Skellie wrote this post. For more advanced blogging tips and strategies, visit her blog, Skelliewag.
When selling advertising spots on your blog the metric that advertisers value most is page views, or ‘impressions’. More page views equals higher value advertising spots on your blog. While the obvious solution to increase the value of your ad spots is to increase the amount of traffic your blog receives, you can also do a number of quick and easy things to yield more page views from your existing traffic.
1. Develop the habit of self-linking
I was recently referred by a friend to read a post at Steve Pavlina’s blog. I enjoyed the post immensely, and because it linked out to other relevant posts on the blog, I found myself spending several hours swinging like a monkey from post to post, devouring new ideas voraciously. During that time Steve probably squeezed about 10 – 20 page views out of my single visit.
Most bloggers don’t self-link anywhere near as much as they could. This is a particularly beneficial habit if page views directly correlate with your income. When a reader is deep into your post it means the topic you’re writing on is of keen interest to them and so, related content is also likely to be of keep interest. If you don’t make readers aware of this as you write, it’s a lost opportunity: not only for more page views, but also for a greater level of reader engagement in your blog.
2. End with related posts
Bloggers are increasingly using a WordPress plug-in to link to related posts at the footer of each post. This is a clever move because it gives readers options to continue at the point when they are most likely to be looking for them (when they have just finished reading one of your great posts). You can handle this automatically through the plugin and give up some control over what appears or hand-pick posts to link to, which will of course take more time but gives you maximum control over the links that are chosen.
Photo by nate steiner
3. Use your sidebar to build page-views
Think about the three best blog posts you’ve ever written. Are they on the main page of your blog right now? Chances are that at least one of them isn’t, unless you’ve hit a real purple patch at the moment!
Just because this wonderful post is not on the main page doesn’t mean nobody but the odd wandering search visitor should find it. Highlighting your best posts in your blog sidebar (usually under a ‘Popular Posts’ list) is an excellent way to drive page views while also keeping your best posts evergreen.
4. Create multi-page posts
Have you ever started reading a fun top 100 list at a website only to discover that they’d given each item its own page, forcing you to click 100 times? Most people will find this excessive, but it is a clever tactic if the content is actually worth it. Blog posts also make good candidates to spread long posts over several pages, and there is a WordPress plug-in designed to do this. Of course, it’s important to always be mindful of stopping before the point where it becomes frustrating for your audience.
Here I’ve presented just a few ways to yield a greater number of page views from your existing audience. I’m sure I missed a few good ones, so add your ideas in the comments!