“Darren, I have been blogging for 6 months and have tried to build traffic through social media, networking and buying reviews. I have attached a screen capture of the last 2 months of traffic (above) where you will see I have some good days in traffic, but it always flat lines days later.
The spikes all come from social bookmarking campaigns, links from other blogs or paid reviews – but my normal days of traffic are no higher than months ago. Help!?”
The above excerpt came from an email from a ProBlogger reader recently who is faced with a problem that many bloggers struggle with.
It’s literally a roller coaster ride – both in terms of traffic numbers but also emotions as you watch with hope your traffic rising on a good day only to see it flatline the next.
Like the blogger above mentions (he wished to remain anonymous) the spikes in traffic can come from any number of sources including:
- a post being featured on a social bookmarking site
- a paid review on another blog
- organic links from other sites
- being mentioned in mainstream media
- a seasonal burst of traffic from search engines
Tomorrow I’m going to write a post that gives 20 practical tips on how to combat this spike/flatline trend but today I want to start with one ‘lesson’ for those of you who have traffic charts like the one above. It’s a lesson that our blogging friend above has already learnt.
Getting a Spike in Traffic is only Half the Strategy
If there’s only one thing that I’d like to get across in this post it is that we need stop seeing the sudden burst in traffic as the ultimate goal and to start seeing it as a stepping stone to sustained blog growth.
This is a lesson that some bloggers never seem to learn – so recognizing the problem is actually a breakthrough.
I know the temptation to see the spike as the end result and have fallen for that temptation myself on numerous occasions – however to pop open the champagne to celebrate your good fortune at this point is to miss an incredible opportunity – the opportunity of recruiting a percentage of the readers coming into your blog as regular readers.
How to Build a Sticky Blog
With our first lesson in mind tomorrow I want to move us forward by looking at the concept of making our blogs ‘sticky’ (you can read the next post in this series here).
The word ‘sticky’ might be a strange one to associate with a blog but it’s a good one because it describes the idea of making readers ‘stick’ to your blog beyond their first visit. It’s all about making spikes in traffic have a lasting impact rather than give cause for momentary celebration.
I hope you’ll join me tomorrow when I propose 20 techniques for building a sticky blog.
update – read the next post at 21 Ways to Make Your Blog or Website Sticky (I thought of an extra one to take it to a list of 21 instead of 20).