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How to Write a Blog Post That Drives Traffic

Lesson 8 of 10

Understand Traffic & Growth

Darren Murph

How to Write a Blog Post That Drives Traffic

Darren Murph

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Lesson Info

8. Understand Traffic & Growth


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:08:21
  Class Trailer
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1 What Makes a Great Story? Duration:15:22
2 Blog Post Components Duration:19:12
3 Understand Traffic & Growth Duration:08:33

Lesson Info

Understand Traffic & Growth

All right, so we're gonna break into the traffic and growth section uh last but not least as it were, so every web host has free traffic metrics and so what I mean by that is if you have a blogging it's onward press you're gonna have to pay a web host to host it. So whether that square space or dream dream space mean there's tons of these and they all charge about nine to ten dollars a month they say we'll host your site you just install wordpress on it and uh and off you go with that ninety ten dollars a month, there will be some sort of traffic tool in the admin area so you'll find a lot of places it say they pay us xml per month we'll monitor traffic for you we'll give you all this insight but truthfully most web host have a perfectly suitable tool and it's included you might have dig around a little bit you might have to phone up your web host. Where is this? How do I get access to it? Ah lot of its kind of convoluted but it's in there and they do a really, really good job, so when...

you're looking a traffic early on, you want to look at what post too well in which do not and so from a very basic level you could look at which post had a lot of comments which post and a lot of unique visitors which post were shared more than others? Uh and of course everybody's bass lines going to be different it engadget we didn't millions of views a day so uh opposed that did poorly may have thirty thousand hands, but if you're just starting out if you have a small business thirty thousand hits would be the most you'd ever seen so it's all about perspective, so what's important to do is look at a baseline look att look at where you're at when you get started if you're averaging twenty to thirty hits per post, then that's your baseline so you might want to say what I want to triple that let's go to one hundred what's it gonna take to get there and as your publishing post, if you find one that does particularly well, look at that post and really analyze it didn't have a great headline I didn't have call to action did it have a certain promotion in it that you think people related? Tio ask yourself these questions because whatever that post had you want to try to get that into a cz many of your other post is possible and so you have to be willing tto over cover certain popular topics and maybe undercover other things that you're interested in, you have to be able to listen to what the audience is telling you, they want to hear more about and to some degree, go to that, uh, right down this quote, if you if you wanted the payoff for individuals and small business owners, is not ad revenue it's future business, this makes raw traffic less important in quality of traffic. Mohr important? And so when I've talked to clients in the business room and they say we want to start our own block and we're really concerned about traffic, the next question I have is, do you have advertisement on your blogged? And are you making a business impact from ad revenue on this block? And almost without fail said, no, why would we put ads on this block? It's? Not like we're the new york times, and we need to have ads on the block. We just want to inform people of what we're doing, okay, if you're not in it for the ad revenue, then you have to look at traffic differently than a publication like the new york times, which does need ad revenue. So, do you think about the new york times? They need people to come to their site in the former traffic so that they have a lot of ad impressions so that their staff can eat, but when you're talking about a small business, you probably aren't going to rely on ad revenue is a major source of income I can't imagine let's say the marriott or hilton starting up a block and then putting ads on it like no they're in the hotel business they're not in the ad revenue on a block business and they probably won't ever be and so the the numbers behind it they do matter but the quality of the traffic the people that you get are they people that are interested in what you're selling or interested in what you're offering because if you're if you're a designer out on your own and you have one hundred people a month come to your block that doesn't sound like a lot but what if eighty of them are really interested in design work and out of those eighty fifty of them send you an inquiry for business that's more business and you can handle all year and so you have to think about the numbers in terms of what you're after and that's gonna vary depending on what kind of dog you got traffics biggest secret is honesty and shockingly few people will tell you this uh you know your you'll hear things about let's came the search engine let's put let's put words in the title that google loves and it'll rank us really highly let's see if we can get a lot of cross promotion even from sites that aren't really in our industry but I want to show you guys an example of what honesty does for traffic. So this is a post on the buffer block it just went up recently, and buffer is is a business that helps people improve their social presence like they're in business, to make your social president presence better is really important to know that that is their whole business. So the title of this post is we've lost nearly half of our social referral traffic in the last twelve months. This would be akin to nasa putting up a post that says half of our spaceships just don't work anymore, and we don't really know why that's basically what's being said here, and most people would tell you, this is business suicide, like never do this. This is something that should be kept internal. Why would you ever put this out on the web? What? What are you possibly thinking? But if you go through this post, you'll see right here what's happening? I wish I knew we've got lots of theories as to what's behind the drop, so they just come out and they're just unfailingly honest about the fact that look, their own blawg has been suffering, and they're trying to figure it out, and the reason why they're doing this is because they want to be honest with their customer base and saying no if you've if you've had some referral lack of late so if we were in this together and we're experienced some of these same problems and we're trying to solve this in real time as it happens and I just want to give you a glimpse here two hundred comments if you look at buffers other post they usually raise between zero and twenty comments twenties like on a on a good day they get about twenty this one has two hundred and growing and it's not just how many comments it got it's the quality of the comments if you go and read what those comments are you'll find really smart people with really really well read blocks and they say you know I'm having the same problem I thought I was all alone and then you'll find somebody that comments under that and like oh my gosh I'm having the same thing what what are you doing to comment threat alone is just an unbelievable insight into what's happening in real time search algorithm changes and how people are banding together to try to put it together held themselves out figure out how to solve the problem and so much networking is going on in that and honestly what the end result for buffer is going to be is a lot of people that come to them and say I want to work with a company that's that honest when I spend money with this company I want them to be that honest with me, and I know what I'm getting. It's, fully transparent. This is the quality of person that I want to work with. And so a business consultant may say, you never want to tell your customers the trial. They know the truth. You'll never see him again. But I'm not so sure. I see things like this, and I think this is better off than hiding it, because if it goes in the tank and they can't figure it out and they don't reach out to the broader world to figure it out. What happens with the business in the year, they may cover this up for a year, but it's going to come back to bite him. So biggest secret in traffic, just being honest.

Class Description

New writers routinely have trouble finding steady work, but it doesn’t have to be such a struggle. Put yourself on a path to long-term success and learn how to thrive in the freelance workforce in How to Write a Blog Post That Drives Traffic with Darren Murph.

Darren is the former editor-at-large for Engadget and holds the Guinness World Record® for being the most prolific professional blogger.

 In this class, Darren will help budding writers and bloggers:

  • Improve your writing skills
  • Spot the details others are missing
  • Build a portfolio that's too impressive to ignore
You’ll learn about the inner workings of publications and what editors are looking for in a writer or blogger. Darren will tell you which authors and publications to pay attention to and he’ll explain what kind of, and how much, work is involved in becoming a great writer. You’ll develop more clarity on how to improve, market, and monetize your work.

Develop the skills that will give you a competitive edge in a crowded marketplace in How to Write a Blog Post That Drives Traffic with Darren Murph.


Tom Jamieson

As a new writer, I found this fantastic. Darren was a pleasure to listen to and I would happily recommend this to anyone who is starting out writing for the first time in regards to a small business blog, which is the area that I am coming from. He probably has taught me to use fewer words, but that can wait until tomorrow. Great class Darren

Dawn Pedersen

There was a lot of good content here for anyone new to blogging. I am not new to it, but I did gain some insight. Just a note: the 4 EASY STEPS TO LOSE WEIGHT was an intentionally satirical/ironic headline, which you discover once you get to step 3. Step 3 was "getting your heart broken", which I'm guessing anyone would agree is actually far from easy. The humor and sudden depth of meaning are the reason the post got so many likes and comments.

a Creativelive Student

I thought this was a good course on writing effective blog posts. It didn't seem to be too focused on driving traffic, however, his way of presenting his thoughts and tips were easy to watch in a single shot. Great course for non-writers who are trying to become writers!