30 ways to get more targeted traffic to your blog

Macet by basibanget

This post was originally published on Smart Insights on 22nd November 2011. I cross-post it here with all the links and tags for your reading pleasure!

Seth Godin’s best post for the blogger revisited

A few years ago Seth Godin wrote a great post on how to get traffic for your blog. Seth listed a number of excellent ideas and techniques that any blogger can use to generate interest, attention and advocacy for their blog.

Six years on and many of Seth’s traffic-generating tips are still very relevant today. However, a few things have moved on so I thought I’d re-visit the post and pick out some of the best tips for getting more targeted visitors to your blog.

1. Be topical and write posts about things people are interested in TODAY!
2. Become the thought leader and expert in your field so that people rely on your insights and opinions.
3. Be among the first with a great blog on your topic, then encourage others to blog on the same topic.
4. Have an opinion. Be controversial and dare people to respond (with links back to you) on their blog
5. Interview interesting and well-known people.
6. Use lists!
7. Have a distinctive, unique and well-designed blog
8. Don’t write about your cat, your boyfriend or your kids. Or do so. Just make it interesting!
9. Tag your posts. Use delicious.
10. Coin a term or two. Not so easy to pull off, but the originators of “Conversion rate optimisation”, “Inbound marketing” and “Permission marketing” managed it!
11. Write about Facebook, Google, Twitter and blogging.
12. Be the first to announce and break news.
13. Focus on a niche that appeals to an obsessed minority.
14. Encourage your readers to Digg, Tweet, Like and +1 your posts. Do it with every post.
15. Use photos. And post them on Flickr.
16. Educate your readers.
17. Include comments so your blog becomes a discussion zone that generates conversation.
18. Write linkbait headlines. Or is this Sharebait?
19. Be generous with your expertise so that people recognise it and depend on you.
20. Write about things that appeal to the majority of current blog readers, for example gadgets, social media and Apple.
21. Be timeless and write posts that will be relevant and useful in one, two, three year’s time.
22. Don’t interrupt your writing with lots of links.
23. Edit yourself. Ruthlessly.
24. Digest the good ideas of other people, all day, every day and let this influence your writing.
25. Research the days and times when your audience are most active and post then to maximize readership.
26. Write about a variety of different topics so you keep your readers interested and coming back for more. Or…
27. …become definitive and write about one thing – in detail.
28. Don’t promote yourself, your business, books or projects at the expense of the reader’s attention.
29. Don’t be boring!
30. Write great stuff that people want to read… and share!


  • Dali Burgado

    Hey Gavin,
    Here are some that resonated with me and why.#6 Use lists – definitely.  I underutilize this one!  Lists are great because they’re quick reads and easy to scan.  Short and to the point blog posts that provide lots of value.#14 Encourage your readers to Digg, Tweet, Like and +1 your posts. Do it with every post.  – For sure.  Most of us forget to do this.  This should become a habit.#21 Be timeless.  A goodie.  In SEOLand this is “evergreen” content.  While Google now rewards freshness, there are some “how to” content that can be timeless and will be cornerstone blog content for bloggers.#22 Don’t interrupt your writing with lots of links.Good point there.  Also good if you intend to have a call to action on your posts.  Don’t want to overwhelm visitors or call their eyes away from your call to action.Dali

    • http://twitter.com/gavinllewellyn Gavin Llewellyn

      Hey Dali, thanks a lot for commenting!

      Seth wrote a really great post and I was encouraged to re-draft it slightly and send it out again so perhaps people new to blogging/ social media who are not as familiar with Seth Godin could also benefit from his wisdom!

      I like the points you’ve singled out as well as your commentary on them – especially #21 about timeless posts being called ‘evergreen’ in SEOLand. I didn’t know that!

      As well as the tips you’ve mentioned, I also like #15 Use photos (I think they add something to a blog posts and breaks up all the writing) and #29 Don’t be boring! (something I am constantly trying to avoid doing in both the online and real world!).

      Thanks again for stopping by, I appreciate your thoughts and insights on this post 🙂