If you’ve been blogging with success for a long time, you’re probably familiar with the plateau. That period of stagnancy after your initial growth in popularity, when you aren’t losing readers, but you aren’t gaining any either. The plateau.
Your ability to overcome the plateau is a fairly accurate predictor of your blog’s success—if you can continue to attract new readers after years and years of blogging, you will reach the level of master blogger, at which point Internet wizards will grant one wish and attractive men and/or women will begin to notice you whenever you go out.
So the stuff about wizards and attention from the opposite sex was fictitious, but if you are able to continuously increase traffic to your blog, you might feel like something of a magician. Here are a few ways to increase traffic to your blog and feel magical while you do it:
- Write about something that adds value to another person’s life, something that offers training, how-to solutions, news—anything so long as it isn’t a detailed account of your cat’s inner life. It is unlikely that your cat has an inner life worth writing about (if it has one at all), and writing about it just paints you as a fanatical cat person. Try to anticipate what your readers want, and give it to them. Repeat traffic comes when you can consistently provide something readers want.
- Analyze your blog’s stats regularly. Doing this has many benefits, not the least of which being the ability to monitor which posts are most popular among your readers, and which days are the busiest days for traffic on your blog. Given just these two data points, you will be able to make smart blogging decisions that continue to draw new readers to your blog. Maybe for some reason your most dedicated readers follow you on Tuesdays at 7pm. Use that information to your advantage and post your best blogs on Tuesdays to give them something to look forward to. Similarly, studying your blog’s stats will confirm that all those posts about Snowball’s protracted contemplation of the wall were not as brilliant as you thought they were.
- Get active in the blogosphere! Subscribe to blogs related to yours in content and follow the news in that field. If your blog is the one that readers run to for news releases, you will be a happy blogger. And if your blog isn’t the most prominent in your field, guest post on the one that is. This will get your name out there just as effectively (and sometimes more effectively) than having a blog of your own.
- Read everything you can and always be learning. There is a lot to learn from newspapers, magazines, books, ads, and any other form of media you can get your hands on. Make a note of headlines that catch your eye and try to understand what it is that makes it so successful. Then use that information. Reading voraciously will make you a better writer, as well, which is never something to complain about. You should spend half an hour or so editing every one of your posts, anyway, so anything that sharpens your style will be beneficial.
Blogging is not a static endeavor unless you allow it to be—and the moment you allow it is the moment you sign your own blog’s death warrant. It’s not magic, but constant activity and effort that will bring in more and more readers, until the wizards finally come.