Getting More Traffic On Your Blog

My husband, Vince, asked, “Why are you interested in more people visiting your website, anyway?  Don’t you have enough?  Do you want everybody to love you?

No, I'm not quitting my day job.

That’s a thought-provoking conversation really.  My short answer – YES!   I love all my blogging/Facebook/email/Twitter/face-to-face friends.  Here’s my problem.  I get a little green when I visit a new blogger 2 months into it, and they already have 2,731 followers, or they have 492 likes on their About page.  Once in a while I think, “Wow that is a cool About page.”  More likely I think, “That wasn’t a bad About page, but 597 likes???  What am I doing wrong here?   I know – childish, but I’m being honest here.

Mom and I when she was 61, and I wasn't.
Mom and I when she was 61, and I wasn’t.  And yes, it was July, and we were freezing!

Eventually I would like somebody to notice my blog and say to me, “Marsha, you are such an awesome blogger, would you mind if we bought some of your material?”  OK, I do get “awesome blog here” every day from spammers, but it’s not jump starting my  writing/photography career.

Blah sky photoshopped into blue.
Blah sky photoshopped

What really got me ranting to Leanne Cole a couple of days ago was a blog that a young woman started only 4 months ago with advice on “How to earn money from your blog.”  I thought, “Sure, I’d like to earn money for doing what I love.”  I played the video – no advice.  I clicked the email for a video with free advice – no advice, but there was a beautiful picture of her. That was bad enough, but in the many comments on her About page were things like, “Thanks, you helped me so much!”  …… REALLY???

Marsha Lee aged 17
Marsha Lee aged 17

So last night Leanne Cole, a wonderful blogging friend for about a year, and I chatted for an hour.  She has some really good tidbits, and she has lots of visitors to her site.  We came up with a list of things we both like about blogs, some of which I am not doing.

Tips for Writing

  1. Keep the post to about 500 words.  (HARD!!)
  2. Place only one picture between each SHORT paragraph.  You have about 30 seconds to wow everyone. Never have only 1 long paragraph.
  3. Stay away from black backgrounds and small lettering – hard to read.
  4. Have a schedule and be predictable.  Consistently write about certain things on certain days.

Tips for Drawing Readers

  1. Liking people’s posts brings them to visit yours.
  2. Look at blogs in the reader.
  3. Read with a purpose.  If your purpose is photography, find ones with pictures. My personal favorite is longer blogs with a great story.
  4. Skim if it’s a long article.

Improvement # 1:  a schedule for my main blog (this one.)

  • Mondays -
  • Tuesdays-
  • Wednesdays-
  • Thursdays-
  • Fridays-
  • Weekends-

What do you think so far?  OK here are my topic choices.  Please vote!!!

p.s. word count 473!

81 thoughts on “Getting More Traffic On Your Blog”

      1. I look forward to what you are going to do. Although, remember it is your blog and it is ultimately up to you what you do with it. I will still come to it no matter what you do with it

        Like

  1. I think you should also blog about this, how you want a bigger readership, and what you do, not just in this post, but make it a series, I think there would be a lot of people interested in that, and you will also get some great advice from people, I am doing that with starting this business, and I get some wonderful advice from my readers.

    Like

  2. I like this advice, Marsha. I agree with them all except for #4 (only because I’m SO unpredictable with my posts). As far as the dark background goes – I can’t read them regardless of the size of the font because those pages hurt my eyes (yes – I sound like a princess here, but I have astigmatisms in both eyes and the dark background/light writing plays havoc with me). This can be a bit of a shame because some really good bloggers have the dark background.

    I think it’s a bit weird that you read a blog on “how to make money from your blog”, yet there was no practical advice there – hmmm, maybe this person is getting paid for hits or something like you can on FB…

    I voted for more than one (hope you don’t mind) ;)

    Like

    1. Yeah! That’s Yay in Australian! I’m glad you did because there are 6 slots I need to fill! I have astigmatisms, too. That’s one reason I struggle so much with reading. I can wear my reading glasses, but … it’s a long sordid story. I’m just happy to have eyes! I worry about trying to be predictable, too, but I’m going to give it a try! :)

      Like

  3. I have stopped worrying about building the audience– it seems to grow slowly with each post I usually get another follower– but not necessarily a real blog “friend” that comments and likes my posts. I’ve never been Freshly Pressed and have stopped reading it and wondering why I haven’t been selected. I don’t do awards any more- they’re time consuming. I seem to be in a bit of a blog slump and don’t post enough.. .oh well. It will return. I say, write what you want and don’t worry about stats!

    Like

    1. I’ve been doing that, Lisa – writing what I like without worrying about the stats, but then I got in kind of a slump, too. I’m not big on being in the slumps, so this gives me a fresh start. Hope you enjoy it. I do try to get to all my blog friends, and I consider you one of those, and read back until I get caught up. Sometimes it takes me a while, but some people are special! :)

      Like

  4. Hi Marsha Lee,
    Loved your blog and posts and I really appreciate the practical advice you have given on getting more followers and likes. I also was debating this in my mind (as I am new in the blogosphere) and trying to understand how I could increase active participation and interest to my blog and ideally get Freshly Pressed one day, it has become one of my ambitions :)
    I met a great blogger the other day with quite an interesting blog, please visit his blog, he provides a lot of tips and helpful resources on writing and expanding your blog http://www.writewithwarnimont.com/about .
    Will keep visiting.
    Regards
    Nadine

    Like

    1. Thank your for your thoughtful comment. I will definitely check out his blog. I look forward to getting better acquainted with you as well. It means a lot when people take the time to write a comment. :) I have made many wonderful friends through my blog, and I know you will as well. :)

      Like

    2. Hi Nadine, I did check his website out briefly, and signed up for his emails. You are absolutely right. He has an awesome site, and really is helpful. I look forward to spending some time learning from him. Thanks for the recommendation! :) Marsha

      Like

      1. Thanks Marsha Lee. The beauty of this social community is that we learn from each other, and inspire one another which triggers different hidden talents and emotions and brings out the best in each and every one of us :)
        All the best
        Nadine

        Like

  5. First, I love the portrait of Vince. Very nice – and quite unique. I voted on several topics. ;-) I hope that wasn’t cheating. Good ideas for getting more traffic, Marsha. As for followers, two things help/helped me. One was being Freshly Pressed. My FP post was in response to the Weekly Challenge – not the daily. Every week they choose three or four of those post and FP them. Your odds are much better to be FP when you participate in those every week. I gained quite a few new followers from that. The other was simply searching topics here at WordPress and finding blogs I liked. I followed, commented, and stuck around because I genuinely liked the person/blog. Some people don’t follow back, but that’s ok. The more I put myself out there, the more followers I picked up.

    Like

    1. Great ideas Maddie, and you have been very successful at building your blog, and putting your brand out there. I agree so much with the part about sticking around because you genuinely like the person. I have made so many wonderful friends through blogging – including you! Thanks for the great ideas. :)

      Like

    1. Thanks Wanda. I put that in there as a joke, really. I mean this gal after all the hype, ends it with a big picture of herself. I’m sure the guys like it. Maybe it was just a ruse to get boyfriends!!!! hahaha So I’m giving my readers the best and only professional picture I have of me at my best. Even the hair didn’t turn out frizzy in the picture, but I remember it was day-afte-washday hair. Anyway, thanks!

      Like

  6. Marsha, I can never understand these people that get thousands of likes and followers within a few months of starting a blog!! I would be ranting about it too; obviously something fishy is going on! You give some great ideas. I keep trying to have a schedule myself, but lately, with my move from Oman underway, I can’t seem to stick to any kind of schedule. My favorite topic of yours: My sordid past as a young girl in Indianapolis then Portland, OR !! Fun!!! :-)

    Like

    1. hahaha It would be, Cathy. My favorite new blogger is one in which a father is blogging to his kids. His father or mother, I forget which, had alzheimer’s, and he wanted them to know how he got to what he became just in case he couldn’t remember. He had tons of followers, but to me his was worth following because it is a great blog. http://jtweaverblog.wordpress.com/ I bet you are down to counting minutes by now! :)

      Like

      1. That sounds like a great blog, Marsha. I just checked it out and followed it. Don’t we all write, really, to leave some kind of legacy? I know I do. Even if no one ever reads it…. Who knows; one day I could have Alzheimer’s and my kids can open my blog with pictures and say, “Don’t you remember this, Mom?” Or maybe one day they’ll care enough to know more about me….. That is why we all write, to be known, right? :-)

        Like

      2. I think it is. Like I told him, since I don’t have family – no kids – my blogging friends and other friends are my family. They may or may not care to know all the intimate details I share, but you never know until you share. It is interesting that as we form connections across the internet, we really do begin to care about each other, and invisible networks of concern begin to form. It’s amazing to me! :)

        Like

      3. You are so right, Marsha. Isn’t it interesting? And I love when I have the possibility to meet people with whom I’ve connected through blogging, as I will meet one fellow blogger in Spain and one in Portugal in the next month! :-)

        I think this is why people write in general, whether it’s a book, poem, story or blog: to make connections with other people who care to make the effort to read. Blogging has rewarded me so much in the last 3 years!

        Like

      4. Say hi to Ralph for me. He’s in Spain. I have only met one blogger in person, and that’s Russel Ray because he lives in San Diego. I was down there with friends, and he has his phone number on his blog, so I called him, and we met. It was fun! :) There are so many people I’d love to meet! :)

        Like

  7. Those points of advice are brilliant and really good. I do struggle with black backgrounds too and do not like blogs like that. Size also matters to me, I won’t read too long ones, and I like pictures in it. I think schedule doesn’t matter too much, it gives more pressure to the blogger. I for example have not enough time to post every day, I need to fit it in during a working day , house duties and children.
    I do wonder though too how someone get so many like snad followers in a month, it is always a mystery and I can’t believe it is true. I do not envy them as I think I could not handle so many anyway! Even one person matters and if only one person reads my post it would make me happy!
    And… before I forget… Marsha you are such an awesome blogger! I don’t want to use or sell your material, but I love you for who you are! My wonderful bogging friend! ♥

    Like

    1. You are so sweet, and you are m wonderful blogger friend as well. Who knew when we started this adventure that we would get so close and share so much? I have so much fun with you and Ralph, Manny and Danny. You are a special friend whom I cherish. :)

      Like

  8. I voted for more than one [sorry] there were no instructions :) There are so many opinions out there as to what makes a great blog. Some people don’t like the “sea of ink” and demand pictures, some people don’t like ink at all. I really don’t have any idea what makes a great blog except when I go there I want to read/see something that interests me, something that I can identify with, or maybe something that makes me laugh. If the writing and the story are compelling, I don’t really care how long it is. If the writing is bad I also don’t care how long it is, I won’t last long on that post. So if you can write a great post in 500 words, terrific. But if your post (thought) requires 1000 words then give it the whole nine yards!!

    I guess the question comes down to ‘who are you blogging for?’ Is the answer “I blog for myself”, “I blog for a specific audience”, or “I blog to get better at what I do”? I would say that before you attach limits on what you write and how you write you might want to first decide why you write?

    But for goodness sake Marsha DON’T STOP!!

    Like

    1. You are too kind! I love your blog, but unlike you, I don’t have children. So I blog for the public – really what Vince said is true. I like to be liked. I don’t have anyone other than you all to share my past, so in a way my blogging and face to face friends are my family. :)

      Like

      1. ah, the sister I never knew [sigh]. :) My Dad taught me that the essence and greatness of every story that you tell is directly proportional to what you have invested in it. That doesn’t mean you have to go overboard like I do, but the careful painting of events and situations brings out that personal investment that shows to all who hear [read] it. To me there is a Field of Dreams thing going on in blogging. You build it, they will come. You write great stuff and the 6th degree of separation will take care of the rest.

        Lastly, that was very kind of you to post and recommend my blog as one of your favorites. You disappeared for a few days and I thought I had lost you, glad you’re back. Oh, almost forgot, it’s 527, not 492. :) :)

        Like

      2. I wish I could get to all the bloggers that I have a real connection with every day. I don’t. What I do is what Russel Ray calls camping out. I try to start at the current post and read backwards to the post I left off reading during my previous visit. Sometimes it takes me a half hour or more to get back. In your situation, it will take me quite a while to read through all your posts. You can expect me back! :)

        Like

  9. Marsha … I love your world here as it’s – to have a lot of visitors – also means a lot of work and how much time do we have for blogging. Everyday I get about 140 emails about new posts – that means about hours of work, because for me is it not only to click “LIKE” and move on. To have 300 likes and not one comments … people just click “LIKE” from Reader without even visit you and read your post completly. What is the mean with that.
    I’m so happy with the amount of people that visit my world and … the time they give me .. *smile
    My blog isn’t going to change the world …

    Like

    1. Viveka,
      Good point! I guess my blog isn’t going to change the world either, but in reality, not many people have blogs who WILL change the world. I may have a little part in changing the world and making it a nicer place to live, and that would make me happy. :) Marsha :)

      Like

      1. You’re so right – I don’t think any blogs are going to make a massive difference; the fashion blogs can have some impact. But we can make people stop and think …
        I think we should have a blog that is us, written from the heart and not created because so many people as possible shall like it – and that our post will be read and not only clicked on.
        It’s fantastic when people read, they don’t have to like my post – but the main thing is that they have read it. *smile

        Like

      2. That’s a great attitude. I love it when people stop and chat like you do. It makes it so much more fun! You can tell when people don’t write things from the heart. :)

        Like

      3. V, I have several early posts with no interactions! Now I’m surprised when I look back and see numbers like 80 comments. That only happens rarely, but I love when it does! :) Marsha :)

        Like

  10. I found my readership really picked up after doing the A to Z Writing Challenge which sparked me to be more consistent with my blogging (4 -5 days/week). I try to keep my posts to about 300 – 400 words. Every Tuesday has a humor theme & I’m thinking of assigning another day to funny anecdotes about hubby & I as we age & lose our memories. A recent post like this got a great response & lots of my readers related to what I had written so I think they would find it interesting.

    Like

    1. I was going to do that challenge, but it was too much of a challenge for me at the time. I know that when I am going to do a challenge, I look at what other folks have done, too, so it gives me ideas. Then I’m all enthused about doing it as well. :)

      Like

      1. The A to Z Writing Challenge was the first one I had done & part of the challenge was to go look at other people blogs who were participating in the challenge. I found some great new blogs out there. I also love the chat back & forth in the comments when it happens on my blog because I love to know people are talking about whatever I’ve written.

        Like

      2. That does sound like a lot of fun. I love to chat back and forth in the comment section of both my blog, and someone else’s. I almost forget that the whole world can see the comments because they can get fairly personal. That, to me, is the essence of blogging, though. :)

        Like

  11. Marsha, I have not forgotten you! I Hope your vacation was excellent! I too voted on a handful of your topic choices. But more to the point which one’s do you vote for? That which you are most passionate about, I’m guessing, will be some of the best pieces you write! I believe the best way to brand yourself is to focus on the essence of who you are, and your interests (yes I know there are whole bunches of things) and write about them.

    But have who “you are” be the pivotal point about anything. “Marsha’s reference point of things!” Getting more people to your blog really comes down to how “out there” you want to be. Some use the writing and photography challenges. But time will be spent there too, as the others in the challenge are hopeful you will visit them also. Some spend many hours a day (every day) visiting other bloggers so the visits will be returned (for those people it works as they have the time to do so)! Some go the You Tube video route. Some hook up with like “groups” and then share spreading the word about each other. But most put their daily content out there (cyber world) in as many (multimedia) places as possible to be viewed! I don’t think there’s a secret formula, but working diligently towards your goal. Small steps with persistence does work! And lots of research and it seems to me you are doing these exceedingly well! :)

    Like

    1. Wow, Thank you, Penny. Those are exceedingly great recommendations. The success that I am enjoying is the communication with people like you who stop and take the time to comment and add to my life, and let me hopefully add to his or her life as well. You know, I think this does take an extremely lot of time, but I have been so enriched by my contact with others on the internet, that my husband thinks I’ve sort of bonded with my computer. I have! Interestingly, I think it has even improved my relationship with him, though not with everyone. The comments I’ve gotten on this post alone are enough to write a wonderful book of blogging/living tips. How is your book coming? Did you meet your deadline? I look forward to talking with you more when your schedule calms down. :) Marsha :)

      Like

  12. Still busy completing the manuscript had to start over with several chapters (frustrating). Yes I look forward to our speaking more as well (taking a break from the book today).

    On an interesting note to share with your hubby, I just watched an educational science show last night where a group (from around the world) of theoretical physicists are seriously researching the possibility that the global connections on the internet are creating a super brain (not joking here) and that at the rate of input and interactions from, well people like us (trillions of bits of info – daily), it may (some time in the future) become self aware (now that’s a scary thought isn’t it) because we are exchanging and gathering information just like a child does in his or her brain before they become self aware. Definitely something to think on. You’re saying your husband said you were bonded to your computer reminded me of this show! lol

    Like

    1. Wow! that is interesting! What a thought. The things we saw as only science fiction may become real! That is scary! I can see it happening, though. The internet, somehow has access to all these thoughts that we’ve shared, and millions like us, and computers can sift through this stuff in an instant, and spit it back and make sense of it. Think of Siri. She knows the meaning of life. :)

      Like

  13. Most superb tips, delivered most chortlingly- fabulous entry. I have been looking forward to giving this one a gawp for a few days now. Excellent. Never a disappointment. I so look forward to these dear jaunts through your ever-cheering blog, such a delight!

    Aye, and all very valuable points. Very informative and helpful. I am certain you will succeed in your blogging ambitions dear lass, and help others too along the way. You are on your way, indeed! Already I have seen a fabulous evolution to your blogging- and I’m delighting in every bit of it.

    Could an old sailor like me benefit from these tips and apply them to her own unraveling bit of moldered blather sometimes blithely referred to as a “possible dithering, curdling, gastropod-infested blog-like object” more fit to find curled up and desiccated in the corner of a sinking wheezing old ship, eh? Whale….I will certainly keep learning from masters like you and our dear darling dashed wonder Leanne Cole and others, all so inspiring, and continue writhing in the murk of my own “blog” until some sort of order decides to assemble itself. At the very least, I know I’m having a chortling ol’ time being the old blighter that I am and sputtering a few toady words here and there.

    I must say, I like this idea of a schedule. Let me see, Video Mondays, Salty Poetry Tuesday, Babbling Wenz, More Babbling Thurz, Friday Freedom from Blathering with Photos (great Scott, could I manage??!), and Weekend words. Ah blast it all….babble, babble, babble. That’s the schedule for a chattering old piece of noisy driftwood like me…

    Excellent entry, far too many chirping grins, and how I so adore that caricature of delightful Vince. I did not know before he did live modeling for that work, brilliant, what a scintillating dove he is! I must do an entry of some Sir caricatures (I am positive he’ll be gulping with joy when he finds out, oooo so many dyspeptic smiles!). I must have thousands of these caricatures loitering about in great cliffs, cusps, scarps and bluffs about the place, perhaps a million by now. They’re taking over the olde weathered shack, in fact. Can hardly walk without suddenly cascading off another dune of Sir’s countenance. Perhaps they’ll even take over the country, slowly. (See, I sometimes sell “art” boxes, (haw haw), and there are always caricatures of Sir drawn on them amongst other creepy creatures. (I can’t help it!) I don’t mean to, but suddenly the box is done and the deadline is up and there is a face of a shrewd aquiline-nosed Sherlocksy converged with a placid plaid-clad Richard from “Keeping Up Appearances” goggling up at me, again…Aye, Sir’s visage all right, blast! And then a trumpeting customer comes galloping up, gaging with impatience, taloned hands clawing at me to divulge and deposit the beastly thing, so I heave it like a worm to a cheeping baby bird and suspire heavily afterwards, drooping like a depressed ostrich, as it seems I just can’t stop…Poor Sir….)

    Whoa, I DID not just babble this much! I was going to keep this at about 250 characters. Where is my excuse? Darted away from me, blighted thing. I was drinking lime-club-soda the whole time as I typed, so dehydration I don’t think is going to be all too- ARG this is just getting LONGER. Blast…

    P.S. I love all your writing topics so much I ended up voting for them all oh dear…

    Many cheers,

    Autumn Jade

    Like

    1. I am sitting outside at the Orange Works Cafe smiling and laughing quietly. No one will think I’m strange. Vince came out with our drinks – not lime water – too dangerous!

      Gotta go now food is here! More later!

      Like

      1. Orange Works Café??? Sounds fabulous! Hahaha I can just imagine poor V rolling his eyes at the sight of you snuffling as he cruises up to you, careful not to spill, and there you are with that look again, gawping at the screen, and he grumbles in his mind, “Oh no, not another one of those dratted ‘smiling toad moments’, again, good grief! I wanted to discuss my latest plans for the garden, and all she’ll do is snort like a sheep as she attempts to stifle snickers at me all because of that blighted toad person again…”

        Haw HAW I kid you of course, as I don’t recall saying anything all that humourous. XD

        P.S. I am in quite an animated mood just now as I’ve just returned from a refreshing time at the park walking the rabbit, lovely night indeed! Sending love to you and Vince! Cheers,

        Autty Jade Toad

        Like

      2. I was snortling, and I DO have to be careful because that is exactly what he does and says!!! It might be you ro Ralph, but to be sure it is one of you. It’s almost like you can see through the screen! He’s off playing poker, for entertainment, which I don’t like him to do, so I can blog my heart out today! Here’s the link to my post about Orange Works http://wp.me/p2jC53-Fv. It’s one of my favorite places, and it’s totally in the middle of NOWHERE! Figure if they are going to do Rattlesnake Aversion Training for dogs nearby! :) Kalev got an A+ on her training! :)

        Like

      3. I will do that as soon as he gets home, which should be soon. He and Cindy went to their nephew’s graduation from Cal Poly. He is going to going to Michigan next to get his doctorate in physical therapy, I think. He’s been everything from an auto mechanic to an artist. Vince was really glad that he went, and I guess his nephew was as well! :)

        Like

  14. Very interesting. I do hate black backgrounds with small writing too. Guaranteed to put me off visiting. I don’t like to have to read too much in one blog. I just don’t have the time. I’ve placed my votes. :)

    Like

  15. I couldn’t choose just one. In fact I like nearly all your topics and am happy to read whatever you write. I do agree with one of Leanne’s thoughts in particular. I find long posts, with mostly writing and hardly any photos, not appealing. On the other hand I also don’t like posts that are just one long line up of photos with little text. I try to strike a happy medium with a short text that gets to the point with appropriate photos.

    Like

    1. I agree totally, Carol! In fact I almost like more words than more pictures – especially if I don’t know an area. Even my own pictures. I forget what they were all too quickly if I don’t write something down to refresh my memory! :)

      Like

      1. They need to be what they need to be! :) Your’s are always very well written! :) Thanks for the email. I never got the one you sent by cell phone. :( I’ve been running errands all day, so this evening I’ll get to emails. Lots of love :) M

        Like

  16. Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains.

    If you know of any please share. Kudos!

    Like

    1. I haven’t figured out plugins really. Even reading about them is confusing to me. About all I know after over a year of blogging is the term SEO. I’ll do some research on it, though! :) Maybe some of my readers can help! :)

      Like

  17. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it
    or something. I think that you could do with
    some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog.
    A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

    Like

  18. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not
    even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, very good site!

    Like

    1. That was a wonderful trip. We were freezing that day, though. We came from hot weather, and didn’t pack anything warm enough for Stonehenge. You can see how hard the wind blew! Thanks for the comment! :)

      Like

  19. Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same topics you discuss and would love to have you share
    some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

    Like

Your babbling is music to my ears. Please leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s