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Fix this blog!

November 11, 2011

What makes your blog successful? How can you get more readers and more comments? What leads someone to “subscribe” to your blog? How can you use your blog to feed your other activities ?

I’ve been blogging for about 6 months, and these questions become more and more salient for me. I love generating the content, but I know the form could be much better. Can you help?

I’m going to describe here what I think I need to improve my blogging experience, and if you do this kind of work, please get in touch. Indeed, if you think I my description of what I need is incomplete, I’d like to hear about that, too.

Because I so often advocate transparency, I’ll try to give a picture of the facts for this blog of mine, especially regarding the numbers. As of right now (11.11.11), I’ve had 5,829 hits total since my first entry on May 6th, 2011.

Although that means a daily average of 31 hits, I’ve been somewhat uneven in my posting patterns. The terrorism in Norway on July 22nd left me so empty, that for several weeks, I felt that there was nothing worth saying. (Maybe I should blog about that experience.) I blogged on July 21st and then not again until October 12th.

Since I got my voice back in October, I’ve had a daily average of just over 90 hits. My most read post has been hit a total of 1,081 times and my least read post weighs in at 43 hits. The median number of hits per post is 96.

I remember the first time I got over 100 hits on a day, but now that happens fairly often, and a day under 50 is rare. I have no idea how that compares with the experience of other bloggers, but I am curious.

I get readers by posting a notice of a new blog entry on my facebook page, by tweeting quite a bit (follow me @curtrice!), by making comments on relevant articles at places like the Daily Beast and the Huffington Post. I still don’t understand how people use LinkedIn and therefore make little use of that resource.

While I like to see that this activity gives results, I wish I could focus only on the content of the blog. I’d like to hire someone to fix the layout, make it a better fit with search engines, find ways to increase traffic, and leave me free to think about what I want to say and how I want to say it.

If you do this kind of work, let’s talk about possible collaboration.

When I try to identify what I need, I have a list like that below. But you should feel free to suggest an alternative approach. For technical reasons, it will eventually be necessary to write a bid or contract; at this point, I’m interested in knowing what your qualifications are for taking on such a project and what your price range is.

1] Technical development
The platform should be enhanced, probably using WordPress as the basic system, developing a graphic profile, social plugins and email signup, commenting and subscription tools, automation of reposting, etc. A keyword list should be developed and its effectiveness should be assessed monthly.

2] Marketing

Offer a plan of developing the site with the purpose of increasing traffic, optimization, conversion, etc. Identify potential sites for guest blogging, publishing of particular entries, etc. Build and maintain an email list, and identify appropriate uses (of which there are presumably exceedingly few). Enhance use of social media in publicizing the blog.

Provide benchmarks and analytical reports on monthly progress, give feedback on optimizing content for the web and social media and create and measure conversion of landing pages.

(Near) native proficiency in English is required.

Deadline for initial queries: November 15, 2011.

I hope to hear from you!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2011 15:07

    When I started blogging in August 2008 I read everything I could about how to bring in traffic and build a network, gradually I tested every possible method over the past three years and only in the last year have I grown to where I get more than 1200-1700 unique visits per day consistently. I have had ups and downs, and recently had a 40% traffic drop when one of my popular articles (30k visits in 2 months) dropped in the SERP and it made my whole blog average go down.

    Writing great articles isn’t enough unfortunately, SEO optimization is partially it but you also have to write for what people search for to gain a lot of traffic. Learn the trends, do the research on the best keywords to use for your topic. Use Google keywords tool to find the best combinations of words to lay in the foundation of your article. Use synonyms…etc. 80% of my traffic is from search engines, 12% from social media networks and 8% direct. StumbleUpon is great for getting instant 200-1k visits randomly and shouldn’t be ignored, Facebook fanpage is also essential.

    My recommendations for this blog would be to use media a bit more, do some vlogging or audio podcasts to keep people on page longer. Run contests (people love to win free stuff) to generate interest and challenge people to answer a question or argue with you to really make yourself be remembered by a reader.

    • November 14, 2011 03:13

      First, Thanks to Curt for posting these questions. I am in a similar situation, just started blogging in February. Worthwhile content, but not clear on mechanics how best to become more visible (and not a lot of interest and energy for the mechanics).
      Second, a big thank you to Justin for clear and easy to implement suggestions. Much appreciated!

      • November 14, 2011 15:49

        It is interesting to experiment with various strategies. In my last two posts, I’ve used “how i did [something]” and a “list” as titles. Both of those really took off! Of course, “take off” for me still isn’t overwhelming, but the last 2 days account for over 10% of my all time visits. That includes all posts, but these two alone, in 2 days, account for about 5% of my total traffic. So thanks to both of you for the encouragement, and for concrete tips!

  2. November 29, 2011 18:20

    Blogging has many similarities with scholarly publishing:
    Good journal articles (blogs) cite (link to) other good journals (blogs) within its research field (blogging topic/network). Which topic that is relevant is highly selective.
    By publishing many excellent articles (blog posts), the journal (blog) gain reputation and attracts even more high quality articles and reviews (comments and blog post by guest writers). If an article is highly cited (has many inlinks from other web pages), even more readers will find it and read. Citations (inlinks) from prestigious journals (blogs) will increase its impact factor (Google PageRank) even more. This creates a positive feedback loop. Good quality research (content/posts) will slowly and incrementally increase readership because of more journal subscribers (RSS and Twitter subscribers).


  1. How I use my blog and Twitter to get on op-ed pages « curt rice

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