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Guest Posts, Comments Or Interviews; Which Drives More Traffic To Your Site?

Posted by on Sep 19, 2011

I don’t often talk about driving traffic to one’s blog unless it’s a little research project. That’s what this is, and since you see the title, you know what it’s about.

David Peralty is Huge on the Internets
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In the last few months I’ve written one guest post that got a lot of attention, did an interview on another blog that did pretty well, and of course I’ve commented on lots of blogs as I often do. Last night I was sitting around thinking “I wonder which of these things drives more traffic to a blog.” Since this is the only one of my blogs that can address each of these criteria I have to use it for this test. The results are somewhat shocking, at least to me, and might be to you as well.

The study period is June 1st through August 31st. This actually works really well because I wrote the guest post on May 31st and the interview was posted on June 1st (this link now goes elsewhere; the link will explain why lol). Comments are of course an every day thing, and one might think this skews the results, which it would if I was taking all blogs as one. Instead I’m only taking one blog, that being Pete’s Wassup Blog. Why? You’ll see.

The source that brought me the most visitors in this time period was of course Pete’s blog, with 147 visitors coming from there. As a matter of fact, he’s #10 after all the search engines, where 5 different Google’s have sent the most traffic overall. I comment on Pete’s blog often, and we of course have banter here as well. I think that could have an effect since we’ve been doing it for years and I’m sure a lot of people have seen my name because his blog is popular.

Second is the guest blog post, which was on Ileane’s blog, with 89 visitors, and that link is sitting in 14th place. This obviously means the interview comes in third with 53 referrals and sits in 18th place. That all 3 made the top 20 is pretty amazing in and of itself. Just for historical perspective Twitter sits in 11th place, a site called Business2Community, where I was quoted by Ari Herzog and left only one comment, was 15th, and a site I’ve never heard of and have no idea what they do called Gaia Online was 17th; all other referrers were search engines.

Now, I’d be irresponsible if I said that my results will be the same for everyone, but I have to say that based on what I’m seeing it seems that commenting really does drive traffic more than anything else. Maybe it’s because it’s something you do more often and thus always stays fresh. Maybe it’s because people get intrigued with what you have to say, or see a link via CommentLuv and decide to follow it back. I’m not really sure.

However, I hear some people saying “hey, what about that first month, June, when everything took place? What did things look like then?” Glad you asked. For just June Ileane’s blog ended up in 10th, Pete’s blog was 11th, and the one where my interview was sits all the way down in 29th.

Yup, seems commenting is the best thing for me; what do your blog stats show?
 

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35 Comments »

Hey Mitch, so is my check in the mail then 😀

I reckon I should do one of these posts and refer back to this as a comparison. I can tell you that for this last month you come up as #13 sending me 35 visits.

As for my last guest post, I got a hell of a lot of comments but not that much traffic. Where does most of my traffic come from. Heck, I reckon you will have to wait for my post for that one 😉

September 19th, 2011 | 10:41 AM

G’day Mitch and Sire…. looks like I’ll have to comment on Sire’s blog some more 😉

But seriously, that’s amazing, Sire must have a bunch of traffic to his website for that many people to find your comment and decide to visit. I’m really impressed, and I bet if I knew how to monitor my results I’d find that quite a few people visit mine from there.

Having said that, your post titles might have something to do with it Mitch. If your post title is closely related to what Sire is blogging about (or blogs about) then there’s an interest already.

September 19th, 2011 | 3:31 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Roz, I’m not sure it’s my post titles as much as what I might be writing about, since I’m bad at titles. Still, if I weren’t visiting blogs and leaving comments, who’d know about them in the first place?

September 19th, 2011 | 4:51 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Uhhh, yeah Sire, let me see… I sent that check out 3 years ago Tuesday; didn’t you get it? lol And it’s not that I put down guest posts or even doing interviews because both really were fun and turned out to be popular. But you and I have been saying for years how valuable comments can be, and I think that was a pretty good sample of it.

September 19th, 2011 | 4:47 PM

Damn, I bet the wife got hold of it and spent it on shoes or something. 😀

And Roz, don’t you pay Mitch no mind, I’m sure the titles that appear in commentluv has something to do with it 😉

September 19th, 2011 | 7:12 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

I’m not saying titles don’t have nothing to do with it, but titles on other blogs come from commenting, so there you go. ;-P

September 20th, 2011 | 12:56 AM
Grady Pruitt:

Well, for me, the commenting had definitely done that, though my main site has only been a blog for a short time, and it will be hard to tell since I didn’t do a “scientific” study like you did. Also, I’ve never done an interview (yet), so that may skew things.

I think which brings the most traffic might be influenced by a number of factors. For example, a guest post I did to my site (back when it was “static”) brought me a lot of traffic, but the site the post was on is one where there are a lot of people and I’m a frequent contributor in the forums at that site. On the other hand, the commenting that I have done in the last two weeks have brought me more traffic than I had been seeing in the previous quarter with a less consistent effort at commenting.

All three can bring great traffic, but I think commenting and working with social media can bring the most when done properly.

Thanks for sharing!

September 19th, 2011 | 12:33 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

No problem Grady. What you’ll eventually see is that people get used to seeing your name and enjoying the way you comment, and they naturally decide they want to know more about you. Of course, it also helps that I respond, because people will tend not to pay attention all that much if blog owners aren’t responding to comments on their blogs either. In general one probably needs a mix to help spread themselves to audiences that might not have thought about visiting them before, but it seems you do your best work for yourself on your own by commenting. At least that’s what it seems to be for me.

September 19th, 2011 | 4:49 PM
William:

Hi Mitch, This is another good indication of how seriously you take your business, carrying out your little study to see where you need to make a little tweak here and a little tweak there to improve business. These are the things that will make a difference so thanks for the tip. However on the matter of “driving more traffic to your site” the question is should it be quantity or quality? Over the past week I have seen a significant increase in traffic to my site, largely because I have applied your advice to reply to the comments made by others. In addition I am also plagued with a number of what I believe to be automated comments totally unrelated to the article and loaded with url. So you are absolutely right, comments do improve the quantity of comments and provide more traffic, the question is, how do you convert that traffic into more business or like you guys say $$$, something that has eluded me from inception ……. and Mitch thanks for the email correction, – Just goes to show that the eyes see what the eyes want to see. – will be looking forward to reading the other folks comment- cheers.

September 19th, 2011 | 1:05 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

And yet William, I still had to correct your email address again. lol

You and I are seeing this traffic thing differently, which is why I don’t talk about it all that often here. I don’t write “make money online” blogs, although I agree the topic here and there. So all I really want is traffic, people reading, people commenting and people enjoying or learning something. You’re worried about making money so you want targeted traffic. So, my study still fits for me because I only care about the traffic, at least to this blog. For me, there is no question of quality or quantity until I have to deal with the spam email, and no one counts that stuff as traffic anyway.

September 19th, 2011 | 4:43 PM
william:

Hi Mitch, now you understand why i look up to you for guidance and advice in this field. and yes you are spot on in your comment to Roz, your commenting on other blogs have providing some well needed exposure. Anyhow thanks for all your efforts.

September 19th, 2011 | 5:11 PM

Hi Mitch, Looking at my stats I found one big surprise. As you know I’m pretty active in quite a few blogmarking communities including BizSugar, Blog Engage and Blokube. But the surprise was that SERPd, which is an SEO community, is one of the top ten traffic sources. I got so excited I rushed over there and submitted this post. 🙂
Now I need to go back and take a closer look at the others. I have a question, are you looking at Google Analytics or something else. I’m seeing different results depending upon which tool I use.

Btw – thanks for the shout out too! You’re still getting comments on that guest post so it’s hard to tell if the traffic comes from the post itself or the CommentLuv links – but in the end I guess it’s all the same thing right?

September 19th, 2011 | 4:57 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Ileane, I only use Google Analytics now, so that’s what it’s sharing with me. Since I dumped Count Per Day it’s all I have.

September 19th, 2011 | 5:41 PM

Interesting results Mitch. I too have see good results from commenting.

Unusually, I have really not seen what I expected to see with respect to guest posting.

I recently enabled a feature that allows the syndication of my blog posts…oddly enough.

I realize that all of my content will be duplicated, but fortune smiles upon the bold…right???

Mark

September 19th, 2011 | 7:45 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Mark, I assume you’re talking about RSS feeds? Not all your content will be duplicated, but there are always ways to track some of that stuff down.

September 20th, 2011 | 12:57 AM

I think depends much on the topic Mitch, last month I hit 1800 visits in less than 24 hours on single article which I syndicate to Reddit. 2nd place holds guest post by friend of mine which hits 492 in one day. 3rd your interview 454 visits, but for your interview circumstances were not very lucky as server crashed – 3 hours downtime and when website came back it was loading pages for more than 20sec. I think all work well, depend how you market the articles and very much topic title and content.

September 20th, 2011 | 3:25 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Carl, I think you might be right sometimes on this one, but for the experiment I don’t think so. I mean, the guest post I wrote for Ileane has more than 150 comments on it. Christian’s blog got a good number of visitors. But it wasn’t just one comment on Sire’s blog that got people to come, it was the act of commenting period. I see my headlines; I stink at writing headlines. But I’m not bad at commenting on other people’s blogs. I still think it shows the power of commenting overall, regardless of headline.

September 20th, 2011 | 8:38 AM
Carl:

It depends on many factors, including power of blog, time when blog is published, reaction related to hot topic. Factors are so many that are beyond comprehension. Need detailed tracking and notes to figure out and again data may not be accurate enough if one variable change.

September 21st, 2011 | 12:34 AM

I don’t know, Carl. I mean, based on my parameters of looking at a 3-month sample, it doesn’t seem to matter when the time of the post was written or whether any of the topics were hot.

For instance, Ileane’s blog is very highly ranked, and with more than 150 comments and probably lots of views one could say that was indeed a very popular topic and post. With Christian’s blog being fairly highly ranked and him running high in being nominated as online businessman of the year (by the way, anyone have an idea of where he placed?), I’m thinking his blog had enough juice to make my interview there worthwhile, but I’m not sure interviews are ever considered as hot topics anyway.

When it comes to commenting, well, I comment on a lot of blogs but I comment a lot on Sire’s blog, hot topic or not because the blog one comments on doesn’t necessarily have to have a monster topic for people to decide to come back to your blog to see what you’ve written. As a matter of fact I’d probably say that one would tend to do better if there were fewer comments in this case because a post with tons of comments will probably have most people ignoring other commenters and just posting what they have to say and moving on.

Of course others are welcome to try the same test if they can fit all the parameters, and as you’ve seen with the comments, others have experienced almost the same thing I have to date.

September 21st, 2011 | 2:11 AM

Hey Mitch,

So after reading your post you got me real curious because in the month of August I did a blog interview, wrote a guest post and did a podcast interview. Both interviews beat the guest post as far as traffic is concerned although it still had over a 100 comments on that post.

The majority of my traffic still comes from blog commenting or blogs that have followed my link from somewhere. But in terms of social media Twitter has now beat Facebook and then there’s YouTube and Google.

That’s just darn interesting and I also firmly believe that guest posting is good but it doesn’t guarantee sustainable traffic. Oh sure, they’ll come by and check out your place but there is no guarantee they’ll stick around. Me, I love my faithful bloggers who enjoy coming by for a visit. I’m sure you feel the same way.

Appreciate you sharing this and making me go see for myself just what last month entailed. Shame on me for not checking that much sooner.

Adrienne

September 20th, 2011 | 4:42 PM

Thanks Adrienne, and truthfully most of the time we don’t think of checking these things on our own until we see someone else has done it. I mean, we all have lots of stuff going on, right?

September 20th, 2011 | 7:14 PM
Ana @ Ensayos:

Blog commenting has proven as the right thing to do for me. It’s a good thing that you have reminded us all to check that data about our blogs. I’m sure that bloggers will discover the benefits of those stats.

September 20th, 2011 | 7:24 PM

Only if they’ve set themselves up to do it Ana. I’m not all that sure that everyone has set up the proper analytics to check out.

September 20th, 2011 | 9:57 PM
Ana @ Deceased Estate Sales:

You are absolutely right. To be honest, that was my “illness” in the beginning.

September 26th, 2011 | 12:07 PM

Among the three I think interviews has the highest chance to drive traffic to your blog. It brings real and untapped information to all viewers. However, I still believe that a good mix of links and contents will make Google happy. My advice is to try out different online marketing techniques and choose the ones that work for you.

September 21st, 2011 | 1:57 AM

Mika, I have to ask if you actually read this post, and if you did if you understood it. This was a post where I did a test, which means I did try out the different techniques, and I didn’t mention anything about marketing. I’m just checking to see if this was a real comment where maybe you misunderstood what I had to say or a better written spam comment than I’m used to seeing here; in other words, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt until I see whether you respond or not.

September 21st, 2011 | 2:06 AM
FR:

Hi Mitch!

Your really have a good analysis and I totally agree that blog commenting can gain more visitors your website/blog as I have done it before.

I really like your blog specially the voice over.

September 21st, 2011 | 12:44 PM

Hi Mitch,

Good breakdown of your traffic sources! Commenting is the most active – interesting results.

In my case is the same, commenting is a great sourcing too, although I don’t have many guest posts to compare. My biggest sources of traffics come also from social sites like Twitter, Stumbleupon, just to name a few.

I guess that it depends a lot of the niche and the type of posts, which are the best sources of traffics.

Cheers,

Gera

September 21st, 2011 | 9:03 PM

Gera, I don’t use StumbleUpon, but I do use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to a degree. Still, one doesn’t use those things to show off comments, so if they pop up more often but you’re promoting all the other stuff, to me it says volumes.

September 22nd, 2011 | 7:42 AM
Val:

Mmm… well as I haven’t (so far) had any guest posts and I don’t (so far) do interviews, I can’t match my stats up against those, but comments that I post to other blogs do bring a lot of traffic my way.

I find that a lot of traffic – and people who not only stay to read other posts but end up subscribing – comes, as you’ve mentioned, via blogs such as Mostly Bright Ideas, and I think the reason for that is that he engages with people who invariably have something of their own lives to add to his posts. And my posts encourage that too, so they like what they see and they stay.

I think your regulars and presumably your subcribers also ‘fit in’ with your personality. The ones who never subscribe or stay for a bit and then leave are those who are just here to get themselves some free publicity and probably don’t really differentiate you from any other blogger. And that’s no bad thing – who needs ’em?!

I don’t know if this would be of any help to you as I’ve no idea if there is a way you could do it on the WP.org ones, but recently I’ve been taking part quite a bit in topics and topic threads in WP.com’s forums and that’s been bringing a lot of traffic to me.

September 26th, 2011 | 9:35 AM

Val, forums can work well in bringing traffic. Thing is that they also take up a lot of time, so I’m probably a visitor to a forum once every few months, unless someone writes me, and then I visit all the forums I’m a part of on the same day, just to see what’s going on.

September 26th, 2011 | 10:20 AM

What do my blog stats show? I HAVE NO IDEA! Honestly, I’m not sure how much I really care about that at this point. The only place where I’m active in commenting on a blog is HERE–and your commentors don’t strike me as people who would follow my blog. I don’t actively promote my blog. People just kind of find it when they’re looking to learn more about me and what I do.

September 26th, 2011 | 9:54 PM

Actually Bev, I think you’d have lots of posts that people who stop by here would want to take a look at. What I can’t figure out is why your links don’t bring up CommentLuv; you have to be putting something in incorrectly. And I think there have been a couple of people that have gone to your blog from here.

September 26th, 2011 | 11:37 PM

Thanks for sharing this Mitch I have to link to this when I finish my cast study happening now.

I’m also looking to compare guest posting to interviews to comments.

I can’t reveal all of my results quite yet but it’s definitely surprising.

I didn’t expect what I’m seeing let me just put it like that.
Jacko recently posted…Social Media Saturday #SoMeSa – ep. 5 (Why the pope quit?)My Profile

February 17th, 2013 | 9:49 AM

I’ll be looking forward to seeing your results Jacko.

February 17th, 2013 | 3:20 PM