I took last week off from writing a new blog post because I wanted to give my epic post on blogging mistakes a chance to gain some traction. I also figured it would be a good time to see how some of my efforts worked out as I worked on increasing my web presence after all that work I did on my mobile speed.
I have long been someone who’s believed that the more one writes on their blog, the more traffic they’ll get, the higher their blogs will rank, and the better opportunity they’ll have to be more popular across the board. That certainly used to be true; back in the days where I was writing more than 300 posts a year on this blog it was very highly ranked. Once I slowed down, my ranking dropped, which has happened to all my long time blogging friends who have reduced how much they put out.
Of course I’m starting this with a link to my latest book, Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy, because it leads into today’s topic. That and I’m hoping you’ll at least go check it out.
I’m so tired…
One of the things that got me to release the book when I did is that in many ways I have been enjoying and bit more popularity than I had been for a while. Once I started traveling for work, I stopped commenting on as many blogs as I had been previously, and even though I still spent a lot of time on Twitter, I’d start sharing my blog posts there or pretty much anywhere else. I had been sharing them on Facebook, but no one reads blog post on Facebook for the most part.
I’d also been writing articles on LinkedIn, and for the most part did in generating a lot of publicity as well. And, because I’d figured out new ways to get more attention on Facebook, I was thinking that it was time to strike while the iron was hot and releasing my new book. However, I didn’t just release it as a book, but as a package of goodies as I’ve mentioned previously.
I then went on a major marketing push in all these different places, which I wrote about a couple of articles ago. Truthfully, it’s not like I expected a whole bunch of sales. After all, my general belief was that it might only attract people who are already leaders of some kind in their job to think about purchasing it as an entire package is to adjust the book.
I figured that I might sell a few packages, and that a few people might take me up on my special coaching offer that’s listed on the package. In that instance I would’ve had to make a full bunch of sales just a couple of quick ones, and a cash wouldn’t be so bad in the long run.
You know what I discovered? I basically discovered I’m not as popular as I thought I was. Sure, the pages actually gotten a lot of visits, but nothing commensurate with the number I had thought might visit. And strangely enough, not all that many people from LinkedIn came by, and that was initially surprising based on how well I’ve been doing there.
That is, until I actually went back to look at things. Three weeks ago I had a post on their that had almost 700 readers. However, since that post it’s been hard to even get close to 100, and my last article I didn’t even reach 40 readers. Since I thought I had a formula that could get me a lot of readers, I have to admit that brought me down a little bit.
What Google Analytics tells me is that, for the book, the majority of traffic has come from Twitter. I only received one visitor from LinkedIn; isn’t that a shame? That’s from the social link that shown on Analytics. As it pertains to source, the majority of traffic has actually come via this blog; I’m not overly upset with that. Goodness, I got more traffic from Facebook than I did from LinkedIn, and I know those people aren’t even reading my blog posts.
By the way, an article I had written just a couple before the one they got almost 700 readers had 1,300 readers. So, I pretty much figured I had to be good enough to at least get one or two buyers that way.
It’s somewhat disappointing to realize you’re not as popular as you think you are. One would’ve thought that I would have been prepared for that one I look at the figures for this blog in general. At one point a few years ago I was ranked in the top 70,000 by Alexa, and now I’m sitting around 304,000.
At least half my visitors use to be returning visitors, and now that percentage is around 37%, which is still actually considered pretty good. However, after people from the United States the biggest group of people who are supposedly visiting the blogs are from Russia. Frankly I’m doubting that greatly, which makes me start to believe that may be I’m not even getting close to the visitors I think I’m getting, that instead it’s some kind of bots visiting the site and building up the numbers.
I don’t know. What I do know is that as a package the book didn’t sell, so tomorrow I will officially start selling it as a standalone product. It will be on the same page as the package so that people can make a decision as to which one they want once they see the pricing of it.
Once I officially launch it, I will be adding new marketing processes along with keeping the same marketing processes I did before in trying to get to by the book on its own, in .pdf form in case I haven’t mentioned it previously. And then we’ll see what happens, and I get to see if I really know anything about marketing or whether I’ve just been talking nonsense all these years; sniff! lol
How many of you have struggled with this idea of wondering how popular your blogs and websites are? I figure I might as will put the question out there and see what others have to say about it. Have a wonderful Thursday.
What I realized is that, even though I’ve been online for a whole lot of years, which includes hitting 10 years on my business blog and 7 years on this blog, overall I’m still an unknown entity. I’m not sure if it’s because my name, Mitch Mitchell, is the same as Jimi Hendrix’ drummer’s name, or whether my writing style isn’t enough to capture enough people’s attention, or maybe all those times that I’ve been out of town and haven’t commented on as many blogs as I used to in the past, has stripped me of any name recognition.
Either that or people just don’t like me anymore. 🙂
In any case, I knew that I had to find ways to get noticed a lot more than I’ve been noticed lately. So I decided to start what I felt like was a more aggressive online strategy of promotion. This post is going to talk about things I’ve done and how they’ve worked out.
Let’s start with Twitter. I’m pretty active on Twitter already, reading a lot of people’s links, commenting on those links, sharing those links, and often finding people to talk to, though pretty late at night. What I realized is that I didn’t share my own stuff enough. So what I started doing is posting links from this blog on Twitter at least five times a day. The way I was doing it initially was kind of problematic, because most of the links I posted were at night instead of during the daytime when there was a possibility that more people would see them.
I did that for about a month and took a look at my analytics and saw that Twitter was now the number two referrer to the blog. However, I didn’t really notice all that much of a difference in traffic to the blog. Still, I’ll take what I can get.
Then I watched a video by a young lady named Amy who has the channel she calls Savvy Sexy Social. She offers all types of marketing tips, especially online, and in this particular video ( I can’t remember which one now) she talked about scheduling tweets during the day. I had never thought about doing this before, but she mentioned that Tweetdeck allowed you to schedule tweets and showed how it works.
I thought that was pretty neat, so I decided to employ that as a strategy. Over the last 10 days I’ve been scheduling tweets to basically run throughout the day, in general covering the period between 9AM and midnight. I figured that anything else I post between the other period I would post live, since I tend to stay up late. I set up my tweets to go live between every 25 to 35 minutes throughout the day, with one exception I’ll mention later.
I also decided that I had to add some other things to the mix. So, I added links to my business blog, some links from a couple of other blogs, and actual quotations that I have made on my business blog over the years. It turns out that every one of us is actually quotable based on things we’ve written, and if we go back and look at that stuff we will find quotes that are pretty good.
I decided to start with my oldest blog posts and work forward, and at this point I’m through June 2008, so I have another 6 1/2 years worth of posts to look at. Whenever I post a quote I’ll pop it in within 13 to 17 minutes of the previous blog link, then I can post my next blog link a bit earlier, though sometimes I just start the period at another 30 minutes. Every once in a while I also add a video link.
In just 10 days the traffic to this blog has increased about 15%. I’m thinking that’s pretty good. My Alexa rank (which some people put down, but it’s not a bad thing to look at as a higher level thing) has gone from 378,000 to 308,000 in that period of time; nope, not mad at all. The traffic to my business blog has also increased, but that’s where things get slightly more complicated and I will tell you why.
Around the beginning of the month our buddy Beverly Mahone happened to mention to me that I should think about writing some articles on LinkedIn. At first I was hesitant but then decided what could it hurt. Instead of writing a brand new article, I took an article off my business blog that I had also used on my consultants group blog, made some modifications and put it up. I was amazed at the response it got. People I didn’t know saw it and liked it, a few people shared it to Twitter, some people commented on it, and some of those people started noticing that my business blog links showed up in my profile and they started reading them there and commenting there on them.
I figured that was pretty amazing, so I started writing more articles on that site. To date I’m up to 10 articles, including one I wrote last Friday. That has resulted in about 50 new people wanting to connect with me on LinkedIn, and I’ve had conversations with three people on the phone. It hasn’t generated any real business, but anytime you can make business connections on the phone and you didn’t have to reach out to someone first, it’s always a good thing. So I thank Bev for that recommendation, and I would recommend LinkedIn in a heartbeat.
The other couple of sites I’m on?
Facebook turns out to be a disaster. It seems that they have determined that fewer than 10 people should be allowed to see anything I put on my business page there, even though I have close to 360 people that have subscribed. A couple of times I resorted to putting my link in other groups and on my personal page, where I saw that it got a couple more views generally, but Facebook is a different animal because the way it counts views doesn’t necessarily mean that someone clicked on it. Thus, I have shown no increase in traffic from Facebook, and am very disappointed in it.
Google Plus? Before I came home I was spending a lot of time on Google Plus, mainly sharing things other people put up and occasionally posting something I did. Whenever I do a video it automatically pops up there, but that doesn’t mean it gets all that many views. Those also don’t drive traffic to any of my sites, but possibly to YouTube, and when I checked those analytics I’m not seeing all that much happening either.
So, it means I have to recommend that if you’re going to put out things that you want people to see you should probably be using either Twitter or LinkedIn. Oh yeah, I should quickly mention that I have stepped up my blog commenting again, and as you know I always say that tends to help drive more traffic to your blog or website.
As I wrote last year, if you’re willing to put in the work you can get more traffic and get more people to know you. I figure this is only the beginning for me in some ways, but I’m willing to put in the work.
Back near the end of August I wrote a post titled Posting Times On Social Media. It was based on an article that I linked to on that post that highlighted the premium times to post blogs or articles based on patterns they had observed of how people interact on social media. I said I would experiment and show the results of that experiment; this is that post.
I decided to compare the periods from August 1st through August 31st with September 4th through October 4th. There’s actually a one day difference, but I figured it wouldn’t make all that much difference overall if the numbers were drastically different. I was also using Twitter as the tool of choice in trying to see if more traffic came from there during the new times.
The results… well, certainly not what I was expecting, but still interesting in their own right. I used Google Analytics as my tool; who doesn’t?
The period from August 1st through August 31st had 2,799 visits, 8,819 page views, at an average of 2 minutes and 27 seconds per visit.
The period from September 4th through October 4th had 2,841 visits, 9,037 page views, at an average of 1 minute and 58 seconds per visit.
So, the shorter period did have more views and page views, but nothing extraordinary. During the second period, all posts went out between 11:30 and 4:45 EST in the afternoon, whereas all the posts in the earlier period went out between 9 and 10AM EST. So traffic did increase; did that prove anything?
Actually, not in the least. I then decided to check times that articles were viewed, and things took a strange turn. For the earlier period, most people looked at the blog posts around 10AM, 5PM, 9PM and 2AM; the latter is probably because I’m often up and will repost my articles then. For the later period, the views were noon, 8PM, 11PM and 3AM most of the time. There were some sporadic views earlier in the afternoon, but the peak times articles were viewed weren’t the times I expected.
As I said, that was strange. What did it mean though? Well, one more statistic to check, which is Twitter traffic itself. For the early period, Twitter was my 10th highest referrer. The the second period, Twitter was my 8th highest referrer. On the surface it looks like the second was better, but it wasn’t because the 1st brought 38 visitors while the second brought 31 visitors. Even with the extra day the math shows that the early period would have brought more visitors.
What does this tell me? It basically says that, at least for me, time meant nothing. Since search engines and email subscriptions brought the most traffic to the blog, time turns out not to be much of a factor for me. A better test might be Facebook if I posted most of my posts here on Facebook, but it’s rare that I do that.
Does time really mean anything in the long run? I have to truthfully say I don’t know. It doesn’t mean anything for me, but that doesn’t mean it might not mean something to everyone else. By the way, I also ran the same test on my finance blog during this period. The strange statistic on this one is that traffic did indeed go up almost 500 visitors in the second period, but page views dropped; what the hey?
I will be going back to my normal posting times pretty soon because I’d rather have an idea what time my posts are going live rather than having them going at random times and my trying to remember when something’s coming out on which blog. Way easier to plan it otherwise.
Has anyone else decided to try this, and if so, what were your results like?