Monday, May 21, 2012

How Do You Write Popular Blog Posts?

Let's be honest folks, we all want to write consistently popular (or at least well-liked) blog posts. Dozens of comments, hundreds of hits, thousands of followers. Right?

But how do you do it? Sure, we can all come up with gimmicks or teaser blog titles to get some more traffic. But how do you do it consistently? Here are some ideas I've come up with (through personal experience and watching others):
  • Give stuff away. Everyone likes free stuff. It can be something so simple, and you will almost definitely get more traffic. Books, gift cards, beta reads, query critiques, you name it...they will come. :)
  • Display hot bodies. I don't know if many of you look at your stats, but all of my posts with bare chested men get blown up!
  • Announce big news. I have no special experiences with this (yet:). but I've watched friends announce agent representation, book deals, and even amazon rankings, and the amount of comments they get are through the roof.
  • Say or participate in something controversial. For this one I actually do have a "special" experience. If you don't know what I am talking about, here's the elevator pitch: After thirty-something aspiring novelist cancels a pitch session with high-powered New York agent, all hell breaks loose online as feelings are hurt, miscommunications abound, and souls are lost forever. (Just kidding on the souls part. It just sounded more dramatic).
  • Participate in blog hops. Again, I have almost no experience with this one. I rarely participate in the hops, memes, and award pass-alongs, even though I know that they are great marketing tools. I should really change that soon.
  • Write excellent writing-craft or publishing-insight posts. I know several of my closest blogging friends that do really well offering exceptional advice on writing and the industry. Those are the ones I bookmark and revisit.
So today, I am not giving anything away, putting pictures up of Gale or Peeta with shirts off, announcing agent representation, saying anything B-Wordy, participating in a hop, or giving any kind of helpful advice. And yet, I expect to get some hits? (not across the face)

Oh hell, here ya go:

Any other ideas on creating popular blog posts? What was your most popular blog post?

32 comments:

  1. Hmm, my most popular blog post according to my blogger stats is the one on passive vs. active voice. It's nothing flashy or entertaining, and while it doesn't have hundreds of comments, I think a lot of high school and college students are silently thanking me for it. Possibly. Hehe.

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  2. Funny you should mention this, because I was just looking at my stats! My most popular post was from a bloghop I hosted. :)

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  3. I'm not sure we define popular. I was just thinking about this this morning too. My posts consistently get over 200 hits but most of my readership is from people who read it like a column and don't leave comments. Interesting, right?

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  4. Ha ha! You're silly. :) I don't do bloghops very often, mostly because I don't have time or forget about it. I've done a few giveaways though. Those are fun. ;)

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  5. Or... create hundreds of false accounts and use them to comment on your blog so that any one else visiting things that you are incredibly popular and feels compelled to comment as well :o)

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  6. It often surprises me which posts get the most hits. I often have to remind myself that, while I do have a responsibility to make myself the best blogger/writer I can the blogosphere has many more things affecting it than the quality of my post. People have lives and things happen and certain times of years blogging is sparse. Take February, has anyone else noticed people get funky in Feb?

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  7. I think it might be a matter of style - an engaging voice. Not every post can contain amazing news or advice. But if you have a good voice and a bit of wit you should build a regular crew of commenters. Not something you can really teach, but I like yours! :)

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  8. Great points, Jessie! Unless I accidentally say something insightful, blog hops bring most of my traffic. :)

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  9. Buzz words. I've had 1,157 hits on a post where I talked about Mr. Smith from the Matrix, Captain America and The Joker from The Dark Knight. Geeks look for the things they love.

    Thanks for the picture.

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  10. Ha ha, you crack me up with the part about hot bods. But somehow I now feel drawn to reading this post multiple times.

    And thanks for all the other great tips, too. Cause you know a newbie like me needs mucho helpo.

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  11. LOL! I always love your blog posts! You're fun and you always keep it real. Although I think I need more muscles in that photo! bahahaha! I'm terrible!

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  12. Ha ha, great post! I think I'll put it in my Link Blitz. ;)

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  13. How about giving away hot bodies and, in doing so, creating your own controversy?

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  14. how bout be funny! you always make me smile =)

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  15. Huh, haven't really posted any of those things. That explains a lot.

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  16. Ha, ha! This is funny because I just started out with this writing blog thing but also because I had already started drafting a post with a shirtless Zac Efron picture before reading this post. We will see if it helps!

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  17. Great points Jessie. I do agree that giving away things helps which is why I always give away books with my interviews. I even put the giveaway first in the title in my Ask the Expert series.

    Blog hops like the ones with I Am A Reader Not a Writer and giving away good things have really helped me get lots of comments and new followers.

    I doubt I'd get as many comments if I just posted blog posts and to be honest I don't have that much to say that others don't say better. I have noticed that some people like Elana Johnson and Alex Cavanaugh have built up their popularity through developing friendships by commenting regularly on blogs. It takes a lot of time. I can't do as much as them because I can't blog at work like them. But I have developed a regular following by following back and commenting. It's hard to know though what works.

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  18. I wish I had good ideas! Yeah, my Big News post actually got way more comments than most of my other posts. But for the most part, it's the same 7 people who comment all the time, even though my pageviews are much, much higher. Bloghops seem to be great for traffic. I'd love to host those more but I am short on bloghop ideas!

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  19. You are too funny :) I vote you Most Popular! Also...love the new header.

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  20. I wish I could help ya in he traffic however, I like your new blog heading! Actually, I love it.

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  21. Complete and utter transparency. My most popular posts are the ones where I'm revealing some secret about myself and my publishing journey. The one where I confessed to being midlist? TONS of hits and comments. SO yeah.

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  22. I say announce big news every day. ;o)

    Haha! I have no idea. I say whatever it is, keep doing what you're doing! And your new header is THE BOMB! Carrie rocks. Have I mentioned that lately?

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  23. I have no idea what makes some of my posts more popular than others. On some, if they get cross-posted elsewhere, that drives more traffic in (as long as the content is interesting to people. But sometimes I think a lot of people will like a post and it will flop, and sometimes I dash something off and it's really popular.

    And I agree with Peggy, your new heading is awesome!

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  24. I really don't know why some of my post are more popular than others, but I definitely saw a huge spike when I hosted my blogfest giving a Kindle Fire away as the prize (can't do that too often, lol). I like your ideas. The bare chested one is new to me. I will try it and see what happens.

    If anyone has any big news they need announcing, let me know and I will announce away.

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  25. Popularity is futile, because it doesn't resonate with quality ... most of the time!

    Don't you think ?

    :)

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  26. You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give to fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: The Beautiful Mommy Writer Blog. There are no pass along requirements. This is just to reward you for all the hard work you do!

    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

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  27. I just heard about your Storymakers experience. I hope all goes well for you! I was at the conference, wasn't it great? I didn't get to meet you. Perhaps another time.

    Christy

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  28. I think keeping it real, like you do here, is great! Owning up to fears and insecurities and having some humor are also great crowd-pleasers.

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  29. LOL! I don't think much about popular posts. I tend to just write what I want to write. Maybe that's my problem... :)

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  30. I go back to the people who have something to say and say it with personality and intelligence. I don't go back to the people who are putting on a facade and it's very easy to figure that out pretty quickly.

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  31. How do I make a site like freedom-speaks.com

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