Monday, July 9, 2012

Ways to increase your blog traffic

Hello and welcome to my little blog!  I've been publishing Ricochet and Away for one year now.  Happy bloggerversary to me!!!  Ricochet and Away hasn't become an overnight sensation or a household name over the last year.  However, I am now finally enjoying a steady, respectable amount of traffic that I am super proud of.  I have learned, mainly through trial and error, what works best for me and my abilities.  Today I'm going to share with you a few guidelines that I follow to make my blog feature-friendly and pin-able.

First, I'd like to go over some of my stats about where I'm at right now traffic-wise.  If you aren't already paying attention, you should be checking out your blog stats regularly.  Here's how I keep track of my referral traffic:

  • If you have a blogspot blog, this chart will look familiar.  Here are my top 10 referring sites of all time (basically my entire first year of blogging) as of July 9, 2012:

  • And here is all the above data put into a nifty pie chart:


Just in case you're wondering, referral traffic refers to other sites that have links 
to your blog and how many pageviews you get as a result of those links.  

  • I've been using Google Analytics since Novemeber 2011 and their top 10 referral sites differ only slightly:

There are some discrepancies between the two charts, especially in the numbers concerning google.  Any ideas why?  What I can confidently glean from all this data is that my top 3 referral sites are:

  1. Craftgawker
  2. CraftGossip
  3. Pinterest 
Why is it good to be square? is a tough nut to crack.  I have torn out my hair over that stinkin' site and I know I'm not alone.  My current stats with Craftgawker are 11 accepted and 40 declined submissions.  The photo you submit must be very good and have specific dimensions.  This is reason #1 why I always try to have one good square photo in every one of my instructional posts. is probably my all time fave craft site.  They have a little something for every type of crafter.  They frequently feature small-time bloggers like myself, and they are so nice!  Please take a minute and scroll down a few pages of  Take special notice of the images and photos.  The photos that were rectangular and wide end up looking pretty tiny on the narrow format.  This is reason #2 why I strive to have nice square-shaped photos--especially titles--in all my new posts.

My referrals are growing at a very fast rate, and I expect them to overtake my Craftgawker and CraftGossip referrals eventually.  If you're familiar with the site, you know how important a pin's image and description are in its chances of being re-pinned.  You also know that wide rectangle shaped images end up being pretty small once they're pinned.  In response to those facts, I've been trying to make post title graphics that are both pin-worthy and re-pin-worthy.  This is reason #3 why I'm loving the square format for my post images and graphics.

Link parties are great ways to meet other bloggers and add a few new followers to your blog.  I have been getting a respectable amount of traffic from Threading My Way's ongoing link parties.  I suggest you give them a try because there are no time limits or specific days in which to participate.  When I join a link party, I like it when I don't need to take the extra time to crop an image to go with my link.    This is reason #4 why having a square photo in all my crafty posts just makes life easier for me.

So, now do you know why it's good to be square?  Could you share some of your blogging tips?

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,
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  1. Great post Rikka. Happy blogaversary.
    I have also learned via trial and error that square works the best. Its not always possible but its still my favorite.
    Would love to see more of these posts.
    And wow! You got 11 acceptance in go girl!
    I haven't even got one in my 1 year. I'll pester you to get your secret for craftgawker.

  2. Congratulations on your one year Rikka, oh and being Awesome n stuff:)

  3. Congratulations on your bloggiversary!! Great tip about being square!
    My biggest traffic source is Allfreesewing - they have so many fabulous free sewing tutorials, and send out a newsletter a couple of times a week grouping the tutorials together - kitchen projects, bags, sewing for kids etc, and if your tutorial gets in the newsletter it brings LOTS of people through!!
    Here's to another great blogging year for you Rikka - you have a fabulous blog and I love stopping by!

  4. Congrats on your blogiversary, Rikka!!! Awesome job having 11 photos accepted by Craftgawker. My top referring site is 'Freeneedle', but I think that will soon be taken over by 'Allfreesewing'. Thanks so much for mentioning @Threading My Way link parties and pleased they bring you some traffic. Glad I found Ricochet and Away last year...

  5. Congratulations on your blogiversary. I have never thought about the format of photos in my blog posts, will definitely pay more attention to them now! Great post.

  6. Oh, congrats!! Great post btw. I've been looking at places to 'plug' my tutorials as I think it's lovely to see what people are actually doing with them and giving it their own twist and style. :-)
    Keep the blogging tips coming and hopefully you'll have a wonderful 2 year blogiversary next year.

  7. I love this post! Thanks for the tips. I've already "squared" some photos for my recent blog post :-) As always I have to improve my photos before I can even think of submitting them to craftgawker... But I do submit my posts to craftgossip, and if it's a tutorial-like post, they may accept it :-)

  8. hi Rikka, great post this time, informative. joining with you to share the 1st yr celebrations.

  9. Such great ideas! I think i will have to start using "squares." Honestly it would be just so much easier if my camera took pictures in "squares"


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