Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration, but anyone who has taken an extended break from their blog without scheduling a slew of guest writers to fill in knows just how quickly traffic and comments can drop off.
That's what Australian blogger James Duthie learned the last couple months via his "Online Marketing Banter" blog. James just wrapped up his first full year as an online marketing blogger and decided to share some powerful lessons he learned in the process.
I suspected my efforts had bought me some well deserved time off. Apparently not! In the blogosphere it seems that out of sight means out of mind (even if it's just for a few days...). Within weeks of reducing my participation I'd noticed dramatic drops in traffic, subscriber engagement, reader interaction (comments) and social media support. The loss of momentum was cumulative as the period of inactivity extended, to the point where it become a virtual ghost town in December.
It's a trend I've seen time and time again on my own blogs and one I've heard pretty much every single other blogger talk about as well.
Of course that's part of what makes feed readers so wonderful. People who read your blog on a regular enough basis to be "loyal" readers tend to subscribe to your feed. That means they'll only visit your blog when you have new content because the feed reader is doing the work of watching for that content for them. Over time this can mean less traffic, but higher quality engagement rates with the readers who do show up.
James offers up five great lessons on building up your blog popularity and engagement rates, many based on what he sees as his own failures from his first year. Take advantage of James' experience and adjust your own expectations and blog plans for 2009 accordingly.
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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