The key to monetizing any blog is traffic! Generally the more traffic you have the greater earning potential your blog has. There are a few ways to gain traffic for free and that tends to be what people start with. Eventually you will need to consider getting paid advertising as that converts better and is not as time consuming, but here are four ways you can gain traffic without spending a dime.
Comment on blogs
This is a great way to gain traffic to your blog if you do it right. Doing it right is the key. You want to leave a comment that will stay posted, contribute something to the blog you are commenting on, and intrigue others into visiting you (both the blog writer and readers). If your comment is spam then the blog owner will probably delete it. There are some comments that are obvious spam. Those types of comments simply leave a link and sometimes also say something entirely off topic. Those comments are promptly deleted. Other comments are spam like, but are sometimes left up. They do not entice me to visit the blog though (and probably do not entice many readers to either). Those types of comments are cut and paste comments that are left on every blog. Things like “hi I am here from such and such, come see me” and “I like your blog I have been reading for hours come visit me”.
If you leave a comment then say something about the post you are leaving the comment on. It proves to the blog owner that you read the post. Cut and paste comments are just spam. They add nothing to the blog and very seldom will bring readers to your blog, in fact they will often get deleted. Always leave something that shows you actually took the time to read something on the blog (preferably the post itself).
Blog carnivals are a great way to get your blog noticed and increase traffic. Submit your best posts to a carnival and if it is included then you will get back links and traffic. A blog carnival is just a group of posts about one topic. A host compiles them all into one post. There are thousands of carnivals listed at Blog Carnival so find one that matches your blog and the post you want to submit and give it a shot!
Attracting traffic via awards can work. Blog awards are button graphics that are passed around blogs for something about a blog. You can create your own award or use one that is already out there. They usually come with instructions on what to say and how many bloggers to pass the award to.
Many blogs completely ignore these awards so they are not the greatest form of traffic. However, I was able to increase my traffic quite a bit using these awards and a few basic rules.
- When you leave a blogger an award don’t just say “I gave you the such and such award, come pick it up”. It is a cut/paste comment that will be ignored. Say something that shows you read the post you are commenting on. At the end you can mention the award and maybe even throw in why you gave it to them. Make it genuine.
- Choose the blogs you leave the award at carefully. This was my strategy:
- 2 blogs that were larger than me (not so large that they would ignore me though) and closely related to my own blog. These bloggers tended to come back to my blog to check it out and I would get some sort of a response. It would be a comment, a follow, and sometimes a link. The links were usually to a post of mine (not the award) that they found when they headed over to my site, which converted more traffic.
- 2-3 that were small or just starting out. These bloggers were appreciative of the award and the blogs that still existed months later remembered that I searched them out and sent traffic. I would get loyal followers and good blogging friends out of this group. These bloggers would re-post the award and pass it to new blogs.
- The rest (depending on the number for the award) were about the same size as me. This group was actually the most fickled. They either ignored it or passed it on (leaving a link to my site).
- Write something about the blog you are leaving the award for. Don’t just leave a list of links! Say something about them. One or two sentences is fine. Head over to their blog and pick out a post that you love and talk about it, say something about their writing style. It can be anything you want, but make sure there is something more than a plain link. If they click from your (genuine) comment then they will see that you took the time to read their blog and recommend it to your readers. They are then more appreciative and more likely to give you a link, comment, and follow!
Follow those tips and passing awards to other bloggers can increase your traffic.
This is one of the best forms of free traffic. Find a blogger in your niche who is willing to take your guest post. Write a unique (not posted anywhere else) post for that bloggers blog. At the end include a little blurb about yourself and a link back to your blog. The link will increase your search engine rank. The post itself and blurb about yourself will increase the traffic back to your blog. Often times, large blogs are willing to take guest posts from much smaller blogs as long as it is high quality. This can really get your name out there as an authority in your subject.
Keep in mind that you are a guest at that blog. If they give you rules then follow them (word count, types of links, length of bio). Do not send them spam. Do not send them a post that is already on your blog or post the same post again at another guest blog.
Free traffic does exist. It just takes a lot of time! But, when you are growing your blog you do not always have the income to throw at paid advertising. You can use comments, awards, guest posting, and carnivals to increase your traffic for free.
TASK – Submit your post to a blog carnival, comment on 10 different blogs, and email a blog in your niche inquiring if they accept guest posts. It’s a big day, but it will be worth it!
Today you can gain an extra entry into the giveaways by letting us know what carnival you submitted your post to.
Monday we will talk about using button and link exchange systems to attract traffic and page rank.