I’m not really into 10-step or how-to posts. It’s just not authentic coming from me. But after reading Michael Hyatt’s post on 10 Ways to Generate More Blog Traffic, I suddenly realized I could write a 10-step post on how NOT to get high blog traffic (mostly because it’s nearly anti-everything Hyatt proposes).
1. Market your blog among certain family members.
The main readers of this blog are my husband and mother-in-law. Everyone else is gravy!
2. Don’t comment on blogs unless you have something you really want to say.
I read a few blogs. But often I don’t have anything to say or add to a discussion. I’m not going to post on someone’s blog to add drivel just so I can drive traffic back to my site. But I am likely to like posts on WordPress.
3. Write posts on a variety of subjects. Don’t make your focus too specific.
My blog is not specific to a particular topic except that everything written interests me in some way. The way to get the best blog traffic or visibility is to be topic-specific that appeals to a wide range of people: Michael Hyatt’s focus is on leadership, lifehacker is about productivity and technology, copyblogger is about marketing copy (e.g., blogging, writing, editing, publishing). My focus is too narrow, and quite frankly, not that interesting.
4. Compose content that helps people.
Most of my content on this blog doesn’t help people; it’s simply an outlet for me to express my feelings and share experiences with others. Blogs like that have a difficult time getting high traffic. However, if your shared experience is beneficial in assisting others (as my depression introspection blog is), that blog has the potential for high traffic.
5. Don’t advertise your blog anywhere.
I do not include my blog URL on my email sig lines and no longer auto-post to Facebook (really because of technical difficulties). I have a link posted to Twitter, which probably doesn’t account for most of my traffic. When I comment on the blogs of others (outside of WordPress), I don’t always include a link back to my blog because I see that as pompously self-promoting (only for myself, of course). I do use tags in the hopes of garnering traffic here and there, but I don’t make a real effort to attract people to my site.
6. Post sporadically.
I auto-generated weekly posts to the site back in November and December but that will end sometime in February. After that, posts will crop up here and there as I feel led to post. It’s not very good for blog traffic, especially when you want readers to check your blog regularly for new content. They won’t return after a while if new content hasn’t appeared in 2 weeks. (Sometimes I post once a month!)
7. Draft average, uninteresting blog titles.
This blog post may be an anomaly in bland titles. Or it may simply be average because who knows how many people post on SEO Fail? I write posts on assorted ramblings, infertility, and how I got my name. The blog titles aren’t snazzy or captivating, and for me, that’s okay. I’m not trying very hard to capture the attention of others.
8. Shun search engine optimization tactics.
For depression introspection, I was rabid about employing SEO tactics before I even knew what they were: posting on comments on blogs everywhere, registering my blog in places like Technorati, and using pingbacks religiously. The most I’ve put effort into is BlogHer, and even I don’t keep up with that anymore. BlogHer is a-whole-nother beast.
9. Don’t offer your subscribers anything for subscribing.
I don’t have a free eBook at the ready for my loyal subscribers. And even if I did, I’m not sure what it would be about! It’s like having a guest over to your place and going, “Sorry, I got nothing to offer you but water.” It’s kind of bare. People like to get something in return for being loyal and dedicated. I wouldn’t even know where to begin do anything of that sort.
10. Post fluff and so-so content.
WordPress used to encourage me to write fluff posts courtesy of Plinky. (It doesn’t prompt authors for scheduled posts, only for published posts.) I put fluff posts out there because it’s something written each week, but I’m not really a fan of it because it’s not intellectually stimulating. But hey, it’s my blog! My thoughts won’t always be intellectually provocative, and as such, blog posts may follow suit.
So there are your 10 steps to avoiding high blog traffic. Anybody care to add any others? (Thanks for reading!)