Some people do it a few times a week. Others do it several times a day. Some don’t do it at all. I am, of course, talking about updating your blog.
I recently read a report analysing the use of websites for councillors in local government. One of the claims in the report, although no quantitative data was provided, was that the more frequently a councillor updated their site, the more traffic it got. I have been thinking recently about how you increase the readership of something like a blog and, more importantly, how do you keep readers coming back for more?
Here’s my guide to getting a little more action on your blog:
- It helps if what you write about is interesting. It doesn’t matter how often you update your site, if people don’t find what you write about interesting, they ain’t going to come back. Period.
- Accuracy is important too. If you don’t background check your information, assuming you have that kind of blog, you can be sure someone out there in Internet Land will pick you up on it. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” You have been warned.
- It helps if you maintain some sort of regular schedule for publishing your material so that when people do revisit your site they have something new to read. If the blog or website looks as though it hasn’t been updated for a while people won’t bother coming back. There is a fine balance here though. I used to read Scripting News every day but now I don’t because Dave Winer appears to do nothing else all day but update his blog. Too much information for me in one go, although at least I know that when I do visit his site there is something new to read.
Having said all of this if what you write about doesn’t interest other people and you don’t update your blog every other day does this mean you shouldn’t maintain a blog? Hell no! I maintain this blog because I enjoy writing. A few more readers would nice, but hey, it’s not the end of the world. If it doesn’t interest you there are plenty of other blogs for you to go look at. You can get out now.