As I finished up my second post of tips for new bloggers, I realized that I had led people into an area that could use some further explaining. I was talking about posting regularly and made mention of the need to test and experiment with times to schedule posts that get the best results for your blog, which leads to how to figure all of that out- let’s get started.
As a new blogger, get acquainted with the stats screens which you can access from your blog’s home screen, on the left side menu near the top. Go through the stats, click on things, explore and really get a feel for the information at hand there. This is the first step in making strategic decisions to reach your blogging goals.
Know Your Audience
Visit the blogs of your followers, and do the same for people who like and/or comment. Is there a pattern to this? For example, do a great percentage of your readers have a gardening site, or a cooking site or a political one or …? In my case, most have a Christian blog of one sort or another. While you are looking at their sites, read some posts; maybe you might want to follow them and like their content. Also, take notice of the tags they use, since they probably have a site similar to yours. Are you using those tags? Check the Reader for the tags you use and notice how many new posts appear there. If you are one of the only ones using that tag, it isn’t helping you because not many are looking at it; maybe you should use a tag that has lots of traffic so that lots of people will come across your site. Needless to say, this is an important step.
Finding the Best Times to Post Your Content
While you’re at it, notice which times of day the blog posts listed under each tag are happening. If you see that the gardening blogs are very active posting between 8 and 9 am, try scheduling your gardening post in that time slot and see if traffic increases. Try this in various time slots and keep track of the results and you will soon discover time slots that work best for you. Use your stats screen to see what happens to your viewership; if your views increase then you’ve got a winner. If they don’t, then keep experimenting.
Testing Subject Matter
Let’s say you normally post about new cars, but you might want to start posting more about car repair, but you aren’t sure whether or not your readers will stay with you; how can you test this? The first step is to make a chart of views, likes and comments for a 2-week period; if you normally have a mix of positive and negative comments, chart the percentages of each for every day. Next, spend a couple of weeks posting your new subject and continue charting the number of views, like and comments, along with the percentage of positive and negative comments. It is quite possible that if there is a drastic change you will see it very quickly. I did a test like this back in 2016 with a particular topic and had the best 2-week period in the entire history of my blog because I was testing a topical area that nobody in my field was talking about. Needless to say, in that experiment, I not only found a nice blog topic, but a whole new area of ministry both online and off.
One last tip: try to find something you can do for a regular Feature post. I’ve tried several, and the one that’s worked best for me is a photo of the week which I’ve been running for seven years now as a nice (and popular) change of pace; I have a fair number of people who follow my site just for that.
And with that, I’ll wish you the very best in blogging and a great rest of the day!
And be prepared to spend time while visiting other bloggers. For me it isn’t something I can do in a few minutes. I get lost in the reading, liking and commenting and before I realize it hours have gone by.