Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | August 7, 2011

I Get Mail: Generating Blog Traffic

From the mail bag:

I’ve read your book (it’s funny) [Thanks!] and I also come by and read your blog on occasion.  I have a question for you.  Can you remember back in August, 2006 when you first started your blog how you generated readers, people to leave comments on your blog?

Yes indeed: the trick is to read other medical blogs, comment thoughtfully and appropriately (making sure your comment links to your blog; be sure to fill in the “website” field of the comment, after “name” and “email”), and use topics of mutual interest as they arise to generate thoughtful and appropriate posts of your own. The medical blogosphere functions as a community in every sense of the word. The only way to get anything out of it is through what you put into it.

Bear in mind, of course, that it was a lot easier to do that 5 years ago, as there were far fewer blogs. Perhaps a few dozen of us were fairly regular readers/contributors to each others’ blogs. KevinMD was and still is a huge presence. Contributing a guest post there (he solicits them) guarantees a lot of eyes on at least one post. If it’s interesting enough, people will click through to your blog.

If I may be so bold as to quote myself, always follow the Dinosaur’s blogging rules:

  1. Write well.
  2. Say something.
  3. Mix it up.

Linksmanship matters. Think Goldilocks: not too much, not too little.

Remember too that not everyone is cut out for blogging, especially over the long haul. I and many other bloggers tend to go through cycles of more prolific blogging alternating with leaner times. Personally, I’m in the latter phase, in that I really haven’t been keeping up with my blog reading at all for at least 6 months now. My posts are relatively few and far between, and don’t engage with other bloggers and topics of common interest the way they used to. But that’s okay; people change, and blogs come and go/wax and wane.

Bottom line is that the way to have a lively, interactive blog is to be lively and interactive. Telling patients about a blog and posting about it on Facebook just doesn’t cut it.

Hey, that was pretty good. Maybe I’ll make this a blog post.

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Responses

  1. At the risk of being a bit self serving I would also suggest that if your blog is in the healthcare professional niche that you look at a site called Healthcare Roundup (see link below). I am the webmaster of HealthcareRoundup.com.

    Healthcare Roundup was developed due to the proliferation of professional healthcare blogs. How does one find interesting blogs to follow? Healthcare Roundup is not a robot blog but does rely on RSS feeds of blogs to provide content which is then categorized and is searchable by category. HealthcareRoundup.com does not repost the blogger’s content in full but merely shows the headline, blog author, blog source and a short excerpt on the front page to give the browser a taste of what’s out there. If a blogger clicks on the title of a blog on the front page he is then taken to a longer excerpt of the blog content (125 words) and can click on the source blog link to read the full article or blog post from the original blog.

    Only 3 months old HealthcareRoundup.com is already over 1,500 visitors per month with a 98% click through to the original blogs.

    Last week opened a new front page “Featured Blog” section to highlight individual blogs. Coming is a “Books By Our Bloggers” section which will spotlight books written by our contributing blog authors.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Great advice for the amateur blogger – thank you!


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