For the independent consultant, marketing does not come naturally for us, unless perhaps you are a marketing consultant. This is because we are technicians by nature, using the definition of technician as described in The E-Myth Revisited, the brilliant book by Michael Gerber. Our websites and blogs are one of the most visible ways in which we can market ourselves and showcase our knowledge. Running a website and blog is one thing; getting traffic to our sites is another.
When we relaunched this site in August 2012, we began experimenting with different methods to increase traffic to this site. March…it was the best month ever. Really! Why was March the best month ever? Three things:
- Writing about popular topics, people, and current events
- Writing more often
- LinkedIn and Google
This is what our unique visitors statistics look like from when we relaunched the site in August 2012:
Here is a list of our top 5 Pages, not including our website homepage:
- Must Have Oracle HCM Resources
- Book Review: The 4-Hour Workweek – A Different Take
- Contact Us
- Book Review: A Message to Garcia – The Best Book You Have Never Read
Writing about popular topics, such as The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss, and Mark Zuckerberg is driving more traffic to the site. In fact, part of the experiment included name dropping, which apparently works (see, I just did it again). The Must Have Oracle HCM Resources article has always surprised me, as it was one of the most popular blog posts on the last incarnation of this blog.
Writing More Often
The best months had the most articles. I don’t write nearly as much as I should for an active blog. I write what I can with the time I have. But it goes without saying that the more content you have, the more visitors you will have.
LinkedIn and Google
I publish all of my articles as updates in LinkedIn. We get quite a lot of traffic from LinkedIn, about as much as we do from Google searches. As Google continues to index our site, I anticipate that we will continue to increase our traffic. We have had zero traffic from Twitter, as far as I can see. I expect that if you use Facebook, updates there would generate traffic similar traffic as LinkedIn.
Areas to Improve
Obviously, we want more traffic on this site, but my goal is not to generate additional consulting revenue. My goal is to get better at traffic generation and to learn more, so that I can leverage this knowledge when I really do want to drive more traffic to my sites. One area that I believe we can improve is through the article titles. I recently read an excellent book about writing copy called Writing Riches, by Ray Edwards. In this book, he instructs readers how to write effective headlines and bullet points. I need to make the titles more enticing, to get more people to click. For example, this article title is pretty weak in my opinion.
Another area for improvement is in content. I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve written a number of unpublished articles and they will remain unpublished, as they do not keep within the themes of this blog. I think the useful posts are the best posts. Finally, we have very few incoming links to this site, as indicated by Alexa. This one of the next things that we will be looking into.
I am sharing this in hopes that it helps you give your blog a boost or encourages you to take the plunge. Blogging is not easy, but I have made a personal commitment to it. Just getting things working
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Other observations that may interest only me:
378 unique visitors appears miniscule, but it is really huge for us. By way of comparison, we may have been getting 5 visitors per month before our relaunch.
All three of the top five articles are over 3 months old, which means that people are reading articles long after I post them. Looking at some of the search terms people are using to get to our site, I am guessing A Message to Garcia was assigned reading at at least one school: search engine terms = “book report message to garcia”. On a personal note, I am very pleased to see such a fine book is being used in our classrooms.
Think and Grow Rich seems to be a popular topic. The free audio book has been downloaded 26 times as of this writing.
Most interestingly, even though it is one of the most popular pages, we have had only one person contact us via the Contact Us page. I wonder what people are doing there. Maybe we’re scaring visitors away. 😀
I owe a big thanks to my assistant Taby, for her knowledge and insight in SEO, as well as for helping to maintain this blog. If you’ve read this far, you wouldn’t have without her help.