Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blog Traffic OR Fifty Shades of Grey

I've said many times that I write for me. I enjoy writing and would continue to do it even if no one ever saw what I wrote. However, I can comfortably admit that I have an egotistical side as well. I love knowing that people do read what I am writing and really enjoy knowing that people enjoy it.

Since starting the Pish Posh Challenge, I have noticed something incredible happen on this blog. Take a look at my stats.


Last month on September 6, I wrote my first post for the Pish Posh Challenge and have written almost every day since then. Once I started this challenge, my traffic took off. I had to blog for 15 months before I hit a total of 6,000 page views. At my last check, I've had over 6,600 in just the last thirty days! That's more traffic in one month than I used to get in a year!

I believe there are several reasons for this. First, I have been posting much more content than I normally do. This means that my regular readers are stopping by to visit more often to read the newest post and are driving up my numbers. Next, I have to give some credit to Pish Posh since I link up to her blog every week and start pulling traffic from the people that are visiting her and participating in the challenge for themselves. I also have to give a shout out to the great guys over at Dude Write. I submit a post to them almost every week and pull traffic from their visitors as well. They even threw an award my way a few weeks ago.

However, a more careful look at my stats shows that I have been looking at this all the wrong way. Look at my numbers for the month of September.


Of my 6,000+ views last month, 13.6% of them occurred on a single day! I got 830 hits on September 10 because of a piece that I didn't even write that month. That day 758 of that day's page views were all to a post I wrote a year ago about My Remembrance of 9/11. That post only got about 50 visits back when I wrote it!
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Even if we take away the increased traffic of that day, I would still have had the highest traffic month to date, however I feel that I cannot ignore the evidence that is before me. Using a little forethought, I am confident that I could funnel traffic to my site.
Fifty Shades of Grey
I saw a similar thing happen a year ago when I wrote about the UARS satellite falling out of the sky. It was a current event and I wrote about it the day it was supposed to fall. My traffic exploded! In order to capitalize on this trend I need to jump on board the flow of the web and try to predict what people will be searching for.
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Tonight was the first presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. This is big news. Just mentioning their names in my post may get me a hundred extra visitors each since hundreds of thousands of people will be online for the next few days searching this topic. Of course, in order for the search engines to take my site seriously, I probably need to use their names more than once.
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MITT ROMNEY. I'm hoping the bold will get Google's attention better…or maybe I should use a bigger font and brighter colors.  BARACK OBAMA!
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In order to really draw traffic, I could link to the websites of each candidate.
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Click here to visit Mitt Romney's site.
Click here to visit Barack Obama's site.
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Obviously, if I am going to use this tactic, I don't want to miss out on any of the potential traffic that could come from people looking for this topic but using different search criteria. I need to make sure to include other terms and names, including links whenever available.
Fifty Shades of Grey
Michelle Obama - Joe Biden - Fox News - Ann Romney - Hillary Clinton - Paul Ryan - Rush Limbaugh - CNN - Ann Coulter - Bill Clinton - Bill O'Reilly - Bill Maher - Obamacare - Medicaid - Debates - Focus Groups - Jim Lehrer - Republican - Democrat - Libertarian - Vegetarian - Pedestrian
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It looks like this post has the potential to get more traffic than any I have ever written. Nevertheless, I don't want to limit myself by missing out on the searches that may be about things not pertaining to politics. I better throw in a few more to get some REAL traffic.
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Let's talk about Honey Boo Boo and the $15,000 per episode raise that her family got. I could discuss the latest traffic violations of Lindsey Lohan or the incident of Amanda Bynes locking herself in a doughnut shop bathroom. Justin Bieber caught his own fever and puked on stage for his first show of the new Believe tour.
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The Fast and Furious weapons scandal has appeared in the news again.. Syria and Turkey still aren't getting along. We are still dealing with health care, illegal immigration, educational woes, and Brittany Spears on The X Factor. There is no end to the things I could talk about to bring in traffic. Lets throw in a few more terms just to be safe.
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Fifty Shades of Grey - NFL - 30 Rock - bath salts - bacon crisis - unemployment - eBay - Breaking Bad - referee strike - planking - diet - bloggers - Liam Neeson - Pepsi - China - ESPN - embassy - Starbucks - teachers' strike - Tupac - Google - Avengers - Benjamin Netanyahu - zombie apocalypse - Navy Seals - 2012 - McRib - Sons of Anarchy - legalization - Dallas Cowboys - Afghanistan - Charlie Sheen - climate change - pit bulls - conspiracy - Mayans - Hurricane Isaac - J.K. Rowling - education - vampires - Tea Party - Nikki Minaj - bullying
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Let's throw a few major search words out there for good measure to pull in some more.

SEX - PORN - NUDITY - X RATED - BOOBS - ANTHONY WEINER
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If I can pull traffic in this way and continue to predict the upcoming trends, then it won't matter if I am writing quality pieces. I could quit working so hard. In fact, if I can get my numbers high enough and keep them there, then I could sell ad space and start making money with my blog.



In reality, I hate it when this happens. While it is exciting to see a jump in the numbers, I want people to come to my site because they actually intended to read what I wrote. When something in the news sparks an idea for a post, the traffic I end up getting because of the search terms they use lands them on my site  for only a few seconds. My UARS satellite piece jumped to the second most popular post within hours of it being posted, despite the scores of better material I had written. It jumped to the top due to topic rather than quality. I want traffic that will stay and continue to read and possibly even click over to some older posts because they liked what they saw. The only way to do that is to produce quality material. That is how bloggers grow their audience.

I love writing and I love my readers and the jumps in numbers are cool, but it's the repeat traffic that gets me the most excited.

However, I will be curious to see what kind of traffic this post gets.

33 comments:

  1. Lady Gaga.

    That's another 500 hits for you today.

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    1. How did I not think of that one? I sat here for an hour just thinking what to throw in there and I missed Lady Gaga. I should just quit.

      Delete
  2. If you whack a cute kitten or laughing baby video in there, you'll triple those numbers in no time flat.

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    1. Another great idea. Laughing babies are all the rage right now.

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  3. In February last year I wrote a post called "Random Aches & Pains" that just kept showing up on my stats week after week, month after month. It got to over 500 views before I edited the title & put (A Blog Post, Not Medical Advice).

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    1. Wow!!! The few times this has happened to me, it has been accidental. That UARS post hit a few hundred within hours of being posted. It was crazy.

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  4. You could have used kittens, Lady Gaga, iPhone 5, and Jimmy Hoffa. Since Halloween is coming up, you could also mention vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. You'll never have a slow traffic day again.

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    1. In a few weeks, I will go back and dig through my search terms again to see what popped up. I don't know if this actually works, but I am curious to see the results.

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  5. I've hit refresh 100 times already, so...you're welcome!

    WG

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    1. There we go. Thank you. I just need about 20 other people doing that.

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  6. hahaha. I wonder if the fact that so many non-related terms are in one place will reduce the number of times Google sends people your way.

    That said, I currently have a disability. I believe that English is a living language, and therefore rules don't apply 100% of the time, but I can't stand the modern use of verbs in the "wrong" tense. My disability would have me believe that a blogger doesn't "grow" their blog; they "build" it, to make their blog grow. I know. It's a personal failing. I'm trying to get over it.

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    1. I got the initial traffic boost from putting up a new post. Now, I just need to wait a few weeks and see what starts to happen.

      That is one I am often guilty of. I keep things in the right tense, but there are some nouns that commonly get used as verbs now. Those get caught in my vocabulary.

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  7. This is awesome! This post is like your personal NASCAR. You definitely need to keep us updated on what the traffic is like for this post.

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    1. I plan to let some time go by and revisit this to see what happened.

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  8. Oh man! You are going to be so huge, you don't even know.

    (Psst . .. noticed the 50 Shades between every paragraph. Well done, my friend. Very sneaky).

    I guess my question is this . . . does anyone actually WANT the people who are looking for those things to hang out on their blog? I know I wouldn't. But . . . yay stats?

    I did a post the first WEEK of blogging about not knowing where the appendix is. In the post, there is a picture I pulled from somewhere out there on the web that diagrams the internal organs. For a while, a couple months back, I was getting a ton of hits on that post from India. It was bizarre. But people were apparently coming for the pic, because nobody ever commented on the actual content. It has died down now, but that was my top post forever because of those searches.

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    1. The FIFTY SHADES OF GREY text between each paragraph was a last minute thing. I don't know that anyone caught it. It may show up better on some readers.

      I really don't expect that I will get any new readers from this post. I may get a big surge in traffic, but they will quickly leave once they realize that I don't have the info they are looking for.

      I wrote once about the crazy things my brothers and I used to do with cars. I included a picture of the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard crashing through a barn wall. That picture brings me a lot of traffic for people searching for the General Lee, which is not the topic of the post.

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    2. That IS sneaky

      50 shades of grey

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  9. Please let us know how many hits you get tomorrow, this is a riot!

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    1. I will. I'm curious to see how this works myself.

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  10. seriously, you cracked me up with this one. i actually had to hold my face to prevent the possibility of spitting out some milkshake when i got to the Beiber catching his own fever line...those simple yet clever little zingers you sneak in there can really catch a person unawares...

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    1. Thank you. That's my favorite part. Rereading the post to figure where I could drop some jokes in.

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  11. My most popular post I had copied over from a site (with credit given) but it had pictures of alien hotties. (1348 page views compared to my 2nd most popular post with 317.) If you look at my search words, half of them are the actresses names in those pictures.

    I'm like you, I think it's false stats and I don't like that it's my most popular post. I've thought about deleting it but I've never deleted anything and I don't want to start now.

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    1. For several months, the posts that held the top spots I was proud of. I kept the widget for MOST POPULAR posts in my sidebar, but eventually one would take off for some of the reasons mentioned above. It just felt wrong and I didn't want those at the top.

      I may have to create a widget with just my favorite posts.

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  12. Repeater here (and I'm curious how today's tactics pan out for you). I wrote a post on the Duggars once, and my traffic went through the roof.

    The only explanation I came up with was that all the Duggars must have visited. I think perhaps I'll write about the history of the Osmond family next week....

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    1. I believe that tactic is better than mine.

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  13. That is why I make sure I am last with breaking news, then only people who deserve to read it will ignore it

    I am looking forward to the ( 1 direction ) follow up.

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    1. I'm going to give it about a month to see what happens. It should be interesting.

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  14. Yes I'd like to see the hits you get with this one, like you I'd rather have regular readers who actually want to read my posts but the results on this little test will be something to see.

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    1. I am curious as well. As of right now, the traffic is normal. I will have to see if it just keeps bringing traffic once it is no longer a new post.

      Right now, I am still getting a lot of hits on my April Fool's Day post from six months ago. I have yet to find out why.

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  15. I hate when some of my traffic comes from people who are just searching for images because I know that they won't read a word of the actual post.

    I'm interested in seeing how your experiment turns out.

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    1. I get the image hits as well. I wish there was a way to separate them out in the stats.

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  16. This was funny and informative. Please do a follow-up on the results? :D

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    1. Thank you. The plan is to give it about a month and then did through the search terms again.

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Getting comments on my blog is like finding a McNugget in my fries. It just doesn't get any better. Leave a comment while you're here.