How To Get Your First Blog Visitors

This is a guest post by Sam who is a blogger and a contributing writer for Quick Sprout. If you’d like to write a guest post please contact me.

Every new blogger starts out at the same place: with a website, a dream and no traffic. Most blog failures occur before a single visitor views the website, so although this can be a time of experimentation, it’s also a time of urgency. Getting over that most difficult hump and drawing in your first visitors through Google can take months, but you can build your readership much more quickly by taking things into your own hands and spreading the word yourself.

Focus on Quality

When you’re just starting out, it can be tempting to publish a hundred different posts on bland, keyword-targeted subjects meant to bring in search engine traffic. Unfortunately, if your website is new you are probably doing yourself more harm than good. Google places a certain priority on the age of a website, meaning you’re unlikely to rank highly for any keyword for at least a month. In the meantime, you’ll have a blog that’s dry, boring and clearly commercialized.

Because of this, the first few weeks after a blog goes live should be spent attracting visitors by word of mouth. Many readers hesitate to subscribe to a new blog because so many shut down a month or two after starting up. In order to combat this, your blog needs to be jam-packed with exciting, fresh content that will have others dying to share it. Post regularly, but not so often that you burn yourself out. As time goes on, you’ll settle into the blogging schedule and voice that works for you.

What is good content? Nobody wants to read an encyclopedia entry on every little topic in your niche. If they did, they’d read an encyclopedia. Blogging is a platform for expressing yourself and helping others. Even a business blog will have a personal style and tone to it. Write like you care about the subject, which you should, and are personally interested in it, and readers will pick up on your enthusiasm.

Get Involved in the Community

Once your blog has several good posts ready to share, it’s time to find some readers! The best place to start is on blogs similar to your own. These blogs have readers that are interested in your niche, and bloggers generally encourage discussion and sharing in their comment sections. Leaving your name and URL in a comment will alert readers to your blog’s presence, and you’re sure to get a few curious clicks.

Remember, it’s a lot easier to pick up a bad reputation than it is to earn a good one. Always leave full, relevant responses to blog posts, and take the time to read others. Planting a link is only one benefit of interacting with the community, and getting involved in discussions can help you establish yourself as a dedicated and knowledgeable blogger.

There are other ways to get your blog out there, most notably social media websites. Services such as StumbleUpon can bring sharp spikes of traffic, but are usually poor for driving in a dedicated readership. Twitter, on the other hand, can be a valuable tool if used properly. You may want to start a new account for the blog, or share it on an established Twitter account. Don’t just tweet a URL to your latest posts; instead, spend time responding to tweets and following others. Facebook automatically shares blog updates to interested friends and family, who can in turn share it with their circle of contacts. However, you should focus most of your efforts on targeted readers, which can be difficult to accomplish on a social website like Facebook.

If you write quality content and successfully draw in a small group of returning readers, your blog will be well on its way to success. You can’t expect to have 500 blog visitors in your first month, but with patience and dedication there’s no limit to what you can achieve with nothing more than the internet, a computer and your own wits.

About the author: Sam is a blogger and a contributing writer for Quick Sprout, one of the leading marketing agencies. He takes a particular interest in topics pertaining to social media trends and SEO techniques.

Another Reason To Blog

Websites with 401 to 1,000 pages get SIX times more leads than those with 51 to 100 pages.

Websites with 401 to 1,000 pages get NINE times more visitors than those with 51 to 100 pages.

Websites with greater than 1,000 pages get EIGHT times more leads than those with 51 to 100 pages.

Pretty cool huh? An easy way to create pages is to create blog posts that provide value and are relevant to your target audience. There are even more stats f you think 400 Pages is out of your reach.

Websites with 31 to 40 pages get SEVEN times more leads than websites with 1 to 5 landing pages.

Websites with greater than 40 pages get 12 times more leads than those with 1 to 5 landing pages.

I saw this a while ago and forgot where it came from but wrote it down. Looking it up it comes from Hubspot’s Lead Generation Lessons From 4,000 Businesses.

How To Keep People On Your Blog For Longer

I had an excellent response from my newsletter request for questions (to sign up just use the form on the right or below), some of which I’ve responded to personally and some that I thought more could benefit. Two very smart people asked me the same question, essentially what are quick and easy ways to keep people on my blog longer?

“Quick and Easy” is the holy grail of course, and plugins always come to mind, so there are a few things a blogger can do.

Check your stats

If you have a stats/analytics program installed (like the excellent free Google Analytics) you will be able to see some very useful information. Relevant for this question are:

Venus flytrap
  • Bounce rate. This is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. We can use this to measure visit quality – a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren’t relevant to your visitors.
  • Time spent on site. This is simply the amount of time spent on your site divided by the number of visitors. A low tie on site may mean people aren’t finding relevant content, or it’s not interesting enough.
  • Where visitors are coming from. A high proportion of visitors from search engine traffic usually means a higher bounce rate and less time on site.
  • Search keywords. What words are users searching for that are finding your site. Are they relevant to your site’s content?

These all link into our next point.

Write Relevant Content

You’re probably sick of people telling you to write good unique content. Well it’s still good advice, but it’s also good advice to write articles on the same topic. If a user comes to your site from a search for foreign coins, but finds the rest of your site is about handbags, they’ll not likely to hang around long.

Landing Pages Plugin

This plugin will recognise when a visitor has arrived from a search engine, and suggest other articles on your site based on the term they searched for. This can be downloaded from the Landing Sites plugin page →.

Related Posts Plugin

Similar to the above, but puts related posts at the end of each post, this gives a reader somewhere to go once they have finished reading your post. Related Posts plugin →.

What Would Seth Godin Do? Plugin

Seth Godin is an internet SEO guru who advocates using cookies to distinguish between new and returning visitors to your site. This plugin displays a small box above each post to new visitors containing the words “If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!” After 3 visits the message disappears. What Would Seth Godin Do Plugin →.

If you have any more questions please let me know. For more tips, sign up for my free weekly newsletter, by filling in the form below.

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