Five Things I've Recently Learned @ Blogging

Funny how things happen when you least expect them to. 

After two years of toiling away at this blog [and at times, neglecting it] - just when I had started to have the discussion with myself about letting my domain expire - I developed an audience.  Oh don't get me wrong ... an infinitesimal amount of visitors compared to anyone of importance.  But a following nonetheless. 

In the last five weeks my daily average number of page views have increased somewhere around 250%.

250% - A fairly dramatic increase.  Enough to make me pause and consider why.  I've narrowed down my particular success to five factors.  They might be different than your experience [please don't let any so-called blogging expert tell you how to do it - it's far more organic than that].

  1. It's a universal truth - people love celebrities.  And "celebrity" is loosely defined depending on what circles you run in.  Two of my most successful posts to-date are my interview with Alex Bogusky about why he quit Twitter and my comparison of Q-Tip vs. Quest Love on Twitter.  [side note: I was pretty psyched that Questo actually read the post and even commented].
  2. Jump on a hot topic right away.  Last week as the P&G/Tide Loads of Hope social media experiment unfolded, I banged out a quick post - a simple overview of what took place and a few links to relevant information.  I think my speed-to-post helped drive a significant amount of traffic early the following morning, garnered a number of re-tweets and also got me a link on Dave Knox's blog. The post wasn't perfect by any means, but it was timely.
  3. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want.  Overwhelmingly, the response I got to the Bogusky interview was along the lines of I admire your gumption.  I wish I had done that.  I guess this is how I've always been ... if you don't ask, you don't get.
  4. Optimizing for search makes a huge difference.  According to Google Analytics, 25% of all my site traffic comes from search engines [with Google dominating].  It's amazing to me that I am the first consumer-generated result on Google for both "P&G social media experiment" and "Alex Bogusky twitter."  I'm no SEO ninja, but giving even a little consideration to SEO will drive traffic that you would otherwise miss.
  5. Twitter and FaceBook are incredible distribution vehicles and traffic drivers.  Again, according to Google Analytics, over the last month Twitter + Facebook account for nearly 25% of all my traffic.  In my humble opinion, content producers who are not distributing their content via Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, etc. are missing out on a big audience.

Here's my question for you:  What was the moment | post that put you over the edge?  What's made your blog a success [however you choose to define it]?  Please share either via Twitter (@IanSohn) or comments - not only am I genuinely interested in learning, but maybe my new found audience is as well