Goal: Get 1000 page views on a blog post with $20 to spend
I have several hypothesis to achieve this goal. I think the cumulative effect of most can be measured independently in order to determine their contribution to the success or failure of this goal.
For this hypothetical post, I’ll be expressing how I would get Allan’s post about accessibility, “Don’t Forget to Eat Your Accessibilitables!,” 1000 views.
1. Write a solid post
Make sure it has a good headline (it doesn’t have to be click-bait-y). It should speak to a specific audience. It should be clear to read. It helps if it is on a topical topic or brings up some ideas that haven’t been expressed before.
Allan’s post: Lucky for me, it already has a great title and is well written on a hot topic.
To measure: Write a series of posts of different quality on a few topics and see how much engagement they get.
2. Share where relevant
Sharing is great, but it helps to share to specific platforms and groups depending on the topic.
Allan’s post: I think Allan’s post would resonate especially well in web design communities and accessibility communities so those are what I would focus on. I would send it John Maeda’s way to get a few eyes on it on Twitter in the design world. I would ping a few of my friends active in Accessibility communities to get their thoughts and if they like it, I might ask for a share or reblog of it. I would share it with my CSS friends and maybe get it up on that one CSS Tricks site. I would possibly even share it in WordPress land.
To measure: I would use tracking URLs (I have my own URL shortener) to measure views from each source to determine effectiveness. I would also take into account where the content is being shared (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) to see how much the platform encourages or blogs views.
3. That’s it! Sort of…
That’s all I would do for an individual post, but I think there’s more to it than just getting one post 1000 views. After all, who cares if a post gets 1000 views if there aren’t repeat views on all of the blog posts?
4. What about the $20?
I would send it to Allan in the mail with a note thanking him for writing such a solid post on accessibility, a topic dear to me.
1000 views on a single post maybe isn’t the right goal to set
Yes, more views will result in more conversions. However, quality views and repeat views can up that conversion number dramatically. For example, for 20 bucks, you could buy a ton of views using a variety of services. Sure, that will bump your views number (satisfy yourself or maybe your ads platform), but it won’t convert people into regular readers or customers. However, if someone familiar or someone you trust sends their friend/follower an article, they’re more likely to read it and possibly convert.
So what goals should be set?
Set goals around your business or your site. If you are a business, make sales goals and start working your content and your blog into a conversion machine. What post topics can you cover that other people aren’t? Which members of the community can you bring in to create content or engage with your site? As always, measure the details so you can hone the conversion machine.
If your goal is to cultivate a community passionate about a topic, you can do what CSS-Tricks did: Chris blogged for years about a topic with consistent relevant topic. He encourage folks to be respectful to each other and over the years folks really started to engage. It’s slow and takes time, but the result is powerful. You can’t always expect to be a Facebook overnight. People already have enough Facebooks.
What would you do?
What kinds of things have you tried? What goals do you have for your site? What defines success for you?