Like most people that blog, eventually we need to think about making an income from it. Generating over 10,000 hits/month is our goal, to eventually run money generating ads, but it turns out to be a taller order than I imagined.
Here’s What We Have Tried
#1 Google Ads -I tinkered with Google ads, and decided against it. To have my readers hit with banners so I can generate a few bucks didn’t seem fair in the beginning. I wanted people to enjoy what we were up to, for us to have a venue to share our experiences travelling with kids across Europe, and our follies moving to France, uninterrupted. Especially when we made $7 when I ran them on my original blog. Not worth it. Down the road, in a discrete way, maybe…
#2 Find Like Content -To generate readers I was told to find like bloggers and read their stuff and comment on it. Yes this does work, and you make some pretty great friends along the way too. Some really interesting people blog, people that you don’t bump into in the real world. We were travelling for the last 7 months, in a Westfalia Camper Van no less, and barely had time to write our family adventures down, let alone read other peoples work. Sadly I failed at this hit generator. But now that we are settled in one spot, this may very well be something worth looking at more closely.
#3 Twitter -Twitter is a great success for us. It generates good hits and loyal like-minded readers. When we added a tweet adder program to help organize and keep track of what we needed to respond to and what we needed to post, is when we saw the best results. Otherwise it can become a full-time job just with the polite return tweets alone. Having a program to thank and add followers back, frees up the little time we have on twitter to personally respond to the wonderful ReTweets and personal messages we get each day.
#4 Face Book -Facebook supplies the most daily views from the same group of people. Mostly friends and family keeping up with what we are up to on our family adventures. Face Book tracks my progress and I happen to love my connections on there. It feels more personal. Where Twitter generates strangers with like interests Face Book generates loyal follows among our friends and family. And we keep in contact with them in return. Other social networking we have tried are: Linkedin, BlogExchange, Traveldudes and Google Plus all keeping our finger on the pulse of our groups.
#5 SEO -My biggest way to generate hits is my Search Engine Optimizer options through our Word Press blog, That’s Hamori. This makes up 75% of my hits. Nearly 3000/month are random Google search words that help people find the information we are posting. Meaning we are doing our job, adding useful content of the subject we choose. In our case, travelling with kids, and moving to France are our most hit on topics of interest. But also, inspirational content, visiting certain countries people might be travelling to, and how to handle kids while road schooling and home schooling.
#6 How Many Posts A Week and How Long? Some people choose to post 21 short posts a week, averaging 200-400 words, putting our quantity posts that generate a daily following. Some break-up there longer posts and spread them out over a few days to keep people coming back to their site. They might post a picture with a funny caption or a game for people to respond to. I am guessing that people visit these posts for under 30 seconds. For an advertising viewpoint this does work, and it may be something worth trying. Other people choose to repost fellow bloggers posts onto their own website, generating many views for under 10 second durations, as they become the middle man. This is something I haven’t really tried doing, unless the article is directly about us like: Pretirement Living, ExpatBlog, TogetherFamily Magazine, or WorldNomads, places we write more consistently on.
That’s Hamori has decided to try a few shorter posts while I convert the blog content to a book format. Instead of just longer posts on one topic on our adventures, we are trying to mix it up to see if it effects our traffic count. I guess time will tell.
During our travels the idea was to write good content directly related to our topic, 1500-2000 words long specifically related to our family adventures, with the best pictures we could offer, in a sequence of event story style. Our average time on our site is about 2 minutes and 3 pages read.
This method gave me the freedom to write about what I was truly passionate about, and stick to our topics, without worrying too much about traffic.
Eventually I would love to focus more on how to make my blog better and generate an income from it and continue writing our adventures.
What do you do to increase traffic to your blog?