Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

2,158 Visitors. Part 3 of 4.

Although I started this blog over a year ago, I am still a novice blogger. My first attempt at blogging lasted only a few months, I only posted a half dozen times, and the only comments I received were from my kind hearted sister.

The reason I quit blogging is I didn’t think anyone was reading my blog and I had no way of knowing whether or not anyone was. I mistakenly thought that if I wasn’t receiving any comments, then no one was reading what I was writing.

I decided to start blogging again in October of 2005. I began posting heavily even though I didn’t know if anyone was reading my blog. After looking at other blogs, I realized that I needed some way to find out if anyone was reading (or at least visiting) mine so I added a site meter and found that a few people were indeed stopping by.

Then it dawned on me that I might increase traffic by linking with other bloggers in the Mohawk Valley and vicinity. A google search turned up a few and by visiting those I found a few more. Democratus over at The Troy Polloi was the first to respond to my request for a link and even wrote a post about Upstream. Others soon followed.

By February 7, I was averaging 50-60 visits a day, and I was satisfied with that. I was also starting to get a few comments. But, as I stated in an earlier post on this subject, I was not prepared for the number of visits and comments that I received when I published one of the Muslim cartoons on my blog.

In my last post in this series, I explained why I decided to post the cartoons. I also said that later that day I made another decision which I am not very proud of. That decision was to drive as much traffic to my blog as possible. In other words, my first post on the Muslim cartoon controversy came from pure motives. Mixed motives were behind subsequent posts on the subject.
It’s not that there is anything wrong with attempting to drive traffic to your blog. We have to find ways to get people to our blog if we want it to be read. Reciprocal links are a legitimate way of doing so.

One way I figured I could drive more traffic to my blog on Feb. 7 was to post often. By posting often, my blog would remain visible when people did searches. Since I was recovering from surgery rather than working, I had the ability to post often.

Another way I tried to increase traffic to my blog was to use tags in each post. The tags “muslim cartoon” and “Mohammed cartoon” were two of the most popular Technorati tags that day. It makes sense that if you choose the most popular Technorati tag of the day as your post topic, you will most likely increase your traffic. But isn’t that approach to blogging like the tail wagging the dog?

The question is did posting often and using tags work? I really don’t know. I had already received a large number of visitors before making the decision to post often. One thing that did help is that John Stith at Security Pro News wrote an article about Muslim extremists hacking into Danish web sites. In his article, he referred to my blog as a place where people could view the cartoons. Many people came to my blog through this article. In fact, I am still getting referrals from it.

To be continued...

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