Overall Stats Before Experiment
Average views per day : 2
Top traffic day: 22 views
At the end of the Experiment
Average views per day: 33
Top traffic day: 259
Okay, this insane experiment worked. Following Brian Hoff’s 14 tips to Drive Traffic to Your New (Design) Blog gave a really good base to build with.
- Tip 11, 13, and 14: I’m currently working on 2 sets of articles. A link love of blogs recommended by readers, and specific ways to give back in different social media communities.
Thoughts out Loud
I recently read a quote on Chris Pirello’s Blog about how any increase in numbers can look impressive if you start at nothing. I didn’t exactly start at nothing, but my numbers surely weren’t impressive. Even now, in comparison to most my numbers still aren’t much, but I like to think that the growth and momentum that’s been built is something to consider.
Here’s a few things I learned:
- Committing to blogging everyday is nuts.
Brian himself actually said something close to that when we spoke, and now 28 days later I get it. I TOTALLY get it! It took me no less than 2 hours on average to collect links, data, and compose and post my blogs every night. I see now why most bloggers have a set schedule. A post at the start of the week (I found sunday night ideal) for readers helps gather momentum, and post mid week keeps interest up. I found link love articles were received well on fridays and saturdays. People have time to sit and enjoy surfing around.
- Capitalize on your existing groups of contacts.
Whether in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or a face-to-face networking groups people who know you (or visibly see you often) are more apt to interact with you. These people are a wealth of information, ask them questions, engage them in conversation, and let them know about what you’ve got going on. It’s important to note that these activities should always provide a way for the giving to go both ways. Provide opportunity and you may be surprised at the response.
- Commenting on Others Blogs Pays off
Not just in traffic but in experience. The more you write, the more you interact, the better you get at it. The added incoming traffic from your blog link left behind is just the bonus.
- People Seriously Appreciate Link Love
We all like to be recognized. When you link to another’s site you are recognizing that their material is good and worth reading. Bloggers in general tend to be an appreciative lot. Emails of thanks, comments posted, and sometimes endorsements on voting sites are some of the ways you may find a little kudos sent your way.
- If in doubt on Search Engine Optomization, get help.
I’m a designer and a creative, the code aspect of SEO was difficult. Not impossible but difficult and frustrating. It’s a very important part of traffic and being found, so I came to realize that even though I may have gotten the ball rolling I need to consult people who know what they are doing to add to what I’ve done. I need help, and there’s no shame in it.
- Not Everything You Write is a Gem
How’s that for a humility lesson? But numbers just don’t lie. Sometimes the title is wrong, sometimes the content is too long, you never really know what posts will resonate with readers. When it does though, you feel like you won the lottery.
- Consistency is Key (It also makes managing accounts much easier)
Within days of this experiment I had my avatar picture saved in an easy to access file along with my basic bio. It was so simple once I had organized these two things, I saved a good 10 minutes every time. With the growing number of accounts I’m signing into it’s become essential.
Doing all 14 tips in 1 month just wasn’t realistic for me. I don’t know about another person, I can’t say if it would be the same for them. With my schedule, business, family, and commitments I find myself bone and brain tired after 28 days of blogging. There were some tips I just couldn’t get to. It’s not to say they won’t get done, but spreading them out a little and getting them all done in the next two months is a little more manageable.
There is no question that Brian Hoff’s 14 Tips to Drive Traffic to Your (Design) Blog worked. I am taking a good number of lessons out of this experiment and I have a long list of blog topic ideas to follow it up. The momentum gathered is motivating me to keep it going, I will stick to my newly developed schedule and look forward to what the next two months will bring.
Note: Many thanks to Brian Hoff for writing the original article. I also seriously appreciated the chat on week 2. For any of you who don’t follow Brian ( @behoff ) on Twitter, I highly recommend checking out his tweets, he’s a real resource.