At the end of last year, I took a look at my top five posts. I was actually surprised by which posts had gotten the most hits in all the time that I’ve been blogging. This is what I learned about blogging from those top 5 blog posts.
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My top 5 blog posts:
- One Family’s Adoption Story
- Top 3 Questions to Ask a Pregnant Woman
- Ten Tips for Building Your Blog
- 8 Tips for Keeping Children Safe at Crowded Events
What I learned from my 5 blog posts
1. Write from the heart
I was surprised to see that my top two posts are actually guest posts—friends of mine who shared their stories. Readers want to connect emotionally with what they are reading. Don’t be afraid to be real and to be honest in your blog posts.
In Mom Blogging for Dummies, Wendy Piersall says, “There is a true hunger for content written in which the reader feels connected to the writer. Personal stories and creations move blog readers.” We live in an increasingly automated, mechanized, online world, and yet we still desire that person-to-person connection.
2. Be aware of SEO.
Search engine optimization is one of those big terms that gets tossed around the blogosphere. It’s a good idea to be aware of it when you’re writing blog posts (and one of the reasons I switched to WordPress was for better SEO), but sometimes it can surprise you. When I started looking at my top posts, I realized that most of them are ranking really well for SEO.
I realized that I’d lucked out on those posts, as I didn’t plan the SEO for them. I took Sticky SEO (affiliate link) and found it extremely helpful, both to see what I was doing right in my SEO and what I needed to do better.
Another thing that can affect your SEO is your web hosting. If your blog or website suffers from downtime or slow page loading speeds because of an unreliable host, then you’ll lost ranking with Google. I’ve changed web hosting a couple times since starting my blog. You’ll want to shop around for the best web hosting service for your website, and ask other bloggers for recommendations.
3. Get referral traffic.
Guest posting for other sites, submitting your posts to round-ups and lists, and getting featured on bigger websites are all great ways to get referral traffic. I submitted a post about blogging to the SITS Girls website almost immediately after they started accepting blog tips. That was my first big traffic post. Look for opportunities like that to share blog posts—or write posts that will fit such opportunities.
Referral traffic can also come as a surprise. My post on keeping children safe at crowded events was repinned by Holly Homer of Kids Activities Blog and then featured on Google+ as her #Pinoftheday. (Thanks, Holly!) That post also had a great image, which helped it do well on Pinterest (which is currently my top traffic source).
4. Help readers or answer a question.
Three of my top five posts answer questions (although the pregnancy post does so in a tongue-in-cheek manner) or offer advice to readers. I wrote those posts (and this one) out of something I had learned or questions I had and knew others would have too. Don’t be afraid of learning; I researched how to keep children safe in crowded events in order to write that post.
5. Use lists.
Three of my top five posts involve lists. This isn’t my usual style to write posts, but it’s easy to read or scan and so it works well for readers who want information quick. Lists catch readers’ eyes because they promise results—a specific number of concrete ideas that will help with a certain problem. Yahoo! News and women’s magazines often use list formats because it works.
Looking for more tips? Check out my recommended resources for bloggers!
Where do you get the most traffic for your posts? What have you learned about blogging from your top 5 blog posts?