Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic (Part3)

7. Don't Jump on the Bandwagon
Some memes are worthy of being talked about by every blogger in the space, but most aren't. Just because there's huge news in your industry or niche DOES NOT mean you need to be covering it, or even mentioning it (though it can be valuable to link to it as an aside, just to integrate a shared experience into your unique content). Many of the best blogs online DO talk about the big trends - this is because they're already popular, established and are counted on to be a source of news for the community. If you're launching a new blog, you need to show people in your space that you can offer something unique, different and valuable - not just the same story from your point of view. This is less important in spaces where there are very few bloggers and little online coverage and much more in spaces that are overwhelmed with blogs (like search, or anything else tech-related).
8. Link Intelligently
When you link out in your blog posts, use convention where applicable and creativity when warranted, but be aware of how the links you serve are part of the content you provide. Not every issue you discuss or site you mention needs a link, but there's a fine line between overlinking and underlinking. The best advice I can give is to think of the post from the standpoint of a relatively uninformed reader. If you mention Wikipedia, everyone is familiar and no link is required. If you mention a specific page at Wikipedia, a link is necessary and important. Also, be aware that quoting other bloggers or online sources (or even discussing their ideas) without linking to them is considered bad etiquette and can earn you scorn that could cost you links from those sources in the future. It's almost always better to be over-generous with links than under-generous. And link condoms? Only use them when you're linking to something you find truly distasteful or have serious apprehension about.

9. Invite Guest Bloggers

Asking a well known personality in your niche to contribute a short blog on their subject of expertise is a great way to grow the value and reach of your blog. You not only flatter the person by acknowledging their celebrity, you nearly guarantee yourself a link or at least an association with a brand that can earn you readers. Just be sure that you really are getting a quality post from someone that's as close to universally popular and admired as possible (unless you want to start playing the drama linkbait game, which I personally abhor). If you're already somewhat popular, it can often be valuable to look outside your space and bring in guest authors who have a very unique angle or subject matter to help spice up your focus. One note about guest bloggers - make sure they agree to have their work edited by you before it's posted. A disagreement on this subject after the fact can have negative ramifications.

No comments: