Pizza with meat on plate, next to drink.

Yes, the secret is pizza. 🍕 Let me explain.

As a customer empathy challenge, the designers at Automattic have dove into coming up with a plan to drive more traffic to a colleague’s post. With a kicker, we also have an imaginary $20 budget to spend on the task. I’ll also share that in another life, I used to work as a journalist, writing more words than code. So I’m lucky that writing used to be my thing.

But that doesn’t make this task any easier. The post I chose: How WordPress Changed My Life by Jan Cavan Boulas. Why? It’s a story. It’s personal. The two quickest ways to get a piece of writing to resonate with readers are to tell them an entertaining yarn or help them in some way. This I know from my writing days. Jan’s story is one of a kind. We’re off to a good start!

Next, let’s take a step back and identify the core problem. How do I get more people to read what’s written on this blog?

I know a few things, both from my own experience and some research:

So with that in mind, let’s get back to the pizza and my plan. I would use the $20 to buy a pizza and some drinks. Spending the money there will provide more long-term value than any ads, especially since this blog doesn’t have a large audience anyway. My plan:

  • Sit down for a good hour to plan out an editorial calendar, social media postings and content repackaging ideas. That’s the investment worth making.
  • I’ve begun a bit of this, picking two additional posts to promote along with Jan’s. They’re: WordPress as a Classic Diesel Engine by Mark Uraine. And
    Why I’m so excited about the Gutenberg Editor for WordPress by Ian Stewart. Mark’s post hits on a lot of the points that have made WordPress special and what it is today. Ian’s post talks about a new element of WordPress’ future, and how that could change everything. Combine it with Jan’s post, and you have this nice overview of WordPress. This powerful engine that continues to evolve and change people’s lives.
  • Next, I’d find a name for my series, and likely feature the three posts using WordPress’ sticky posts, getting them to the top of my site for quick discovery.
  • From there, I’d map out promoting each post over social media, likely Twitter, using hashtags to target specific communities.
  • I’d aim for finding a community of learning designers and/or developers because they’re most likely to be interested in the content on this blog, and the story of WordPress. They might be looking for a community to join too, bettering the chance they’ll stick around as readers.

My hypothesis: I bet by repackagaing existing posts as a series of connected stories, and getting them in front of a targeted audience, I’ll increase the traffic for Jan’s post. I’ll know if I’m successful when traffic goes up for not just one post, but all three, and the average monthly traffic rises too.

Image by Thomas Tucker.

Posted by David A. Kennedy

I work as a Theminator (that's my official title) at the ever-awesome Automattic. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ftw.

2 Comments

  1. […] @davidalankennedy (How to resonate with users through entertainment and education, The importance of consistency, Nich…) […]

  2. […] David opted to use his existing blog and social media audiences to drive traffic to his selected post. But he explained how to tackle it in a more concrete way, with publishing schedules, and promoting more than one post, to gain traffic. […]

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