Building Your Blog Traffic

What is it about some websites that makes them popular destinations for a huge number of visitors? Why are some blogs checked out by tens of thousands of people every day while others struggle to find a single visitor? The issue of traffic can be complicated. There are a variety of factors at play, and every strategy can be dissected and the details debated forever.

However, there are two keys to traffic upon which everyone can agree: Content and Links.

Before briefly looking at each of these, we should establish some context for our evaluation. Traffic can come from a few different places. Direct links to your site
may produce a stream of visitors if those links are in the right places. Search engines, however, offer the real key to high volume traffic numbers. Surfers rely on Google, Yahoo and MSN to help them find the sites that will provide them with the kind of information they are seeking. If your blog comes up early in those search engine results, you can expect a significant stream of traffic. Content is essential to traffic flow. You have to offer something that makes your site worth visiting. Content creates repeat visitors, increases their stay, encourages word-of-mouth type promotion and assists in improving a blog’s standing with the search engines.

Every link can conceivably serve a traffic producer. If someone finds a link to your blog on another site, they are only one mouse-click away from being part of your traffic. Search engines also assess the number and quality of links to your blog. They regard sites that are linked to frequently as authoritative and reward them with higher placement in search engine results.

So, if you want traffic to your blog, you need to do two things: Provide content and acquire links.

Over the next few weeks I will be writing up how I am trying to gain more visitors and build my Pagerank (and gain a PR back) on my blogs. I would love it if you, my readers, shared what was successful for you!

SO Not A Programmer

I realized today that I an not and will never be a “Programmer” when it comes to software and (web) development. It took going thru (and doing poorly in) a Javascript class and now trying to stay awake and pay attention in my Programming class to make me realize this. It’s just really not for me. I don’t mind a little javascript and a little programming – but I seriously SERIOUSLY hate math and today the majority of our assignments were all about ‘order of operations’ and logic. While it’s sorta easy since it’s beginning math stuff (remember: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally?) it still completely grates on me and makes me quite the unhappy camper.

Add all this to the fact that I am yet again (er .. still?) sick and crampy! Bleh!! I have a ton of stuff to do (including fixing Lisa’s borked website, IE-afying Dwan’s website, Connie’s business card and two reviews for Elina – and I’m multitasking here – but all I wanna do is fall asleep.

On the plus side – I have tickets to New Moon on Friday! At least that’s something …

“Share on Twitter” Rocks! #AMZNSOT

Awesome news for Amazon.com Associates (aka “Affiliates”) – the cool Site Strip just got even cooler! Amazon now provides a super easy way to share your finds (and affiliate links) on Twitter with “Share on Twitter.” You can access Share on Twitter from the Site Stripe and post to your Twitter account from Amazon detail pages in just two clicks.

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The Share on Twitter feature is easy to use. Simply log in to your Amazon Associates account and then visit any detail page on Amazon.com. By clicking on the Share on Twitter button in the Site Stripe, a new window will open and an Amazon-generated message is pre populated in the ‘What are you doing?’ text area of your Twitter account (you may be asked to log in to your Twitter account). That message will include a shortened URL that already includes your Associates ID. You’ll have the option to edit this message or simply hit the ‘Update’ button to post to your Twitter account. When Twitter users click on the link in your post and make a qualifying sale, you’ll earn referral fees. That’s it!

I’ve personally been waiting for this to happen – I love posting reviews on products and linking to Amazon. It’s a great way to earn a little extra money while doing something I do anyway (which is share my opinion of course!) I’m SO glad Amazon’s made it that much easier!

Are You Using Yahoo! Pipes?

I was reading in the .Net Magazine issue that I’ve got sitting in my bathroom a little about Yahoo! Pipes. Pipes is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web. Pipes can be used to combine a bunch of different feeds into one easy to manage feed that users can sort, filter and even geocode.

Looking at screenshots and video it looks a LOT like database software (for instance Microsoft Access). I wonder if Pipes can be combined with Yahoo! Query Language (YQL) since it all looks pretty database-y (why yes, that is a technical term!) The difference is that Pipes looks really easy and has a lot of drag-and-drop options. Doesn’t look like you really need to be a database programmer to use it.

Yahoo pipes sounds really neat – are any of my readers currently using it? I think it might be a cool idea to get some real, useable content onto my ‘military blog’. The blog has been really lacking lately due to the fact that I really have zero clue what to use it for. I like posting news items and reviews of products and companies that support the military, but I think it needs more.

I’m thinking of trying out Pipes. I will let you know how it goes :)

Great Video Tutorial: “Learn How to Build a Pipe in Just a Few Minutes

Sponzai The Newest IZEA Property

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I am SO excited to announce on here (along with like – everyone else at IzeaFest) that the BIG DEBUT this year is Sponzai! Sponzai is a cool new way to make money with your blog – sponsors write their own guest post including multimedia and links. Sponsors then select the blogs on which they want to distribute their pre-written post. Bloggers earn cash for posting the content! I watched my table neighbors try it out and it’s just a matter of adding in your blog(s), choosing your price and waiting for the opportunities to roll in.

The disclosure shows up right up at the top of the guest post – so there is complete transparency.

I’m all signed up and have my two best blogs in the system! Can’t wait to see my first post!

Check it out at Sponzai.com :)

Ps. This obviously not a paid post … I am just really a HUGE fan of this company and really excited about this new program.

First Day/Night at #IzeaFest and #hos

Izea Fest 2009 Blogging & Social Media Conference

Before I begin – I just want to say that whomever thought up the Twitter hashtag of “#hos” to represent “Howl-O-Scream” should’ve been flicked in the ear. Ho’s? Really?

Anyway … I wrote this post on Thursday when I hadn’t quite realized that I could pull in internet from the lobby of the hotel!

Well .. I made it to Orlando for IzeaFest and am currently sitting in my room at the beautiful (and quite tall) Renaissance hotel at Sea World waiting for my phone to connect to the internet. Unfortunately, I can only pull ‘free’ WiFi down in the lobby (for 3 hours … ?) and I’ve been travelling since around 4:00 this morning and am in no way shape of form ready to ‘mingle’ looking like this!

Lisa (my roomate) is speaking on a panel of bloggers today at a meet and greet. But I don’t want to pay to get in (and actually have no clue where it is anyway) so I figure I will jump in the shower and make myself presentable before she gets back and we head out to Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream with a ton of other bloggers and social media geeks (such as ourselves!)

I met up with Courtney at Orlando airport and we shared lunch and a cab to the hotel. I’m thinking her and her roomies (Heather and Heather’s daughter Crystal) are in the same vicinity as Lisa and I – but Courtney can’t remember her room number! Thus begins the insanity that is Izea Fest!

Will write up more updates later! I’m too busy listening to a great panel right now talking about “What Advertisers Want” featuring Brett Bumeter, George Smith, John Andrews, Joseph Jaffe and Zena Weist :)

Ignore this: The module apologizes in a climate.