Thursday, September 27, 2018

10 Ways to Improve Blog Traffic (#2 is my least favorite)

By Cheryl Oreglia

I have this annoying habit of obsessively checking blog traffic stats for the first twenty-four hours after I post. If I don't reach certain self-imposed levels I spend the day fretting, tweeting the link, and overeating. It's what I do. 
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Benjamin Disraeli
Clearly I could be improving content, engaging with writing communities, making my blog SEO friendly (it makes me nauseous just thinking about search engine optimization), but I seem to prefer waisting my times on meaningless analytics. It's sort of ridiculous. 
He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts - for support rather than for illumination. Andrew Lang
Since I started blogging in 2015 my numbers have steadily increased, at an extremely slow rate mind you, but at least I can graph a gradual improvement. There are 150 million blogs out there and figuring out how to market your particular genre seems overwhelming. I feel as if I'm bobbing (blogging) around in a turbulant ocean, searching for a floatation devise, or anything that will keep me buoyant. Never mind the predators and mega cruise ships. 

I write about my life as I see it, warts and all, good times and bad, but the truth is I've only peeled a few layers of the onion. It's not easy to share publicly that which makes us most vulnerable, but I'm learning this is how to make authentic connections, form community, and serve one another.
I was having problems with depression and anxiety disorder, and it felt like not blogging about it was creating a false history. When I did finally share the problems I was having, I was shocked - not only by the support that was given to me, but also by the incredible amount of people who admitted they struggled with the same thing. Jenny Lawson
Everything I read stresses the importance of branding, targeting your audience, authentic content, establishing community, and engagement. Then I stumbled upon the idea of evergreen content, material that doesn't become irrelevant next week, or next month. Talking about the Oscars, the latest political scandal, or who screwed up the Country Music Awards has minimal longevity. I find the most enjoyable posts include well written, relatable content, with a touch of humor. 
We're understandably worried that staring at screens all day, and blogging about our breakfasts, is turning America into a nation of narcissists. But the opposite might be true. Pamela Druckerman
Against all odds I continue to write because it's actually the one thing I prefer to do above all else. I have a great job but I never lose track of time when I'm teaching. I like wandering around the corridors of my mind, discovering new patterns of thought, and then writing about these revelations. It's hard to explain but writing is how I process life, in my pjs, ungroomed, from the safety of my computer.
Habits like blogging often and regularly, writing down the way you think, being clear about what you think are effective tactics, ignoring the burbling crowd and not eating bacon. All of these are useful habits. Seth Godin
Recently Facebook (my primary source for traffic) has changed it algorithms and I've noticed a slight drop in my numbers. Has anyone else had this experience?

I could spend all day trying to unravel the mysteries of social media but I have a job and a life that likes to squeeze in between my writing and obsessing. So I say the hell with statistics. 

Here are ten tools I've discovered that improve not only Blog traffic, but your complexion, and attitude (you're welcome).

1. Kickass Headlines Generator there are a lot of these out there, I linked one that you can play with. I tried this a few times when I was searching for ideas to write about and I'll be damned if one of my most popular posts came from a headline generator? I'm going to use this generator for today's post.

2. SEO's. Shit. Here's a link but I'm not a fan. One thing you can do is link relevant content. Okay, that I can do. 

3. Building strong Brand Identity is essential to the success of your blog. This can be done is a variety of ways but it's imperative that you have an easily identifiable name or affiliation. 

4. Make your RSS feed pop! Avoid clutter, titles with bling, scannable content.

5. Hunt down a relevant audience. Network with bloggers in your niche, contribute, publish content your audience is interested in. I'm a midlife blogger so writing about composting techniques is good, best ointments for diaper rash not so helpful.

6. Newbie blogger mistakes include incorrectly identifying a niche, not taking action, or thinking small. Apparently this article is all about me. 

7. Collecting emails is absolute torture but extremely useful if you want to participate with #8. Here's a link that might help. 

8. Showcase your most popular posts in a swanky Newsletter. This is a tool I've yet to utilize but it is extremely efficacious if done well. 

9. Create Incredible Content that meets the needs of your target audience. I always try to keep in mind the interests and concerns of my audience (old people) when I'm crafting a post but I've been known to wander off topic on occasion

10. Utilize a variety of social media sites to promote your blog. Some of the obvious ones are Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, but there are many others that might work for you. I've been sticking with the trite and true but trying one new site could be a rewarding challenge. 

Like most bloggers - I'm trying to make sense of all the new technologies and how to use them most effectively - I'm looking forward to learning from you also. Drop a few suggestions in the comments. 

When I'm not writing for Across the Board, I'm Living in the Gap, drop by anytime. 


Carrie Beckort said...

Great suggestions, Cheryl! I wish I had at least one profound new idea to add to your list... but I do not :/

Cheryl Oreglia said...

There are so many opportunities to increase the visibility, expand you audience, build a following but I find the whole process to be overwhelming! I keep writing, it is my hope that I continue to improve, build my community, and the rest is not up to me. Thanks for your comment Carrie1

expo 2020 said...

I can only imagine how much research has gone into this. I like your writing skills as it makes one feel included in the journey. Thank you for the valuable notes.

Steve Berke said...

I enjoyed reading your article. Please make more interesting topics like this on.
I'll come back for more :)

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