What was the best and the worst thing that happened to you in your blogging this week?
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I was reading the blog of fellow Aussie blogger Mia Freedman this week and saw her weekly post ‘Best and Worst of the week‘ in which she asks her readers to share the best and worst things that happened to them during the week (as well as sharing hers).
I thought it was a cool idea and thought I’d give it a go here at ProBlogger – but with one difference. While Mia’s readers write their best and worst things from all areas of their lives I thought it’d be more helpful to everyone if we kept it to the topic of the best and worst things that happened to us as they relate to our online activities/blogging/social media.
I’ll share mine below and look forward to reading yours. Hopefully though this we’ll all learn a thing or two from one another about what works and what doesn’t work in building blogs.
So tell us your best and worst. I’m particularly interested in hearing what you learned through the best and worst of your week.
My Best – Forum Traffic
the best thing to happen to me this week was some big days of traffic on my photography site, particularly the photography forum area of it. Friday in particular was a great day with visitor numbers 3-4 times normal levels. The reason? Actually there were a few:
1. Friday is newsletter day – Friday is normally a good day (usually about double the traffic of other days) because it is the day I send out my weekly email newsletters to readers. The newsletter not only contains the latest posts from the blog section of the site but also hot threads in the forum. But that was only part of it….
2. Twitter – this past week I decided to expand what I was doing with the DPS Twitter account and not only promote new posts on the blog but highlight key threads in the forum. The result has been really promising with a definite bump in traffic from it (I’d say it’s accounted for an extra 10-20% in traffic depending on the day).
3. SEO – just over a week ago I installed VBSEO – a plugin for VBulletin (the platform I run the forum on) that optimizes the forum for search engines. By default and out of the box VBulletin is pretty horrible for SEO so this plugin is one I’ve wanted to install for a while. The results were very quick – within 3 days we’d seen search traffic up by between 25-40% (it varied a little from day to day).
What I learned? I guess there were a few fairly obvious lessons. Twitter and newsletters can be great for driving traffic, VB sucks for SEO by default etc.
The other thing that I relearned is about forums – while the DPS forum gets a lot less visits per day it drives a lot more page views per visit. For example in June the forum area of the site had only an eighth of the visitor numbers that the blog area had – but had about 60% of the page views. ie: Driving one person to visit a blog does not equal the same as driving one person to visit a forum.
My Worst – Comment Spam
This goes back beyond the last week but as a result in an incredible rise in comment spam I’ve switched comments off here at ProBlogger on any post older than 90 days old. I know this inconveniences some but it was the result of massive increase in comment spam getting through the filters/plugins that I was using. The filters were catching many thousands a day but hundreds and hundreds were getting though and it was taking quite a few hours a week to go through them all manually.
As most of these comments were hitting old posts and because 99% of the genuine comments here on ProBlogger were on new posts I took the decision to switch off comments on old posts. I’m hoping that this is a temporary measure and have the tech team at b5media working on some solutions.
So there you have it – my best and worst of the week.
What Were the Best and Worst Blogging Experiences You Had This Week?
What have been the best and worst things that have happened on your blogs or online experience in the past week? What have you learned? What will you do again? What will you do differently?