Keeping Up Momentum After a Spike in Blog Traffic

Two weeks ago, I experienced a huge surge in blog traffic, unheard of on weekends for this blog anyway. I learned that one post was tweeted and retweeted all over Twitter and two posts went viral on one of the social voting sites, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

My worry with this kind of traffic is that it’s a one or two day spike and life gets back to normal in a couple of days. Now, while I don’t expect every post to go viral (but wouldn’t that be nice?), I would like to walk away from the experience with some new readers and members of this community. It would be truly terrific to keep the momentum going.

Keep Posting

Truthfully, all the same people who came to read your blog post when it went viral won’t be coming by every day to read subsequent posts. However, some of them will. They won’t continue to be intrigued if that same last post is front and center each and every day. Adding new content is essential for keeping people coming back for more.

Also, most people stay above the fold when they land on the blog. So if you do the “top story” thing where the same post stays at the coveted top spot for weeks, while new content is underneath? Yeah, no one will see the new stuff. They’ll just keep seeing the same old, above the fold post and assume nothing new is going on. If you want to keep up momentum and bring in new readers, fresh content in the top spot is a must.

Why Did These Topics Attract Attention?

Whenever a post goes viral, it’s important to consider why. Did you touch a nerve? If so, why? What was it about this particular bit of content, above all others, that cause folks to share it and vote, tweet and stumble?  This isn’t to say you need to duplicate your most popular content each and every time, but knowing why your most successful content did well will help you plan new blog posts. Read comments, not only on your blog but in relation to the tweet, stumbles, Diggs or wherever folks are talking about it. This isn’t to say everything you write should be linkbait, but definitely write with your community in mind.

Where is The Traffic Coming From?

Knowing where your traffic is coming from and why they’re coming to your blog is essential for content creation. The person who linked to you, keywords, search terms and discussion topics will all give you a clue as to who your readers are and the topic of content they’re most interested in.

Any Feedback?

All feedback is good feedback. Read comments, and Tweets and consider them all, even those that aren’t necessarily positive. But don’t rest on your laurels. Now you need to keep creating good, valuable content to keep up your flow of traffic. While it’s always important for bloggers to blog for themselves and keep their voice, it’s also important to learn about the people who read our blogs and invite them to come again.

Don’t stop blogging…

If you receive a surge in traffic, it’s because people saw something that piqued their interest enough to commit to clicking on your link. Many won’t come back again, but many others will. By providing quality content on a regular basis, you won’t disappoint new readers or the older members of your community. Learn why folks are visiting you, and do what you can to keep them coming back for more.

How do you keep your momentum going?

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  • Anonymous

    Hi Deb! You are masterful at sustaining a community so I really appreciate the tips. I have not hit that momentum yet but your tips are great for those of us looking to gain momentum. You can learn a lot from other people’s content and what gets shared, stumbled and liked. How can you incorporate that into your own blog? I’m walking away with some great ideas to test in the lab. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/Anklebuster Mitchell Allen

    Deb, I’ve never had a viral post but I do get spikes from StumbleUpon.com and BloggerLuv.com. One of the popular posts is about Sudoku and the other is a tutorial about a CAPTCHA plugin.

    I don’t do anything about Sudoku, but I have updated the tutorial several times, based on feedback. In addition, I linked to the plugin author and he was gracious enough to link back from his support page. So there’s momentum :)

    I gotta come up with something for that Sudoku!

    Cheers,

    Mitch

  • Anonymous

    “Definitely write with your community in mind.” Great ideas!

    I’d also add – write so people proactively look forward to your content and search it out as well. Anticipation – a good thing indeed!

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    Part of building a community is sustaining the effort over the long haul. Reader retention is tough- there are a lot of distractions and noise out there. But if you work hard to build relationships you will find that over time it is easier to capture new readers.

  • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

    I had a spike in traffic yesterday after reviewing yours (and some other) sites…and today the traffic is way down BUT…the traffic is already double of what it usually is at the end of the day.

    I am doing some of this stuff…i release content daily and its scheduled weeks in advance, so I got that part down…and I totally agree with figuring out what it was that brought them there to begin with…and the answers are never on the surface.

    Anyways, Im loving a different take on things Deb…keep it up.

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      I think you’re my new BFF, Dino.