Ask Marsha: Getting More Traffic: How Effective Are Scheduled Topics for a Blog?

High Traffic Area:  Marsha’s Blog

Surprise1

I have to admit that this is my question, but it stems from a conversation I had with Leanne Cole about getting more traffic from our blogs.  She started scheduling her posts, and so, as usual, I copied.  You would think I could be more original with my blog than to copy people, but sorry to say, I’m a teacher.  If there’s anything teachers learn to do well in life, it’s copy others.  You have a successful lesson in your class?  We are the best copy cats in the world.  Now if we catch a kid doing the same thing…..  YOU COPIED HIS ANSWERS ON THE TEST!  XXXXXXX  RRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPP  SCORE “F”.   Actually things are changing in the world of education.  It’s becoming more than perfectly ok to work together and come up with collaborative answers – finally!  But I meander.

Spring Creek#1
Spring Creek#1

The sad and happy thing about my statistics are that they are fairly consistent.  It doesn’t seem to matter what I write.  Yesterday I had friends, just under 800 of them who all actually come to my site and read about two posts per visit every month.  I unhooked one of my Facebook accounts accidentally, and now I only have about 600 friends.  I had tons of friends, (about 1,100) in December and January when I was planning and executing my online birthday party for Renee.  That was really fun, and people do like to come to parties – even online.  But, like in the Great Gatsby, once the party was over, the folks went home, and only the real friends stayed.

Surprise 35

But that still doesn’t answer the question about whether scheduling posts has made my blog more successful.  What I can say is that I’m down the number of visitors since May, and I’m down the number of visits in both June and July.

Under the palm tree
Under the palm tree

But here’s the deal.  Those are summer months here in the United States.  Beautiful outdoor types of days, that stretch into romantic summer nights.  I haven’t been at blogging long enough to have a record of if summer really affects one’s number of views.  It looks like this will be my worst month yet.  So, if I am just measuring recent statistics, then I would say that scheduling posts has been detrimental to my view finding, and I’m better off just blogging about whatever random thoughts float across my brain.

Graph of poll responses copy

Looking at things another way – responses.  First of all, people all over the world are not rushing to my blog asking ANY questions of me.  I grab them from wherever I can get them – even turning random comments into possible questions.  So, the expert at whatever, I’m not.  My comments are down.

Renee copy

Other than my online party for Renee, my most comment happy day was May 19th.  Now this statistic can be skewed because some people comment more than others, and actually converse back and forth with me for ages.  If I could count number of words in a comment then Autty Jade is my best all time commenter, and it wouldn’t matter what I write because Autty and her dad, Sir, love me and I love them even though we’ve never actually met.  (I don’t want to give you folks the wrong idea – I am happily married to Vince.)

Vince

Then Ralph, another conversationalist whom I love dearly, has been busy with his house since June, and only has time for a like or two.  He’s another blogger who would read anything I write because he loves me.  (He doesn’t tell me that, but he does!)  I could write about dead flies in my homemade soup, and Ralph and Autty would read it and write back asking if they could come over for dinner.  See why I love them so much!  Sylvia, Dianne and Carol would write, “Eewww, Marsha, and then add something cute and funny.”  Leanne would say, “No thanks, Marsha.  I’ll stay here in Australia.”  Viveka, Paula, and Benzeknees would tell me a good story about dead bugs in their soup because they seem to have the same problems that I do in life.  Andrew would send me a close up picture of a living fly.  Jim, JT, Guapo and Sydney would say something incredibly sympathetic, and invite me to dinner with their family at a nice restaurant a million miles away.

STOP
STOP

I’d better stop there because it is going to take a long time to insert a link to all these names, but trust me, I adore my commenters.  The stalker bloggers would slip away in the night and never come back for fear I might tell the bugs to crawl into their soup, but they wouldn’t tell me about it.

The moral of this post is that I will get around to changing my schedule eventually, or rearranging it, but I’m going to keep on and try to lose a few more viewers for a little longer. Then I’m going on a real push to get serious about blogging, and bring my followers up to at least 5,000, and my total views per month to at least 20,000.  However, before I do that, I’ve got to get my best-selling book written and published, and have a showing of my photography at a famous California art gallery.  I’m also thinking about becoming a body-builder and I’m definitely going to start taking Yoga, so I can teach it until I’m 95 years old.

Gosh, I have so much to do before I retire for good.  I’d better get going.  First, I’m going out to lunch and shopping with Paula, and out to lunch and a movie with Sally and friends for Alice’s birthday tomorrow, lunch with Marie on Wednesday, and Elane on Thursday, and to a meeting on Friday.  Did I mention that I also promised to fix lunch for Vince and his son every day this week, too?

pasta dinner

I need a clone! And I’m not even THAT popular!  Just look at my stats!  :)

 

54 thoughts on “Ask Marsha: Getting More Traffic: How Effective Are Scheduled Topics for a Blog?”

  1. Hey dear friend, let me let you in on a secret, I hardly bother about my stats, not that it’s not worrying if I lose traffic but life goes on man! Just write, connect with your friends and try to enjoy yourself!! I think scheduling your post is a great idea! Keep it up is what I’ll say! By the way, love your pics! Enjoy the rest of your day! :)

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    1. Thanks dear Seyi sandra. You are super sweet. Mostly that is what I do. I needed to write something today, so I thought a follow-up on my experiment might be appropriate. :) I do love my blogging friends. If I had too many more, I couldn’t keep up as little as I do now! :)

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  2. I definitely lose a good chunk of viewers because of my looooong hiatus. Yesterday, I got 130 views. Even then, my stats last week shows it was a third of what I used to get. I only post about 2 entries a week and still do okay with stats. Frequency definitely doesn’t equate bounty. It really is content and interaxtions with your readers. I don’t want a lot of followers. I have plenty enough to call my blog a success. I do prefer commenters.

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  3. I click like I am on holidays now – until October – so I sneak in on my laptop who is an antique one and therefore soooooo slow :) – I have same problem with visitors – and not only because I have many many blogs? – no The folks that like my things aren’t there at the moment either – I guess no matter what, people just don’t come because real life is buggin? (busy at the moment to try layout on my workshop)

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    1. That’s my problem even with posting. I am so busy right now, that I hardly have time to do 5 posts a week rather than 7. Oh well. I think I might miss one, and I do it late at night, and it’s the best post of the week. Go figure! :) Then there’s Ralph who complains that my bug soup is cold. So I keep writing! :)

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  4. I think you may be on to something regarding summer. Like you, I don’t have a long history of stats, but I have noticed that US traffic is down and southern hemisphere traffic is up along with northern Europe. I can’t make up my mind about “post-scheduling” though. It seems that if you require yourself to post every day it turns into Facebook. People already have Facebook, WordPress is supposed to be something different I think. I find that only 11% or readers make a comment and only 8% of readers hit the like button. So why is that?
    Well, there are going to be a certain number of people that just don’t like what your blog is all about, ok I got that. Then there are a certain number of people that are too timid or shy to make a comment and some that are even too shy to hit the like button, ok I got that too. Then there is the main problem, me. There are days when I can write some pretty compelling stuff, words that instantly make people want to voice their opinion. But most days (weeks, months) what I write is far less compelling. If I get in a hurry, don’t do editing, do think things through (post too often), I find that my post quality suffers and traffic goes down. I have written things that got 400+ reads a day and things that got 30 reads in a month.
    For me, the answer is quality. If people come to expect quality writing when they visit my page, and I give it to them with every post (no matter how often I post), then they seem to come back by the thousands. If I get lazy and post something just for the sake of posting, then people can’t get away from my page fast enough. Sure they’ll come back next time, but if I get lazy too often, eventually they won’t come back at all.

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    1. OK, I’m in real trouble. I’ve never gotten ANYTHING that has received 400 reads in a day. that just doesn’t happen – except my party, of course. But 30 reads a month, that is about normal for me. I get it mostly in the first few days of posting, but I think that’s about normal for most of my posts. So you are saying that my quality is poor. Hmmm maybe I’d better rethink my new professions here. hmmm

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      1. Now, come on, you know I didn’t say that at all. I was only giving examples about my blog. And also, there is a lot to be said about the quality of the reads (how many comments/likes/follows) and the results that come from each post. Lastly, how well do you serve the people that follow you, that is, do you post things that they really want to read.

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      2. Absolutely, but more importantly you have a large, loyal and participative following. You give your audience exactly what they want and they consistently come back for more. Sounds pretty good to me.

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  5. Marsha, you are one busy lady … all those visitors and friends on FB – 2000 viewers … you have some goals girls and I hope that you will reach them – I’m so happy with my 200 per day … and the comments I get. It’s more important for me that somebody makes a comment … I thought that blogging was just about what is floating in our head and heart. You have thrown me total with this post completely *smile
    And I wouldn’t write a post a dead bug in my soup *laughing

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    1. No? How I’ve misjudged you, my dear friend. Actually it would be better in meatloaf so no one would notice! I’m afraid that 200 viewers a day would keep me busy, because I’d want all of them to stop by and talk a bit. I’d be up all night chatting. That happens sometimes anyway since people are all in different time zones. Actually blogging is about anything we want it to be. If we want to do something specialized, or start a business, we can. We can also blog about sordid stuff, gardens, food, sweeping the garage, if we think someone might want to read about that! That’s the joy of blogging. We can even put beautiful music on our blogs! :)

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      1. To be honest I never had a bug in my soup, but a friend of mine had .. on one of the top restaurants in France and when we pointed it out – they claimed that we had put it there … *smile Like we had dead bugs in our handbag. So you’re was right again. I have now written about a bug in the soup. It’s all your fault.
        We should have a nightly chat over Skype one night – I would love having a chat with you. You are my kind of girl.
        Marsha, I rather have a comment from one reader … than 20 likes from peoples that has just clicked LIKE from READER.

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      2. I would love to talk to you – going away for a couple of days … girls reunion again – many years since last time. Let see if we are both logged on sometimes over the weekend.

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      1. The character of the people who stop by and comment, what I see from them on their site, and their comments elsewhere. And whether they’re just looking to get people to visit their site, or if they want to join the party whatever it may be) on other sites.
        Granted, it’s just the facet they choose to show, but generally, there’s very little mean-spiritedness among any of those whose online company I enjoy.

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    1. I can’t post every day! I’m seriously considering going down to 3-4 days a week only. What do you think? Would you still come see me? Is my quality suffering too much by posting 5 a week?

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      1. It’s a dilemma, Marsha. I don’t think your quality is suffering, but then again I haven’t had time to visit all of your posts! I follow so many people, I’m lucky if I have time to drop in on them once a week! It seems to be the same the other way around (regarding people visiting me). I think I would have to sit around reading blogs all day just to keep up with the bloggers I follow; especially those who post once a day. There are some who do it and when I arrange my emails by sender I may have a hundred posts by one blogger I couldn’t keep up with. Then I just delete, to keep some kind of control over my inbox!

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      2. I do the same thing. I don’t have too many on emails. I still have my green list of those blogs I love, and, of course, yours is on it. I’m also trying to transfer them all to Bloglovin, because Iike the way it is organized. I am also using Inoreader and it is ok, but I think I like Bloglovin better, and I couldn’t tell you why. I even use WP Reader sometimes, but I always go back to my favs on my excel spreadsheet to make sure I don’t miss someone. :)

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  6. I am not looking at the statsuch anymore as I used to . As long as there are some people who love me I happy. Give one person a smile I have succeeded. The more the merrier obviously. I lovey blogging so much, and I found great people like you on it. That is a treasure in itself.

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  7. So nice of you to mention me! I only schedule 1 post a week – Tickle Me Tuesday. I schedule it so I make sure to post something every week. After the April A to Z Challenge, my goal was to post every day, but that fell by the wayside as health issues cropped up, etc. I thought I was doing good when I finally hit 200 followers this month!
    This is my 2nd summer blogging & I can tell you readership does fall off in the summer as people spend more time outdoors instead of in front of their computers. But I think quality always trumps quantity. For instance, I scratch my head every Friday when you post about sordid. I think your definition of sordid & my definition are very different because I don’t think what you are posting is sordid, maybe over-indulgent. This is not a criticism in any way – just a for instance – I don’t pay as close attention to your Friday posts as I do to other posts because our ideas are different & I find myself having difficulty getting the point of these posts. Other people may love them, as evidenced by your stats & comments. I don’t need to love everything you write to follow you & enjoy your blog – but I may not comment on a Friday post because I don’t have anything to say. This may just be all rambling, but I am actually trying to make a point here & not a criticism. I hope this made sense to you.

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    1. You are so cute, B! My sordid Friday posts don’t make any sense because I’m not writing about ANYTHING really sordid. It was a choice I gave people in a poll as a joke, and so many people picked it that I decided to make it a regular. There are lots of sordid lives in the world, but that would mean actually getting into dirty details, and after a couple of those kinds of articles, I gave it up. I may not continue it, but it does get lots of views. But my views of sordid are probably the same as yours, I’m just not really writing anything sordid! :) I’m making up my definition as I go. :)

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  8. LOL! Marsha May! It’s funny you say that, because I do have a story about flies in soup. :p I had a swell time at lunch and shopping today. I can’t wait for the fashion show later. My kids are going to look so adorable in the clothes. Maybe we’ll have fly soup for dinner. :P Maybe not! Love you Mama Marsha! XOXO. Send my love to V and J as well!

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  9. Once upon a time I used to check my stats. I haven’t for quite some time. I think the last time I actually took the time to look at them was when the end of the year stats came out. And – I hadn’t even been on for a year yet. I don’t look anymore because I don’t want to see numbers & then think I’m a blog loser. I’m happy doing my go with the flow thang & enjoy the peeps that visit me when they can. Kind of like real life. You know who your buds are & even if it’s only a hand-full – you are always happy to see them :)
    And -now I have you & Manny! That’s a good double dose if you ask me ;)

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  10. You are so right. I would definitely say Eeew to bug soup. That kind of added protein doesn’t do it for me at all. As far as scheduling posts goes, I aim to do one post on each blog a week, plus the weekly photo challenge if I have a photo that is suitable. That is all I can manage and although it’s fun to look at the stats and see who is visiting I don’t get too hung up about it. I think you are doing a great job with your posts so keep on writing and entertaining us all. I was super-thrilled when I got to the first 100 followers and even more at the 200 mark, so when I reach your current total I will be beside myself with excitement!

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  11. Getting ready to drop my schedule altogether, but I have found when I was posting on a weekly basis as opposed to every other week, there more visits to the blog. So scheduled posting no doubt brings in more traffic.

    Now how about some of that fly soup?

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  12. My viewers have mellowed out for me and I really don’t get many comments. But, I usually posted recipes. I’m slowly working in other topics. Unfortunately, as life has gotten so busy around my house, I haven’t been posting near as much as I used to. I’ll be moving in 2 months and we don’t even know where we’re going yet. It’s nerve racking stuff. I’m just happy that I was able to catch a moment and read some of my favorite blogs (like yours :) ) and read a great post here. You’ve got much higher stats than I do so congrats on that one! Have a great day!

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      1. No, we didn’t sell our house. We have been renting this one and are required to give two months notice. Also, my husband gave notice to his work that he is leaving. So we are looking for work and a new place to live. :) It’s always an adventure around here. We move very often.

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    1. Leanny, you don’t look at your hit list! You have around 300-400 likes on every post and 70-100 comments, and over 17,000 followers. Girlfriend, that about 20X as many followers and at least 10X as many likes per post and 4-5X as many comments per post. Now, I don’t know how I would handle all that traffic, but you have traffic jams on every route! What I want to know is how we got to be such good friends when you are SO busy and so popular! :) :)

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