At work, we were recently asked to examine a common problem among bloggers of all types: how to get more views.
As someone who has been blogging since before it was called “blogging”, web traffic is still a bit of a black box to me. Any success I’ve had has been the result of persistence and longevity, and I’ll admit to feeling like an imposter writing about the subject.
That said, looking at past traffic stats for my personal blog, I’ve picked out some of the things that have helped increase my readership over time. Here’s what I recommend based on what I’ve learned:
- Post quality content, frequently. I notice I get more traffic during months where I blog at least once a week, and I try to make at least one new post each month, minimum.
- Offer freebies. Wallpapers, themes, step-by-step tutorials, code, or a coupon; make the reader feel they’re getting something tangible for their time. The most popular posts for any of my blogs are how-to guides. For example, one of my most popular recent posts is a comparison of print-on-demand services I’ve used, with the intent of helping other potential print-on-demand customers.
Get involved in an existing community centered around your topic of interest. For example, when I wanted to get into WordPress themes, I joined the Theme Review Team. When I wanted to promote my fanfic, I started interacting with more fan blogs on Tumblr. This allowed me to make new friends and connections, which leads me to…
You get what you give. Promoting others’ work can often help draw attention to yours (and it’s just plain nice!) Ask to interview someone who works in a related field and post the interview on your blog, or write a review of a piece of work you admire. I wrote a brief post highlighting the artists I chose for my fan art wall project; it felt good to spread the word about other fan artists, and the post got several views from the fan community.
Use word of mouth. Ask your friends and family to have your back. A genuine request for help is usually answered favorably, and your friends may have connections you didn’t know about.
Promote your work.. This is obvious, but don’t be shy about promoting yourself via email, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, or other relevant social networks. Utilize your blog’s sharing tools (tips: Jetpack | WordPress.com) to cross-post to different audiences for more views. An example tweet from my blog:
- Remember, quality over quantity. Views are only one metric of success. Comments, sales, connections, and a sense of community; all of these things have value and contribute to the long-term picture.
Finally, swarms of views rarely happen overnight. Be genuine, write quality content that interests you, connect with others, and you’re sure to find your audience grows bit by bit.
This was cross-posted to A8C Design Flow, one of our official Automattic Design team blogs. Check it out!