I think everyone who has a blog goes through stages in his or her blogging. Inevitably a blogger hits a wall. The inspiration to write disappears and you feel like you don’t really have anything valuable to offer the blogosphere. I hit that wall this past year big time, but over the past couple weeks I’ve been blogging more regularly. Over the past few weeks I’ve learned a few lessons about how blog traffic fluctuates right along with how frequently you write. Here they are.
More posts = More traffic
Take a look at the above graphic. It’s a chart from Google Analytics of the visits to my blog over the past 30 days. See the peak right in the middle? That’s the day I decided to get back into regular blogging and posted three new posts that day. I linked to the posts from my twitter and facebook accounts and traffic jumped. It jumped quite a bit, in fact.
New traffic doesn’t come automatically
You can also see over the week or so that followed there was a drop off again. It lines up perfectly with a fall off of blogging again. For some reason I had thought that my bump in traffic would keep up. It didn’t If you want more readers you have to write more.
Writing about popular topics will generate new traffic
One of the posts I did this past month was about Ed Young, pastor at Fellowship Church, and the news story that the local ABC affiliate ran about his salary. That post generated a comment from a person I’m pretty sure I don’t personally know. Also, my blog is the number seven Google search result for Ed Young salary and number eight for mega churches in Dallas. Those stats won’t really general much long term traffic, I think, but it does show that hot topics, either nationally or locally, will bump your traffic.
Those are just a few things I’ve learned over the past month in blogging. What are some tips you have about generating traffic to your blog? Share in the comments.
You can also find a lot tips in Darren Rowse and Chris Garret‘s great book on blogging ProBlogger. I’ve read it and highly recommend picking one up if you’re interested in becoming a better blogger.
Over the past month or so I’ve been wanting to get back into blogging and trying to figure out what my personal blog should be focused on. What’s my niche? Why do people read my blog? What should I write about? It’s the type of questions that I believe every blogger asks at some point in the life of their blog.
Through the course of asking myself these questions, having a couple of conversations with a friend about a new joint-venture in blogging, and looking for some ideas to generate a little extra money on the side I decided to buy a copy of the book ProBlogger by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett. I’m glad I did.
The sub-title of the book is “Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income,” so I was expecting the it to be mostly a “I got rich blogging and here are the ways that you can get rich quickly, too” type of book, but getting rich quick was not really the main focus of the book. There are a few chapters on money-making blogging strategies, but the majority of the book is devoted to helping you figure out how to run an effective blog. In fact, throughout the book the authors stress that most successful/profitable blogs are the result of years of work.
The main takeaway that I got from the book was that the best blogs are ones that focus on a niche market. The more specific the niche the better. Beyond that, the book was filled with practical ideas on how to write content that people want to read and gave numerous specific examples on how to generate ideas for new blog posts.
Overall, I’m really glad I spent the time to read the book. I don’t know whether or not I’ll make even a dime from blogging, but it has given me some motivation to get back in the game, as you can probably tell from this new post.
If you’re new to blogging, a veteran blogger looking for ideas to get unstuck, or trying to figure out how you might make a little money writing in your spare time I highly recommend getting a copy of the book for yourself.
Check out the blog that inspired the book at ProBlogger.net.