Most people I talk to about blogging are pretty scared about the whole concept.
- “What can I write that people will want to read?”
- “I don’t have anything to say…”
- “Can I write about golf?”
I’m going to share some of my statistics with you, which may give you some ideas. But first, I’d like to share some of my original goals and how they evolved over time.
When I started writing, I really just wanted to talk about some of my experiences in the industry. I thought it would be fun for people who were involved or at least interested in the history of the industry. So I wrote things like “How spreadsheets came to have iterative calculations” and “Why Bill Gates is rich and I’m not.”
These posts were fun to write, and some of them got pretty good reader statistics. So they were rewarding all on their own.
After a little while, I started speaking and writing about personal branding. I wrote a lot on this topic. Some of these ideas were borrowed, but most were a synthesis of what I had researched in my reading on the Internet – and what I discovered on my own.
As I got into this topic, and I started doing more speaking, I found that people really wanted to learn how to do things. True, I had some followers who loved my stories about a part of microcomputer history that hadn’t been written about before. But more and more, people were coming to my website from Google searches and mentions on other websites.
So I started writing more “How To” posts. Most of these have gotten consistently good readership numbers – they just keep chugging along with 10 or 20 visits per day.
I don’t promote my blog, and I haven’t written much in the past two years, so it’s not a heavy readership site. Nevertheless, as of this writing in July 2011, I’ve had almost 37,000 page views. Think how much work it would be to network with 37,000 people!! I average about 59-60 views per day.
Here are some numbers:
(I would have cut the list off after the 10th item, but I really wanted to get that William F. Buckley article in there.)
Almost all these articles are “How To” posts!
How do people get to my site? Some people subscribe, some see my tweets or my Facebook and Linkedin updates.
As you can see, my biggest referring site is RileyGuide.com. I’m one of many authors featured in an article for job seekers. StumbleUpon.com was a one-time fluke – it was about an article I wrote about a new social networking site, and many of the beta users of the site promoted my article. But in aggregate, my biggest referring site is JibberJobber.com, which is a wonderful website for job seekers, hosted by my friend Jason Alba.
WordPress also gives you statistics on search terms used to get to your website:
|linkedin photo size||
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|send multiple emails from excel||
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What does this teach us (me)?
- LinkedIn ought to be paying me for supporting their users
- Microsoft should be paying me for supporting their mail merge users
- An awful lot of people are searching for me (so where are they, anyway?)
Seriously, I think it’s easy to see how you could use these statistics to improve the readership of your blog. It’s clear that more people are looking for LinkedIn help than my stories about the birth of the nation. I could envision writing many more How To articles… It’s also a good way to locate points of confusion. For example, I’d bet that all 158 people who searched for “sandwich board” were pretty disappointed when they came to my article about blogging for jobs, which included a picture of a woman with a sandwich board.
But remember: your blog is a great manifestation of your personality. Sure, write about golf. Write about your experiences in life – everyone has something interesting to say to others. If you think about what you do during the day, idle thoughts that cross your mind, you’ll find that even you have something interesting to say.