On Increasing Blog Traffic

I think it’s safe to say that most of us who have blogs would like to have a lot of readers.  So how do we get that?  Different blogs offer different tips.

One site says that we should tell our own stories.  Another site says that we should not appear to be self-absorbed.

One site says that we should ask others to share our posts.  Another site says that this appears to be too self-promoting, and we should let the quality of our work speak for itself.

One site says that leaving our comments un-moderated will increase blog traffic.  Another site says that we should moderate comments to keep out the trolls, who discourage people from coming to our blogs with their rude behavior.

I was reading one site that said that good blogs have one post a day, pictures and videos, and posts that are not overly long (meaning over 800 words).  But I find that there are blogs that I like that have less or more than one post a day, that lack pictures and videos, and that have long posts.  I’ll admit that long posts are often a turn-off to me, but there are long posts that people have written that I’ve actually enjoyed.

So I play things by ear.  I think that there are things that I can work on, like having a catchy title and opening paragraph in my blog-posts.  (Yet, I have written a lot of posts a few months in advance, and so you will see a number of upcoming posts with the title “Nixon’s Civil Rights”, followed by a number, as well as posts with an opening line like “I have such-and-such a number of items on…”  Not too creative, I know!)

As far as advertising my work goes, I’m not the type of person who asks for people to share my work, except when I’m submitting posts to the biblical studies carnivals (which share other people’s work, so why not mine?).  I’m with the school of thought that says I should let my work speak for itself.  At the same time, I do share my work on other blogs when my work is pertinent to a topic that is being discussed.  One thing that really gets on my nerves, though, is when people follow, read, or link to my blog specifically so that I will follow, read, or link to their blog—-especially when their blog does not interest me all that much (which is not to say that their blog is bad, but simply that it’s not my cup of tea).

Regarding the frequency with which I post, or the length of my posts, part of me is sensitive to people’s concerns, and part of me does not care.  I am sensitive to the concern that many readers of blogs don’t like to plow through long posts, and so there are many times when I place my main ideas in bold-face so that people can get the gist of my posts without reading them in their entirety.  But there are times when I am less conscientious about this.  In terms of the number of posts that I write each day, I tend to write as many posts as I want, for I think it is fun to blog about more than one thing.  Right now and for the next several months, I’ll have on most days an academic post on religion based on a book, a post about another book that I’m reading (on, say, politics), and a free post.  Is this overkill?  I do not care.  As long as I enjoy it, I will keep doing it.  When I get tired, I will slow down.

In terms of the length of my posts, some of my posts will be long.  I think of many of my posts on the Psalms.  But one of my reasons for writing those posts is so that people who are curious about a particular verse or Psalm can come to my blog and read about the variety of ways that the verse or Psalm has been interpreted.  Many may not be interested in plowing through my long posts on the Psalms.  But those who are interested or seeking certain answers may find those posts helpful.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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3 Responses to On Increasing Blog Traffic

  1. Bridget says:

    I think it really depends on the purpose of your blog. Are you posting for yourself, or are you posting specifically to share your thoughts with others? Or is it something in between? Mine, I suppose, is something in between, leaning towards sharing my opinions with others. I can keep a private blog for my day to day life; that doesn’t necessarily need to be shared with others. But when it comes to books and things, I’d like to get others’ opinions, and I do read articles like those you mention from time to time because I’d like to get more traffic and thus more discussion to my blog. But I don’t post videos and the only photos I post (usually) are book covers or something book-related, because that’s what I write my blog about. I’m not going to make it into something I don’t want it to be just to get more traffic–I feel like that would be dishonest.

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  2. James Pate says:

    I think your blog follows some of the rules I read about for getting readers: you post graphics; your posts are understandable and are not overly long, and they also have substance; etc. I kind of vacillate between doing the blog for myself and wanting people’s opinions. Blogging helps me to read and to reflect. Before I blogged, reading was more of a chore. Part of me would like people’s opinions, but I’m also hesitant to get into debates. I’ve won and lost my share of them, but they can be tiring.

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  3. Bridget says:

    I agree about debates. There are a lot of things that I feel strongly about–so I don’t post about them because I don’t want to get in arguments with people.

    Really I think what matters is that you enjoy what you’re doing. The traffic may or may not come, and that’s something I’ve learned to accept after blogging for a year now. At this point I honestly do it because I enjoy doing it, not just to win some internet popularity contest (which I admit has at times been my goal, I suppose–though not in so many words).

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