9 Ways To Increase Web Traffic

by Ivan on March 21, 2010

daveleeroth To quote Van Halen, ‘everybody wants some.’ And what you want is traffic. Why write a blog if no-one visits, right? I have 17 technical writers’ blogs in my Google Reader & RSS feeds. Most are fine but… if they used some of the following tactics, they’d get more traffic, comments, money and Nobel prizes. Well, three out of four, anyway.

 

How To Get More Traffic To Your Blog

Apply five of these tactics and your traffic will double. No kidding, it will!

How To Get More Traffic #1: Add Your Photos

Look at your favorite technical writing blogs. How many faces do you see? Why are they all hiding? I dunno. Stick your mugshot on the page so we can see what you look like! Go on! None of us are Brad Pitt or Paris Hilton (OMG! Paris Hilton rebuilds career as technical writer shock!), so add a pic. Don’t be shy. People like to read about people they know. If they can’t see you…

How To Get More Traffic #2: Video

I’m no spring chicken, so if I can do it, you can. All of these video were taken on a Canon powershot.

Videos let people hear you, see your expression, feel what you’re trying to say in ways that words cannot. Making videos is easier that you think. I use Camtasia 6 for all its sins. 

How To Get More Traffic #3: Social Media Outposts

Use Social Media for maximum impact. With web content publishing tools like Posterous you can get the message out to all these channels with almost no effort. Posterous lets you post once, publish everywhere. Try it.

How To Get More Traffic #4: Quizzes

We all get tired of checking for split infinitives and looking for typos, so lighten things up. Add quizzes to get people involved… and try to be a little different.

  • Did you ever download software illegally?
  • What’s your manager’s most annoying habit?
  • Would you let your boss friend you on Facebook?
  • Do you know any technical writing who can reverse park? (I was going to say Women but then turned on my brain! That was so close!)
  • Do you know any men who ask for directions when lost? One for the girls, no doubt.

How To Get More Traffic #5: Comics

May not work for all sites but comics are a nice break from technical documents and other heavy reading. Why do you think they are so popular? Every serious newspaper has them, why not you?

How To Get More Traffic #6: Reviews

If they come to your site, it’s your opinion they are after. So, why don’t you give it?

#1 cardinal sin of most blogs is that they have no opinion!

Don’t be scared! I’m with you! Give your honest opinion (try not to rant or swear) and you’ll see people will respond very quickly.

#2 cardinal sin of most blogs… bland!

If your blog echoes the rest of the crowd, well, why should I come back? Stick your neck out, even a little. Some people were upset that I dissed Camtasia but y’know I’d be lying if I said it worked!

How To Get More Traffic #7: Trends

Pssst! Did you know that… everyone wants to be in the know. Keep your readers up to date. Use graphs, charts and diagrams. See Brain Solis and Information in Beautiful for inspiration.

How To Get More Traffic #8: Lists

It doesn’t have to stop at 10. Here are a few list of get started:

  • 21 Left Handed Technical Writers
  • 7 Reasons Why Adobe FrameMaker Sucks But You Still Need to Buy It
  • 12 Honest Ways to Get a Pay Rise
  • 5 Ways To Give An Honest Appraisal
  • 28 Ways to Proofred a Technical Documant
  • 1 Good Reason to Join the STC
  • 18 Mistakes Technical Writers Make Before Breakfast
  • 9 Ways to Evaluate a Help Authoring Tool

How To Get More Traffic #9: How-to guides

Ok, the technical stuff comes last. If you’re going to offer technical advice (and you should!) identify the problem, explain how to fix it, and then ask for questions or comments.

#3 cardinal sin of blogging is… blogger doesn’t interact with readers. Ask for comments. If you have a Facebook page, give them the link and connect there. Use Twitter? Create lists for technical writers and add them. Like these lists I created for technical writers and creativity.

Related Articles:

Ivan Walsh, Internet Business ExpertAbout Ivan Walsh Got a question about running an online business? Contact me on Google Plus, @IvanWalsh, and Facebook

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{ 4 comments }

matthewneedham March 23, 2010 at 5:59 am

I'd also add comment on lot's of people's blogs. Get comment Luv installed as a plugin.

This is some really great tips here, thanks for sharing them.

Ivan Walsh March 23, 2010 at 7:12 am

Get comment Luv installed as a plugin.
Thanks for reminding me to do that, Matthew.
It's one of those plugins that I've pencilled in but never got around to installing.

Does it work with DISQUS, do you know? That's the commenting tool i have here.

Ken Siew March 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Good stuffs Ivan! I'd been trying to do all these but I just never got around doing the comics, trends, and videos. On my do-it-later list, focusing on connecting with others at other blogs, and producing great content for my blog and my list. These 3 things are already keeping me very busy. Video is my next venture +D

Ivan Walsh March 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Hi Ken,
I had mixed feelings about video as well… but then I noticed that all the major players are getting in on this. For me, it’s an investment of time/effort, but I'm starting to find ways to generate the video content much faster, which helps. In the past, the process was so slow, it defeated the purpose.
I'll be adding some videos on the site soon and maybe talk about how I do it, i.e. from the production + editing point of view.
Take it easy,
Ivan

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