Successful blogging is a numbers game; apparently like chatting up people in bars (not something I’m much of an expert in). I recently passed 2000 views and 100 followers. Feels like the first time my mum’s Morris Minor passed 100,000 miles on the clock (this has now happened so many times it’s no longer exciting)
The Cyclostyle blog has been a satisfying exercise in getting stuff off my chest. My motivation was to practice writing in short bursts, to try to hone my style and see if there was enough creative juice there to do something “bigger”.
I thought I’d suffer blog fade, like Cyclostyle’s early Blogger incarnation. I mean just how much can one write about cycling? But no, I could talk/bore for my country on the subject. It’s a case of tuning into a world on two wheels, after that, everything’s a story. Fortuitously some of my best ideas actually come whilst I’m cycling.
At the moment my views are building; I doubt I’ll be scaring the big boys of bicycle blogging, but the trend is steadily upwards. I’ve settled into a routine of trying to post once a week. The posts fall into two distinct categories
- Planned articles based on an idea I’ve had that are worked up and polished
- Spur of the moment posts based on something in the news
I feel that the latter “gets in the way” of the serious, planned articles, but it does keep things fresh and the challenge of quickly getting 300 meaningful words published is rewarding.
So what’s worked?
- If my stats are anything to go on, “Mario Cippolini”, “wet look lycra” and “Levis” are the most popular search terms to return one of my pages in the results. Like I said, it’s a numbers game and I spend a lot of time (probably too much) looking at the WordPress stats summary
- I thought that the majority of my traffic would be UK, but the stats say otherwise, most days the rest of the world outranks the UK. That’s the power of the interweb I guess. Is it time to change my spellings to US-English?
- I receive very few comments. Either not enough people read the site, my articles don’t invite or encourage comments. If it’s a problem of viewers to comments ratio I should either look to build traffic (or lower my expectations)
- Using Twitter’s been helpful to drive traffic. Retweets are even better at driving traffic.
- Writing good titles that are picked up by search engines and neurotically tagging help
- Articles have a long shelf life. The 250 words I wrote on Mario Cippolini as a response to Mario Monti taking office gets views every day – I expect more by Italian housewives than cycling fans, but hey.