How to Increase Blog Traffic

As I have said elsewhere, my blog’s traffic suddenly soared due to the accidental inclusion of a reference to a UK Big Brother contestant’s alleged sex tape. This has led me to wonder whether this could be a valid strategy in increasing traffic to your blog. There are a number of questions to be addressed first (a and b). I’ll then sum up a number of strategies (1-6) to increase blog traffic that people could use (also hoping for suggestions by other bloggers). First, however, some preliminary observations:

(a) Does increased traffic equal increased popularity? I.e. if people come here via the Imogen Sex Tape route [note, I’m doing it again 😉 ] does this mean they’ll return or keep reading the other stuff? Not necessarily. But if you throw enough shit at a wall, some of it will stick. Also some people will be annoyed like a user yesterday who simply commented: ‘F*** you lenina’. It’s a bit sneaky after all. Paris Hilton Sex Tape.

(b) Does increased traffic satisfy my ego? What is the Holy Grail of blogging? automatthias comments “Well, nice traffic. But you wouldn’t be able to get this post been dugg”. Oh dear. It won’t go beyond the sad 15-year-old boys who look for the Imogen Sex Tape. No recognition in the blogosphere and no diggs :(. Forever relegated to the seedy sex porn download sphere. I have to say it doesn’t bother me. I never intended to blog for traffic or recognition or hits or diggs. I have an auto-ego-inflation machine at home and I can use that as and when I want.

And now on to the actual strategies. Please do suggest some more – I’m a first-time blogger and relatively inexperienced but here’s my suggestions:

(1) Reference to current news stories, especially the scandalous or seedy. therealdonquixote comments: “Yeah, well I got it worse. My big boost when I started my blog was the whole mel gibson crap-a-palooza. I found the PDF as soon as it came out and it got hundreds of hits every day for the first two weeks or so. I didn’t want to become known as some Hollywood tabloid, I was trying to document preferential treatment, and mel’s jackholism.” So, if you’ve got any access to information or are one of the first to blog about a breaking story, chances are your blog gets a big boost. Quality helps (but not necessary if your emphasis is on exposure alone).

(2) Strategic use of wording. Imogen Sex Tape. Paris Hilton Sex Tape. Suri photo. Hide these cunningly within the text. Actually I’ve seen this strategy used in websites to get a high search enginge ranking. Can’t remember where. Please post any examples! Otherwise I’ll add these as edits as and when I find them.

(3) Strategic use of tags. therealdonquixote comments: “I’m uncomfotable that my blog themostboringblogintheworld gets most of its traffic from people searching for “video” tags and or “sex” tags. I’m trying to create a mix of Wired/Maxim/National Georgraphic, but with a main focus on hacking and tech news. But to keep my numbers up I have to have posts like “Index of Shocking Videos NSFW” or “They Be Boucin”.” Now, whether or not that makes you uncomfortable, it still is a possible strategy. In fact I’m going to try it with this post (haven’t used sex and porn tags before! Honest!). In doing so, are we misusing Web 2.0 ethics? After all, you can use any tag to tag your post, irrespective of whether or not it corresponds to the actual content. Should we blacklist blogs that do so, or is misuse an intrinsic part of Web 2.0? Probably down to the individual.

(4) Commenting on other blogs. Just move within the blogosphere and comment on other blogs is bound to increase your own traffic, especially, if you’ve got something good to say. Comment on both smaller blogs and more popular ones, including journalistic ones such as at The Guardian Unlimited Blogs.

(5) Choose informative titles to your individual posts. I.e. don’t just put ‘Hello’ or ‘Today’. The title is the first thing people will see, particularly, on a RSS feed. The headline should be informative and interesting and make people want to go and read the post and hopefully, your blog, on a permanent basis.

(6) Last but not least: Try and be regular. I know it’s hard work sometimes, but you need to keep up the momentum. Regularity and structure will help you in all other areas of life, so it’s not a bad thing!

Phew. That’s me done for the day – I’ve actually got some more stuff planned including irreverent stuff. I still want to write a review of that bloggers show on the Fringe, and some kind of metapost on blog content. That’ll have to wait till later. I’m off to get some breakfast. lenina.

14 thoughts on “How to Increase Blog Traffic

  1. Great article. I accidently came across your blog under the sex tag. Will have to try your trick. Only just started in bloging. Thanks

  2. D00d this is so awesome! I’ve been quoted!! BTW – The words NSFW and VIDEO in your article title will bring lots of traffic, not necessarily traffic you are proud of, but they might just read something of value as well…what? It could happen!

    Hugs (>*.*)>

  3. TRDQ Reporting For Duty –
    I have gotten really tired of people only coming to my blog for the videos and NSFW content. So I decided to only post one video a day and the rest will only be articles on hacking OR the middle east.

    I did something naughty though. I posted an article called “Lets Play” where I tagged it with all the usual suspects for leechers (sex NSFW video videos etc etc). But all the post has is a meme where anyone can post a comment with whatever content they see fit. So people seeking debauchery have now found a harmless meme game. HA!

  4. Hey lenina.

    Here is a blow by blow analysis on how traffic spiked last month on my blog. This happened when I was replying to a commentator. I decided then to transform the comment into a full article, reprinting with permission some articles that I had found on the web on HDR Photography. The effect of getting dugg is that you get a spike of traffic that lasts a few hours. However, you do get more traffic later on. More than you had initially. This is called Riding The Long Tail. There are a few good books available on the subject. Most good posts or articles that I write, I submit to memediggers such as Reddit, Netscape and NowPublic. I don’t use digg because of it’s emphasis on technology and sometimes you get really nasty comments from the digg mafia, so I just let them be.
    the memoirs viewed 170000 times

    also check out this post on my other blog that I started to examine viral waves of traffic and viral marketing.
    social bookmarking in a viral wave of traffic

  5. Just cheking in. The NSFW VIDEO tags/titles still rule the roost so far but my Wep Cracking guide is really starting to gain some momentum.

    Side Note: I Broke 565 unique views last friday. Mainly because some anti Bill O’Reilly forum had a thread dedicated to my “I Hate Bill O’Reilly” Page. The original post was actually against my “prayers to kill bill” posts on the page. I guess that’s proof that any PR is good PR. It was awesome. I got tons of refferals from them!!

  6. I was diverted here via your flagrant violation of the principles of the ditigal age. The internet is where i come for the ability to choose the media that I consume, if you are going to misdirect traffic thereby destroying my ability to choose, you are not only diminishing me as a person but compromising the blog’s position as alternative, pluralistic media, the media of choice and voice, something i presume that you, as a blogger, hold dear.

    Similarly this whole ‘PR’ angle reeks of egoistic self-promotion. Rather than articulating a voice this method is akin to shouting in a stranger’s face, not to promote discussion and dialogue but to instead simply be noticed. To compare surfers to ‘shit thrown at a wall’ is frankly pretty abhorrent. To compare your blog to a wall would only be accurate if the wall in question were blank, poorly-constructed and built without permission in the middle of someone’s garden.

  7. Leggo ed imparo sul vostro luogo. grazie!

    [yw – lenina. btw ho cancellato il vostro URL del porn]

  8. Lenina, I’ve been visitng your site for some time now and I wanted to give props for your blog here–it’s really cool. I’m following your advice (see number 4). Check out my blog: http://www.vinersonly.com. I’d say it’s less personal than yours and very self-indulgent. It’s an experiment. I may get it wrong, but I like it.

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