So I’m probably a little late to this discussion, but Brian Bailey has a nice piece about building traffic to your blog. He lists 10 steps that every blogger should take in order to garner more clicks to their blog, and I would say that for the most part I agree with all of his suggestions. His omissions, however, are probably more telling than his inclusions.
One great way to drive traffic to your site that I believe most bloggers overlook is TrackBack. Maybe most folks don’t understand the concept, and I’m not the most technically-inclined to explain the feature, but basically Trackback involves sending a ping to another site. When you Trackback a URL, usually a specific entry on someone’s blog, you are creating a link (an actual HREF) between yourself and that author’s site. You are also telling visitors to that other site that you too are commenting on this author’s meme/conceit/idea/post in your own unique way over at your own blog.
In the last 3 weeks I’ve gotten more traffic to my site because of 4 Trackbacks than I have from all the comment spam I’ve ever gotten. I Trackbacked 4 large blogs who were discussing fairly popular topics (Engadget, Gizmodo, Om Malik on Broadband and Gothamist) and received HUGE dividends from Om Malik and Gothamist. All of this traffic resulted because, just like commenting on their blogs, I let THEIR READERS know that I was talking about the SAME THING over at MY BLOG. The results are amazing AND it’s easy to do. Most blogging software enables you to either automatically TrackBack URLs in your post or enter them individually. Whichever method you choose to use, make sure that when you talk about a popular topic you TrackBack to the place you heard it first. You’ll make the initial author happy by throwing them some traffic and you’ll most likely grab some eyeballs of your own as people seek out other voices commenting on the topic.
Another great way to build traffic is to ping the big blogging services. Most of us ping some kind of announcement site, hopefully ping-0-matic, to let the internet know when we update. If you’re not doing that, read the FAQ of your blogging software and get with the program. If nothing else, visit ping-0-matic after you write a new post and submit your pings. The traffic may not be astounding, but it will be something. I’m getting at least a couple of clicks a day from each of the major blog players and aggregation sites (ex: Weblogs.com, PubSub, Bloglines, Syndic8).
So there you have it. Two additional ways to build traffic to your blog. They may not be magic bullets, but they are part of the “promotion mix” that every blogger looking to get more regular visitors should consider. Thanks, Brian, for giving me such a great topic to discuss.