Following on from my previous post on the subject of Learning to Blog, I decided to update my latest findings. I am looking into ways of driving more traffic to a blog.
To be clear, I have not yet found the answer. I am still wandering through a Google search to see what insight there is. A lot of the posts and websites dedicated to the subject use terminology I am not yet familiar with so I am learning by trial, error and a lot of playing about.
So far, a few simple things have worked for me.
1. Being freshly pressed. Frankly, I am not sure what it was about my post that stood out but thanks to the Freshly Pressed pickers I had over 900 visitors in 2 days. Before I feel too smug though, I admit that very few seemed to want to stick about to read more.
That’s fine. Lesson learnt that my writing may be cathartic for me, but maybe not so exciting for the reader. The main problem with this is that a visitor to a blog who doesn’t enjoy what they read rarely leaves a critical appraisal behind aimed at my personal development.
2. Browsing blogs and leaving comments. I like to read other blogs. I have browsed through a number of sites every day in the last few months. However I cannot agree with the concept that I should like and comment on posts even though I am not really interested in them, just to encourage the same reader to my own little corner. That seems rude.
I want people to comment on my posts because they are interested in something I wrote about, not just to grab my attention and drag it to their own page. So I will pay back the same courtesy. If I have liked or commented on your post, it is because it provoked a reaction. (If I haven’t, maybe I just didn’t find your blog yet. There are a lot for me to get through).
3. Replying to comments left on my posts. There seem to be 2 trains on thought on this. One is that I should reply to every comment left, to be polite and show my appreciation for a visitor taking the time to reply. Another is that replying to every comment is time consuming and becomes repetitive.
I suspect the latter is aimed at those people who receive hundreds of comments a day. Perhaps when I get to that point I too will run out of responses and time. For now, I really do enjoy every comment I receive and I do endeavour to respond to them all. It’s not just being polite, it’s because I am enjoying the interaction and the chance to meet new friends!
4. Using social media. Now this is the tricky one. So far I have created a Facebook page linked to this site. I believe I have had one visitor – a friend from the real world. I don’t think Facebook is the way to meet strangers online, personally I use it for friends and family.
I have also joined Mumsnet bloggers – it being suggested that as I write about family and my kids as often as anything else I should fit right in. I am not sure yet how much traffic that generates, but it has given a whole new arena of blogs to read. So much reading, so little time!
Twitter is of course the favourite. Every piece of advice mentions having a tweet – it’s a whole new verb in it’s own right. I have to say that I find it strange though. What should I post about on Twitter? Are you interested in what I had for dinner or should I stick to promoting the blog only? Or is that just boring?
So how much is too much?
I am currently setting up a blog for my brother to promote his business and photography. I linked it to his Twitter account, last updated 300 days ago. I suggested he should update it more often. He replied that he felt he should post less frequently but with ‘content rich’ posts, both on Twitter and the blog. Too much, he said, and no one would pay much attention.
I, on the other hand, have found most advice suggests to post more frequently to encourage interest. Only posting monthly would surely mean that followers lose patience in waiting for the next update. Neglect your readers and they will neglect you in return.
But who is right?
I expect the answer is somewhere in between. Post regularly, but make it relevant and readable, rather than random drivel. Of course, applying that to Twitter will require a different interpretation to applying it to a blog.
Now – back to my research to find out just what it is I am meant to tweet. Any suggestions?