Today we’ll look at strategies to improve your blog traffic. Here is the mud I sling at the wall.
Where does your traffic come from? For a long time with the first Astrology Explored, most of my traffic came from the aggregator’s which at the time was Elsa’s Top Ten Astrology News (which is no longer up), Jeffrey Kishner’s Astrology Blogger (same thing). Along around the one year mark, Google started to send me traffic. Apparently, after a year of blogging I made the search engines. It was a very long year. Once Google recognized AE as an authoritative source it sent me 60% of my total traffic. Along the way I learned the following:
Post Often and Regularly
During the first year of AE I made it a point to post everyday. I had a monetary incentive to do so, to be true, since the network paid me per post but it turned out for the best. Having an extensive body of work out there made it juicy pickings for the search engines.
Use Keywords in Your Posts
Yeah, it seems counter intuitive to the creative process, but sprinkling your posts with common astrology keywords is like saying “Here doggy, doggy” to the search engines. Use keywords in your title, and repeat them in your post. It helps, I swear.
Link to Other Blogs
I’ve mentioned before that you should make new friends. You should also link to their blogs. Julie Demboski does it by mentioning posts she likes at the end of her post. I do it by referencing the blog within the piece itself. Either way, when you link to other people, they are likely to return the favor.
List Your Blog in Directories
At one time this was the only way to get your blog noticed. Now there are more social networking tools out there and it is tempting to rely on them. While I personally recommend Networked Blogs through Facebook and Twitter to jump start your blog traffic, you should still spend the time to list your blog with directories. Blog Catalog is good if you take the time to log in fairly regularly and make sure your page is updating with your latest posts. List with Invesp.com and Top Listed.net/astrology at the very least.
Timing is Everything
Get your posts up early. If you are writing about an event in the future, like an eclipse, get your piece up at least a week ahead of the event.
Not Last and Certainly Not Least–Content
Posting regularly is good but not enough. If you want to build your traffic you might find you’ll have to stretch yourself as a writer and astrologer to build a broad body of work that captures the notice of the search engines. Jeffrey Kishner does it by having different writers on his blog, but we all don’t have Jeffrey’s luxury.
Topics that capture search engines’ attention are horoscopes, current events, crime topics, and celebrities. Specific astrological events that get hot play are eclipses, full moons, and equinoxes. Devote some of your posts to these topics and you’ll see an increase in traffic on those days.
Question: How have you improved traffic on your blog?
Image posted under a Creative Commons license from Flickr.
Beth Turnage authors Astrology Explored as well as being publisher of Astrology Media Press. Beth is available for private consultations. You can contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thanks again, Beth.
I signed up for Blog Catalog and Top Listed. I don’t understand the invesp site – is it only for sites selling products?
My one year anniversary of my blog is coming up in June. I promised myself I’d stick to it for one year to see if there was interest in my Astrology for Business topic. My goal is 100 visits a day and I’m at about 50. So I’ve got to lay some serious track in the next two months! Thanks for your help.
Invesp ranks blogs on a number of factors. It is definately worth it to list with them so you can get a good sense of where your blogs falls.
You may want to run your site through Website Grader which I wrote about here:
Website Grader will give you a good sense of what you need to do to get your blog noticed.
50 a day is nothing to sneeze at and having a blog is a good way to promote your business, so don’t quit just at the year mark. Just a little more effort and you’ll hit your goal!
Hi Beth! This is really great advice-wish I’d known this mumble mumble years ago–have to agree that google search was the big turning point for me, coupled with bringing back the same readers consistently while building readership–those relationships are the core of my blog and my business. And thanks for the mention and link!
Thanks! All this is from the school of hard knocks. So many good beginning astrology blogs struggle and then end up abandoned partly from a lack of knowledge. I was lucky to hook into my first network (despite how it ended up) with some really awesome professional bloggers on board. This is why I started Astrology Media Press, to give astrology bloggers a place to came and get information they can use (and a place to blog while doing so.)
“Jeffrey Kishner does it by having different writers on his blog, but we all don’t have Jeffrey’s luxury.”
It’s only a luxury in that I earn enough that I can afford to pay my regular writers. I realized after about 1.5 years that I was going to burn out on writing about relationship astrology, so it seemed like the logical thing to find additional writers to maintain momentum. But posting frequently, in the case of Sasstrology, is a combination of paid writers, content partnerships, and being fortunate enough to attract guest bloggers.
Oh, I know that you worked hard at building a good base of writers, for sure. It is a strategy that’s worked for you
I was just thinking back to my 451 Press blog and how hard I pushed to put up a post a day when I wrote that line. 🙂
Another great thing to do is to submit your posts to Astrology Articles Database: http://www.astrologydatabase.com/
Sometimes they are slow about updating (I sent them two posts a week ago that still aren’t up) but the exposure does increase traffic. I’ve had 500 hits from AAD since I sent my first post to them at the end of January.
Thanks! That’s a great link!