So you want to perfect your blog, get that traffic, make your ratings rocket, and eat off the fat of the land. Well, we can’t claim we’re experts in that field, but here’s some things we have noticed in our time blogging..
There’s three kinds of posts. You need them all, even if it doesn’t look like it. They don’t bring equal traffic, they’re not all as easy to write, and some take longer than others, but you have to do it if you want to succeed.
- The Breaking News
Assuming you’re site has something or the other to do with the real world and the news today, it’s very important that your blog offer a look at the latest news and happenings in your particular field. If you’re in politics, make sure you offer a twist on the latest scandals. Technology site? Be sure to report new releases, review new software, and make your point heard. You get the drift.
This not only ensures that your blog becomes a reliable source for breaking news and analysis of what’s happening, but also gets you noticed by the droves. When something is a hot topic, you’ll get hits, even if it’s not the most original content ever. Whether through social engines like Technorati, via email, or on the hot sites like Slashdot and reddit, you’ll get those hits.
- The Stuff No One Wants to Read
Yes, that’s right. Shocked? Don’t be. Inevitably, you need search engine traffic. Two years from now, no one (but for the lonely AP History/Computer/Psychology student) will Google a rant about the middle-stages of Vista’s life-cycle or what exactly were Bush’s poll ratings 2,344 days into his career. But people will look for something useful that isn’t time-restricted, something that doesn’t die out a day, a week, or a month later.
You might choose to blog about the benefits of NCQ with a multi-core CPU or about the best way (in your humble opinion) to get the voters. Either way, it’s stuff that isn’t going to make the homepage of digg or Slashdot, but it’ll definitely bring you search engine visitors.
- What Your Readers Want
Once in a while you’ll get a request from a reader to blog about _____ and discuss it’s effects on ______. Even if it’s not your favorite topic in the world, do it. Think of it this way: that’s one reader that’s not going to ever forget you or your blog in a hurry.
And for every reader that becomes resolutely yours, a couple of their friends will undoubtedly follow. When you’re wanting in traffic or ideas, they’ll stay with you until you’re up and about again.
You disagree? Undeniably the first category is the most important. You need to keep with the times, get with the program, and make sure your readers know it. It’ll get you the most hits, it’ll generate the largest amount of attention, and turn the biggest number of heads your way. But it’s not always enough.
Whether there is nothing to report or you’re suffering from a (hopefully) mild case of writer’s block, there will come a time when your blog doesn’t have fresh content to offer. If you offer breaking news and nothing more, chances are all your readers come from feed services, and if they don’t see anything new, they’re not going to bother.
Having a reserve of search engine and forum-based links can be a life saver, for once your hits drop really low, it’s a nightmare getting them back up. But that’s besides the point: chances are these search-engine losties will find your recent posts and realize just how valuable your blog really is: a reader gained!
These are the ingredients, but just like the ingredients on the back of that Doritos bag, they don’t tell you how to make your blog perfect. You know what goes in, but what matters more is the quantity and the quality of these items. How much of each, and how well done; that’s what matters. But knowing the right ingredients is definitely a start in the right direction, and the best of luck to you!