Friday, January 11, 2013

Life Hack: Learning How to Drive Traffic to My Site By Linking to More Popular Sites

What makes a blog stand out?
Sometimes writing a blog feels like shouting into an F5 tornado:  can anyone hear my voice over the roar of the other Internet writers?  I wonder.  So, I've embarked on a mission to increase my site traffic.  Admittedly, this is DYI project, for now, since I've not commissioned an SEO analysis.  I have been reading some high-traffic blogs and have noticed a few things:

Post Titles

Growing readers takes good writing, and much, much more!
One of the biggest things I've noticed about post titles on high-traffic blogs is that their post titles fall into two categories:  cute/snarky/bombastic or SEO-tailored.  Cute blog titles seem to appear on either the very high-traffic or very low-traffic sites.  The high-traffic sites have established readers and are not reliant on search engine hits to increase hits.  Sites trying to increase traffic seem to use longer titles which are loaded with phrases which rank highly in browser searches.  There are times when the titles bear little relevance to the articles which follow.  I'm following suit and testing out this post's title for the express purposes of increasing search engine hits.  Nearly every phrase in the title receives over one million searches per month.  Maybe that will help readers find their way to my site.

Gratuitous Linking in Post Content

Links just seem to pop up out of nowhere!
This is the blogging equivalent of name dropping.  I've noticed that bloggers like Penelope Trunk will refer to several other blog posts or online articles in the course of one article.  In her recent ramble about discarding dreams in favor of plans, Trunk found a way to connect to a humorous article that mentions Lindsay Lohan.  In the course of a month, there are 4 million searches world-wide for the term "Lindsay Lohan."  In the 700-ish word post, Trunk manages to insert links to two YouTube videos, two of her previous posts, two New York Times articles, an Amazon book listing, three commercial web sites, and an App on the iTunes store.  She does maintain some semblance of continuity, but the post seems a bit link-heavy.  I don't really have room to snark, however, since, I'm sure, her site has more hits in an hour than my sites have ever had.

My Strategy

There's a hornworm in there somewhere!
So, Constant Reader (to borrow a phrase from Stephen King), I'm trying out her strategy.  Normally, I would not link to sites like Mary Jane's Farm unless they were part of my post.  Nor would I mention the New York Times Bestsellers List except that Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals is currently in my briefcase.  I certainly won't promote a social media rating site like Klout until I really understand what it's all about.  In the interest of increasing traffic on my other sites, I also would not fail to direct you to my other blogs, Savory Le Jardin and Savory La Bouffeas well as my Etsy shop.

I am considering installing Instagram on my Android phone so I can share my pictures of clouds and tomato hornworms with my family and friends.  I may even start issuing Twitter updates about the exciting things that happen in my life:  new tenants in the toad house, killdeer eggs, beautiful sunrises.

I will share a YouTube video of the wonderfully talented dulcimer artist, Lee Cagle and refer you to a great Organic Transition Course from the Rodale Institute.  I will also point you to the witty and creative Chubby Vegetarian blog by Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence.  I will also let you know that Justin and Amy have a new cookbook coming out!  Do yourself a favor and pre-order The Southern Vegetarian.

So, that's the plan.  It's not like any of the writing advice I've read in Writer's Digest, but we'll see how it goes.  

What will it take to grab readers' attention?
What do you think?  Tell me below!



  1. Stopping by from Sharefest.

    Too funny... I will link up to another blogger's post if it's pertinent to the post, but I haven't found that it actually increases my page views that much.

    1. Check out Penelope Trunk's blog it you want to see it carried out to the nth degree.

  2. Love the snarkiness behind this post. I think you covered every possibility. I hope your traffic increases! Having fun on Saturday Sharefest! @VMTwriter if you care to follow.

  3. Ha ha too funny. Though I'm a bit guilty of this.

    I tend to add a bunch of links in my posts (but never thought to check their seo) because I figure I've already researched (& googled)so it's one less thing the reader has to do. But then I ran a test & it said I had a TON of external links so in my last post I only posted one external link. It was hard... and I broke down and added a few internal links at the end!

    Happy Sharefest.

    1. I've never been overly link-happy, but will genuinely link if I mention something specific so my readers can find it.

      Thanks for reading!

  4. This was very funny. I love how you covered all the bases.


So, what do you think? How are you living your savory life? Tell us about it!