Step 13 to getting to 100,000 visitors and beyond: Participate in carnivals.
I am a long-time participant in blog carnivals and have seen lots of benefits from being involved with them. I have already written on how to drive traffic with blog carnivals, and I'm not going to re-hash that information here (BTW -- if you don't know what a blog carnival is, check out that post). But here are a few things I do want to say about participating in blog carnivals:
- Almost everyone gets in. When I first started participating in carnivals, I wondered if my posts were "good enough" to make it in a carnival. In reality, unless it's a really bad post, if you submit, you'll get in.
- It's easy to participate. You can use handy submission forms at the Conservative Cat or Blog Carnival and submit to many different carnivals in just a few clicks.
- Be a courteous participant. When you participate, be sure to include all information the host might need to put together the carnival. Remember, he or she has to sort through 30-50 posts sometimes, so help him out a bit. My pet peeve is people who submit to a carnival without listing a trackback URL but they have trackbacks on their site. It's just plain discourteous (BTW, I always place people who do that at the END of a carnival I'm hosting).
- Link back. When you're included in a carnival, it's standard operating procedure (at least for cooperative bloggers) to post on your site and direct people to the carnival. This rewards the host for hosting and drives lots of traffic from various sites. Many of the people ultimately coming to your site to read your submission will come as a result of some other participating blogger posting on it. You want to be sure and return the favor. I always make one weekly post of all the carnivals I'm in, as long as the host gets them up in time (I like to post around noon on Wednesdays at the latest). To see an example of how I do this, look at this post.
When Free Money Finance was a new blog, I got a substantial amount of traffic from blog carnivals. Now that the blog is older/bigger, I still participate because it drives good traffic and doesn't take much time to submit each week -- even though I participate in 6 to 8 per week. Try a few out for yourself and I'm sure you'll see that it's a great way to drive new people to your blog.
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