The New Science of Inbound Linking : Part IIPosted: February 5, 2007
Generating traffic to your website is often the easy part. To have your traffic return frequently, building an active community for discussion is where it gets tricky.
Have no fear though, I’ve amassed some wisdom on the subject (stolen from others) and will try to regurgitate and plagiarise word for word.
In fact, that would be a bad idea. I’ve read so many posts, especially on creating traffic, that are practically carbon copies of every other post on the subject. Please don’t do that anymore, it drives me insane, try these in future:
- You have to maintain your the interest of your users by writing about new thoughts and ideas.
- If you can’t think of anything to write about related to your subject matter; dont. Just discuss something more personal, what you’ve done in your week for example. You’ll often find that as you write subjects relate to your tech interests and you’re off again.
- If you have no new content, then talk about interesting content you’ve seen elsewhere. It won’t kill you to have some outbound links you know and you may even get a reciprocal link in return.
Targeting your posts correctly will have a huge effect on maintaining your audience. So don’t try and generate traffic that comes from irrelevant sources. There’s no point wasting your time on it and it’ll give you the minimum of returning vistors. Instead find blogs or websites like your own, post comments on topics you’re interested in with a link to your site if possible. If not then build yourself a ‘web identity’, consistently use your name or online nickname when you’re answering in comments and then if someone decides to Google you then there’s a better chance they’ll find your blog at the top.
Make sure you keep a close eye on your comments; each and every time a user asks a question within them then give the best answer you can. Don’t enter into slanging matches but try to keep a level head, giving an answer as honestly and openly as you can. The other users who read your opinion will then have a better view of you as an impartial writer – even if some of them don’t say anything directly.
Allowing users easy access to an RSS feed of your articles is an obvious one that’s been mentioned by many others. What they often fail to use though is an RSS feed of comments specifically. This will create you more discussion, and as as result, more returning users.
Using your web statistics package, keep an eye on the top search terms used to access your website organically. After time builds up then you can begin to target more articles towards these terms, further strengthening your position and targeting your site more effectively to the users who actually find your site of interest.
Keep an eye on what is not a hit as well as what is. If posts on certain subjects are not finding a base then either rewrite them with a context that can be appreciated by your readers or in future just leave them out. By doing this you’re increasing the percentage of posts that your readers will appreciate and they’ll be more likely to sit in anticipation of the next article’s arrival.
What I’ve written about here, as usual, are simple routes that are often left out in the blog culture of reiterating every point a hundred times across a thousand websites. As those of you who read reguarly know I strive to write originally and usefully and encourage others to think the same way.
I’d like to hear what you think of the duplication of content and thought that is becoming increasingly present in our online culture so please let me know.