Milestone reached

5 Apr

Stats

It's a minor and meaningless achievement, but one I'd been edging close to for some time. 

Despite only posting here weekly and spending more time on an online magazine, class blog and subject group  blog, my traffic to http://www.prstudies.com continues to rise (though only slowly).

I've just achieved average daily page views of 100 over the seven year life of this blog.

The absolute numbers are small – and unimportant to me – but the average is pleasing and the movement is still in the right direction.

There may be some lessons here for newcomers in building a presence despite infrequent posting, so here's my analysis:

  • Much of my traffic comes from searches, so having an archive of searchable content helps.
  • If I was keen to build traffic further, I would write more on popular search terms: 'meaning of PR', 'PR dissertation' etc.
  • Being around for a long time (and from back when PR blogs were a rarity) means I'm well connected in terms of inbound links. My Google PageRank has been as high as 6, but is still a respectable 5.
  • I'm spreading myself across a number of blogs, but have kept the content focused on this one. Though it's not a scholarly place, I do focus on the study of public relations, from an educator's and a student perspective.
  • The first few weeks of a blog are easy and exciting, with visitor numbers doubling again and again. But it's hard to sustain the momentum so bloggers need to plan for the different phases they will go through.

2 Responses to “Milestone reached”

  1. Richard Millington 05/04/2011 at 8:23 pm #

    I wouldn’t mind adding some topics from a frequent poster perspective.
    I blog frequently, almost daily. My traffic over 3 years or so (as you can find here: http://richchallenge.typepad.com/Screen%20shot%202011-04-05%20at%2020.06.47.png) continues to rise at a slightly increasing rate.
    Most of my traffic comes via referrals and director. Only 21% comes from searches.
    The biggest change for me was when I switched from a ‘me-too’ generic social media/PR blog into a more focused niched that I was more comfortable with; community management.
    The more I narrowed my focus, the more rapidly I grew my audience.
    My lessons for frequent posters would be:
    – Pick a niche topic and dominate it. A sub-category within a popular broader category works well. I still want a PR headlines blog.
    – Make useful lists that refer back to your own posts, so people can find information they need.
    – Write all your posts for the week in advance and schedule it ahead to go out at the same time each day. The hardest time to write a great post is when you really need to write a great post. Also make sure this pings LinkedIn, Twitter etc…
    – Add relevant hashtags to your tweets
    – Connect with people offline as much as possible, they will refer your blog offline to others.
    – People want advice and tips more than general commentary. Nobody cares I think about the state of the industry, they care about what they can benefit from reading my blog.
    – If you keep your posts short, more people will read them. If you make your posts long, less people (but more dedicated) people will read them.
    – Sadly, you do need to use some of the dark arts. Use bullet points and ‘how to’ posts occasionally to boost audiences. These posts get shared more widely and attract new audiences – especially via Twitter.
    – Keep the same style and tone throughout all your posts.
    – Have a consistent philosophy and stand for something in your posts.
    – Don’t reflect too frequently on what other people are saying. Focus on creating value and content that other people will link to.
    – Don’t write for search engines. It will drive you crazy. Just make sure the posts make sense.
    – Keep at it even if your blog doesn’t grow for a while. There are times you just need to have faith that what you’re writing matters. It does.
    – Use WordPress.org (not Blogger/Typepad).

  2. Chris 06/04/2011 at 2:28 am #

    Richard,
    Have you been cross-linking between this space and your other internet spaces?
    Cheers!

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