Blog Traffic Tips Weekly Newsletter
by Yaro Starak – The Blog Traffic King
Remember the first tip I sent you about using comments on your blog as social proof?
I said that when people visit your blog and they see other people interacting they are more likely to join in, subscribe or bookmark your blog. You receive social proof when you demonstrate that people are reading what you are writing and thus more people read what you are writing.
That makes sense of course. What also makes sense is the opposite, when you demonstrate to your readers that no one is reading your blog. This is a form of negative social proof and unfortunately a lot of bloggers are taking steps to encourage it.
SOCIAL PROOF MISTAKES
There are many ways you can demonstrate negative social proof. You can’t do much about not having comments when you first start blogging (unless of course you start putting in fake comments by using different alter-egos and have a conversation with yourself – this is not as silly a technique as you might think, as long as you only do it to get the ball rolling in the beginning). What I’m seeing more of lately are bloggers deliberately demonstrating they have no readers. This is a social proof mistake.
When you first start blogging you won’t have readers. That’s okay, we all start there. The trick is not to advertise your lack of audience.
One of the traffic tips I use to enhance social proof is to display my feed count on my blog. The service is provided by FeedBurner.com, which provides statistics on how many people subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed. You can display a little feedcount widget on your blog which shows how many people read your RSS feed in the last 24 hours.
This by itself is a handy tool and I’m certain it’s helped me in many ways to prove my credibility. By displaying this counter I am social proofing my blog and also myself as a blogger and blog traffic teacher. This works BECAUSE I have over 1000 readers.
Imagine what would happen if you used this widget the day after you start blogging. Your count is going to be 0 or maybe 1 (if you subscribe to your own feed!).
As I travel around the web I see many blogs with the FeedBurner widget sitting at single or low double digits. That is not a good strategy for keeping readers, it is negative social proof.
Do you think you would be encouraged to read a blog that no one else is reading?
Okay, sure, some people are going to give you a chance because they know you are just starting, but that’s only a few people. Most will visit your blog for the first time and have no preconceptions so why put something on your blog that will lower your social proof?
SYMPTOMS OF A LARGER PROBLEM
The problem here is implementing traffic strategies in the wrong order. Growing your blog is not about applying every little tip and trick you read just because someone else tells you it’s good for your traffic or because they had good results doing it.
Every blog is different. All blogs are at a different point on the growth curve. One of the greatest lessons I learnt while growing my blog was to grasp *conceptually* how blogs grow and why they grow. That’s why I believe it’s vital to follow a traffic methodology if you are serious about growing your blog traffic otherwise you risk wasting time on techniques that don’t work or are not appropriate for your blog in it’s current state.
Worse still, you can follow others blindly and as the situation with feedcounters demonstrates, do things that negatively impact your blog traffic growth.
HERE IS A RULE: Don’t place a visible feedcounter on your blog until you have at least triple figure subscriber counts, or at least 50+. The same goes for traffic statistics or any other raw number count. Only advertise details that will positively affect your traffic.
Have patience, you will get there, and when you do you can show off your statistics to bring in even more readers.
Here’s to your blogging success,
Blog Traffic King
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The following lessons are from my original “blog traffic king” email newsletter, my first ever email course with one lesson per week delivered for a year. There are some real gems in these articles too, so don’t skip them!