Friday, January 09, 2009

Blogging for Greenbacks (Part 5): Writing content that generates traffic

If you are burning brain cells trying to think of content that will shutdown Blogger just like the way the controversial topless picture of Miley Cyrus shutdown Vanity Fair's website, look no further.

And unlike Carl Ocab, this advice is truly free with no strings attached.

Tips for writing content that will attract traffic are no secret and in fact, Blogger has published a set of very good tips on how to promote your blog.

Here are the basics:
Think of your audience. A good way to build an audience is to speak to one in particular. When you keep your audience in mind, your writing gains focus. Focus goes a long way toward repeat visitors.

Write quality content and do it well. If your "style" is bad writing, worse grammar, no punctuation, and an ugly design, that might be okay for a niche crowd. But the idea here is to achieve mass appeal, so fix yourself up a bit.

Keep your posts and paragraphs short. Strive for succinct posts that pump pertinent new information into the blogosphere and move on. Keep it short and sweet so visitors can pop in, read up, and click on.

Publish regular updates. Simple: the more you blog, the more traffic you'll get.

Great, huh? Is that all there is to it? Would you be disappointed if I told you, "Yes"?

Of course, there is a little more to it and it has to do with this thing called the Blogosphere -- or the world wide community of bloggers.

Here are a couple more tips from Blogger that will help you reach out and link someone:

Add your blog to Blogger's listings. When you add your blog to our listings it shows up in Nextblog, Recently Updated, and other places. It's like opting-in to traffic.

Submit your address to blog search sites and directories. People look for blog content at Technorati every day, are you on their list? You should be. Submit your blog's url to Technorati, Daypop, Blogdex, Popdex, and any other site of that ilk you come across.

Link to other blogs. Links are the currency of the blogosphere and it takes money to make money so start linking.

Install a blogroll. It's a very simple yet effective social networking scheme and it has the same result as a simple link if not stronger: traffic! So if you don't have one yet, sign up for a blogroll and get that link-list going.

Be an active commenter. This is in the same vein as linking. Most comment systems also provide a way for you to leave a link back to your blog which begs a visit at the very least. So if you feel inspired, leave a comment or two in your blog travels. It behooves you.

One tip that has worked very well for me is this:
Be on the look-out for the freshest news relevant to your blog and write your account of that news. The news is a good place to start whenever you are wondering what to write about and people (other bloggers) are interested in personal accounts of how this news affects other people (you).

Also, it would help enormously if you have a level of expertise on the matter you are blogging about. I am not saying that you ought to have a Master's degree, but you have to write things that you truly know about.

The worst thing you can do is to make some thing up and post it.

(Next up: Finding things to write about that will drive people to your blog)

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