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Five Tips to Increase Website Traffic
by Jessica Burkhart

If you’re a writer with a Website, chances are you spent hours struggling with HTML or learning to drag and drop guest books and contact forms into your Website. Your front page is probably catchy and your list of publishing credits is ripe for review. All of these things won’t make much of an impact if your Website isn’t getting much traffic. Here are five tips to take your Website from quiet to bustling.

1. Submit your URL to numerous search engines.

Visit a Website such as www.submitexpress.com and for free, submit your URL to Submit Express. The Website will take your URL and submit it to 20-plus search engines such as Yahoo!, Google and Lycos. This will dramatically ease someone’s search if he or she is looking for you or your writing.

2. Post your Website address on writer message boards.

To increase traffic (you never know if agents and editors lurk on message boards) introduce yourself on different message boards for writers. Magazines such as The Writer and Writer’s Digest offer forums for writers to network with fellow authors. Poke around different forums and leave messages that invite fellow board members to visit your Website.

3. Make business cards with your Website address.

Even if you don’t intend to hand out a business card at office parties or family reunions, make up the business cards and take them to writing conferences, writer’s group meetings and meetings with agents or editors. The cards give a subtle yet pointed reminder that you have a Website and you never know whose hands your business cards may fall into.

4. Put your Website address in a signature at the bottom of every e-mail you send.

Most e-mail programs (Outlook, Incredimail) allow users to include a signature with a simple click. Compose a signature that gives e-mail recipients all of your vital information. Set the signature as a navy blue or dark green that sets it apart from the rest of your e-mail. An example of a good signature is:

  • Your name
  • Your home address
  • Your phone number(s)
  • Your email
  • Your Website address
  • A catchy sentence that would entice someone to visit your Website.

5. Use buzzwords to encourage Internet users to accidentally surf onto your site.

If you want to increase traffic, try using popular words that Internet users might type when searching the net. If applicable, use words such as freelance writer, names of magazines you’ve been published in and publishing credits. If you’ve been published in AppleSeeds, people searching for the magazine may come across your Website simply because the word AppleSeeds appears on your Website. Try starting a blog on your site and blog about issues such as books you’re reading, movies you’re watching or new magazines you’ve recently discovered. Internet browsers may accidentally stumble onto your Website while searching for a particular movie or magazine.

Try these tips and your Website traffic is sure to increase. It may take time to search for message boards and to create a signature, but the increased viewers your Website will gain are well worth it.

© Copyright 2007, Jessica Burkhart

Jessica Burkhart, born in 1987, is the author of over 90 magazine articles for teen publications including Girls’ Life and Guideposts Sweet 16. Jessica had four books under contract by the time she was twenty. Her first novel, Take the Reins (from Simon & Schuster) hits stores in early 2009. Visit www.jessicaburkhart.com for more.

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