Writing quality content is the first step. And doing some on-page and off-page optimizations may bring you in some natural traffic from search results and other places. But that’s not going to be enough.
You’ll still need to work on driving more traffic before you could start earning money through blogging, at least something decent. Consider trafficking the life of your blog. Without traffic, your time invested in creating quality content would go to waste. Without traffic, how do you expect advertisers to want to advertise on your blog? Without traffic, how do you plan to get clicks on your ads? The bottom line, if you want some excellent money flowing in your blog, you need the right amount of regular traffic coming in. And with so many blogs on the net right now, the competition can be quite severe.
Social sites and forums
For me, socializing is one of the best ways to get quality traffic. Social media sites such as facebook and twitter had been beneficial for a lot of blogs/websites. Unfortunately, I’m not active at those sites, again due to lack of time. But, if you have some time to spend on facebook and twitter or better yet if you are already active there, you can use those sites to gain more traffic. But there are tons of other locations aside from those. Luckily for me, since I’m on the money-making online niche, some of my get paid to sites come in handy like my get paid to post site, Mylot.com. Since most of the people who join there are already interested in earning money online, obviously, promoting my blog, there would make me more targeted and quality traffic. It’s like I’m getting paid to help my blog.lol
Overall, the key to this is to be active on the social site or forum you choose to promote your blog at. The more active you are at discussions, the more people you’ll meet. And if you join social sites or forums that cater specifically to your niche, then the better quality traffic you may get. So, always take advantage of posting in your links at your social profiles.
Special thanks to my good friend online, supermommyjem, for encouraging me to try this. Recently, I’ve been blog hopping. And so far, I like it. I get to meet new friends, see other blogs and even get new followers on my blog for that. It’s another easy and straightforward way to explore and understand your blog exposed in the blogging community. Just don’t forget to drop them a comment or a message at their shoutbox. And if you also like their blogs, follow them in return or give them some love by spending some time reading their posts.
So, where do I start? Well, I always start at my own followers’ blogs, then I just let myself hop from followers to followers. The blogging community isn’t that big, and it only seems so if you isolate yourself from the others.
Here’s another option you can consider. Recently, I just removed the “no follow” tag at my comment form, but only at the commenter’s link. Because if I went dofollow all the way, I’m afraid I’ll be dealing with more spam comments. But the advantage of turning dofollow is that you’d be able to submit your blog to dofollow directories and dofollow search engines which can, of course, lead you with some additional traffic. Although I have to admit, your blog would be prone to getting spams. So, I advise that you moderate your comments. Anyway, I’m still having trouble on getting my site listed on some dofollow sites to cause they require my blog to remove the nofollow tag even at the comments itself which I will never do…lol. That’s just too risky for me cause I’m still watching out my outgoing links.
I know I may not get quality traffic from this, but I felt that it’s still worth the try since it only took me a few minutes to remove the nofollow tag. After that, I need to get my blog listed on a few dofollow directories. With just a little work, I can already expect a lifetime additional traffic from those directories as long as I don’t violate any of their TOS, of course.
Another effective way to attract some traffic to your site is by making cool contests. The benefits that you can get from it would depend on a lot of things such as how good the prize is, how hard the competition is, etc… But if you are planning to do a contest, whether it’s a big contest or just a small one, my simple advice is, be honest and always be fair to everyone. The more transparent your game is, the more credible it would be. And gaining trust from my readers had always been one of my aims.
Another way to boost your traffic is by engaging with traffic exchanges. Please note that I only included this option to show you what others are doing. But for my blog, I don’t do that. Because usually (not all the time though), people coming from traffic exchanges are often in a hurry. They do visit, but then they leave right away cause they still need to visit more blogs on their traffic exchange list. And one disadvantage of that would be getting a higher bounce rate. If you’re running Adsense like me, how much you earn per click can get affected. But of course, the result is not always bad. Traffic exchanges work pretty well with other bloggers. I guess it just depends on what you’re aiming for.
Some people say that Alexa traffic rankings aren’t accurate to the point that it’s useless because it’s easy to manipulate. Well, regarding being not that 100% accurate, I agree. But, when it comes to being ineffective, not really. For bloggers who are aiming at earning money with their blogs by getting direct advertisers, it still helps to get a decent Alexa traffic rank. Some advertisers still require that, although not all.
Anyway, I wasn’t very active here on my blog for a long time, partly because I didn’t have much extra time before. Up until recently, I decided to revive my blog, do some optimizations, and try to promote it. So, around mid of July, I also tried to check my Alexa ranking and found out I was at around 4,753,338. Yikes! Not good, but I wasn’t surprised. And I have no idea about my rank before that cause I never really took the time to check.
How did I handle my low Alexa traffic rank?
I tried to look around and see what I can do to help me get a better traffic rank at Alexa. And I found tons of tips on how to do it. But, most of the tips I’ve read are techniques to manipulate the results into something not accurate at all. Like, installing Alexa toolbar and setting your blog as your home page, visiting your blog a few times a day and other useless techniques. At least for me, that’s useless… cause what’s the point on getting a better Alexa traffic rank if you know it’s fake/manipulated. And even if you get to use your shaped Alexa traffic to lure some advertisers on sponsoring on your blog, one way or another, your advertisers would have an idea on how your blog is doing during the process. And this could result in losing some trust on your site. So, I’ve decided to stick on the natural and genuine way.
So, why do others claim Alexa is inaccurate?
Aside from the fact that it can easily be manipulated, Alexa only counts visitors who are using the Alexa toolbar. And since not all visitors you get even know about Alexa, some aren’t using its toolbar. So, if you have like, for example, 100 visitors per day not using the Alexa toolbar, then that won’t be counted or credited to your traffic rank.
How to make Alexa count your visitors who aren’t using Alexa toolbar?
One thing I did was to install an Alexa traffic rank widget on my blog. They say this is a way to help Alexa effectively count even visitors without their toolbar. I also downloaded Alexa toolbar but had to take it away after a few days cause I already have tons of other stuff installed like the SEO book and web developer toolbar.
How to improve your Alexa traffic rank the right way?
Once you’ve installed the Alexa widget, at least you can be assured that they’d somehow count all, if not, at least most of your visitors. Instead of wasting my time following manipulative tactics, I just focused more on trying to promote my site and get genuine visitors through some off-page optimizations and other ways to get additional traffic.
In just a month, I took 4 million off from my Alexa rank.
Yesterday, after one month of installing the Alexa widget and trying to drive real traffic to my blog, my Alexa went from almost 5 million (July 13), up to around just 1,012,593 today. Yehey! I’m happy because I know its genuine. Yesterday, it was about 993,097. I hope I get to see better results in the future.
Anyway, you can try to manipulate it, but in the end, you’ll just be making a fool out of yourself. Besides, without managing it, you’ll find the other data Alexa provides are pretty helpful.
Analyze your blog and make good use of the data you gather
Around 1,000,000 is still not something to brag about. Usually, getting at the top 100,000 is said to be more favourable with potential advertisers. So, that means, I still need to work on promoting my blog and do some more SEO stuff to pull more natural traffic from search results. But, I know it would be harder, since the closer you get to the top #1 at Alexa, the slower the progress could be.
From the stats that Alexa provided, they get a calculation that most of my visitors spend around 31 minutes and views around 6.2 pages per visit. Now, that confirms that my efforts on internal linking for my inner pages and providing the right navigation menu of my main categories are paying off. It means that most of my visitors stay longer and read more posts. And I don’t just base that from Alexa, I also look at my Google Analytics and Google Webmasters tools (another helpful tool in assessing the status of your blog). From my Analytics, I get a close result, with an estimation of 4.4 page views per visit. My bounce rate at Alexa is 35%, while Analytics states 41.52%. So, I guess, I still need to keep working on making more informative posts.
How accurate are the tools?
Overall, I still believe that tools are not 100% accurate. But, if you know that you aren’t doing any schemes to manipulate the results, at least you’ll get a close estimation of how your blog is doing. I consider them essential and helpful, cause through these tools, I get to have an idea on what and how I can still improve my blog.
So, how vital is Alexa in making money?
Well, as I said, if you’re planning to make money from your blogs by targeting direct advertisers, you have to try and make your blog do well on almost every aspect such as traffic, PR, useful content, etc. This is because it’s not easy to get direct advertisers. But, if you try to make your blog get a decent result and reputation, including your Alexa traffic rank, the process of finding a potential sponsor would be much more comfortable. Alexa is not the most important thing, but it can usually help to confirm your traffic.