Hey Sam, what’s traffic?
Traffic: the movement of people or vehicles along the streets, water or air. It could be heavy traffic (which everyone hates) or no traffic (which everyone loves) (Dictionary 2016). Or there is Trafficking that is the illegal trades of people or goods for exploitation purposes (Australian Federal Police 2016).
Hold up, we’re talking about ONLINE traffic not human trafficking or transportation traffic!
Well, in that case then online traffic is the sending and receiving of data by the number of visits to a website (Marketing Terms 2016).
Hmm… Much better and much more relevant.
Let’s talk specifics:
When I became aware that it is actually really important to have people viewing your blog and important to make it discoverable and we were challenged to improve the traffic to our blogs I first thought that it was going to be impossible, because hardly anyone who follows me actually reads my blog. Although this has allowed me to only improve my blog and add necessary things that were needed. I realised that the only people that actually read my blogs are the tutorial teachers that mark my blogs for assignments, as you could see in the stats that my blog views on word press would spike at that time of the semester. When I started this subject, I would just blog and that was it, I only saw it purely for academic and university assignment purposes and not for anything else. I struggled to see the purpose of getting people to read my blogs – now it is becoming more clearly I have found that I enjoy blogging more and I see it much more than just for assignments and compulsory blogging.
Since assessment one (1) I have taken on the feedback to improve my blog, my writing and to gather traffic, after reading the comments from my tutor I realised that my blog needed to undergo a major facelift. I’ve done some tweaking to get the most out of my WordPress site and hope to keep it going throughout my degree, and hopefully after graduating also as it can be used as a portfolio. The following points are ways that I have improved my blog:
- Regular tweeting
- Adding a twitter column to my site
- Tag and category usage
- Updated the appearance of the blog
- Having personalised posts and not just posting for uni
- Use of images even creating a GIF
- The use of hyperlinks on the blogs backing up my referencing
Every time I post a blog, I now like to tweet to the twitter-sphere and let them know that I have uploaded a blog. I will always tag it #BCM240 to attract the attention of fellow students and teachers. If I have enough characters, I will also use the hashtag (#) tool to attract more attention. Having done this for the last 3 or 4 weeks, I have noticed a spike in views to my blog, it was a small spike, but it was a start. Here is a sample of a blog that I tweeted out for week 9’s blog:
From the image above you can also see that I tweet regularly, whether it is a retweet about something exciting happening (The Chainsmokers new song ‘All we know’ – if you haven’t heard it, go check it out!). Or even if I am tweeting about something on TV, I am learning the ways of tweeting and understanding the importance of generative traffic to your sites (yes I am a major amateur to Twitter).
On my Blog site, when I revamped it, I did a few things which I personally think made it more appealing. Firstly put categories into tabs on my main page to allow viewers to find blogs easier. You can see this in the above picture. I feel that this makes it easier for UOW readers to find what they are looking for. When I graduate, I plan on changing these because I am aware that readers are probably unlikely to understand what the subject codes mean, but for now, my main audience is Communication and Media audiences. Secondly I added a twitter column to the side of my blog along with a tags section. I found this more appealing visually as well as it having links to other social media accounts of mine attracting more attention to my Twitter account, thus giving followers regular updates of my blog.
During the break I was lucky enough to get out and explore and I have always loved taking photos so I decided to add in a “Creative Editing” Category to my WordPress site. Having added this section allowed me to find my creative side with images and adding this section to my blog boosted traffic to my site dramatically. I had received comments on my photos from a professional photographer with some constructive criticism allowing me to understand more about photography and explore more options with my camera. Having personalised a part of my WordPress motivates me to continue improving my site and to continue my passions that I lost a few years ago.
When blogging about facts, I discovered that if there are images on the blog, people are more likely to look into, explore ideas and keep reading. Over the last month or so, I have been adding in visuals to my blog posts which improved traffic to my website. I even created a GIF file of my attention span which took me a long time, but showed me the benefits when I posted my blog. It was originally going to be a video upload, but I didn’t want to pay so I spent hours cutting, cropping and turning the file into a GIF image. Personally, even if it doesn’t attract a lot of traffic, I still am proud of the improvements my blogs have seen from my first semester at uni to now.
To show that my blog has seen improvements of trafficking, view the image below to see the results of the number of views over the past few months.
While numbers of views are important, I believe that it is important to reach a global market, not just the University of Wollongong community. Check out who’s been checking out my blog in different countries and how they have been able to find out about my posts (either via Facebook or Twitter or WordPress itself):
I cannot be certain which of the strategies that I have specifically spoken about has allowed my views to increase but as a combination of all of these strategies my blog site has seen an increase in views. I believe that the advice from teachers and others has helped to improve my WordPress blog site and it is exciting to see my site blossom.
Australian Federal Police (2016) Human trafficking. Viewed 3 October 2016, <https://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/crime-types/human-trafficking>.
ChainsmokersVEVO (2016) The Chainsmokers – all we know (audio) ft. Phoebe Ryan, Viewed 3 October 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEi_XBg2Fpk>.
Dictionary (2016) ‘The definition of traffic’, viewed 3 October 2016, <http://www.dictionary.com/browse/traffic>.
Marketing Terms (2016) Website Traffic. Viewed 3 October 2016 <http://www.marketingterms.com/dictionary/web_site_traffic/>.
UNODC (2007) What is human trafficking? Viewed 3 October 2016, <https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html>.
All images are from my personal social media accounts: