Yesterday, was my blog’s one-month blogaversary and the biggest surprise of my day was logging in and seeing that Books are Delicious had reached 600 followers. Winter Bayne and Ameliaormia have asked me how I managed to get so many followers so quickly and wanted to know if I had any tips. I’m no expert, but here are some of the things I have done to increase traffic to my blog.
1.Be a Follower: Find blogs similar to your own and follow them. Whenever I see a list of book bloggers or author blogs, I always check them out and add the ones I like. I will also go to the WP Reader and run a search for ‘book reviews’ and ‘author’ to find new blogs that interest me. In addition to finding great new blogs, many of these bloggers end up following my blog in return.
In addition to following, take a few minutes a day to go through the reader and comment on posts. This shows the blogger and their followers that you have something to say about topics that interest you both and will draw new followers to your blog.
To get you started, check out my list of my favorite bloggers.
2. Follow by Email: Under Settings>>Reading make sure you have the box checked to show the Follow button to logged out users. This will create a pop-up button at the bottom of their screen to follow your blog by email. Then go to Appearance>>Widgets to add a Follow by Email button to your page. I put mine in my sidebar towards the top to make it easy to find.
3. Make Your Blog Easy to Follow: When you comment or follow a blog many people will want to visit your blog and follow you back. For this reason, it is important that you link your profile to the blog you want people to follow. To make sure yours are linked, click on your Gravatar image at the top right-hand corner of your dashboard or go to My Account>>Public Profile and then scroll down to My Sites. If your site is not listed there, click the Add WordPress Site button.
5. Google+: Take full advantage of the WP sharing features. You can find these in your dashboard under settings and then scroll down to sharing. First, connect your Google+ profile to your account. This will give you an author profile at the bottom of your posts and will list you as the author in Google searches, so if someone stumbles upon one of your posts they can click on your name or your photo and be connected to all of your other posts.
2. Publicize: Under your sharing settings, you will find Publicize. This connects your blog to other social media, giving people interested in your blog more ways to follow. I wanted to make my blog as easy to follow as possible so I set up a Facebook page, a Twitter, a Path, a Tumblr and connected to my Google+. Now when I hit the Publish button on WP my post automatically shows up on these social media pages as well. This is great particularly because WP doesn’t show up in Google search results nearly as well as Tumblr or Facebook. It also makes it easier for people to follow your blog without having to create a WP account. An added bonus is that, like the ‘Follow by Email’ option, any followers you gather through Publicize add to your total follower count.
6. Post Frequently and Be Consistent: The more you post, the more frequently you show up in search engines and the WP Reader. I try not to go more than three days without posting. Consistency is also important. When I visit a new blog, I scroll down to find out what the blog is about. If the blogger is consistently posting about topics that interest me, I will follow their blog.
On a side note, it helps to have a blog title that clearly states what your blog is about. My original blog title was my name. Once I changed it to Books are Delicious, my follower count went up dramatically. Probably because they were like, “she likes books? I like books! I should follow this blog.” But I’m not a psychic. It could have been just because they were hungry and my new title has the word delicious in it.
7. Let the Spiders Get You: Spiders are what search engines use to generate results. To make sure the spiders have indexed your site you can do a few things. First, go to your WP settings>>Reading and make sure under Site Visibility you have the box checked allowing search engines to index your site. Then to cover all your bases, submit your site to search engines like Bing and Google (you can click on these links to submit your site).
8. Don’t Forget to Tag: I think tagging is a boring chore but it’s an important one. Make sure you are adding relevant tags. I’m still working on this one myself so I’m linking two articles that do a great job of explaining how to tag effectively. The first is from ManageWPBlog. The second from About.com.
9. Participate in Memes & Awards: Memes are great. Not only do they offer ideas for new topics, they also connect your post to bloggers with similar interests. The Broke and Bookish and Should be Reading host great memes for book bloggers. I received a Liebster Award and got many new followers from my post. The Liebster award is great because it gives readers a chance to get to know you better. Also, if someone nominates you many of their followers will begin following you based on the recommendation.
10. Post Links to Your Blog EVERYWHERE: If you post on Goodreads include links at the end of your posts to your blog, Netgalley? Add your website to your profile. Print it on your business cards if you have them. When people talk about topics you write about, tell them where to find your blog (it helps if your blog address is simple). Also, find directories for bloggers like you and add yourself. Here are a few book bloggers ones: Book Blogger Directory, YA Book Blog Directory, The Book Blog Directory, and for authors Wise Words.
I hope these tips are of some use to you. Like I said, I am by no means an expert, these are just a few of the things that have helped me and that I picked up from my web design experience. Use them, toss them out, print them and line your bird cage with them if that’s what floats your boat.
Now I want to hear from you, what tips do you have for increasing traffic to your site?