I see a lot of queries about getting traffic, lack of traffic, how to increase traffic, etc. The long answer is it takes time, hard work, good writing skills, mastery of the formula, surviving Google algorithms, and persistence. The short answer is figuring out the secrets of online writing and how it intersects with human behavior. I'd like to share one secret that I discovered and hope other veterans will follow and share a secret. Ready, set, go . . .
Secret #1: Write about issues readers are in constant search for relief from (a particular frustration) but not necessarily to solve the problem. I call them "evergreen human issues." They never really get solved but readers find a temporary fix with the information you provide.
For example, on the topic of dealing with annoying behaviors, people will always be annoying. Hence, readers will always look for remedies but actually cannot change the reality of having to deal with annoying people everyday. So the search (and the frustration) goes on indefinitely as people search for answers to the query. Got it?
Pin your hubs on Pinterest especially if you hubs include gorgeous images. Don't forget to add descriptions when you pin them. Pinterest is an amazing source of traffic. I am currently going through the process of making pins especially for Pinterest and am hoping this will make a real difference.
Another tip: Use the stats page to analyze your articles to see which ones are getting views and which are not. Then check the article to see if
you've made errors,
the title needs work
if it has a lot of competition or not
it needs to be reorganized
if it focuses in on the topic rather than sliding off into side topics
if it answers questions or fills a need
if it is too short or too long
Then get busy and fix what you can. Sometimes I'll change a title four or five times until I get the one that really gets the job done.
Have you ever edited/rewritten a old Hub and then got great results from it? I am considering doing this but I wonder if my time would be better spent writing something new with a better idea to begin with.
Yes, I do it all the time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. What usually happens is that I change the direction of the hub. This can happen when I realize I wrote too broadly and need to narrow things down. I think people are more likely to read if you give them info in small bites, but again, success depends on many of the things I mentioned earlier.
Totally. My best performing article on Google is about "How to Treat and Cure Your Stiff Neck or Shoulder to Ease the Pain". This article has also been widely shared on Facebook and Pinterest. According to the many comments it helps those that have read it.
Although my article will never cure everybody's neck pain, it turns out that 60% of the 10,857 people that have voted in its poll have chronic neck pain. That it why it stays in demand and is therefore evergreen.
So the main formula for good traffic seems to be:
1. Find a problem (what does the public want to know more about? What do they type into Google search to solve a problem or as janshares puts it, to help them with a "frustration"?)
2. Offer understanding, help or a solution.
Another important factor is of course how to add something new to the pool of knowledge that is already out there. How can an author be revolutionary? How can an expert author who knows certain common beliefs to be wrong or outdated be heard? And this is the most frustrating part because unless you can "back up" your content by research (something that has already been written elsewhere), your work will meet with great resistance from both Google and HubPages. In other words, in their eyes, if it isn't already published elsewhere it's not true. So how do you write about new ideas and propositions? This may be the very reason why most content on the Internet is a steady stream of ad infinitum churn-and-burn content.
There you are, maybe I should write an article about that very frustration entitled "How to Write Anything New on the Internet?". I know there are several other authors here that share this frustration.
Secret number 3: Answer the questions people are asking. Use tools like Google suggest, ubersuggest, or other keyword programs to find out what people need to know about the subject which you are writing about. It may be that you have written a good article but only address half of the answers that readers are looking for. If that is the case, you will get less than half of the traffic.
Thank you Janshares for starting this forum thread. I am in the continuous process of trying to upgrade my hubs, but more importantly, I’m thinking about writing new articles about what people really need to know about in their everyday lives. What may help them or what can inspire them.
I’m certain that I’ll learn a lot from this thread.
I totally agree with the secret you've revealed here. The subjects that get traffic are about problems that exist for a lot of people and are always there. If it's too "select", the traffic will be minimal. And the visitors are kind of desperate for a solution, that's a key factor often too.
Tip number 4: (Not really that secret.) Edit your articles all of the time. When people are deciding which article to read, the titles may be similar, and the keywords may be similar, so they are going to look for that article that has the most current info. If you edit often, and add new info or observations as available, it will make a difference to your traffic.
Couldn't agree more. Evergreen issues that apply to everyone and never get solved and are really frustrating. My lawn mower troubleshooting guide gets a ton of traffic, starting around this time every year as people take their mowers out and can't get them started at the beginning of the season!
I suddenly had a devious idea. I could write pages about how to 1. annoy the hell out of people in political conversations on Facebook, and 2. How to annoy the hell out of people who are desperately seeking to annoy you in a political conversation on Facebook.
Oh man, I'm getting a tingle up the back of my neck.
Makes sense. I am thinking of tech related Hubs I can write that help people with common issues. Of course I would have some stiff competition for some subjects but I am brainstorming.
Tech-challenged people like myself, are always lost about something. We figure it out eventually but never take the time to learn and retain. We hate reading directions. What would you say to those readers?
Just be patient and take your time. Most things can be solved with a little help. Also, don't forget to test all the easy fixes and troubleshooting steps first. Even I sometimes get stumped by simple issues because I did not try the easy fixes first. You work your way up to more advanced troubleshooting steps.
Thanks, but I think you missed my point. I'm suggesting you write a hub about it, addressing impatient, tech-challenged people like me, who don't have time.
I have recently rejoined hp and just wanted to say that this forum is really valuable, something i really put to heart from here is not to worry so much about gaining traffic and views early on, just keep posting quality content and then the views will come. Focus on quality, that's really all you need to do.
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