How to drive traffic to your blog using social chat

drive traffic to your blog

The question I am asked most frequently on Quora is how to drive traffic to your blog.

There is this fixation by bloggers to get lots of traffic, which I assume means visitors, to their blogs. Understandably, because a blog cannot thrive without its readers. They are its life-blood, the raison d'être for bloggers to write in the first place.

But I would like you to stop and think about what kind of traffic you would like arriving on your blog. Would these be bona fide readers? Or are you content to get anything with a pulse, and even without, landing on your blog?  It doesn't matter what the traffic is, as long as your statistics look good.

I wonder if this is the case for so many bloggers, blinded by numbers rather than focusing on who reads what they write.

Take a look at this infographic:

How to drive traffic to your blog using social chat

And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

Is this the kind of traffic you want?

Stop thinking any traffic is worthy. It isn't. Most traffic people get on their blogs is empty, impersonal and irrelevant. And if they do happen to be actual people, many may well leave very quickly without reading anything.

How do you know this? Well, of the thousands of 'visitors' you get, how many left a comment? Even a like or a share? What social proof do you have they actually read your posts, let alone reacted to them?

I consider web traffic merely as impressions which are only visible through your analytics. And even then you can't trust this. Many times have I been confused by what the statistics say compared to what I perceive from the little responses I do get on my blog.

What is the alternative?

How would you feel if you were able to drive traffic to your blog which actually interacted with you? OK, this probably wouldn't be every single visitor, because of the nature of web traffic. Some would be non-human, whose purpose is index your content, or sub-human, out to cause havoc with their spammy links.

The way to achieve regularly returning real visitors is to get to know them first. Also to help them get to know, like and trust you, as the blogger. Blogging is a two-way process, an online dialogue mechanism, cultivated through conversation, and open to opinions, welcoming feedback and encouraging all forms of engagement.

Also, wouldn't it be good to achieve this without having a huge marketing budget or wasting your money on digital agencies? Many companies may be compelled to outsource their projects to save time, but at the end of the day, this requires a more personal approach third parties cannot suitably or relevantly provide.

What are your traffic expectations?

How fulfilling is it to get, say, 200,000 visitors a month to your blog? If you could safely say you personally knew every one of these 200,000 visitors, then you could consider this a job well done. Especially as many of them will have visited your blog several times during that month.

In reality we all know this isn't the case. It isn't that easy to drive traffic to your blog in such large numbers happy in the knowledge they are all regulars. The majority will be totally inapplicable, probably undesirable and mostly disinterested, having arrived there by mistake or due to algorithmic error.

Perhaps lessening your desire for high numbers may be an initial wrench, but I want you to focus on suitability instead of statistics. Being in the happy situation knowing people are arriving on your site because they want to, not because they have been cajoled or misdirected, is much more satisfactory and purposeful.

Drive traffic to your blog for meaningful statistics

Your main purpose is to get traffic which sticks around, actually reads your content, understands it perfectly and then engages with you. In other words, ideal visitors. And this doesn't need to be every single traffic visit either. You just want the more meaningful ones.

It is up to you to not only drive traffic to your blog, but to keep your newly gained arrivals there. This requires effort to continue the conversation, stimulate replies, create a rapport, not only with you but with each other. The idea is to create a safe haven, somewhere for your regular visitors to congregate and talk to each other.

The stats produced from these activities reveal social proof your content has value. Increased visits result in popularity, which is also attractive to search engines. Spiders roam around the web looking for suitable content to index, and blogs with increased interaction are deemed worthy applicants for raising domain authority.

So how do you get this kind of traffic to your blog? This infographic will explain:

How to drive traffic to your blog using social chat

And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

Understand who you are driving to your blog

To get more meaningful traffic visiting your blog, you need to know what you are looking for. The social world is huge, with plenty of likely traffic, but your blog will do much better if you attract the right kind of visitor in the first place.

This also means some activity from you. It's all very well writing a fabulous blog stuffed to the gills with fantastic content. Having made sure this material is suitable and relevant for your new readers, you need to go and collect them.

Some research is needed to work out who your visitors should be, to write the best posts for them, to find out where they congregate, to know the best things to say to them, and to offer them the kind of information which would tempt them back to your blog.

Find the best social gathering places

Having decided upon your traffic, the next thing to go get them. But before you bound off to check out all the social networking sites, stop and consider which would be the best place to find your ideal visitors. Also whether you collecting them for personal, social, business or other purposes.

I suggest you initially choose the social platform you are most comfortable with. Also where you think your ideal visitor is most likely to be. Consider whether your reasons match their decisions to socially engage, so that you think the same way as them.

It's also a good idea to understand the processes of engagement within the social platform you've chosen. Notice how others perform, and adapt your approach to suit. This will also depend upon the nature of the subject matter, as well as the personalities within the groups.

Prepare to drive traffic to your blog

Once you've sussed out your ideal visitor, now turn yourself into a hunter prowling for your prey. Just like a tiger, you crouch in the long grass, observing your potential visitors as they perform on their chosen social platforms. All this watching and waiting is called social listening.

There is nothing sinister about this. What you are doing is understanding the situation, while gleaning what your visitors are talking about. You need to prime yourself of all the necessary facts before you tactfully join in the conversation. This way you won't make a faux pas or alienate yourself before you've started.

Blundering in like a bull in a china shop, unless you are blessed with heaps of charisma, won't do you any favours. The idea is to artfully slot into the discussion, offering help and value, whilst drawing attention to appropriate subjects. Focus only on others rather than yourself at this stage.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do

A well-versed social engager knows exactly what is expected, suitable and respectable when conversing in a group or commenting on a blog. Misunderstanding the conversational style, subject matter or audience mood will only end in tragedy. Even the type of words used can make a difference.

Doing adequate research beforehand will help towards this. Comprehending the nature of your visitors, the background of their discussions, the turn of phrases they commonly use, all help towards creating the vital rapport you badly need. They need to feel comfortable conversing with you, rather than seeing you as an outsider.

It's all about getting your visitors to relate to what you are saying. Once they have sensed that connection, that affiliation with your perception of their subject, and can associate their own experiences with it, then they will have begun the know, like and trust process you're aiming for.

Work on their trust by improving their lives

This next phase will depend upon how much expertise you have. Because now you can dazzle your prospective web traffic with your knowledge, but only in a helping capacity. This doesn't mean bombarding them with far-flung facts, but by offering well-considered tips and tricks relevant to the situation.

What you aiming for is to solve their problems and answer their questions, so that their lives are improved in some way. A person who has been helped, usually by the goodness of your heart, is more likely to remember you. You will have become the go-to-person for everything associated with that subject.

And this process will work best if you offer this information purely for their own benefit. There should be no mention of your own business, you are offering your help as pro bono. Showcasing 80% of what you know for free ensures the remaining 20% will appear to be more valuable.

Get ready to direct them to your blog

After a period of time, during which your focus was solely on gaining the trust and respect from your prospective visitors, then you can suggest relevant posts on your blog as resources for extra information. Now your reputation will guarantee their notice and attention.

Ask their permission first as a courteous measure. This will set you apart from the pushy spammers and cold calling marketing types who pester prospective victims with unwanted and unexpected links. Gaining their awareness and expectation will heighten their regard for your knowledge.

Offer the requested and accepted link in your comment, or if commenting on a blog, guide the reader to click on your name. The act of including the relevant post's URL when submitting your comment evades the discrimination of the moderators and adds necessary backlink juice to your blog, as well as gaining the much desired web traffic.

Take a look at this infographic:

How to drive traffic to your blog using social chat

And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

You can't drive traffic to your blog for promotion purposes

Commenting is about communication and relationship building, not promoting or selling. This is a mistake many desperate businesses make. They think commenting is a good way of getting backlinks to their websites, in order to increase traffic.

But what you're doing is annoying the blog authors and giving the moderators a reason to blacklist you. Linking like this is not tolerated, as it is usually accompanied by badly written comments containing no value with obviously spammy tactics trying their luck.

How would you like it if you received a similar comment on something you sweated blood and tears to write? This total disregard for the subject, the amount of work gone into creating the post, the lack of acknowledgement combined with inappropriate spelling and grammar is almost too much to bear.

Commenting is sharing experiences

The best method of creating business or social relationships is through finding something relatable to talk about. What do you have in common with your visitors? What experiences can you relate which are relevant to the subject? How can you help each other through your comments?

It's about telling stories rather than selling products or brands. Showing empathy with others' plight rather than banging on about your own misfortunes. Thinking about the other person rather than focusing on your own needs.

People are more likely to notice you if you show you care about them, and take an interest in their lives. Altruism has far more clout than self-centredness. Giving before receiving will set the scene in the best light and prepare the way for reciprocal activities which will benefit everyone involved.

Show the world how much you care

The alternative term for commenting is social chatting. Talking in a social capacity with your friends, followers, visitors, customers or whatever. Sometimes these conversations, depending upon which platform you are using, may end up not being related to the original purpose.

But this doesn't matter. What is important is the fact you are conversing. And in a mutually connected way. You are throwing away your inhibitions and learning together through questions, acknowledgement, showing interest and relating to each other's experiences.

And what is even better is a gathering of like-minded visitors congregating as a community. A lively and loving group is much more stimulating than a single dialogue, and can help break the ice quicker, more effectively and with better, worthwhile results. All made easier with the correct attitude and focus.

Popularity breeds more traffic

You could pay for expensive SEO, PPC and other digital marketing activities, but the result is more empty, meaningless statistics. Getting on the first page in Google sounds good, but what if the keyword used doesn't match your objectives? And equally are the people clicking on the ads suitable for your and your blog?

Whereas if you manage to write content your readers want and enjoy, which attracts more readers, who in turn tell their friends about your blog, the results is the traffic you should be aiming for. Real readers, proper traffic, interactive stats, social proof, advocates and Word of Mouth marketing.

A popular blog, with lots of engaging traffic, who regularly return whenever new content is published, is every blogger's dream. And yet it is possible if the blogger made the effort to engage on other blogs first. This is how you should drive traffic to your blog.

Show by example, give before you receive

The process is simple: find blogs within your niche, or which contain the kind of visitors you would like as traffic, read the content carefully and comment on them. Make sure your comment is excellently written with value, substance and relevance if you want to attract attention and get it published.

This procedure needs to be regularly repeated, not only on this blog, but on many other blogs. Subscribe to the RSS feeds to be notified whenever a new post is published. Think how you can help the blog's author and their readers whenever you comment. Keep a record to track your performance and measure your results.

Your aim is to get noticed, build a rapport, create a relationship with the blog's users, and gain recognition for your expertise. This means whenever you comment, your reputation emphasises your value, and interested readers will be more compelled to find out more about you by visiting your blog.

Warm traffic is more effective

Commenting, engagement and interaction can be found in all forms of digital marketing, selling, creative design, web development or anything else in the digital world. It’s just that many people either overlook or ignore it as a method to drive traffic to your blog.

Where you do your commenting does depend upon the platform, combined with a fitting style of engagement, but the end is the same. Converse with people, get them to know, like and trust you over time, and once you've won them over, then introduce your blog and invite them to visit with a valid and relevant reason.

No process of traffic building should be pushy, spammy, inaccurate, deceptive or unwanted. If you want to drive traffic to your blog, make sure those people are warm, receptive, accommodating, engaging, friendly and helpful to you and anybody else associated with your blog.

So what I can do about this?

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Click on the image above to access my "An alternative method to get more web traffic" online course. I go into depth the reasons why you should be commenting to drive traffic to your blog, the methods to use, and the results to look out for. And all for a very reasonable price, considering the amount of information I will be telling you.

Or you could leave a comment below, to let me know what you think about this subject, this post or my course. We would be very interested to hear from you.

Alice Elliott
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