Business Blogs: Getting More Visitor Traffic

Still waiting to see your visitor traffic to your business blog increase? There are a number of things you can do to help it along, from getting your blog listed in online blog directories to old-fashioned offline networking. Wayne Hurlbert provides many, many ideas for those who want to see their visitor traffic numbers go up.

There are few things that create more initial excitement than the launch of your brand new blog. You have built the best blog you possibly can, and you’re waiting for the visitor traffic to start pouring right in.

You wait.

And you wait some more.

Something needs to be done to make those visitor counters start clicking — and soon.

Here are some ideas to get some visitors to your blog. While each one, in and of itself, may not bring the thousands of unique visitors you would like, taken together they can add up to some fairly nice totals.

Every visitor helps.

Some online traffic building ideas

Place a link to your website on all of your outgoing e-mails. It sounds simple enough, yet very few people do it.

In fact, your website URL should be featured prominently on every piece of paper, including letters, faxes and business cards, that leaves your office. Many people will click on your website link, giving you some instant traffic.

One of my favorite promotional ideas is participation at various message boards and forums relating to your area of interest. Be sure to be helpful and not blatantly pushing your product. Answer questions fully and politely, and freely provide solid information.

Develop a reputation for being knowledgeable and helpful, and you will be regarded as an expert in your field. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and to start discussions either. There are many other people who will be wanting that same question asked, but are often too shy to do so.

Don’t forget to place a link back to your site in your signature line, sometimes referred to as a sig line. Most forums encourage the use of signature lines. They often provide space for some additional information about your site as well. You will be pleasantly surprised at how many people will click on your sig line link.

Add some reciprocal links. Many people are concerned about theming (the practice of search engines downgrading links that are not part of your blog’s overall topic area) but if done correctly, there should only be benefits for you. One technique for link gathering is to find out who is linking to other, similar blogs.

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Offer a free download. Items that can be offered for free to visitors include e-books on your website’s area of expertise, or on creative ways to use your products, or on selecting suitable vendors. Free reports on any topic that is related to your website are very good at attracting visitors.

If you don’t have your own download available, or the time to write one yourself, there are many free ones available on the Internet that you can add to your blog. In the long run, however, it’s better to offer your own exclusive pdf or downloadable files, as they won’t be available anywhere else. If you use affiliate sites for your downloads, they can be linked to your blog as well.

Write Internet articles. Take every opportunity to write guest articles for other websites, newsletters, and blogs. Many bloggers, newsletter editors, and webmasters will happily offer the chance for you to be a guest columnist on their blogs, newsletters, or sites.

Simply offer to write a guest column, or an article for a few bloggers and webmasters. Start with a few people who you know. They are the most likely to agree to your offer. They will appreciate the added content, which will help them to gain more keyword strength in the search engine rankings.

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Be sure to include a short biography of yourself, and your blog URL. Include a live clickable link back to your blog. You will receive a lot of visitors, as people will already be familiar with your advice and expertise, based on the article itself.

Get your blog included in as many free or low cost directories as possible. An exhaustive list of blog only directories, including various RSS directories, can be found here.

Along with the standard Internet blog directories, be sure to include the Open Directory Project (DMOZ) and Yahoo Directory in your submission plans. Note that DMOZ has become very blog friendly, and has even added a weblog category.

Don’t overlook the very small and specialized directories, related specifically to your field of business. There are also many free blog directories that are a must for all bloggers.

All of these directories are free. They may not provide a lot of traffic individually, but collectively can create some welcome added visitors to your blog. 

Don’t neglect finding visitors from offline sources

Write a press release for distribution to the news media. If your business is doing anything that could be considered newsworthy, be sure to send a press release to the appropriate media outlets. News releases could point out new executive additions or substantial increases in staffing, expansion plans, new products, or a business anniversary.

Be sure to write the press release as a news item, and not as an advertisement, if you want it published. Think like a news editor and offer stories that the publication would want to print.

When you send the release, be certain to include all of your business details, especially all of the ways you can be reached for an interview. Include your blog URL on all of your press releases. As an added bonus, all of your news releases can be archived on your site. They will provide added keyword rich content for being found by the search engines.

{mospagebreak title=Do some old fashioned face to face networking}

Visit with as many groups in your community as you possibly can, prior to joining. Some groups are more educationally oriented, some are mainly in search of volunteers, and others are interested in facilitating business contacts. Learn as much as you can about the group, its support for business networking, the quality of its leadership, and its general tone.

Once you choose the groups you wish to join, become involved in their activities. Sign up as a volunteer on a few of their committees. If at all possible, select one that has some relation to your field of business.

Be seen as a helpful person and a strong business resource. If people view you as an expert, willing to share advice freely in your area of business, they will gravitate towards you for ideas and assistance. It also serves to keep your name and business visible to them.

Be certain that your blog URL is included on all of your business cards, brochures, and other promotional materials. Visitors to your site will follow.

Use a little word of mouth advertising. Simply tell everyone you know about your website. Give them incentive to tell others by doing a little viral marketing. Have something humorous or interesting to send around the Internet, via email or instant messenger.

People love to spread the word, often to their entire mailing list. Make certain a link to your blog is included as part of the marketing message. Use word of mouth marketing to your advantage.

Watch your blog visitor counter explode with new visitors.
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