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How To Drive Traffic to Your Blog – The Advice of a 12 Year Old

Posted By Darren Rowse 13th of February 2007 Blog Promotion 0 Comments

Remember 12 year old blogger David Wilkinson from Techzi? David and I have kept in touch with one another since I posted about him last and recently I asked him to consider writing a guest post here at ProBlogger. I thought a 12 year old’s perspective on how to get traffic to your blog might be worth hearing. Here’s his post.

When Darren Rowse comes up to you, and asks you to write a post for ProBlogger.net, it’s not something you can really say ‘no’ to. Not that you’d want to of course, but more the fact that it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. Why should I write, of all people though? Well Darren wanted to hear the methods that I as a young person use to drive traffic to my blog, without spending any money.

Learning the basics

First you need to grasp and understand that the Internet is a big place. Several billion web-pages, and often with very little time available to the end-user, they’ll use several techniques to find what they’re looking for.

SEO

Search? Standard engines like Google, Yahoo and Live are the most popular nowadays, and optimizing your site to be found easily, can be easy and hard based on many factors.

My best advice for someone starting out would be to start by building quality content for somebody to see, then progressing to “The Three Cs”. This way, you’ll get noticed by genuinely interested people, who’ll actively want to play a part in your site’s development, by giving you quality feedback on ways to improve, design and usability.

If you have a blog or a website that’s been going for several weeks, perhaps a month or two, and you’ve done “The Three Cs”, or at least some of them, would be to start focusing on building on your existing content, with fresh, interesting, relevant and unique content. Note I say ‘relevant’ and ‘unique’. This is important. There are so many splogs out there now-a-days, that people can quickly distinguish whether an article has been written by somebody or not, at least the majority of the time. Relevance too, like I said, is a key factor. If you have a very personal blog, then one day write something completely off-topic about a new type of golf club that comes out, people will start to wonder if you and your blog actually have an aim or a purpose, which is yet another vital thing to consider.

If you’re somebody with a very mature blog, that is several months or more old, you can now focus on the technical side of things, which is mainly down to the spiders. If you’ve been blogging this long, then if you’re not on your own domain, or hosting, I recommend it, as it allows for greater flexibility, design and SEO. Search engine optimization? Yep! A Google Sitemap can be stuck on your server for the Google-Bot and metatags can be added, which let you pre-define information about your page automatically, such as the author, a description, keywords and feed information. This also makes usability easier for feed-ready browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer 7. Tacky pre-set designs become a thing of the past too, and upgrading to WordPress can be a smart move, as the developer community there will help you along the way with every aspect of your blog, from the writing itself, to the advanced functionality like widgets that are available, and the themes that are freely downloadable to customize your blog’s look. Of course you could always give design a go yourself as I did at Techzi.net – though admittedly I enlisted the help of two professional designers as well.So, what are these ‘C’s that I’ve been talking to you so much about anyway? Read on to find out…

Community, communication, consideration.

The three founding principals of marketing your blog to an audience, whether general, or specific. People want to get be a part of the next thing, so give them a chance.

1. Community

Whether you start up your own community, or join others, via means of MyBlogLog, MySpace, LinkedIn, Xing and others, this is a guaranteed and proven way to get visitors, to get hits, impressions, and often quality traffic, because you know that these people haven’t just clicked on a random link or search engine listing, but have seen you or your website’s profile, and followed it through to your homepage/landing page. The best ways to get the profiles themselves noticed? See below…

2. Communication

I don’t mean ‘spam’ by this either. Get involved in genuine discussions, with other people of similar interests, start up a civilized, profitable, knowledgeable discussion, then when you’re finished, ask if they’d take a look at your blog or website. You’d be surprised how many loyal readers have come to my own blog in this way. Simply leave comments in communities, on social networks, on other blogs, etc.

Still not quite your way of dealing with people?

3. Considering

All the time, you have to consider the reader. Who are you writing for? The reader. Who will be navigating your blog? The reader. Who should you devote your time, energy and attention to? The reader. Consideration is important, and you can show this in many ways. Either by having a clutter-free, easy-to-follow design, or you could alternatively try getting the readers involved, by asking questions in blog posts, or website statements, and opening up comments. If people comment, strike up a conversation with them, and keep them coming back. Answer their queries and requests with solid, reliable, dependable answers, and take note of the feedback they leave by using it, and putting it into action. If someone states that your text is hard to read, change the colour to stop it clashing so much with the background, or simply make it slightly larger.

There are lots of ways you can show consideration to your audience, and it shows just how loyal you are to your readers through this. If someone spots an inaccuracy in a blog post and tells you, don’t be lazy. Go change it! They’ll keep coming back, they’ll tell their friends, and in turn this C will do word-of-mouth marketing wonders.

The Element of Surprise

You’ve looked at both SEO, content and the ‘C’s now, but my last tip is probably what has brought me the large majority of my visitors, both loyal and one-off traffic hoppers. Differentiate yourself, do something different. Be daring, be random! Try something wild, or something completely unheard of, whether it’s outrageous, or greatly beneficial to the reader. Sometimes, even beneficial to the writer! (http://www.techzi.net/donations/) Mad things work out great sometimes, other times, they really can lower your reputation, so it’s time to take calculated risks here.

My advice? Follow your instincts. Be an entrepreneur. Take that risk. Make it happen. Throw a competition (http://www.techzi.net/competition/), for all the good it will do. Stand out and be different. Darren will sure know what I mean by that…

David Wilkinson writes at http://www.techzi.net/

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About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
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  • New pingback coming soon from The Blog Herald…

    http://www.blogherald.com/2007/02/23/are-you-following-your-blogging-instincts/

    Cool stuff Lorelle!

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  • Nicely said. Great work David! I’ll be sure to visit your site soon.

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  • MBM

    This is fantastic article about blogging.
    So simple and easy to follow tips, but the trick in fact is to implement these tips, I think.
    For instance, to join Community is not enough. It is necessary to participate, to Communicate, and to communicate Considering the Community. In other words, “The Three Cs” shall be all the time all together and on focus.
    Thanks, David and Darren for sharing this article with us.

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  • Great post! Very informative and motivating as well. A great example of how the blogosphere levels the playing field and democratizes every individual.

  • WOW! I couldn’t tie my shoes at your age, David. ;-)
    Dude, you are sumthin’ special. Stay focused.
    Thanks for the timely info.
    http://www.BlueSkyBrothers.com

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  • I vote for the community concept. You have to have friends online who will support you and get to your blog and read it. Otherwise it’s a very lonely job.

  • David,

    This is a great post, thanks for sharing. There is so much I need to learn. I’m building up readership for KidReviewer.com, but haven’t done as many of the cool things you have done with techzi.net yet.

    I saw a link to contribute to a kid’s college on an older blog, World of Evan, but you have taken it to a new level. I would like to do something to help cover the costs my dad is paying right now. And I would especially like to raise enough to attend a blogging conference and meet other cool bloggers.

    Nick
    KidReviewer

  • Wow David, you’re only 12? What I liked best about your post was your three Cs. It’s important to remember that blogging is about the people. After all, how many blogs are out there, and how many do we have time to read? What will you do to make people notice your blog over all others? More than just talking because we love to listen to ourselves, we need to build relationships with our readers. I’m glad I heard about you here, David.

  • Wow when I was 12, I was a pretty dumb. You sure he’s really 12 years old? Probably a genius?

  • Hi,
    Nice done! 12 years old and such a good writer!
    – William

  • Very real and practical way to approach bringing your blog the much needed traffic. I did this all the time. Though the very most important thing is patience. Without patience and persistence, your blog will not thrive. Also, many other field required to be pessimistic, in blogging world, you need to be optimistic. Don’t forget to be very controversy. Controversy is very important to blogging, because it will heat up a debate among your readers, and you will see this clearly among comment posts.

  • Very well-written blog, and by a 12-year old? Wow! Excellent stuff mate. Keep it up.

  • sam

    Hiya,

    I read an article you had wrote and i was inspired buti am finding it hard driving traffic to my site.I’ve thought about my content and target audiene but still am getting nowhere but it is good to know that there are successful people out there to look up to.

  • Wow! I cannot imagine a 12-yr old sharing such in-depth information. Looks like he is the next blogging millionaire in the making.

    Surely it is the passion that drives him to do so. Actually, what was shared goes back to the roots and origin of blogging. Isn’t blogging about communication of thoughts through your online web log ie diary? Looks like the search engines are rewarding those who stick to this.

  • Great tips! I’ve got a few blogs and am trying to drive some more traffic to them. Thanks for the insights into what ‘success’ is!

    Rock on.

  • Great info. It’s great to see someone young who knows a thing or two, and can teach these old dogs a few tricks.

  • Jan

    All I can say is wow, a 13 year old doing all that. My daughter is also 13 and I called her to the computer to check that post out. She designs some myspace layouts for friends and just started her own blog. I told her if that boy can do it so can she. She wants to start earning money for her college education. I told her she had better start writting more on her blog so she can get that much needed tution money. Hopefully that post about David gets her in gear. My name is linked to her very new blog.

  • Thank you very much for your share. As to me, I’d like to chat with my readers in communities, we talk like brothers and sisters. This is why they love to read my blog.

  • Wow, I am very impressed with this young man. I am just starting out as a blogger and this was an amazing post. Very informative. And to think most kids his age are just playing video games.

    Nice article!

    KB Hill

  • Wow, what a brilliant guy !

  • Great post really. This kid understands how its done. I would love to have a post from him on one of my blogs lol.

  • David is great thta getting traffic to his blogs. Can I do the same with his system.

  • Great post, i really enjoyed reading this David. I have bookmarked your website.

  • Actually this kid can teach a lot of things to my coworkers writing for the web at the office.

  • Good stuff from the 12 years old child. At this time i usually dont know anything about the seo, but really nice post

  • This kid rocks!! I hardly felt he was 12!!

  • People (or I must say sites) who don’t target the reader don’t last long. This blog is an example.

  • great i loved it . But another solution is to buy traffic . That is currently what I do . I started paying for 10k targeted visitors . I made a bit of money from those visitors so now I am up to 100k visitors . That and i use adwords . I also work on SEO . But i see that SEO is mostly for the long hull . I use http://freshsitetraffic.com very good company . I talk to the owner he is a very down to earth person and he tries to get repeated business . So he caters to the little man . If you do purchase traffic off him . Hound him to open up an affiliate program for me will you . He said if enough people request it he will open one up . Thank you and have a great day !

  • i have experiment this wayz and consider it good for starters

  • Great article, I think this proves that no matter how old you are, you can still offer some fantastic advice that others can greatly benefit from. I will definitely take on board some of this advice.

  • that is a brilliant boy.i wonder what he will be doing in my age.but i am afraid that he is one who pretends to be.

  • Amazing how a 12 year old can give such great tips.

  • Impressed all the way :)

    When I was 12 years old, I was chasing butterflies!

    Truly, wisdom knows no age!

  • When I was that age I did not know there are computers and was playing with my father’s calculators. He is so lucky to get to write a post for problogger.net
    boy you are on the way to be another problogger.

    I wish him great success

  • Great post, very impressing for a 12-year old.

  • Wow, thanks for the hints there! Very useful!

  • For so many years ive so hard to get the Quality traffic that converts and after years n years of search where i only end up

    spending pennies and started making hundred and thousands of dollars was none other than Crawlingthenet Search Engine everyone

    needs to Buy Traffic here. Start Advertising