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Facebook says I’m a 29 year old female living in San Francisco. Twitter says I like puns and bad jokes (@The_PUNisher_SF). Reddit upvotes and says I LOVE puns and bad jokes. And this blog tells you about my experiences using social media sites and learning to fit them all together into my life. www.facebook.com/TheBigSocialPicture

Friday, March 29, 2013

Preparing your blog for increased traffic: Part 2

This is a follow-up post to Preparing your blog for increased traffic (Part 1)

Last month I experienced my first surge of viewers because of this blog post.  Afterward I was able to write an analysis of my blog's design and content, in terms of what lent itself to the success versus what didn't really work (check out the above link for this post).

This Tuesday I had a small but noticeable surge of viewers from a new blog post, and again have found myself analyzing my blog and making changes to enhance functionality.  Here are my 6 new suggestions after this week's experience:

1. Create a Facebook page for your blog - Since most people already have Facebook accounts, it seems logical to create a page that people can "like" to receive updates about your blog.  You can post links every time a new post is written, and share fun tidbits along the way (on my page I'm planning to share metrics and interesting stats that I come across).  You also can write comments and post on other people's walls under that account name, so you can have legitimacy and continue getting your name out there (for example, when I share a blog link on someone else's wall/page I can post as "The Big Social Picture").

Check out the new Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/TheBigSocialPicture

2. Add a Facebook "Like" button directly onto your blog -  While it's easy to understand why this should appear on a page, it was much harder to understand how to add it.  This is a social plugin from Facebook, which you can see more types of here.  Unfortunately the instructions don't explain how to add it to various blog platforms, and I got in way over my head in HTML formatting and languages I'm not familiar with.  Luckily a Google search brought up a blog post from ThatsBlogging, which gave step-by-step instructions for adding the link to a Blogger account, and I was able to add this beauty:

Actual button appears on the right sidebar along the top :)

3. Google a phrase from your blog to see if it shows up - This isn't really something to do as much as just something interesting to try out.  My Google Analytics data told me that over 1,000 people came to my page this week through a search engine.  I didn't even know my page was showing up in searches, so it was fun to Google "equal signs on Facebook" and see where my page came up.  At first it came up on the first page (which explains the traffic), but as the movement picked up more attention my site got pushed further down. 

4. Add buttons to make social media sharing easy - This is another step that is easy to understand why to add it, but harder to understand how.  Luckily, ThatsBlogging came to the rescue again with a how-to guide to add this widget to Blogger:

Actual button appears on the left sidebar

5. Add a page counter that tallies each blog post individually - I don't know how to do this yet on Blogger, but I'm hoping it's not impossible.  I think individual pageview counts would be useful to share with viewers, because it gives each post validity and can be fun to track when a site is getting a lot of traffic.  I know this data exists in Blogger because it appears in my Admin view, but I haven't found a way to share that number on my blog.  Stay tuned, I am hoping to figure something out soon!



And last but not least...

6. Add UTM parameters to track your links - This is only relevant if you are using Google Analytics to measure your traffic, and if you plan to share your link on a few different sites.  If you are about to share your link to a new location, you can append some text to the URL that will track how many people click on that specific link.  This is known as Campaigning and it is helpful in telling you what locations were the most successful. 

To add text to your URL, copy and paste this exact text to the end of your link (or use this Google URL Builder link):
    ?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=dunno&utm_campaign=insert-cool-note-to-self-here


    The red text is variable, and can be swapped out for anything you want to say, as long as you don't use capital letters or spaces.  When all is said and done, you should have a painfully long link like this one:

    http://thebigsocialpicture.blogspot.com/2013/03/preparing-your-blog-for-increased.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=dunno&utm_campaign=insert-cool-note-to-self-here

    Once you post this link somewhere, Google Analytics tracks who clicks on it, and breaks it down in your GA view:







    I don't have a lot of experience tagging links, but I'm excited to give this a try.  For more information, check out this blog on how to add UTM parameters.  Or watch this SEOmoz video on the importance of tagging your content, which my sister made after my first post went viral.


    I hope these tips are helpful for you, please let me know if you have anything to add.
    Happy blogging!

    17 comments:

    1. Nice Post , you really work hard i will just say wow to your Blog keep Posting these awesome articles,I can,t express my views in words for you,you did a great job :)

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Thanks @Iftikah! I am really hoping you come up with a solution for #5 above. You've helped with so many other things already. :)

        Delete
      2. May i know,How you are getting so many pageviews? any tips please?

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      3. Hey Iftikhar, so far it's been a combination of research, timing, and luck. I didn't expect it to get this big so I'm still figuring out exactly what is and isn't working. Check out Part 1 to this article though, I tried to break it down as much as possible to figure out why my first post did so well. :)

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