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17 Traffic Building Tips from Some of the World’s Most Popular Bloggers

I asked my favorite popular bloggers for quick and uncommon tips for building website traffic. They really came through with some priceless wisdom and tips, including my favorites by David Heinemeier Hansson, partner at 37signals and James Chartrand of Men With Pens.

When you’re done, I would love to hear a quick and uncommon tip for building web traffic from you, in the comments!

  1. “Give your very best content away.”
    Josh Hanagarne, World’s Strongest Librarian

  2. Find people wherever they hang out and bring them back home. If your audience likes to use YouTube then create videos, if they are businesses then check out LinkedIn, and if they are mostly consumers then put effort into engaging them in Facebook and attract them to your blog from there.”
    Chris Garrett, Chris Garrett on New Media

  3. Make your content unmissable. Think ‘How could I make all of my content be viewed as something that can’t be missed?’ That may mean writing when you can’t not write. It might mean killing a lot of mediocre ideas. But it’s mostly about deliberately choosing to only publish content that makes people hungry for more.”
    Jonathan Mead, Paid to Exist

  4. After you hit publish on your next blog post, head on over to Google blogsearch and find other people who have wrote about the same thing. If it is fairly popular, there will be quite a few blogs which have covered the same subject recently, so go to their posts and join in the conversation by leaving a comment. Anyone who clicks on your comment from that site will find very relevant content, as if it is an ‘extension’ of the site they were just reading, and they’ll probably stick around for quite a while.”
    Glen Allsopp, ViperChill

  5. “One of the often overlooked ways to build traffic online is by leveraging offline strategies & tactics. By that I mean things like:

    * Attending conferences for networking opportunities
    * Speaking or presenting at relevant events
    * Handing out business cards with your website URL

    …and any activity which positions you as an expert in your field offline. National press exposure (or even local press) usually results in huge spikes of traffic and it’s one of our main strategies for the Location Independent network this year. It’s often overlooked because people naturally focus on the online world – which, let’s face it, is actually relatively small, incestuous and often we’re all talking to the same people! Expanding your outreach to focus on spreading the word and your message to audiences who aren’t already online is a great way to build high traffic quickly.”
    Lea Woodward, Location Independent

  6. Considering that April is just around the corner, here is an uncommon tip to generate traffic: leverage April Fools’ Day. That is right, if you pull a crazy enough prank on your blog it might go viral, and the traffic will be huge. Last year I invented a service that would let Internet users download the whole Internet to their hard drives….!”
    Daniel Scocco, Daily Blog Tips

  7. The best thing that has worked for me is to avoid incestuous blogging. Most blogs live in a small circle of influence; they write about other blogs in the circle and other blogs in the circle write about them. To really increase traffic beyond the same group of readers, you have to establish multiple spheres of influence within a variety of industries. This is contrary to the old idea of ‘do one thing well.'”
    Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity

  8. Visualize it. Imagine. Chant. Pray. Believe. FEEL what it will feel like to hit your traffic goal. Do whatever woo-woo thing you’re inclined to do that is about the energetics of what you’re aiming to achieve. It’s amazing how many practical ideas — and synchronicities — will happen when you get get away from your to-do list and into an affirmative mindset.”
    Danielle LaPorte, White Hot Truth

  9. Video is all of the rage these days, not only with people, but with search engines too. If you’d like to drive both direct and search engine traffic to your website, I’d recommend using video as part of your traffic generation arsenal. If you have a blog post, or a certain page on your website that you’d like to drive traffic to, create a short video that compliments the written content on your site. Upload it to YouTube, and make sure the name of the video and all of the tags are related to the keywords of the specific page on your blog, and be sure to insert the URL into the description of the video as well. Embed the video on your webpage, and make sure all backend meta, video description data all contain the keywords as well. Your blog post or webpage will now climb the ranks of the search engines, and you’ll also have direct/search traffic coming from the YouTube site of things as well. Additionally, you may end up on the first page of the SERPs for the video results related to those keywords as well.”
    Pat Flynn, The Smart Passive Income Blog

  10. “Focus on one topic, write great content, interview great people who are also in your niche = overnight success!”
    Everett Bogue, Far Beyond the Stars

  11. My approach is simply to try to provide as much value as I can. I don’t view blogging as a job—I’ll go weeks without posting sometimes—I only do it when it’s something I find interesting or useful, and when I do post I’ll often spend 5 hours researching and crafting a good post. That doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s my approach.

    Another thing that is integral to your success is to build relationships with other, established bloggers who inspire you. From there, you can start to guest post on the most popular blogs related to your niche—frequently the biggest source of new traffic—and enlist others’ help on your projects.”
    Cody McKibben, Thrilling Heroics

  12. “I purposely don’t read the big names. I’ve never read Penelope Trunk, or Seth Godin, or anyone else who’s considered an A-list blogger, and I do that on purpose. I don’t want to be influenced by what they’re saying–consciously or unconsciously–and want to avoid recycling the same information over and over again. By not following their conversations, I’m better able to produce my own original content, which I think is one of the biggest reasons why I’ve gained so much traction in so little time. Original, bold, and exactly what I think. Blogging favors strong opinions; not wishy-washy, maybe this or maybe that.”
    Ashley Ambirge, The Middle Finger Project

  13. Be everywhere, all at once. It’s a strategy used to launch new Hollywood stars or models or movies, in fact. When something or someone gets plastered all over the media, people pay attention. Their brains think, ‘This person has to be pretty important to be all over like this.’ Then they think, What’s this all about, anyways? I don’t want to be the guy who doesn’t know what’s going on.’ They’ll want to learn more to stay informed – and it doesn’t take long before they do that, either. Instant traffic!”
    James Chartrand, Men With Pens

  14. Reply to every comment from day one. When someone comes by your blog and takes the time to leave a comment – it demands recognition. Think about it – there are millions of blogs out there – we’re inundated with information – so for someone to come to yours and take the time to respond, whether they agree or disagree – that means something. Make an effort to respond to every single comment that comes through, and when you respond to each comment, work to continue the conversation – follow up with another question. It may fall flat, they may never come back and read your response – but in order for a blog to be successful, the conversation needs to go beyond the post itself. Budget time in your blogging schedule to make every effort to encourage an ongoing dialogue – give people a reason to come back again and again.”
    Matt Cheuvront, Life Without Pants

  15. Don’t always focus on your own niche to find readers. Chances are whatever you blog about, there are people who enjoy that topic too, even if they don’t blog about it. For example, I write about travel. I connect with a lot of travel bloggers but they aren’t the only people who enjoy reading about travel. The entire planet does. To expand my readership, I have guest blogged on finance websites talking about how to save money when you travel and blogged on life style design sites about living independently. Just don’t focus on your own niche! Branch out and get people who might not have ever come across your website!”
    Matt Kepnes, Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site

  16. The easiest way to build traffic is to make your posts go viral. You know, having other people broadcast them because… well, that’s the secret of creating a viral blog post 😉 And it’s a really simple secret, by the way: people retweet, post to facebook, digg, stumble or reddit a blog post, because it makes them look good. Try to write your blog posts from the perspective of a guy who would want to retweet them: how does broadcasting that blog post will make me look? If the answer is ‘good’ you have a just created a viral blog post.”
    Dragos Roua, Brilliantly Better

  17. “Be undeniably interesting for years.”
    David Heinemeier Hansson, Creator of Ruby on Rails and Partner at 37signals

What’s your tip for building website or blog traffic? Please share in the comments!

photo by crsan

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