Saturday, August 11, 2007

10 Powerful Tips on How to Improve Your Blog Traffic and Increase Advertising Earnings

It doesn’t take an overwhelming amount of experience to make money online - especially through blogging. If you have a general grasp of concepts and ideas floating around on the internet then you should be fairly well off, even as a complete beginner (or a seasoned webmaster). If you want to aim for drastic improvement and a massive rush of traffic, keep reading.

Let’s get started with a quick personal bio about me. I figure you’d need some background information on the author(s) before you really digest the advice.

Personally, I have built over seven successful websites, a few for larger companies/corporations and a few personal ventures – about half and half. My personal startups I was more passionate about and those are the websites that you really cling to and are proud of. Starting your own blog is rewarding and improving it step by step is a rewarding process.

Always remember, be proud of what you do, love it. If you aren’t engulfed by the topic then chances are that your motivation will gradually decline. Don’t let this happen! Stick to something you know and always keep expanding your knowledge. The more you know, the better your content.

1. Your blog needs to be visually appealing. Kick clutter to the curb.

The best blogs are easy to read and minimalistic. This is the first major downfall of every blog. Keep it clean! Don’t put too many ads all over the place and don’t overdo the design. Too many ads can seem like a desperate beg for help, be smart about it! Integrate the ad’s in to seamlessly work with your design.

If your blog strains the eyes, people will not want to come back to read anything else. Use a color scheme (anywhere from 2-4 colors [for help on this, visit Color Schemer) and make sure there is enough spacing around everything. Believe me if your blog is a breeze to read, people will come back to enjoy it more often than not.

2. Don’t go overboard with ad’s if you are just starting out.

If your blog is new (less than 1-2 months old) try to stick it out until you get a decent reader base before integrating ads. You will be able to gauge people’s responses to the website first and get some loyal readers. After you have established some kind of reader base then you can begin to slowly integrate ads.

If you have too many ads, people will get turned off and annoyed, that’s the complete opposite of our goals.

3. Work, edit, and re-work your content.

Content is king as they say. That statement is definitely true. Make sure what you are writing is relevant and interesting to read. Why hang out at a website if there’s nothing worth reading? Have someone edit your articles, take a day or two after its posted and re-read it to see if you can improve anything.

Lightning Tip: Make sure to implement as many relevant keywords as possible to direct search engine traffic.

4. Don’t slack, post new stories/articles often.

I covered this a little before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Write at least 2-3 times per week. It shouldn’t take long. Hell you could talk about a cool new website you found for two paragraphs, that’s better than nothing.

Updating lets your users know that you are still there, it adds new content and gives them a reason to return to your blog

Lightning Tip: The more you post, the more Google picks up your articles (along with other crawlers), this will in the long-run drive thousands of extra users a month to your site if not more.

5. Submit to Social Bookmarking websites.

This is a big one. When I first started out, almost 50% of my traffic came from Digg and Reddit (my two personal favorites). I made 3-4 front pages (popular posts) and traffic exploded. I remember at one point I was struggling to get 500 unique visitors a day, then an article hit a Digg/Reddit front page and my server crashed because I netted almost 60,000 people in one night.

Always submit noteworthy articles, chances are you might get at least 1-2 front page stories per month (if not more!).

6. Network yourself; find other blogs in your niche.

Find other blogs like yours and connect with the authors. E-mail them, post in-depth replies on their articles, most blog owners are extremely nice people and will be willing to help you! Offer to exchange links and such; this will help your community grow, even if by a small margin. Remember, every reader counts. As long as you have at least one reader, you are making an impact.

7. Link your website wherever you can without spamming. (Email, Forums)

Another important topic that is often overlooked. If you are a member of a forum, add it to your signature. Email? Add it as a signature to that too! Wherever you can link without being too pushy, do it. In the long run those extra pageviews will count.

8. Host your blog on your own domain.

No one likes having Buy a domain! These days you can get one anywhere from $3-$5 per month and in no time your ads should easily cover these costs. Get your own domain and be unique.

9. Write compelling titles - capture the reader in the first line.

The title and first three sentences of a post can make or break the post. Capture the reader’s attention off the bat, make them keep reading. Boring, cookie cutter introductions are everywhere, stand out.

10. Don’t give up.

Motivation is key and is also the backbone to building a successful blog (or building anything for that matter). Remember it’s not a quarter mile sprint, it’s a marathon. Take your time, review yourself and your blog and make gradual improvements. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Lightning Tip: Get a friend or colleague to review your website, give you opinions on how to make it better. Be open to constructive criticism.