Thursday, March 01, 2007

Traffic

On Thursday, February 8, I wrote about Web 2.0, basically saying that I wanted to write more about it.

Early websites were fairly stagnant. Hypertext connected pages. Now, we have things like Flickr, Blogger, and YouTube, that connect not only pages but people. I have visited a bunch of blogs these last two weeks, mostly to post information about the "Battle of the Blogs." But I look around, and I have seen some comments about this little competition connecting people, exposing people to blogs they would not have otherwise have seen. That, to me, was the whole point of this, but you know, I did not think it was going to work.

Several bloggers have said something about increased traffic to their sites. And that is good. Really good. We spend hours working on blogs – some spend more time on design than I do. Well, most spend more on design than I do.

And I am so happy that people have had increased traffic. I don't often look at the traffic to my site. I did peek at it, and I was a bit surprised. I use DSDDD, and you can either view posts by unique visits or by visits and page views.

For those of you who want to increase traffic to your site, you may want to try one of the following suggestions:

1. Leave comments on other sites. And I am not talking about the comment, "great blog," "I agree," or "naked pics of Britney on my blog." The first two examples are so generic that most people will not even care that you took the trouble to post them, and well, everybody's computer is filled to the brim with Britney's various naked pics. I am talking about comments that pertain to the blog entry, are witty or sensitive or whatever you are, and add to the discussion. I don't know how often I have looked at the blogs of someone else just because I thought their comment was funny or clever. Occasionally you will get a stalker, but hey, you can say that about a lot interactions with the Internet.

2. Write consistently. I don't mean every day (I do this, but that is my schedule, every work day). I mean on a schedule. Keep to the schedule and post the schedule so that others can see it (if it is less frequently than daily). You can be a Tuesday-Thursday poster, but keep to the schedule. And if you are less frequently than daily, I will probably visit once per week (I can't keep the day straight in my mind), but I will read all posts that week. Some use the blogrolls that say, "Recently Updated" next to blogs that were, uh, recently updated. But most of us don't.

3. Publicize breaks. If you are talking a blogging vacation, tell your readership. They will appreciate the thoughtfulness and return when you do.

4. Have consistent content. I am crappy at this. I write about stuff from "Web 2.0" to sarcastic crap, from religion to erotic, from sweet to touching. I have no niche. So people don't like it (oh, and I really don't care). But those who blog consistently get readership because they don't disappoint their readers. Can you imagine going to a Taco Bell and getting pizza? Oh, yeah, you can do that (and it took the company years to be successful at it). You don't have the multimillion dollar marketing arm to carry that out, so stick to something you like and do that (or be like me and don't care). But then you won't get readership.

5. Start a contest. That usually drives traffic. In viewing my traffic for the last week or so, I have noticed that most are not really reading my site, but are just using my site to visit other sites. Rarely, someone will read this (like you). But you know, for many contests, you do get the occasional person sticking around. I have seen a couple of fresh faces in my comments already. But I really did not do this to drive traffic. I noticed that many of my blogging buddies were quitting – and I sort of thought it may be that blogging is getting passé, since we have the sexy YouTube and other vlogging outlets. Perhaps it is misconception; I am not sure. But I just wanted to stimulate a bit of blogging activity.

6. Trade links. I will never do this, but you know, if you trade links with other bloggers, you might get more exposure. I just don't like the idea. So for me, instead of trading link, perhaps you should:

7. Update links. For your main page and blogroll, change links that have changed. If you have someone who keeps moving around, from typepad, to blogger, to the next blogger site, change their URLs. And if you link to something else on your sidebar, make sure it is current.

8. Be brief. I keep my blog entries to one page (this one is already two pages; crap). Most people don't have that long of an attention span. If you break this rule, do it deliberately.

I could write more on this, but I am (1) boring people by now, and (2) have to pee desperately. And I did not mention content with traffic. Crap.

20 comments:

~Deb said...

It’s interesting how people are drawn to certain blogs for different reasons. I know that the whole ‘long post’ deal is a bit much for some, but if the writer is really good (like yourself) then it’s worth the read. I like thought provoking posts – I like it when they get a bit sidetracked with a funny thought. It’s like freestyle writing. This is why I love your posts so much. As you know, I hate competitions and I am actually confused on how the battle of the blogs works. Call me an idiot, but I don’t get the whole left wing, right wing, east coast, west coast – you get my drift. I can’t even refer to it correctly Leesa! (ha)

But in any event, they also say to write ‘timeless’ pieces – meaning that anyone can read it anytime and apply it to their daily lives. For instance, current events sometimes gets drab for some – and if they trek through archives, which I do as a reader, then it doesn’t apply to ‘now’.

I never heard of link exchanging, I mean, through bloggers. I had one site, (a sex toy store) ask me to link them. (ba ha ha ha) The radical Christian bible thumpers would love to see that on my site! I had to kindly turn them down. But, it would have given me plenty of traffic probably.

Another great thing is to be apart of a site that encourages others to share their blogs – like Blog Explosions. It’s a site where they have message boards, they help you with things you’re not familiar with and you can browse other blogs of interest.

Sorry for the long comment. Oh, and by the way, “GREAT POST!” (haha)

P.S. I had a commenter not too long ago, who is an avid ‘visitor’ ----not reader obviously, who commented on a photo of a post I did without reading it entirely. The photo contradicted the post. So you know she didn’t read any of it at all. I had to laugh!

~Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leesa said...

~deb: Thanks for the long post. I read your long blog entries as well (others, she is on my blog roll under hot lesbian friends). The reason I mentioned shorter posts is that, on occasion, someone will make a comment, and by the comment, I could tell they read to paragraph 2, found something to comment on, and fired away. And the comment really did not have to do with the post, because I refuted it later.

jon deal said...

Where is the spigot where I can fill my computer to the brim with nekkid Britney pics?

Did I miss a memo or something? Why wasn't that offered to me as an option when I bought the stupid machine?!

Where on the internet does one get these so-called naked Britney Spears pictures?

Kat said...

The fact that I can't just write about one topic will be the death blow to my blog I suppose. I'm a writer and editor, what I love about blogging is meeting people from areas I could never visit any other way. I'll read long posts when the writing is good.

Leesa said...

john: I think if you type in Britney, you will get an eye-ful. Poor girl.

kat: too bad you don't have your blog linked to your name so we can see your blog. As a writer, you probably put my work to shame.

Nikhil said...

Gah, I always write about 3 pages. Is that unforgivable? Is that why I find most of the commentors irksome flirts?

But, then what must I do to keep ther interest for my information intensive posts? Is ADD that common?

Pittchick said...

I feel like such an inferior blogger, I don't follow many of your rules. I guess it's a good thing I don't really care. LOL.

Oh, how do you know if people only vote one time in the BOTB?

kathi said...

I'm surprised as many people read my blog as they do, lol.

QUASAR9 said...

lol Leeeesa
One is guaranteed fun and humour, at this blog sometimes cute, sometimes dry (like a dry martini) - but always funny.
I think what I like best about your style, is that no matter where the story came from or where you go with the story, there will always be a touch of humour.

QUASAR9 said...

Your latest advice to successful blogging is more comprehensive still than the last, the wealth of experience - alas we may not care if people visit or comment at our posts - but then we may as well just scribble thoughts on a piece of paper roll it into a ball and play basketball with the office bin

I wonder how long before someone can recreate that imagery in flash for documents we type or posts we blog and then send to the recycle bin

Leesa said...

nikhil: you know, I could be wrong.

pittchick: I don't follow my own advice either.

kathi: you have a good heart. That draws people to you and is evident in your writing.

quasar: I don't mind my writing hitting the dustbin. Sometimes that's where it belongs.

Ryan said...

I'm one of those with the short attention span... but if the post is good - I read the entire thing. I didn't have much time and had to come here 3 times today, but it was good. Like always.

It's good to see your battle of the blogs going.

Miss 1999 said...

Those are some good points, and tips you made. I'm one of these people, who used to blog daily, but now blog, typically, every other day to daily when I can. Now, I'm one who blogs about whatever strikes me. I'm rarely consistant, but then again, that's just me. I read a wide variety of blogs, and am glad to have found yours, through Deb :0)

Mr. Althouse said...

Hi Leesa,

I came across your blog via a link from one of the blogs I read from time to time, Past Imperfect. Pat was making her readers aware of your contest and soliciting support. Of course I voted for her, but in the process I read some of your other posts.

I like your style. It's unapologetic and genuine. The added bonus of using complete sentences, punctuation (including, but not limited to capitalization) and the all too uncommon smooth transition from one idea to the next is a nice touch. I'm not into these fancy-pance blog designs either. Except for my banner, mine are (all five of them!) straight out of the box - courtesy of Blogger not Beta.

I woke up (unintentionally) at 3 a.m., checked my email and saw a comment from Pat on my blog. Following a link from there to here, I have a decision to make. Make coffee and read or go back to bed. Unfortunately, I have a long day ahead of me, I need the sleep - but I've bookmarked you. As our famous governor would say, "I'll be BACH" (you can be Beethoven).

Mike
The 25 Year Plan

Leesa said...

ryan: the only complaint I have with Battle of the Blogs is that it takes time away from my job. Well, not much of a complaint.

miss 1999: ~deb is a sweetie! and my rules were not hard-and-fast. Just my impression of things that drive traffic, and let's face it, there are many better things to do that simply drive traffic.

mike: I took a peek at your blog as well. Love the concept of the 25 year plan.

~Deb said...

Well that's how you know people scan blogs. But, remember when Mike wrote a blog and said that he was going to Vegas for the week - then at the very end, he said it was a dream he had the night before? People kept commenting saying, "Have a great trip!" Mike kept saying, "They just didn't get it!" And we were laughing! But sometimes, I'll take a piece that's written in one paragraph by someone else and comment on it, because it pertains to a strong opinion I have on it.

Depends.


:)

Reading the Signs said...

I am almost tempted to put "nice blog", but feel prompted to comment because I have spent some time reading here and am learning things, being relatively new to the world of blogging. I wonder how it will develop, this new medium that may already be passe before its prime. There are so many possibilities for better or worse. I appreciate your energy and enthusiasm.

Irish Church Lady :) said...

I liked this post Leesa. I'm not a regular reader but have been visiting your site lately for the BotB.

I agree with your #1 about leaving 'quality' comments on other sites.

I'm not sure about #4. I like variety. I like blogs with humour and some photos and some memes and some personal writing. Some that are just all humour or all personal like 'what I did today' can get tiresome. I try to do variety on mine because that's what I like in other blogs.

I've been thinking about starting a silly contest for fun and to try to promote some of the fun blogs I like and to find more, but then I saw your battle of the blogs so I thought I would wait a little. Hopefully soon after if my schedule permits.

#8 - I agree with very much as a reader who loves to read as many blogs as I can and feels guilty when I cannot. Usually long posters are the first I leave if I need to trim my blogroll, which as a Type A personality I do with great resistance! lol

Leesa said...

~deb: exactly. It took me a while to understand that people only scan blogs.

reading the signs: thanks. Again, this seems to take more time than I thought.

irish: sometimes I don't agree with myself. These were just about getting traffic, and there is more to life than just the numbers.