How To Drive Traffic To Your New Design Blog

Recently I’ve been getting emails and friends asking for advice on starting up their own design blog, how to get initial traffic and how keep it consistently coming. Below are a a few tips and techniques that has helped me in the early stages of my blog to bring in traffic, and hopefully continue in the future.

Get people involved and excited

One of the first thoughts that went through my mind when starting TDC was, “How do I get people to visit my site?” So what better way to get people to visit than to make them want to visit.

Posts such as, 26 Business Cards of Graphic & Web Designers and 40+ Creative Logos Submitted By The Designers Themselves not only helped other designers gain exposure, but helped TDC get off the ground. It’s a win/win situation, but how do you find people to submit and get involved…

Become active

Although I stated in the second paragraph that these were in no particular order, social networking and getting others involved was hands down the key to TDC’s initial exposure. After discovering other designer’s to follow on Twitter, I was not only able to find other talented designers to chat with, share information, and help out, but by making friends and the power of the retweet, TDC was able to gain exposure, readers and participants.

Notice I said to help others and not just promote your own blog. Lend a hand to the design community and more often than not they will return the favor.

Other valuable social sites:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Submit Articles

Submitting your articles to various design-related submission sites is another great way to reach a wider audience. Check out 40 promotional design sites where you can submit your blog articles for a fantastic starting point.

Giveaways and Competitions

Who doesn’t enjoy winning FREE stuff? Host a competition or giveaway free stuff for commenting or subscribing.

Also, you can ask others to help you out by offering up free prizes or services in return for some exposure or link love.

Use your sources

Linking to other peoples blogs and articles is another great way to gain exposure. Ask other blog founders of similar interest and popularity if you could add then to your blog roll in exchange for a link back.

A few good examples of link love include:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Improving your search engine ranking by making your blog search engine friendly with SEO tricks and tips. If you are using WordPress, make certain to install the All in One SEO Pack plugin.

Comment On Other Blogs

Not only will this leave a link back to your site (if you leave your website URL in the form field), but also gives you the opportunity to shed some insight on other posts, thus making you valuable and informative.

Try keeping your avatar/picture consistent throughout your social networking sites. A gravatar is an image that ties into your email address whenever you comment on the web… this helps to brand your blog and yourself.

Add A Link To All Your Marketing Material

Start by adding your blogs URL to your business cards and email signature. The more the better.

Write Guest Posts

Writing for other blogs of similar interest and readership is a great way to reach out to a wider, new audience. Try writing to your best ability when doing guest posts — you want to impress!

Host Guest Writers

Allowing other’s to write the occasional blog post is a great way to provide other insight and a new, fresh perspective on topics. Agan, you’re getting your readers and community involved.

Link To Other Articles

If you look to the above paragraphs, you will notice a lot of relevant linking going on. Not only is this valuable to your readers, but it’s a great way for other blogs to notice you — and we all appreciate a good trackback.

Put A Face To Your Blog

I’m not sure if it’s coincidental or not, but putting a face to your blog helps bridge the gap between a standard website and a community.

Many of my favorite blogs I enjoy reading, I feel I have a connection with the writer. It makes me feel more welcome and invited to interact.

Blogs are typically personal so why not make them more personal? Add a photo of yourself someone where on your blog.

Write Interesting & Valuable Content

While this one seems to be a no-brainer, when writing or coming up with an idea for a post ask yourself “Would I want to read this?”

Write short, concise articles. Readers LOVE lists! Don’t ramble and appeal to the masses (well unless that’s not what you are going for). Also, don’t just preach. Instead, help people. Share your knowledge, expertise and experiences.

Post Regularly

Three things are extremely important when first starting your blog:

  1. Have a few quality articles posted on your blog prior to the launch.
  2. Have a few quality articles on the back burner so you can quickly post through the first few weeks.
  3. Post on a regular basis. Why would readers want to visit your blog or subscribe if you are only posting once a month? Give them something to look forward to.


Discussion and Comments

+ Add to the discussion
  1. Elcorin says:

    Can i get a one small photo from your site?
    Thanks
    Elcorin

  2. Brian says:

    Elcorin,
    Which photo are you interested in?

  3. Dirnov says:

    Thank you! I would now go on this blog every day!

  4. An excellent resource of information i will certainly return to check on the latests posts. I m working on My few bolgs and i want to bring traffic on them.

  5. [...] Drive Traffic To Your Design Blog RECENT POSTS [...]

  6. Hi Brian, You write insightful, helpful articles. Your list is more complete than others I’ve seen. Thanks for the tips!

  7. Shailaja says:

    Great! This is awesome info. As a newbie to blogging, this kind of advice is very welcome and appreciated. I am a Graphic designer, interested in Visual Communication in a holistic way.
    Follow me on Twitter–shailajabhagwat
    Thanks!

  8. Merago says:

    Great info. I’ve employed some of those methods, such as Twitter, to try and drive traffic to my blog, and, I have to say, I do notice small spurts of traffic after tweeting about my blog. I also post articles on ezinearticles and HubPages. I’ve only recently discovered HubPages and so far it’s looking like the most promising of all of the methods. Firstly, you can post articles there within which you can insert backlinks to your blog or site, and, secondly, you can also earn Adsense (or other affiliate program) cash too from any clicks made on your articles. The best thing though, is that, if you create a link from an external site to a HubPages article, and someone clicks on that link, you get a percentage of any page impressions and revenue from that referal. And, should that referal sign up for HubPages, you will then continue to receive a percentage of page impressions and revenue for all of ~their~ posts as a thank you for introducing them. So, potentially, you could post only a handful of articles, but, earn income from thousands (provided someone you refer posts thousands of course!). It’s a great program.
    I also use Technorati and StumbleUpon, but have so far had very little in the way of traffic from either of those sources.

  9. Very valuable tips..
    I am sure this post will be a blessing for all the newbies in blogging..

  10. Pam says:

    You nailed it! Thanx a lot, l got to go update suff on my blog

  11. Jim says:

    Thanks for the tips about driving traffic to your blog. I created this blog a couple of months ago and have been working on driving traffic through Twitter and other things like Digg. It seems to be working slowly

  12. Thank you sir! Been looking for something like this for a while now!

  13. adil hussain says:

    thanks if you get more information about this than you must visit
    http://how-to-drive-traffic-to-your-blog.blogspot.com/

  14. Brian,
    Thanks for the great post. I have to say that I was skeptical, but EVERY time I post a new blog entry or comment on someone else’s blog, it drives traffic to my site. Now, we’re not talking about a million new visitors, but one or two or 10 and that it how it works. Just keep chipping away and the traffic patterns will slowly but surely build. It is an on-going effort, not something you do once. Thanks again.

  15. Great article on driving traffic…i wonder if a similar concept can work with my site that really is for work and not blog. Maybe i can also add blog articles to my dental site…wordpress backend..what do you guys think?

  16. CAD-art says:

    Very good and useful post. Tips are excellent. Keep up the good work.

    CAD-art
    http://www.cad-art.gr
    http://cad-art.blogspot.com
    http://www.twitter.com/cad_art

  17. Paco says:

    Thanks for the pointers! I just started a new blog and will be making use of your advice!
    -Paco
    180 Degrees in 180 Days

  18. Frank says:

    Helpful tips! I think most of these are universal and would be helpful to any blogger who wishes to drive more traffic to his/her site. Great stuff! You can learn 100% Sure ways to earn money without spending a dime on my Make Money Beginners blog!

  19. Arfan Rashid says:

    I have some more tips…….
    1- go to yahoo answer and give answer of questions wich related to your blog with url of blog.
    2- include blog url in your email with email signature.
    3- give link advertisement to quality website if its affordable and cheap.

  20. adamj says:

    Excellent article. Applying the knowledge as we speak at http://www.hardrite.com

    Thanks,
    Adam

  21. That’s really true, great post, i have also searching about increase traffic on my new blog and find some new ideas here thanks, very helpful . I really appreciatable work. keep it up.

  22. Lauren says:

    Thanks for the great tips – I was just thinking of making a list of things to do to promote my design website, and then I ran across your article!

  23. [...] How To Drive Traffic To Your New Design Blog ↑ Click the link above to check out this bit. [...]

  24. YourKidsClub says:

    I like the tip I got in making logos. This post is awesome. I might start putting face on my profile. I am also working on my website right now, and I am experimenting on putting games on my homepage and try to drive traffic to it. I’m using games from YourKidsClub because the site has lots of games to choose from and the games are kids safe and very educational.

  25. Carrie says:

    Great ideas, suggestions and thoughts…thanks so much for posting all of this info!

  26. pradeep says:

    good categorization i have just started a blog and i am trying to promote it so this article helps me alot.
    By the way here is the blog i have started:http://thetechnoblog.co.cc/

    I hope i will learn something from your article……….
    thanks!!!

  27. eejam says:

    i myself has put my best effort to bring in the traffic to my site. all the techniques you mention are so meant to me. i really hope it can boost my traffic day to day…Thanks…

  28. I hope this helps the traffic out on my blog. Thanks for sharing!

  29. a man to trust says:

    These are some excellent tips. Some are ones I knew and some I didn’t.
    http://amanandablog.com

  30. [...] Drive Traffic To Your Design Blog RECENT POSTS [...]

  31. Great article, just what I needed for my fresh design blog. I hope it will help me increasing traffic to my website. Thanks for qualitative post.

  32. Very good and useful post. Tips are excellent. Keep up the good work.

  33. Albert says:

    wow ! thats a great article …

  34. Johany says:

    Wow! Such great information. Will certainly be implementing it into my blog. Thanks so much!

  35. Awesome! Some really helpful information in there. Bookmarked. Excellent source.

  36. [...] – Write towards your strengths, your experiences and your passions — not what you think other’s what only want to hear. Also check out, How To Drive Traffic To Your Design Blog. [...]

  37. Paul says:

    We’re all pretty chuffed with our new website design at http://www.123-labels.co.uk/ and are hoping to get some feedback from designers and bloggers. So please take a look.
    Much appreciated.
    P.

  38. Amir says:

    Thanks for the tips!

  39. lotzaads says:

    Great info… done some of it.

  40. Straightforward and solid advice as usual. Honestly it was following much of this advice in the first place that allowed me to take my blog from unranked in google pagerank to having a page rank of 3 in just under six months. Now some of my individual articles get a pagerank of 2 or 3 on their own within a month of being posted!

  41. Your face adding idea is great and also I do agree that if anyone has a circle of known people then it will definitely help him/her if site addresses is used on business card…Anyway in one words I must say 14 awesome ideas..

  42. Greg says:

    Yes, for link love and for WordPress users, there’s a plugin called CommentLuv (http://www.fiddyp.co.uk/commentluv-wordpress-plugin/) that helps you do that. It is used by a lot of other blogs and you can find sites that have a list of blogs using that same plugin, so you can favour them for your comments.

  43. Paul S. says:

    Times when facebook sounded just like a myspace wannabe and only suited school kids is over. Liking it or not, we have to consider and use to our advantage this powerful marketing tool.

  44. Chris says:

    Thanks for the tips, Brian. Will be implementing them to try and boost traffic to my online guitar learning blog! :)

  45. Maintaining the website also includes working on it’s PR and traffic, it’s nice to have something in your page that will drive visitors to keep coming back… putting games to it is a good idea because there are millions of people play games in the internet each day and it’s really nice if we take advantage of it. I used YourKidsClub games as it has wide variety of games that are related to my niche and can help generate more traffic.

  46. Jack says:

    Nice article. Thanks for the info

  47. Teofilm says:

    Nice article!
    So it is the same as in the “real” world – be active, social, open-minded, share…
    And following one of the rules I found here, I am posting a comment on this blog ;-)
    Thanks,
    Teofilm

  48. John Foy says:

    Wonderful tips. Headspace, not All in One SEO, is a better plugin I’d say.

  49. mcitp says:

    I think Facebook is the major source now a days because 300 K visitors daily .

  50. Zach says:

    Great Tips! Thanks for the insight.

Brian Hoff
About Brian Hoff: Designer, Writer and Speaker

I’m a graphic designer living in Brooklyn, New York who loves creating compelling and useful websites and memorable interactions across the web. When I’m not designing I can be found writing, speaking and occasionally part-time teaching at colleges — all on the subject of design. I started this blog to share my passion and experiences with designers and clients. I'm most active on Twitter; say hello:


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