Anyone can write articles, most of us can write good articles, but how often have you published an article that just didn’t get the page views that you expected?
If you answered “quite often” or more likely “too often”, then you need to maybe apply some of the tips that I will reveal here, and with a few changes in your writing strategies, you should see a noticeable increase in your traffic.
Have you ever noticed those headlines in the tabloid newspapers that you just have to read to see what the article is all about?
It’s not so much about the content of the article itself, but it’s the headline that lures you in to read it.
In the tabloids the articles are often lacking in interest once you begin to read them, but hopefully yours won’t be.
However, create a snappy headline, and that will give you a much better chance of your article getting read. If nothing else, you stand a chance of more readers getting to the first page.
Many people on Associated Content will remember Morag Mortimer Smythe who’s account is sadly no longer active. This was a writer who had exceptional skills for creating headlines, and you often had no idea what to expect when you visited the articles. Try and aspire to that level when creating your headlines if you can.
If you modify your article structure slightly, that can easily result in increased page views.
In case you didn’t know, regular articles get 1 page view for each page that is visited, plus an extra page view if the reader leaves a comment.
Now a one page article is going to earn you 1 page view per visitor, plus a second if that visitor leaves a comment.
However, if you were to expand your article by a few paragraphs, or to turn it into more paragraphs, that one page article could easily become a two page article. Now you will earn 2 or maybe 3 page views per visitor.
Got it! It’s that simple.
I will tell you one thing, and it seems that some authors just don’t get it…
If you write a long paragraph, and don’t include any breaks in your articles, I for one have trouble reading it, it’s just a big blur of words, and my brain turns off. It’s extremely rare for me to go beyond the first page on an article that consists of just one paragraph.
I see some people that create great slide shows, but they add sometimes 20 or more photographs.
As good as these might be, many readers get tired after the first 8-10 photos, and therefore the rest of the photos might not get seen.
In case you didn’t know, a slide show is only worth 1 page view, plus 1 for a comment, no matter how many photographs you might have in it. A slide show with 1 photograph will earn you the same as one with 20 photographs.
Consider splitting slide shows that have more than 10 photographs into separate articles, each with 1/2 or 1/3 or the total.
I try to not have more than 10 photographs in any one slide show, and often have 8 or 9.
If you didn’t realize already, having 3 shorter slide shows instead of 1 long one, will give you the potential of earning 3 times the number of page views.
So, instead of a visitor leaving a comment on 1 slide show and earning you 2 page views, you could now have that visitor viewing all 3 slide shows, leaving comments on each, and earning you 6 page views.
Also, on the subject of slide shows, annotate each photograph if you can, instead of just putting a generic description. Make your visitor interested in what they are seeing. Tell the visitor where the place is, who is in it, what they are seeing and when. Just use your imagination, and make your visitor interested.
Follow the suggestions in the previous paragraph, and a visitor who saw the first part of your slide show will want to see the next part when you publish it.
I think the most that I have split a slide show into is 11 parts, believe it or not. I did this on The Priory Town Of Christchurch and also more recently on Saint Michael’s Mount in Cornwall which was split into 8 parts.
Make your slide show tell a story… Got it…
KEEP YOUR READER WANTING MORE
Don’t give away everything at the beginning of an article.
When I write, I often unknowingly tend to get into a lot of detail, as you may have noticed on some (ok many) of my articles, and I sometimes also get sidetracked, and find that by the time I come back to the story, I have already written 5 pages worth, and so have to split the article into more than one part.
Ah yes… you heard me way earlier that it’s good to make an article longer, but once an article gets to more than 5 pages, a lot of readers either run out of time or lose focus. As with your slide shows, if an article is looking like it might be getting too long, consider splitting it into chapters, and then your readers will hopefully return to read the second part.
When I get to a situation like this, I am reminded of the book “Three Men In A Boat” by Jerome K. Jerome. This is a story set in Victorian London of three men (and a dog) who decide to take a week’s holiday, on a boat rowing down the River Thames. In some chapters, the author starts be telling what they are doing today, and then within a few paragraphs digresses onto a separate sub-story, which ends shortly before the end of the chapter. If you haven’t read this, it’s an excellent read. I picked up a new hardback copy at a Goodwill store for 10cents by the way.
A typical example of where a story digressed into a whole lot of detail and ended up as two articles, is The Scariest Moment In My Life which proved very popular a few months ago.
CAPTURE AN AUDIENCE WITHIN ASSOCIATED CONTENT
Although you are publishing on Associated Content, you do want to try and reach as many visitors from outside of the site as possible, however it is also important to get visitors from friends on Associated Content for several reasons.
Visits from friends on Associated Content can often be counted on, especially if you have followers who enjoy your articles, and who aren’t too busy so that they can’t read them all.
Visitors from Associated Content are also more likely to leave comments on an article, which adds to it’s popularity, especially if it makes the Most Commented list (see link at the bottom of the page).
If you have an article that makes the Most Commented list, meaning that this is one of the six most commented on articles of the day, then you have a chance for readers of other articles on Associated Content, whether members of Associated Content or from the outside world, to see your article and to visit it. This simple thing can mean a whole lot of extra traffic.
Capturing an audience within Associated Content is not just a matter of Following people or getting them to Follow you though. You have to spend time interacting with them, reading and commenting on their articles, making friends, spending time on the forums as well, and this does take away from your writing time.
However, if you do get a good fan base on Associated Content, in the long term this can potentially greatly add to the traffic on those articles that get plenty of comments, as well as providing you with a solid core of page views from your friends.
GET YOUR ARTICLES TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD
This is where the big page views are going to come from, if they indeed do come, and there are various ways to get more traffic for your articles.
Good SEO. Optimizing your articles for the search engines if very important. Google and the other search engines look for keywords in your articles in deciding how to index them. To get a good ranking in the main search engines, Google and Yahoo, your article needs to have good keywords in both the main Title, the first few Paragraphs, and also in the Tags that you add to your article.
Backlinks. Pages get a better search engine ranking if they have more backlinks to them from other sites, especially relevant sites and those that have a good Google ranking.
There have been plenty of other articles on Search Engine Optimization, so I won’t go into this in more detail here, however the importance of this cannot be disputed.
To get good backlinks from other sites, it is advisable to do a combination of leaving comments on other articles that are on the same topic as yours. You should also, if you have a blog, write about your articles to help get them noticed.
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES
This again is very important in getting your articles to a wider audience, and will also result in more backlinks to your articles.
The main sites to consider are:
Stumbleupon – many other members of Associated Content are also on Stumbleupon, and if you get lucky, this could result in hundreds or even thousands of extra visitors.
Facebook – this is THE social networking site these days. If you have a Facebook account, add a link to your articles, and hopefully your friends on Facebook will visit and add to your page views. With luck they will also share the link beyond your network.
LinkedIn – if your articles or your network are more on a business level, then add links to your articles on LinkedIn, which is the business / working man’s equivalent of Facebook.
Digg – it’s worthwhile adding articles to Digg to get another backlink, but I have personally never had any success there in getting traffic. You might though.
In addition, Facebook has a Group for AC Stumblers. If you are also on Stumbleupon, join this group on Facebook and you can post links to your articles there. Associated Content members often look after each other, so your friends here will hopefully help to stumble your articles. Don’t forget to stumble their links back though.
This is something else that should not be overlooked in promoting your articles.
I won’t go into great detail about what an RSS Feed is, but basically if you add an RSS Feed that shows your latest 5 or 10 articles to various blogs, then they get a much wider audience.
As well as having your own blogs, which may be free ones on Blogger or WordPress, or other sites, you can create your own on your own registered domains, like I have at Off The Record.
Here in the sidebar I have feeds that show the latest articles that I have written on various sites, including Associated Content.
By doing this on all my blogs, different audiences get to see what I have written, and this does lead to increased traffic. Having your RSS Feed in more places means more exposure, and also more backlinks, and better Google ranking.
Don’t forget also that often an RSS Feed only shows the Title of an article. Therefore those snappy witty headlines really do help in generating traffic.
Well this isn’t everything, but I hope that I have been able to pass on a few tips that will help you to gain more page views.
It’s my bedtime, otherwise you might find me rambling on for a few more pages – which would also be going against the limit I mentioned earlier, so goodnight from me, and good luck in putting these tips into practice.