Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Five Ways to Increase Your Blog's Page Views

Graph showing Blog Page Views

So you started a blog. What's the secret to increasing its page views? This blog is tiny compared to many, but happily, it's going in an upward direction. 


This blog bumped along until a year ago, when I made a concerted effort to post more consistently and increase my exposure. Here are five things I did that helped increase my page views and readership:



1.  Add Internal Links to Improve Site Stickiness

Sticky situation illustration
© 2012 Sylvia Liu

When people land on a post, I want them to stay on my site and read other content, so I: 

  • Add related links to each post. I add links to 2 or 3 similar posts at the end of every article. Plug ins are available for Wordpress and Blogger that do this automatically (for example, nrelate), but I prefer to add relevant links manually. 
  • Link to my own content whenever possible. If I refer to a previous post, I link to it.
  • Create permanent pages. Older posts get lost in the ether, even with the use of tags. To keep good content available, I create page tabs such as "Artist/Writer Info" and "Reviews" that are always visible under my banner. 
When I did this in September 2011, my page views doubled, as people stuck around to explore other parts of the blog.


2. Improve SEO to Improve Search Results

SEO illustration
© 2012 Sylvia Liu

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means organizing your site and writing your articles with search engines like Google in mind. Your goal is to have your site placed highly in search results (the top slots on the first page). I'm not an SEO expert, but I try to:
  • Make images SEO friendly by renaming them. Search engines will crawl image file names, so it's better to save files as relevantkeyword.jpg than IMG_001589.jpg. This is particularly helpful if you are an artist or illustrator and would like your images to show up in searches.
  • Tag photos with "title" and "alt" text. I take advantage of Blogger's "Properties" tags, which allow me to add additional text that is picked up by search engines. To get to the Properties box, click the Properties tag on the menu bar that shows up when you add an image:
 Clicking on it will open this form, which I fill with SEO-friendly text:


3.  Use Social Networks to Attract Readers

Illustration on social networks
© 2012 Sylvia Liu

If you build it, they won't necessarily come. Here are two things I do to bring readers to my blog:
  • Spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. When I publish a post that I think people would be interested in, I link to it on my other social media sites. I don't do it for every post, and I don't link to them ad nauseum, but Twitter and Facebook have turned into reliable sources of readers. Every once in awhile I repost older popular posts.

4. Actively Connect With Others in Niche

Holding hands illustration
© 2012 Sylvia Liu
This is probably the secret sauce. Once I started interacting with others and participating in my niche, my blog's viewership steadily grew. Here are some of the things I've done this past year:
  • Participate in a comment challenge. In January, I joined Mother Reader's comment challenge, which asked participants to leave 5 comments on blogs each day for 20 days. All participants were children's book bloggers, so I met interesting people in my field. It did take time to read and comment on blogs, but I discovered some great blogs, and leaving comments led people back to my blog.
  • Post to Illustration Friday. Illustration Friday is a weekly forum where illustrators create and post illustrations based on a prompt, and the illustrations link back to their blogs or websites.  
  • Be generous when networking. I like interviewing and featuring other illustrators or artists, because they have something valuable to share. The side effect of highlighting others is that they bring their followers to the site when they share the interview.

    For example, when I blogged about #Storyappchat, a weekly Twitter chat about children's story apps (#storyappchat), many of those I linked to retweeted or brought readers to the story.

5. Create Useful Content, Keep it Interesting, and Post Regularly

© 2012 Sylvia Liu

My most popular posts have been posts where I share Blogger tips. That makes sense, as they are of broadest interest, and they provide concrete tips that readers can immediately put to use (for example, how to add social icons to your blog).

The posts that I most enjoy creating, however, are the ones where I share my art or thoughts on life. The key for me is to keep myself interested and motivated to blog. It's great if I can find an audience that shares my interests, but even if I don't, at least I haven't wasted my time doing something I don't enjoy.

I also try to post at least once or twice a week, which brings back repeat visitors. Last month, I posted more frequently as part of 30-day art challenge (Sweet Squares), which resulted in an even greater increase in page views.

And a Parting Thought:  

It takes time. It's hard to expect a blog to take off immediately. This blog had a year and a half of sporadic and then somewhat steady posts before I started seeing more traffic. In the last few months, I've had a big jump in page views. It's either because the blog finally has reached the point where its popular posts are showing up in the prime spots of Google search results, or it's attracted the notice of Russian spambots.

   ... unless it doesn't. If you have a great idea and determination, you certainly can make an immediate splash. For example, fellow 12x12x12 writer Elizabeth Omlor started a blog called Banana Peelin' featuring picture book authors' initial stumbles into the world of publishing, that was immediately successful.

66 comments:

  1. You are my go- to person for blogging tips (and inspiring artwork). You never fail me. Your post is full of helpful information. The permanent page suggestion is a great idea. I never thought of that. Yours is packed with great info. And the info on improving SEO is good too. That is always a confusing topic for me. Thank you, Sylvia!

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    1. Thank you, Romelle! I truly appreciate your support.

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  2. Lots of good tips. If only my dog, Cupcake could get it together enough to follow some of them...... :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure Cupcake can handle it; she (he?) is doing a fine job blogging.

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  3. Thanks for all of the great tips. My blog has been growing slowly but steadily over the past 10 months or so. Now I have even more ideas to try.

    FYI... these suggestions work, people! I landed here during the comment challenge last January. I subscribed so I get new posts in my inbox. I don't always click through to comment (which means my readership won't show up in Google analytics), but I do read the posts. Don't forget that Feedburner can tell you who's getting it in their inbox.

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    1. I'm so glad we've been able to connect through the comment challenge, and it's great to put a name/face to the people who subscribe to my posts by email. Good point about Feedburner as a source of info.

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  4. Yes this is a great blog full of tips. Thanks Sylvia, have now subscribed.

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  5. These are great tips -- some of them I'd not thought of before. Thanks!

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  6. thanks !! :) really good article for me because i'm new on blogger and i like to write short stories. do you know any site where i can participate ??

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    Replies
    1. Hi Vinay. I'm sorry, I don't know that much about the short story online community. I bet a google search for publishing short stories online will get you started with some sites where you could submit or publish your work. You could also publish your stories on your blog. As you interact with others in the genre you are working in, you can attract viewers to your stories.

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  7. Great tips. Thanks so much. The writing blog much harder to draw a crowd than my travel blog.

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  8. I stumbled across this post on twitter - lots of great tips! Thank you so much for sharing!!

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  9. When referring to renaming images with keywords for SEO is there a way to do this if they have already been posted to your blog?

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    1. I don't think there's an easy way to do this. You can pick a few of your most popular posts or the ones that you want picked up by search engines and repost the photos (delete the image and replace it with a renamed image). You can go back to existing images and add the "properties" information by going into the edit/draft mode and clicking on the image.

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  10. Yes, I did update the properties on all of the images. Thanks for all your great tips!

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  11. I think adding related article links in the middle of your article increases click through rate .Also hyper-linking keywords with others articles helps to retain visitors a little bit longer .Adding funny pictures also aid you to attract visitors attention . OnSide.in

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  12. Really good article. Rewriting old articles is a great tip.

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  13. Shouldn't the "video as part of content" note be included? It's what those video production company los angeles bosses always have their staff do for their clients, so that could help startup bloggers too.

    Bridget Hall

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  14. I am very new to blogging and this is def a great help. It feels good to read that people actually take a year or so for their blog to flourish. It's a competitive world out there. Thanks for writing!

    My Blog - My Neonish Life

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. My personal blogging motto is to only do it if you enjoy it, because otherwise it will be hard to continue for the long haul. Good luck!

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  15. I have a 2 months old blog which is getting 60-80 page views, but the it is kind of constant. I hope the tips provided by you will help me to increase the no. of viewers to 100+ daily. http://prasantmishra.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. That sounds like a good number for a 2-month old blog. Good for you!

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  16. Awesome tips! My blog is 1 year+ and I'm finally getting 600+ page views per day. Hoping to increase that to 1000+ each day by the end of summer.

    Thanks for the info!

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  17. Thanks fr the hlpful tips... My blog is a month old with 600 pageviews is it gud pls tell me...
    www.elegantbeautyforgals.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Angel. Your blog looks very nice, and for being a month old, 600 page views is great. It takes time to build up a larger following but keep at it.

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    2. Thnks so mch for ua reply...it means lot to me... :)

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  18. This is very helpfull. Thank you.

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  19. Besides all I do social sharing a lot and get huge response too.......

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  20. Hi Sylvia. I came to your blog via the Comment Challenge and noticed your post about Will Terry. It seems everywhere I have gone on the internet in the past week - I've run into Will Terry. He has some great information.trustwebsitehostingreviews.com/
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with his classes!

    ReplyDelete
  21. This article is incredibly smart . I would like to add some tips to get more page views to the blog :

    1. Post frequently - It’s always better to maintain a proper posting schedule for your .

    2. Use social networks: Don’t hesitate to promote your in social networks

    3. Make your load faster

    4. Guest posting: It’s the effective way to improve your traffic/readers.

    5. Do some seo techniques to increase traffic for you

    For example : Include the HTML code snippet in to your blog to increase traffic.
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    Replies
    1. Thanks for these additional great tips.

      Delete
  22. it's great and i have also blog errorless-c.blogspot.com for c programming tutorials.

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  23. how to improve my that blog http://imageshutterduniya.blogspot.in/

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  24. Very nice guide, your blog has taught me a lot thanks to you I have a proffesional looking blog, now all that's left is to generate traffic. Thanks a lot for the guide!
    http://www.theticgaming.blogspot.com/

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  25. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by; glad it was useful.

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  26. Hi! I've just started a blog as an illustrator and I've found this post very helpful! Thank you so much for all the tips ;)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Lots of good tips. If only my dog Ideologi pancasila, Cupcake could get it together enough to follow some of them

    ReplyDelete
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  40. Nice post. Please how did you do your header and navbar like that on blogger

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    1. Hi- to remove the navigation bar, check out this post: http://www.sylvialiuland.com/2012/05/how-to-remove-blogger-navigation-bar.html

      To change the header, check out this post: http://www.sylvialiuland.com/2012/01/7-ways-to-get-blogger-blog-to-look-and.html

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