Blogging Success: The Right Content at the Right Time

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I‘m a casual blogger — my goals with jasonbk.com are more tied to learning about and experimenting with WordPress as a platform than they are about gaining readership. But as I continue writing content, I’m rapidly discovering that different content draws wildly different traffic. The wrong content will wallow on your site, while the right content has the potential to blow even your best traffic days out of the water.

That may seem logical, but I didn’t fully comprehend the magnitude of these traffic differences until I wrote the post Three Tips for an Epic, Fun Wedding, and then posted it to my Facebook page.

Up until that point, the best day my blog had ever seen, according to very basic stats from Jetpack, was March 3, when pages/posts on my site saw 62 views. At that point my blog was fairly new, and I had posted the photo-rich post College, the Travel Bug, and Real Life. Following that day I kept up a consistent (but very modest) flow of traffic to the site, and soon found myself approaching 1,000 views all time.

Within a few minutes of posting Three Tips for an Epic, Fun Wedding, I crossed that 1,000 view threshold and wrote a quick post about the milestone. But then the traffic kept coming, and coming, and coming. By the end of the day, Jetpack record 514 views on my tiny experimental blog — 729% more views than its previous high.

Site stats show a significant spike on a single date

Elements of Success

I think that a couple factors went into the success of my wedding post.

First, it was the right content for my audience. Predominantly, the traffic to my blog is drawn in via social media. While I certainly have professional contacts on social media, my connections are largely friends (in their 20s) and family. A post about wedding success likely caught the eye of many friends who are planning or thinking about marriage, as well as those friends and family members who were in attendance. Unlike my post reviewing the terrible move Pompeii, my wedding post struck a tone with my audience.

Second, I timed the post effectively. Since I mostly write for my blog on weeknights after work, I tend to finish posts late at night. Being impatient, I post immediately to Facebook and Twitter, which is really a terrible idea. I can always post to Twitter again the following day to get back in people’s news feeds. But the algorithms Facebook uses to decide what content displays in users’ feeds are likely penalizing me when they see that my posts tend to garner very low engagement in their first 8 hours (everyone’s asleep!). My theory (that I have yet to thoroughly test) is that posting at a more appropriate time of day will draw greater traffic.

My wedding story was posted on a Sunday afternoon though. My contacts were awake — and apparently perusing their Facebook walls given the extent of immediate engagement I saw!

Do you have any examples of blog posts or announcements that saw the perfect alignment of timing, content, and audience? Share below!

2 Responses

  1. Beverly Low

    I’ve recently begun dabbling (more like stumbling) with WordPress with a small, low-maintenance blog that I’ve named “Mill River Ramble.” I noticed a bump in views on March 15 when I posted “My Annual Self-Evaluation in Haiku.” Since I did not cross post it on Facebook or Twitter, my guess is the tag “Haiku” may have sparked some interest. Not sure. Still learning and experimenting. Originally, I was not planning on publishing much at all and was thinking of using the blog purely as a way to store and marinate random thoughts and bursts of creativity. It will be interesting to see which posts get attention. Thanks for pondering!

    Reply
    • Jason Kammerdiener

      Very interesting! I think you’re right that something in your tagging –likely the haiku bit — sparked some connections. Your case speaks to the importance of the metadata and behind the scenes work — titling, descriptions, tags — they all have a significant role, even if they aren’t visible to readers!

      Reply

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