3 Overlooked Ways to Increase Blog Traffic

blog visibilityIn content marketing, we want our blogs and other written work to be widely read and shared.

The online ecosystem offers many opportunities for bloggers to create visibility. SEO, social media, and list building are among the most common ways to attract interested readers.

Today, let’s take a look at three blog visibility tactics and techniques that you may not be fully leveraging.

1.  Have You Looked at Your Sources of Blog Traffic Lately?

We were looking at our site analytics recently, and noticed how much traffic we get to this blog, simply because we left helpful comments on other blogs that we read and enjoy, and on sites like Quora.

Why is this?  It’s one more way to build thought leadership and relationships.

Readers are often trying to solve a problem, so it’s only logical that if your comment addresses their issue, or amplifies on something the author wrote and takes it a step further, it sets you apart. Naturally, people will visit your blog to hear more of what you have to say.

You might think of blog commenting as simply an opportunity for self-expression. But in reality, it does much more. A well thought out comment can get the attention of both the blogger and his or her readers.

Note:  Don’t post spammy links to your blog posts. That’s one way to come off like a jerk and turn off the blog owner. Simply adding a well thought out comment will attract the interest you want.

Bonus:  By participating in the commenting community of the same blog regularly, you become known to the owner of the original blog, who might just be open to our next strategy.

2.  When Was the Last Time You Were Invited to Write a Guest Blog?

You probably visit and read many other blogs. We certainly do!  If you return often, and leave thought-provoking comments, the resulting relationship can result in a request that you provide a guest blog.

Guest blogging has long been a tried-and-true strategy for building influence in your industry and bringing exposure to your brand.  In fact, one of our favorite pro bloggers – Jon Morrow , editor of Copyblogger – has developed an entire business helping bloggers develop these relationships to boost blog traffic.

When executed well, your guest posts add value to both the blog that you are creating content for and your own. Essentially, it rewards your efforts with positive recognition from a completely fresh audience.

While the links back to your site might – and probably should be — “no follow” from a search engine standpoint, humans can and do follow them back. This is a real visibility win.

Note:  Guest blogging has not been without controversy.  In recent years, guest blogging was abused and became a black-hat SEO method used by those seeking a quick fix for website traffic with little attention being paid to quality of content or merit.

Google recognized this with their last Panda algorithm update. But quality blog posts on quality sites are both constructive and legitimate ways to build thought leadership and traffic to your site.

3.  What Can Bloggers Learn From Newspaper Syndication?

Newspapers have long built visibility for their content by entering into mutually beneficial relationships with other publications, that  republish their content, giving it added visibility, reach and value.

In fact, this week we read that a popular newspaper cartoon that we grew up with, Beetle Bailey, drawn for over 60 years by cartoonist Mort Walker, appears in over 1,800 newspapers, with over 200 million readers globally!

The method that gets Beetle Bailey and millions of other pieces of content to countless readers beyond the originating publication or site is called syndication -giving permission for someone to republish your work in their own publication or on their own site.

There are various sites that will take your blog feed and provide that added exposure.  Syndication of your content to credible sites can provide new context for your work and grow your readership and influence.

Note: While your content may be embedded on another site or even posted directly, you should always be sure that the content links back to your site, is properly identified as belonging to you (with a copyright notice appended!) and that it has been syndicated under license.

In future posts, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of various syndication options.

That’s our short list for today.

As an experienced blogger, you likely know of other techniques to gain visibility for your work. In this post, Rand Fishkin of MOZ fame shares a list with over 20 methods to build online traffic.

Which techniques do you find most effective, to grow your online reach?  Have you had experiences with syndicating your content?

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