Analysis and rationality in a nonrational world

June 26, 2006

Getting blog traffic – keywords, traffic spikes, and more

Filed under: Blogging — analysis @ 5:03 pm

The most popular bit of advice to weblog writers, or “bloggers,” is to just keep on producing a quality blog, day in and day out, as though we have nothing better to do but write for an audience that might or might not show up. It’s an interesting approach and I suspect it does work if you wait long enough. I was surprised to see a sudden spike in audience from under 5 people to 70 as a result of one person referring to this blog in a forum post.

There are a lot of things you can do to get traffic. The biggest is to refer to your own blog in posts to various forums. Another is to drop common keywords and things you might think will be common keywords in – the old misdirection trick that will earn you no friends, like “nude photos of Angelina Jolie and Anna Kournikova.” Or start talking about a topic you think people will care about, like spy photos of the 2008 Camaro and whether producing a 2009 Camaro (or 2008 or 2007, whatever General Motors and Chevrolet plan on) will mean that a 2008 Firebird or 2009 Trans Am is due (I do wonder about that, by the way. I mean, there’s rarely if ever been a Camaro without a Firebird or Trans Am. And will they resurrect the Firebird or just the Trans Am?).

You can also become an extremist and get some attention, like the people who call the Sierra Club tree-huggers, ecoterrorists, and commie traitors or, worse, Frenchmen. (I never do understand why Americans get angry at the things we do. I mean, people could get angry at a Cayman Islands company stealing hundreds of billions of dollars that we have to work hard for, but we don’t; people get angrier at Hillary Clinton for trying to get universal health care and for a department store for asking cashiers to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” And sometimes it seems people get angriest at hoax e-mails.)

Well, there are all sorts of ways to get people to read a blog, I guess. I wonder if writing about some of the ways to increase blog readership is a good way to increase blog readership? There’s only one way to find out…

PS> It turns out that the top searches on this blog for this week were:
costs of getting rid of rubbish, capped oil wells in US [probably someone hunting for evidence against them tree-hugging liberal Hollywood hypocrites], simplistically, true conservative neocon [someone searched for that?!?], and are we having a tree shortage.
I would have thought that the Angelina Jolie and other stuff would have brought the odd mistaken hunt, but apparently Google works better than that! What is interesting is seeing what people ARE interested in. Like Patsy Ramsey losing her battle with cancer…Powerball to $28 million…the World Cup…Katherine McPhee and other celebrities. Funny, I’d have thought phone taps and other illegal actions by the government would trigger a few searches, but nothing appeared in the top ten.

PS again: now it seems that the 2008 Firebird / 2008 Camaro stuff is what’s bringing people in. Not surprising given that General Motors has okayed their cartoonish muscle car for actual production, though I personally prefer the 2008 Dodge Charger. It’ll be an interesting year for the muscle car lovers. Still wish I had a couple of influential people linking to this blog… one good slashdot or digg is all it takes!

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