23 Link Building and Traffic Driving Tactics for Blogs

I am constantly seeing posts on various webmaster and marketing forums asking how to drive traffic or gain backlinks for a blog.  I find it funny since blogging in my opinion opens so many different doors that would otherwise be closed.  The social media, blogging community, marketing community, and many more are willing to be return visitors to your blog if you do it correctly.  This blog has only a couple posts so far, starting less than a week ago, yet I have already gotten around 1500 backlinks and well over 1k unique visitors.  It isn’t that hard, simply write good content and then find people that are interested in what you have to say and you’ll be on your way to blogging success.

One main point first is that the focus should always be on the content before worrying about how you market it, get links to it, etc.  If your content sucks, nobody will care about what you have to say, what you are promoting, or what you do in the future.  The better your content, the less leg work you have to put in yourself in getting visitors.

Ways to build links and drive traffic to your blog:

  1. Create link bait, people love “Top 10″ lists, quirky fact and cultural phenomenon, breaking industry news, etc.  Good content is also good link bait!
  2. Use social media such as Twitter, MyBlogLog, Facebook, etc. to your advantage.  Do not abuse the system, just use it as it is designed while marketing yourself.
  3. Relevant link exchanges with sites within your niche, especially blogroll trades for bloggers as it is seen on every page.
  4. Comment on DoFollow blogs *cough*  You won’t have to look far!  If you use your imagination, you might find a PR 7 blog that is very lightly moderated fully dofollow and millions of visits a month, I’ll tell you the answer in 43 days.  Type in “dofollow blog search engine” in Google and you will find quite a few nice tools.
  5. Submit your blog to blog directories and blog aggregating websites such as Technorati (Remember to favorite this post!) ;)
  6. Submit your blog to good old fashion link directories (yes, they do still work for links, and no, they don’t work as well as 5 years ago).
  7. Use social bookmarking websites such as StumbleUpon, Digg, Mixx, Sphinn, etc. to bring in big traffic and decent backlinks as many bloggers frequent these sites in search of content to link to.
  8. Link to other websites!  You would be surprised how many people check who is linking to them, and might give them a favorable mention later on.  I have found random people linking to me in my Yahoo Site Explorer backlinks before that I have decided to link to for the hell of it.
  9. Create articles and submit them to article directories such as Ezine Articles, Article Dashboard, iSnare, etc.
  10. Yahoo! Answers, this is a great way to get some visitors to your site as long as you don’t overtly spam them, the links are nofollow but a steady traffic flow is good for the health of any site.
  11. Start a contest and post it on popular forums and contest websites, this is a great way to get some interested visitors.  Make them work for it a little with comment contests, traffic contests, something creative.
  12. Create a WordPress theme and distribute it for free, if this doesn’t work pay somebody else to get a Sponser link stuck in the footer.
  13. Create a WordPress plugin that makes life easier for everyone (akismet anyone?).
  14. Find “Top Commentator” enabled blogs that will give you sitewide links for quality comments, and decent traffic from my experience.  ShoeMoney has this enabled, but this doesn’t mean you should go spam up his blog.
  15. Be a guest blogger on another blog, many people will be willing to allow other authors to share new insights in exchange for a couple links back to your site.
  16. Create a press release and distribute it to various PR sites, only do this if you have something that is actually news worthy but if played right it will work great.
  17. Keep your blog up to date!  By having an up to date blog it will make people far more likely to link to your site, and Google will love you for it.
  18. Create a Squidoo lens to build links and generate traffic (and hopefully earn some cash along the way).
  19. Use forums to boost your “expert” status while gaining quite a few backlinks, there are countless dofollow forums out there.
  20. Be creative, piss off a major industry expert such as ShoeMoney or John Chow to get them riled up, or sue a major corporation.
  21. Get your readers to participate in your site’s expansion, encourage them to use social media and to tell friends and family.  If your content is good enough, this will happen automatically!
  22. Create a good freebie such as an ebook to generate traffic, it will bring in people and if you do it right it will make them stick too.
  23. Flattery will get you everywhere, if you butter up some webmasters they will give you a link.  It never hurts to try….and no it won’t work with me :)

And now you are well on your way towards building links and gaining huge traffic for your blog.  Be creative, don’t be annoying and don’t go down to the level of spamming and you will be in a great position.  It is all about building long term visitors, traffic, links, and getting the word out.

Comments

  1. Deborah says:

    As someone from a much older generation than you, I am really taken with your knowledge about this topic. You recently linked with me through mybloglog, which led me to this page. I have been working hard for a year now, learning how to drive traffic, understand SEO, create links and community. I read a lot of blogs and article. I must say that you have a really good understanding of this process and write in a style that is intelligent and gives information in a digestible manner.

  2. J.D. says:

    You have written a superb article, James! Thanks for sharing your expertise! I’ll add your blog post to my Del.icio.us bookmarks and also mention it on my FriendFeed account tonight! Keep up your good work!

  3. uday says:

    nice post…………..

  4. DesDrec says:

    Fantastic article James. There’s a few points there that I didn’t even think of. Supurb!

    A nice lenghty article too with some interesting points. I’ll write a short post at my blog linking to this so that my subscribers can read this great content.

    Many thanks,

    DesDrec.

  5. Murph says:

    All of these are great points! It’s obvious that James takes the time to write quality content, which I think is so key to blogging as well as SEO/SEM as a whole.

    A few other answer sevices which I’ve found helpful, like you said as long as you’re not over-spammy, are Fluther and QNA Live.

  6. Hi james,

    thanks man its a really informative article..

  7. Pontus E says:

    Great list but it would be nice if you did some improvements. Because right now I have to search in Google to get all the information I need. Maybe you could add outgoing links to list of dofollow blogs and list to social bookmarks.

  8. Hajib says:

    Keep up a good work…. thanks for sharing your knowledge..

  9. Eric says:

    Fantastic and very informative article! I am currently building up traffic to my website and will definitely use your tips. Thanks!

  10. Kristi says:

    Adding to #5, it is a good idea to use the Technorati tags (WordPress offers a Tags to Technorati plugin to do this easily) with each post, so they get added to articles on that tag on Technorati. I am going to have to look into building up my Squidoo lens as well. Great tips!

  11. Stephie79 says:

    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing.
    Obama ’08!

  12. DorothyL says:

    Hello
    So much of what you have written is simply common sense.
    It is similar to making friends and acquaintances in real life.
    Positive comments and positive replies will always invite people back.
    A lot of it is about that good old phrase, ‘Just Do It’.
    It takes time and a genuine interest to browse through a blog and leave a genuine intelligent comment.
    That is exactly why so many people neglect that fact of blogging.
    Now all we need is someone to write a blog giving people comments to fit:)

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experiences.
    ‘Have a very productive day!
    DorothyL
    http://www.womensselfesteem.com

  13. Janus says:

    I’ve been using only half of these tactics but I see I have to increase my activity and include some other things in my work. I hope this list will help my efforts.

    thank you

  14. Tara says:

    Great tips, James! I have to say that I’m impressed that you have so much knowledge and are so well written at 19! Good for you! I’ve added your blog to my daily RSS feed and will be following your progress. Keep up the great work!

  15. ebooks says:

    Great information, these tips will be help to me for get some traffic to my sites.
    Thanks!

  16. Nice work, James. I’ve been doing the webmaster/blogging thing for about three months now and have done much of what you described in your list and guess what, it does work. Blogging is definitely a “you rub my back and I’ll rub yours” endeavor – linking to others brings links back to you. Commenting on other blogs brings traffic and links. The most important aspect to all of this, regardless of the social ties you make, is definitely CONTENT. Without good content, all of the traffic in the world doesn’t do much good because they’ll click in and out in 10 seconds.

  17. DaveP says:

    Good summary, just the kind of post I need to point my web dev customers at!

  18. cbhost says:

    Just wondering if you think that backlinks are too commoditized these days and nobody with decent PR is going to link to a new comer with PR0? I mean, why link for free when you can charge X amount? That’s why I think the whole backlinking thing is a bogus way to rank sites. Backlinks don’t necessarily reward for good content.

  19. Very informative articles which clearly explain a good methods for back linking and generate more traffic for you site.

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