My name is Tim and I'm a traffic maniac. I have a personal blog and a challenge to grow it to enormous traffic numbers as fast as I can. So one day a nice idea came to me, or at least I wanted to think it was nice…
So I need traffic right? Well why don't my fellow bloggers share some of their traffic with me? And I can share some of my traffic with them in return. Sounds easy.
Banner Exchange – that was my idea basically.
I decided to reach out to bloggers that have nearly the same traffic as I do (or even bigger) and suggest them to exchange banners. This way we could send each other a few extra visitors and increase our traffic numbers. It was a win-win situation and if you look at it from my perspective – I was getting a bit of traffic from each banner exchange, so the more of them the better.
At that time my Alexa was somewhere near 200k and I knew it will grow, so I decided to contact blogs with Alexa in 50k-200k range.
Reaching out to build relationships.
I needed relevant traffic so I had to reach out only to the bloggers in my niche, which is “blogging” or maybe even “online marketing“. But where do I find them?
Blog Communities & Blog Directories – that is how I was going to find relevant blogs.
I registered at places like Bloggers.com, theblogfrog and blogcatalog. Then I've searched for some blog directories like blogdir.co.uk and allforblog.com. By the end of my research I had more tabs opened in my Google Chrome than it could possibly handle 🙂
And so I started digging deep into those resources to find blogs in my niche with required Alexa ranking. Must say I was quite disappointed by the quality of listings, as most of the blogs were either dead or abandoned. Still, a few hours later I had a list of about 40 blogs which met my requirements. Actually I had to include blogs with better Alexa (up to 15k), or otherwise I could have ended up with only 20 or so.
I created an email template to be sent to blog owners, which looked like this:
Hey -=NAME GOES HERE=-,
Dare I to ask you to become a friend of mine and exchange traffic with my blog? 🙂
My name is Tim and I run BloggerJET.com, which is my challenge to grow a blog from nothing to 100k monthly visits in only 6 months.
Sounds tough, right? 🙂
At this time I'm desperately seeking for some like-minded bloggers to exchange traffic. I've found your -=BLOG URL GOES HERE=- blog quite easily as we're in the same niche (blogging, online marketing), so here I am contacting you!
What I am suggesting is to place little banners (nofollowed of course) on our blogs and see if we can send some visitors towards each other! No contracts, deals or anything. Once you see that this banner exchange is not working for you – you are free to remove your banner anytime!
I know my traffic stats are quite lower than yours (you can actually see my monthly traffic report posted at BloggerJET.com) but still I thought my blog might get you interested and you might help me out a lil' bit with my challenge 🙂
…& besides, if 10 bloggers will exchange banners with me, my traffic should double and I should be able to send more visits to all of you!
If you don't have the banner I can create one for you no problem! Just send me your text or logo, or whatever you want there. The spots at BloggerJET.com are 80*80 pixels (…for now, I might make them bigger in future).
What banner size would you allow me to place at -=BLOG URL GOES HERE=-?
PS: really hope this will work out!
Want to guess how many responses I got after sending 40 emails? Three! Two of them suggested me to buy their banner spots via BuySellAdds and the third one was Justin Germino from DragonBlogger, a technology and entertainment portal. He didn't exchange banners with me either, but actually spent some of his time to give me a brief coaching session on blogging, based on his personal experience!
So that is basically how I failed! Something makes me think that blog communities and blog directories are not the best places to search for “relationships”. If you take directories – they are either outdated or the blog submissions are not being moderated the way they should, so you end up skimming though thousands of low quality blogs. In their turn blog communities tend to contain somewhat better listings, but still they are mostly used by SEOs that just need another link and don't care about any sort of relationships.
What Alternatives can we use to build relationships?
I have pointed out an issue, but is there a solution? Well, there are a few more ways to find new blogs to get in touch with. Let's see:
- Blog Comments: go to any popular blog in your niche and check who's commenting the posts. In most cases the name of the commenter is being linked to his “homepage”, which is quite often nothing else but a personal blog. I already used this tactic when trying to build a tribe of my own on Triberr and must say that the response rate was way better.
- “Related:” Google search: the mighty search engine has an ability to search for websites related to the one you input. How about a search like this – related:basicblogtips.com.
- Similar sites search: have you heard about these websites – similarsites.com, siteslike.com, similarsitesearch.com, similarsites.net. They pretty much do what their domain names say 🙂
- FollowerWonk: awesome online service that lets you perform searches among bios of people on Twitter. See who has “blogger” in their Twitter bio and check their blogs.
Those are the methods I've used in the past and they are proven to deliver way better results than skimming through blog communities and directories. However I'm sure many of you know a lot more ways to finding new friends and build relationships in blogosphere, so do not hesitate to share them in comments! 🙂