Thursday, February 7, 2008

Increase Traffic Through Link Building

Okay, for all of you who are looking for insta-traffic, you're likely to be disappointed with this advice. We all want instant results, but the reality of the situation is that we - as bloggers, must work for this. True, there are a few exceptions to the rule, but most bloggers are starting from scratch, and building traffic will not be an instantaneous, single-action button click. If it were that easy, the blogosphere would be weighed down with splogs (or spam-blogs) that offer no value to the reader.

Comment Traffic

Now, keep those A-listers in mind; they should be part of your plan to build traffic. If you are already reading an A-list blog, either for inspiration, learning, or just for entertainment, your first step should be to start participating in the conversations. Posting a comment on an A-list blog is a spectacular way to get noticed, especially if you write an insightful and edifying comment. A well placed link in a comment, or even a comment well placed (such as in the first five comments) will create visibility, and quite possibly become a permanent source of traffic.

Forum Traffic

Forums are a good place to become part of a community of bloggers. While many people believe that you can just sign up for membership in a few free forums and place their links, then disappear - this strategy will often fail. To develop any sort of real traffic from forums or message boards, you must first earn the respect of your fellow community members. Many bloggers don't want (or feel that they don't need) the support of fellow bloggers, but this line of thinking will often put you on a blogging island.
  • Fact: Bloggers often link to other blogs they read, especially when they find a blog particularly useful or valuable.

Not all Links are Created Equal

The basic rule of thumb when it comes to placing links is simple: Links placed in high-traffic areas will have more visibility = more traffic for you. For example: if you place a link on a rarely read blog, your link will be rarely seen. When you place a link on a site where it will quickly disappear will cause your traffic flow from that link to also disappear. This means that if you are placing your links on a site like Craigslist, your links will have a maximum 7-day shelf-life. Much of your time spent placing links such as this will be lost, and so will your traffic.

By becoming part of the community, (i.e. getting involved in the conversations, regular participation, helpful advice to fellow bloggers, etc.) you have the opportunity to develop relationships with other bloggers. This can turn into a valuable source of traffic, especially if you regularly contribute valuable information. Bloggers will link to your blog or certain posts that they feel are useful to their readers.

As a forum member, you also have the opportunity to place links to your blog in your signature. This is especially useful for the active forum participant, especially if you post useful information. By doing so, you will earn respect, and your blog and posts in the forum will be perceived as valuable. For example: if you post tips or information that other bloggers charge money for, people will automatically click the link to your blog to see what else they can learn from you. All too many new bloggers feel that the good stuff should be kept secret, and instead their blogs end up full of fluff. Keeping some of your best secrets to yourself is normal - but to keep it all to yourself could downgrade the usefulness of your blog, and it could easily be disregarded as useless babble. Some of the most famous and successful bloggers share some really great information and that is often what sets them apart from the rest.


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