Monday, December 10, 2007

Go It Alone or Join The Crowd?

Since I've learned that traffic is the holy grail of monetizing your blog, I've become addicted to my site meter. Sad, really, as RMB doesn't have thousands of hits per day (not yet anyway), but I check often. Remember when email first came out and there weren't those little popup notifiers or dinging announcements of mail received, and connection time was expensive, so you had to go and check whether you had anything new? So you checked all the time? That's how I am with my sitemeter. And if it has gone up, I practically dance around the home office here.

Because I'm so addicted, I know that the single day that I have received the most traffic is last Thursday, the day of the Confess Your Crush Crosspost. Now as revealing and exciting as that post was, I really doubt that RMB readers just had to find out who my childhood crushes were, or that an underground Doug Henning fan club sent all of their members over to thank me. I think it was because I was participating in a group project.

I've noticed the group aspect among some of my daily reads, but maybe not in such a blatant manner. For instance, last week Yaro Starak released a free sample from his Blog Mentoring Course on building traffic through conversation. Darren's post that day was more on the topic. Chris G's post was also along the same lines, and he referred to Liz in his post. I followed all the links in their chain, so one topic developed traffic for all of them.

I think there are several ways to use this idea of being part of a group to develop traffic flow:

-Join a casual group for a crosspost event, as I did. I found out about the event from Dave who I met through NaBloPoMo, and you can usually find out about memes and other types of crossposts by joining Yahoo Groups, or groups on social networking sites in your blog's topic.

-Develop a group of likeminded bloggers who support each other and refer to one another in their posts when appropriate. This may be just sharing the love between bloggers who really do like and agree with each other, and it is a little more than just including them in your blogroll.

-Convene a group to all post on a certain theme on a certain day or week, each adding a personal point of view and more indepth discussion. This could be an everyone post at once, or one member of the group could post with Authority and let the others discuss the post.

-Piggyback on the big guys with a post on a topic that they are all discussing and leave a comment on their blogs referring to your own site. Maybe not the best way to get invited to join the in crowd, so at least be respectful.

-Sponsor a contest or carnival and ask respondents to create a post on a certain theme to enter, with instructions to refer to your site.

The all-together-now method helps with traffic flow in several ways. Regular readers of other blogs are able to find yours and identify you as someone who is similar and perhaps worthy of a subscription. Search engine searchers could possibly find your post right up there with one of their regular reads or a respected voice on a particular subject (long shot for some of us, but hey, it could happen). You might find likeminded folks in the comment section of other bloggers and be able to form a new group of your own.

If you do decide to go with the crowd, remember to keep your own special and unique voice in your posts to develop your own loyal readers.


ME Strauss said...

Sometimes when a bunch of bloggers start reading each other a certain thing happens that I think of as blogger synchronicity. We all just happen to post on the same idea at the same time. It's especially cool when that happens. :)

You'll see.


Sandy C. said...

I often face this same dilemma. I too experienced the spike on the Confess your Crush Crosspost and other Meme's. I just started blogging recently, but noticed am too addicted to my site's terrible. I refresh it a million times a day....