Traffic Flow

Finally, it feels like I have a moment to breathe. I’m still woefully behind on blog reading, but I’ve also got some catching up do with the Blogging 201 course. The good news is, I’ve got less to catch up on there, so that shouldn’t be hard. I’m about four days behind right now, so I’m going to discuss the previous three assignments in one go, then do a separate post about today’s assignment.

On day four, we had to do a stats analysis on our blogs to get an idea of what kind of content is the most popular, and when the most people are reading. Based on that, we were tasked with creating a 30-day editorial calendar. That’s pretty exciting, and also in line with one of the goals I’d set for myself at the start of the course. Unfortunately, with work being so hectic, I haven’t had time to actually do that. I do have a basic idea of my popular posts, though, just based on the number of likes and the frequency of notifications I get. Dark humor is always a hit, as is anything to do with strong emotion (like a post about a bad day, for example). My very short poetry is pretty consistently popular, but even there, I’ve seen some fluctuations based on the subject of the poem.

As far as reading time is concerned, there appear to be two peaks throughout the day: right after work (which s the start of the day in the US), and when I’m sleeping (which would be the evening). There is a small peak in the morning as well, from Asian and European readers. I’ll need to do a more thorough analysis to determine when would be the best time for me o make my posts.

Day five’s assignment was about highlighting older content for new readers, either through an archives page or a ‘Best of’ section or something along those lines. Currently, I do have related posts displayed under each blog post (well, for my fiction blog, anyway), but I have been wondering for quite some time how to draw more attention to older stories without pestering my readers to scroll through them. So once again, this assignment is right up my alley. I’ll need to play around a bit with the site design and some widgets (I cannot tell you how much I love playing around with widgets), and also check out what other blogs are doing. This is, of course, as good a time as any to get suggestions from my readers. How do you highlight older posts or popular posts that you want new readers to find?

The assignment for day six is a little tougher: social media engagement. I currently have a Facebook account that’s rarely used, and is pretty much there as a means of interaction with one very close friend. I handle my company’s Twitter account, but otherwise don’t use it. In recent months, I’ve developed a major Instagram addiction, so I’d say that’s my social network of choice, but I have no idea how to promote a blog on it. This is another one where suggestions and ideas would be most welcome, as I would love to engage with people on a platform other than just the comments section of my posts. Help me out, blog world!

With that, I’m almost caught up on my assignments. By which I mean, I’m almost caught up reading and thinking about my assignments. Completing them is another matter entirely. My first step is to finish tweaking my site design. I had received an excellent idea for my fiction blog’s Home page in the comments for a previous post, so I’m looking to implement that. And I’m keen to work out an editorial calendar and make that a regular habit. Once that ball gets rolling, I will hopefully be able to follow through with the other assignments and build a better blog.

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