posted by Matt Ward on Dec 15, 2009.
Pretty much every blog wants to increase traffic to his or her site. This is especially true of new bloggers. In this article, I’m going to look at the one thing you’re already doing to help foster growth in this area!
Let’s be honest – blog traffic is addictive. If your an active and committed blog owner, it’s never far from your mind, and no matter how far you come, no matter how much traffic you bring in over a given period of time, no matter how happy or satisfied you may be in a given moment, somehow you’re always left craving more, looking for a way to boost that traffic by just another degree.
I’m right aren’t I? If not, you’re either not human, not fully committed to your blog, or in possession of superhuman willpower and focus (we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the third).
But why should traffic be so addictive? Probably because it’s the clearest indication of success, at least in it’s narrowest of forms. We all want our sites to be successful. Even if we’re giving away free information and resources, we want to see that our content is being consumed. Traffic stats are a good place to start, and probably one of the most readily accessible. Plus, while a picture is worth a thousand words, a good set of numbers and data can be worth at least that, and probably more.
Just ask a mathematician!
And that functions as a beautiful segue. I was originally considering calling this article something along the lines of “The Arithmetic of Increased Blog Traffic,” but I thought that such a title would scare a few people off. We are going to be talking about a bit of math, but it will be really simple, I promise!
Now, if you read at all about blogging, you’ve probably heard that common axiom: content is king. I’ve read this kind of thing so many times I’ve lost count. I’ve even written about it myself, in articles like 8 Reasons Why You Probably Shouldn’t Start a Design Blog. I’m not going to try to contradict this concept. After all, content is the foundation of your blog. Without it, your site probably won’t go anywhere.
Instead, what I want to talk about is that other Q-word that always (and rightfully) gets trumped by quality: that being quantity.
Now, before you get up in arms, I am not suggesting – in any way, shape or form – that any blogger, design or otherwise, should make quantity their primary focus. It’s always better to create one quality post than five half-baked articles that say virtually nothing and exist solely for the sake of filling up space and driving up the number of posts on your site.
Personally, I do try to follow a posting schedule. I work towards getting two unique articles or other quality resources posted every week, in addition to my Echoes series and, most recently, Saturday Morning Cartoons (featuring The Brads). Most weeks I’m able to get this done, but sometimes I do fall a bit short. This past week was a prime example, as other commitments seemed to devour all of my time. I admit that, sometimes, it’s difficult not to obsess over meeting this schedule, but I’m committed to posting solid content and avoid cranking out some mindless drivel just to fill up the space.
If I don’t have something worthwhile for my readers, then I just don’t post.
So, bringing things back to the point at hand, this is not an article about going out and writing as much fluff and junk as you possibly can, all for the sake of quantity alone.
Rather, this is an article about the advantages of the quantity of articles that emerges from a commitment to sustained writing and authorship – something which I hope that you are already doing!
It’s about natural, organic growth.
Basically, I just want to encourage you to keep writing. As you produce more quality articles, you’re also creating a broader resource base for readers and search engines. This gives both people and bots more ways to find your blog, more pages to land on, and more articles to read if they choose to delver deeper into your site (through categories, popular posts or related stories).
It only makes sense that this would, in turn, lead to an increase in overall traffic.
In the six months that the Echo Enduring Blog has been live, I’ve actually actively experienced this trend myself. During the first couple of months, I would only get a few hits a day. In the first weeks, there were even some days when I wouldn’t get any traffic at all. Eventually, though, I started to network more and the blog started to get a little more attention. Today, some of the posts I wrote a few months ago are still seeing nice, sustained traffic, coming from a variety of sources.
The cumulative effect of this is that, even without strongly promoting a certain post over the course of a week, I still see a reasonable amount of traffic in a single day.
Probably the best way to visualize this is through some simple arithmetic. Let’s suppose that, on average, each of your posts gets visited ten times a day. This will obviously vary significantly, but ten is a nice round number, and will work well as an average for illustrative purposes.
Using a simple table, we can see how, based on the same average hits per post per day, simply continuing to write and add valuable content to your blog can actually have a dramatic effect on your overall blog traffic!
|Number of Posts||Average Hits per Post per Day||Over 1 Month (30 Days)|
It’s pretty simple math (mere multiplication), but somehow it’s still striking to see these kinds of numbers laid out before us. I actually started thinking along these lines while doing some analysis of my own stats, and noticed that I was building a strong base of organic traffic on a daily basis. It was intriguing, so I grabbed my calculator and started doing some simple calculations based on the site’s current trends. What I saw was basically what you see in the table above.
So what’s the point? I think there are two. First, while quality posts are the most important part of a successful blog, it’s ultimately the fusion of quality with a growing quantity that will help increase traffic and lead you down the path of blog success (at least from a strictly statistical position). Wait. I know that some of you are already forming your counter-arguments against this whole quantity idea. You’re probably ready to cite any one of the number of blogs that don’t post all that frequently and don’t rely on quantity for traffic.
Are you sure about that?
Remember, we’re not talking about an all-out Post-a-poloza here, where you need to crank out post after post after post in an effort to artificially boost traffic numbers. Nor are we talking about going head to head with the big blogs (at least for the moment), many of which post at least once daily (and sometimes even more frequently than that).
What we are talking about is the organic nature of the internet, and how, as you continue to post new articles you are also creating new gateways for visitors to find your site. From where I sit, it’s a basic and fundamental mathematical principal, which can be applied to any kind of blog. Even if you only post once a month, that’s one more avenue for traffic to reach your blog than you had last month, and twelve more than last year.
The second, and perhaps more important point is that I’m writing this article as a means of encouragement for all you bloggers out there. The math speaks for itself and my hope is for you see that, even if your numbers aren’t quite where you want them to be today, that doesn’t mean that you can’t reach your goals eventually. Just keep writing and/or producing great content for your blog, and trust that you will gradually see your traffic increase through the organic nature of the internet itself.
Of course, you’ll probably still need to nudge it along here or there (and maybe even shove it from time to time). Promotion is still important. After all, the greatest content in the world isn’t going to matter at all if nobody knows it exists. So keep yourself out there on various social media sites, plugging your blog and your content wherever you can.
Be patient, though. If you provide good, quality content, visitors will start coming. More importantly, they’ll start coming back.
I hope this post makes sense, and that my main point is coming across here. What do you guys think? Has anyone else found this particular trend to be true on your own blogs? What about a different trend? I’d love to hear your thoughts/experiences/reactions!Post A Comment
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