Karlonia.com
For Gold, Peace, and Freedom

Karlonia.com

Karlonia.com Traffic Increases to Record Levels

March 11th, 2008

Throughout the first quarter of 2008, there has been a noticeable increase in traffic here at Karlonia.com. After the initial launch of this blog back in March 2007, traffic had been increasing very slowly until I finally reached the 100 visitor mark last December. More recently, however, the pace has really picked up. This morning I woke up to discover that I had managed to bring the traffic levels to over 500 24-hour unique visitors for the first time in the site’s history:

firestats-traffic-report.jpg

Although higher traffic numbers are usually encouraging, the best news about the recent totals is that none of this is low-quality “garbage traffic” such as autosurfs or bots. In fact, after manually counting up the visitors from search queries that Firestats was able to detect and display, I arrived at a total of 242. Additionally, there were another 21 visitors from the Live Search bar that Firestats did not display the full queries for, and there were also several visits in the referrer list from other search engines such as Dogpile, Excite, Alta Vista, the CNN search bar, Technorati, a German search engine called Ottosuch, and several other lesser search engines, bringing the actual organic search traffic total closer to 300. I’m also bringing in more visitors from Entrecard, blog comment links, and “clicks of curiosity” from other webmasters who discover my URL in their referrer stats.

As a benefit to my readers, I will use the rest of this post to summarize and describe what I have been doing to bring in the traffic and provide some tips for newer bloggers to accelerate the traffic building process:

  1. Smart SEO: After the first few months, I realized that it would be difficult to rank for any highly competitive keywords unless I could get backlinks from some major authority sites. But for a site like mine, this is very difficult because I just don’t have the popularity or insider connections to pull off such a feat. However, I discovered that I could often rank well for lots of other keywords that were less competitive but still received significant search traffic.

    I put together a strategy whereby I would do SEO research and optimize my pages for targeted keywords before publishing them, with the goal of bringing in at least 5-10 visitors per day for each page. By doing this, I reckoned, the multiplying effect of having many content-rich pages would add up over time. By the numbers, 5 visitors per day times 200 pages yields 1000 daily visitors, which will hopefully be enough to pass critical mass and allow unsolicited natural linking to occur, thus allowing my SEO operation to run somewhat on autopilot.

    This strategy worked to some extent at first, although I still had problems with pages dropping into Google’s supplemental and omitted results, while others seemed to pop in and out of the SERPs intermittently even when I received good rankings. The big breakthrough came about two months ago when I began aiming inbound links at specific pages that I expected to rank well instead of simply getting more links to the site’s home page like most people do.

    Most of these inbound links have come from blog commenting. After publishing a new keyword-targeted page, I would seek out other blogs (preference was given to DoFollow, but I did not use these exclusively) that had pages with content and keywords similar to my own. Then I read through the other blog’s article, left a non-spammy comment, and repeated the process with a few other blogs until I had at least 5-10 good links pointed at the page. In most cases, I did not attempt to put keywords into the name field of the other blogs; the only exceptions were instances where it was clear that the site owner was openly allowing this practice.

    Within a few days of gaining the backlinks, search traffic to the target pages increased, but better yet, this traffic has remained and become more reliable because the pages have attained a certain “stickiness” and are not dropping in and out of the results anymore. Another beneficial side effect of this strategy has been an increase in crawling frequency to non-targeted pages, which has caused older pages that I had completely forgotten about to gain a foothold in the SERPs and bring in traffic for all sorts of interesting “long tail” queries.

    The main disadvantage to this method is that it requires a fair amount of time to find relevant sites, write comments with substantial content, and set the links for each page, especially since I have over 300 pages and am publishing a new one every day. However, I am hoping that once the traffic to the site reaches a certain critical mass, other sites will begin linking to my pages naturally without me having to expend so much effort to acquire the needed links.

  2. Entrecard: Participation in the Entrecard system has provided a nice boon to Alexa rankings and has complemented the search traffic nicely by drawing in visitors from the webmaster community along with members of the general public who are arriving at this site through the search engines. In order to increase Entrecard traffic, I have used multiple tactics including reliably reciprocating drops, purchasing low-cost (in terms of credits) advertising at lots of different sites, and dropping on popular or active sites. I will also occasionally drop on “newbie” blogs in order to get some fresh faces in front of my site and increase the chances of gaining more repeat visitors in the future.

    I try to use up my maximum allocation of 300 card drops per day whenever possible, which allows me to rack up more credits and purchase more advertising on other people’s widgets or through the shop feature. Amazingly, as of this writing, I have managed to climb into 5th place out of 197 blogs (based on advertising price) in the Internet marketing category. There are still a few more things I can do here, such as actively participating in Entrecard’s forum or getting an article published on their blog, but I am only one person and there are only 24 hours in a day.

  3. Scratchback widget advertising: I am beginning to pick up a significant amount of traffic coming from the various sites where I have purchased text link ads through the Scratchback widgets, and these ads may be having a small favorable effect on SEO as well. Scratchback is a system where you can make a small donation (tip) to another site owner by clicking on an open link in the appropriate widget. These donations are small cash amounts, usually in the $1-5 range, although they can be as high as $25 depending on the preferences of the site owner.

    In exchange for the tip, you are allowed to place a text link ad for your site and even choose the anchor text. The main limitations are that you only get 20 characters of text and the links are nofollow (in order to avoid being penalized by Google for paid links). However, not all search engines recognize nofollow and it still provides a good avenue for traffic, especially if you can find a relevant site for your text link placement.

  4. Social directory and community sites: The BlogCatalog and MyBlogLog widgets on many sites have provided an opportunity for me to gain much exposure by simply visiting other sites that are members of these particular networks. When the other site owners see my little avatar appear on their widgets, many of them will click through to my profile page and eventually my blog, resulting in a steady influx of new visitors.

    Meanwhile, I have had many people add me to their friends lists at BlogCatalog and leave messages on my profile pages, giving me the opportunity to visit other sites and leave appropriate comments. Although I haven’t been nearly as active with these types of sites as I have with Entrecard, the traffic is ongoing, and my brand name (Karlonia) is steadily being distributed onto an increasing number of other people’s profiles and lists.

  5. Blog commenting: Although I have tended to regard blog commenting as a relatively convenient SEO tool, the original purpose of this medium was to allow the commenter to give feedback to the blog owner and join in a community style discussion similar to a forum or bulletin board service. Even though I have now established my own site and become semi-addicted to SEO, I have not completely forgotten about the original spirit of commenting. I have occasionally left rather lengthy and informative comments on other people’s blogs whenever I found a post that really interested me or saw an opportunity for me to contribute some of my ever-growing store of knowledge to the readers.

    Because there is the ability to place links back to my site in the URL field, a well-placed and useful comment can be a decent source of traffic from curious visitors to the other site. Over time, if one can leave enough quality comments on lots of other sites, the accumulated hits can add up to a significant and diverse traffic flow.

  6. StumbleUpon: I am relatively new user of this particular venue, but I have received some nice bursts of traffic from it occasionally. A few of the other Entrecard members have Stumbled this site and a small sampling of its pages; however, I have yet to explore the full potential of this system. From my experience, it works very much like a manual traffic exchange with no timer on it. By clicking the “Stumble” button on the toolbar, you can keep surfing through a nearly infinite number of web pages and can even control which ones you see to some extent by choosing preferred category tags. Actually doing the stumbling can eat up a lot of time that could be used for other tasks, but it is still a good way to gain exposure to new websites that would otherwise remain undiscovered.



    Well, that about wraps it up for the major traffic sources that I have tapped into thus far. Of course, there are still more promotional avenues out there that I have not gotten to yet, such as PPC (pay per click), email lists, various offline advertising methods, and the relatively new Project Wonderful. Meanwhile, if you have any other useful traffic building tips to share, feel free to use the comment section to describe your discoveries.


4 Responses to “Karlonia.com Traffic Increases to Record Levels”

  1. comment number 1 by: arnold

    Congratulations in the increase in your visitors. I found the bit on Scratchback quite interesting in that I have never heard about them. I obviously have to do some googling. It is nice to see you have joined StumbleUpon. I really enjoy these guys and I receive the majority of my traffic by way of Stumble. It does however take a lot of work (even more than Entrecard) but it is definitely worth it. A word of warning though, Stumbling can be extremely addictive. I enjoyed your article, thanks.

  2. comment number 2 by: roel

    Wow, even more inspiring. I am actually trying to apply all the things I learned from your posts. The Mybloglog and Blogcatalog is true. I got my first traffic from these great sites.

  3. comment number 3 by: Charles Hamel

    Your doing everything right, as long as you give people a reason to keep returning to read quality content, It’s just a matter of time.

    Continue with social networks, and throw a couple of videos on youtube, with music and inspirational quotes, and at the end put for more Inspiration go to www.karlonia.com

    Works great!

    :)

  4. comment number 4 by: Karlonia

    @arnold:

    Yes, the Scratchback thing is an interesting concept - I forgot to include a link to their main page, but I will edit this in later. You can get some pretty cheap advertising through this system if you target the sites that still have their payment amount set very low, like $1 or $2. Sometimes webmasters will just leave the widget setting alone after installing it, so later on if their traffic picks up and you buy an ad there, you can get significant traffic back to your site for a relatively low price.

    @roel:

    I am glad you have been able to benefit from the information in my articles. That’s what Karlonia.com is all about - stamping out ignorance and inspiring more people to seek personal and economic freedom.

    @Charles Hamel:

    The video idea is interesting - a lot of the big name Internet marketers are promoting this one. Unfortuately, this is something that I am not really set up for; I don’t have any kind of video production equipment and have never tried to make my own videos before. However, I do have a brother who is more experienced in this area, so I may be able to get him to put something together and include links back to this site.

    At any rate, thanks for the encouragement. It has been a long, slow journey from where I started, and I still have a long way to go in terms of income to rise above subsistence level. I’m going to need all the motivation I can get!

Post Your Comments, Opinions, or Suggestions Here:

Name

Email (optional)

Website (optional)