This article will cover one of the unique methods of getting traffic to a blog that doesn’t work for regular sites. Remember that every blog is a web-site, but not every web-site is a blog. My top methods of getting traffic to a web-site are still my top methods of getting traffic to a blog. Those include: article marketing, link building and content creation/ranking factors. But blogs are a special breed of web-site. There are additional methods of getting new visitors to your blog that are very effective. The first one I played with was linking to others. For your blog marketing efforts to work, you must understand that bloggers are part of a community. Those of us old-timers on the ‘net remember when the entire ‘net was a small, close-knit community… when it was OK to send an email telling others in your topic area that you just set up a site and would like a link on their site. That isn’t what I’m suggesting with the blog community. The days of sending even a personal email to someone you haven’t met are nearly over. The spam problem has made that more and more difficult. However, it is still OK and still rather expected that you introduce yourself when you come into a community. It is also a good idea to let your new community know that you are a friendly guy and are willing to help out in the community. This post will tell about one way to do that when you enter the blogosphere. First, you should find your neighbors. The Alexa toolbar is going to help you find out who the leaders are in your new community. Start by searching for “______ blog” on Google, Yahoo or your favorite search engine. Fill in the blank with the topic of your blog. Take a look at the blogs you see. Do you like them? Good; these are leaders in your new community. Link to them in your blog roll. Read them daily to find out what is going on in your community. Do you not like them? No problem. Don’t link to them then. Don’t read them. Don’t introduce your visitors to them. It isn’t required that you like everyone in your new community, but you do want to be a part of the community you now live in… Now as you read those blogs daily, notice their blog rolls (links they have to other blogs in your community). Go visit them. This is where the Alexa toolbar comes in. You will find some new leaders (those with blogs showing less than 100,000 on your Alexa toolbar). Check out their blog and if you like it… add it to your own blog roll. I recently moved to a town of about 300 way up in the top of the Utah mountains. It was a new community. I had never lived in a rural area before, so it was critical for me to go through this exact same exercise as I became a part of my new community up here in the mountains. Sure; it didn’t involve Alexa or linking to others… but the concept is the same. When you enter a community and want to be a part of that community, get out there and get to know people. This is one way to do that in the blogging community. I now have a hundred or so links from those in the blogging community after just a couple of months. From those links, I have over 600 daily visits and over 100 loyal readers who come to read my blog almost every day. Did I ask for any of those links? Nope. Just like they didn’t ask me for the links I gave them. Do I have 100 outbound links? Nope. A lot of those links came in without me linking to them. As I get the chance, I go and check out their blog and if I like it… I give them a link. If I don’t like that blog for whatever reason; I don’t include it in my blog roll. It’s not always a tit for tat link exchange. Some of you may be confused at this point about how my outbound links became inbound links without any other action. You may be confused about why I called this article “Getting Blog Visitors” when I have only talked about how to send my visitors to others by linking to them. OK; let me go into why this uniquely works very well on blogs, but not on other web-sites. First, of all… I use WordPress. It is the fastest growing blogging software out there. I’m not sure of the features of other blogging software, but I know the follow applies to WordPress. When I log in to my control panel to write a blog post, I am given a page that shows a number of blog stats. One of the most prominent parts of those stats is the number of inbound links… AND a list of those who recently linked to me. When you see that a blog called “Mattress Cleaners” just linked to you… can you ignore that? I can’t. I’m immediately distracted… and what do I do? I click on it. I go and check out that Mattress Cleaner blog. They just got another reader (at least for that day). If they were a quality blog that was actually relevant to the blog community of my own blog (and they aren’t)… they would get a link in my blog roll so that I could check them out periodically. The same thing is possible with non-blog web-sites. When you link to a site and send them traffic, that shows up in their referrer logs. However, a lot of webmasters don’t look at their logs or stats. Those who do may use stat software that doesn’t even show referrers. They may only focus on traffic and not where it comes from. However, most bloggers DO see when someone links to them. It is right in their face when they login to make a new post. All you need to do to let someone know that you have moved into their blog community is to link to them. BTW, it not only introduces you… it lets them know that you are friendly and you like their part of the blog community you just entered. Don’t be surprised when they link back or even write a post about your blog. It’s that simple.
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