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Love my Blog, But Traffic Low - Too Niche?

(30 Posts)
choochy Sun 10-Mar-13 17:31:29

Hi there,
I started my blog last September. Now I have 50 visitors a day with 150 plus views. Which is lovely. But. My blog is about living with MS.

Is this too niche? I get great feedback, so not sure what to expect, considering it is such a narrow subject. I'm hoping to show the 'funny' side of living with MS in my 30's.

Anyway, without boring you all to death, my blog is www.stumblinginflats.com

Any advice will be taken on board!
CX

Tee2072 Sun 10-Mar-13 17:37:57

Do you Tweet/Facebook and/or comment on other blogs? How do you promote it?

choochy Sun 10-Mar-13 17:42:15

Hi!
I do tweet, which has made a great difference...Apart from that, just through the MS Trust and MS Society....
Cx

Tee2072 Sun 10-Mar-13 17:43:11

Very funny blog, BTW!

choochy Sun 10-Mar-13 17:44:01

Thank you soooo much! Cx

peekyboo Mon 11-Mar-13 23:08:48

I've found having a facebook page much more useful than tweeting, possibly because it's more popular with, ahem, people of a certain age than twitter? Or maybe just sits more comfortably with my aspie and aspie-friendly audience? Not sure, but the facebook page is automatically linked to update on twitter as well and has been a great way to keep people interested.
Each time I blog, I go right onto facebook and upload a little 'chunk' of the post there, with a link if people want to read more. This also has the benefit of showing you how many people click through to the blog, which has become a good, reliable way of keeping track of numbers, considering that feedburner and the blog site numbers are sometimes seen as unreliable.
I should add, on facebook I set up a specific page to support the blog, rather than my own personal page, so that both share the same name. This also helps with Google searches.

Amanda
www.aspie-girl.blogspot.co.uk/

choochy Tue 12-Mar-13 07:43:34

Hi peekyboo,
That's a great idea, never really thought about it before. It was hard enough to understand Twitter to start with!
I will have a little look round Facebook and take the plunge!
Thank you,
CX

peekyboo Tue 12-Mar-13 12:22:39

I think twitter is great if you enjoy it/understand it and your audience does too. For my part, I do get traffic directly from twitter, but I'm not sure how many of them stick around after visiting the blog. Having the FB page has meant I can have full conversations with followers, eg about a certain blog post, and it's all more in-depth and slow compared to twitter. Also, the conversations are on the page for as long as I leave them there, for newer visitors to refer to so it covers a lot of bases.
I think in the end it depends what you want to achieve with your blog and although mine is about aspergers and yours MS, we both use humour and normal life to talk about something which does affect a lot of people, so what worked for me might also work for you!

choochy Tue 12-Mar-13 14:44:19

I like the whole 'slow' idea of facebook. Most of my posts can be read at any time, they're not necessarily chronological, and seem to generate a lot of discussion. Would be good for new visitors to see too.
Cx
p.s. I like your blog a lot!

It sounds like your doing great. I like your blog. Clean and crisp and well written. I guess it boils down to what your aim is, why do you blog? I haven't answered this myself yet. I guess, however, if you're looking to raise awareness and to write, perhaps engagement with your audience is more important than numbers. Just a thought.

choochy Tue 12-Mar-13 15:22:44

Hi Sarah,
thank you for the lovely compliment and you make a really good point. I guess I blog to show that MS doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. Also, highlighting important points, such as when I was sacked for having MS (and won my case!).
I think you are right - engaging with my audience has been brilliant and perhaps I should nurture that rather than worry about stats!
Thank you for showing me a different perspective.
Cx

peekyboo Tue 12-Mar-13 16:10:58

Choochy, thanks for the compliment!
Definitely aim at connecting with your audience as then you grow organically through them, which is more steadfast than expanding quickly.
Having said that, I am a very impatient person and when I set up my FB page I did paid advertising for a couple of weeks. This is very cheap as you set your own cost, but it did help a lot in getting the word out there. In my case, it meant I reached a lot of followers in the US - the Uk seemed a lot less inclined to click on my ad, but the US used up my ad allowance quickly every day and were also more vocal on the page, so it was a good way to 'meet' people.
I know some people won't agree with paying for attention but I am terrible at selling things, including myself and I just didn't know if I could get the word out online without the extra numbers.
To be honest, once I'd used advertising for that two weeks, I didn't need to do it again as it picked up its own momentum after that. I got about 150 paid likes via the ads and those people bringing more in, and by having a FB link on my blog, I'm now at about 460, all without paying.
If you don't mind it going more slowly, then just let it grow by itself and don't pay. FB is also useful in that you can search other pages that are linked with your own subject and post your blog info on there - with page owner's permission. I probably got as many followers by doing that as I did with the paid ads.
Whatever works for you is the way to go.

choochy Tue 12-Mar-13 18:12:25

It all seems very complicated...but will definitely look into it. Thinking about it, starting from zero, I'm probably not doing as badly as I think. Plus, I'm getting great feedback which means the world to me.
Onwards and upwards, eh??

mumsmakelists2 Wed 13-Mar-13 12:35:36

There's more and more health stuff on Pinterest - not just lifestyle but lots of pins around specific conditions. I have to confess I really struggle with Facebook whilst Pinterest generates most of my traffic.

You could also link up at some of the US "home making" or "lifestyle" linky parties - there's usually plenty of health posts on these.

peekyboo Wed 13-Mar-13 15:49:48

Oh I haven't tried Pinterest, is it simple?

choochy Wed 13-Mar-13 16:02:52

I don't understand Pinterest!! I love looking at the crafty bits though.
Mind you, never thought about having a Pinterest page. I think it's a bit like a big mood board/notice board.

choochy Wed 13-Mar-13 16:28:37

p.s. just checked - there's quite a few MS pinterest boards out there. Thanks for the tip!

curtaincall Fri 15-Mar-13 22:49:54

Hi Guys, This is an interesting thread for me too. Have started out recently with a new blog and haven't even dared look at how many visitors I've had (if any). Choochy, it seems you have a very particular subject which is going to be massively interesting to anyone with MS and their friends/relations. Same goes for peekaboo's blog. Both fascinating and funny, although I have neither of these conditions and am struggling to think of anyone who has. Nevertheless I'm better informed as a result of reading them so this is obviously a great medium. Would never buy a magazine about anything like this! Sorry I have no ideas except to say i would love 50 visitors a day, I'm just imagining that number of people coming to tea at my house - I would feel dead popular!

I get confused and overwhelmed with the technological side of life and have even been excluded from Facebook for 30 days for bad behaviour!! Apparently I breached some basic condition which i didn't know about (happens to lots of people setting up a new page I'm told) but feel quite told off! Can anyone tell me how I would benefit from a FB page? Surely the blog in itself should be enough if any good? Also, is Twitter any good for a blog like mine which is mainly visual? Here is my blog – link

I was on Tumblr for a few weeks but couldn't get into it - those crazy letters and numbers they ask you to type out to prove you're not a robot ... Any advice welcome. Thanks, CT

curtaincall Fri 15-Mar-13 22:52:00

Hi Guys, This is an interesting thread for me too. Have started out recently with a new blog and haven't even dared look at how many visitors I've had (if any). Choochy, it seems you have a very particular subject which is going to be massively interesting to anyone with MS and their friends/relations. Same goes for peekaboo's blog. Both fascinating and funny, although I have neither of these conditions and am struggling to think of anyone who has. Nevertheless I'm better informed as a result of reading them so this is obviously a great medium. Would never buy a magazine about anything like this! Sorry I have no ideas except to say i would love 50 visitors a day, I'm just imagining that number of people coming to tea at my house - I would feel dead popular!

I get confused and overwhelmed with the technological side of life and have even been excluded from Facebook for 30 days for bad behaviour!! Apparently I breached some basic condition which i didn't know about (happens to lots of people setting up a new page I'm told) but feel quite told off! Can anyone tell me how I would benefit from a FB page? Surely the blog in itself should be enough if any good? Also, is Twitter any good for a blog like mine which is mainly visual? www.heirraising.com Was on Tumblr for a few weeks but couldn't get into it - those crazy letters and numbers they ask you to type out to prove you're not a robot ... Any advice welcome. Thanks, CT

choochy Sat 16-Mar-13 16:09:08

Hi Curtaincall, I love that point about having 50 visitors a day coming to tea! Puts it in perspective. Guess we all get hung up on numbers and stats. I'm really enjoying creating my little community and maybe that's what is more important. I'll never hit the big time with such a narrow subject and that's fine.
Your blog is incredible. I would have any one (or all ) of your amazing pictures framed on my wall.
You must go on Twitter to get them to a wider audience. If I can get on it, and I'm a complete techno-idiot, anyone can. Twitter in 10 Minutes by Lynn Schreiber is an excellent book.
I remember reading about a woman in Swansea who drew a picture of her daily life with her kids each day and the newspapers all picked up her story.

curtaincall Sun 17-Mar-13 16:49:14

Wow choochy, thank you so much for your post, it gave me such a boost. Although I've only done a few posts, I had a feeling that it would be a bit like singing your best aria at full throttle on stage at the Royal Opera House only for the spotlights to dim and realise there's no one sitting in the audience. Ok, so Twitter next and i can certainly give it 10 minutes. I bought Blogging for Dummies yesterday so am reading that avidly. If there's any chance of commenting on my site, that would be much appreciated?- apparently it attracts others to write something too. I would be happy to leave a message on yours aswell - not as a quid pro quo but for the same reasons...

Were you thinking of Doodlemum who draws amazing pictures of her family life ? I'm a great fan of hers and if its the same one, she has just bought out a book. www.doodlemum.com She kindly replied to my enthusiastic email and gave me lots of encouragement.

choochy Sun 17-Mar-13 18:07:21

Hi! Yup, doodlemum, that's the one. Brilliant pictures. You're definitely in the same league. I know what you mean about starting off. It's a long slog and they say that's why most bloggers give up, and most of them give up just when they're starting to get noticed! In the back of my mind, I just keep thinking, Oh well, at least I have a record of my life, lol.
Let me know as soon as you're on Twitter!

choochy Sun 17-Mar-13 18:18:00

p.s. I posted your comment about my blog post with a link to your site too! And have also commented on your site, which was more than a pleasure. I wish I had half your talent....

curtaincall Mon 18-Mar-13 06:39:01

Am going to try and read the book on Twitter you suggested, choochy. You know how hard it is in the early years to find time to cover all domestic chores as well as keep up with the world of online stuff ! That's why i've been so reticent about doing anything like social networking including blogging. Also, am quite a private person so what with that and being available 24/7, don't feel that 'at ease' with it TBH. Where do you find the time? And with MS? Hat's Off! By the way, you left a message on my site (thank you) saying you couldn't draw. Now is this something you know for sure? Are you able to write easily or is this a problem for you? Many years ago I worked for a while at the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability in the art therapy dept. There were some amazing people of all ages with extremely limited movement who were creating some truly breathtaking work. One in particular was an elderly lady who had very restricted movement in her hands through arthritis, but her watercolour paintings were amazing. I had to help a bit holding water pot still and handing her clean brushes and so on, but otherwise she was fine. If you're just doing it for yourself, there's nothing to prove. Have a go?

choochy Mon 18-Mar-13 07:59:18

It's funny you should say that! I put a shout out for a hobby I could do from the comfort of my sofa, and someone suggested taking up drawing. I mean, I was good at art at school but nothing like your beautiful drawings! I may just take it up again, start small.
Lynn Schreiber, who wrote the book, is on Twitter (of course!) and she is always really helpful to newbies. She was the one who inspired me to give it a whirl and I've never looked back - it really did increase blog exposure massively.
Honestly, with Twitter, you can dip in and out of it. If someone mentions you in a tweet, you'll be sent a message, so you don't have to worry about being left behind. I have downloaded the twitter app to my blackberry, so when I'm on the sofa, I can scroll through. And feel like I'm doing something useful! Same with wordpress - it's on my phone too, so I'm not tied to the computer,and can respond quickly to any messages or comments I get.
p.s. I've signed up to email alerts when you post something new on your blog!

curtaincall Mon 18-Mar-13 21:50:12

that's really helpful, choochy, thanks. Maybe see you in the twittersphere. By the way, Talking of hobbies, I took up the piano September before last as my son had started. Found a local teacher. Thought I'd never be very good, but stuck with it, played a massive amount and am now playing quite hard pieces - nearly Grade 3 ! (though too much of a scaredy cat to actually do the exams). Don't compare yourself to anyone with your art - none of us are ever going to be a good as Hokusai who didn't even consider he himself was an artist until he was over 80! In fact, I read an article about Doodlemum in the Grauniad and she only took up drawing again a couple of years ago.www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/gallery/2013/mar/06/angie-stevens-illustrations Good luck!

Whatsamsawtoday Tue 19-Mar-13 09:51:15

Great discussion and thanks for tips. Gaining traffic when you have a niche audience is really quite hard (I blog about property auctions whatsamsawtoday . com).

Curtaincall, you raise an interesting question about being a private person and now being in public (with the blog). This is really hard and will get harder the more visitors you get = the more exposure you get.

However, the plus point is - you will have even more friends round for tea (I so loved that analogy!!)

My advice for you - only make public what you want to make public. But remember the best blogs are personal and confessional. It's not easy to hold yourself up and say "here, look at me, I did this".

But remember - you did hold yourself up, and you did do it and that makes you amazing.

choochy Wed 20-Mar-13 19:45:59

Thanks for all the advice! Am off to find some Sharpies and a sketchpad. Good to have something to do.

curtaincall Fri 22-Mar-13 18:11:42

well done, choochy. If you like the results, perhaps you could post them on your blog and let us know? Good Lucksmile

Have you tried flickr, tumblr, pin interest, reddit, (fb and twitter too you said) etc.? Having accounts on loads of different social network works.

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