An unscientific analysis of traffic on this site shows a 20 to 25% downturn when I am less active on the various social media channels I utilize. I have observed these downturns in blog traffic when I am traveling. When traveling I post fewer status updates to Facebook and engage less on Twitter.
I spent the better part of the three days before Thanksgiving working from my desk. It’s the first time in about a month I had that much desk time and I noticed blog traffic was strong all three days. During the three days I was not only more active on Twitter but also more engaging. Makes sense when you think about it – it’s much easier to be active and engaging when you have a full screen at your disposal vs. a mobile device. I find it easier to see conversations and observe trends in the Twitter steam using a fullscreen Twitter client like Hootsuite.
Making new friends. During the same three days I was able to take some time each day to follow dozens of new people on Twitter. We all have different criteria for whom we follow but in this case I was following the followers of those who frequently retweet content here. It makes sense that they might then visit here. I know I frequently take a look at the site of a new Twitter follower before following back.
Facebook. Like Twitter I update my status more when I am not traveling. I also take a few minutes to look at my stream and both comment on and “like” posts. In addition, I add several new friends of friends each day when I have desk time. I seldom have time to do any of this when I am traveling.
Linkedin. Contributing to Linkedin properly takes a great deal of time in my opinion. You need to take the time to review questions that need answering and then check if the answer you are going to offer up actually provides additional value over and above what has already been contributed. Like Facebook and Twitter when you request new connections those folks are likely to investigate the links you provide in your profile.
The other 80% of blog traffic
Daily sharing. Each day I share a link to the new post here, on Twitter (four times throughout the day with scheduled tweets – pretty much the only scheduled tweets I do), Facebook and Linkedin. I also endeavor to share the work of others that I may be reading throughout the day and think you will find useful.
Email signature. The signature block of every email I send has a link to this blog and my company web-site. Even when I am traveling there is still a significant about of email being sent. Some of that email gets forwarded to others and you never know who might end up clicking on the link to learn more about you.
Inbound Links. When I take a look at how people find their way to this blog I see many arrive by following the links provided in comment I leave on other blogs. Also, other bloggers sometimes reference posts here and the reader will follow the link back to see my persepctive on the subject at hand.
Search Engines. Over the last year I have worked to make this blog more appealing to search engine ranking algorithms. Very little of that has involved changing the way I write. Instead I let Scribe SEO (affiliate link) take care of mundane tasks like determination of keywords and tags for a post. I’ve also utilized Google webmaster tools and the recommendations of websitegrader to improve search engine friendliness.
The (not so) secret
For this blog most of the “other 80%” is residual traffic from previous social medial activity. Stop interacting and engaging in the social space and the blog traffic will be difficult to grow.
That’s my take anyway, what say you?