How to get get more blog traffic and get your readers to make comments?
Isn’t this the ultimate blogging question?
Isn’t it the one question we all want the answer to?
And we want the answer to be simple…right?
It can be simple if you follow the appropriate steps but get any one of the steps wrong and you WON’T get the attention or readers or any comments.
It does take time and where most bloggers get it wrong is they rush each step. In fact, rushing any of the steps can have a negative impact on the amount of attention, readers, comments your blog gets.
Let’s go through the steps:
1. Refine Your Niche
This is the first step and is fundamental. Get it wrong and all the following steps are not worth doing.
Each day via my ‘online chat’ facility (see bottom right of my blog), someone asks me “what’s the best subject for me to blog about to make money?”
They want ME to tell them. They don’t ask me “Can you help me pick a good niche to blog about based upon my experience, knowledge or passion?”
Nope. They simply want to blog about any subject which they THINK will make them money.
Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.
You need the experience and knowledge to blog about your chosen niche, three times a week for the next five years (at least).
You need the passion and desire to blog about your chosen niche, three times a week for the next five years (at least).
But even more important, your chosen niche needs to be in demand, i.e. you need to be solving individual’s problems. People go to blogs for advice and help to solve their problems.
If you are not solving people’s problems, there will not be a demand.
Related Post: Getting Your Niche Right Is Crucial
2. Setting up your blog with the best keywords
Sorry to say this but this is another major area most bloggers get wrong. They just pick some keywords (if at all) without any research and often, they are far too competitive or never used for searching purposes.
For instance, if your blog is helping others to write, you may target the keyword phrase, ‘how to write’. Sorry but you have little chance of being on the first page of Google for the search term ‘how to write’ because there are nearly 2 billion websites that target this keyword phrase.
Or you may target ‘how to improve your writing style” which would be another mistake.
Because only 5 people a day perform a Google search for that term. So even if your site were on page one of Google for that search term, you wouldn’t get much traffic.
So, step 2 – perform keyword research and pick the best keyword phrases for your niche.
Related Post: Finding The Best Keywords For Your Chosen Niche
3. Blog Design / Layout
You need to have an attractive, professional looking site.
But you need to remember, you cannot please everyone.
Whatever you do, 50% of your visitors will love your blog and 50% will hate it. (I have just used those percentages for explanation purposes).
You may use the Verdana font and many of your visitors love that font…some will hate it.
Someone emails you and says ‘I wish you would use a different font on your blog. If you did I would return time and time again’.
You decide to change the font to ‘Calibri’ and suddenly you have some new ‘lovers’ of your blog.
But guess what?
Yes…you now have some new ‘haters’.
Remember…you cannot please everyone but there are some things you can do to make your blog more professional and appealing to most.
Related Post: 10 Blogging Mistakes That Make Your Blog Look Unprofessional
I know I said the above points are important and fundamental and they are but this is the most fundamental!
Everyone THINKS their content is great and in most cases, it isn’t (I include myself in this bracket).
Writing great content is hard.
Most bloggers think, ‘Oh I haven’t published a blog post for a while, I’d better add one’ and then start writing and publish something which isn’t particularly great.
Ultimately, if you are not getting attention, readers or comments it is because of your content.
Related Post: The One Thing That Drives Traffic To Your Blog
5. Search Engine Optimization
When you publish your blog posts there are certain things you can do that will improve the SEO of the post.
Here are my recommended 12 steps:
SEO Boost 1:
Include your targeted keyword phrase in the blog posts URL.
SEO Boost 2:
Include your targeted keyword phrase in the title of your blog post (towards the beginning, if you can) and ensure the title is less than 70 characters.
SEO Boost 3:
Use a SEO plugin like WordPress SEO and add your targeted keyword phrase within the “Meta Description”. Ensure your Meta Description is less than 156 characters.
SEO Boost 4:
Aim for a keyword phrase density of between 1% and 5%. If your post is 500 words in length, your keyword phrase needs to be mentioned between 5 and 25 times. If 1000 words, then between 10 and 50 times and so on.
SEO Boost 5:
Break up your text with sub headings and use the H2 and H3 tags. Use your targeted keyword phrase in the sub-headings.
SEO Boost 6:
Link from your blog post to relevant internal (i.e. your blog posts) and external blog posts using appropriate anchor text.
SEO Boost 7:
Ensure your blog post is at least 300 words in length.
SEO Boost 8:
Use your keyword phrase in the first and last sentences.
SEO Boost 9:
Add the post to ONE category that is a keyword related to your targeted keyword.
SEO Boost 10:
Add an image and ensure the image is called ’your targeted keyword’ phrase’.
Plus add a title and ‘alt’ title of your targeted keyword phrase. The plugin SEO Friendly Images automatically does this for you.
SEO Boost 11:
Use a SEO plugin like WordPress SEO and add your targeted keyword phrase within the “Meta Keywords”
SEO Boost 12:
Bold your keyword phrase a couple of times.
For full details read this related Post: 12 Steps To Boost The SEO Of Your Blog Posts
6. Marketing Your Blog Site
No matter how great your content is, you still need to market it.
There are numerous ways including:
- Social Media
- Blog Commenting
- Via your subscribers and email list
- Your personal networks
- Blog Carnivals
- Guest Posting
- Using different formats
Check out this post for the full details:
Related Post: 11 Hot Tips To Jump Start Traffic To A Stagnant Blog
7. Getting More comments!
The above 6 points gets people to visit your blog. Only a small percentage (far less than 1%) of your visitors will comment.
The best way to get them to comment is to close the blog post with a question and ask them to share their views.
In order to get more attention, readers and comments there are some core essential steps you should take like choosing your niche, picking the best keywords and design/layout.
Once you have these in place, it comes down to the greatness of your content and how you market your content.
What do you do to gain more attention, readers and comments for your blog?
Please share your views in the comments below.
Wow Andrew, you have it laid out perfect for bloggers with these tips. What you are saying is just what you have taught me and it really DOES WORK. Those key words are very important and finding the niche that you love to talk about.
One question though, this one in number 5 is new to me, H2 and H3 tags. What are these? You have always told me know question is stupid so I am taking you up on this one.
Thanks again for the reminder.
Point 5 is to do with sub-headings.
When you write a sub-heading, you can add a ‘heading’ tag. The heading tags help with SEO. For instance, in most cases, the title of your blog post will be an H1 tag. You should only have one H1 tag per page. But you can have a s many as you wish of H2, H3, H4…
Each has it’s impact on SEO…H1 being the best, H2 next and so on.
I added a new image to the blog post above to show you how to add the tag.
Simply highlight the text and change the tag – see screen shot.
I hope that helps!
Thanks Andrew. Love the way you can always answer the questions and make it easy to understand.
Great post. It got retweeted so I rted it back and popped in to read it for myself.
Could you elaborate on putting posts in only one category mentioned in SEO Boost 9. I have come across that advice more than once lately and wonder if you are indexing or no-indexing category pages in blogs you set up.
Is it only important to use one category IF you index your blog category pages, but not if you have them no-indexed?
I understand your point and in my experience most bloggers are unaware of what is being index and what isn’t.
Category pages normally are index and hence, my advice is to keep blog posts to one category to help reduce duplicate content.
Thank you so much, Andrew. I suspected that was what was behind the advice to use only one category. My first blog was installed by Marty Weintraub who is the owner of Aimclear. Marty is a brilliant man very knowledgeable about SEO and he told me not to build backlinks to my category pages. I finally figured out that was because he had them set to no-index.
Brilliant people are often not easily understood by beginners. Even if the beginner knows what question to ask, they usually get an answer that is not comprehensive enough to be clear to them.
That is why it is so important to find someone who can explain things in a way they can be understood by someone who is not already an expert.
I understand exactly what you are saying.
I think we are all guilty of making too many ‘assumptions’.
We should use the format:
“do this because…”
Your point no 5, I have not heard before. Its totally new to me. I’ll try it and see. Is it really good to use the keyword phase in the content of the post. Can you please tell me how it works?
I recommend you read the related post:
I usually get 1 or 2 comments per article….until i put up an experimental page called free backlinks, Inviting people to leave a comment for a free dofollow link. That page has over 100 comments asking for the free links, when in fact all of my posts have dofollow commentluv!
I loved the experiment and it’s definitely improved taffic, but now I guess it’s time to work on “real” comments and engagement!
I suspect many of the comments received were ‘spam’ type.
Spammers go looking for blog sites that provide backlinks for commenting.
Your aim should be to publish the best possible content you can and invite people to comment. They will if the content is great.
Great post Andrew, really well written and useful. Reading this blog I knew a thing or two but having all this points laid out in this way is really good. Printed and tweeted. 🙂
Thanks, Andrea. I really hope it helps and printing it out will be a great reminder.
@Andrew: Good one again. I was reading your discussion with Gail and remembered about a LOT of businesses using a ‘blog’ category on their wordpress installation. They are making a grave mistake because their ‘blog’ is not even indexed (most SEO plugins would noindex category / archive / tags pages to get rid of duplicate content).
I don’t agree with some of your SEO Boost points. Point 11 specially hurts because both Yahoo and Google have said repeatedly that they don’t pay attention to meta keywords (Yahoo made an announcement and was proven wrong, but they have corrected the mistake now).
Ending a post with a question is definitely a good way to get more comments than usual. That specially works for list posts because some of your readers and add new points.
I love the fact that you personally respond to all comments, I am sure more people are encouraged to see personal responses.
Thanks for your insights and you raise an excellent point about having the ‘blog’ as a category.
Re: SEO Boost Point 11.
I understand what you are saying but I don’t think it ‘hurts’ adding the meta keywords. They are used if you have ‘related posts’ plugins installed and it is only priority number 11!
I try to respond to the majority of comments…if the comment warrants a reply.
Thanks for coming across and sharing your views.
Here is why I don’t like meta keywords (I even make it a point to remove them from sites if I am doing on page SEO).
1. They don’t help with SEO (unless you are targeting Bing traffic a lot).
2. They can still harm if bots get a wrong signal that you are trying to spam.
3. They are a silly way of telling your competitors what you are trying to optimize for.
Regarding related posts plugins, that’s surprising for me, most plugins I know use tags and not ‘meta keywords’ because tags are stored in database (for WordPress) and are easy to work with. The plug-in will have to parse meta keywords.
Overall, I still think that you should consider revising point 11 because it’s going to do more harm than good (specially in the hands of novices).
Thanks, Jeet for explaining in more detail.
I will have to do some more research!
These might help:
I hope Akismet doesn’t put this in spam queue :))
Promotion, promotion, promotion! If you want people to find your blog you have to get the ball rolling. Share it on social networking and bookmarking sites or drop links to blog posts in your newsletter. You can’t take the “if you build it, they will come” approach if you want to drive traffic to your blog. If you want it you have to take the first step.
Agreed! It may take an hour or 2 to write the blog post…then another hour promoting it!
I can attest completely to these tips. It’s a basic formula, but still seems completely applicable when getting ranked in the SERPs – Andrew, do you recommend any free keyword research tools for long-tail keyword phrases (other than the adwords tool)?
Try Market Samurai – the keyword research function is free.
Thanks Andrew! Market Samurai is awesome!
Good points you have made above.
One thing to consider before launching a blog is to ask some important questions.
What are my goals for this blog?
Who will be contributing content to the blog?
What is the focus of it?
Who will be editing, proofing and approving posts?
How will I measure it success and ROI?
I think it is important to get a proper strategy together before launching into a blog.
Excellent questions – all of which, the majority of bloggers do not answer!
Thanks for a great post Andrew. I shall print this out and refer to it. I think your layout is an excellent example of how an interesting blog should be put together.I shall look forward to your next posts.
Nice to see you here!
What step(s) (if any) do you think you have missed when building your blog?
Nice to be here Andrew, and thanks for the welcome. The steps I haven’t done as well with as I should have liked to have done are : my title, my keywords, and SEO. Also I need to add more images and links to other sites within each blog post. I did some keyword research before choosing my title – lots of hits for those words and I put them together to come up with http://www.easyincomebooster.com If it’s not as good as it could be, then it’s probably too late to do anything about it anyway now as my site has been building for some months and I’ve been laying the foundation stones.I am also going to add an About Me page to my blog. I do have a profile there but as you recently suggested – an About Me page would help. It’s next on the list. My free giveaway will soon be added to my blog too. Slowly but surely…! Thanks for your interest – much appreciated.
It sounds like you are taking the correct steps.
And an About page is essential.
You may wish to check out my post about writing a great About page:
Hi Andrew nice sequential steps for beginner as well as for professional bloggers.
Including above you must need a strong relationship for your blog. As a professional blogger you need positive reviews(comments) and complement as well. This relationship work as ticket for joining blogging network but take precaution whenever you are going to select the reviews.
Thanks for your great post.
Unfortunately you are not always going to get positive reviews(comments) and complement. You can be trolled as well…so you need a thick skin!
It is the best tutorial on Blogging and SEO. For the success of blog design and contents play vital role.Because of attraction of design visitors moves towards articles and becomes readers. With good piece of advices these readers change into customers. For writing quality contents keep in mind the Google Panda Update.
Dear Andrew –
Useful (and brilliant) as usual.
Except I disagree with #4.
5 to 25 keywords in a 500 word post?
That would look very contrived to me.
It really depends upon how they are used/written.
You could use the keyword phrase in some of the sub-headings, for instance.
If they look / sound contrived then I agree don’t add so many.
I try to include personal experiences in my posts so readers can connect with me. From there I’m going to start asking questions at the end of the post to encourage engagement. Anytime I have legitimate comments I acknowledge and respond to them. I want readers to know that I hear them and come back.
That is an excellent approach.
Let’s us know if asking a question makes a difference.
After reading your post I realized that I spent very little time on SEO of my articles. Thanks to your adveces I’m gonna fix it.
Thanks for this great article.
Great I’m glad it helped.
I’v a question in keyword density and post length. Do you really think 1000 words post should be in single post?
So many visitors like me, don’t want to read very long post in single page.
It should be paginate or post in part-I, part-II style.
I don’t think 1000 words is too much. Any more then yes, I would split into a series.
Remember we are all different. You may like short posts, others may like longer ones!
Thanks for such details guide.
Don’t you prefer caching plugin for wordpress blog?
I do have a cahcing plugin installed but I don’t see the relevance of your question to this post.
Perhaps it’s a spam comment that I have allowed through!
Really insightful post Andrew. I must admit I really struggle to market my blog effectively and as such I probably get very little traffic. I have followed your advice and have added a keyword domain and have taken on board your other points. I will report back in a month to let you guys know the results.
Reporting back in a month would be great – hope to hear some positive news!
Nice post. Blogger should choose niche according to his/her taste and mind.
Well written article Andrew,
The all point you have shared via the above post is really very helpful for getting more blog traffic and comments as well.
Search engine optimization is one of the most important for getting huge traffic. Using keywords too works well for it.
The best and nearly perfect traffic tutorial I have every read.
Tips for Setting up the blog with main keyword environment and SEO tips are the most helpful part of this post. I really love this tutorial.
Thanks for sharing it..!
Great – glad you liked it.
As a follow up to my earlier comment Andrew, thank you for the About Me page info.
I’ve done that now and also have my freebie giveaway added to my site.
Following your design comment at no. 3 above I’ve changed the font too.
You have a great system here with building a blog step by step by step.
I’m enjoying your course. Thank you:)
Thanks for your great posts and information and I wish you a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2013.
Thanks and I do like it when people read some tips and take action – exactly like you have. May don’t and they wonder why they don’t succeeed!!!
Happy New Year to you.
Thank Andrew Rondeau for sharing this valuable blog post. Really this is one of the good source of Search Engine Optimization tutorial. Actually i never thought about using SEO before for blogging purpose. When i interest to read blog, i just visit them and i think it would not only help for creative purpose but also help eliminate publishing. I guess i should start using them to organize everything.
Thank you for your kind words Andrew. It’s that much easier when the tips are sorted out neatly, as they are in your course. My next goal is to write a guest post for your blog! All the best for 2013 🙂 Laurie.
Looking forward to the guest post!
Just re point 4 (content): I think a lot of bloggers do wind up getting the “cart before the horse” when it comes to motivation.
As we all know, it’s important to update a blog regularly. But that shouldn’t be your main reason for writing a post. That should always be having something interesting and useful to say.
Hi Andrew, Awesome Post! Great Conetent, SEO and Marketing our blog are main to get more blog traffic and comments. Thanks for Sharing this Great Post!
Great post Andrew,
you have said it all, nice collection of tips. Am loving your blog man.
As usual, you post is very well laid out and very educative. I really like your tips on SEO boosts as these are really helpful in terms of SEO. I find the yoast plugin for wordpress particularly helpful because it helps you to maximize your focus keyword on your post. In terms of blog design or layout, I really hate it when I have a hard time navigating a website. If this is the case, more often than not, I usually just move on to another website to browse at.
Navigation is crucial to get right. Not sure I have ever come across a blog / website that has it perfect…have you?
Awesome post and I liked your SEO Boosters series a lot but according to me the minimum post content should be of 500+ words as it would be much loved by search engines!
hello andrew nice post from beginning to end. from starting a blog to SEO. choosing a niche is the most crucial step, some people create multi-niche sites just to make money and then they become confused in the middle. for a healthy blog the niche should be only “ONE”. the subject should be the one you are passionate about and you can write about. thanks for the article
I agree…so many websites/blogs are far too generic.
For example, Life Coaching.
Much better to be a “Life Coach for x” rather than a generic life Coach.
I try to endeavor to include some of my personal and client’s experiences in my posts so my readers can connect better with me. What I’m working on now is to start asking questions at the end of the post to encourage engagement.
An is the asking of questions helping the engagement?
Nice tips for getting good results through SEO. Putting our targeted keyword in h2, h3 is really beneficial for our blog.
Thanks for this article.
Nice article …Traffic is the most important thing which every blogger want at most. You share really awesome tips. Unique niche made once a remembered and famous face in blogging.SEO tips shared by you are helpful to everyone.Thanks for sharing them.
great – I’m glad you like the post.
I am trying to run a blog of mine too and am i am new in blogging, i have written some good posts but not getting any traffic,hopefully after implementing these tips of your i will have a increase in visitors to my website..thanks for the post…
How long have you been blogging? It can take a while before you get some traffic and even longer before you get comments.
I think commenting on different blogs will lead to the comments in your blog. because most of the commenters are bloggers and they can only see you when you comment in their blogs..,
and the points you made here are awesome because they will lead to the genuine comments.
thanks for the info
I agree – I comment on your site, you commetn on mine!
That often works.
the most crucial part of blogging is selecting the niche, it is the foundation og your blog, if this step goes wrong everything will collapse and there will be nothing left, so we should do this carefully and select a niche which suits best to you, other points are also good, thanks for sharing this article with us
You are so right!
It’s such a shame so many bloggers pick a niche they THINK wil make them money.