Earlier this week I posted a few tips for new bloggers and received some requests for a more tips so, here they are…
Tip 1 Use the scheduling tool
I simply cannot over-emphasize the importance of this tool! If you are like most bloggers, your best writing time may not be your best posting time, so if you are like me and find that your best time to write is between 4 and 5 am, for example, this may not be the best time to post since there may not be as many people online at that hour as there will be later on in the day. Think strategically: I’m in the Eastern US, so at this time, say 4:30, the east coast isn’t up yet, and it’s the middle of the night in the rest of the USA. In Europe (GMT) it’s the middle of the morning and a great many people are busy with their work days, so that’s not the best time for me to post. I schedule my first post for 6 am to catch the east coast waking up and checking their blogs before work, and my post is right there for the UK at lunch break. I schedule another post at 11:30 ET to catch the west coast early, the east coast for lunch and the UK at quitting time, all because of the scheduling tool. In addition, I seldom write posts for the day they are written. They are usually written a day or two, sometimes more, ahead of time in case something comes up in “real” life that interferes with my schedule.
Since this is for newbies, the scheduling tool can be found in the Publish screen. It’s the third item down and says “Publish immediately”. Click that arrow and the scheduling tool opens…
This reason you may want to approach posting this way comes from the way the Word Press Reader works. When you post, it goes to the top of the Reader for followers and for tags you’ve used. The next person who posts will replace you on top and you will move down. If I post at 4:30 am my post might be 10 or 20 posts down by the time you are looking at the Reader and you might never notice that I’ve posted anything.
This point is also important if you write several posts at the same sitting as I often do. If you drop them all at once you will overwhelm your faithful readers who probably won’t have time to read them all, whereas if you scheduled them apart, you’ll get the traffic you deserve and were hoping for.
Tip 2 Shake Things Up Occasionally
According to the research I’ve seen… and the experiments I’ve done… nothing creates traffic like a little controversy. Before I go any further, I must say that this is a technique I use very sparingly. If you do this too much, your blog will just be loud. Here’s a great example: Back in early 2014, the Reader for Christian blogs had a great many posts about the superiority of the King James Version of the Bible (KJV). Post after post was written about how the KJV is the only true version… (Posting about a hot topic builds traffic) So on March 31st of that year I posted “Why I DON’T Use King James”. The real traffic builder, and controversy of the post was putting “don’t” in all caps, the post itself was quite tame.
Sadly, I had to delete quite a few comments from KJV fans who could resist calling me an f-ing this or f-ing that, but there were still considerably more comments than I normally have. I replied to each and every one of them, and then got return comments as well as comments from others who were reading the original comments, and guess what? Each of those requires a “view”.
I even received 14 personal emails telling me I was going to hell for not supporting the KJV which I said in the post is a very fine translation, just hard for most people in the 21st century to understand. Even now Why I DON’T Use King James is my 4th most viewed post, and reflecting back on it, that was when my blog really took off. Maybe you can find a way to generate a little controversy without being obnoxious or offensive.
Tip 3 Post Regularly
If you want a thriving blog and you aren’t a famous person, you need to post regularly. I’ve usually done 2 a day during the week, and I’ve never found the right frequency on weekends. The really mega-blogs post considerably more and some of them have even said in posts that they will post poor content just to stay near the top on Reader. I will leave that to your own views, but for me, I try not to post rubbish, although I must admit that there have been times when I’ve gone back and read something I posted and wondered what I was thinking (if anything at all) when I wrote it. I think the frequency of posting will depend on your goals, and my frequency lines up well for me; I would suggest that you test various times, frequencies and tones to see what works best for you to reach your goals.
At this point, I’ve gone a bit longer than I intended (920 wc) but as I wrote the last couple of sentences, I realize I need one more of these posts so I’ll see you next week.