How To Start A Blog That Gets Instant Traffic

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wecanblogitStarting a new blog can feel like an overwhelming task. Not only does it involve either developing your own template (or finding a free one), creating interesting content that people will want to read, and making the blog SEO optimized, but once you’re finished developing that amazing new blog, you need to somehow get people to start visiting.

With millions upon millions of websites on the Internet, and with potentially hundreds of thousands focused on the same subject or niche that you are – developing an audience can feel even more overwhelming than trying to start a blog from scratch in the first place.

I’ve been working on the Internet long before it became wildly popular in the 1990s, and in the process of watching the evolution of the Internet I’ve come to realize and appreciate something amazing about the current incarnation of the Internet, known as Web 2.0. That something is this; If you know the rules of the game, then it is possible to start a blog that gets instant traffic from day one – and maintains that traffic into the future. Today I’d like to share 3 powerful techniques you can use to accomplish this.

Tip #1 – Write Optimized Content The First Day You Start A Blog

Many people who start a blog do so because they love writing. That’s one of the reasons I started several blogs (horribly neglected) of my own. The problem is that most writers enjoy writing for the love of the process – not for the purpose of “optimizing” the content for search engines. The process of optimizing makes writers feel stifled, non-creative and cheap. Sort of like not wanting to go to Wal-Mart to save money even though you know that things are a heck of a lot cheaper there.

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Writers know that optimizing is important to gather search engine traffic, but they either really understand the rules – or they simply don’t care. Optimizing can take years to learn how to do effectively. Many bloggers suffer low blog traffic because they believe if they simply write amazing content – people will love it so much they’ll keep coming back for more. This may be true – but it’ll take you years to accomplish, versus months if you use SEO effectively.

Abhijeet offered a fantastic list of SEO tools that you can use to come up with high-value keywords for your posts. One of those tools that I would highly recommend to all bloggers is the Google Adwords tool. Using this tool the right way, you’ll be able to start writing your very first blog posts that target exactly what people are searching for online.

how to start a blog

What’s the “right way” to use Google Adwords? It’s very simple, just brainstorm general topics that you want to write about and enter those, one at a time, into the “Descriptive words or phrases field.” When you click “Get keyword ideas,” you’ll see a very long list of keywords and statistics appear at the bottom. Next, click on the blue column header “Global Monthly Search Volume” to sort the results by how many searches occur for each term every month.

If you find your keyword doesn’t have a lot of traffic, scroll down to the section titled, “Additional Keywords to Consider.”

how to start a blog

Here’s the basic SEO rule #1 that I’m going to share with MUO readers. Most bloggers see a keyword with very high search traffic and think, “oooh, a goldmine!” They then proceed to expend tremendous effort writing up a brilliant post using that phrase, only to end up on page 25 or 30 of Google results for that search term. Why? Because the secret of success when choosing keywords where your new blog (or even professional blog) can compete is choosing keywords with very low competition (that cool-looking blue bar graph on the left). Choosing keywords with very high search traffic each month and very low competition will bring traffic to your site the moment Google next crawls your blog. Speaking of which, did you take Karl’s advice and submit your site to Bing and Google yet?

Tip #2 – Engage The Blogosphere Every Single Day

If you want to get a lot of traffic to your new blog from day one, you’ve got to give people who are interested in the topics you write about a good reason to visit your blog. One of the first things that I noticed when I started using Facebook is that it’s human nature for people to check out your wall if you take the time to post on theirs. The same is very true about the world of blogging, but on a much larger scale.

When you post a thoughtful comment on someone else’s blog, not only will the blogger probably check you out, but so will readers who like your comment. To do this effectively, you should use a tool like Ratingburner or Technorati to find the most popular blogs on the net within the niche that you write about.

Using Technorati to find similar blogs to my own blog FreeWritingCenter, I discovered one high-authority blog, AListApart, with fresh content just waiting to receive a good comment. You may need to sift down the list for blogs that are relevant to yours (I did).

how to start a blog

Visit the other blogs, and if you aren’t already a subscriber then become one. Your new blog will not take off unless you’re ready and willing to engage the blogging community and contribute to other blogs as much as you want other people to contribute to yours. When you post a comment – don’t do it without reading the post you’re commenting on. Don’t be one of those annoying spammers – you’re trying to engage a community, not get free marketing for yourself.

how do i start my own blog

The general rule of thumb here is to only post on blogs that allow you to include your URL, be positive and always compliment the blogger, and finally always reference one or two important points in the blogger’s post – this proves that you actually read the article and found it interesting. A well written comment can go a very long way toward immediately attracting interested readers (and fellow bloggers) to your own blog.

Tip #3 – Becoming an Active Member of the Forum Community

The third most effective way to get instant traffic to your blog is to engage forum communities filled with folks who share an interest in the topic that your blog covers. Either generate a new thread, or comment on an existing thread that covers something you wrote about.

Finding a forum based on the topic of your blog is usually as simple as typing it into Google as something like, “writing forums.” Although, I would highly recommend taking Darko’s advice and use forum search engines which are often far more effective since they specifically target forums. Using BoardReader, I found a great webmaster forum post about writing at the V7 Network.  When you register, don’t forget to include your URL in your forum profile (most forums have a field for this).

how do i start my own blog

Forum etiquette is to avoid posting your own URL in the very first few posts. Simply engage in a conversation with forum members. Once you prove to the forum administrators that your goal in engaging the forum community is to have a conversation and not just advertise yourself, they’ll be far more willing to let you quote (and link) from your own blog every now and then. But the first step at any forum is just to get engaged in a quality conversation with other folks.

how to increase blog traffic

Forums can help in a lot of ways. Readers who find your comment interesting may click on your profile to check out who you are – and there, they’ll find the URL to your blog. Additionally, many forums (such as the one above), allow you to post a link in your signature after you’ve made a certain number of forum posts. This assures the forum administrators that you’re not only there to market yourself, and it eventually allows you to have a link back to your blog on every single post you make – which is a very powerful way to get a lot of traffic to your blog.

Forget about all of the silly instant marketing gimmicks that you find online from “SEO experts” that claim they can get you thousands of visitors a day. The unfortunate fact is that these are typically scams that use spamming techniques that’ll get you penalized by Google in the end. The most effective way to “grow” your blog in a very organic and long-lasting way is to make sure all of your content is optimized, and then start spending an hour or so a day just engaging the online community that shares your interests.

Do you have your own unique techniques to draw instant traffic to a new blog? Share them with other MUO readers in the comments section below.

Image Credit : Mike Licht

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37 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Dushyant

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for new Windows Tips & Tricks

Reply

moklet

It is a lot of work to keep traffic going to your websites. I spend several hours a day actvivly engaging communities online. But in the end the hard work will pay off with a good reputation and flow of traffic. Allways be helpfull towards the online communities you’re engaging

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Trinae Ross

I agree with the thought about being careful to contribute to the ongoing article discussion instead of popping in a comment for self promotion. Yes, it takes time to cultivate good reputation with whatever demographic you’re after, but its worth it not only to your site, but to the author and visitors of the site you’re visiting.

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Francis O Reilly

This is certainly relevant to me as I am trying to build up traffic from scratch myself … all good advice! Thanks

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Seth W

Building traffic is best done by guest posting on other people’s blogs. This gets a great link to your blog and an instant group of readers who know how you write.

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Jersey Bob

This article contains good advice, if not common sense. But “instant” traffic? No. There’s no such thing, unless you already have a following elsewhere and use that to promote your blog. But if you’re unknown, expect it to take time to build readership.

Ryan Dube

Hey Jersey Bob – thanks for your comment. I suppose I should quantify “instant traffic.” In my mind, my experience here at MakeUseOf alone proves that you can get instant traffic with one post somewhere that’s well placed. Before I wrote my first article here, my traffic at my new blog was minimal (I’d just started it). After one post, it instantly jumped by a few hundred visitors in 2 days. I realize it isn’t 0 to 10,000 visitors in a day…but when a blogger is getting 10 visitors a day and they can jump to 300 or 400 in just a few days – that’s not shabby. Repeat the cycle and rinse – and traffic will add up quickly (as I’m sure you know!)

Frank

Well thank you a lot for this article, is has a part of what I was looking for, but i can’t seem to find out why my traffic isn’t going up, my site is 1 month old, i get about 5-10 people a day. Got 100 + link backs and a 4 000 000 alexa rank getting better real fast. I think I have a nice original content but mayby im over runed by other people. How can I get better then them and have people turn to my articles instead of theirs?
Some people start a website and get 10k + view?
There seem to be something im missing, I have been reading for months how to have a successful website, and I know it takes time. But whats wrong with mine ?!
Thank you Ryan!
Adding the link here so you can See it, you can take it off it you want to see it

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blog commenting

So blog commenting is actually a part of publicizing the blog that you created and owned.That is something cool

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Blake @ The Props Blog

I absolutely cannot echo the part about commenting enough. When I’m reading through others comments, I think “would I want this person commenting on my blog and being an active member of my community?” When I read “great blog” I just move right on. When I read a compelling comment, I usually check out their blog at a minimum and often become active an active participant of their blog.
On the other hand, I haven’t done any traffic building on forums. I’ve heard that forums are a great place to build traffic as well, but I already spend way too much time reading blogs! Thanks for excellent advice for building traffic (despite the misleading title ;-)
Blake Waddill

Ryan Dube

Thanks Blake! I agree with you on the time constraints. When you’re trying to do a certain amount of writing/blogging, you really have to pick your battles or you’ll just get completely overwhelmed (which of course is why a lot of bloggers give up…)

Sounds like you’ve got your game figured out – finding something that works and being persistent is definitely the road to success!

Thanks for your comment!

Reply

fredstuff

I started blogging about five years ago, back them I had no clue when it came to SEO and having a solid foundation from the start. This time around I’m doing things a bit different – trying to cover every aspect of traffic and being out there right from get go. Nice (and important) post – bookmarked!

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Hamza

Those are some good tips, but what about the use of Social media, like digg to get instant traffic?

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Hameedullah Khan

Very nice and informative post, I like all the 3 points you have mention. Specially the second one in which you describe how to comment on the blogs that are in the same nice as your own blog. This way not only we get traffic but there are chances that we will get interested readers that have more chances to subscribe to your blog then the random traffic that you get from Google.

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rpsingh

Really nice tips, must for a new blogger.

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Ann Hession

Thanks for this – I know I need to optimize my posts much better and your details on how to do it are really helpful. I appreciate that you include details on etiquette and so forth – so easy for newbies to make mistakes not knowing what’s accepted practice in the blogosphere!

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Government Grants

I used information in your article to generate some traffic on a (mygrants.us/blog) Government Grants Blog, it works great, thanks for the tips.

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Aibek

Ryan, Great post!

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Buying Advice

Fresh Content, Submit URL and find a Back link are ways to get high traffic

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Lynn Swannell

I’m new to blogging and found this article very enlightening – also made me realise just what hard work it can be. Hoping my reward will be that people actually read my blog and learn something from it.

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Kenny

So glad to see a good post NOT pushing get-clicks-quick schemes.

Another great tactic to get instant traffic for new (or old) blogs is to find the best blogs in your niche with decent traffic. Then whenever a post gets published that is opinionated, write a reactionary response on your post whether you agree or not, referencing the high-traffic blog’s post and then submit a trackback link. It’s best to drill down deeper into the issue like taking one of the finer points in the original post and marinate on that portion of the argument.

Separately, one more tip is that once you get engaged in some of the forum/communities, if may see repeated requests or posts regarding for certain issues (i.e. asking for solutions to a given problem), go ahead and provide a detailed tutorial or round-up of possible approaches to solving that problem. If people are motivated to ask for help in discussion forums over and over again, you can bet there are tons more people that are searching for the same thing.

For example, I’m having issues setting up the new digital box Comcast is forcing me to use for my cable service with my Tivo. Lo and behold, tons of other people out there are suffering with the same issue as well according to the volume of posts I’ve seen. It seems like the perfect topic to attack in a simple and straight-forward post for my tech/gadget tips blog (essistme.com) once I figure it all out myself.

Hope that helps spark some new ideas for generating solid content!

Kenny

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Internet Marketing Muscle

You hit the nail on the head with the first one — it’s all about content. I also try to get relevant backlinks through commenting in both blogs and forums (your other two tips), directory submissions, and article marketing (like ezinearticles.com).

Thanks for the great post!

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Bob

Thanks for the article. It’s tough getting traffic. I’m trying hard. I’m on technorati and I’ve checked out AListApart in the past though I believe they did’nt have blogs then.

All the best!

Bob

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firend

Very nice and informative post, I like all the 3 points you have mention. Specially the second one in which you describe how to comment on the blogs that are in the same nice as your own blog.

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Mats

Hey, I have a blog in spanish and I’m looking to have more visits on my site. The 3 points looks very interesting, I’ll try to follow them. Specialy the #3.

Thanks

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InternetMarketingStudent

I need to start applying all 3 tips to my blogs. I think sometimes we hear the same or similar advice and we just don’t follow through. So, starting now, I’m going to try an hour or two a day engaging blogs in related niches and participating in forums, like you suggested, and see what happens.

Very informative, well written post. Thanks for all the great links too.

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منتديات

this post is realy good
i add in my fav iam realy get new information for my site

thanks alot

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Lilly

I’ve read a number of similar articles claiming you need to do this or that when blogging, but this is the first that explained something critical! I knew I needed to comment on other blogs, and I knew I could generate traffic by including my URL, but for whatever reason (lack of common sense or too-new syndrome), I never realized that posting my URL in comments created a back link! Duh! I also knew that was one great way to elevate my blog, but you just put it all together for me, and for that I am incredibly grateful.

I love MUO!

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IVORY’S INTELLECT

I hope this works for me. Others seem to get 1000s of hits a day after a few months meanwhile I’m still struggling to 20.

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Block Phone

By the way, the only method to secure yourself from irritative calls and spy devices is to use (jammer-store.com) Cell Blocker

Reply

John of all Trades

Wow! This has to be hands down one of the best sites I have ran across in a long time! I look forward to reading more.

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fjpalawan

Thanks Ryan,

Im starting my personal blog and this post really helps me a lot.

I think I just need to add that after getting an instant traffic, you also need to make your post valuable and informative to the readers for them to stay.

“Once you have them, never let them go” :)

Fel Jun

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Grey Hornet

The only question I have about these techniques is what do you do when your blog isn’t necessarily “written” per se but instead gathered? Ampburn (my site) is devoted to bringing new rock music downloads to the masses from a distinctly indie point of view. Should I still visit forums and blogs to comment or should I take a more viral approach?

Thanks,
GH

Ryan Dube

Hi Grey – great question. Other readers may have different advice, but in my view the *most* important thing is to get people who are interested in the niche that your site serves to actually visit your site, regardless how you produce your content for them. So, I would still suggest visiting forums and blogs to get people already interested in your niche to become interested in *you* – but if you have time, there’s a lot to be said for viral marketing, especially when it comes to music. But I wouldn’t skip the blog/forum approach or you’ll miss out on a lot of music fans. Best of luck!

Reply

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Lol a lot of spam
So here is another one :D

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toomuchtimetoofewthoughts

About the best article I’ve read on this subject – thanks very much.
The title is perhaps a bit deceptive though :P

Reply

Bozonessinc

Thanks,

Your tips will help me with my news website!

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