This weekend's blogger discussion post is about being eclectic and it's effect on your traffic.
Being a marketer, I've been studying the mechanisms of generating blog traffic both through customer loyalty and brand recognition. Blogging seems to follow a pretty standard model. There haven't been many surprises and I'm learning what generates traffic.
Since each blog has a unique voice, I'm beginning to wonder if my own voice will significantly limit my traffic. Everyone's does, of course. Dallas Cowboy fanatics won't be visiting Angel any time soon and people fixated on horseback riding probably won't be going over to the Jake Silver Show. As wonderful as she is, Bonnie Underfoot won't get a sudden burst of traffic from the UFO crowd.
My blog is turning into a lot of fairly pointed political humor, such as the thrashing I gave the Europeans in Appeasement by Example, animal posts such as the Jacob Action Photos and my posts on the value of kindness like the one about Ferrari.
The question is this: how much will opposing posts cancel each other out? If I start advertising to the evangelical community about stories of kindness, will they get turned off when they read that I've called the French a bunch of bedwetting creeps?
Come to think of it, isn't it kind of hypocritical to rip the Danes and then strike a Gandhi pose and utter platitudes on cooperation and kindness? Hmmm.
I admit to being a newbie. I'm fascinated by the sociological and marketing aspects of blogging. I would be very grateful for a discussion in the comments section. If the discussion turns into an analysis of someone else's blog, that's great, too. It's the act of doing business case analysis that teaches you about the case you care about.
And fer cryin' out loud, don't think there's any magic to this analysis and not comment because you don't think you've got anything valuable to say. Marketing is all about what everyone thinks, not just the snobs with the degrees.
I *could* start posting about UFOs. Did you see the flying mouse that Victor caught? My woman started out with some idea what she wanted to do with the blog, but then the other cat blogs she reads started influencing her, like the Cat-nap-a-thon and pawtrait contest. So sometimes, she writes a future post and saves it as a draft. She gets her therapeutic brain dump; the other bloggers get to read about cat parties, contests, and feline tub hockey. Do you blog for your readers, yourself, or both? Do you crave positive comments or merely need to stand on a soapbox? UFOs... hmmm.
Bonnie, I don't have much time to blog, so it has to be nearly stream-of-consciousness writing. That means it has to be something I want to write. I guess the refinement of the question is to ask: can you increase traffic by self-editng and focusing your blog?
Hi K.T. ,
Thanks for inviting me. I've had a busy weekend and am now getting around to things.
On being eclectic... I've read on many blogs some of the weird search engine matches that bring hits to their pages. I would say that I'm fairly eclectic but I can't report any unsusal matches. Most hits on my site come from people searching about news items I've posted on, or some comic that I've drawn. It all seems pretty rational compared to some weird "word grouping" searches I've read about.
"Can you increase traffic by self-editing and focusing your blog?"
Absolutely! Otherwise your blog won't be positioned properly because it can't be categorized, and the readers will just be confused about what they're supposed to expect from your blog.
Of course, fans of UFOs aren't about to start popping up on Victor&Bonnie's blog because it really still is a cat blog.
To now try and bring in greater traffic by posting more entries on UFOs, Lambj may start losing some of his regular readers who really are there to read about cats.
Traffic can be brought in through other means, but definitely not by mish-mashing your topics.
KT, my woman doesn't have a lot of time either, but she didn't start blogging in a desire for traffic. She wanted to take pictures and tell stories about us cats. Her co-workers were getting tired of it. Then she made comments at sites and they returned the compliment. She plans posts while doing other things, then goes nuts if she can't get the post up. Getting comments turns out to be more than half the fun of blogging, but if a post gets no comments, so be it. She doesn't go looking for readers or listing us on every possible blog list... but she appreciates being found and she's happy you enjoy her ramblings.
Bonnie, Stop swatting at Victor when he wants to play with you! Don't be a grouch.
Anyway, I'm guilty as charged in looking for traffic. My reasons may be a little more innocent than they appear, but there it is.
Joe, the wisdom in what you wrote becomes clearer every day. A muddled blog is harder to write. Perhaps you become hesitant when faced with too many choices, such as when you have too many topics to blog about. With a focus of purpose, your path becomes clearer.
hey KT... sorry I didn't make it over for the weekend discussion.. I'm in grad school and had a midterm on Sat morning and then I have an assignment due tonight so I'm finally FREE from school work for the moment!
anyway... good topic... I didn't realize when I first started Blogging how much is about comments and traffic! The best way to get people to read you, is to read them and comment.
some blogs I don't even bother to read, either cause the colors are hard to read or there's too much advertising or it's just a wacky layout and hard to follow! I like your template though... it's just like mine only green!!!! and I have added a million things to my sidebar! I'm a visual person so I like posting pictures and/or graphics to go with what I'm posting about. It's pretty rare that I don't have at least 1 graphic with each post... like today... I just couldn't find any pix that I liked and that went with what I posted...
Another thing that I discovered early on to generate traffic is to participate in the group posts, like Thursday Thirteen, Friday's Feast, Friday's Photo, Wordless Wednesday etc... there are many more out there! But when I joined T13, I didn't do it just for traffic cause I had no idea how much it would generate... I did it for fun... but it is also a lot of work too...
So anyway... hope that helps. I'd love to hear more about working in marketing... I've always wondered if that was my secret hidden talent that I never tapped into...
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