We all want traffic – that much is a no brainer, but where we get it from and the methods we employ to actually get it can make or break the growth of your blog.
Like a good pasta sauce, a slight tweaking of the ingredients can make a huge difference to the resulting flavor, so let’s examine some of those ingredients and see if we can help you to spice up the traffic coming to your blog.
How to Cook the Perfect Bloghetti
If you were to cook up a pasta sauce, would you just go and throw every ingredient in the cupboard into the frying pan and hope for the best or would you meticulously add a pinch of this and a spoonful of that, slowly testing each time until you had the balance of flavors just right?
(Note from Ana: are we talking about hurrying up with dinner while the kids are bawling and the husband/wife are nagging or a gourmet meal here?)
I won’t even wait for an answer; the question was a rhetorical one anyway and because it’s quite obvious what you would do.
You would order Pizza, who makes their own pasta sauce anyway? I mean really?!
So why then, when you are building backlinks and backchat to your blog, do you just open the Browser and throw everything at it?!
Ingredients have a history, a reason for being added in the first place and and if you start assessing every backlink in the same light you begin to see the bigger picture, which will help you get noticed – a lot sooner.
Let’s examine the best and worst ingredients out there.
Without doubt, the best ingredient will always be the blog comment.
A blog comment takes about the same time to complete as manually social bookmarking your latest post on a site like Digg or StumbleUpon for example, but the difference in taste is huge.
When you Blog Comment, you need to look at the bigger picture as to why you are commenting there in the first place.
- Who is this blogger?
- Who are their readers?
- What are they trying to achieve?
- What drives their readers?
- How can I help them?
Big name bloggers are great to build relationships with because they open the doors to so much more.
Engaging on a bigger blog can get you exposure that social media, for example could never achieve and not only are you building backlinks to your site and a relationship with the blogger, you are boosting your online credibility (assuming the comments you leave are worth their salt).
Everyone else basically.
Limiting your engagement to the bigger blogs is a bad idea, and will ultimately limit the flavor of your blog.
Just like ingredients, the seemingly insignificant ones can add the most incredible tastes to your sauce – and until you experiment with them all, you can never know what works.
Smaller blogs are run by motivated bloggers who are still in their prime. They are also usually looking to engage just like you are – so take advantage of this!
Is it better than a Guest Post?
If I comment regularly here at Traffic Generation Cafe for example and then submit a guest post, then it work wonders to boost blog traffic (Crosses fingers and waits for residual traffic from Ana 🙂 )
This is only because I have already built some basic relationship with Ana and the readers (hi, I’m Alex in case we have not been formally introduced), so when I guest post, it simply cements this.
If I were to have submitted a guest post here without ever visiting or commenting before (assuming it was accepted and published), then I highly doubt my post or my name would be remembered all that well.
I don’t care how awesome the post. In fact, write an awesome post and give it to a blog where you have no relationship and chances are your post will be forever remembered as THEIRS!
There is nothing Del.icio.us about it
What about Social Bookmarking?
Surely you must do that right? I mean everyone does that.
There is nothing wrong with social bookmarking, in fact I have to go on record now and say that I recommend it, but to what end?
It realistically takes about the same amount of time to bookmark your page on a few sites as it does to leave an insightful comment on a blog, so which ingredient do you prefer?
Social Bookmarking, especially on the bigger sites like Digg and SU would be like adding tennis balls to the meal, or overcooking the fish perhaps.
Why? Because the only thing these sites are going to bring you is an increased bounce rate.
Social Bookmarking traffic is far from targeted, and although it is a numbers game in the end, is it really worth your time?
I tested out using StumbleUpon heavily for a month and received over 1200 visitors from there alone. That month my bounce rate went from 40 to around 65%.
(Note from Ana: interesting statistics, Alex – I’ve been thinking of learning more about StumbleUpon traffic; I guess what’s the rush? 🙂
Marketing (Eat In or) Take Away
Building relationships through blog commenting is without doubt the most powerful way of building both the backlinks and the credibility of your blog.
Like a good ingredient, a blog has a history and a unique story, and each one that you engage with and bring into your own circle increases the tastiness of your own blog and spices up the possibilities to no end.
Stop worrying about Social Bookmarking and Directory Submissions and all the other links you build simply because it seems like the right thing to do and concentrate on what will actually make your own blog delicious!
I’m not saying to only limit your backlinks to blog commenting; far from it.
I am simply suggesting that if you look at each link and each comment, and each relationship as an ingredient, you might start to see the blogosphere and where you best fit, in a whole new light.
Will this ultimately be better for your own growth? Without a doubt!
Will you finally find your own flavor?
Only Thyme will tell…
- Have you found Blog Commenting to be the most effective way of getting your voice heard?
- What other “Ingredients” do you use or recommend?
Marketing TakeOut from Ana
I was entirely blown away when Alex submitted this guest post.
Of course, mostly because Alex is such a smart cookie and I LOVE reading his posts, but there is another reason…
You see, Lisa from TheFriendlyBlogger.com and I (well, most Lisa really – she did all the work 🙂 ) were working on an experiment/research on whether blog commenting REALLY does bring traffic. Stay tuned for the results – coming later this week!
Alex Whalley is the owner and founder of Build | Rank | Profit: The Niche Site Marketing Blog and the Principle Consultant at BuRP! Consulting, a Sydney based Search Engine Marketing Firm. Connect with Alex at the official Build Rank Profit Blog and learn EXACTLY how to Build, Rank, and Profit from Niche Sites today!
Image source: sweetwheat.com