As I have said elsewhere, my blog’s traffic suddenly soared due to the accidental inclusion of a reference to a UK Big Brother contestant’s alleged sex tape. This has led me to wonder whether this could be a valid strategy in increasing traffic to your blog. There are a number of questions to be addressed first (a and b). I’ll then sum up a number of strategies (1-6) to increase blog traffic that people could use (also hoping for suggestions by other bloggers). First, however, some preliminary observations:
(a) Does increased traffic equal increased popularity? I.e. if people come here via the Imogen Sex Tape route [note, I’m doing it again 😉 ] does this mean they’ll return or keep reading the other stuff? Not necessarily. But if you throw enough shit at a wall, some of it will stick. Also some people will be annoyed like a user yesterday who simply commented: ‘F*** you lenina’. It’s a bit sneaky after all. Paris Hilton Sex Tape.
(b) Does increased traffic satisfy my ego? What is the Holy Grail of blogging? automatthias comments “Well, nice traffic. But you wouldn’t be able to get this post been dugg”. Oh dear. It won’t go beyond the sad 15-year-old boys who look for the Imogen Sex Tape. No recognition in the blogosphere and no diggs :(. Forever relegated to the seedy sex porn download sphere. I have to say it doesn’t bother me. I never intended to blog for traffic or recognition or hits or diggs. I have an auto-ego-inflation machine at home and I can use that as and when I want.
And now on to the actual strategies. Please do suggest some more – I’m a first-time blogger and relatively inexperienced but here’s my suggestions:
(1) Reference to current news stories, especially the scandalous or seedy. therealdonquixote comments: “Yeah, well I got it worse. My big boost when I started my blog was the whole mel gibson crap-a-palooza. I found the PDF as soon as it came out and it got hundreds of hits every day for the first two weeks or so. I didn’t want to become known as some Hollywood tabloid, I was trying to document preferential treatment, and mel’s jackholism.” So, if you’ve got any access to information or are one of the first to blog about a breaking story, chances are your blog gets a big boost. Quality helps (but not necessary if your emphasis is on exposure alone).
(2) Strategic use of wording. Imogen Sex Tape. Paris Hilton Sex Tape. Suri photo. Hide these cunningly within the text. Actually I’ve seen this strategy used in websites to get a high search enginge ranking. Can’t remember where. Please post any examples! Otherwise I’ll add these as edits as and when I find them.
(3) Strategic use of tags. therealdonquixote comments: “I’m uncomfotable that my blog themostboringblogintheworld gets most of its traffic from people searching for “video” tags and or “sex” tags. I’m trying to create a mix of Wired/Maxim/National Georgraphic, but with a main focus on hacking and tech news. But to keep my numbers up I have to have posts like “Index of Shocking Videos NSFW” or “They Be Boucin”.” Now, whether or not that makes you uncomfortable, it still is a possible strategy. In fact I’m going to try it with this post (haven’t used sex and porn tags before! Honest!). In doing so, are we misusing Web 2.0 ethics? After all, you can use any tag to tag your post, irrespective of whether or not it corresponds to the actual content. Should we blacklist blogs that do so, or is misuse an intrinsic part of Web 2.0? Probably down to the individual.
(4) Commenting on other blogs. Just move within the blogosphere and comment on other blogs is bound to increase your own traffic, especially, if you’ve got something good to say. Comment on both smaller blogs and more popular ones, including journalistic ones such as at The Guardian Unlimited Blogs.
(5) Choose informative titles to your individual posts. I.e. don’t just put ‘Hello’ or ‘Today’. The title is the first thing people will see, particularly, on a RSS feed. The headline should be informative and interesting and make people want to go and read the post and hopefully, your blog, on a permanent basis.
(6) Last but not least: Try and be regular. I know it’s hard work sometimes, but you need to keep up the momentum. Regularity and structure will help you in all other areas of life, so it’s not a bad thing!
Phew. That’s me done for the day – I’ve actually got some more stuff planned including irreverent stuff. I still want to write a review of that bloggers show on the Fringe, and some kind of metapost on blog content. That’ll have to wait till later. I’m off to get some breakfast. lenina.