14 October, 2011  |   14 Comments

How to get more traffic

Taking off my entertaining hat for a minute so that I can get some advice off my chest. Yay blogs!

Duties for my full-time job include reading hundreds of blogs a day. I curate collections of blogs, I spend a lot of time evaluating blogs. Because of that, I see a big picture relationship between some web sites and traffic.

It’s not really Stumbleupon or hosting blog giveaways or tweeting every post twice a day or having a Facebook Fan page or any of those things. Those things help a little, but not that much.

The best way to get more traffic is to share better content.

How to have better content

  • Present imagery so beautiful that people crave your unique look.
  • Write with conviction, invite healthy debate.
  • Be useful, save us time, money or make us look better.
  • Make us laugh, show us life’s truthful incongruities.
  • Become a trainwreck, veer off the rails such that we can’t look away.
  • Write really well, paying attention to grammar, vocabulary, metaphor and sentence structure.

Pick two things from that list and you will get more traffic to your blog.
Better content is not necessarily about your cat, your child or your complaints.
(Although it might be.)

It might be if your cat, child or complaints are any of the following two:
beautifully presented,
written with conviction,
useful,
hilarious,
tragic or
really well written.

Have a conversation on Twitter, on Facebook, have friends all over the internet.
But first, have better content.
Consistently.

(It’ll make my job a whole lot more fun. Grin.)


14 thoughts on “How to get more traffic

  1. 1

    Loved this post. It’s so obvious, but very much needed to be said. (Found you on facebook/blogstar by the way)

  2. 2
  3. 3
    daisy says:

    I write for a website (xoJane) that is currently getting a ton of traffic because of a trainwreck. To me, it’s just sad and not a good way to get readers.

    (But +1 to the rest of it!!!) 🙂

    • 3.1
      Helen Jane says:

      @daisy
      Trainwrecks are totally not an advisable way to get meaningful traffic. Agreed. I wrote it with a wink, but winks don’t always come across on the internet. Unless they’re like this: 😉 or this: > o
      (P.S. Sorry about the trainwreck.)

  4. 4
    Jane Gassner says:

    Content is king, Helen Jane, but sometimes the crown is hollow and the jewels are fake. (And sometimes the metaphor runs away with the writer!) The coolest template won’t make up for the baddest (in the olde meaning of the word, and ungrammatically, I might add) posts. I’m teaching a course in blogging in the winter, and I shall quote you considerably (with your permission, of course).

  5. 5

    […] I can’t be like Debbie because if I said Throat Punch it would be weird. I don’t disagree with Helen Jane, but she’s a vague about how to create that train […]

  6. 6
    Ally Bean says:

    What a very useful post. I try to do this when I write, but am sure that sometimes I don’t make the grade. Still, I take comfort in knowing that I am trying– which, as you’ve suggested, is more than many bloggers do.

  7. 7

    “Become a Trainwreck”- love it, so true (unfortunately)!

  8. 8

    A well written blog post is a joy to read. I especially enjoy those posts in which people open themselves up and take a risk.

    Some of the finest pieces of writing I have ever read have been posts by bloggers who shared a piece of their heart.

  9. 9
    KJ says:

    Excellent points, and they * just * make * sense.* Bravo for that. Thank you! Have a curious and creative day!

  10. 10
    Chedva says:

    I think that last bit – consistency – is one of the most important and the harder of them all. Thanks for the tips!

    • 10.1
      Helen Jane says:

      Sister, I hear you.
      Doing it regularly is rough.
      But that can be said for anything.

      However, I’d rather read something awesome once a week than something meh every day.

      With so much content available to us, posting schedules are less important than we may think.

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