Blog Traffic Tip #1 Be Controversial

Blog-Traffic-TipsSo you’re thinking about a blog to promote yourself? Awesome. As your personal self-appointed blog expert, I will offer useful traffic-driving tips (that I may or may not use myself).

First: Content is king. Wow, I know, deep. But it was true when we used to slay trees to share information, and it’s true now. If you have the right content, people want to read, see, experience it.

So if you’re planning your blog, you may be interested in:

Blog Traffic Tip #1: Be Controversial
So, you want traffic, but you don’t want to resort to posting naughty pictures of celebrities. Fine, me neither. So today’s blog traffic tip is to Be Controversial. Stir the pot. Give ’em somethin’ to talk about.

Example: Kurt Sutter is a successful Hollywood producer who worked on The Shield and is the creator of Sons of Anarchy. The guy is credible. So when he talks, people listen.

Boy does he talk. His blog SutterInk is an eye opener, especially when you consider Sutter is talking about people who pay (or may someday pay) his salary. It’s a bare-knuckled critique of the television industry. Even for people not working in Hollywood, it is a startlingly brutal blog.

And, if you just judge it by comments, people read Sutter’s blog. A lot. His recent blog post “NBC’s Act of Contrition” has already netted 65+ posts in under two days.

I loved the Shield, and now I plan to check out Sons of Anarchy. Yes, because of Sutter’s blog, I want to see what kind of television this guy produces.

So…back to Tip #1. If you want to drive traffic to your website, consider a little bit of controversy. Note: it may help if you already have a good contract and a few Emmys to back up your talent. If you’re just a regular shlub, you could end up unemployed. Blog about that.

7 Tips for Better Flickr Traffic

Since I first discovered the analytics features in Flickr, I have been obsessed with my stats. I just can’t help myself. Stats and analytics fascinate me. (Note: Stats are only available to Flickr Pro users.)

Here are a couple of observations regarding Flickr’s chocolaty goodness:

  1. Post consistently. My stats hovered around a depressingly low number for many months. The key to getting more views on photos was to actually upload photos more consistently. Sounds obvious, but the reality is that people in a social community tend to interact more with people who are contributing consistently.
  2. Give the people what they want. If you know what photos get the most traffic, that means there’s an audience for your work. If people like your dog photos and label them as “favorite” then keep posting your dog photos.
  3. Share timely events. My stats skyrocketed recently when I uploaded 388 photos in one batch. (Thank you Flickr Uploader!). I attended the Long Beach Comicon 2009 and uploaded my pictures within two days of the con. My average views went from 500 a day to over 5,000 per day. That’s a HUGE increase in traffic. Not all of it is sustained, but I have definitely increased my daily views significantly.
  4. Include links to your other sites. The traffic from Flickr to my personal website BuddyScalera.com is increasing. The more people look at my Flickr photos the more they go check out my webpage. I saw a pretty nice jump when I uploaded that batch I just mentioned. Flickr users tend to check out my photo reference books, which is good.
  5. Join groups & create groups. I belong to dozens of informal Flickr groups. Plus, I’ve created two Flickr groups, which has increased my overall photo traffic. Since I have particular photography interests, it makes sense for me to contribute to certain groups. But some of my interests didn’t already have a group, so I created Long Beach Comicon – Official Flickr Group and Comic Book Creators & Pros. One complaint: they don’t give administrators much access to group analytics, beyond giving a list of members.
  6. Participate. People are sharing their photos online because they want the world to see their pictures. Give people feedback on their photos. If you share a comment, people will want to see your photos, which will increase your base of viewers.
  7. Contact ’em. There’s a “friending” feature on Flickr called “Contact.” Basically, it’s like friending someone on Facebook, except you get a feed of new photos that is being uploaded by your contacts. If you like someone’s work, you can check out their work in thumbnails as they upload the images. And unlike Facebook, people on Flickr are uploading photos, so you don’t have to wade through dozens of throw-a-sheep and super-poke invitations.

More on Flickr in the future. In the mean time, check out 10 Tips to Boost your Flickr Profile. Very good article about increasing Flickr traffic.