How to get more page views for your blog
This is a guest post by Kristina Chang, Evan Moore, Tony Xu, and Omer Rabin; students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
“What makes a blog popular? What drives page views?” These are the questions that we’ve been trying to answer over the last few weeks. We were on a mission to dig into the data and analyze the strongest parameters that influence the flow of visitors to WordPress.com blogs.
Out of the 30+ million blogs on WordPress.com, we randomly selected a sample of almost 100,000 blogs to perform a regression analysis. Here are our findings, together with a few recommendations. We hope that this provides some new information, and kudos to you in case you’ve already incorporated these tips into your blog – the data suggests that you’re on the right track. Keep it up!
Make your blog easy to follow – It almost sounds obvious, but the simplest way to build more awareness is to make it easier to do so. Make sure that you have the follow widget as visible as possible. If your readers receive a notification every time you post, or see your post in their reader, there is a much higher chance that they will revisit your blog.
Comments, Comments, Comments – The most successful blogs, we found, created and encouraged a dialogue with their readers. The best way to make people more engaged with your writing is for you to engage back and start a conversation. In your posts, encourage people to comment. Also, make sure that you reply to people’s comments and continue the dialogue. This back and forth conversation is a significant driver of page views; holding all else equal, every additional comment can potentially drive up to 18 incremental page views! You can start by simply asking follow-up questions at the end of each post: ”have you ever done X?”; “do you think Y is acceptable?”. You can read some more thoughts on how to build your audience and how to get more comments.
Post Frequently and Regularly – Your readers want to know that you are there for them and that you are “on it”. If you post frequently and regularly and have enabled the follow feature as we mentioned above, checking your blog could become a daily routine for your readers. Even if it’s a short post, write something new as frequently as possible, and at regular intervals. (The Daily Post can help with ideas, as can the advice on how to get more traffic)
While these three tips were shown to be the most important drivers of page views in our analysis, you might consider other parameters, which we found as having a partially significant effect: syndicating your post to Twitter and Facebook (using Publicize), for example, could lead to additional page views.