Anatomy of a successful blog post

In a few weeks of blogging, I’ve been surprised at which posts have been popular (been viewed a lot)  and which have not. I’ve been even more surprised at the range of popularity – about 300:1, with my least popular posts getting under 30 views to date and my most popular post over 7000.

A few simple observations.

1. Posts which invite the readers to participate seem to get much more attention

2. As a new blogger without a dedicated following, I am hugely dependent on posts getting picked up on third party sites to get high volume

3. SEO matters. Some of my posts get a steady stream of traffic from Google searches. I would have expected my blog to rank way too low to get traffic from any reasonable search, but that has not been the case.

I will say that my subjective opinion of “quality” or “value” has very little to do with which of my posts get a lot of attention.

Still learning, but enjoying it.

— Max

5 comments so far

  1. Justin Dearing on

    Have you done anything for SEO optimization, or are these articles that happened to be on the first page of google results.

    One thing you will find as time passes is you will have articles that will continuously attract a small but steady of traffic. They won’t be the ones you are most proud of or consider the most important. They will be on the oddest of subjects.

  2. Max Schireson on

    I haven’t done anything for SEO. It appears that the posts which talk about things which are likely to be specific search targets do better.

    Totally agree. I get a steady stream on SSD durability. Who’d have known?

  3. Justin Dearing on

    BTW, on the subject of success, consider using disqus (http://disqus.com) for your comments. It increases feedback. One of your employees, Kristina(http://www.snailinaturtleneck.com/blog/) turned me on to it. It turns comments into an actual discussion because you can see what other blogs a person comments on.

    • Max Schireson on

      I hate the wordpress comment functionality but don’t see a way to use disqus without moving the blog, so I’ll deal with it later… thanks for the tip though.

  4. Alex Clemmer on

    Google is (intentionally) really good at long-tail queries. It’s not always the right answer to just spit out the most-visited site for a given query. Generally results are a search engine’s best guess at what content is most relevant, and traffic is just one way of predicting this.

    Also, just wanted to chime in as a reader-via-RSS.


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