6 interesting takeaways from my milestone achievement, made possible by you, dear reader
What was once a hope against hope is now a reality.
One of my blog posts has unexpectedly crossed the 200-views mark!
It may not sound like a big deal. But considering this is just my first year of regular blogging, this highlight is gold for me.
And I want to thank you, dear reader, with all my heart, for playing a role in making this milestone happen.
Can you guess which post this is?
I’ll reveal the answer in…
And here’s the hallmark post!
You can read it right here if you haven’t yet.
So, how did the “magic” happen?
I’d say it’s a mix of hard work, good fortune, and, most importantly, your generosity and kindness for taking the time to read it, for which I’m always grateful.
Here are the 6 lessons I’ve gleaned from my experience.
Search engine > social media
While I have promoted and repromoted the post on Facebook, Twitter, etc. many a time over, the story’s analytics show that you’ve most likely stumbled upon it on search engines.
Social media brings us traffic on or around the time we promote (or repromote) our posts on it.
But with search engines, the readership is consistent for us almost every day. Even one view for a post in a day amounts to hundreds for it in a few months’ time. The post rarely loses its shelf life, and hundreds if not thousands of readers like you keep visiting.
That’s why there’s little to no need for us to worry or fret if a post doesn’t perform as per our expectations the first time around. The Anthony Bourdain post didn’t either, but look what happened over time.
So, speaking of SEO, what keywords did I use?
Here comes the shocking part.
While I did optimise my post with top recommendations from keyword research tools, the combination of keywords that brought in many of you was entirely different.
Apparently, some of you were probably “curious” about an aspect from Anthony Bourdain’s life and, hence, clicked on my post, which shows on Google’s first page for that particular search.
Does it mean I should optimise my post for these specific keywords?
Not really, considering they are more closely related to celebrity news and lifestyle than to writing and storytelling :)
But step #2 takes care of everything, and that is…
Writing a post as comprehensive as possible
Because that’s how all permutations and combinations of words related to the topic in question can be organically woven into the copy.
Considering I chose to document not 1 or 10 but 50 business lessons from Mr. Bourdain’s tell-all memoir, I had ample ground to incorporate all sorts of words related to him and his culinary field.
That’s how, I’m guessing, the post became search-engine-friendly, and you could easily find it for the keywords you punched in.
Another thing to remember is that while we tend to pay more attention to the post description in search engines to get the answers we seek, there’s also the need for…
Paying special attention towards crafting the headline
This is something I’ve been grappling with for my other posts but somehow got it bang-on for the Anthony Bourdain one.
It isn’t just about whether a headline has a good ring to it.
It’s about the overall headline structure and composition.
If everything has a reason or justification for its existence, so should the words in the headline.
Because they dictate the content and body of the post.
In this case, five or ten business lessons wouldn’t have cut it. Fifty, on the other hand, was epic for me to even imagine, let alone write. Thankfully, I had the same number of lessons and quotes highlighted in the book, so it was possible for me to make a post out of them.
Writing posts for the self
The reason I penned that post in the first place was to put down those highlighted lessons on a platform easily accessible to me for anytime motivation and inspiration.
Because I chose my blog as the medium, you, too, were able to find those lessons under one roof.
Needless to say, the post always comes in handy.
Whenever I need guidance for a project I’m working on or people difficult to deal with, I simply look up the post in my dashboard (to avoid adding my visits to the count) and immediately know what to do.
And if I keep coming back to the post so many times, imagine how many more like you and me are likely to do so!
I check in with my posts a few months down the line to better the copy, as well as update related posts to the most recent and relevant ones possible. Doing so works wonders for my view count.
Acknowledging that there’s no magic formula
Nobody can say with certainty what makes their posts click.
Sure, there are certain factors within our control, as I’ve explained in the aforementioned pointers, and we should make the most of them.
But after a point, the results are out of our hands.
We may write the most relevant content tailored to you, use the best keywords, optimise the post for seamless viewing, repromote it several times on social media.
But in the end, it’s the Universe that takes the final call. And, as writers and bloggers, we’re likely to have way more duds than superhits when it comes to our posts—at least in the initial stages of our blogging.
The sooner we accept this reality, the easier the process gets for us, and we’re able to enjoy it, too.
Let’s face it: SEO isn’t a science. Given how unpredictable this environment is, let’s call it art instead.
Yes, we must try to incorporate its principles in every post of ours. But we shouldn’t expect those alone to work the magic for us.
There are too many factors beyond our control, and acceptance and learning are the only ways to go about it. That’s how we gain this thing called ‘experience’.
I once again thank you with all my heart and soul. Please leave a comment with your feedback, suggestions, etc. I love hearing from you and really appreciate your invaluable inputs!
And do read my book PiKu & ViRu and leave a review if you haven’t yet. Trust me, you’ll love it!