I know I said in my last post that I don’t care about traffic at this stage of The Hobby Blogger’s development. And I still don’t.
However, the traffic bump I got from posting just one comment on a prominent blog certainly made me pay a bit more attention. It also serves to highlight one of most important ways to build traffic – participation in the blogging community.
Here’s what happened.
On December 1st, Darren Rowse wrote an inspirational post on a ProBlogger about listening to your “inner crazy voice.” His post resonated with my own experience starting The Hobby Blogger, compelling me to leave a comment.
In the thirty hour or so span after my comment was moderated and approved, The Hobby Blogger had 20 unique visitors. That’s twenty percent of last month’s visitors (101) in just over a day.
The Hobby Blogger also received its blog’s first three (non-spam) comments; all of which were left by visitors who read my comment on ProBlogger.
Okay, so I’m not exactly going to bring HuffPo to its knees with those numbers, but it was still an exciting development for me. And it reinforced what I had been reading about building blog traffic.
Quality over quantity
So what was it that brought this traffic to my blog?
Because I related to Darren’s post, my comment wasn’t one of those random off-topic comments we so often see in the blogosphere that shamelessly link to the commenter’s blog without materially contributing to the post’s discussion.
I took my time and wrote a short paragraph to answer the question that he posed at the end of his post.
I’ve been reading ProBlogger for a while, and new articles are usually posted twice a day. So I’ve had the opportunity to post comments there many times if I wanted.
I could have left several “Great post. Thanks for sharing,” comments. But what’s the point?
Perfunctory comments like those won’t encourage readers to want to know more about you and click on the link to your blog. It won’t help your case to the author for making a guest post either.
Being genuine is the key.
Now, I also had the good fortune that my comment on ProBlogger was the first one made on that post. No doubt, my comment got a lot more eyeballs than if it had been buried somewhere in the middle of all the other comments.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that making the thirtieth comment on a post is waste of time. Nor should you obsessively reload your browser over and over again just to be the first to read and comment on a new post.
Posting comments isn’t just about driving traffic to your blog. They are also an opportunity to build relationships that might, in the long run, mean far more to your blog.
The moral of the story
The idea to take away from this experience is the importance of “choosing your spots.” One thoughtful and well-written comment can bring much more traffic than a dozen “Thanks for sharing” comments.
As for making that traffic stick, well, that’s a whole other topic I have to look into (and write about).
How has engaging the blogosphere benefited your blog?