go do which will improve my blog or my business.

Congratulations on your Spectacular September. Onward to an Outrageous October. Until later, aloha. Jaent

Lye Kuek Hin

I am going to echo Janet’s yes for the section breaks. I need that to break down my post.

Steve Scott

I think I count 7 “Yes” so far. Sounds like something I will be doing shortly 🙂

Steve Scott

Outrageous October. That could be a great title if I have similar solid growth results this coming month. Of course Spectacular September was preceded by Awful August, so that helped. 😉

I have gone back and forth on Triberr. I like the concept somewhat. I see where it can be a big boost. But I have been a little leery about the automatic nature of the tweeting. Everytime I have been involved there was someone in the tribe I was in that was fairly off-topic or just not that great. Likely I haven’t been in the “right” tribe. But my feelings swing back and forth. Maybe I will have a heavy triberr month at some point as the conversion experiment. I am not against it, just not sure I am using it properly

Janet

P.S. Love the new CmmentLuv plugin and its bonuses. thejackb had a post on 10/2 entitled “Commenting Systems and Blog Design.” The comment section makes for some very interesting reading as people wade in with their preferences and why.

Jym

Hey Steve, Love this comprehensive round up of the actions you’ve taken and the results you’ve gotten from them.

As you noted it’s not easy to get readers to stick around for 6 minutes or 3000 words, so breaking up the text and making it ‘scan-able’ in a sensible way is highly powerful.

Handy list of extra sites for submission in point 10 there – I wonder why you randomize that though. I’m guessing you have a reason for that?

Another point to note with bounce rate is this – with a blog such as yours, particularly as you build a list and regular following, you’ll find that an increasing number of visitors are regulars who come to read your latest post.

Naturally your regulars and peeps on your list have already had a good look round, know that they like your content and are keen to jump in and read your latest publication, but will often not be inclined to then click on to other pages – not through any fault of yours, but because of where they’re at in terms of relationship with your blog.

So a fairly high bounce rate is not as worrying as it may seem, in some circumstances!

Steve Scott

Jym,

My gut (and people comments) certinaly seems to say that making the long posts more scanable is a good thing!!

As for 10. The reason I do those batches of links is as much for a few “starter” cheap backlinks as anything else. They are almost all dofollow social bookmarking. Now the ‘value’ of social bookmarking links isn’t high. So it is not worth my time to do them all every time. So I randomly vary which ones I use for a slightly more varied link profile. Those tend to be the only ones I use…because they also fit in a hot bar I created, to make it easier and quicker.

I agree with your reasoning on why the bounce may be high and not be a bad thing. But I still have over 50% traffic from referrals and search engine. Even with at least 30% of THAT being spam. It gives me something to work with.

I can remember when I first started noticing Bounce rate… I was at 35%. Those days will never happen again (for the reasons you stated) But I DO feel I can (and should) be able to make an improvement.

My goal (though perhaps ambitious) is to get it below 60%

Lye Kuek Hin

Hi Steve,

Lots of great tips in this post. It’s always hard to increase our traffic when you face a plateau but 25.3% is quite an outstanding figures considering your impressive stats.

I am particularly thankful that you mention your Twitter and blog promotion techniques as it gives me an idea of what i am lacking. I am not particularly active in Twitter and doesn’t rely much on automated tools. I don’t have a large following, thus my Twitter traffic has been pretty low. Guess i need to work more on that.

Steve Scott

Twitter is definitely a worthwhile traffic source. But you have to work at it. I try to make that work as minimal as possible. But to succeed at it you have to connect. Some people do that by spending a couple hours a day on it. I can’t do that (I won’t do that).

But two times a day spending 15 minutes is more than reasonable. (tied with light automation). Even then it takes a bit to get noticed. But the traffic is worth it. The secret with twitter automation is that it has to be “light” and you have to also “connect” Otherwise twitter is like shouting in the wind.

Brankica

Hey Steve, love the post and the results.

I just wanted to tell you that bounce rate of 70%+ is nothing unusual for blogs, I recently even saw an older video by someone from Google ( can’t remember where or who was in it) but I specifically remember them saying that it is pretty normal for blogs to have high bounce rate.

Although I know you will try to lower it and that is good, I think you should not sweat over it too much.

As far as blog commenting goes, yes it still works. I actually left a comment on Social triggers a few weeks back and it happened to be the first one. In less than a week, that one comment brought me more visitors than Blog Engage in the whole month. Something to take in consideration as to where to put the efforts.

And once again, including this in the round up. I should just add your RSS feed straight to my blog 🙂

Steve Scott

Brankica,

I agree. 70%+ isn’t bad (regulars are not likely to visit multiple pages and spammers count as bounce). But I think I could still improve it. I would at least like to work it into the high 60’s.

(LOL at adding the feed directly to the blog! Though hopefully I will give you a reason to each and every week. I am making a serious attempt to have one “really good” post a week. It is nice to think others think it is “really good” too, of course!! 🙂 )

Mark

Steve,

Great job on boosting your traffic that 25%…:)

You definitely delivered in this post on making them more scanable.

This one was very scanable even-though I actually read the whole thing.

What I got from this was that the 25% increase was from working smart in conjunction with working hard.

Great job. Blogs are tough to keep up. But it is quite obvious that you know what you are doing…:)

Mark

Steve Scott

Thanks Mark.

Absolutely. if you want to get ahead there is no way to do that except hard work. Magic pills only work in the Matrix and Alice in Wonderland!

Justin | Mazzastick

Hey Steve,
Great post as always. How old is your site? You have some really good traffic numbers.

I just wrote my first 3000 word post and I am curious as to what the response would be. Some people recommend shorter posts (500-1000 words).

My traffic has been steadily increasing this month and I have used all of the tactics in your post except the newsletter. I know that the newsletter is a great way to get traffic to your site so this week I will do that.

Steve Scott

Justin,

I started this site a little bit less than two years ago. But I really didn’t do too much for the first few months. It was really the following April before I started to hit it hard.

I just opened your post to look at it (haven’t read it yet) from the title alone it sounds good. But then I like your slightly wacky October post idea.

Looking at it I think the page breaks could help though. I think it really helps readability on some of my “epics”

Anyhow, going to read it now, will comment on content on your site. 🙂

Jean-Luc

you have a plan, you take action, you get results
that’s it ^^
great job!

Alex

Great stuff Steve, and those numbers are nothing to scoff at at all! (bastard I keep hitting 10k then droppping back to the 9’s again – great if I was running a quarter mile in my station wagon – but alas)

Too true about the importance of great content. I have one of my niche sites where I ahve been taking your no BS advice/approach and only utilising brilliant content – from this I am noticing that although I am not ranking, the traffic is still coming – and converting!

The issue I have with my own blog as with all my sites is time! Honestly – how do you find enough of it to action all these things. I mean I KNOW what I need to do to get my traffic to 50k a month, but finding the time to implement it all……

why I even need to interview this smart IM bastard but cant find the time to do that either!

Steve Scott

Alex,

I feel ya on the time issue! I actually spend way to much on SSS in comparison to what I make here/my other sites. But this is my “growth” effort. All told, even though I struggle to be efficient, there is never enough time to do all the things I want to do. Constant balancing act man!

I am happy with the growth. Of course I am not happy with the months before that where I let some of the growth things slide. Resulting in those stagnant numbers (actually a little dip).

Of course it all comes back to the “so many hours in the day” thing and the fact that the things making your $$ have to come first.

You and that guy should find some time in your mutually busy schedules to set up that interview! 😉

Or maybe he will visit Oz next year and just hoist a beer with you.

-S

Murray Lunn

Hey Steve,

One thing that I saw you do recently which was really brilliant was that in Google Plus, you had mentioned an article and tagged everyone that joined in; I immediately saw it in my feed so I +1’d it – super brilliant man!

The way I see it – try to get as much social leverage (not in a negative way). Sometimes you get interviewed and forget that the post went out but if you tag someone, it helps them to remember and that may lead to additional promotion.

With my new blog, CareerInsider, I play to crowdsource a lot of the content for the sake of doing this. Get experts on board so their involvement will naturally lead them to share it with their own communities 🙂

Steve Scott

Murray,

I am still getting used to Google +. But I am trying to -at least- highlight one other persons article each day. Of course the one for Eugenes site went out to so many, it really did get some attention. Not a bad benefit.

Sometimes it helps to see people a few times. Quite a few people were on Eugenes list I have not seen before. But I checked them out, perhaps they did the same. Down the road..who knows perhaps a mutually beneficial relationship.

Like you noted it is not about trying to hit people over the head, just doing those little social moves and seeing what develops.

Sounds like you have a great plan for careerinsider. That is the way to work it! People, myself included, are so much more likely to share something they are invested in, whether that investment is an interview or a friendship.

Morgan

I LOVE your monster posts, though! They are always packed with so much useful information that it’s hard to just skim through it! 🙂

What I love most about this post is that you really stress the networking, engaging and conversation aspect. It is so truly important to network, network, network. Whether it’s through a blog comment, Twitter, blogengage or through one of the many bookmarking sites. Networking is all around us and if we’re not diving in head first, then we’re missing a lot of action!

I would also like to recommend to the long list of places you promote your blog in #5, called Bizsugar.com. It’s also a really great high traffic website. 🙂

I was able to find a link that I wasn’t familiar with which is amplify. I also learned a bit about your general practice, which is awesome! Thanks so much for this great post!!

Steve Scott

Thanks Morgan!

Glad you like the “monster” posts. I put a lot of energy into (hopefully) still keeping them readable and information packed. It is nice to hear it, though, because it would be a lot easier to break them into (3-4) 600 word posts.

Glad you found amplify. Although the backlinks there are not the best and the traffic so-so. It does drive traffic and supply links, and the effort is minimal! (the best kind)

Thanks for the comment!

-Steve

Andy

Hi Steve,

That’s a great set of techniques there. I’d already nudged myself to create more high value pages and to ensure they’re prominently linked. I’m also going to start nurturing my Twitter feeds instead of simply treating them as a place to auto-post, as well as my Facebook fan page. This is coupled with increasing content output across the board. I’m already starting to see some results. Thanks for the timely article which acts as an extra incentive to just get on with it!

Steve Scott

Andy,

I will admit I was an autoposter on twitter for a bit. And yes I got -some- results just from doing that. But it is so much better now that I mix real engagement with -some- autoposting.

I think it will good for you in time too!

Barry Wells

Hi Steve, that’s a really interesting post with some great tips. For me there’s so much here it’s hard to take it all in at once so I’ll be hitting the print button at the start of the post. That’s a really cool feature Steve, I like that 😉

I’ve recently started using Blokube and social monkey to help get the word out about my posts as well as using G+, linkedIn, FB and my best mate Twitter (although Facebook and G+ are fighting it out and trying to become my best mate 😉 )

Since starting to use those mentioned above my Alexa ranking has improved by nearly 70,000 and my traffic hasd gone up by almost 150% so I’m really pleased by those results.

Prior to using them I only used Twitterfeed to post blog comments on Twitter, hence my best mate, and Twitter has been in top ten traffic sources for over a year now.

I’m always commenting on other blogs and have found this has really helped with the blogging network where we tweet and share each others content.

One thing I didn’t grasp Steve: What did you mean by junk comments from Google images? I use Google images sometimes so is there something I should be aware of?

Thanks Steve, Barry

Steve Scott

Barry,

Thanks for dropping by! wow you make lots of good pints in your comment.

You use Social Monkey huh. How has it done for you. I have starting testing it a little bit on my niche sites. I am a little worried that even with the spinning the same basic comments on so many places will seem spam like to Google. (hence not using it here until I am sure it has a real benefit.)

It is one of those things I am on the fence about. But for all the others…absolutely… awesome ways/places to gain traffic
—-

About Google Images I “think” I said junk traffic not junk comments. (If I didn’t I miswrote)

Anyhow what I mean is this. You can get a picture to rank in google images. Sometimes people will follow that link.

Now that is never a “bad” thing, but it is not an “incredible” thing either. Chances are these people will be untargeted. They know nothing of what you blog is about. There is a damn good chance they will have no interest whatsoever. So they show up and immediately leave (registering a bounce).

If you are targeted in naming your pictures, you can minimize this effect, but still, traffic coming from pics is not targeted.

Just to reiterate I am not saying “avoid it” because even if only 1 in 1000 sticks, that is 1 you wouldn’t have had otherwise. But it will hurt your bounce rate, you just have to know that.

Hope that explains it.

-Steve

Tiptopcat

The adjustments that you have made definitely work for me. I am one of those scanners so the images and the bolded text is great. Whenever I visit a blog with a huge block of text I tend to click off. Just too much like hard work but with the tweaks you have have added I can scan and slow down when my eye catches something that I want to know more about.

I would love to learn how you add the image breaks.

At the moment I am working on my own blog – trying to figure out what it is I want to do etc. Any feedback from yourself would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Tiptopcat 🙂

Steve Scott

Thanks for the comment. It seems the page breaks are pretty popular and I certainly will be coming up with a post on how they are done shortly!

Sammy JayJay

Interesting that you are using twitter to promote your articles… I have about 10 twitter accounts with up to 10,000 followers on each but have not ever played with it. I set it up with feeds from google news related to whatever niche but I have never worked out how to capitilize with it…

Steve Scott

Simply having the large likely automated twitter for pumping out tweets will get you “something” but without some level of connection I wouldn’t think much. Like anything it is a numbers game. You throw enough out there, some random, untargeted people will click thru.

But really I have been swayed to the position it can be a lot better with at least a small degree of daily interaction. People want to know there is a real person, not just a robot.

I am not for wasting HOURS tweeting by any means…that just isn’t me. but at least networking with a few real people can really help you out I think.

James Pruitt

This is awesome Steve. thanks for sharing it. Love your promotional plan too. simple and easy for just about anyone to follow. its a great way to generate some quick traffic with long term results.

One thing I like about the list post is that you have 68 people who want to brag about what you said concerning them. that gets 68 people promoting that page for you, which means you probably don’t need to do much of anything else to get lots of traffic to that post. 🙂 I know I am still showing it off to people 😀

Steve Scott

Thanks James,

I know you are a guy who understands the social part of social networks! 😉

If I could say I have learned one good thing in the past couple of years that is that blogging/social networks both strive off of karma.

When you spend more time trying to help people and thinking about others more than you do about your own wants and needs, the social stuff you desire just sort of happens.

Thanks for dropping by!

-Steve

Ed

Steve,

Your content is great. I was a really lazy blogger for so long and realized that I am not making money because of it. Content is truly key. A post that is 3000 words is exactly whats needed. Posts that are 400 to 500 words are just not worth it. I am changing my blog image and going back to the drawing board. I will revisit each of my blog posts and ensure they have quality work in them. Thanks for sharing your information

Linda

Nice job here Steve.

I got a little side tracked with my blog for several months and these tips all ring a bell as to what I was doing before my copy writing job took off – now it is dead again and I need to get back into things.

I don’t get many bounces any more, though thankfully – but it all depends on your topics, I think.

Anyway, I found you through one of Barry Well’s Google+ posts – so that also helps as well 🙂

Every little think that you can do will eventually pay off and social bookmarking is an excellent way to do that, plus twitter (I have an ebook out about how to gain twitter followers, do a search on my blog – hopefully you will find it, if not, give me a shout out).

Anyway – you have provided a lot of info here and hope your stats continue to GROW.

Talk to you soon!
Linda

Steve Scott

Thanks for stopping by Linda!

I think we all get side tracked on our blogs now-and-again. I know I wasn’t doing my best most of the summer.

The important thing is you realize that and jump back ain to take the steps to make it better.

Good Luck!

Steve

Erik Emanuelli

Hello Steve,

nice post, thanks for sharing.

I saw increased also my traffic during September….may be it is a good month for bloggers !

But above all I saw an increase of the comments, after installing on my site :

– CommentLuv : as you know it rewards the readers by automatically placing a link to their last blog post at the end of their comment. Encourage a community and discover new posts (CommentLuv is free, but the Premium version is even more juicy);

– Top Commentators Widget : it adds a sidebar widget to show the top commentators in a WordPress site. Just on the homepage.

– ReplyMe : it sends an email to author automatically while someone reply his comment.

– SMu Manual DoFollow : you can Choose from all Commenters, if there link has or dofollow.

I have chosen that my Blog gives regular Commentators DoFollow Status.

I think these Plugins definetely helped me to get more comments on my Blog.

Last thing : as you do, I comment and visit other blogs (related to my niche) …they may want to exchange the favour…

Steve Scott

Erik,

You probably have a point. Since vacations are over and people are back to school/work, there is probably a natural rise in traffic in Sept. I hope that is just a small piece of the increase, though.

I agree, treating commentators well is a good way to get them. I am sure some people JUST drop in for the links. But hopefully not too many. (since I trash the short spam posts)

Have a great coming weekend,

Steve

Extreme John

Increasing blog traffic is really not a walk in a park as we can see by the efforts you have done Steve. Congratulations on the impressive increase to your blog traffic. All these tips truly work and I too believe that great content is one of the best ways to attract more readers. The beauty of great quality content is that we readily establish rapor with our readers through the comments. Increasing the network of readers and co-bloggers even gets better when we reply to their genuine comments just like what you are doing. Keep it up bro and cheers for a great future in blogging.

Steve Scott

Thanks John!

I appreciate your comment and support, bro! Have a great weekend !

-Steve

Pj Zafra

Hey Steve,

Great post here! It is indeed every blogger’s goal to increase more traffic and get more conversions. Love the tips that you’ve shared. Content is not all tho, it must be QUALITY content so that readers would be amazed with it and would look forward for more.

Increasing traffic is definitely not just a simple task, it’s a lot of different things done on a consistent basis. So the main thing here is consistency. As long as we’re consistent in doing whatever is productive, we will without a doubt accomplish our goal in generating more traffic for our blogs.

Once again, great tips and thanks for sharing this! Keep it up! 😀

Steve Scott

I agree about content being quality. At one point I was posting daily. I much prefer the posting 2-3 times a week and making sure they are really good. I also stopped having guest posters, because, while some were good, others really were not. So I agree go for quality or don’t bother.

-Steve

Darren

Great post Steve. I think you bounce rate could be high because you have so many repeat readers and they have already read everything, they just stop by for the new post and leave. That seems like a lot of traffic from twitter. I’ll have to work on the titles for my tweets.
Looking forward to the future articles you mentioned.

Steve Scott

Darren,

Yes, that is probably a HUGE part of Bounce rate. That and spammers. Getting it below 60% for the amount of repeats is probably impossible, but I do think I can bring it lower. We shall see.

Part of twitter success is in catchy titles. You are going to draw more with “interesting” titles than without. But perhaps more importantly is the connections you build with people. It doesn’t come in a day…but over time.

Larry Rivera

Hi Steve, your post just kicked me in the butt. I like how you broke down your marketing process. It is certainly a good blueprint for others to follow. This one is definitely getting a retweet from me 🙂

Monja

Fantastic post,Steve – As usual. Thanks for Sharing your twitter schedule with market Me Suite, something i will try immediately

Ming Jong Tey

Hey Steve,

Great solid actions. Among those, the high value pages and the most wanted results are my priority. I am especially inspired by the MWR, which I believe truly add lots of value to the readers and increase the conversion rate (i.e. turn them into subscribers).

Thanks again for these great actions.

Cheers,
Ming

Steve Scott

Thanks Ming!

Yes, MWR is an great concept. If you are giving great content you should also (hopefully) be getting as much of the results you desire as possible.

Matthew Needham

Hey Steve, firstly thanks for the mention for my eBook!

Corbett Bar talks about the 3 pillars of getting blog traffic, great design, great content and great promotion – I’m not sure if he uses the word great, but I do!

Anyway, blog post promotion is something that I’ve been focusing more of late, but I don’t have a coordinated plan. So thanks for your site suggestions to promote the articles.

Secondly, I would be interested to know how you’re creating those banners, which look great btw.

Thanks, Matthew

Steve Scott

Matthew,

Always glad to mention you!

You make a great point. Just like the fire triangle there is a web triangle. Take out any one leg and it cripples a blog Get them all working and you have something special.

I am definitely going to post how I do the graphics, since it seems like a few people are interested. It won’t be this next week since i already have something planned, but the following. 🙂

Matthew Needham

P.S. Never seen the CommentLuv premium plugin before, but I can see why you like it. That’s great for sharing content.

I’m not getting many comments on my site at the moment, since I’ve been more closely targetting traffic through linkedin and the like I’m getting much lower bounce rates and site times (over 3minutes) but much less engagement.

Oliver Tausend

Hi Steve,

well done. Continue doing this bundle of activties and you will even improve your numbers even more. Easier than getting more traffic is probably improving conversion. What do you think ?

Take care

Oliver

Steve Scott

Oliver,

Very much so. In fact only two posts prior I was talking about the essential nature to improving conversion. Like Matthew said a couple comments above, there is a finely tuned trilogy. Content. Conversion and Traffic. Increasing any one will increase your results, but if you are able to increase all of them…it is so much better!

Thomas

You seem to put a lot of work in for each post, Steve. How quickly are you able to get through your tasks? Also I’d be interested in hearing about visitation numbers since your efforts. Do you do any sort of article distribution after you’ve created your content? And I have to ask you: How long did it take you to write 3,000 words? Now that is awesome.

Steve Scott

Thomas.

Well, since I follow a strict Pomodoro timing. I get through ALL tasks in exactly 25 minutes.

But I think that is not what you mean.

For instance writing one of these long blog posts can take quite a few of these 25 minute blocks. I have spent as much as 7-8 hours researching, creating graphics and writing some posts. While a few of the shorter ones are done in 25-50 minutes.

Since I wrote this the number have stayed similar. Perhaps trending slightly upwards. Every month I will be giving the figure, so I will go more in depth in the beginning of Nov.

I would say a “normal” 3K plus word post tames me 4-5 hours to make including graphics and whatever research I do.

Rob Cubbon

I’ve benefitted from this Steve as I’ve had two great comments from you on my blog recently. Problem is finding time for all these actions – you seem to have loads of comments for this post. I think your Twitter advice is spot on – automate a little bit and personally engage as well but don’t overdo it as it can be a major time-eater.

Steve Scott

Rob,

Time is the issue. It is easy to show the methods on how to do these steps. Finding the time to do everything the right way can be an issue. These surely are not 4 hour work weeks.

I am still trying to find the right balance with Twitter. I think I could personalize, a little more, but like I said I am worries it will become a time sink. I really do not want to spend more than 1 time block (25 minutes) a day on Twitter. It is so easy to fall into overdoing that one.

Rob Cubbon

I think you’re right to spend only a Pomodoro a day on Twitter. I used to have a Twitter tab open all the time – big mistake!

Timo Kiander

Great list Steve!

I’m just testing BlogEngage’s RSS services (Business Plus, $29.99/mo), which submits my published post automatically to several social bookmarking sites (PR2-5) at once.

It is still too early to say how much traffic I get this way, but at least I don’t have to spend time on submitting my stories to those sites separately.

BTW, what software do you use to create your screen captures?

Timo

Steve Scott

Timo,

I still manually put in my BE. I have been on the fence thinking about the Business Plan though! It is easy and certainly worth some bump in traffic from both people following the links and the effect of the dofollow links on PR/relevancy.

I will be interested to know how the business plan does for you.

Mainly I use a program called snagit. It is pretty neat and easy to use for those graphically disinclined like myself. (though I am improving with graphics)

I will be writing a lot more about that and others programs in about 10 days.

Steve

Hamish

Congrats on a good increase in visitor numbers there!

I have a number of blogs and I find that the bounce rate is generally lower where I use rotating images to link to pages. I guess people like images and can’t resist clicking on them.

Some good advice re Twitter. I really need to get into that a whole lot more. I may try some of your tips on that later.

Steve Scott

Thanks Hamish,

I may try the rotating images. It certinaly can’t hurt to test it out and see if it help to lower BR.

Twitter is definitely worth the time…if you utilize it properly. Too much time and it can be a productivity killer. Too little time and it just isn’t very effective.

Sort of like the three little pigs, it is all about finding that balance that is “just right”

Jason

Awesome post Steve, and you’ve almost covered everything that’s needed to pump up traffic to a blog or any website. I guess we’re on the same page when it comes to creating content 🙂

Steve Scott

Jason,

For sure. The only real way to drive traffic is to create high quality content. These days that is not enough by itself either, but simply the admission price to get in the door. Then the work begins!

Faissal Alhaithami

wow!! great post! I have to admit that blog commenting is a great way in term of networking and building great relationships. What’s more, I will need to improve my Twitter Activities I guess i’m missing a lot 😀

Thanks Steve for the post i really enjoyed it and enjoyed your blog as well 🙂

Steve Scott

Thanks Faissal,

Glad you liked the post. Blog commenting works from so many ways. It is a small plus for links building, gives people ways to find you and builds netwrking with others bloggers. The younger and fresher a blog is the more important it is to get out there and get found. But it has SOME importance for quite a bit of time.

I was missing out on twitter too for a long while. At least not getting everything out of it I could be. I know people who spend way to much time tweeting messages back and forth do even better…but there has to be a compromise where you can get the benefits, connect, yet not “live to tweet”

Linda Yarbrough

An amazing amount of information, Steve. As you mentioned several times so are fully aware, your bounce rate is staggering. You have a very distinct Call to Action on the right side for your opt-in list. If folks do that and then move on, perhaps you can’t ask for more. It does make one wonder though if after they sign up, are you linking them BACK to your blog to dig deeper? I noticed a few things that might improve your bounce rate beginning with using your right side bar more effectively. But then, I’m a web designer and SEO .. not a seasoned blogger having started mine less than a year ago.

I’ll be real interested in the test results as you share different strategies. Thanks for the thought-full advice.

Steve Scott

Linda,

Not to make excuses, but some of the bounce rate is attributable to traffic. Regular readers come, read the new article and often leave. Attributing to bounce. Plus of course, more spammers.

That being said… I do think I can improve it for sure, and I am constantly changing things up and testing to do this.

The sidebar specifically is something that i am constantly testing. Right now I am testing it for maximum conversion, which may be more important than a “made up number” like bounce. Because it entails the actions that get people to do what YOU desire from them.

When people sign up, i do get a high return rate when I link articles in email. (I only link the articles I think are “better”) But unfortunately, like I mentioned when It comes to bounce, this works the other way. They read the article and go elsewhere often as not.

But this doesn’t “hurt” by any means because, like you have already pointed out they have taken the primary action that I desired. (signing up for that list)

Of course more interlinking and deep linking can hopefully help and over time I am slowing making changes and tracking it all. Everything we say is conjecture until you test test test.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a well thought out comment.

-Steve

Adrienne

Hey Steve,

I personally thought your blog rocked from the moment I saw it. 14,000 monthly views is crazy. I’d give anything for that.

It’s no wonder your traffic improved, look at the posts you shared with us. I mean come on…who does that! Which is one of the reasons I also linked to your site in a recent post. I love finding these treasures and sharing it with my readers.

You have done nothing but teach us every time I come here. I’m always learning something new from you and you are just a wealth of information. I’m now hooked on your site so you have another trusty loyal reader. So keep those posts coming and I would be interested in learning how you do those section breaks as well. Just might need to do that myself sometime in the future.

Great job Steve and thanks for your continued support. I appreciate you!

~Adrienne

Steve Scott

Adrienne,

I am sure you are not far behind 14,000 views a month. If not you will be there soon! 🙂

I am pretty sure i will do the section break + topic for next tuesday…so stay tuned. ( I was already researching todays topic for this week)

I am glad you are hooked. I have been trying pretty hard to have that one “killer” post per week… Hopefully the others are good too…but my goal is to make the tuesday posts all something special.

It is nice to know that it is working and I am finding great new people like you!
Thanks for coming by, linking, liking and all the wonderful things you do!

dan

Wow, awesome post Steve! I have a similar strategy although nowhere near as structured! With blog commenting I’ve started with a spreadsheet of blogs to comment on but instead of doing it after every blog post (when I’m usually over it) I schedule a monthly task that goes into my list and I do it during the month when I feel like it (i.e. now).

I’m very much looking forward to the next post!

Steve Scott

Dan,

I used to do a spreadsheet too, but I found what for me at least is an easier way. I put all the blogs I want to comment into a feedreader under one category. Then overtime If i find I like some more/ or I have a better relationship with the blog owners I more them to a higher category (closer to the top) so that i am less likely to “miss” new blog posts.

I found one of the problems with doing it by spreadsheet is that you would miss new posts by some while spending time opening pages with no new articles.

It might help some..

Steve

Paul Salmon

At the end of last year the traffic on my blog appeared to have plateaued. It hadn’t increased or decreased for several months, so I began to review my process of increasing my traffic.

The first thing I started to do was publish posts more than once a week – in fact I increased it to 5 times a week.

From there I began to visit and comment more on other blogs, which helped me to find other great bloggers that I could connect with.

Finally I look at how I was using social media, or the lack of, and began to get more involved in using social networks.

Over the past year, after implementing the above strategies, I have seen a good growth on my blog, and the days of the plateaus seem to be over, for the time being.

Steve Scott

Interesting Paul,

Frequency is something I have long debated. I used to publish daily. It seemed to me that doing this, even a lot of my frequent readers would miss a lot of posts.

I dropped to 3 times a week and total traffic remained about the same. But some weeks I get busy and only do 2 posts…and I note a dip in traffic.

not saying this is a universal truth, but 3 seems to be a pretty good number, it gives people about 2 days to find your posts, then has a fresh one.

But regardless, what works for you works. it is important that we look for ways to break through these plateaus. They happen to all of us at one time or another. best you can do (like you did) is change the game up and see if things improve.

Greg

Improved Reader Experience – Most bloggers do focus more on its content but they don’t bother to pay attention with the appearance of the post. By presenting each word/phrase/heading/etc. in bold, it can catch attention to readers. I’m talking about this based from my experience. Who knows, the more other bloggers enjoy your blog, the might have you within their social media network right?

Steve Scott

For sure, it all works together! Everything ends up being about providing a better customer/reader experience. The better you are able to accomplish this, the more people will want to stop by.

Greg

Yeah! Blogging is a business rather than a work so bloggers must pay attention to their readers just like what any offline businesses do to their customers. In that way, they will be much appreciated by their readers.

Alison

It seems to me that it’s all about the fundamentals. Having passion, creating good content, interacting with readers…….
alison

Michael

Hey Steve! Is it a good idea to include Web 2:0s and Directories in the promotion plan, as well?

Thanks, Michael

Larry Brown

Your twitter tips are exactly what I have been looking for. I could never really get into twitter cuz I just didn’t have a structure for doing it. It seemed very inconsistent for me and a bit spammy at the same time, but after reading your suggestions I think I am going to give it a try and follow your strategy a bit. Thanks!

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