Traffic Is Unpredictable
Quite often it seems that there is no predicting what posts become your “popular ones.” In my five months of blogging, I have noticed that many of what I thought my better posts have gone completely overlooked while some of my “ordinary” posts have received a tremendous amounts of traffic, linkbacks, and comments.
One example is my recent article “7 Ways to Get Readers to Stick.” I wrote that article in less than an hour and I never thought that ProBlogger among many other blogs would link it and it would in turn receive over 1800 views within 24 hours. That was definitely one of my articles which helped my double my number of RSS subscribers in May.
Regardless of what specific topics you choose to address, I have found that a few types of blog posts have received more traffic compared to others. I would like to share with you the five types of posts that generate traffic and hopefully comments, linkbacks, and social media syndication.
The How-To Post
The Controversial Post
The Round-Up Post
Everyone loves to learn something that could benefit them, especially if it is presented in a way which is easily replicable. One of my recent posts that was quite popular was “How To Sell Your Blog’s Advertising.” The fact is, selling our blog’s advertising is something a lot of us would like to do more of, but we don’t know how. Fortunately, I have had a lot of luck selling my blog’s advertising so I thought that I could pass my knowledge onto my readers. These kinds of articles provide a direct benefit to the readers and they are usually some of the most popular type of blog posts.
They say there is no such thing as bad publicity. I am not sure if I entirely believe that, but it can definitely be said there is a lot of power in writing about a topic that stirs people’s opinions. One issue that has been controversial lately has been the topic of blogging disclosure. That is, whether bloggers should disclose if they will be earning money from any affiliate links on their blog.
Never be afraid to share your opinion because that is what fosters conversation. I recently wrote about the topic of whether it is professional or not to disclose one’s online earnings. That post receive a solid amount of views and comments – enough that I may consider touching on the topic again in the future. If you write a blog post addressing someone else’s opinion on a certain matter, make sure you link to their original post so they know that you wrote about the same subject. That could very well encourage them to voice out about the topic.
Round-Up posts can also be known as “list posts,” since they usually contain a list of ideas, topics, sources etc. The Round-Up post is a great way to collect information together and increase its usefulness. Round-up posts are also actually fairly easy to write. You could describe this kind of article as a “round-up” post.
Last week I wrote an article “5 Tips To Make Your Blog More Readable” which received a ton of views, comments and linkbacks. The funny thing is that I had no idea whether people were going to find use in that article or just think it was common knowledge.
A few of my other favorite round-up posts include:
- 20 WordPress Themes That Don’t Disappoint
- 53 CSS-Techniques You Couldnâ€™t Live Without
- 5 Uncommon Ways to Market Your Blog
One thing to keep in mind when writing round-up posts is how much information you are summarizing. Whenever I write a round-up post, like this one, I like to keep it to a maximum of 5-7 key points. I fear that if my article was titled “50 Types of Blog Posts,” people would inititally be overwhelmed by the large amount of information and choose to either skip over or only partially read my article. Maybe some of you who have written large round-up posts can chime in on how much you think is too much information to include in a post.
The Hot Topic Post
Everyone loves reading about the latest “hot topic,” whether that be celebrity gossip or the latest Apple gadget. Recently, Shoemoney got into a debate with Rand Fishkin about the morality of blogging disclosure. Many other bloggers chimed in and Shoemoney linked to every blog that wrote about the topic.
It’s pretty much guaranteed that if you write about Paris Hilton, your blog will get some search engine traffic. I can’t remember a time in the last 6 months where she hasn’t been on the list of Technorati’s Top Searches.
Of course, just make sure that your hot topic post relates to your blog topic or else your readers will think you’ve lost your focus. That being said, there are many clever ways to blog about Paris Hilton, as Jane May showed us in her recent “What Bloggers Can Learn From Paris Hilton” post. You know she got a ton of linkbacks for that one.
The Motivational Post
My roommate and business partner, Josh, writes some great motivational posts. In a lot of ways, I think that a well-written and straight-forward motivational post is perhaps the most compelling type of post to blog about.
The other day while chatting with Christine from Create Business Growth, we were talking about how motivational posts have the power to leave a much longer-lasting impression than other kind of posts.
She had mentioned that my recent post about goals for June left her thinking about her goals for several days afterward.
Any post that leaves your readers feeling motivated or excited is much more powerful that a post that only provides for some “in-the-moment” entertainment.
When it comes to generating traffic, there are many ways to do so, but often the simplest and most effective way is to write excellent blog posts. I am sure that there are many other types of blog posts that generate traffic, but these are the ones that have worked the best for me. Hopefully, by modeling many of these types of blog posts, you will start to receive more traffic, comments, and linkbacks.