You could not get me to log into this blog towards the end of last year. I had neglected it to such an extent that I dreaded to find out just how badly. Finally when I did, I was surprised.
Traffic had not only continued while I had failed to post. It had actually acquired an average daily rate. The reasons, as I looked into it, were clear. There was a clear top ten of posts which attracts 40% of the traffic. People were finding the posts because of links to them, they were on StumbleUpon or had achieved a high ranking on Google.
It was a big shock to me. I come from a traditional newspaper background. The recognition that people might be interested in posts that were not recent came as a surprise.
These Digital Times has a life of its own. My role is like the curator of an exhibition rather than creator of an exhibit. My job is to see what I can do to improve the existing exhibits and what I can add that fits into the existing collection.
In just one month, I bought this blog back to life. And it was easier than I thought.
- Blogs are extremely forgiving: if, like me, some of your most regularly visited posts stretch back over a year, your blog has a life of its own. However much you neglect it, traffic will still come even without regular posts.
- Give up any addiction for traffic: I was like a junky after launching a post, slipping into my blog’s dashboard again and again to see how it was doing. And if someone Tweeted it out, I got even more excited. But I am now calmer. Daily or weekly visits are not a true sign of the interest in any one post.
- Re-examine where you have done well: now I realise why all those bloggers publish posts on their annual top ten. It encourages a blogger to re-examine what they have done well and what it is it about how you write that people like. For me, it is the lists on this blog that win every time (and here’s another one).
- Compete with your own top ten: set your goal as competing with yourself and not with others. Try to write posts that join the ranks of the blog’s top posts, not ones that boast a day’s traction or are Tweeted out.
- Prepare in advance: there’s something horrible about not having any ideas about what to write. But, worse for me, is having nothing ready to publish. So, sitting behind this blog, are two or three posts in various states of preparedness.