Imagine your disappointment, if after building an entertainment park, your only visitors were robots for Google Street View (no references to EuroDisney please). When I started this blog, I never imagined how hard it was to get readers to my website. I should have known, after all, I don’t spend all my free time reading random blogs. I only read the pages I’m interested in. Why should the rest of the world be any different?
One of biggest jolts of reality every blogger gets is the difficulty of getting readers. It doesn’t matter how great your message is if nobody reads it. Unfortunately there are a number of posts on my site that have only been read by my subscribers (you told me you read them, don’t make me start quizzing you). When you’re one small voice in a crowd of millions, it takes work to be noticed. You know it’s going to be a bad day when your only visitors are the bots trying to hack into your site.
Like most beginning bloggers, I had no concept of SEO(search engine optimization) until I decided I wanted more than one human visitor a day and did some research on the web. I’ve made a number of improvements to my SEO and several of my posts are in the top ten responses for specific queries. Some of my posts probably don’t show up in the first 2000 pages from Google. I considered labeling them friends and family only because those are the only people likely to read them. It might even get more people reading them if I labeled them private.
I followed all the SEO guidelines for those posts. Some of them actually have very high SEO scores but because I wrote on the same subject a few million other bloggers did it’s unlikely someone will go through enough Google pages to see my site. I would call that lesson number one, following SEO guidelines will only improve your odds of traffic. You can do everything right and still get no readers.
Google can also bring you traffic looking for a completely different topic. About once a week Google would bring someone to my post on how to argue with an engineer. Unfortunately they were asking how they knew if an engineer loved them. I capitalized on this by writing a post on how to know if an Engineer loves you.
If you want people to read your views on popular subjects, you have to be involved in social networking. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest can help you overcome the lack of SEO ranking. While we’re on that subject, please don’t tell the thought police but I don’t have a Facebook account. It’s a big drawback in getting traffic to my site but I like the freedom of not having a Facebook page.
Every once in a while someone links one of my posts to Facebook and I see a flurry of traffic to that page. I’m always happy when that happens but typically they only read that post and leave. That was my second big surprise in blogging, getting visitors to read more than one page is harder than getting visitors in the first place.
I try to encourage people to read multiple articles on my site by referring to other posts and adding internal links. it works but not nearly as well as I expected. In my review on Poser Debut, I have a link to my Poser Gallery. At the end of my Poser Gallery, I have a link to my later pictures with Poser Pro. One in ten readers of my Poser Pro review looks at the Gallery. Only one visitor has ever gone from Gallery to Gallery two. Why isn’t the ratio better? What would persuade more people to look at Gallery two?
I’m guilty here too. Long before I started this blog, my company decided to train me in Lean Manufacturing. I did a web search and came across a blog from an engineer discussing his Lean training experiences.
I enjoyed his writing style but because I was on a quest for information on Lean Manufacturing, once I finished that post I went to the next site. Before I left I noticed he had stopped updating the site about six months earlier. Now that I have my own blog I often think about his blog and wonder if he stopped because nobody was visiting his blog.
I’m not ready to end my blog here and I can only blame myself when you leave my blog after reading this post. I have a number of good books on keeping audiences engaged and I’ve started the Udacity course on Psychology. Like all techniques, these will take a little practice to use effectively. Meanwhile, why not take a little extra time and read one of my random posts? You might enjoy it. I’ll certainly appreciate your visit.
Well, that was where I intended to end my post, with an appeal to your better nature but why should I wait? You’ve already read this far, you’ll probably read a few more words.
This technique is called associated indirect benefits. I’ve discussed it with Sundae and she was willing to take part in the experiment. For every reader that reads an additional post after reading this one, I’m going to give Sundae an extra Milk Bone dog treat. She’s still competing in Agility so these will be mini’s.
Please read another post, don’t force Sundae to go to bed treatless.
© Copyright 2013 Byron Seastrunk, All rights Reserved. Written For: Opinion by pen