The majority of people who blog do it because they want to cover the topics that interest them. In fact some of the stuff they cover gets them all fired up into a passionate frenzy. It’s great to read blogs like that. If you just want Google love and don’t mind what you write about then you can easily increase web traffic by gaming the blogging system. For many of my regular readers this is probably known to them and for the rest it is common sense but I’ll give my experience on how you can increase traffic to your site by spotting the current zeitgeists and reporting on them as well as some other tricks.
What are the online kids talking about?
If you want to get the attention of web surfers then you need to see what they’re looking for. The best way to do that is have a look at what is the most discussed items on idea aggregators such as Tailrank, Metafilter, IrishBlogs.ie, Slashdot, BoingBoing, Technorati etc and then create some posts about this. The title is almost everything, remember that. Sprinkle the post with some keywords then as well. Once Google visits your site on a daily basis, these zeitgeist posts will show up quite quickly in the Google results. Don’t forget to link to other posts on these zeitgeists too as they’ll appear as trackbacks on those posts. To get people to click on your trackback link but also retaining a search engine friendly blog title, may I suggest that you give the start of a title a nice standard Google fodder string of words and then add a smart alecy text at the end to get the attention of the humans.
Tech zeigeists: Lots of traffic and lots of links
Every time Google or Apple or Microsoft releases a product there is a huge huge amount of chatter in the Blog O’Sphere which is still comprised of a lot of tech heads. A lot of bloggers will do the journalist thing and report on reactions to these products and put them on their own blog but newspaper journos and tech journos do this too. When Google became a domain registrar I blogged about it. Little did I know that the Register picked up on it and within a few minutes of them publishing the piece my traffic went way up. I still get visits on a weekly basis from that Reg article 13 months after they published that piece.
Go Against the Flow
Whenever you listen to radio shows where they have someone on arguing a point they generally have someone else on giving an opposing view. Sometimes you’ll notice the opposition are total nutjobs but in order to be balanced the shows have to find some opposition. Sometimes just going against the flow will get you on the airwaves, same goes for blogging.
If everyone is saying how great the new Microsoft gizmo is then a well constructed counter-post, knocking it and giving valid reasons will probably get you noticed by those who always have to take the opposite view of the masses and it will also get you noticed by journos and bloggers who need to balance their piece. “Not everyone liked this idea though, Damien Mulley viewed this product as just another ploy to ride the web 2.0 gravy train and he thinks the gizmo is overpriced junk.”
Print gets you more traffic then web in Ireland.
Yes yes, we all know I have some weird Aine Chambers fetish and I get a good deal of traffic via Google searches. However when the Irish Independent did a piece on Aine a few weeks back my Monday morning traffic surged. The Indo had no urls in their article but people searching for Aine Chambers landed on my site even though Aine’s site was the top result. Papers still generate a lot more traffic to you because Irish people may surf the web but they don’t write to it and until this changes you’ll see most traffic coming from Google searches as a result of print articles.
For example tomorrow people will still be talking about Bebo, Bird Flu and Denis Donaldson so having a few blog posts about these topics would get you traffic. Indeed, you could log into the online versions of the Irish Independent, the Irish Examiner and the Irish Times tonight at midnight, see what their main stories are, write some blog posts there and then and by the morning Google might have indexed you and those googling from their office computers in the morning will find your opinions.
That’s just some ways of getting traffic to your site without caring what you talk about on your blog. Tune in another time in the distant future when I tell you how to game the A-Listers and how to write original content and get it a massive audience. Or maybe not.