So You Want Traffic? 5 Things NOT To Do.

People have been flooding my email with questions asking how I did ‘it’.  What did I do?  How could I have 2,250 followers and over 16,000 hits in just 40 days?

So out of respect for inquiring minds I will share some of my ‘tips’ on how to be a ‘prominent’ member of the blogging community.

Five things NOT TO DO (so don’t do them!)

  1. Don’t ‘spam’ people or promote your events, products, books etc. in other bloggers comment boxes.  Even worse, do not leave an address or a link to your blog or product, many bloggers don’t like this.  Exceptions would be if you are leaving a personal invite to someone you ‘know’ in the blogging community.  I myself don’t mind when people do this but you could come across some nastiness if you ‘spam’ people.

  2. Do not make your quote or poem so short people can read it from the Reader.  Why not you ask?  Why would people click on your blog if everything from your most current post is fully available to read?  People are busy, if they can see all there is to see, they will move on and you will miss a hit on your page.

  3. What is the biggest mistake that I’ve made so far?  I learned this only recently.  Do not republish your posts.  It will break the link to social media sites that you have sent your page to, like Stumble Upon, Pinterest, Facebook etc.  People will click on the submitted image hoping to read your post only to receive a broken link.  Instead re blog your own post to get it back into the reader or to the top of your infinite scroll blog.  Republishing will prompt a page not found script like this:

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 4.52.23 PM

4. Do not make your posts too long.  While people like a good read, if a post is too long winded or too long in length people will quickly lose interest and move on to the the next blog, especially if your opening paragraph is not engaging.  So if you must and sometimes you should incorporate long posts into your blog, take care with your opening paragraph.

  5. Do not and I repeat DO NOT forget to give proper photo props and links to other people’s work.  Be sure that you have permission to use other people’s work before attempting to duplicate any of it.  Respect people’s blogs.  Bloggers work very hard to prepare their site’s for publishing.

Best of luck and continued success to you all with your blogs.  I will publish more Tips and How To’s and How Not To’s in the weeks to come.

Here is a great article about promoting your blog and social media for those of you that are interested in learning more about it.

5 Ways to Promote your Blog http://organisedclutter.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/5-ways-to-promote-your-blog/#comment-949

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102 comments

  1. jadereyner

    As ever an excellent post and your tips are very useful. Your blog has been phenomenally successful so it is great that you are willing to share some tips. I would like to think that I am not guilty of points 2 – 5 inclusive but with regards to point 1, I do sometimes mention/talk about my book as that is an integral part of my journey which is the basis of the blog. I hope that my blogs in reference to my book form part of the journey rather than a ‘hard sell’ which is in no way my intention. Would love your thoughts on this?

    • Jennifer writingsofamrs

      Thank you Jade.
      Well in reference to your own blog that makes complete sense and also when leaving comments on other peoples blogs if your book and content is relative to what they are discussing in their post it makes sense. I was more referring to people who comment on your blog randomly with a link to their blog or promoting their blog when they don’t know the person they are leaving the comment to. (I hope that made sense….lol)
      Jennifer

  2. The Running Son

    I’ve been thinking about all my old posts with pictures I didn’t credit. I could privatize some.

    Great points Jennifer. I have committed some of those sins. Bloggin’s hard. Sooo much to learn. Glad you took the time. I know you did your research from the beginning and that helps you to avoid mistakes.

    Great list.

    Jim

    • Jennifer writingsofamrs

      Jim,
      I’ve made a lot of these ‘mistakes’ myself. That’s why I decided to share them. They are little things but little things matter.
      Most of the research I did was on how to find a topic etc. not the How To’s etc.
      I’m glad you like the list and that you found it helpful.
      Jennifer

      • The Running Son

        It’s a good one. OM at HarshReality has good posts on these too. I am glad the successful blogs do the heavy lifting.

        Means I don’t have to myself. I have a messy room to deal with.

        😉

        Jim

  3. H. Ken Abell

    That seemed more like a post on blogging etiquette, but still doesn’t really explain the insane amount of hits and traffic that, no offense, is usually reserved for porn, and I’ve been following your blog, and we all know it’s not porn. (and that’s a good thing, don’t get me wrong.) But when you create a post that is simply a picture of a bottle of whiskey and a glass and all you’ve written is “Good night” and then you get close to a hundred likes (I don’t know, I’d have to go back) and at least half that many comments, it kind of boggles the mind. Is this all people want? This is what people like? You make it sound like what you’re writing is just so completely mind-blowingly amazing that day after day people just can’t wait to read your every unedited thought. This may sound bitter, but I’m calling bulls**t. And now you’re basically creating a post about how to gather traffic (which everybody wants to know) and yet you didn’t actually reveal anything or offer any real constructive advice.
    I must be missing something.

    • Jennifer writingsofamrs

      Hi Ken,
      I think the post you are referring to is https://writingsofamrs.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/cheers-to-the-weekend/ A photo of drinks with a Vintage appeal and an old school quote. Or maybe it was Goodnight with a thought to ponder about being thankful?
      I can’t speak on behalf of the people who are interested in my blog. I often wonder the same thing. Why? But you know I just put out there what interests me. I’m real and I’m open. I write from the heart and I’m trying to help others with what I do have.
      I’m sorry if you don’t find these tips on what not to do helpful or insightful but it’s all I have to offer. I am doing it in attempts to help others in my community by trying to pick apart the things that I have or have not done to make my blog become what it is.
      I’m not sure what else to say to you.
      Thanks for your comment.
      Jennifer

      • gander2112

        I suspect that it is also related to popularity. You have inspired a lot of people to read you, and even they appreciate a simple post.

        Once you have crossed a threshold of critical mass, it just keeps on growing without having to tirelessly promote it.

        Well done!

  4. Rana

    Does reblogging count for #5? I’m always a bit confused by that grey area. It’s so easy to reblog something you really appreciate, insert a quick little piece about how much you like the author’s work in general, maybe some reasoning why you like it. Everyone knows it’s not your work, you’re just featuring it. So do you just reblog as you like, or comment asking to reblog and then wait? I’ve never been confronted about reblogging, but it has always been something in the back of my mind.

    • Jennifer writingsofamrs

      Hi Rana,
      I think re blogging is fine. I ask first personally but that’s just me. I know that I enjoy it when others re blog my posts. Others only see the opening and then link back to the original posters blog anyway when they click on the post. I was more referring to using other people’s words or copying and pasting, taking other people’s work as your own without citing it etc.
      I’m sure you are fine on that point!
      Cheers and thank you for your comments.
      Jennifer

  5. pi314chron

    Very helpful, especially for those of us just struggling to find our way in the maze that is the blogosphere. Sincere, thanks!
    -R-

  6. primalnights

    Thanks for sharing. I think your right. It’s frequent the little things that make a difference. If I go to a great site that has even one thing that bugs me i may not go back for weeks.

  7. BTCarter

    Great tips! I’d say explaining what NOT to do is just as important as what TO do. If I may offer one thought as far as how you’ve been able to garner such a large following, you seem to have a high frequency of postings. I could be wrong but I’ve seen multiple posts daily. This seems like more people would come across your postings, and thus you site, throughout any given day. You’re a prolific writer which I think helps quite a bit. I’m jealous 🙂 I just take so long to write one piece.

    Keep up the great works!

    • Jennifer writingsofamrs

      Yes, I will often post twice daily given that it’s my first month. I will often have a collaboration post or a reminder about an upcoming collaboration and then my own personal post in the same day. Or after I’ve posted a post for the day I may bring forth some earlier poetry that many people seem not to have not read, the average new follower will only read 2-3 posts. My blog format is a continuous scroll which makes it a little harder for people to find my older past posts. I’ve only done his with 4 pieces. I like to update it so that people who enjoy my work can read something that others previously have enjoyed and that they may otherwise never see.
      You’ve been fresh pressed. I have not. I might learn a thing or 2 from taking more time to focus on my posts. 😀
      Thank you for your comments and contribution. I will have more ‘tips’ to come.

      • BTCarter

        One suggestion for the harder to find older posts you mentioned… you may already know about this function but if not, there is a button on the edit post toolbar called “insert more tag”, 4th in from the left. You insert that at some point within your post (after the first few lines of a poem or after the first paragraph of a full post) and on your main page it will only show the text up to that point. At the end there will be a link “Continue reading…” which will take readers to the rest of the post.

        It will display more of your posts in less space on your main page.

        Anyways, just a potentially helpful tip 🙂

  8. Pingback: Lessons From Blogging | Things To Rave About
  9. Shivani Panchmatia

    Being new to blogging, i must say that these tips will definitely help me to ensure that i don’t do these 5 mistakes. Thanks for taking the time out and guiding many people like me……

  10. pieterk515

    Considering myself to be semi-intelligent and half-aware of copy right, it only dawned on me recently that selecting an image in google and copy it into your post might not be the best idea I ever had! Yes, I still feel stupid.

    Now I am wondering, do I delete all those images I used in previous posts or do I simply continue and refrain from sin in the future. What do you suggest?

    • Jennifer writingsofamrs

      Hmmm well I I think I should heed caution here. I’m not in any position to give any ‘legal advice’ but if it were me I would go back and add the photo props (link) to the original image. You may have to search for a more solid service or source to better guide you.
      I hope that helps you.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment.
      Jennifer

    • Jennifer writingsofamrs

      Hi Charles.
      Yes I see the problem. The same goes with a single photo or a quote. I’m not really sure what the solution would be but if you are looking for hits this would seem counter productive. A suggestion, possibly adding an intro to the poem, a paragraph let’s say, to introduce it? I’m not really sure.
      I hope that helps…
      Jennifer

      • Charles Yallowitz

        Thanks. I can try that. Though, I might to also accept that some of my spontaneous posts aren’t going to be view catchers. Glad I don’t do haikus and single pictures that often.

  11. Pingback: So You Want Traffic? 5 Things NOT To Do. | npcstyle
  12. Oloriel

    These are all great tips, but I feel as tho they are tailored for someone who is strictly after a swarm of followers which will be centered on that persons blog, thoughts, feedback only. I am more for example into genuine followers, who will exchange words with me and won’t care who is getting bigger traffic out of it. The trafficing idea makes it all look a bit more plastic. What I have also noticed you do is, you go and “like” every poem that gets posted with a poem or poetry tag, yet I rarely ever see your comment under, which makes me feel like you are only liking those poems without actually reading them and bothering to leave a word to the creator, you Like and go away in that way coercing the poem creator to come and check your page and give you a follow. This makes me feel like I am just a statistic to you and you do not genuinly give a damn about what I write or to be my online pen pal. This is fine to me, but I would list this under the DON’T DO list. In any case, it all goes as you send it and behaving this way will most certanly get you millions of followers, but they will treat your own work the same way as you treat theirs( with very little genuine attention.)
    Forgive me if I sound rude, but as a recent follower of yours and after reading this, I feel unimportant and cheated, I will keep following you to give you your traffic and because I did really enjoy your writtings and because I believe having milions of followers will make you happy, so why not help?:)

    • Jennifer writingsofamrs

      Hi Oloriel,
      These tips are for people who are looking for followers. That is why I titled it So you Want Traffic. You see there are many bloggers in my community with a vary of interests. I saw people asking and I wanted to help in the best way that I know possible.
      I so value my community of bloggers and I want to support and encourage everyone. But you have to see how that can begin to be an impossibility with the amount of followers that I have. I am a wife, mother, employee, blogger….etc. There are only so many moments in a day. While I wish I could comment on more peoples blog it’s an impossibility especially with the amount of comments on my own blog that I need to respond too. I definitely like peoples posts and blogs and I do this as encouragement, support, to show that I like what they are doing, writing, sharing. The hardest part of this journey so far has been the amount of time it has taken away in my freedoms to read other peoples blogs.
      I give people credit. People follow a blog because they see something they like and want to read more about.
      It’s interesting to me that some people look at this post and think that it some how changes who I am, what I share and my purpose for blogging.
      Having millions of followers that understand me, appreciate my work and want to read my blog and share in my journey would definitely make me happy. I would be lying if I said no to that. Is that my motivating factor? Absolutely not.
      Jennifer

  13. Minty

    Great tips! I’m really new to blogging and am enjoying your posts a lot! I feel fortunate to have over 20 followers already (which may not seem like much but its more than i expected).
    These kinds of posts are really useful.

    thanks

    • Jennifer writingsofamrs

      Hi Minty.
      I totally understand how you feel. I never in a million years anticipated this result in such a short time. I have no idea what I’m doing half of the time… I don’t even fully understand all of the Word Press options yet…lol
      My happiest times blogging were when I had under 50 followers. It was much easier to maintain a community and really stay in contact with everyone. Best of luck to you and your blog.
      And thank you for taking the time to comment.
      Continued success.
      Jennifer

  14. HazelKrause

    finally!!! Someone has finally written a list of rules I haven’t broken recently (and by recently I mean in the last 5 minutes or so)!! I should have known it would be you, the lovely Mrs.! I ❤ this post, thanks for an easy to follow guide and lighthearted but understanding words about my (and some others too probably) earlier(or current{she says looking around inconspicuously}) mistakes. 😉

  15. Nichole M

    I’m pretty new to blogging, and these are some really great tips to growing my readership! Thanks so much 🙂

  16. jonchamps

    Another fascinating pearl of wisdom! While there are lots of things not to do, I’m wondering what MUST you do? Not boring your readers in my case I suspect!

  17. Sahm King

    I’m not going to lie. I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to figure out how you’ve pulled this off. I’ve been studying SEO, traffic, all of this, and then, I see your blog, and I’m like “Wow. Wow. Enter the superblogger.” I’ve seen a lot of the comments here, and have been a bit dismayed at some of the negative comments. Why? First, it doesn’t matter what your motivations are. I’m of a mind that your motivations aren’t financial, as evidenced by the fact that you’re using a WordPress.com site and that you don’t have a custom domain name (as I do). And even if they were, who’s to question that? What you’ve done here is incredible, and I stand in awe of this and am happy that you’ve done it because, for my part, it’s only increased my motivation for figuring out exactly how it’s done.

    My aims aren’t purely altruistic, ever. I have financial aims. I aim to get my own work out. I am to get out the works of others. The only way feasible way I can think of to do that is to have as many eyes as possible falling on my blogs, and that means having as much traffic as possible. Traffic IS important for more than just making money. Without traffic, who is seeing what you’re doing? We all know that high traffic sites are usually the most successful sites, financially and otherwise.

    You’ve done a great thing here, Jennifer, and I appreciate that you’ve come along in this blogging world, brand new, and have shown us that it can be done, with patience and dedication. Regardless how people feel, regardless how you went about it, you did it, and that’s that. It worked, and I don’t believe you’ve done anything wrong. For my part, I don’t feel cheated or taken advantage of, and you’ve got a damn wonderful blog here, and I’m happy to see that you’re making it! I’m happy for your poetry, I’m happy for the things that you’re doing with regards to extending your hand to other bloggers, and I’m happy that you’re getting out there and dedicating your own time to helping others do what you did, so thank you for that! Keep doing what you do, Mrs.

    • Jennifer writingsofamrs

      And….. in enters Sahm to my defense! 😀

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment and share your perspective and more importantly standing by my side.
      There are always going to be haters, finger pointers, name callers in life. Although I said in my poetry battle with the Running Son ‘I play games with the best of gamers, hall of famers’ I don’t like to get involved in drama or play games. That’s why I left the 2 posts there. I have nothing to hide. People can say and do as they like.
      The first comment from Ken Abel, his page is no longer there, so I suppose it was a type of spam or hate comment.
      At any rate I started this journey exposing myself and I continue to. I have been open and honest. The hows and whys are a mystery to me also. The things that I have done that I noticed helped I will share along the way, as I did in this post, as I said I would.
      I write to be read. If I didn’t want people to read this I would write in a journal, like I have for years. I love people and community and building people up. My life long quote that I live to stand up to is ‘Be ashamed to die until you win a victory for humanity’
      I said that I wanted to be published, I said that I wanted to be a successful blogger and it seems that is what has started to happen. I’m a big believer in The Secret principles. It has always worked for me, every time.
      I don’t know if anyone has taken notice but I have 8 children. I have been treating this blog as a ‘job’, a job that I LOVE! The amount of time that I put into this blog is tremendous, especially when I am putting together blog posts that feature others. It requires a lot of time that I am more than willing to give.
      If this blog gets to a point that I have advertisers asking to put advertisements on my blog while I continue to do the very thing that I love, while continuing to write and share myself why the heck wouldn’t I do that? People get paid to write books every day. Publishers now recommend authors to have an established, read blog, with followers. So how can being a successful blogger be considered a bad thing? Isn’t everyone’s dream to be able to get paid to do what they love for a living? Especially writers and artists?
      I can see where people would feel jaded and abused if there was some kind of machine doing things that are false or misleading. I don’t have any special scheme or some liking machine or hired blog fakers or whatever the heck some people seem to think that I might be doing. I’m sure there are people that do and you know all the power to them. Live and let live.
      I read and follow the blog’s that I love, that I am interested in reading just like everyone else. I don’t take notice if people have paid ads on them or not, I care about the content.
      I’m blogging, reading, commenting, socializing, liking, using social media like Facebook and Twitter. just like 90% + of the bloggers out there and I’m loving it.
      I have no intentions to slow down.
      So thank you Sahm for speaking out. I appreciate it.
      Follow me because you like what you read, don’t if you don’t.
      So it goes in the blogging world.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

  18. Pingback: 5 Tips for Writers | Writings of a Mrs
  19. mishunderstood

    Jennifer, just out of curiosity, how much success in your blog would you contribute to using Facebook and Twitter? I do not use twitter or publish any links to my blog on Facebook. It’s a personal choice, but when I see such varying degrees of followers in the same period of time, it makes me wonder how much these social medias affect the numbers.
    Congrats on your continued success! 🙂

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      I think facebook helps if you have family and friends that enjoy reading your posts. Some of mine were actually getting annoyed with the flood of posts so I connected my facebook to a fan page. This seems to work out better.
      Twitter is pretty good and Pinterest is excellent if you can get your blog working with that site but most importantly I have found the Google ranking to be the most helpful. Once Google starts sending traffic your way you are ‘golden’.
      Most of my traffic comes from fellow bloggers here on WordPress.

  20. orthodoxmom3

    Great tips…. wow…in just 40 days? And I thought my 78 followers were good after only blogging consistently for the last 2 1/2 What is the etiquette on photos? I like to find things on the web but I can’t always find where it came from… do we just link
    months or so…..to the page we got it from? I’d really like to know the answer to this one.

  21. Vef Foundation

    Awesome, it’s wonderful to learn from successful WP bloggers who are prepared and take time to help others with their own blogs. Thanks for the tips, have a great New Year 2014. Love Vef

  22. orthodoxmom3

    Well, I’ve joined Twitter and now bloglovin….not really sure what I’m doing on there though! LOL… I need a tutor – for all of these social networks and how to use Windows 8 on this new computer! LOL

  23. Heavy Dreamer

    Hi, thanks for liking my post I just started my blog so any likes or anything like that gets me super excited. lol Happy New Year.

  24. How I Beat the Odds

    Great post. I actually started using WordPress many years ago. I stopped. I did not have the time to write, nor did I have anything to write about – recently I went through a life changing experience and decided to open the blog as my outlet – whether or not it touched people, yes I want it to, but it’s not my main intention – HOWEVER – I do love the actual tips on gaining more traffic – so that I can spread the word of my issue (which is taboo so to speak) and hopefully I will inspire people – I will say though that my initial post was lengthy – it was more for me to write kind of a memoir – then the thoughts kept coming and I post daily – I love it. I just started 4 days ago – and hey – I’m happy with my 16 followers so far 🙂 But I will certainly use these tips – I just feel the original novel I wrote has to stay pinned to the front because it explains my story and why the blog even exists … I guess you’re right, in length people probably skip it, but … it was such a catharsis for me. The rest of them haven’t been as lengthy and I can tell you they all have likes, there’s been a reblog or two … and I so appreciate that tip. I just write too much. Do you see how long this comment is? I write WAY too much … 🙂 Thanks Jennifer!

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      Haha yes it is a long comment! You know your blog better than anyone else. I write from the heart also,most of my posts speak about my emotions or thoughts on topics. If you have found an outlet to express yourself that is all that matters and that is the kind of blog I find people want to read! Keep me updated as to your success!
      All the best,
      Jennifer

  25. Jay Dee

    Great post with some great advice. I’ve never republished, just reblogged. I especially like the one about making your post long enough so it doesn’t fit in the reader. That’s one thing I don’t like about readers, and I wish I could change some setting that forces people to actually go to my blog instead of using the reader. I have a couple photo blogs that are simply just a photo and a couple sentences. I miss all of the hits, yet I get many more likes than hits. There is a way to check for syndicated hits, but they don’t show up in the main WordPress stats. That’s my main pet peeve about readers.

    • orthodoxmom3

      Soooo….. I’m learning here… If someone just looks at your post and hits like it doesn’t come up as a hit? And what is the difference between republish and reblog? I’ve had someone reblog a post of mine…. I guess that’s a compliment but I didn’t know it could be done and didn’t really understand what happened!

      • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

        Well posts are listed in the ‘reader’ where people can type in a topic or heading and see a listing of recent posts that show the title and photo or image and the beginning of your post. People can hit like from the reader if say you posted a photo with one line and the person doesn’t need to click on the post to be brought to your actual blog to read or see anything further….that would give your post a like but not a stats hit since your blog page wasn’t actually loaded.
        Republishing happens when you go into your previously posted posts and reset the time and schedule your post to repost, that in turn removes the location of your post removing it from its original linked location to a new place on your blog, making previously shared links from others – ex. I read your post and share the link on my Twitter account, some click on my tweet and goes to your post but if you repost it moves location so anyone who tries to use that link will get a the Uh Oh broken link prompt.
        A reblog you can do with your own posts as well. My blog for example is an infinite scroll blog format meaning you can keep scrolling down until the very first post I made. I make sure to add insert tabs to my posts so that if you see something you like and want to read more of you have to click on the post to read more, that helps with over all stats and views. If I left the full article in the infinite scroll I would only ever have my home page as having hits in the stats.
        Rebloging my own material brings it back up to the top of my scroll and gives the post another chance in the reader for new people to find or for others that follow my blog and may have missed it to give it a look.
        You can only reblog yours or any others specific post once. People usual reblog when they have read something they like and want to share with their readers. Take for instances if you have a post I love and I want to share. I reblog it and it will appear on my page as my newest post in a slightly different format stating it’s a reblog, I am also prompted to write a description or message so I can say to my readers what I like about the post or why I want to share it. My reader will click on the post I have re blogged if it interests them and your blog will load and you get a hit and they read it. It also reappears in the reader under the topic you originally posted it under as well as in the followed reader of all of my (the person re blogging) readers…So if I have 7k followers and reblog your posts saying it’s awesome and some of my loyal followers value the things I share, it can lead to more exposure for you through getting exposure again and through getting shared with a different group of people and with possible recommendations as well.
        (not to sound arrogant but as example I have found some awesome poetry that I have re blogged where the person typically gets one or 2 likes per post and after I reblog with in a few days that post has had over 50 likes and they blogger has some new followers because I shared something I think my readers would like since they like me and my interests and taste or they wouldn’t enjoy my blog, right?) It all boils down to more exposure, more traffic and getting hits for your stats page…most of this doesn’t really matter, it really matters to those getting paid per click or having sponsor on their page. I know I have ads on my page but WordPress does that not me and I make no money from my blog.
        I hope all of this helps!
        Best of luck with your blog…I will edit this comment as a post and maybe it can help others with some of the same questions.
        Jennifer

  26. Pingback: Some Blogs You Should Follow | Dead Stars and Poetry

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