Traffic. Traffic. Traffic. This is what everyone wants. You want to know how to get it and how to get more of it. Of course you do. You don’t want to write and feel like the sound of crickets chirping are the only thing coming back. So lets look at how you get traffic; how you understand your traffic; and why you shouldn’t care.
How do you get traffic?
The best way to get traffic to your blog is to post frequently. You should be blogging AT LEAST 3 times a week. Many people don’t like this answer. But content if content is king then frequency is the entire monarchy. The more you post the more current and relevant you appear. You will also get better SEO results, because the search engines will crawl your site more frequently. Also frequency builds familiarity. People will start seeing your content more often and will be more likely to start reading you. The top blogs in the world all post more than 5 times a day. Not saying that you have to become Mashable, but if you want traffic you need to generate content.
Other things that help are using keywords to boost your SEO. Give yourself the “thumbs up” on Stumbleupon. Give yourself a “plus” on Google+. Tweet out your blog posts at least 3 times a day and post it on Twitter. Social sharing is a very powerful tool for getting the word out there and getting people to your site. But still…mainly get out there and write.
Understanding your traffic
I admit that I have spent many hours pouring over my analytics on Google and Statscounter. I have gotten really excited when I see a post cause a spike in my traffic. But these numbers are not the end all be all of your traffic. Despite what many people say, blogs do not live and die by these numbers.
Analytics are a great way to understand the flow of traffic to your site. You will see a lot of information about where you organic traffic is coming from, like Google, Twitter and Facebook. However it does not account for all the ways in which your readers can consumer your blog.
Every blog has an RSS feed. RSS stand for really simple syndication. People can use RSS readers to subscribe to your feed or they can receive it by email. People who use readers or get your blog via email are called subscribers. Services like Feedburner are RSS managers, making it easier for you to track your subscriber traffic. They will let you know how many people are subscribing. However, this is not entirely accurate. There are readers, like Mac mail, that are not counted by Feedburner.
Subscribers are not counted by your analytics unless the person actually goes to your blogsite. Subscribers have the ability to read your posts in their email or through their RSS reader without ever going to your site. So they are still consuming the information, they are just not giving you the hits to your site.
Why you shouldn’t care
Quality is what matters not quantity. If you have a small but dedicated following on your blog, then you don’t need thousands of hits. Hits don’t mean that people are reading. Hits just mean that people are coming to the site. You want readers. Readers will come in the form of subscribers. They are the people who comment on your posts or retweet your links on Twitter. They are your newsletter recipients and the people who comment on your Facebook posts.
So stop dwelling on the numbers. Focus on creating quality posts and the traffic will come!