Well, folks, today I hit a milestone here on Associated Content: 100,000 page views! There was no attendant clout increase, no new planet, not even a raise; but a psychological hurdle has been, well, hurdled. And I am ready to share my knowledge from this lofty perch so that you, my fellow slackers, can increase your page views with no pain. With clever use of SEO and a few other tricks, you can also achieve page view success in your own, lazy time.
First, a little history: Those of you who are new to AC may think 100,000 PVs is a modest thing to crow about, since so many AC contributors are in the millions at this point. Ah, the naiveté of youth! Those of you who are less new are no doubt aware that the 100,000-PV mark can loom large and taunting in the distance, like a high peak on flat land. Call it the Uluru of AC, if you will.
So if I have finally reached the famed red rock, how am I a slacker? Wellll… I started with AC in March of 2008, and, delighted to find I could publish on any subject and even submit poetry and short stories, I flung everything at AC that I already had lying around written, rather than assessing the market. In true slacker fashion, my first ten submissions consisted of two short stories, two poems, four op-ed pieces, and two actual articles that anyone might find useful, only one of which turned out to be an article that anyone could find, period, using a web search. (The other one is Activism for the Cheap and Lazy: You Can Still Make a Difference Without Breaking a Sweat. Try it, you’ll like it!)
So with lots of my stuff garnering fewer than 50 page views, how did I make it as a slacker? Did I change my ways? Um, well…no. Even though I have now learned the secrets of the big guns (Produce, produce, produce! SEO! Keywords! Google juice!), I’m still Mayor of Slackville, with only 262 pieces of content published in 26 months, some of which are recycled college papers, assignments from creative writing classes, and slideshows of pictures I drew or took anyway (do you think Hybrid Heroes: Original Comic Art fulfilled some sort of call? It’s fun to look at, though; click on it!). So, if you want to remain one of my poetry-loving, deadline-hating, day-job-having, write-when-the-urge-strikes constituents, adhere to the following tips like a wet tongue on a frozen flagpole:
Making Friends Will Increase Your Page Views. With just over 100 fans, I am perhaps not qualified to advise you of this, but take as example Maria Roth, who publishes on a not-so-hectic schedule (124 pieces of content in a little under 2 years) but has 275 fans because she is extremely nice and supports other writers (she has left over 10,000 comments for people and has favorited many folks). Therefore, Maria gets a lot of page views even on her creative writing and personal pieces, because people support her in return and have gotten to know that she is an excellent writer. Maria has almost 150,000 PVs as of this writing.
Taking AC Calls Can Increase Your Page Views. Now hear this: You might be a slacker, but Associated Content wants to make money. Do you think they put those Calls For Content (or assignments or whatever’s in fashion to call them these days) out there without a thought to how much traffic they will drive to the website? Seriously, these folks know their Google juice, okay? So even a loather of deadlines like yourself can pick up a few hundred (or even a few thousand) PVs by handling the occasional assignment from AC. This article, which was an AC call, was featured on another website that earned me 2,000 page views in ONE DAY. Thanks, AC!
Being a Damn Good Writer Will Increase Your Page Views. Now, you can be nice and leave lots of comments for other people, and they will probably come check out your stuff, but if your stuff stinks, they will not bother coming back. So make sure you polish up those gems before you put them out there, okay? Because when you are a slacker, it’s not about quantity, so you had better make sure it’s quality, capeesh? For an example of damn good writing, check out Cathy Montville, who, even though she has only 205 pieces of published content, produces wonderful stuff and has over 170,000 page views and a devoted fan following of 453!
Using Links Will Increase Your Page Views. Have you noticed the various times I have implored you to check out my work and the work of my fellow AC peeps? Yep, after you have made friends and fans who will read whatever your talented-yet-lazy booty wants to produce, use backlinks to give them the opportunity to revel in more of your glorious work. Michael Segers, who joined AC just a month after I did and who still publishes what he wants when he wants, is a master of the “index article”, featuring links to all his prior articles on a given subject people might be searching for. Pretty smart, cookie, that guy!
Creative Use of SEO Will Increase Your Page Views. Okay, you slackers probably know that SEO is the not-so-secret secret to increasing traffic to your articles and hence increasing your page views. But after reading all 3,034 pieces of content by AC superstar Saul Relative , who is an absolute wizard with the SEO, having garnered well over 12 million page views, it occurred to me that I am not going to be that guy, y’know? Bless his heart, he befriended me when I was just a newbie and taught me a lot, but I guess a slacker is a slacker. So, how does a slacker like me increase her page views by using SEO, even if she is not about to figure out how to write a dozen articles about Erin Andrews and her ever-popular peephole video? Simple: SEO is about keyword concentration, so use that in an article you WANT to write about. For example, this was a fun article to write, but have you noticed how many times I’ve written “increase your page views”? Hey, there was another one right there. And here’s another SEO secret: Most of the time, that key phrase shows up as part of a bold-faced heading. Cha-ching!
And finally, Writing Evergreen Articles Will Increase Your Page Views. Sure, you can write on timely and popular subjects like American Idol or OctoMom vs. Angelina Jolie to get your page views, but once the season’s over and the current celebutantes are has-beens, your helpful how-to articles are still going to shine. What kind of stuff do you look up on the web? Write what you know, write it well, and people will come to read your stuff. Good luck and go get ’em, Slacker!