I have been talking about using LinkedIn groups to promote your blog. I normally pick up an average of one hit per LinkedIn group within the first 24 hours. Then I continue to pick up random hits for the next 6 months or so. That is an average, so obviously, some LinkedIn groups generate several hits and some generate very few, if any. What I have learned to do (out of paucity of time) is to only post to those groups that give me a pretty good return for my time investment.
I’ve mentioned college alumni groups as a good source of traffic. I also find that company alumni groups generate pretty good traffic. I belong to the TI Alumni Group and the Philips Alumni Group. In many cases, there is more than one group for large companies. Choose the larger group.
You can promote just about any blog topic on alumni groups. For other groups, the closer your post is to the core of the group, the better your success rate is going to be. Posting tips on finding a job will generate more hits on “Job & Career Network” than it will on “Future Trends.”
Posting frequently helps to generate traffic. Once people have discovered that your blog is worth reading, they are more inclined to return. However, don’t expect most people to return to your blog without a reminder. Greg Satell (Digital Tonto) is one of my favorite bloggers, but I rarely go to his blog on my own. 90% of the time, I go to his blog in response to seeing a post on LinkedIn.
Do not “misunderestimate” the importance of a good title for each post. “What I Learned About Social Media from the Communists” will attract a lot more traffic than “Promoting Your Blog…the easy way.”
And finally, the more you blog, the more traffic you are going to get. Over time, people will find you. You will eventually cover topics that more and more people will be interested in. Also, if someone enjoys your blog today and returns in a week, they will be motivated to keep returning if the content is always fresh.
Additionally, frequent blog updates improves your SEO (the ability of search engines like Google to find you). In the post JC Penney scandal era (where Penney fooled the Google search engine), you will find SEO tricks to be less effective. However, just the shear bulk of words will increase the chances of you being found. If I blog today about Twitter…. then my blog will be found when people google “Twitter.” If I blog next about Facebook, my blog will be found when people search for “facebook.” If I use Shakespeare as an illustration, my blog will be found when…. If I mention The University of Texas…. If I quote a “Bushism”…. you get the point.
For example, I posted something about changes to the English language between the early Renaissance, when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote, and the late Renaissance, when William Shakespeare wrote. Every week, I get several hits from people who googled “Chaucer and Shakespeare.” I had no clue that anyone ever googled “Chaucer and Shakespeare.”
But one last thing I want to pass along. This is something you will probably overlook unless you are an SEO expert. When you put an image in your blog, the image will have a name. It might be “photo1.jpg” or something equally non-descriptive. You are missing one more chance to get found. If you will name your photo something related to your blog, it will help you get found.
For example, I published a post where I used some “Bushisms” to make a point. Well, Bushisms and Palin-isms; “misunderestimate” and “refudiate.” To my surprise, I get hits every week from people who google both terms. But I was also getting hits from people who google “Strategery.” I was baffled since I did not use the word “strategery” anywhere in my post. It was only when I notice that the photo I used in my blog post was called “bush-strategery.jpg” did I realize that the title of the photograph was generating traffic to my blog.
So here you are, becoming more SEO savvy and you don’t have to know a word of html code to do it.