This morning I checked my blog’s traffic and discovered this:
Now that’s a pretty big spike from 5am – 7am. So I checked my referrals and couldn’t really tell where the traffic was coming from. I did see some referrals from a link shared via this FriendFeed user, but I couldn’t tell for sure if that had caused the surge. So I went back to SiteMeter and checked out the entry pages, or the page that people are first landing on when they visit this site. For example, if you find this page via a link shared on Twitter, Sitemeter will tell me that you entered my site via this post.
When I checked for entry pages from 5am-7am, I found this:
Almost every visitor during that time was landing on this post. But that doesn’t make a lot of sense, since that post is a year old. How are people suddenly finding this year old post?
Look to the far right of my blog, under the section on Search My Site. See the Popular Posts section? That’s a plugin that I added over the weekend that takes your 4 more popular posts (based on views, I believe), and links to them. Notice that the Five Reasons Why No One Likes You On Twitter post is the first one listed. That’s likely how the Friendfeed user found it, then he shared it on Friendfeed, and I got a nice 100+ extra visitors.
All because of a very simple change in my blog’s layout that took some of my more popular posts, and showcased them. You could be doing the very same thing on your blog. Another tip is to link out to 2-3 of your most popular posts every week on Twitter. What I try to do is write 1-3 new posts a week here. On the days during the week when I do not have a new post up here, I will pick one of my older posts that was popular with my readers, and I’ll share it on Twitter. Yesterday I linked to this post on Lady Gaga’s efforts to connect with her fans. The post is a few weeks old, but linking to it yesterday on Twitter got the post 15 more RTs and 108 more views. Actually, that suggests to me that I should probably move the Popular Posts section above Search My Site so links to all 4 posts are Above the Fold. Remember we’ve talked about the importance of that before?
Let’s face it, we all have too much content to sort through, and not enough time to find everything. So anything you can do to highlight your best posts, is going to create value for your readers. And this can also help you with your blog workload. You don’t HAVE to write a new post every day. Really. If you can only do one post a week that’s fine, I’d much rather read 1 great post a week from a blogger, than 3 decent ones. Instead of pressing yourself to write 3 great posts a week (seriously, how many bloggers can do that?), why not strive for one really great one, and then link to a couple of great posts you wrote a couple of weeks/months ago, on Twitter?
Companies, you can do the same thing, simply share your best posts in your newsletters that go out, or promote them to sites that cover your industry so they can feature the posts on their site. The point is, don’t bury your blog’s best content, find ways to share it with your readers. That can only help grow your readership and bring more exposure to your blogging efforts.
BTW if you are interested in the Popular Posts plugin I used, here is the plugin page, or you can find it by searching for WordPress Popular Posts plugin from your WordPress dashboard.