The easiest and most overlooked way of boosting your traffic is by submitting your blog to the search engines. You won't end up with huge traffic from the start but it will build up over time and you never know some of the visitors may become subscribers or regular visitors. The main search engines are:
Dmoz Open Directory
Dmoz is one you may never heard of but its the biggest directory on the web and google and aol are some of the search engines that use their directory.
This section is more suited to Wordpress users. A blog trackback is basically a way of informing a blogger that you've linked to their post. If they approve the trackback its listed in their comments section. Not only is it a polite way of letting the blogger know you've mentioned their post but it can drive traffic to your own blog as their readers will know that you've posted something related and hopefully check it out. So its a win win situation. How to do a trackback If both yourself and the blog you are linking to are on Wordpress you can just link in your usual way but if you for example are on wordpress and the post your linking to is on blogger (i.e different platforms) you'll need to check their post for a 'trackback url' or 'permalink' and enter it into the section on your posting area titled 'trackback url'. But it really is that simple!
Guest posting is another great way of driving traffic to your blog and opening up to a new audience. If you write a guest post for another blogger it gets linked to your own blog and if they've enjoyed your post they are likely to visit your blog. If you have a guest blogger posting on your site they're obviously going to promote the post which again drives traffic to your blog. Either way you'll be introducing a whole new readership to your blog. If your looking for a guest poster try adding a thread to the IFB groups page.
Twitter is a great tool to utilise and in my opinion all bloggers should have a twitter account with the link clearly displayed in their sidebar. It's actually my top referrer. Also make sure to have a retweet facility so your readers can share all those fab posts you write with their followers. I'm always surprised when I discover blogs without share buttons and it is the easiest way of sharing a post. Set it up so that all your posts are automatically posted to twitter as its a great source of traffic and it can have a viral effect meaning it can spread quickly. Wordpress has plugins for exactly this purpose. You can do this with facebook too. Apart from the traffic building aspect of twitter it has other benefits for a blogger. I've detailed them below:
Networking - communicating and conversing with other like minded people whether that be other bloggers or people who share your interests
Business Contacts - prospective advertising clients or PR agencies for example
Blog Post Ideas - conversations can often lead to blog post ideas
Asking Questions - whether it be web design related or SEO the twitterverse is full of experts on all kinds of subjects
Fact Checking - you might need to check a certain aspect of a post and there may well be people who have the knowledge you need So as you can see Twitter really is a vital tool in blogging.
Comment, comment, comment I can't stress this enough. But make them meaningful and genuine don't just post generic comments and add your link. Commenting is a really good way of developing a community feel to your blog as well as increasing your traffic. A lot of bloggers myself included visit the blogs of those who leave comments. You never know they may love your blog and leave a comment or follow/subscribe. It improves traffic in another way too as other readers may find your comment interesting and visit your blog which is another good reason for ensuring you only leave genuine, interesting comments. But please refrain from leaving comments telling the blogger you've followed and asking them to follow you back. This is really offputting and can make the blogger less likely to visit/follow your blog.
IFB is a vital resource for fashion bloggers. Jennine has succeeded in creating a community to network, share and learn. You can dramatically increase your traffic by actively participating in discussions and submitting your best posts for links a la mode. Check out Grit and Glamours guide to submitting to links a la mode here. IFB is also another great way of fostering relationships with other bloggers and has a wealth of resources available. Visit IFB here
Obtaining a high spot in search results is no easy feat but you can help yourself by selecting your keywords very carefully. Make sure your selecting words relevant to your post/blog. The optimum length for keyword phrases is 2 or 3 words as almost two thirds of searches are of that length. Another important aspect for SEO is to include your keywords in your blog post title. So those of you who choose song titles or literary quotes for post titles are missing out on increasing your search result placing. Titles are highly searchable, that's not saying you have to do this with every post but it is important if you want to fully utilise SEO. Another way of capitalising on SEO is by renaming your images to include your keywords. Many people find my blog through google image search and that is why. Don't make the titles overly long though. The last thing to mention is - DO NOT tag your posts with tonnes of different keywords as the search engines can penalise users who do this. Use only relevant keywords.
Different readers have a preference for different methods of subscribing so utilise all the different ways of subscribing and display them prominently on your blog. I'm always surprised at the vast amount of blogs without an email subscription form its so often overlooked but its actually my favorite way of subscribing. The other ways of subscribing are :
Google Friend Connect
Kindle (check out my post on setting up your blog on kindle here)
Subscribers increase the amount of visits to your blog so they are a vital part of building traffic (and a community). They keep readers updated and encourage return visits. I hope this guide is useful and if you have any questions or feedback leave me a comment!