Just over a month ago I began a public experiment descriptively titled How to grow your blog traffic.
What I proposed to do was spend a fortnight dedicated to pursuing one method of growing your blog traffic. I’d share the results in full as well as the details of my effort so you could see which method by itself or in combination with others, might be worth trying on your own blog.
As embarrassing as it might be to share my grey, holey, saggy elastic, raggedy ol’ undies as it were in the shape of my minuscule traffic stats, the whole premise of this blog is to provide value and do good stuff online so I’ve sucked it up and bared all because that’s what’s most helpful.
Increasing your blog traffic
I’d love my daily blog traffic to be at a level that I need more that one hand to count. I’ve googled, binged and yahoo’d my way around the internet learning about how to go about increasing it.
I am in this blogging game for the long term and understand that growing my readership is primarily dependent on the quality and relevance of my content. That is where most of my focus is.
But I’m also curious about which methods for promoting my blog and engaging with readers would work best to support that long term organic growth.
There is so much advice about how to go about increasing a blog’s visitor numbers but I’m not sure which ones would be the most effective, how much of my time and effort they take and what I could expect the results to be.
Many of the articles I read on the subject feature blogs that have gone from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand. But is that the norm?
It’s harder to find articles that show progression from 0 up and even harder to find ones that tell me how much time and energy I need to put into each method.
I hope to fill that gap with this series.
Overview of experiment
The Blogger Communities experiment involved the following parameters:
Target Join several blogging communities and undertake activity within those communities.
Criteria Activity in those communities had to be genuine, supportive and add value to the community itself. For any single nomination or mention of my own blog I had to like/follow/visit or otherwise support the blogging efforts of a minimum of 3 other bloggers.
Related goals Support other bloggers, increase other bloggers traffic, build relationships with fellow bloggers.
The results from this fortnight’s experiment about how to grow your blog traffic through Blogger Communities was a real mixed bag. To be fair, I was a mixed bag during it as well. I didn’t apply myself as consistently and strategically as I should have and so I didn’t make the most of the opportunities that were there.
Even though my performance was a little better than utterly half-arsed I’ll run you through what actions I took and what the results were in respect of my traffic and other things so you can draw your own conclusions.
The first graphic below shows my traffic during the course of the experiment – WTF? Yep, it freaking dropped. Hahaha! A couple of comments are in order here – firstly, gah. Secondly, while I was participating in a few different communities I wasn’t interacting directly with other bloggers as much as I had during the Commenting on Blogs experiment. I think that had a real impact. Though it’s not all bad news if you read on good folk.
While my traffic didn’t increase, my follows did. This lines up with the types of blogger communities I was participating in. A few notes about these stats though. The percentages are a bit misleading because the numbers involved are so small. For instance my Facebook page likes went from a whole 21 to 31. I only joined Google+ partway through the experiment and my page ended up getting a whopping 11 follows. But at least SOMETHING’S heading in the right direction!
The lesson I took away from the experiment was that blogger communities are fantastic in terms of support and education.
But the groups I joined were follow-focussed and I received exactly that. It was more of a business transaction and so after following, few people visited because that wasn’t what they were after through the interaction.
I’m going to continue visiting the blogs I enjoyed and over time will likely see visit backs.
Some of the communities I participated in I had joined a while ago but had been inactive there for some months.
The blogger communities I took part in for this experiment were:
- Mom Bloggers Club
- Top Mommy Blogs
- Bloggy Moms
- SITS Girls
These are all U.S. based networks.
I am part of local communities as well and continued to participate as per usual in those. They are:
- NZ Bloggers
- Kiwi Mummy Blogs
- Go-to-Girl: Social Media and Marketing
I didn’t see these latter groups as being part of the experiment. I suppose because my association with them is a longer term one.
The effort involved
In the communities and groups I joined I needed to take an additional action to receive whatever thing I did in return. To a certain extent that replicated the previous experiment because in some instances the conditional requirement was that I comment on other blogs.
On average I spent around 20 minutes a day dedicated to:
- Looking through forums for threads to join
- Joining the discussion and taking part in the required activity
- Looking for groups to join
- Joining the group discussions
In respect of the U.S. mommy groups I found that updates could be infrequent and many threads and groups had not had replies for months or years.
I started a ‘follow me’ discussion as well to see if that made a difference after a week there was still no reply.
I got good value out of the groups as this is where a number of my new followers came from but I’d either have to put a lot more energy into creating more discussions or use these as an occasional way to promote my blog to a new audience.
SITS Girls has a very active Facebook group which was the main way I connected with other bloggers as the forum page was faulty during the period I was wanting to access it. This was still a good source of followers.
I have a confession to make about Triberr. I joined but couldn’t figure out how it worked! The concept of Triberr is this, you link up with some relevant groups (you need to request to join their ‘tribe’ or create your own). Then you share posts and support one another by tweeting your tribe-mates posts.
I’m keen to see how effective it is so I’ll put some time aside to work the sodding thing out!
The next experiment
Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be getting my tweet on. Yup, I’m gonna hit Twitter and see if I can convince anyone to head over to Lifeblooming.
I was utterly crap at it last time so I’ll also give Triberr another go. It is tweet focussed so it’ll fit in fine.
Let’s see if I can get the traffic moving in the right direction again!
Feel free to give me advice, suggestions or outright sympathy haha!
Also, do feel free to point out crappy bits of the blog or ideas for improving it – I am ALL GOOD with critiques my friends! You could always drop me an email or FB message if you’re more comfortable with offering constructive but critical comments that way. I have a few ideas I’m working on in regards to the content which I’ll run past you soon too. In the meantime thanks for visiting! XXX