by: Carol Bryant
The first word in social media says it all. If you want traffic to your blog, you want the numbers to go up, and you want to see an increase in your site's visitors, be social. That's it.
Yes, SEO, a clean layout, proper grammar and punctuation, stellar images, a catchy headline coupled with smashing content are all important. If you do all those things and then sit in silence as crickets chirp and birds sing but your comment boxes remain in a black hole, what good is it?
It sounds easy and it is, but it's the consistency that counts. Thankfully, BlogPaws has a few tools in place to make it easier to be social. After all, we all get annoyed by that person at work or the cocktail party that constantly talks about themselves and wonders why no one listens. Here's what to do:
Run, don't walk to the next Wordless Wednesday blog hop. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, blog hops are just that: pet bloggers link up a post they wrote containing mostly photos (hence the Wordless Wednesday title) and then they share that post. The idea is to showcase all the posts for that one day, Wednesday, together on one page. As a blogger, you hop - or visit - from URL to URL and engage with people, leave a comment, get to know them.
This is called being social. I cannot begin to tell you how many times someone asks me how they can get more traffic. Be social. Even if someone does not reply to your blog, still reach out and comment on theirs. Or other blogs both within your niche and outside (yes, outside) of it.
We'll be releasing a step by step video tutorial this week of how exactly to get linked up to a blog hop, but it is oh so easy. There are well over 150 people who participate weekly in the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday hop: You need to be one of them. I sit and comment on the majority of the blogs every week. It has helped me to meet people, learn more about them, get information I otherwise might have missed, and gain more followers in turn. People see me commenting, so they come and comment on my blog. There's that whole "social" element of social media at it's finest taking place in blog hops.
BlogPaws' own Kristin Dewey wrote a step-by-step tutorial on how to engage in a blog hop. I am also available to answer questions about them during the BlogPaws Community chat on Thursday, 08/12 from 8 to 10 pm EST.
Follow Bloggers Regularly and Comment
If you've commented and connected with people on Wordless Wednesday, you can start following them regularly. I do this with the help of a blog feeder like BlogLovin. Other folks prefer RSS and some like to subscribe via email, so be certain you have a variety of options available.
I choose 5-10 blogs per day to comment on, and in the course of my business day and in my evening hours, if I stumble on a tweet or Facebook post, I comment there, too. In fact, I tend to get more comments on my microblog pages than my blog itself. Some folks are just more tuned in to comment in a microblog capacity. And this doesn't bother me: Traffic is traffic, right?
You can't worry if folks don't comment on your blog and you took the comment to comment on theirs. Don't make your blogging journey one of demanded reciprocation. Just do your thing, be social, and stay in the loop.
Interact on Twitter
I know, I know, just one more social media network, but it works. What good is having 5,000 followers if no one interacts with you, retweets you, or knows what you are all about?
It's easier and more convenient than ever to tweet: Timed tweets are the key. Set up tweets, check in once or twice a day, RT and connect on Twitter, and move on. Do you know how to set up a timed tweet in Hootsuite? There is no rule that you must spent exorbitant amounts of time on social media to stay current, in the loop, and for lack of a better word, popular.
Again, BlogPaws makes it easy by hosting Twitter chats with the hashtag #BlogPawsChat most Tuesdays from 8 to 10 pm est. You don't have to stay the whole time, you can pop in and out, drive by and mingle, or stay the whole time. Just like a real life chat, the traffic moves in and out and people come and go.
I've had folks tell me they don't have time for Twitter or to come to the chats and then they moan and complain that their traffic is down. You need to make time for social media.
Stay tuned for a detailed video on how to get the most out of a Twitter chat, but in the meantime, our very own Cokie the Cat's mom, Kristin Dewey, has a great step-by-step tutorial for Twitter chats.
This entire post is about driving traffic to your blog in one easy step and continuing on the social avenue of it all is community. Think about your own neighborhood. If you know people, it is because somewhere along the way you connected with them. The same holds true for a blogging community.
I cannot stress enough the importance of coming to a place where nearly 3,000 people have joined and then finding a group that suits your needs, questions, and a place to call home. In fact, if you are already a BlogPaws Community Member and are lost about what to do or how to maximize your experience, we've started a video series just for you.
Come to the BlogPaws Conference
With all of the above in place, you can culminate the social aspect of blogging by getting face-to-face and nose-to-nose with pet bloggers at the BlogPaws Conference. I've been there, done that, have a career with a passion for it: All because I decided to be social and live it daily.
Want blog traffic? Be social. It's as simple as that.