How adding one plugin boosted my blog traffic by almost 700%

by Mack Collier

That graph is the hourly traffic here on Saturday, New Year’s Day.  There’s a pretty obvious spike that happened at 2pm, and raised the traffic level for the rest of the day.

But what triggered that spike?  This tweet did:

@TweetSmarter currently has over 225,000 followers.  Within the 1st hour of @TweetSmarter RTing the link to my post on Five Reasons Why No One Likes You on Twitter, I got 363 visitors here and 36 RTs.  In 60 minutes.

On New Year’s Day.

But that post was written about 18 months ago.  So how did @TweetSmarter find it?  My guess is they saw it at the top of my blog under Popular Posts.  That is a plugin that I added here several months ago that pulls the 5 most popular posts here (based on views, I believe), and links to them.  Here’s the plugin I use.

This is about the 5th time this year that a major site/tweeter has linked to one of the 5 posts served up by the Popular Posts plugin.  Each time has resulted in a major traffic spike, which means more awareness and visibility for this site.  My combined traffic here in the WEEK before New Year’s Day was 573 visitors (76 visitors on New Year’s Eve), and the traffic for JUST Saturday was 575 visitors.

All from adding a simple plugin.  Not a bad deal.

The bigger lesson here is, don’t bury your blog’s best posts.  If certain posts are resonating with your readers, find a way make sure that NEW readers can find these posts as well.  Maybe it could be via a plugin or widget, or maybe it could simply be by linking to your older posts, when you write new ones.  Remember, most blogs have a high percentage of 1st-time visitors, so you want to let them see your good stuff.

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