Guest Post by Cathy Bryant
I'm pleased to welcome my very first guest blogger, Cathy Bryant. I have gotten to know Cathy through the ACFW e-mail loop, Twitter and Facebook. I love to read her blog, Word Vessel, which is full of writing and blogging tips, author interviews, and book give-aways. One of the first articles I read there was an extremely helpful post about how to drive traffic to a blog. Since I am blog-challenged, I asked Cathy to share some tips with us. In subsequent posts, I will discuss how I have applied some of her tips. (Sorry, Cathy, I haven’t tried them all yet, but I’m working on it!)
A 2009 Genesis finalist, Cathy Bryant penned her novel, These Roads Lead Home, during NaNoWriMo 2008. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. In May 2009, her devotional, "The Battle Is the Lord’s," was published in Spirit & Heart: A Devotional Journey, a book available through major retailers. A second devotion has been contracted through The Upper Room magazine for publication in July-August 2010. You can contact her through her blog, WordVessel or visit her at her website Cathy Bryant.
Now, on to Cathy’s helpful tips:
Whether we blog about scuba diving, gardening or books, we all have something in common: we want people to read what we have to say. What’s the point of spending the time to write a post if no one’s going to read it? Unless your blog is a personal diary, every blogger should spend some time and effort to increase their traffic. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way:
Use Social Media
There are ways to link your blog to Facebook and Twitter so that your status automatically updates when you have a new post. You can also have your blog post to Facebook every time you create new content. So if you regularly try to grow your friends on both of these sites, you are exposing your blog to more and more readers. I also occasionally will update my Twitter status at different times of the day to reach friends who may have missed my original tweet.
Put A Link In Your E-mail Signature
This is one of the easiest ways to get the word out about your blog in an unobtrusive way. In just about every e-mail system there is a way to customize your signature, so that every message you send out will contain the same closing material. An added benefit to this approach is that when you post on public forums via e-mail, your link shows up.
If you have business cards, and distribute them, be sure to include your blog address. If you have any brochures or flyers, it’s perfectly acceptable to include your blog address, especially if the promotional material covers the same topic areas as your blog. I’ve even considered getting a car window decal that advertises the link to my blog, WordVessel.
With Digg, Delicious, Stumble Upon, Yahoo Buzz, Reddit and other bookmarking sites, it makes perfect sense to occasionally send your content their direction. When I first started my blog I did this on a regular basis, and I believe it helped jumpstart my traffic. Now that my readership has grown, I don’t do this as frequently as I once did. Hopefully readers are bookmarking my content for me.
Post Snippets All Over Cyberspace
If you are members of various online groups that have a blog feature, post snippets of posts with a link back to your blog. Not only does this serve the purpose of getting your blog out there, but it also forces you write compelling first paragraphs to catch a potential reader’s attention.
Make Your Content Easy To Share
There are all kinds of buttons and gadgets available for sharing your content. At the bottom of each WordVessel post, I have a ‘Tell-A-Friend’ button, ‘Socialize It’ button, and a ‘Tweet’ button. As readers come across content they like, these buttons give them the opportunity to pass the content on to other readers.
Spend Some Time Working On Titles
This is more important than most people realize, because crafting a good title will draw more readers. Which title would be most likely to catch your attention: "7 Quick Tips For Driving Traffic To Your Blog" or "Increasing Blog Traffic?" Darren Rowse at ProBlogger has several great posts on creating titles for your content.
Hopefully this post gives you some ideas that you can implement to increase traffic to your blog, but please realize this list is not exclusive. There are many more ways to catch the attention of prospective readers. Get creative. Or write a guest blog post! J
f you have any questions or comments, I’d be happy to chat with you in the comments section. And thanks, Suzanne, for the opportunity to guest blog for Write At Home.
Make sure to visit Cathy’s blog (WordVessel) for more tips on blogging and building an on-line presence, and stop by her new website (Cathy Bryant) to say hi.
Cathy, thank you so much for dropping by and sharing these tips. I know I needed to see this, and I’m sure your valuable information will help my readers grow their hitcount and increase their followers as well.