Thursday, February 19, 2009

Writers Helping Writers: Getting Traffic

I thought it might be time to start a new series here on The Writer's blog called Writers Helping Writers. Instead of this just being my soapbox to talk about my journey as a writer, I'm going to move the apostrophe and make this The Writers' Blog for a bit and hope some other writers will participate in the conversations.

This writer loves getting traffic and has had some great advice given to me about getting it and have found a few secrets to getting traffic to blogs and articles online. Self-promotion is key in writing so learning to promote yourself and your articles online can help you increase your success significantly.

Here are several tips for getting traffic to your website / blog / article. Hopefully some who read this will find it useful. Hopefully some of you will share your traffic-getting tips also.


1. StumbleUpon. I love Stumbleupon. Not only can you get traffic from your own stumbles but when people love your site and give it a thumbs up it can really go viral. Some say that bookmarking creates false traffic because it's not targeted enough but I disagree. When you tag, optimise, and categorise your bookmarking efforts the right way, it can get indexed in search engines and get categorised on bookmarking sites so that people with those interests will find the posts.

2. HubPages and Squidoo lenses. When I write lenses and hubs I like to add links to some of my articles. After lenses and hubs are published, I can go back and edit in a link if I find one that seems really useful. HubPages frowns upon too much self-promotion so I try to stick to just a few links per hub but I haven't found that problem with Squidoo so far. Another thing I like to do is put various RSS feeds into these sites because people viewing them will have an opportunity to click to an ever-changing list of links that updates on a regular basis.

3. Widgets. Put some widgets on your blog that point to articles you've written on various article directories and blogs. MyBlogLog has a great widget for that and the MyBlogLog site can bring you a lot of traffic if you actively participate there. I have my ezinearticles widget on my business site so that potential customers can quickly click to a list of articles I've written online. I try to regularly write in my top niches so I can use those as samples AND I do article marketing for my own affiliate marketing efforts so it's a win-win.

4. Write about blogs on other blogs/articles. If you try to link in every post to another post you've written about a topic, you're going to give your other articles SEO love as well as entice visitors to click on your other articles. When they do that, your articles could get shared on other blogs, your blogs could get blogrolled, and you can make sales if the article lives somewhere that's monetised. Article directory resource boxes are great for this purpose and you can link to sites, hubs, lenses and other articles.

5. Social bookmarking on other sites like FriendFeed, Twitter, Plurk, Reddit, Mixx, and others. I try to bookmark everything I write with at least one service and I vary it sometimes. It doesn't hurt to ask friends for the odd Digg, retweet, etc as well.

What are some of your blog / article traffic secrets? Looking forward to hearing some other article /blog traffic tips from writers.


TRochelle said...

OMG you sooooo reminded me that I needed to hit up Twitter. I tried signing up and the site was down and I just forgot! Thank you!

Dana Prince said...

Twitter can be a bit addictive. I have to restrain myself from tweeting all day long. lol. It's great as a promotional tool and for networking. You just have to be sure you don't just spam your followers with links and nothing else or they won't click through.

Cookie said...

I keep reading about Twitter. But I haven't pursued it for the exact reason that you just stated Dana. I could see myself tweeting every time I got a free moment. That's why I had to stop going on Myspace.

I guess once I develop more self control I might give it a try. LOL!

Diana said...

HELP! I have been reading posts about freelance writing for over a year. I say I am "going to be" a freelance writer, but I haven't started yet. I am afraid of rejection and failure. I want to get over that fear and start making money as a writer. Is there any HOPE for me?

Dana Prince said...

Diana, I'd love to hear more about what you've done so far, what you've liked to do, and what has caused the fear. Feel free to write to me if you like at danaprincewriting at gmail dot com and I'd be pleased to turn it into a blog post with some (hopefully)helpful tips.

Dana Prince said...

LOL, Cookie. It depends on who you're following. I purposely don't use a downloaded application that notifies me of tweets throughout the day and don't open a browser unless I want to spend a few minutes there. I tried downloading a client like MSN that tweeted every time there was an update and thought if I kept it going I'd turn into a full-time BROKE Twitterer. LOL.

Sharon Hurley Hall said...

These are all great methods for building traffic, Dana, and I've used them all. I've recently returned to Twitter after some time away and am finding it addictive. However, I now use the web interface, because those notifications were getting in the way of work.

On the Money said...

Still trying to figure out Stumble Upon ... Does one have to pay to get into their list?

Dana Prince said...

HI Russell,
Stumbleupon accounts are free. Once you've got an account you can 'stumble' pages such as your own and others. You can set up categories for pages you'd like to see when you do stumbling. You can buy advertising from them as well but you don't have to as their accounts are free. I'm happy to answer any StumbleUpon questions I can. I've been using the tool since 2006 so know it quite well. I also just 'stumbled' your money blog :) There was a stumble there already and the more people that stumble a post with a thumbs up, the more potential traffic you'll get.

Solomon said...

Hi Dana,
It's after long time I stumbled on to your blog. I read Sharon's blog too and of late couldn't. I thought you would help me get some traffic to my blog: where I blog about copywriting, branding as I've long advertising experience as a copywriter.
Now, I want to your suggestion where can I submit my articles (free) to get the needed exposure and credibility.
Thanks for your suggestions in advance!

Dana Prince said...

A great starting point is It's currently the top article directory and can help your site get foot traffic as well as spider traffic.