Generating Hits To Your Blog

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make time to write
why I write
blog, and writing content
generating hits to your blog

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?

 


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14 COMMENTS

  1. Of course I would love to guest blog Lynn! Contact me through our Facebook page and we will exchange email information. Talk soon 🙂

  2. Thanks for the great tips. I built a website for expat parents in the Netherlands and just recently added a blog to it in the hopes that it will keep people coming back to the site. I will have to check out the SEO tools available with out platform and make sure that we are really maximizing them. So nice to hear that content is king…I am trying to write a post a day (although it is a LOT of work with 2 small kids at home and a day job) so perhaps I will try alternating photos as well. If you ever want to exchange guest blog posts, please let me know! We are a small start-up, but we would love to have you…even if it is content you have already published on your own blog.
    Thanks again!!!

  3. That’s not a bad idea but I’ve found that guest posts are useful if you’re posting on sites that have tons of followers otherwise you might get just a few more hits.
    traveldudes.org has been good for us , you should also check out Creative Couples http://creativecouples.net/get-featured/ hostelbookers also accept guest posts, they have a lot of followers.
    As far as generating income, I’ve started using Viglink http://www.viglink.com/?vgref=94901 and find it’s much better than Google Ads.

  4. My natural writing rhythm is 11-16 posts per month. My posts are 600 – 1000 words, and generally on that days travel adventure. I have the same hits per month 2900-3700 and haven’t been able to get above that. 30% are return followers and they stay for almost 2 minutes and read 7000 pages per month. I have no idea if this is good or not, as most people don’t share this information. My gut is that my niche is small, and I write on a specific topic. Travelling with kids and moving to France, is not everyones thing. I believe content is key, and would rather have people reading and enjoying, than accidentally stumbling across our site and leaving in the next moment.
    I too am new to this. Been writing this blog since July 2011, before I had a very small blogspot family blog.
    Stay in touch Simon, and let me know if you find a better way to generate hits.

  5. Really interesting. I’m a fledgling travel blogger who’s been averaging three posts a week, but it’s starting to feel like a bit overkill. I’m not getting more hits from more articles. What’s your gut instinct? I like to write anything between 400 and 1000 words per post.

  6. Rhianne, thank you so much for your comment.
    So far I feel I have been frantically blogging our adventure. So many new things going on around us, just documenting as we go has been an adventure in itself.

    When I think of the book, it is mostly about ‘why’ we are searching for a new life. Why are we spending this kind of family time together now and not later? The message is to live life and not worry so much about what we are wearing, or what we are driving, because on my death bed, I won’t say, I wish I wore Armani and drove a Porsche. I want to recall with fondness, the years our family spent together travelling the world. Time Currency is a very new idea and I feel I have to share it. I think the book is about a new understanding about how people can live on less, but still have a richer life. (I may have swayed from my content a wee bit)
    You have given me some things to think about, especially about quality. 🙂

  7. http://www.rocknrollbride.com/2012/03/seo-a-guest-post-by-gareth-williams/

    This is the best post that I’ve read on it lately. I do believe that content is key… and have some variety, don’t worry about how much you write or how many photos, just put what you need on there to tell the story. Sometimes too many words are annoying, sometimes not enough are… I tend to blog once a day as most readers read more than one blog and one a day is what I’m happy to read.

    Also make friends, read other blogs, leave comments, get people to your site – its all very well getting search engines to your site, but you want people to read it – and you really want people to like you, to tell your friends about you, to stay reading it.

    You’ve said above that you started your blog to turn into a book, but who is that book for? Is it for your children for when they look back on your adventures? Think about what you want from your book, and then put that in your blog too…

    Don’t focus on making your blog better eventually, do it now and then the people will read it and want to stick around.

  8. Memes eh? Hmm… will have to check it out.
    I started the blog to turn into a book on how and why we moved to France and our experiences during the first year of travelling. But what I am finding is our story doesn’t end there. January was a year from the first idea, to moving into the new house in France.
    Our family is planning more adventures, new countries to discover. I don’t want to stop the blog. In fact I enjoy writing the blog far more than writing the novel. Novels are hard detailed work, (boring) and I am a free spirit, and my interests vary. Blogging is a great fit for my personality.
    So my end game would be to have blogging as my full-time job, that pays for our life, so we can continue to travel.
    Luck is exactly what I need!
    Thanks for the comment Red!

  9. I read articles like yours!! I’m still coming to terms with social media – I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter & FB is my next goal … I guess it depends what your end game is. I didn’t set out to make money, but now I can see the possibilities, but to take advantage of them, I need more traffic to my blog! I’ve joined memes a bit and got followers that way, but that’s very time consuming. It’s easy to get sucked in to thinking lots of followers = lots of hits, but most of my hits come from image searches, even though I thought my writing was the main attraction!!

    Good luck!

  10. Thanks for your comment. Twitter has been good. I just went through today to eliminate spammers, and trying to reach 2000 followers, so I can go above 2000 following. I little tricky. It is my current short term goal.

    After that, I was thinking about writing on general topics and ask 10 common writers to form a group and we each post of each others sites. What do you think? Taking guest posts to the 10th power

  11. There are ton of articles written on the subject. The people that make a living wage from blogging are the ones that have been doing it or years and are now writing books, giving talks etc… We’ve been doing it since July 2011, in the beginning we were just writing for family and friends and it’s when we came back from our trip that we decided to get a little more serious. What gave us the most hits recently was guest blogging on a better known blogger’s site. Another thing is with Twitter, not to just post once but post the same things at different times in the day, use hashtags, ask for a RT. I’ve also found that befriending the right Tweeters and bloggers is a huge help. If you can get a well known bloggers to RT one of your tweets, it works very well. I’m sure there are tons more things that can be done and I don’t pretend to know it all, I’m learning as I go and this is what’s been working for us.

  12. I just checked you out! Love your site, loaded with tons of useful information! Anyone reading this and thinking about Australia for their next adventure, you must check out gocampingaustralia.com I will post a link on the site!

    It is a confusing world, and even after 1 year of blogging, I don’t quite know the right formula.
    I will try to stick with integrity and hope our story catches on without making it about generating hits.

    Thanks for your post, and I just checked out the Scrubba bag! It would be a great item to offer in our camper van rentals!

  13. Hi
    I totally understand what you are saying. We are very new to website (and associated blogging) and it is very hard work to generate those hits and get that “engagement” statistic that Google Analytics generates.

    We get the hits, but very few comments which makes you ponder if your blog has met all the needs of the reader, and therefore not requiring further comments OR does it mean they just were not interested enough to leave their thoughts?

    In the beginning, I was a little obsessed with viewing the “hits” but now I am trying to not let it bother me, because, the whole purpose of this site was not to make money (that will never happen) but for enjoyment, learning and information.

    I agree, that Twitter (which I initially scoffed at) has been very beneficial for directing readers to the sites, but there are so many Tweets coming out every second, there are an overwhelming amount of people trying to get you to their site!!

    As for frequency of blog posts, I try at least once a week. I don’t want to blog just for the sake of it, and say nothing that adds value. I haven’t used the method of using other bloggers posts yet either – though EVERY site says its extremely important to get guest bloggers! So maybe I best give it a go……

    The website, which is more information based (as opposed to our blog which is more topical), I add to that only when we have genuine information on camp locations and equipment – so consequently the blog is the part of this experience which takes up the most time!

    Good luck.

    Regards,

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