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Random Thoughts: Posting for Pageviews

Random-Thoughts-1There are many ways a blogger can increase pageviews – post exciting and original content, host a giveaway, participate in a meme, join a heavily promoted tour, post something snarky, sexy or contentious. There can be pros and cons for each of these, but all of these post types take time and effort, some may even cost money.

So while an increase in pageviews may be the result, generally they’re not the motivating factor for creating these posts. Because there are easier ways to increase the number of hits to your site that take far less time than joining a meme, less money than hosting a giveaway, less risk of backlash from posting the snark.

And while I am not an expert as to why people visit one site over another and have not the first clue about what can be done to boost SEO, I am pretty confident in stating that there is one surefire way to increase the number of visitors to your site. At least in the short run.

And that is…

Increase the frequency of your posts.

If you post more than once a day you’re likely to have your loyal followers visit more than once per day. Even if not all of them make a repeat visit, some will. (Pageviews increased.)

And if they are only visiting once a day, with more than one post for them to read (and potentially comment on), they’ll stick around longer and click more. (Pageviews increased.)

By having multiple posts each day there is potential for visitors who aren’t interested in one post type to stop by and check out another. (Pageviews increased.)

And even if none of the above is true, by posting more than once a day, you’ll have more posts to share via social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. More tweets offer more opportunities for someone to click to view. (Pageviews increased.)

But wait… how exactly is this easier?

If you’re all about original content, posts that include your personal touch, posts that you add your voice to, then it’s not. It means more work for that increase in views. If you have the time, creativity and energy to do so, then it is effort that will pay off.

If you’d like an increase in site visits and views but don’t have the time and energy to do so, taking on a co-blogger or bloggers offers similar, if not better, results. Multiple posts by different voices can bring in a wider audience. A larger audience means more views.

But if your sole goal is to increase traffic to your site with minimal effort then there are many tours, blitzes, cover reveals and blasts that allow you post three, five, ten times a day with the ease of copying and pasting a pre-prepared coded post onto the HTML side of your post window, adding in a post title, adding in a few tags and/or categories and clicking “schedule.”

Whichever route you choose, having several posts each day will cause your pageviews to increase.

But for how long… and at what cost?

If you choose to go the route of posting original content in just your voice, posting more frequently can cause burnout early. How long depends upon how long you can keep doing what you’re doing and the cost can be your passion for blogging.

If you opt to take on a blogger or bloggers your numbers have the potential to stay elevated for as long as you and your co-bloggers choose to post multiple times each day. The costs can range from having your own voice buried beneath your co-bloggers’ voices to having unreliable co-bloggers that damage your blog’s brand to having your audience not like the diversification or your co-bloggers’ opinions and choosing not to return.

And if you opt for quantity over quality, you may turn off some readers, or potential readers, instantly. More isn’t always better, sometimes it’s just more. And while pageviews may be higher in number with an increase in the quantity of posts per day, your blog’s core audience of loyal followers may decrease.

If your blog is filled with content that can be found elsewhere, content that offers little in the way of substance, or content that doesn’t in any way speak your voice, you may find that the clicks to view don’t result in repeat visitors. And you may find that those who clicked out of curiosity click quickly away when they can’t find “you” amid the numerous blasts, blitzes, reveals and hops.

If there’s nothing to distinguish your blog from the next, if the majority of posts you share are ones that can also be found on any number of blogs that pop up in a feed reader, over time you could begin to see those pageviews begin to decline. Without something more, where is the incentive to click your link versus another blogger’s link with the exact same post type, format and content?

Unless you’re at the top of that feed reader, the first one out of the gate with the post, or are willing to market that post more rigorously than someone else, while the overall number of pageviews on your site may have increased with the number of posts per day, the number of hits per post may be significantly fewer than if you had a post that was unique.

Does it matter?

It depends. There is no wrong or right. I just depends on what your ultimate goal is.

Are you looking for pageviews or looking to establish a loyal following? Is your goal to promote, to be a part of a larger group that together helps to spread the word about a book or product’s success? Or do you want your blog to be about you – your thoughts and ideas?

Do you enjoy having a blog that is content rich, no matter what the content? Or do you prefer to have a blog in which each and every one of your posts is uniquely yours and remains in the spotlight for 24 hours or more?

Figuring out what kind of blog you want and what kind of audience you want to attract is key. And you don’t always have to choose one over another. You can strike a balance that works for you to both increase your views and establish and keep an audience.

You have to do what works for you. It’s your blog. And if seeing those numbers rise makes you happy, then find a way to make that happen.

My thoughts….

I don’t write posts for pageviews. While I would be devastated if a post I’d written had no traffic whatsoever, I’m perfectly happy if even just a handful of people took the time to read a post I took the time to write.

I do keep an eye on the numbers to see what works and doesn’t work for my blog’s audience, but I don’t make changes in the hopes of seeing those numbers rise. I’m comfortable with the moderate number of views I get each day.

I know for a fact that my traffic increases on days when I have more than one post per day and continues to increase if I keep posting multiple times a day. Hosting a giveaway will also cause my pageviews to increase on the day of the post, but that spike only typically lasts for a day. And I know that participating in a popular tour where the author posts the link on their Facebook page will cause the number of visitors to rise.

But I also know that my highest trafficked posts weren’t even on this blog. Yes, drama seems to bring in the visitors, sadly. But so does posting really early, rambling thoughts about an incredibly popular book that the author discovers and tweets about. As I don’t wish to bring drama into my life or onto this blog and I don’t ramble my reviews or @ the author with them, my largest potential options for an increase in the numbers aren’t really options.

So if I were to decide to try and post for pageviews I suppose I’d have to come up with a different strategy.

What makes me click a link to visit a blog to help increase their pageviews are (in order) discussion posts, reviews for books I’m on the fence about reading, reviews for books I’ve just read and loved that the blogger did not like. And of course great design will keep me coming back just so I can stare at the design, if for no other reason.

On occasion I’ll follow a blog tour, check out an event or take a peek at a guest post or author interview. But that’s pretty much it. Of course, my blog reading habits are somewhat atypical. Aside from visiting a couple of author blogs prior to starting Fiktshun in November 2010 I didn’t read any blogs. At all. And I don’t read very many today. So my online reading habits are probably not ones to go by if you’re trying to gauge what typically interests a blog reader.

But what I do or think doesn’t matter. Just do what makes you happy. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. It’s your blog. As long as you’re happy with your blog’s content and readership that’s all that counts.

But what about you?

Do you post with pageviews in mind? Do you label your posts so as to maximize the likelihood that someone will notice the headline and click to visit your blog?

Do you participate in memes, popular blogger events or tours in order to try and bring those numbers up? Or would you opt to do those things regardless of whether they affected your viewership?

Is increasing your blog’s pageviews one of top goals as a blogger? Or are you more concerned with building a small but loyal readership that you hope to grow over time?

Why do you post what you do?

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