How To Double Your Blog’s Page Views In One Month

This isn’t a post title I anticipated writing when I began my 36 hours publishing experiment at the start of January.

My intention with that experiment was twofold.

First because I had 100 posts in draft and wanted to get more finished and published.

And second to see if publishing at different times has an impact on engagement.

On the latter point, I’ve realised it’s quite difficult to measure this, and most people don’t read a post as soon as it’s published, so it’s irrelevant whether it was published 10 hours or 10 seconds ago if they only go to their email or Reader at certain times.

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The plan to publish more posts and clear my drafts both worked, and simultaneously backfired.

Turns out that whilst I published 21 new posts in January, I forgot from past experience that the more ideas I have, the more ideas I have.

So by writing more posts, this triggered off even more ideas. And now I have around 110 in draft. But that’s OK, I’d rather that than be scratching around for ideas and inspiration!

What’s been a real surprise from this experiment are two statistics. 

First, my overall views for January were the best I’ve ever had, and nearly double what I received for each of the last four or five months of 2018.

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Obviously the majority of us blog to share and engage with other people, so it’s fantastic to see more people reading 35hunter.

The statistic that has surprised me even more is page views per visitor.

This teetered around 2.7 pages for all of 2018. In January this shot up to 4.32.

Which is even more satisfying, as it means everyone visiting is spending more time here, and obviously finding more posts to enjoy – over four each time, on average.

Comments were at their highest for eight months – which is a major measure for me in how worthwhile the blog is, and how successful it is in forming and building community.

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Annoyingly though, you all still like me far too much.

Despite disabling “likes” on 35hunter completely, you must be doing it via WP Reader, as this was also hit a record level in January.

Imagine what the comments total would have been if you’d written something instead of clicking that like button…

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One final stat that I have mixed feelings about is the most read posts.

A post with a blue marker is from the current month, all others are older posts.

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So the top post is once again How I Shoot Film Simply Without A Light Meter, which has been the top post every month since I wrote it two and a half years ago.

All of the top eight are older posts, and after the top Shoot Film post, the next six are all about lenses.

Only two posts actually written in January made the top 10 posts read that month.

I love that older posts still get some attention and aren’t just neglected and gathering dust.

But I’m not sure that having virtually all of the top 10 posts written months, if not years ago, makes me feel the newer posts are of equal value.

Anyway, there is much to be happy about here, and grateful to you for as a supportive reader, so thank you.

I plan to continue to publish every 36 hours for the foreseeable future, as it works for me as a blogger, and is obviously being well received by you and your fellow readers.

Oh and to give you the answer to this post’s title – “How To Double Your Blog’s Page Views In One Month” – in my experience I have two major tips –

  1. Publish a new post every 36 hours.
  2. Write plenty of posts about vintage lenses!

What do you feel about a new post on 35hunter every 36 hours? Do you feel the standard of posts has been consistent despite the increased frequency? 

I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below. Thank you.

Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what I’m into right now.

8 thoughts on “How To Double Your Blog’s Page Views In One Month”

  1. A couple of perspectives.

    First, you’re never going to prevent Likes from happening on the WordPress Reader, so the sooner you pretend you don’t notice them the faster you regain your centeredness.

    Second, do not discount the power of Google. Your new posts are fine but Google has merely ranked some of your older posts high for certain searches. You can’t compare views on old posts to new posts and reach any conclusion about post value.

    1. Jim, many thanks for your insights, very valuable from an experienced photo blogger like yourself.

      Fair point about the “likes”, I need to just get over it! It is annoying that WP doesn’t honour your choices in your dashboard on the WP reader too – I feel it should be consistent across the board.

      I think it’s no coincidence that most of those posts that did well in January (and do well most months) have very specific lens names in the titles and within the posts. Anyone searching for “Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Sonnar” is not going to find as many matches in Google as searching just for “Zeiss” or “Sonnar”, so I guess for those more specific searches Google is giving me plenty of attention, which is great, it’s how searches should work.

      I can see from the Referrer stats in my WP stats that search engines are the biggest referrer by far and Google accounts for about 99.9%. It surprises me that people bother with Bing or Yahoo these days. It would be interesting to get more detail on specific searches going to specific posts, but I guess ultimately it doesn’t really matter or influence what I post.

      That said, I do have two or three similar “Lens Love” posts in draft for other favourite M42 lenses of mine, so it would probably make sense to get them out there and gathering up more readers sooner rather than later too, and make that long tail even longer. Though I have another couple of older posts about film compacts that consistently do well too, and they have far more obscure titles, so obviously mentioning their names in the body of the article still ranks highly with Google too.

      Thanks again Jim!

  2. People talk about the drive to create as though it exists for its own sake, as an end to itself, yet one of the very few “creatives” I’ve ever heard of who did not appear to need the validation of acceptance was Vivian Maier.

    Humans, most of them, are social. That is a function of species-survival and the continuation of one’s genetic estate within it. The social motive is, in some form, behind almost everything we do – the old saw that ‘all human behavior is a subset of the search for dignity.’ We don’t like to think that we are mumbling to ourselves, and the wider and deeper the acceptance we garner, the better.

    The anthropology of the Internet is no different. The personal and serial essay form we term a ‘blog’ is gonna need the same fuel, and that fuel has a scale of valuation: a mere “like” casually tossed en passant while speed-skimming feels to us like pocket change pitched at a beggar. A comment, on the other hand, carries the heft of sterling and signals confirmation that one’s post was substantive and well-wrought, of such real value that it provokes response and considered engagement.

    And worth noting: in the present milieu of toxic, end-stage capitalism, the deeper the engagement and the greater the breadth of the audience, the better the potential for monetization. One blog-like photography web site has rapidly evolved from a little shop-on-the-corner to an enterprise (already well-festooned with ads) where guest-posters contribute content (without remuneration beyond seeing themselves in ‘print’). The owner regularly makes fungoid appeals for donations – a voluntary pay-wall. Perhaps it is hoped that he may continue in it in lieu of an actual job, and prosper.

    That is not the case here. 35hunter is by contrast a clean, orderly, and calm symposium for the like-minded. A post here is not a trolling drogue for funneling coins, and here nothing is hawked except reflection and bonhomie. We, us, make photographs, graphic love-notes to the glories of the world. The author’s thoughts on that practice may strike a note with our personal experience of it, and we would do well to reinforce him and ourselves beyond the nod of a ‘like’. Persons responding with their own thoughts make a conversation. Conversation makes community, and only community makes humanity. Else-wise, we mumble alone.

    To the questions:

    – a day and a half per post is just about right. It gives time for thoughtful musing or riposte, and keeps attention in suspenseful anticipation of the next;

    – the ‘standard’ of posts is what it had always been: a topic that sparks your personal reflection is the only valid criterion. To do anything else is to probe beneath the readership’s overcoat for a poke at the ‘comments’ nerve.

    1. William, as I’ve said before, you really should have your own platform online somewhere, you write so well. Thank you for your ongoing support and comments, it adds a great deal to the discussions here.

      I was in two minds about writing and publishing a post about stats and growth, it seems in some ways too self-congratulatory. But from the angle of sharing the learning, ie this is something I’ve tried and this is how it went, I hope other bloggers can find it useful too.

      From someone who quite often literally mumbles to himself, it’s a helpful reminder that even those of us who might be more shy and retiring in the offline world can find mutually rewarding social engagement online. It’s one of the great benefits of the internet. I am quite a walking dichotomy at times – most of the time I just like my own company, but am happy being a team leader in my day job and used to teach dance to groups of up to 50 people, again quite happily and confidently.

      I absolutely love your definition and understanding of “likes” versus comments – “a mere “like” casually tossed en passant while speed-skimming feels to us like pocket change pitched at a beggar. A comment, on the other hand, carries the heft of sterling and signals confirmation that one’s post was substantive and well-wrought, of such real value that it provokes response and considered engagement.” Yes, yes, and yes.

      I often feel some other readers don’t really get this at all, and how much of a difference there is between the two forms of interaction.

      It also concerns me that it’s a symptom of our times, everything is too much, too fast, everyone constantly skimming through and paying lip service, not giving enough time and attention and energy to the pursuits and people they really love because they’re always moving on to the next thing.

      I think I can guess which previous “shop-on-the-corner” blog you are talking about, and if it is the same one, I have also been very disappointed by its decline. You wouldn’t know it now, but it was one of the blogs that inspired me to start a photography blog myself just over three years ago. I’ve mentioned in previous posts I’ve written about blogging that if you’re going to use guest writers, they have to be at least as good a writer as you. Some of the posts on the blog I’m thinking of have been terribly poor both in content, and simply due to the spelling, grammar and typos. It seems that the blog owner doesn’t’ bother to proof read the guest posts, but just gives all and sundry free reign to post what they like. Such a shame. Anyway, sometimes the best role models are the anti-role models, those who we see and think “I definitely *don’t* want to be like that”… A case in point.

      Love this line – “graphic love-notes to the glories of the world”. What a beauty.

      Again, conversation is the cornerstone of any site that hopes to build and nurture community. Whilst there is some benefit to writing for ourselves – for example to track our journey, and to straighten out our thoughts enough to plot the next direction – the major part is the community, the comradeship, encouraging and enjoying other people’s ideas and experiences.

      I plan to continue with the 36 hours schedule. I like the momentum it gives me, and even though I’m the writer and know what’s coming, I like that anticipation of a new post only ever a day and half away. It also, in theory, encourages me to write shorter posts, and not feel that every one has to be a 1000 word deep essay, though this hasn’t entirely manifested in practice quite yet!

      Thanks again William.

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