On Blog Traffic and Engagement: Efficiency and Time Management

I know “efficiency” is a cold word. Not really something that gives a body the warm-and-fuzzies. I know that if I start talking about visiting your blog efficiently, unless I am very careful, you must wonder how serious I am about the relationship-building part of this social media thing. That’s only natural. I hope that by the time I’m done today, you’ll be reassured about the human-ness of what I’m doing and see that I am not a Borg navigator with my computer plugged straight into my brain.

I’m going to stop presenting myself as a social media novice. I’m still not an expert by any means, but I’m at least at an intermediate level of skill at this point. That said, these posts always come with two caveats:

  1. What works for me might not work for you. If your goals are different, your content is different, or you have a smaller group of regular supporters to work with than me, growing your audience may require you to do things differently.
  2. There is always the chance that Diana, Jeremy, and I will reach a natural plateau and have to deal with a period of stagnation while we figure out how to manage a larger audience.

We have a combined blog following of about 2200 right now and a combined Twitter following of around 4,000 with no idea how much they overlap. We started a little over 7 months ago. While the growth rate isn’t staggering, it’s consistent enough to eventually reach the point where it overwhelms us. Our comments threads regularly make our blogs look much larger than they are – especially if we work to create a discussion. That’s why I’m so keen to make my social media activities as efficient as possible.

When we started, we made a list of problems we knew we needed to solve during the first year of our blogging careers if we wanted to meet our goals. Diana’s goal is to have a large, engaged audience for Part Time Monster. My goal is to turn Sourcerer into a fully-collaborative blog that I post at on the weekends, and blog at The Writing Catalog during the week. Both goals require us to have a network of friends who not only read our blogs, but also interact with us on other networks.

Here’s a list of the problems, in order of priority. I don’t have the space today to talk about how we solved them, but I’m happy to discuss them on the thread, or to write specific posts about them in the future if anyone is interested.

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