I’m no poster boy for pro-blogging, but I have been doing this longer than most of the real people I actually know. Some of those friends are splashing around in the blogwaters themselves, so I thought I’d pass on a few things I’ve noticed. If you want your blog to have the traffic of an Albequerque cul-de-sac, here are a few sure fire, can’t miss practices for you:
- Make sure every third post or so is a variegated explanation of why you haven’t posted lately and your promise to write more regularly in the future. Space these out in spurts that don’t come more than once or twice every 9 weeks so that the people who actually do want to read what you write won’t know when to check back.
- Moderate all comments. You can’t trust anyone and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of everyone else’s sensibilities, so make sure to force everything that shows up in the comments section through a rigorous approval process. Also, be sure to leave comments in moderation purgatory for at least a week before you let them through, lest the commenter come to think you actually want to dialogue about something. Don’t ever respond directly to commenters.
- Fill your sidebar with all the sparkle you can muster. If you can dust off an old animated .gif or seven, you’re virtually assured a quiet day of rest in your little digital hammock. If anyone does happen to stumble in, your visual assault will send them away quick enough. Enjoy.
- Make sure the commenters who actually do work their way through moderation can’t easily subscribe to comments so they know where the conversation’s going. If they subscribe to comments, they’ll know when your wit has manufactured a reply & they may want some follow up. If that gets out of hand, you may be faced with a digital discussion going on and nobody wants to see that, right?
- Don’t use Standard Theme. It’s really good and will just make your blog better. The better it is, the more people are going to be showing up – probably with their friends and crazy relatives.
- Blog about a topic that no one else really thinks about. Youth ministry seems to be doing the trick for me.
Alternatively, if you actually would like your blog to not suck, decide why you’re really writing & who you’re really writing for. Then forget about traffic and write.