I wrote a post last Thursday: How I think I increased blog traffic by 500% and other blogging tidbits. A bunch of people asked me questions after reading it, so I chose three and thought I would post my answers.
The question: What posts work better than others?
I definitely learned a lot about what content works better than others. Here are the rankings:
1. Rich, long, detailed posts — We used to save this type of content for whitepapers, but more people are pushing their best content to the blog. This type of content works. For example, check out Kissmetrics Blog, which produces rich blog content DAILY. They produce guides which are written like whitepapers but are on the blog not “behind the gate” in long-form content. I tested this concept in my post: Cold Call, revisted: Best practices for getting in the door. Without a doubt, this post brought the most views, uniques, shares, followers, compliments, and links than any post in my history.
2. New ideas on hot but overplayed topics — I wrote The welcome demise of the whitepaper. Lots of visits to this post. My personal preference for content is new ideas with examples. I try to do that on my posts and it seems to be working. The posts don’t need to be long, just interesting and different. Content marketing is hot, but there is a ton of play out there. Would “The Seven Reasons the Whitepaper is Dead” post have worked? Maybe, but I think this post worked because I brought new ideas and provided examples (with pictures) for people to take from.
3. Thought leadership content (Madlibs) — We created Madlibs as a fun way to create some great content. Couple interesting things: 1. It is a very popular format and people are coming back to read the next entry. Note to self to content marketers: If you create an expectation that your content is going to good, they will come back to read it. 2. Thought leaders promote it. Some of the Madlibs have done better than others and its because the thought leaders aggressively promotes it to their social graph. By the way, the Madlibs experience has been amazing. The series has provided me and the audience many cool new ideas and content. It has also been fun to see all the different answers to the questions.
The Tweets of the week series does not get great traffic. I do them anyway because I want to chronicle my favorite Tweets.
Video is hot, but not quite there yet from a traffic perspective. Written content brings the most traffic right now but I am betting that will change soon.
My advice: If you are the only one blogging, you can’t write a rich post every day. Plan to write them as often as reasonable, but find other quality content types to produce to keep a cadence. I mix Madlibs, Tweets of the Week, and Video with longer, original content to create a daily content cadence.
The question (well, a statement/question): “I can’t get new followers. How are you getting new followers?”
Anyone who has followed the Funnelholic over the years knows that I have been inconsistent with new posts. On the other hand, I have tweeted consistently the entire time so I have a pretty good sample of Twitter experience to draw from. Here is the punchline: I get the most new followers when I am consistently cranking original, new content. When I am not writing my own stuff, I am a retweeter/curator. During the periods of curation, I get a trickle here and there of new followers. Not only that, when I am tweeting new original content, my new followers have been way more engaged. I am not saying you shouldn’t retweet because you should. But if you want more followers who are more engaged, then start blogging.
Another question: “Do your social shares convert into visitors?”
They do now. I tweeted for years but I felt like I was tweeting to my friends all day. The steady cadence of content has not only brought me new followers, but followers who want more from me. Remember, I am terrible at SEO. My search referrals are people looking for me on Google by name. I also don’t have my newsletter up yet. So, my traffic is primarily delivered via social. In the end, social is converting to visitors. (but wasn’t before)
The morale of the story is simple: Create great content on a steady cadence and great things happen.
We are talking content on May 15 at 9AM PDT — Join us.