I thought I’d share with my readers some of thoughts about my tweeting and blogging from 2010 – a year that saw considerable growth in readership and followers for me.
2010 was the year of elections, and marked my attempt to blog at least once a week. While I’ve been blogging on and off here (and earlier here and on blogger) since 2004, I’ve never had a regular schedule. I’ve read on blog-advice sites that regular blogging is one of the best ways to get more readers, and that’s certainly my experience.
What are my top blog posts over the last 12 months? In order, they are:
- The #Nocleanfeed campaign, DoS and political nous
- The first Green in the House of Reps?
- My brief review of Civilization 5
- Adam Bandt cures cancer
- What union members want from their union’s communications
- Social Media for Unions E-Book
- No Clean Feed campaign needs to drop their “censorship” obsession
- Hiding behind “cab rank principle” is unethical
- Best practice use of Facebook for unions
- Pro-Greens Party Blogger Jeremy Sear excuses Greens
- The mining-tax scare website is an excellent case study
- Why unions should embrace social media
- Seven online campaigning activities you should already be doing
They range between Federal Election related and union-campaigning and communications related, with the Civilization 5 review rating highly because of SEO. The top post rated highly because of SEO and forum links from Whirlpool. All of the posts benefited from search engine traffic, especially those relating to the Greens Party and Federal Election.
The Federal Election was a major source of traffic for me – not only from interacting with other blogs (such as Crikey blogs or Larvatus Prodeo) – but also from search engines. Until recently, my best day was during the election. The Victorian Election on the other hand drew less traffic, although that could also be because I blogged about it less. And despite drawing less traffic overall, two of my top posts were about the Victorian Election.
Finally, union-related blog posts get consistent visitors – mainly “long tail” visits (that is, a few visitors each day from a variety of sources) rather than loads of visitors on the day the post was published. Referrals and search are important for these posts.
My top referrers for my blog are:
- Google – organic (this is search)
- Direct – (people writing in the blog address directly into their address bar)
- Email – my email subscribers (see more below)
- Facebook – likes, shares and my regular “linking” on my own Status Bar
- Creative Unions – major referral site
- Woothemes Showcase – my blog is showcased on the Woothemes blog
- Twitter – my own tweets and retweets
Some other interesting stats. Most people read an average of 4 pages when they visit. There is a bounce-rate of just over 2% (that means that about 97% of people visit more than one page when they visit my blog). Most people spend just under 3 minutes on my site and around 63% of people who come are “new” visitors (it’s their first visit).
Most blogs that write about social media at some point or another write about how get more Twitter followers. As you can see, over the last three months that I’ve seen a steady growth in followers. To be honest, I can’t put my finger on a specific thing that I’ve done over the last three months to warrant this increase. I don’t automatically follow the people who follow me, and I only follow around 75 people, so it’s not because of “follow-spam”.
This year I also started to use Klout – which monitors how influential you are on Twitter and Facebook. As you can see, my Klout score has meandered up and down around the 50-56 mark. The high point was during the Victorian election – probably due to a higher degree of retweets.
What I did change in 2010 is to make an effort to reply to people who send me “@s” and retweets, and to provide consistent, diverse content – not just links to this blog, but to other interesting content I find on the ‘Net, and personal updates. As someone said to me late last year: “You are a prodigious tweeter.” I certainly tweet a lot.
I’ve recently made a big effort to boost my email subscribers. In addition to adding an annoying pop-up promoting my free e-book, I also introduced the new e-book as the key part of plan to get subscribers. Most people are willing to subscribe to get emails if they think they will get something valuable out of it.
The reaction to my e-book has been positive so far, and there have only been one or two unsubscribes from my list over the last few months – so the once a week email digest of this blog I send obviously isn’t worthless to my subscribers.
So, what did I do to get subscribers? Create worthwhile content and give it away for free after asking that you subscribe to my email list. Simple.
Email makes up around 11% of my referrals, and growing, so I think it’s important. I’ve only really put a big effort into email in the last 3 months, and I think it’s paying off. I’ve also benefited from referrals from a number of pro-union sites that have recommended people download my e-book.
2010 in a wrap
Everyone says that “content is key” – and so do I. If you create good content that people want to read and retweet, then they will, and you will see an increase in readership and follow-rates.
I have made more of an effort in 2010 than I did in 2009 or 2008 (when I started this blog). I’ve focused on articles that give best-practice advice on online campaigning for unions. I’ve also branched out to more political blog posts during election times – or prominent issues like climate change or the #NoCleanFeed campaign.