Four Actions You Can Take Now to Dramatically Increase Your Blog Traffic

In the last 30 days, I have seen my blog traffic jump by 81.3%. I have seen steady growth since I converted from TypePad to self-hosted WordPress two years ago (up 338.6%). But the last 30 days represented the largest single jump in my traffic ever.

My January 2011 Google Analytic Stats

Source: Google Analytics

I want to share why I believe this has happened, so that you can apply what I have learned to your own blog. Hopefully, you will experience similar results.

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First of all, this traffic increase wasn’t the result of a single post that just happened to catch fire. Nor was it the result of a large site linking to me. Rather, it was the result of several specific changes I made to my blog.

Even here, I don’t think it was a single change, but rather all of them working together that accounted for the impact on traffic. The good news is that these are all things you can replicate.

First, the facts—directly from Google Analytics. (By the way, if you don’t have this installed on your blog, do that first. It’s easy, free, and essential if you are serious about growing your traffic.)

  • Absolute unique visitors went from 71,885 last month to 130,320 this month (a 81.3% increase).
  • Pageviews went from 173,794 to 284,192 (a 63.5% increase).

Now, what did I do to make this happen?

I had already installed Standard Theme back in October. This had an immediate, positive impact on my traffic. This was due primarily to faster page load times and better Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Other bloggers I know have had similar results from this premium theme.

However, in the week between Christmas and New Years, while on vacation, I asked myself, What actions can I take to significantly grow my blog traffic? I came up with a list of four:

  1. Increase my blogging frequency. I have always known that there is a correlation between frequency and growth in traffic, but I proved it to myself empirically this past month. For most of last year, I posted three times a week. I decided I would post five times a week this year, Monday through Friday.
  2. Write shorter posts, shorter paragraphs, and shorter sentences. I owe this insight to CopyBlogger’s post, “Shorter Is Better.” I determined that I would keep my posts between 500-600 words. I would include no more than 3-4 sentences per paragraph. I would avoid compound sentences wherever possible.
  3. Improve my SEO metadata. I started using ScribeSEO. This WordPress plugin analyses your posts and gives you a score, based on how Google will rank it. Best of all, it tells you how to tweak your metadata to improve your score. It’s expensive, but I think worth every penny.
  4. Become more engaged in comments. I changed my commenting system from native WordPress to Disqus. This is the system that most of the larger sites I visit use. I believe it is the easiest, most elegant commenting plugin available. It also allows me to reply to comments via email, which makes it super-easy for me to engage with my readers.

Encouraged by these results, I plan to continue with my strategy. However, I now have a list of three new actions I plan to take next month. I’ll report on those in another post.

Question: What specific actions can you take this next month to increase your blog traffic? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Want to launch your own blog or upgrade to a self-hosted WordPress blog? It’s easier than you think! Watch my free, twenty-minute screencast. I show you exactly how to do it, step-by-step. You don’t need any technical knowledge. Click here to get started.

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  • http://twitter.com/doughibbard Doug Hibbard

    I saw similar percentage (from 10 to 20! I doubled in readers. Small steps) results from more regular posting. Another thing that has helped my traffic is being involved in comments and discussions on other blogs.

    I think taking your advice this past month related to titles will be the next step to try and up traffic.

    The biggest thing is this: improve the content, not follow the emails that have titles like “Get your blog on a million sites!” Gimmicks won’t last, but real improvement will.

    Doug

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, getting the right title is huge. If you don’t suck them in with this, nothing else matters!

      • Anonymous

        Title has definitely been one of my downfalls this last month… I need to get better about grabbing attention with my titles.

        • http://www.HomeschoolingAdventurez.com/ Kelli- HSAdventurez

          Working on much the same Ashley – thank you Michael Hyatt for your straight forward approach. Really enjoyed meeting you at BEECH Retreat in January.

    • Marek Gručák
      • http://www.mhmcintyre.us/ Mark McIntyre

        I thought Disqus was supposed to prevent spam . . . ????

  • http://geoffreywebb.wordpress.com/ Geoff Webb

    Wow, thanks for pulling back the curtain (once again) and letting us peek behind the scenes! I’m saving all these insights for when I make the switch from wordpress.com to wordpress.org — that’s the first change I have to make. Unfortuneately other factors are holding me back on that one right now.

    • Anonymous

      I’m with you on the wanting to make the switch but unable to do so yet… definitely saving up all the great tips!

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    Along the same lines as #1, I’ve found CONSISTENCY to be key. I made the habit of queuing up my posts the night before at 4:00 am Mountain Time. My visitors have begun to expect it, and I have gotten into the habit to making it happen. Instead of actually blogging the next morning, I send out notices through social media channels.

    Funny, you tend to be on a similar timeline, Michael. Because when I am queuing up my social media over coffee, I see your posts come through. And here I am! ;)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, indeed. I follow the same pattern!

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I’m a bit confused. Do you schedule your post to automatically post itself at 4 am? Or do you manually post it?

      I’ve had problems with this area. For example, on my family site, I wanted to post a Happy Anniversary letter to my wife. I scheduled it to appear early in the morning on my anniversary, 1 am. But it actually appeared around 9 the night before, but was still dated as posting on my anniversary.

      I though it was the time zone setting in WP, but it’s correct for where I live (CST). Any suggestions? Chris, or Michael, could you briefly outline your process for me? Thanks!

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I schedule mine. I can tell it down to the minute when it appears. I simply use WordPress’s built-in feature for that.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          I guess the best way for me to figure it out will be to experiment with posts and see how it works. Thanks for the input!

      • http://twitter.com/StateDOG Blake Thompson

        I bet it has something to do with where the server you host your blog on is located.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          I hadn’t thought of that…. That could be it. Thanks!

      • M.Saint-Germain

        You might want to check the clock at your site/dashboard. It may be programmed incorrectly. It’s like setting your alarm clock to ring at 6 am but the clock reads midnight when it’s really just 9 pm. It’s three hours off. Does that make sense?

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Thanks.  I got it figured out, it was a setting with the server, and they got it taken care of for me.

  • http://www.napkindad.com Marty Coleman

    I am in the final phase of migrating from Blogger to WordPress for just this reason. Thanks for actually giving good information on what to do when I get there, I really appreciate it!

    • http://www.lawrencewilson.com/p/about-me.html Lawrence W. Wilson

      Marty, I’m considering that same move. How was the learning curve?

      • http://www.napkindad.com Marty Coleman

        I have a background as a web designer so it hasn’t been too hard, even though I have been sort of stagnant in learning the last few years. I took an old blog I didn’t use anymore and migrated that one, testing out how to do it with no one watching. It went pretty well. I also use Dreamweaver so I needed to follow a number of tutorials on how to use it to work with WordPress.
        Honestly, now my biggest decision to make before pulling the trigger on my Napkin Dad Daily blog is which host should I use. WordPress has some recommendations, but my website and older blog are on yahoo and part of me is thinking I should just make it easy and use them. The other part says go with the best recommendation and use a new host.
        Anyone have suggestions for a good WP host that will be easy for a visual artist to use?

        • Anonymous

          I just migrated from a dedicated server to BlueHost. So far, very good. Saved me a ton of money, too.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          I use BlueHost as well. pretty inexpensive, and they have GREAT phone-based customer srvice. If you hve any difficulties migrating, they will help walk you through it.

          I know a few others who use Media Temple. It’s a bit more expensive, but I’ve heard good things. My recommendation is BlueHost.

        • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

          I really like the idea of setting up a testing/development blog. I have created a separate blog for trying out new ideas, themes, plugins, etc. This allows the freedom to try thing without the fear of causing confusion or a bad experience for the readers or of doing something that will corrupt the data in your production site.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I have one, too. It is my digital sandbox. Better to play there than on the live site!

          • http://twitter.com/WolfgangSlater Ted Slater

            Steven, you say that your test blog “allows the freedom to try things without the fear of causing confusion or a bad experience for the readers.”

            What you find fearful — making changes on the fly to a live site — I find thrilling. There’s nothing like misconfiguring something, making the site all scrambly, and then frantically trying to debug and fix the thing before constituents grow too disoriented. Kind of like walking a tight-rope without a net. Whoa, what a rush! ;-)

          • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

            You would, wouldn’t you Ted :-) Although, I would really like to see video of you walking the tight-rope!

          • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

            Yeah, I like having a dev site, too… it’s so much better than making changes on your live site.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I do the same thing.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I use MediaTemple. I am generally happy with it, even though they are not too WP savvy. If I were starting again, I’d probably take a look at wpengine.com.

        • http://www.englishclubpro.com/ Akmal Akbarov

          Dear Marty why did you move from Blogger to WordPress? Thanks ))

          • http://www.napkindad.com Marty Coleman

            Akmal, because Blogger was very limited in themes, capabilities and plug-ins. It also resided on their server instead my own dedicated server.

          • http://www.englishclubpro.com/ Akmal Akbarov

            I see I blog at blogger and I was thinking of moving on to wordpress. But I don’t want to lose my ShareThis counts, Like counts and I didn’t want to invest another time trying to learn WordPress. What would you advise Marty? ))

      • Anonymous

        It was nearly seamless for me, and I find I love the elegance of WordPress.

        • Ginny Jaques

          Mary, when you switch from blogger to wordpress, do you have to create a whole new design, or can you just switch keeping your layout? I like my blogger set up and am scared to change it. I suppose that’s bad.

          • Mary DeMuth

            It depends. Your designer should be able to help you. Certainly if it’s just a banner and a background, it shouldn’t be too hard. I’d caution about being afraid, though. This will truly impact everything about your blog if you switch. Don’t let fear rule you.

      • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

        WordPress is REALLY easy to use, and if you have your hosting with someone like GoDaddy.com, installation of a self-hosted WordPress site is easy, too!

  • Haeldr

    Thanks Michael! I’m learning much from your posts and those of Tentblogger. I refocused my blog, and now just navigating my way through meaningful content that adds value. I can increase frequency, be the reader as well as the writer to make sure it adds value, and comment on & promote other blogs.

    • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

      That’s a great point. Mike, do you have pointers for how to evaluate whether or not your post is actually contributing something in the minds of readers, or do you just go off of the number of comments?

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I watch my number of pageviews and the overall engagement (comments, tweets, and Facebook posts). I can tell by that whether I have hit a home run or it’s been a swing and a miss.

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  • http://bladeronner.com Ron Dawson

    Great suggestions Michael. And I’ve noticed the same patterns about consistency. Even if I stop blogging for a few days I see a dramatic drop in traffic. My wife (who’s another avid blogger) sees the same thing.

    I was wondering if you write your posts in blocks (i.e. multiple posts in one sitting then scheduled to post over the next few days), or do you actually write every day that you post.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I do both. Sometimes I get ahead on the weekend. Some days I am writing the night before. My goal is to be like Seth Godin, having numerous posts “in the bank,” scheduled for publication.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I was wondering the same thing. I’ve found that when I try to write ahead, I end up re-writing or changing something significantly anyway, so I’m writing everyday for now.

  • Erica

    I am completely new to the blogging world… in fact, I started my blog on Monday – have 552 hits (not sure if that is good or bad). I’ve seen some people talk about driving traffic to your blog by being involved in comments on other blogs… but how does your blog get linked in to their blog? Do you have to have the same blog set up?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, you don’t have to have the same blog setup. Commenting on other’s blogs is a good strategy. The best strategy is to write content that is compelling enough that people want to link to it (like I did with CopyBlogger today.) There’s no substitute.

      • http://findinggodsfingerprints.blogspot.com/ Erica

        Wow, I have got so much to learn in the blogging world! =)

        • Anonymous

          If you’re looking to make money with your blog, SavvyBlogging.net is a wealth of information, or BloggingwithAmy.com.

      • http://findinggodsfingerprints.wordpress.com/ Erica McNeal

        Great info here – been looking through it and changed my blog from blogspot to wordpress. Thanks for posting.

  • http://www.pxmag.com Tom Nagel

    Great suggestions, Michael. I’ve found item #2 to be the most difficult — it’s a challenge to keep things short. But that’s what great communication is all about!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I REALLY have to work at this. I write and then go back and edit to tighten up. I usually have to make a couple of passes.

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      Short and simple are always harder to create than long and complex. I think one of the biggest mistakes that communicators make, whether it is a preacher, professor, politician, or even in marketing, is to keep adding words in order to make the point. People will remember a message with fewer points and fewer words more often than a message with extensive numbers of points and words. And this is the challenge that sets apart great communicators – creating a compelling, concise message that people will take with them.

      • http://www.gospellab.com Gospel lab

        I agree.

        I often feel it is hard to make short sentences, out of fear that I am going to belittle someone. I don’t want people to think I am treating them like children.

        • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

          I think the quest for sentences is to create sentences that are easy to read and flow well…to help the readers get the point without getting bogged down in trying to understand the sequence of words.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Yes, indeed, which is why shorter is better.

          • http://twitter.com/doughibbard Doug Hibbard

            Working on Sunday’s sermons tonight I got the outline written, then told my wife “I can make that 45 minutes.” Which got an appropriate ‘look.’ I finished the thought “the real challenge isn’t making that outline 45 minutes, it’s keeping that sermon to 25.”

            If it really takes a lot of words to say something, do it. But if it doesn’t, trim the fat and go on.

      • Juletta Joy Aycock

        Reminds me of our late pastor. His sermons were three points and a poem! He was a great communicator!

  • Kevin Gillen

    Thank you for posting this as well as your many other tips on blogging. I am preparing to launch a blog in the next 90 days or so and these tips have really helped me as I prepare.

    Combined with John Saddington’s current series on how to properly setup and configure wordpress and Standard Theme, I feel like I am at WordPress University right now.

  • http://jhwist.tumblr.com/ Henrik Wist

    Following a high frequency certainly helps, as long as the quality of the blog doesn’t suffer (not implying anything here! In fact, I noticed your increased frequency and quite liked it so far). If posting in a higher frequency doesn’t work, I think engaging in either comments on other blogs or “answering” other blog posts with own posts is a good way to increase traffic.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No question. If the quality isn’t there, more of it won’t help. In fact, it might hurt!

  • http://www.validleadership.com James Castellano

    Your strategy looks like the way to go, Thanks again for sharing with your readers

  • http://jhwist.tumblr.com/ Henrik Wist

    Are you looking into free hosting or are you willing to pay for it? http://wpengine.com/ might be a way to go.

  • DrDavidFrisbie

    Extremely helpful post! Had not heard of ScribeSEO. Will check it out.

  • http://LiveIntentionally.org @PaulSteinbrueck

    Congrats Michael! I’ve noticed you’ve been posting a lot more this month, I think the topics you’ve blogged on have been of very broad appeal, and you’ve had a lot of great titles that make people click.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Frankly, I have been a little concerned that it has been too broad. Thanks for your encouragement, Paul.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    I really love that you installed Disqus, Michael. I makes it so easy for comments to spread the ideas of a post.

  • http://familysynergy.wordpress.com JD Eddins

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I have seen a jump in my visits the more often I post. There have been days when a third of my traffic has come to the site before I even get that day’s post up. It’s almost like people have gotten into the expectation that something new will be up everyday.
    I have been considering the switch to Standard Theme for awhile now, however I wanted to make sure I really committed to writing on a daily basis before I pony up to all of the cost associated with going that route. It’s great to hear that making that change had such a positive impact on the traffic on your blog.

  • http://www.destanley.com Dustan Stanley

    Thanks for the great post. As always, very helpful. Blessings!

  • Anonymous

    I’m constantly learning from you, Michael. I’m installing Disqus right now…and I’m liking it already!

  • Dean Deguara

    Don’t let it fester! Go to the person that offended you and clear the air. Offenses are usually based on false assumptions. I think the most common place for offense is our email inbox. I’ve been guilty for reading between the lines and misinterpreting tone.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think you probably meant to post this comment on another blog post I wrote. Unfortunately, I can’t move it for you.

  • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

    Thanks for these tips Michael – I think you’ve pushed over the hump on deciding whether or not to install Disqus on my blog.

    • http://missionalmamassoul.blogspot.com/ Amy

      me too.

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    As suggested by you, I am planning to increase my frequency of posting first. I also intend to enhance the quality of content. As a beginner, I am concentrating on the subjects I write and discuss in my blog. And, I do not blog as a professional but I do it as a hobby. Whatsoever, your precious advice are well taken. Thanks for your suggestions.

  • Charles Warren

    Thanks for the helpful post. I would love to blog more frequently, but continue to struggle with figuring out what to blog about that would be worthwhile to readers and how to reach my target audience. I know it’s a learning process that evolves over time, but I feel like a slow learner.

  • http://www.pedalion.co.uk Wyn Jones

    These was a really helpful post for me. Thankyou.
    The things that stand out for me are the need to increase my post frequency and I am now seriously considering switching to WordPress.
    I would love to be engaged in comments. My blog is fairly new and as yet I have none. How can I encourage more comments?

  • http://www.digitalworshiper.com GabeSmith

    Every day I’m more and more convinced to do 2 things. 1) Blog regularly (not just when the mood strikes.) and 2) Switch to word press. It seems like I can’t even implement the suggestions you give without being using Word Press.

    • http://www.digitalworshiper.com GabeSmith

      And I also need to practice constructing sentences before I can justify “being using Word Press.”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am definitely not an objective source. I love WordPress and wouldn’t use anything else. With the exception of Seth Godin, I don’t know any serious bloggers using anything else.

  • Anonymous

    Some things you can control: offering giveaways once in a while (Don’t overdo it or you’ll lose readers). Some things you can’t: receiving good press.

    Changing to WordPress caused my traffic to increase 1000% percent (yes, thousand). Although I don’t use the standard theme, I am considering it.

    Mike is right about post frequency. If you’re posting once a week, you won’t increase your traffic. If one of your goals is to increase traffic, 3-5 times a week is optimal. But also make sure you’re not posting just to post. Your content must be valuable to readers.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree with everything you said.

  • http://www.abrahamchronicles.com Dustin Valencia

    Great thoughts. I’m new to the blogging world, but even in the short time I’ve been writing, I completely agree with consistency and being engaged with your audience. That is key.
     
    I have other opinions on Disqus though.. :) It never seems to work on my work computer, which happens to be PC (with IE)…. thats another story!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Hmmm. I wonder why that is. I have not had any other complaints. What version of IE are you using?

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      I really like Disqus; although, I have occasionally seen issues with it. There have been a small handful of times when the ‘comments section’ has not displayed – with a graphic indicating that it is waiting for the information to download from the server. And a couple of times there have been issues in trying to post a comment. Overall, the experience is good and I like the presentation that Disqus brings.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4F6PKC42ACQIOWNVZMZSVZ652E Edwina

    Michael,

    Thanks for sharing what you did to increase your blog traffic. Excellent ideas!

  • http://twitter.com/drrandywillis Randy Willis

    Thanks for this list. I was away from blogging in recent months (due to an extra-intense deadline) but now I’m ready to jump back in. Your post gives me a good list to work on. I’m also reviewing the post where you list your plugins: http://michaelhyatt.com/my-favorite-wordpress-plugins.html.

    Incidentally, I tweeted last that your recommendation of the Standard Theme is really influencing me in that direction (my site is long overdo for an overhaul). I like that it’s clean/well-coded and that it seems to be pretty powerful/extensible. But since I’m not a coder/themer/designer, I’m trying to make sure I can still have a great looking site! :-)

    Thanks again!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Another great post, Michael. I have seen a big increase in traffic this month too. I use a premium WordPress theme, ScribeSEO, and the third party commenting system Intense Debate. January has always been a good month for me, since people are looking for personal development items for the New Year. It’s interesting that my traffic spiked on January 1st and has been higher ever since. When I look back over my analytics for the last few years, I see a similar surge in January with a tapering off until April. I think it’s the same phenomenon that gyms and weight loss clinics observe with all the New Year resolutions. The good news is a lot of the surge stays around through February and March, so now is the time for some anchoring posts that will keep people coming back all year.
    I totally agree with you about post length and keeping a frequent blogging schedule. I just need to find a way to blog while I’m commuting. (suggestions?)
    Keep up the great work and keep this informative posts coming! This is certainly the best leadership destination on the web!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Wow. Thanks for that last sentence!

  • http://twitter.com/drrandywillis Randy Willis

    Thanks for this list. I was away from blogging in recent months (due to an intense deadline) but now I’m ready to jump back in. You post gives me some good ideas to develop. I’m also reviewing the post where you list your plugins: http://michaelhyatt.com/my-favorite-wordpress-plugins.html.

    Incidentally, I tweeted last that your recommendation of the Standard Theme is really influencing me in that direction. I like that it’s clean/well-coded and that it seems to be pretty powerful/extensible. But since I’m not a coder/themer/designer, I’m trying to make sure I can still have a great looking site! :-)

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      I have looked at Standard Theme as well and even purchased it because of all the great things I have seen on sites that use it. Now that I have the theme, I realize that most of what I have seen on other sites is not out-of-the-box configuration. So, even with my web-development background, I have a decent learning curve (and a good bit of time to invest) in order to bring it to life.

  • Anonymous

    Wondering about the decision to use Disqus vs. Intense Debate. What drove your choice?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I could never get the reply-by-email to work with IntenseDebate. It also noticeably slowed down my site. Disqus is way easier, and they offer detailed analytics if you are willing to pay a monthly fee (which I do).

  • SueB

    Since by blog is craft oriented, I try to have a warm atmosphere for my visitors.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    I’ve just recently swithched to Standard Theme, and am still trying to figure out the whole SEO thing. I’ve been watching Google analytics, but I’m still not sure what everything means just yet. However, I know my visibility is increasing because I’m getting a few comments here and there from new readers.

    After yesterday’s post on titles, I now have several goals that I know I need to work on. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with me!

  • http://www.thedailywalk.net Adam

    I saw my traffic immediately increase when switching over to the Standard Theme. It is great.
    I am going to try to better my SEO meta data. I currently post 6 times a week, but shoot for at least 5 times.
    I did not know Disqus allowed you to respond via email. I like that…very efficient. Pretty user friendly to set up?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yea, it was super simple. It just takes a while to import all of your old comments—it all depends on how many you have.

      • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

        With all your comments, I’m sure it took you awhile. Do you think that Disqus is worth putting on a smaller site like mine? I really don’t receive that many comments (most has been 27)… on average I might get around 8.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Well, all I can say is that it is super-simple and free—at least for the basic version. I think creating blog traffic is due to a combination of factors. There’s no silver bullet. But I do think this is an important one.

        • Anonymous

          I LOVE Disqus, and I’m a “smaller” blog… it has made a huge difference in my ability to interact with my readers and has formed connections that otherwise may not have formed.

  • http://www.davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    Michael, I have done a few similar things and seen an increase in traffic as well: switch to standard theme, post 5x/week, and simplify my writing. Something I want to try and do this next month is do more advanced writing, editing in the evenings, and posting early in the morning.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      I have actually started to try to do that… I find that writing a blog the day before and posting it at 12:00am, really helps commenting!

      • http://www.davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

        Awesome. I need to do that.

    • http://familysynergy.wordpress.com JD Eddins

      I have found that having the post hit around 8 AM seems to work great. I gives people a chance to to read it before they get started with their work day and since my blog automatically also gets posted to Facebook and Twitter it doesn’t get buried by all the other things that could come in between midnight and the morning.

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        What do you use to automatically post your blog to Facebook and Twitter? This is something that I have wanted to do but have not figured out how to do it. Thanks in advance.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I use HootSuite. You can use the “Schedule” function to schedule the post whenever you want it in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even MySpace.

        • JD Eddins

          In WordPress you can automatically link to Yahoo updates, Twitter and Facebook when you post. I sure there are other plugins for other blogging platforms.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Yes, you can. However, that usually only posts the title. I like crafting my tweets and Facebook post like a headline of its own.

          • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

            Thanks! There seem to be so many options or ways of doing things that it can be a bit daunting to figure out what the most reasonable solutions are. Getting feedback from this comunity is invaluable!

  • Mike

    I’m a numbers guy so I feel compelled to offer that a 67% increase in blog posts would have some correlation to the high increase in traffic. Certainly you still need decent content (no one wants more frequent bad content) and writing shorter, quicker, easier to read helps too. The other changes are all helpful tools to be sure. Thanks for sharing your insights and desiring to help othhers.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yep, that makes sense. Increase the frequency and you will increase the pageviews.

  • http://www.mccarthyandking.com Bob McCarthy

    Michael – as always, great advice. Thanks.

    Quick question. I usually read your posts from my email inbox. I don’t actually come to your blog site. I don’t think your visitor count would include me.

    With that in mind, have you considered only publishing part of your post on the email with a link to your blog for the full post?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are correct. I have thought about publishing the excerpt with the link, but I personally find it annoying when others do it. I am willing to lose some on my stats in order to make it easier on my readers. Thanks.

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        That’s a great perspective Michael. When I first encountered your blog, I signed up to get it sent to my email. Initially, I would peruse the title and first part of the blog. As I saw the great content, I started reading the whole story consistently – largely because it was there in my email and easy to get to. I did this for several months before ever going back to the actual web site.

        With your goal of providing great information to help people, I greatly appreciate your focus on making content easy to get.

  • Ashley Musick

    I was just thinking the other day that is seems like the number of people commenting on your blog had increased dramatically in the new year. Seems like you have the facts to prove it. : ) Keep posting, I enjoy your blogs.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      My average number of comments last year was around 30 per post. I am now usually averaging around 100+.

  • http://www.kathyfannon.com kathyfannon

    I remember you blogging before about posting more often as a way to increase traffic, and it does work. Same with shorter posts and bullet points. I have incorporated that into my blog and it actually makes writing easier. I don’t have to think about a novel each time I write, although at times it’s hard to know what to edit out.

    Michael, I find that your page still takes a long time to load, but I enjoy your posts so much, I’m willing to wait for it.

    My specific action…I need to get back to blogging 4 – 5 times a week again. I’ve slacked.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The page load is definitely affected by how many people are trying to access it simultaneously. You might want to subscribe via RSS or email. That way you won’t have any load time issues.

      Thanks for reading faithfully!

  • http://twitter.com/ThatGuyKC K.C. Pro

    Whoa!! That is amazing! Congrats on the increased traffic.

    Thank you for sharing the tips. I’ve been working on most of them already, but #3 will be great to integrate.

    Also, I need to pull the trigger on StandardTheme. Time to jump on the bandwagon. :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Come on in. The water is warm!

  • http://brettcohrs.com Brett

    I’ve totally bought in to the Copyblogger/Problogger approach: shorter, bulleted, scannable. That does seem to help along w/ more consistent posting.

    My biggest need is to develop a more consistent theme. I think that will probably help me more than anything. Then the SEO plubins and a premium theme would have more bite for me.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yea, I didn’t say it in this post, but bullets, numbers, subheads, etc. are really important. They do make it scannable. This has always come natural for me. I tend to think in bullet-points.

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

    Simple, but good thoughts. I’m making some changes to how I approach blogging this year and will actually be doing some of this stuff. Thanks for sharing your “tips for success,” Michael. 80% growth in 30 days is pretty ridiculous. I love how interactive you are with your blog readers.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. Disqus makes it incredibly easy.

  • http://lovedoesntletgo.blogspot.com Israel Sanchez

    Thank you so much for your insights! I learned a lot from what you have to say. Hey, maybe one day you’ll even publish my manuscript!

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

    One other question: Where does social media (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) fit into this? I would’ve thought that Twitter traffic was a big contributor to your blog’s traffic. Is that true?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Twitter and Facebook together accounted for about 20% of traffic in the last 30 days.

  • Nancy Duarte

    GREAT tips Michael. I’m switching some strategies.

  • http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com Nikole Hahn

    I’ve been trying to create a community and I found by posting every day consistently at the same time of day my visitors have jumped and grown consistently. I use homestead for my web services, but wordpress (free account) for my blog which is connected to my web page. I might try that google analytics. WordPress doesn’t give me specifics like my webpage does.

  • http://jennyrain.com JennyRain

    Ok, so I have grown my blog traffic down over the last year even though I have changed my focus to shorter posts, more pictures, and changed from writing just about personal stuff to most recently moving into a photography venue. I too post every day… I follow other bloggers… try to be active on my comments… use a lot of key words, etc. Beginning to wonder if this is where I should be spending my time… in blogging. But I’ve built community here, so whether 40 people a day or 4000 visit my site, if I’m connecting, is that not important too?

    Oh and btw… you have a large core of folks (100K +) – what do you think “mass” has to do with growth? Obviously, if more people are RT’ing your posts (50K vs. 50 people), it can grow exponentially from that… what do you think is the relationship between the two (growth + larger core of followers to begin with)?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, connecting is very important. There is a lot of power in a few highly-engaged followers.

      Yes, I do think you hit critical mass and then the growth takes off. I have spent years getting my blog to this place. It doesn’t happen overnight.

  • http://twitter.com/JoshuaMHood Josh Hood

    Mike, all four are excellent points. I think number four is key for you. You are so diligent in returning emails and comments that it creates not just an informational site, but a personal one. Thank you for that.

    Josh Hood
    2020visiononline.org

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    That’s a great perspective Michael. When I first encountered your blog, I signed up to get it sent to my email. Initially, I would peruse the title and first part of the blog. As I saw the great content, I started reading the whole story consistently – largely because it was there in my email and easy to get to. I did this for several months before ever going back to the actual web site.

    With your goal of providing great information to help people, I greatly appreciate your focus on making content easy to get.

  • http://movethemountains.blogspot.com Chad Jones

    I’m kinda floundering in this area. I’ve got:

    A commenting system (IntenseDebate)

    A regular posting schedule (5 days/week)

    I’ve tried to tweak my template for SEO, but not sure if it’s done any good.

    Since, basically, last October I’m just north of 6000 pageviews–and that’s all time history.

    Do you think I would see an increase in switching from Blogger to WordPress?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I honestly don’t know. The other huge variable is your actual content. Are you writing stuff people want to read? More importantly, are you writing stuff that your readers tell others to read? That’s most important secret to consistent growth.

      • http://movethemountains.blogspot.com Chad Jones

        Good questions, sir. I don’t know how to answer. I think I’m still trying to find my “voice,” and it shows. And I don’t necessarily post the same kind of content, so maybe that makes it a little harder to attract an audience.

        Thank-you for taking the time to answer my question.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Honestly, the only way to find your voice is to write. And then write some more. It took me a couple of years.

  • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

    Great tips! Last year, I was lucky to get 1 post in every three wks! This yr, my average posting (according to Google Reader) is 5.1! This has really helped my traffic and readers. Although I only get about 30 unique visitors per day, it is a huge step up from last yr!

  • http://twitter.com/danielstoddart Daniel Stoddart

    Content is king. When I think about the kinds of blogs I enjoy reading, the ones the come immediately to mind are those that cultivate good writing. I’ve seen a lot of evidence that bloggers tend to overestimate the effect of design, but it depends on the audience. In tech blogs, for example, a larger percentage of readers subscribe via RSS, so there isn’t as much clicking through. This is why I think bloggers should always offer full post RSS. Don’t make me click again to read! Partial RSS simply creates another step before the reader can get to the content.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree with your comments about design. I so often want to say, forget the design, just write!

  • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

    I think your idea about the frequency of posts is the best: it’s the one “secret” that’s not a secret. If you want more readers, do more writing.

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    This was a comment intended as a reply on Bob’s comment above….one of those few Disqus mishaps. ;-)

  • http://www.kathink.blogspot.com Kathleen T. Jaeger

    I am committing to a gradual blog growth approach. I am taking small steps. First, I wrote down reasons that I blog (just in a spiral notebook). I was inspired by Rachelle Gardner’s post about why she blogs. After reading her post, I realized if I wrote down why I blog, I would be more committed to it. This will translate easily into my second step: more consistent posting. Thereby, also blog growth. I do not see the kind of numbers that you do here. But I have been gaining page views and a few followers. Slow and steady that is my goal.

  • http://www.kathink.blogspot.com Kathleen T. Jaeger

    I am committing to a gradual blog growth approach. I am taking small steps. First, I wrote down reasons that I blog (just in a spiral notebook). I was inspired by Rachelle Gardner’s post about why she blogs. After reading her post, I realized if I wrote down why I blog, I would be more committed to it. This will translate easily into my second step: more consistent posting. Thereby, also blog growth. I do not see the kind of numbers that you do here. But I have been gaining page views and a few followers. Slow and steady that is my goal.

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    Thanks, once again Michael, for providing incredibly helpful insights and information for spurring the rest of us on. And thank you community for sharing more thoughts that we can learn from.

    I am still very new to blogging and learning the art of writing for the blog world. My challenge is to write more consistently and frequently. I started with a goal of once a week and I am still working on hitting that mark. However, I would like to write more frequently. I am also on the learning curve for taking better advantage of the available technology – how to use SEO, analytics, etc. And, of course, I want to grow in writing more compelling posts.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    My blog traffic, as measured by “absolute unique visitors,” jumped by about 40% during the same time period, specifically from 928 absolute unique visitors to 1301 absolute unique visitor, which means that for the first time ever I broke the quadruple digit barrier in that category (I’m not a math genius, so please forgive me if this increase, in fact, amounts to a percentage significantly different from the 40% I just claimed).

    I mainly attribute this increase (whatever the precise percentage may be) to the fact that I actually deigned to post twice in the past 30 days, which, in itself, amounts to a 50% increase in my habitual posting frequency of late.

    Also, lately I’ve probably left more comments on a wider variety of other blogs such as this one, as I find the phenomenon of people clicking over from other blogs to be a non-trivial traffic generation factor, at least by my modest traffic standards.

    Now, you installed a new set of share icons (Facebook, Tweet, and Comment) at the top of your entries which also shows in my Google Reader. What plugin is this?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I had my friend, Andrew Buckman at StormyFrog Studios custom code it.

      • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

        I was going to ask the same question. Is it safe to say that most of your site (icons, pluggins, etc) are custom designed?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          The design is definitely customized. Only about 20% of the plugins are customized.

  • http://crossonmyback.wordpress.com B Treece

    Michael,
    Thanks for the always-interesting, specifically-helpful posts. One question about Google Analytics: can I add the code to my wordpress.com site or do I need to be running it on my own (like you do) with wordpress.org? Did I miss something?

    Thanks,

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Honestly, I don’t know. I’d be surprised if you can’t.

      • http://findinggodsfingerprints.wordpress.com/ Erica McNeal

        Google Analytics is not available at this time for wordpress.com blogs:

        http://en.support.wordpress.co

        Can I use Google Analytics?
        No, Google Analytics cannot be used on WordPress.com blogs at this time.

        Bummer!

    • http://findinggodsfingerprints.wordpress.com/ Erica McNeal

      I just saw this and am having trouble adding it to my wordpress.com site. Still trying to figure it out – will post again if I do! =)

  • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

    By the way- how do you set-up advertisements on your site? I’d love to do it on mine, but make it a free first-come-first-served advertisement…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I use BeaconAds.com. It’s an awesome service.

      • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

        Thanks for the recommendation! I just signed up… how long does it normally take for the website approval?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I honestly don’t know. They contacted me first. Sorry.

  • http://missionalmamassoul.blogspot.com/ Amy

    I really do like your commenting system and was happy when you responded to one of my comments along the way. It does make one feel more connected to you and others who leave comments too.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love that, too. I think it is really creating a sense of community.

  • http://shine4himphoto.wordpress.com Nicole

    Interesting thoughts! I’m taking a step-by-step approach. At first, I set a schedule to post once a week (Fridays at noon, as one of your earlier posts suggested) and have that linked to my Facebook fan page & Twitter. Recently, I’ve integrated the RSS feed into HootSuite, so that it automatically posts another link on my Facebook profile and Twitter on Saturday, to catch the weekend traffic. The first week I did this saw quite a jump in comparison to before, though still small since it’s a new blog. I’ve tried to stay involved in comments since the beginning. Thanks for the advice!

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      Sounds like a plan!

  • http://twitter.com/JoshuaMHood Josh Hood

    Mike, all four are excellent points. I think number four is key for you. You are so diligent in returning emails and comments that it creates not just an informational site, but a personal one. Thank you for that. It makes your blog way more powerful and attractive.

    Josh Hood
    2020visiononline.org

    • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

      amen to that.

  • Jay

    “Write shorter posts, shorter paragraphs, and shorter sentences.”

    Eh, good for some people, but I would never do this. I’m into writing, not chopping up my verbiage to get a few more hits.

  • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

    This

  • http://relevantbrokenness.com Marni Arnold

    Thank you, Michael – for all that you have done here to help everyone of out there in the blogosphere! :) This is some great stuff – and I deeply appreciate it!

  • http://twitter.com/gnxmusic gnxmusic

    Ive been taking Gary V’s Crush It approach. Having meaning full interactions with as many of my readers as possible and just being consistent. Helps big time. Great article.

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      Consistent. I like the word Congruence here. Your total brand, no holding back, nothing fake.

      • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

        can you describe the “no holding back” idea?

  • Matt Perman

    Michael: Great post. You might also be interested in this post by Leo Babauta at Zen Habits on “10 Ways I Got 4,700 Subscribers in 3 Months.” It’s from 4 years ago, but still has a lot of overlap and helpful points: http://zenhabits.net/10-ways-i-got-4300-subscribers-in-three-months/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great post. In fact, I just tweeted it!

  • Sjohnston

    interesting…how do you stay so up-to-date on the technology options available?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I subscribe to blogs that cover technology, blogging, and WordPress.

      • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

        Are those the only ones you subscribe to?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          No, I subscribe to more than 200. You can read more here: “My Daily Reading List.”

  • http://findinggodsfingerprints.wordpress.com/ Erica McNeal

    I am having troubling adding the analytics to my blog. I have gone through a few tutorials and threads and I am seeing people say it is not available for wordpress.com blogs. Have you found this to be true? If not, are you aware of any links that can help me out? Thanks!

    • http://findinggodsfingerprints.wordpress.com/ Erica McNeal

      Google Analytics is not available at this time for wordpress.com blogs:

      http://en.support.wordpress.com/stats/#additional-info

      Can I use Google Analytics?
      No, Google Analytics cannot be used on WordPress.com blogs at this time.

      Bummer!

      • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

        self-hosted wordpress allows it. :-)

        • http://findinggodsfingerprints.wordpress.com/ Erica McNeal

          Thanks both Michael and Bret – I am very new to the blogging world and when I saw everyone saying, “change to wordpress”, I followed links and got to wordpress.com switching from my blogspot that I had just started – didn’t even know there was a wordpress.org or self hosting… wow – much to learn! =)

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            WordPress.com is not a bad place to start. You can’t customize it as much, but you can learn and then eventually migrate to self-hosted. It will all transfer seamlessly.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, it looks like you can’t add Google Analytics to a WordPress.com blog. This is another reason to switch to self-hosted WordPress.

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        Thanks for answering that. Haha.. It’s a common Q :P

  • Deiric

    Thanks for an enlightening look into the real world of making a blog work (as opposed to the ‘top 10 blogger in a week’ aproach).

    (Silly?) Question: you always lead all of your posts with a large picture of some kind – is this a style decision or did you find it has some impact on reader attractiveness?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I find that visually it attracts attention and pulls the reader into the post. I use them for the same reason magazines do. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/NewEnglandHiker Roy Wallen

    Thank you for the (as usual) helpful guidance. As I step into the deep end of the blog pool, I will start to adop tthese.

  • http://www.LovingCharlotte.com Keith

    I believe this is about the time you started letting guest bloggers too, that may make some difference.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I have been doing that for a couple of years. I don’t think it was a factor in these results.

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    Excellent. Is that a new plugin at the top right of your post for the Facebook | Twitter | Comment Count?

    • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

      BTW… I’d echo the frequency factor. I’ve been doing a lot of testing and can conclusively agree that frequency has a big impact. Post quality must be good too but frequency keeps bringing them in and from what I have gathered, also builds loyalty and engagement much faster (because the points of contact are higher).

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, it is … sort of. I had it custom coded. My goal was to offer more “social proof” by including the Facebook shares and Twitter tweets to the number of comments. I also wanted to make it easier for people to share with their network of friends. The jury is still out, but I am hoping it drives additional traffic.

  • Deiric

    I have read all of the comments below, along with your responses.

    I can only echo everyone eles – thanks for the open generosity in starting one of the most constructive exchanges I have seen on blogging ‘how tos’.

    Two quick questions:

    Disqus looks key – regardless of traffic volume. Would you recommend having it built in from day one (I’m just about to launch)?

    Any other plug in / feature else that your experience says is a ‘must have’ from day one?

    Thanks again
    Deiric

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. I am glad it has been helpful.

      Yes, I would start with Disqus. It’s just one less conversion you will have to do later.

      You can review “My Favorite WordPress Plugins.” I wrote this before I started using Disqus, so it is somewhat dated. Nevertheless, it will give you some good ideas.

  • http://twitter.com/lovinglyyoursG Georgiana

    Thanks for the great tips Michael! Quality of writing over quantity of words I feel is essential in achieving a dedicated audience. People’s time is valuable and it’s important to get your message across in a meaningful briefness. Eye-catching titles are essential too as it pulls a reader in to want to read more and gain from what you are trying to say.

  • http://twitter.com/Juanbg Juan

    Great post Mike, I have started my blog but certainly did not write as I wanted…moving forward I will follow your example and see how it goes, it is about failing and faling to win.

  • http://twitter.com/allballbearings Jay Graves

    Michael, do you by chance have a list of plugins you are using and would be willing to share? I handle tech for my wife’s blog (http://www.styleblueprint.com) and am always interested in anything wordpress.org – we made the switch last year (also running on Amazon AWS which is also very cool for graphic hosting).

    Thanks as always for the great writing and leadership! Jay Graves

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I have a post called, “My Favorite WordPress Plugins.” This was written before I started using Disqus as my commenting engine, but I am still using most of these. Thanks.

    • http://twitter.com/allballbearings Jay Graves

      Well, if I had just searched first I would have found this: http://michaelhyatt.com/my-favorite-wordpress-plugins.html Apologies!

      I do have a comment and a question:

      Comment: After experimenting with both, we switched from W3 Super Cache to W3 Total Cache. The Amazon Cloudfront CDN portion of the plugin alone made it totally worth with.

      Question: What is the cool little “Click Here” pull down tab in the upper right-hand corner? I don’t see that mentioned anywhere and we need something just like it.

      Thanks again! Jay

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Yes, I recently switched to W3 Total Cache, too, along with MaxCDN.

        The page peel I use is some custom code, but you should look at the Page Peel plugin. It does the same thing.

        Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/MattBeard Matt Beard

    I’d say the best thing I could do is actually post a few things. To be honest, my blog fell to the wayside while I was completing my degree. I just need to put myself on a schedule. I have plenty to write about, I just haven’t made time to do it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is the first and biggest challenge for every blogger I know, including me.

  • Anonymous

    i tried your strategy about a week ago on my other blog and i can also testify that its working. though im expecting a huge volume of traffic in my blog but still the result is very good.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great! I’m delighted to hear it.

  • Pingback: Anatomy of an Effective Blog Post()

  • http://twitter.com/tvonhaefen Troy Von Haefen

    Michael, thanks for the post. I feel I should continue to post…but post regularly. My goal, at this point, is to post once a week. As a financial advisor trying to deliever pertinent info to my audience, without putting them to sleep, it is sometimes hard.

  • http://studio27b.net David Nash

    I had been doubling my site traffic consistently for several months via heavy Twitter involvement. The problem was, when I backed off the Tweeting, so did my visits. The result was my writing time became dominated by something other than writing! And I LOVE to write, sooo something had to change.

    I decided to take a chance. What if I focused more on relevant tweets (less rt’s, mentions, and follow lists) and spent more time on putting out quality posts? How would that impact things? The first week my site visits tropped to 15% of the prior weeks (ouch!). The second week was more of the same…but my writing was better. By the third week the traffice was moving back up.

    Simply put…less busy work, more quality work. The results of this change have brought me back to Decembers numbers…without Decembers frantic tweetiness! I am more at peace with my work, and apparently…so are my readers.

    Thanks for all your great thoughts and help Mike! It’s well worth my time. Now, back to making some more stuff that matters.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is a great lesson. Thanks for sharing it.

    • www.therextras.com

      This makes me feel a bit better, too. Thanks, David. I have a similar pattern of numbers.
      Barbara

  • http://onstagetechnologies.com Scott Kantner

    I am wondering if you’d have experienced the same relative increase if you didn’t already have a lot of momentum. I think getting the initial critical-mass of readership is the most difficult challenge.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I suspect that you are right. That’s why it is important to be patient and just keep building. Thanks.

  • http://bradleyaharmon.com Brad Harmon

    Wow, what big stats you have! :) you have a great blog.

    I’ve found that blogging frequency (and consistently – with which I struggle) play the largest role in my blog’s traffic. I am pretty responsive to comments on my blog, but I can only imagine the time commitment it takes for you to stay on top of them all.

    I’m still working on shorter posts, which I think will result in more comments and interactions. I can see how that would benefit bounce rates and percentage of returning visitors.

    Keep the great posts coming, and I’m sure your visitors will become hooked like me.

  • http://www.christopherscottblog.typepad.com/ Christopher Scott

    Like you, I have increased my blogging frequency as well. I aim for four blog posts per week. This has helped and gives more content to my readers, which I hope they pass along to others.

    I have found that if I find key topics or holidays, then make a blog post relevant to that topic on that day, I get increased traffic. For example, my most popular post this year has been a post where I shared my favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes on MLK Day. My traffic sky rocketed for two days.

  • Diego

    Excelente articulo, gracias por compartir tanta información valiosa, saludos desde Islas canarias España :)

  • http://madebymethod.com/ Calgary Web Design

    Web Designing is very important part of any website, it makes user interest in the site.

  • http://www.pastorpersonalfinance.com Pastor Personal Finance

    Michael, thanks for sharing what you are learning. I know I need to work on optimizing the SEO on my sites. ScribeSEO sounds like a great tool.

  • Karl Mealor

    Just curious…don’t answer if you don’t want to. Do you receive income from your blog? And is the income related to the amount of traffic on the blog?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes and yes.

  • http://cyclicalunemployment.wordpress.com/ Katherine: Unemployed

    How much of a difference has it been for you having your own url rather than wordpress? I don’t know that I can afford it

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have switched to bit.ly pro. It is free, but it doesn’t work with HootSuite directly. I have to shorten the URL and then paste it into HootSuite. It’s a small hassle, but, given the cost savings, worth it.

  • http://www.samluce.com samluce

    I think you could add knowing and writing to your audience.

    I am curious if the time you post your blog posts matters. Does posting in the morning get more traffic than the afternoon.

    Great post.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I find that posting at 5:00 a.m. is best. This ensures that my newest post is available for early morning readers. Thanks.

  • http://www.partymor.com/party/seasonal/supplies/valentines-day/ Valentines day

    Thank you for posting such a beautiful blog, i like this blog and i want to subscribe it so can you please tell me when you updated.

  • http://twitter.com/claytonclan6 Cherie Clayton

    I am totally new at all this…so some of the lingual is new to me as well. For one when using the Google Analytics, where do I post the code? I didn’t understand the instructions through google

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It all depends on what blogging platform you are. If you are using WordPress, it depends on what theme you are using, too. Usually, the premium (i.e., paid_ themes) themes have a special spot in their control panel where you paste it.

      Give me some more details, and I will try to point you in the right direction. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/claytonclan6 Cherie Clayton

    If you would like to take a look at my blog and tell me what you think here’s the address: http://lifeworthserving.blogspot.com

    Oh…a beginner tip that I am sure you guys know about is putting your blog address as part of your signature on all outgoing emails….

  • http://melissasbetterworld.com Jusmel0707

    thanks for the information – very helpful. I will definitely come back to read some more.

  • http://www.johngilliat.com/guitarblog John Gilliat

    Hey Michael

    I’ve just read your post regarding increasing my blog traffic.
    Can I easily switch over to standard theme from my existing theme?

    I’m having a lot of success with the current theme and just a little worried about making the switch. My blog is at http://www.johngilliat.com/guitarblog

    Thank you for your post I’m going to implement all you advice!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I just replied to your email, John. I am not sure, because I don’t know what your technical abilities are. I suggest that you check in the StandardTheme discussion forum. Thanks.

  • http://www.larkive.com Jason

    I have a question for you…

    I started my blog just 4 days ago, and I am struggling to decide how I should focus my efforts.

    I have been trying to get involved in discussions and forums, but can’t seem to get many readers from it. Of course, this will take time, but I was wondering if you had any advice on how to develop your readership when you are at the beginning phases of a blog…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The best thing you can do is read TentBlogger. It is a site designed for people in your exact situation.

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  • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

    I’ve noticed that you are always engaged in your readers’ comments, Michael. This is something I got from you; if someone comments on my post, I always comment back. I’ll bet that, since commenting on your site has been increasing exponentially over the last few months, it’s harder to do that. Or do you have to be more selective now?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, it doesn’t exactly scale. I think of it as a dinner party. As the host, I don’t have to comment on everyone else’s comments. That would just be weird in real life. All I have to do is be present in the conversation and comment when I have something of value to add. Great question!

  • Raghunath Pillai

    I believe keyword research and commenting would make a lot of difference too. An area I kind of ignored. Now it is time I concentrate on that. 

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  • http://researchnetwork.com/ christain

    With such essential skills you are sure to become a good academic article writer; you will definitely make the most of remarkable academic writing jobs that come your way. And what is really incredible about these is that; you can work in-house anywhere in UK and get paid to do what you like doing and in what your specialty lies

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  • Anonymous

    Superb posting i love to read it at the time when people need it as guider i like to see it
    Please share more about the work experience… finding work experience

  • Personal Wealth

    I’ve been blogging full time for about 1 year now. I
    can tell you firsthand that the biggest problem most bloggers face
    (myself included) is publishing quality, relevant content on a
    consistent basis. No matter what your publishing schedule, it can be a
    real challenge to blog regularly and keep your readers engaged.
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    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yep, this is the single biggest challenge most bloggers face, including me.

  • http://ideageek.it/server-emule server emule

    I’m a bit confused. Do you schedule your post to automatically post itself at 4 am? Or do you manually post it? 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      In WordPress, you can set the date and time you want it to appear. So, I simply set it for the date and 4:00 a.m. The post automatically appears on that date at that time.

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  • Ian McLovin

    Yes, you’re right. Bloggers should aim to avoid tl;dr (Too Long, Didn’t Read) posts. Interest is just a click away, so why not get them involved in the discussion? That works every time. People want to be heard and Bloggers want to get noticed. That is what Blog Traffic is all about.
     Ian McLovin

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  • http://MacedoniaFilms.com/ Dan Baker

    We’re in the process of re-imagining what it looks like to be a filmmaker in 2012, blogging and building a platform is going to be a big part of that. Thanks for all this wonderful information, you’re pointing the way forward!

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  • http://twitter.com/sevenroots20 Sevenroots 2.0

    For about two weeks, I find my blog traffic a little bit increased t0o. The strategu is almost same too, I use a better theme (hybrid in this case) start to write more post with simpler English. And the last is by blogwalking anywhere.
    Thanks for sharing this tips Mr. Michael :)

  • http://darlenekelley.wordpress.com/ Darlene

    Thanks for the blogging tips. I am gradually making some changes to my blog as I learn and get tips like these. My biggest challenge right now is deciding on content and focusing long enough to write clearly without using too many words.

  • Danie Marie

    For one, I need to blog more often. I’ve been quite sporadic due to sickness and such, plus working on my novels, but even if it’s short, I figure short is better than none.

  • Partha Dasgupta

    Dear Mr Hyatt,

    Another great article. Couldn’t help sharing it on FaceBook, so posted the link.

    Wish you’d give a RSS feed. Would be easier to keep up.

    Rgds, Partha

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I have an RSS feed. Upper right-hand side of the blog. Do you see it? Thanks.

  • http://godandmyeverydaylife.wordpress.com/ maryagius

    I’m looking under the Help menu for my WordPress blog but it states that Google Analytics can not be used on Word Press.com blogs.

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  • http://twitter.com/Justtexin24 Justin Johnson

     wow these are so simple and easy to apply I am excited to try them out. Thank you.

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  • http://www.MorrisMatters.com/ Dwayne Morris

    I have Pat Flynn to thanks for these tips: 1) file names of images need to be connected to the content of your post and 2) use relative terms in the URL / Permalink.

    Say Michael…if you had to pick one of these four as the most effective?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I would say #1. I have dialed back on the frequency of my own blog now, but I have also reached critical mass.

  • Jane Bromley

    Dear Michael. What a useful blog- so practical and described simply so that we can all implement the same things. It inspired me to see what I can achieve too. Thank you so much. 

  • http://www.Thinke.org Matt Brown

    This is so helpful Michael. Question – do you know anything about squarespace? Does wordpress simply have better SEO than any other blogging/ website platform?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m sorry, I really don’t know anything about SquareSpace.

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  • Nancy J.

     Thinking I should begin focusing more on my blog instead of my website.

  • Febry Suryanto

    i’m still on the way. I just got 500 PV perday on my blogT.T.. Thanks for sharing Mr. Michael :D Hope i can implement it on my blog:D..
    http://welovedotas.blogspot.com

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  • http://twitter.com/rachidrikitchi rachid

    gtrsgrt

  • Nate

    Thank you for taking the time to explain the changes you made and the results you saw.

  • JVanderSpek

    I changed the heading in my emails to be more like yours. My latest one: Talking with your Kids about Masturbation [A new post]. Seemed to help. overcoming-lust.com

  • Barbara Gustavson

    As I’m a new blogger, this is great insight. I love that you mentioned about writing shorter blogs more frequently. Less is more!

  • Shari

    If one is a writer on substantive topics, how does one keep one’s blog posts short?

    I frequently deal with some complex issues. Are you really saying that I must reduce complexity with a sound bite to be heard?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It really depends on your audience and your subject category. I was only providing a general rule. There are exceptions.

  • Phil Fragasso

    Is Standard Theme still available? I can’t locate it on WordPress and the link you provided indicates that the company selling it (8BIT) is out of business.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yep, it has been shuttered, unfortunately I am in the process of releasing my own WordPress theme based on my own. You can read about it here.

  • Ben Allison

    Hi Michael! I clicked the link to check out “Standard Theme” and it took me to what seemed to be a web consulting website? Is their anywhere where we could simply buy the standard theme if we like it?

    “I had already installed Standard Theme back in October. This had an immediate, positive impact on my traffic.”

    • http://www.mhmcintyre.us/ Mark McIntyre

      8Bit, the developers of Standard Theme, has gone out of business (as of August 2013) and the theme can no longer be purchased.

      • Ben Allison

        Thanks Mark!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, Standard Theme has been discontinued. This post was written back in 2011. I am about to launch my own theme called, Get Noticed! Theme for WordPress. It is now available, but in a limited release.

  • http://LeanStartPad.com/ Jeff ‘SKI’ Kinsey

    Great insight, but I find myself more engaged and more likely to share since you went to disqus.

  • gail

    This is VERY HELPFUL! Thanks for sharing. Do you have any suggestions for what time of day to publish your daily posts?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I publish mine at 4:00 a.m., so those on the east coast of the U.S. can have them first thing in the morning.n (By the way, I don’t get up at that time. I just schedule them to post at that time.)

  • Frenetta Tate

    Thank you for sharing, Michael! I agree with number 1 wholeheartedly. I have noticed a jump in followers when I increased the frequency of my posts. I just started shortening my paragraphs this week. I’ve known for a while that the titles get the first level interest. Once they like the title, the percentage of them actually reading the blog post is increased. Thank you for the insight. I look forward to the new actions you will post later. I appreciate you!

  • http://www.danielbryan.info/ Daniel Bryan

    I think I need to work on shorter blogs, sentences and paragraphs. It’s easy to go on an on about the things I’m passionate about but I need to narrow things down. I am trying to be consistent on my blogging about three times a week and I think that is about as often as I can go with some quality for now.

  • INDIEgatorMag

    Great information, thank you for sharing Michael!

  • gabregni

    I saw identical amount (from 10 to 20! I more than doubled in visitors. Little steps) outcomes from more frequent publishing. Another thing that has assisted my visitors is being engaged in feedback and conversations on other weblogs.

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  • http://www.tradethetechnicals.com/ bikramjit singh

    Disqus is a good thing to do.I uninstalled it after keeping for 1-2 days on my blog. But after reading your post, I m going to reinstall it.this is better & build links I feel as I got visitors from wherever I commented with Disqus. Thanks for sharing this.

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