Posted by: Jim Adcock | August 31, 2011

The Secret to Getting Blog Traffic

Well, my secret anyway.

I’ve recently bragged about the page views on my main blog, Working it Out.  I have achieved a level of traffic I consider pretty good given the fields I cover, the number of posts I make, and the fact that I’ve only been doing this for a little over two years.

The graph shows the number of hits per week I have generated since I started the blog in May 2009.

You can see that I had a decent start, went through a low period, picked up steam and have steadily increased my traffic, and have had a number of significant spikes in traffic.

The first spike, just to the left of the center of the graph, now looks pretty small compared to the other spikes.  I’ve already written about the self-promotion strategy I used during June of 2010.

The second spike, the pair of tallest columns, came from a blitz of a week of daily posts in a series, along with a strong daily promotional push.  I’ve also written about this strategy.

The third spike, actually the beginning of a long-term rise in my overall traffic, was caused by a new technique – quantity.  I had a burst of creativity at the beginning of the year, with several clever ideas (driven by business needs) that I wrote about and readers and Googlers have responded to.

The fourth spike, the four columns to the right of the graph, represent another tactic – interaction.  In the run up to making the five posts in the series I was writing at the time, I had several conversations on Twitter about the topic in question, soliciting feedback from other Twitter users.  (It also didn’t hurt that the topic I had chosen (SharePoint Governance), in addition to being what I was working on at the time, was and continues to be a hot topic in SharePoint and business circles.)

The seven magic rules for blogging success (IMHO) are:

  1. Post.
  2. A lot.
  3. Understand what your audience wants to read.  (You have identified your audience, right?)
  4. Quality.
  5. Promote yourself.
  6. Interact with your readers and potential readers.
  7. Volume, volume, volume.

What’s the secret to your success?

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. He recently served as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors, but left the post to look for a mythical creature he’s heard rumors of, called “sleep”…

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Responses

  1. I have one post that overperforms, simply because I seem to be the only person to have answered an apparently burning question about the schism between real life and a slightly obscure Hollywood interpretation thereof. I haven’t even seen the film – but I did read the book (a “true story”), and it wasn’t difficult to spot that Hollywood had invented a key character in the movie adaptation. Quite why they chose to give her Young Onset Parkinson’s is beyond me, but that’s my key subject there. That’s what my blog is about.

    The rest of my blog is puttering along at what I reckon is a pretty healthy level, considering the niche subject matter. I do a bit of very low key promotion on forums and the like. The biggest spike was when I told my Facebook network about my diagnosis. People find me via Google sometimes, and a few of ’em like me well enough to come back. I’m always flattered when one of them breaks their silence and makes a comment. I try to treat a difficult subject with honesty, balance and just a little humour. Plus, I like to try and present scientific research in a way that the lay person might understand it, when I come across something relevant.

    As to frequency – I blog when I’ve got something to say, or when I’ve got the time to work up one of the post ideas in the queue. I’m not prolific, but I probably average at around a post a week.

  2. Nice post, Jim, My blog is doing much the same as yours did, way back then, and the methods I use are much the same. I have a post that puzzles me, though. It’s a rather ironic take on the Fashion industry (I know. Not your interest, and neither is it mine – hence the ironic approach) which seems to be attracting three times as much interest (Reads and Likes) than any other post. Mostly the people that Like it have their own blogs concentrating solely on Fashion, but I’m not at all sure why they are coming to me. I’ve tried asking some of them, but …
    Okay, I’ve just realised I’m rambling – sorry about that, Jim. Back to work for me.
    Kindness – Robert.


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