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After my last post, I realized I hadn’t delved into the many other ways to increase blog traffic.  Besides the contest angle, some of the other ways to attract visitors to your blog include posting regularly.  And of course, if you are a witty, inventive writer all the better.  By posting regularly and passionately you are more likely to have regulars who will return again and again to hear what you’re saying.  However, if they’ve visited once and then a week later, visit again only to find no updates, then they’ll be disappointed and not likely to return.

You can also discuss controversial issues.  Nothing stirs up interest like a good controversy. When the following cartoon appeared in the New York Post, bloggers everywhere found excellent blog fodder.

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Inviting guest speakers to post on your blog is another excellent way of increasing traffic.  For example, if your blog is a place where you discuss trends in make up, inviting a professional make up artist to blog about a new technique should inspire those with similar interests to stop by and visit.  This works best when you and the guest blogger post about the upcoming visit.  Then, those who have never heard of you but do follow your guest speaker will be led to your blog and become enamoured with your witty writing skills.

Another skill you need to develop when trying to increase blog traffic is that of creating a visually attractive post.  It is absolutely necessary to include pictures, charts, bullets, color etc. to keep your blog visually appealing.

This fascinating tip from SEOmoz on the importance of brand building with your blog

Possibly one of the most important aspects of all in blogging is brand-building. As Zefrank noted, to be a great brand, you need to be a brand that people want to associate themselves with and a brand that people feel they derive value from being a member. Exclusivity, insider jokes, emails with regulars, the occasional cat post and references to your previous experiences can be off putting for new readers, but they’re solid gold for keeping your loyal base feeling good about their brand experience with you. Be careful to stick to your brand – once you have a definition that people like and are comfortable with, it’s very hard to break that mold without severe repercussions. If you’re building a new blog, or building a low-traffic one, I highly recommend writing down the goals of your brand and the attributes of its identity to help remind you as you write.

Another important factor to remember when trying to increase traffic, is to write simple, but catchy title tags so that those who subscribe to your blog will be curious but not overwhelmed. Making sure to use the right tag words both in your title and throughout your blog is essential for search engines to find you, also.  Running your title through a couple of search engines may help you find a way to improve your wording in order to receive more hits.

The top things to remember when encouraging blog visits would be to keep it simple, witty, visually interesting, tag worthy, interesting (through contest, guest bloggers, etc) and mostly remember to write passionately.

afrog

I’ve always had this goofy idea of creating some kind of product that fills a need where no other product can.  I’ve come up with the idea of a frog feeder.  Now don’t laugh and don’t rip off my idea!   I’m sure you’ve seen on the gardening and DIY shows how popular water gardening has become.  Nearly every home shown now has a water feature.  When I built my water garden several years ago we soon found that one of the most enjoyable creatures to visit were frogs.  Since we spent so much time working around the pond, these frogs got used to us and we eventually had them eating  worms right from our hands.

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Now most frogs won’t do this, so I thought why not invent a frog feeder?  I knew I could toss worms onto lily pads where most of the time the frogs would see them, but occasionally the worms would slide into the water and end up as fish food.  What a waste of worm!   I decided that a floating platform with shallow sides would be a perfect frog feeder. Make it colorful and landscape friendly and voila!  The product you never thought you needed!   Now that I have my great idea, I need to know how to market my frog feeder on my web site.

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One of the first things one needs to do when going online with their business venture is  to make their web site  search-engine friendly.  This is referred to as search engine optimization or SEO and means that you want your web site to rank high in the list of returns when a search is performed.   An article  from Allbusiness.com offers these tips to get started–

* Links from other sites: Search engine spiders move from site to site across the Internet by following hyperlinks. The more high quality and high trafficked sites you have pointing to your site, the more important the search engine will think you are. Make sure to register your site with directories such as Yahoo and the Open Directory Project.
* Internal links: Make sure your site is well-organized and easy to navigate. A site map will help visitors – and spiders – navigate your site.

* Meta tags: Meta tags are hidden HTML directions for Web browsers or search engines. They include important information such as the title of each page, relevant keywords describing site content, and the description of the site that shows up when a search engine returns a search. Make sure your meta tags accurately describe your content.
* Keywords: Consider likely words or phrases that users might type into search engines to find your site. Make sure your content contains those words or phrases, and include them in your title portions of your site and in relevant content.

I think for a start that a web site should very carefully prepare any copy used to make sure that they have used keywords that will lead search engines to the site.  So for Frog Feeders, Inc. the web site copy should contain words that are relevant to Frog Feeders–like frogs, feeders, worms, water gardens, ponds, hobby, fun, etc.  Using these words effectively within the web site’s copy will lead more people to the site.  Some may come for pond information and discover that they really need a frog feeder!  And that’s what we want!