Friday, August 26, 2005

How to attract lots of visitors to your blog

Every blogger wants to attract visitors. The question is, how badly do you want to out-hit your fellow bloggers? Are you willing to pander to people's baser instincts?

You already know a couple of ways to get hits from search engines:
  • use words like "sex", "tits" and "camel toe".

    I discovered the last one by accident; I had no idea it was a reference to something rude. Very rude. I could provide a link, but far be it from me to corrupt the morals of my saintly readers. Only the pure in heart peruse Simply Put.

    Come to think of it, I did a post on Orgasm Day once, and it brings an occasional visitor to the site. Maybe the prurient of heart read me, too.

  • sneak in superfluous references to celebrities.

    I have never done this just to attract visitors, but I get occasional visitors looking for Yoko Ono (or John Lennon), Lord Tennyson, Jesus and Mary Magdalene, or Muskrat Love.

    "Muskrat Love" gets more hits than the other three posts put together. Like the Beatles before them, the Captain and Tennille are bigger than Jesus.

    Of course, if you deliberately exploit the celebrity angle to attract visitors, you won't want to use faded flowers from the 60s and 70s. You'll want to post on the intruder who snuck into Jennifer Aniston's Malibu home, or ask your readers who's hotter, Ricky Martin or Leonardo DiCaprio.
But here's where we get to the good stuff, the stuff you didn't already know. I inadvertently discovered a third way to get hits from search engines. On a lark, I published two posts on bear maulings. Those two posts, published nearly three months ago, still provide about a third of the search engine hits I receive.

So if you want to attract lots of visitors to your blog, here's my advice:  go for guts and gore. Some bloggers have a regular "photo Friday" feature, but nobody cares about that stuff! Institute "macabre Monday" instead!

Another case in point: one time my blog came up in response to the search string, "castrated testicles photographs". How macabre is that?! Who would search for such a thing?! (It's a rhetorical question; I definitely do not want to know.) I couldn't remember posting on such a bizarre and unseemly topic, but sure enough: all three words are present in this post.

So I wasn't joking in the title of this post. Publish nude photos of murdered celebrities, and your server will crash with the volume of traffic to your blog.

Other interesting tidbits gleaned from my "extreme tracking" data:

This makes me feel good, part one:
I recently had a search for "what are swans and wear do they live". This string took the searcher to Several swans a-swimmin'. And that makes me feel good, because it was presumably a child doing a summer project. And the post probably taught them a thing or two, in addition providing photos of pretty birds.

This makes me feel good, part two:
Every couple of weeks, someone searches for "what to say to someone who is grieving" or a similar string. The search takes them to this post, where they will find wise counsel (I hope) derived from a personal experience.

Another happy accident
Here's another good tip:  introduce the occasional misspelling of a key word. Like the tip about guts and gore, I discovered this trick by accident. In my post on the antisemitic First Nation leader, David Ahenakew, I misspelled his name Akenakew twice out of twenty-seven occurrences. This brought me several hits from people who, like me, had difficulty with his name.

Likewise — and more embarrassingly — I once misspelled the name of my home town, Peterburough. (It should be "Peterborough".) I can't remember which post it was. But the misspelling brought me at least one visitor.

Why not deliberately introduce an occasional misspelling? People will think you're an ignoramous, but it's a small price to pay for potential fame and fortune.

I thought the Captain and Tennille were downright awful, but Lord Tennyson eats their dust!


At 11:30 AM, August 27, 2005, Blogger Prince Remus said...

pwetty twicky

At 4:54 PM, August 27, 2005, Blogger Juggling Mother said...

I'm sure I've read some blogs that are written purely to catch wierdo googlers. Personally I can't be bothered to put that much thought into my ramblings, so stick to unashamed flattery to make people read mine.

Like your blog, so I've linked to it from mine for you;-)

At 5:43 PM, August 27, 2005, Blogger michael said...

nothing like shamelessly inserting both old posts for those of us who haven't read them and inserting key words into a post in order to increase traffic.

Now thinking a little more, if I haven't read an older post of yours, wouldn't that make the old post "new to me?"

At 7:12 PM, August 27, 2005, Blogger Stephen (aka Q) said...

Pretty tricky indeed. And tongue firmly in cheek, I might add.

But Michael is right, I had fun slipping in an unnecessary reference to Ricky Martin … thereby acting on my own advice to sneak in superfluous references to celebrities.

Anyone who comes to this blog looking for the lowdown on Jennifer Aniston is going to vanish again right quickly. And probably curse me out as they depart.

At 1:04 PM, August 28, 2005, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

How about something like get naked pictures of celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt engaged in bestiality.

Kind of a sick thought, but I'll take credit when those people find your blog now Q. ;)

At 1:40 PM, August 28, 2005, Blogger snaars said...

Orgasms, art and artists, nature and wildlife, celebrity, violence, grief, religion, law, politics ...

What else is there?

Please keep up the good work, it's always a pleasure to read.


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