New to the Series? Start with Part One
Blogosphere: A series
Part Thirty-Four: It’s All in the Details
It may seem rather “round about”, but one of the best ways to increase traffic to your Blog is to post topics that people are interested in. If that seems like a big “well, duh”, think harder about it. While a good guide to choosing topics that people will find interesting is to look at what YOU find interesting on other Blogs, that is not a perfect measure. After all, you (we) all have our own axes to grind.
If you only write posts that are of extreme importance to you, you will get an audience. But that audience will be—pardon the expression—rabid follower types. By this I mean people who share your extreme views. A perhaps better strategy is to step back from the bleeding edge, and consider widening your reach by expanding the topics, or sub-topics you write about.
Depending upon your Blog theme, you might consider starting with some of the overview sites like Google Trends, Alltop, Technorati, Alexa, and Yahoo! Buzz. Not every Blog would benefit from these collection sites, but many would. Read them daily to get an idea of what’s popular. Getting on the band wagon might seem like a sell-out, but as it is with most things we learn, we need to know how to walk before we run. Growing your readership with popular topics is a very good way to start. Once you’ve established a good-sized reader base, branching out with less traditional posts will be more acceptable to your ever more loyal audience.
Another tip is to use the “blog surfer” button in your WordPress dashboard. It will allow you to type in key words that match your topics and style, and will help you find others who think like you do. Not only will they be an excellent source of inspiration, but you will be able to see what was most successful for them by reading comments. A powerful side-effect is that if you begin to leave your own thoughtful comments, you might find yourself sharing readers.
It is not to say you shouldn’t do a certain amount of exploratory postings. Much like an exploratory essay, these would be open-ended questions, postings that you do not know the ending of when you begin to write. There is a certain freshness and challenge to self and reader in such posts. Properly done you will display your own willingness to learn and grow. Again, this is not something that every Blogger would be comfortable with, but it is worth consideration.