Sunday, September 6, 2009

Thinking of Monetizing Your Blog? Some Tips to Increase Your Traffic

I’ve recently spoken to some friends who’ve confided that they would like to try to monetize their blogs and have asked how I've done it. To monetize means to earn money through blogging by advertising. One can advertise various ways, such as by displaying ads, doing product reviews, or using blogs to promote your own business. I’ve decided to do all three! The drawback to monetizing is that ads can be a bit distracting. I recently polled my blog viewers to ask if the ads bothered them or if they understood that I was “just trying to fund my 9.5 kids college tuitions”. Most were understanding, or maybe it’s just because I have such awesome blog readers and they were trying to be nice, I don’t know, but people haven’t complained too much...except for my sisters, but they complain about everything.

The benefits, or course, are that one can earn money through monetizing, thus the term. If you choose to monetize, one of the most important concerns you’ll need to address is how you are going to drive traffic to your blog. The following is a list of things I did when I first started blogging followed by a list of things I’ve recently started doing that has nearly doubled my traffic.

How I began:

1. I visited many blogs a day and left comments to let people know I was out there.
2. I started a weekly homemaking carnival, made a little button for it at scrapblog.com, let people know about it by leaving comments on their blogs and invited them to do link exchanges with me. However, you don't need to start your own carnival to do link exchanges, just ask fellow bloggers and most will say yes!
3. I posted often, at least 3 or 4 times a week, but sometimes as many as 6 times a week.
4. I had my blog listed at various blog listing sites. (See buttons at the bottom of my left sidebar.)
5. I tried to write material that would interest readers. Posting photos of your kids is cute sometimes, but unless you’re a really good photographer, that can get old. If you are posting those types of photos as a journal or for your family, it's great, but if you want to drive traffic to your blog, you'll have to expand your repetoir. I try to ask myself three questions when it comes to what I write. 1.) Can it teach something? 2.) Is it inspiring? 3.) Is it entertaining? I don’t always succeed at answering yes to at least one of these questions, but that is what I try to have in mind as I think of things to blog. For an amazing post related to that, you should go check out Brent Riggs’ blog entitled “On Building a Better Blog”. His entire blog is inspirational, but this particular post will drastically improve the way I blog, I believe. Click HERE to go there.
6. I participated,and continue to do so, in other's weekly blog carnivals. Some of my favorites are Not Me Monday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, and Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes For Mom.

Things I’ve done recently:

1. I’ve been part of facebook for quite sometime now, but I never realized how effective a tool it could be at driving traffic to my blog. Every time I post, I announce I did, then include a link to my post page. I have also recently joined Twitter and do the same there. There is actually an application where you can post your status to Twitter and it will automatically update your Facebook status. Love time-savers like that!
2. I’ve joined a community called The Blog Frog (click HERE to get there) and have actively begun participating in popular forums. This step alone has probably increased my blog traffic by about 30% to 40%. If you have any questions about that, just leave a comment.
3. I’ve added the widget called “Link Within”. While this doesn’t actually increase my unique visitors, it has increased my page views. You can find it at the bottom of each post listing related posts with attached thumbnails.
4. I’ve included easy ways for readers to subscribe to my blog, such as through email or other reader.

At this time I think it would be appropriate to sincerely thank all of you who visit my blog! It means so much to me that you care about what is going on in my life and that you visit, leave comments, subscribe to my posts and follow me in your readers. In the past fourteen months, you have changed my life for the better and I soooooooo appreciate it! Thank you, again!

So what do you do to drive traffic to your blog? Let's talk about it in the comments section! Thanks for listening!

If you liked this post and would like to join me here on a regular basis via email or other reader, please...
Subscribe

(You'll be helping to pay for at least one of the nine kid's college tuition.)
OR... bookmark or share this post by clicking the "Add This" button below... Thank you for your visit!

26 comments:

Rustin - TheBlogFrog said...

That makes my day to hear BlogFrog has increased your blog traffic 30-40%! Thanks so much for mentioning us (but where's the link love ;) I'll definitely want to talk to you more about this in the future.

So random, earlier today I dove into your blog reading the about me section etc. then later today you visited my blog and left great comments.

Rustin

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Rustin, thank you for reminding me about the linky love! I totally forgot that! It's up now, so hopefully I can return the favor! Thanks so much for visiting me today!

Tina said...

Great tips and thank you for sharing....

I agree that blog carnivals help to increase traffic and followers. I have only had my blog for a little over 4 months and can say that the carnivals are how I made all the blog friends. Also comment..comment...comment.

I also believe that when someone takes the time to leave me a comment I always leave them a comment on their blog and this has made for loyal blog followers who come back again and again...

I really enjoy your blog and reading about your interesting life....

~Hugs

Tania @ Larger Family Life said...

I'm still trying to get the traffic going and also have delved into the world of monetising. Well, needs must and all that!

Heidi said...

I think commenting is really key as well. I definitely get the most that way. I have also found that participating in list serve groups on relevant topics can also be valuable places to provide exposure for your blog. Nothing like being linked to an email that goes out to 1000 or more people!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Hi Heidi! On your comment regarding list serve groups, I was wondering if you could expound a little bit on what they are and how they work. Thank you!

Heidi said...

Sure! Its basically an email mailing or discussion list. They come in all sorts of forms (my husband's school has one for parent's to get school announcements for example) some are one sided with a moderator that sends out all the messages, others (like Yahoo groups) have one address where you can send an email to that address and it will automatically go to all the subscribers. Those two forms may technically have different names, but I've heard them both referred to interchangeably in the past.

I am on several Montessori and/or homeschool groups on Yahoo. I can actually respond to people's questions, by directing them to a specific post on my blog. Usually I will give a short answer and then refer to my blog for a more in depth answer (assuming I have something already written, which I don't always). I also throw my contests out there when they are relevant.

Obviously I get a lot out of participating in these lists without blog promotion, but once I found ways to include it I really see an increase in traffic on days I am able to link back.

Does that answer your question?

Let me know if it doesn't!

bilbysalenger said...

Never thought about doing it since I spend so much time happily typing away in obscurity, but what a great idea! I'm glad you get to earn rewards for work well done. I know I really enjoy reading your blog and I'm sure others feel the same way.

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

I want to be your facebook friend. I have been reading your blog daily for over a year. I don't think I have even commented though.....

Hoosier Homemade said...

Thanks for the info! I'm pretty new to blogging (Feb.'09) and have done most of those things, but a few are new. I added BlogFrog recently too, I love it.
Last week, I also got a new design. And did quite a bit of work to make my blog easier to read.
~Liz

Hoosier Homemade said...

Sorry, one more thing. Speaking of traffic, how many visitors/hits/views do you or your readers consider good? Average?
Thanks!
~Liz

Jamie H said...

Thanks for reminding me to post comments! I read a lot of blogs but don't always comment. Your other tips were helpful too! I'm going to do my first blog hop or give away this week. I can't decide which one I'm going to try first!

Cheryl B. said...

I have increased my 'readership' by listing all of the "theme day('s)" the rest of you are hosting :-}
And beleive me, I leave comments all over the place!!! I often don't even remember where, I just stumble across things in the course of my "theme day" hunting ... I also often wonder if they left me a responding comment on their blog, which I never went back and read ... aw well, HOPEFULLY I added a smile or some encouragement to their day.
My only challenge is that xanga doesn't seem to allow others to comment on my blog. So ... we've been thinkin on switching to blospot.com or sopmething. What would you reccommend? What cost is involved?
Son #1 named our xanga site back when he started our blog and we were using it as a means to communicate with all of our "part-time" kids ....

Helene said...

These are all great tips...thank you for sharing!! I think joining social networks online, as well as commenting on and following other blogs, has driven more traffic to my blog. I also try to find at least 5 new blogs to read and comment on per week (if time allows, of course). I need to check into BlogFrog more...sounds like another great way to earn some traffic!

BTW, I have twins too (two sets, in fact)!!

Caio Fernandes said...

hi ! thank you for all you have said !!
my tatic is basicly comments and praying .
i iam not so good with computers so i have to learn a lot of what you have said here .
again thank you for all . i wish you more and more trafic on your blog !!!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Caio, I love that you pray for your blog! I do, too, sometimes, but I thought I was the only one!

Jennifer said...

I love this post. It has been so helpful. I noticed someone asked what is considered to be a good amount of traffic or average. Could you help with this? I'm curious about that, too.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Ciao, I really can't answer that because I don't know. I think all we can do is compare ourselves to how much our traffic is increasing month by month to know how well we are doing. By following the above mentioned steps, I have been able to double my traffic over the past two months, so for me, that is some good progress!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

I adressed the last comment to Ciao, but it should have been addressed to Jennifer. Sorry about that!

Apple said...

Thanks for posting this. You have given me some great ideas as to how I can increase my viewers!!

The (Un)Experienced Mom said...

Great feedback! Thanks for the tips - helpful to a new blogger!

Tamara

Mo said...

hey thanks for this blog which I followed thru on your previous commenters discussion thread. Lots of good stuff for me to be thinking about trying!

Rachel said...

Thanks, I use facebook for most of my traffic, but social networking can only take one so far. I have a long way to go. Thanks for some tips to get me started!

Jamee said...

Thanks for this post! Definitely some good information!

Carla said...

Great tips! I've tried these methods but maybe I just need to stay consistent with my efforts :)

Eileen said...

Thank you(!!) for all this great advice! I was doing great at blogging until I went back for classes for a semester and couldn't manage to write anything down. But--I'm constantly thinking of blog ideas, and I hope that I can use some of your ideas to help increase traffic and interest. I really want a blog that is a discussion and and where the readership can help shape the discussion.