I’ve been receiving blogging hints via email from some blogging guru for the past couple of weeks. First, he sent an article telling me how to drive traffic to my blog from Facebook. Apparently, that is why most bloggers join FB — to get more traffic for their blogs.
If you wish to get people on FB to check out your blogs, the guru said: 1) use large images since large images get 125% more traffic than posts without images. 2) Use short teasers in your status updates, sort like you do with Twitter. And 3) Ask questions. By engaging people in conversation, you get more likes and shares, and FB analytics then kicks in and gives you more exposure.
That’s great advice, but the very next email I got from these same guy said that using social networks to grow your blogs is overrated, so limit your social networking to thirty minutes a day. Instead, grow your blog through Google. You get way more traffic and you don’t even have to spend time socializing or sharing your content. This is true — most of my traffic comes from various search engines, which is why my top posts always include my article Sex With Sister Tips. Um…Yeah because apparently, a huge number of people seem to want to have s e x with their sister. And in December, my highest ranked post is always What Do You Say to Someone Who is Grieving at Christmas? because of all the people Googling that particular topic.
His suggestions on the best way to get Google traffic:
1) Pick a niche for your blog — the narrower the better — and stick to it. Apparently, the more focused your blog, the more Google focuses on it. In other words, don’t do what I do — write about whatever catches my attention. At the beginning, my blog was focused on writing, specifically, what I learned about writing and how my search to get published was progressing. Then, after my life mate/soul mate died, I focused on grief. Now, I’m focusing on getting on with my life (though oddly, people are less interested in how I’m rebuilding my life than they were in its destruction.) So I suppose, if I had to describe my niche, I’d have to say it’s me. You don’t get much more focused than that since there is only one me in the world!
2) Consistently write high quality interesting blog posts. Your posts should be longer than 500 words. 1,000 word posts will ultimately get you more traffic provided you stay focused. Quality matters because Google is measuring time spent on pages and click throughs from social sites. Use fewer tags but make sure they are “right on target” with the tagged post. Include Youtube or other videos on your posts so that users stay on your pages longer. (My posts average around 500 words, because no matter who Google sends, chances are they aren’t going to read more than that, anyway.)
3) Search Engine Optimization. Basically, if you use WordPress as I do, they do the SEO for you, but if you want to get the most use out of your keywords, you can find that information here: On-Page SEO and Keyword Usage.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.