From time to time, I enjoy sharing what I am reading currently. My feedly consists of nearly 75 different blogs so I have a great list to choose from, but there are always those blogs that I m drawn to the most at certain times. Here are the blogs that I am currently viewing the most right now:
- Thom Rainer’s Blog– This could be the most practical pastoral blog out there. I have been reading a few of his post each day for weeks now. He has some great stuff on leadership and pastoring.
- Ron Edmondson’s Blog– This is another ultra practical blog. He has more posts with numbered “how to” ideas on leadership than any blog that I have ever seen. He is great, and you should definitely be reading this blog. He has some great posts on marriage and relationships as well.
- Between the Times– This is a blog by the faculty from Southeastern Theological Seminary. Some of their post are geared directly to toward pastoral leadership, and others are about theology. Great blog all the way around.
- Brad Lomenick’s Blog– Now, I had never heard of his blog until recently. Someone told me about it, and I have been hooked since. Ultra practical. Great blog for you to check out.
- Michael Hyatt’s Blog– Now, this guy is a big time blogger. In fact, he writes and helps others with blogging. He has some excellent stuff when it comes to your leadership and the platform that God has given you. Check his blog out.
Recommend a blog for me to check out.
I have blogged for about a year and a half, and over that span have learned a little bit about blog traffic! Now, I will be the first to admit that I do not have all of the answers to your blogging questions, but I have learned a bit about building your own platform in the blogging world. I want to share a couple of thoughts first, and then give you some practical ways to increase your blog traffic.
Do not blog totally for traffic– This is hard to do! I am not saying that this is not important, and that you should not check your traffic, but if that is the only reason you are blogging, find a deeper reason to blog. Blog about what you are passionate about, and people will enjoy that more rather than just blogging about what others want to hear.
Increasing traffic is not as difficult as it seems– Now, this statement might get some negative feedback, but honestly, it is not that difficult. You can get readers if you know how to get readers..That is where the steps below can help!
How to increase your blog traffic:
- Blog Consistently– This is something that I had to learn the hard way. I was frustrated, because people were not regularly visiting my blog when I was not even blogging. Why would they if you are not working at blogging? They have no reason to come back if you are not posting regularly. Now, blogging takes a lot of time, and I understand that. Set aside like 2-3 hours a week for just writing, and schedule your posts, and it will make your life much easier. You say, Josh, how often do you recommend posting? I would say a minimum of 4 times a week to build a good group of followers. BTW: if you are expecting your weekend traffic to be as large as weekday, you are mistaken. Weekends are normally when I take a break from blogging.
- Share on social media– This is easy and a well-known tip, but share frequently. I share my posts on twitter, facebook, google+, and LinkedIn. Now, I change the wording of the “share” to fit the readers on those sites. Do not copy the same exact post, and share on each of these sites. Make them original. Also, I am involved in student ministry groups on facebook, and I regularly share in there as well. On twitter, use hashtags with what the post is about.
- Tag every post with several different categories of what the post is about. People searching will come across your site if you tag it well.
- Use your blog to connect and network with others– This has sparked the largest traffic increase than anything on this list. I blog primarily about student ministry, church life, and leadership. So, I have used my blog to network with guys in these areas! I have networked with them via twitter, commenting on the posts, google+, and facebook groups. When you network, you build relationships, and those relationships give you credibility for people to visit your site more often.
- Comment– Respond to every comment that is posted on your blog! I encourage you to ask a question at the end of your posts, or do something to make sure that the reader knows that you desire comments and feedback. Also, comment on other blogs. Normally, bloggers have a reader of some sort that organizes the different blogs that you follow. I use google reader, and I go on there once a week, and read through the posts of other guys, and I comment on them regularly.
- Write for others– This has taken the longest time for me to get off the ground, but I have started recently writing for others. It makes your life busier, but it will increase your traffic! I write for several other sites other than my own, and it has increased my traffic significantly. Find places looking for guest posts, and
These are just a few of the ways that I have built my own platform using my blog.
[Question]: What are you doing that is not on this list to build your platform specifically speaking of blogging?
“This is a guest post by Michael Hyatt. Michael is the Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Christian publishing company in the world and the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. he is an avid blogger at michaelhyatt.com This is his personal blog. It is focused on “intentional leadership.” He writes on leadership, productivity, publishing, social media, and, on occasion, stuff that doesn’t fit neatly into one of these categories.”
“Last week, I spoke at the Catalyst Conference in Irvine, California on the topic of my new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Thomas Nelson, May 22). As part of my introduction, I shared how my audience has grown since I started blogging in April of 2004.
Note that these numbers reflect my average monthly unique visitors. I simply took the total number of unique visitors for the year and divided by twelve months (or in the case of 2004, eight months). With the exception of the first few years, this data came from my Google Analytics account.
I don’t share these numbers to impress you but to encourage you if you are working to build your own platform. Here are four insights I gleaned from taking a look at the big picture:
- It took me four years to attract more than 1,000 readers a month. In fact, I blogged for almost three years before I had more than five hundred readers a month. If you are not seeing much growth in traffic, don’t get discouraged. Focus on generating consistent, quality content.
- Suddenly, I hit an inflection point in my fifth year of blogging. I am not sure I can fully account for this, but I believe several factors contributed:
- I started blogging more consistently (three days a week).
- I focused more on my reader’s needs rather than my experiences.
- A few big web sites linked to me, including Lifehacker. This gave me exposure to a whole new audience.
- I found my blogging voice.
So many people quit right before they hit the inflection point. I hope you won’t. Getting your message out depends on you sticking with it.
- I built a platform long before I needed it. As my audience grew, I was able to use it on behalf of my company to correct the media when they got the story wrong. I was even able to report on stories I felt the media had ignored.I also used it to promote my own products and, eventually, to generate enough income I was able quit my day job to write and speak full-time.
Perhaps you have heard the old proverb about the best time to plant a tree. It’s also true about building a platform:
Question: When is the best time to build a platform?
Answer: Eight years ago.
Question: When is the second best time?
- It wouldn’t have taken me so long if I knew then what I know now. I made a lot of mistakes. I didn’t understand much about generating traffic. Social media didn’t even exist at the time.This is one of the main reasons I wrote my new book. I wanted to distill everything I have learned, so I could share it with people who need a platform but don’t have eight years to build it.
Whether you are an author, recording artist, comedian, small business owner, or corporate marketing director, this book is for you.
Again, I am sharing this detail about my traffic to encourage you. Everything significant starts small. I didn’t achieve success overnight and you probably won’t either. But the great news is that it is possible. In fact, it’s never been easier—especially if you get started now and learn from the mistakes of others.”