How Do I Get Traffic To My Blog?

By Mitch Wilson
61 Comments

Miami Mitch once again chimes in with some blogging advice, today starting a series of blog posts on traffic.

How to attract traffic to your blog is by far the most popular question all budding bloggers have, and in this case Mitch definitely has the experience to share some advice. His sports blog receives in excess of 400,000 visitors a month.

Today Mitch has two great traffic tips for you. Here he is…

While I get a lot of questions about my Blog, the most common one I get from bloggers is regarding traffic. First people always ask how much traffic I get and then after I tell them I get an average of over 400,000 visitors a month, they always want to know how I do it.

While I could write a book about this subject, and someday I might, I thought I would use at least one of my posts here at Entrepreneurs-Journey to directly address traffic, so we can call this part one of an on going series.

Bookmark Traffic

Firstly, and I can’t stress this enough, traffic that comes from bookmarks is the best and most important traffic.

While many people spend their lives trying to get discovered in the search engines (and I’ll help you out with that in this and later articles), it is most important that when people do get to your site, you make it somewhere they want to come back to, somewhere they want to bookmark and become part of their everyday life. You want to keep you blog fresh, dynamic, informative, entertaining, and everything else you possibly can.

While a lot of people know the importance of bookmarks, many fail to effectively capture this source of traffic. I can give you an example of just how important this aspect is. In my first few months of blogging, I was using a strategy Yaro taught me in Blog Mastermind to market an article and the article was picked up by Fox Sports who turned it into a 10 page slide show on their main website.

Naturally this resulted in thousands of hits an hour and a true river of visitors, but within a few days it was all gone. My blog was new so I have an excuse I guess, I just didn’t have anything too compelling to keep the majority of people coming back. I quickly learned from this that I needed to create a place where people not only could find my site, but where people wanted to come back.

While this concept is so basic and so simple, it is also the most easily forgotten as the traffic obsession takes over.

It is well worth to think about your site in these terms, to think of yourself as a first time visitor and ask if your site is a place you want to come back to regularly. Think about the sites you have bookmarked – what are the characteristics or type of information that caused you to bookmark the site? It may not be for everything that site offers, if could just be for one piece of information that is easily found at that particular site.

On average, over 4,000 people a day visit my site through bookmarks alone. Some days it’s even twice or three times that. I don’t know if it’s the same people or some people who visit on a particular day each week, my guess it’s both, but I know four to five thousand visitors a day guaranteed as a starting point is a good enough number to make a few dollars. Add search traffic and traffic from other sources and the numbers become even more significant.

Because bookmark traffic is from people who visit the site regularly, they are also “fans” and people who have grown to trust me and know I am not selling them just to make a few bucks. They know if I am selling something it’s something I believe in.

Blog Traffic Lesson One

Of course you might be thinking “that’s great Mitch, you lucked out and got on a big news site, but how do I get traffic in the first place?” I don’t have all of the answers as I don’t know them, I only know what works for me.

Let’s start with Lesson One: It all begins with a good title.

I can’t stress the importance of a good title for being found in the search engines. Most people when they start blogging their creative juices start flowing and they feel compelled to come up with a really cool title for their article or blog post, sort of like we see in a book or newspaper. I can tell you that is a huge mistake, epic really, as in essence you have wasted many opportunities.

The key to a good title is not making it cute or clever, it’s making it something that people would type into a search engine. As is often the case, this is better explained by using an example.

A current story in sports is baseball free agency and one of the game’s hottest free agents is Cliff Lee of the Texas Rangers. Now if you were writing for a newspaper, a cool title might be something along these lines:

Teams Line Up For The Texas Ace

While in a newspaper you could have a picture that people would see as they skim the pages with a subtitle basically explaining what the article is about. The search engines won’t give you the same luxury.

As a sports fan, even if I was looking for an article about Cliff Lee and free agency, I don’t think those would be the terms I would type into the search engine. In order for a title to be effective, it has to contain the search terms and as many of them as you can fit without making the title incomprehensible.

So what terms would I use to search for when looking for this story? Cliff Lee, baseball, free agent, maybe even Texas Rangers. If this were the case, clearly a better title would be something along the lines of:

Baseball Teams Line Up For Cliff Lee Of The Texas Rangers As Free Agency Begins.

Now this title is clearly not as fun and not as cool but it is thousands of times more effective in helping people find it. It doesn’t matter how cool it is if no one knows it exists. People can easily find out how cool your writing is once they are at your post, in fact you can even subtitle it in the body with whatever phrase you like, but as for the main title, simple and straight forward is best.

While having keywords in your article is effective when done right, having them in the title is what is going to get your article indexed better in search engines. I know this is not earth shattering news to some, I also know some people will read this, the light bulb will go on, and on their very next article they will remember my advice and adjust their title accordingly. Give it a try, my guess is you will see instant results.

I’ve got lots more to say about how to get traffic to your blog, so stay tuned for my next article.

Mitch Wilson

About Mitch Wilson

In 2008 Mitch typed into Google, "How do I start a Blog?". Within three months he was receiving 3,000 unique visitors a day, within a year he was blogging full time with over 400,000 monthly visitors and 1 million monthly page views. Blogging has given him a life beyond his wildest dreams. Today Mitch is a professional blogger who has turned his hobby passion into a dream job: running his own business at the Sports Chat Place. He now wishes to give back to the blogging community by sharing what he has learned.

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61 Comments

  • This is a great point about titles. We aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but we sure do judge a blog post by the title. Making the concept easy to understand by reading the title, or even using a title that is a little provocative, I find is a great way to get readers.

    Thanks for the post.

    • I just find methods that work and stick with them. No need to reivent the wheel every time out

  • Mitch,

    Thanks for the awesome post – I have a list of actions from this lesson that I now need to take and apply to my blog.

    I am really looking forward to the next lesson – thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks, I don’t get a chance to write about the actual blogging part or business part too often an I’m grateful to Yaro for giving me this opportunity.

  • Thanks for the tips Mitch, I too have a lot of to do lists for my blogs after reading the post. Thanks.

    • I know my methods are usually about less is more so maybe these will help simplify things

  • Thanks, Mitch. You have some good tips here, and I especially like the idea of marketing an article. I think I’ll try it.

  • Thanks Mitch for the top tips for traffic attraction. I believe it is not simply a post but it is father of the posts. You have explained the tips honestly. It is hoped you continue this spirit in the future.
    Thanks.

    Saif

  • Thanks for the tips, Mitch. Title and keyword in your content is a real deal when you combined it. Looking forward to your next article!

  • Thanks for sharing that post Mitch. Although, I know that a headline has to be compelling, you’ve got me hooked. I’m eagerly awaiting further tips.

    • compelling is good but to me being able to be found is most important

  • Exactly what I need. Turning those one-time visitors to loyal readers is hard, but once one accomplishes that I guess it’s a good ride thence. And what with all the social bookmarking sites available, it ain’t hard. But like you said, it all begins with a good little. Thanks Mitch. Eagerly waiting for the next article.

    • I think a lot of people don’t grasp the idea of building traffic as opposing to catching new traffic with keywords

  • JTP

    Thanks for sharing this important tips. As I always struggle and questioning how great bloggers get their traffics, and I wish to learn more and more about this important aspect for a blog.

    Thanks again. :D

    • My whole idea of why I wanted to write here was that I think people make it way more complicated than it needs to be. It’s never the guys teaching it who make it complicated, people look way too into it. :)

  • I love free traffic methods for any blogs.

  • Thank you Yaro for bringing back Mitch’s story. After knowing Mitch’s success by your podcast, I am a big fan of Mitch. Believe it or not, for a long time my laptop’s password was Miami Mitch.
    I used to submit articles in directories like ezinearticles.com like what Mitch did. Today my blog’s popular article is “Top 10 deadliest air crash”. This is just similar to Mitch’s article on best 10 team.

  • Jim

    Mitch,
    I found this post on getting traffic useful. Thanks.

  • Thanks. I will definitely think twice when I name my posts now.

  • Make use of social networking and bookmarking sites.

  • Good stuff there Mitch, great traffic techniques that one could put in place from now.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot Com

    • plenty more to come, I hope to talk just about direct methods of getting traffic at least once a month here

  • Hey Mitch,
    Believe it or not, I actually never thought of creating a post title based on what someone would type into Google. I just thought it had to be catchy. Thanks for the tip, I will try it out..

    • when you start seeing the results in your stats, it will be all you think about

  • Being a new blogger, I had no idea about this. I’m changing all my titles now. Let’s see if it makes a difference. Thanks!

  • let me know how it works out.

  • Good stuff Yaro. It just means “be useful” doesn’t it?

    • Sorry Mitch, that was in reference to the “bookmark” part, not the title part :)

      • No problem, I don’t think I wrote anything earth shattering in either part, I just try and keep it simple.

  • Seriously made me rethink how I choose my titles. I used to think before about catchy titles for returning visitors when they get to my site, now I have just realized a new strategy for new visitors – you also need a title that draws them in from the search engines.

    • unless you have a way people can see your articles other than the search engines, it’s more important that people know they can find the information they are looking for just by the title.

      • You’re are right Mitch and That’s one key area I have just learnt from reading your post. I used to pull in traffic from other sources like; facebook and by commenting on other blogs. Never gave much thought to my titles for search engines except the SEO meta tags and keywords strategy. This was really an eye opener.

        Thanks for the unusual insight!

  • This had me really thinking about titles on my posts. Like you said, being a new blogger, I’ve tried to be clever with my headlines and not thought about the phrases people would be using to search for information. Doh!
    I got a few posts I’m working on and will now change them with your advice in place.

    Look forward to your next article.

    • I don’t think changing old ones helps as much as more than likely the articles are indexed so the URL won’t change. Believe me, I wasted 100’s before I figured it out.

  • Having a catchy title definately works. I wrote a blog piece awhile back that I thought was useful for my industry but it got very few hits and even less comments. I’ve since updated the title and the views and comments have really taken off. It’s very true…if you want traffic, it starts with a title that consumers/readers find interesting.

  • I’ve been lucky with my title as it was a play on my name, but also something that people might type into a search engine. In particular, I think the google instant search feature actually helped me out a bit as I started getting some search traffic after it was implemented. I actually accidentally stumbled on your method, but I can say that it’s definitely a good point.

    • I stumbled upon it myself. I think it goes back to what Leigh wrote here a few posts back about Trial and error

  • Hi Mitch, always enjoy reading your guest articles here on Yaro’s blog, hope you will continue to post more articles in the future for us! While you tip might be simple at first, it makes alot of sense, I think over time as a website begins to get established and to gain authority, putting an emphasis on your titles will go a long way, I’ve seen it first hand.

    Till then,

    Jean

    • Hi,

      I plan on contributing regularly, hopefully I can add some value. I really can only go by my own experience while Yaro has helped so many people he has seen a lot of different things that work and don’t work.

      • Thats great to hear Mitch, I am sure tons of Yaro’s readers like myself are excited to hear that :) Keep it up man :)

        -Jean

  • I agree – Titles are the first thing that anyone is going to see (especially on a search engine). I try to do write compelling titles with my keywords mixed in. Sometimes the titles are great. Other times, not so much, but I find that it can depend on my keyword (and how much creative juice I have left in me at that time).

    Looking forward to your next post Mitch!

    • Hi,

      I just remember the first time I was able to pin down what someone typed into google to find me, I still look at this stuff all the time in case there are other people trying to find similar info.

  • THis information is so helpful Mitch. I too will be renaming my titles, I suppose its lucky its only a new blog so not too much work involved. But it will be fun finding the googled words/phrases.. Cheers

  • I figured out the importance of titles when I started analyzing my blog’s Google Analytics. What were people typing in to find my blog, what were common search terms?

    Then I started writing articles incorporating those terms, and similar terms, or terms along the same line of thinking, as much as I could, while still creating compelling and relevant content.

    I write a blog about Mercedes-Benz cars, as a resource for buyers… now when you type in ‘mercedes sign and drive lease’ (a super common search term) the first 3-5 hits on google are my itty bitty blog! There are a bunch of other terms, common ones where the same thing happens, it blows me away, so simple, yet so often overlooked!

  • So far the most effective method that we have found is the backlinks. I think Google is supporting spam on the web by inspiring every one to get back links and then webmasters go crazy to get links.

  • Those are some very valuable pointers as always, Mitch. The lure of a catchy title is sometimes too much for people to resist and they fail to realize how it can work against them in getting traffic in the first place. Differentiating between what works in traditional media versus what works online is a very important skill to master if you want a lot of traffic, for sure.

  • Some great tips thanks for that. I have been writing titles more akin to newspapers recently, I will definitely be making the change for my next post!

    Thanks

    Simon

  • Ann

    Thanks Mitch, have to work out how I could use this info now

  • It’s not just about attracting traffic to your blog though….it’s so much more than this.

    It’s all about HOW you convert your traffic into what you want that traffic to do, i.e: click a link, download something, or buy a product….Mitch you not covered this very important point…You can have 400,000 visitors a month but if they don’t do what you want them to do, your blog isn’t optimised to convert – you don’t make ££. Optimise your site first before sending 400,000 visitors to your site for nothing! I actually believe that you don’t need a huge amount if visitors to make sales…it’s all in the ‘process’ of which traffic is part of, but not the whole story.

  • Well, bookmarking is good, but my guess is… it is good only if you blog is a news site that consist sports, technology and health. It’s totally different in the make money blogging niche… I really, because it’s been so overcrowded that, every hour or even minutes, new products, methods, secret and tips will come out anytime and we people can’t even catch up with every single post that was posted by most well-known blogs.
    I’m not saying bookmarking is no good, it’s just that, I don’t bookmark any make money blogging blogs or marketing blog as there are just too many of them to read in a day and I guess that’s what most people might think.
    Otherwise like sports, technology and health… you only had to bookmark a few top blog or site… and when new stuff come out, all the other average blog will follow…

  • I totally agree with you Mitch, a good headline is very important. Nothing matters unless you properly market it. With search engines its all about the keywords.

  • Many thanks Mitch for sharing this valuable info. Some of these things seem so obvious after you’ve read somebody else saying them!

  • Thanks for the info, Yaro.

    The first appearance is what counts, right?

  • The title tag counts big time in the search engines so having one with your target keywords is a must.

  • Title tags can either make or mar your post, i quite agree also No one is going to take you seriously if your blog looks unproffesional, you’ll want a decent logo and a good design for your blog. With all of the resources at our fingertips online these days, anyone can do this on their own for FREE, and without hiring someone.

  • Bookmarking and social websites are very powerful ways to get traffic to your website. But as you mention above seo (like optimum title) is very important.
    I think we shouldn’t forget that the main bunch of visitors sould come from search engines. This is essential . Because all the others methods are just seem as forcing and not too much organic! For example sending posts to facebook pages by manual can take visitors but can also take reverse reactions from the members of the group if this group is not of your website. On the other hand if you stop to post your link to facebook or another social websites like twitter, visitor traffic will also stop . There is no regularity. But search engines are organic and send you regular and quality visitors. So we have to make an optimum seo. If we think that seo of our website is okey than we can share our time for other methods.

  • Thank you so much to Mr. Yaro for these techniques. Which is now i finding of traffics to my site.

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