Slow Burning Posts

imageFor those who are interested in their stats and want their words to be read, it’s always a buzz when a post immediately does well. However, what I’ve discovered is that some of my most popular posts are not ones that have achieved this instant success. I refer to these as ‘slow burners,’ as they slowly build up my stats on a monthly basis, constantly bubbling away in the background of my weekly ramblings.

A year ago I posted ‘23 Things You Should Actually Do Before You’re 23′ in response to one of the most popular articles of 2013 on Freshly Pressed. It did quite well, being shared across Twitter and Facebook numerous times. However, while it didn’t light the blogging world on fire, over the last year I have found it to be a consistent feature in my daily stats, being viewed between 10 and 50 times a day. I’ve done very little to promote it, occasionally sharing on Twitter during hashtag chats, on my Facebook page and putting a link to it in the sidebar of my blog and the numbers are still there.

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For example, if you look at the graph above you can see that it is constantly achieving the same number of views on a daily basis, with the occasional spike when I have highlighted it on my Twitter or Facebook page.

While these number may appear small, they all add up. In 2014 it was viewed a total of 8,710 times.

This isn’t the only post that I would consider to be a ‘slow burner’. Nine Things We Don’t Owe Anybody has followed the same process, again with occasional spikes every few months when it has been shared on social networking sites. In 2014 it was viewed 8,399 times.

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46 Reasons Why Women Are Amazing was one of the first posts that I created. I don’t actually like it – my writing style has changed and I find it to be very superficial, but this is a post that receives regular traffic from search engines. I consistently find that sentences like ‘women are amazing’ or ‘why are women amazing’ in my search terms, and am hesitant to remove it based on the views that it pulls in and the positive emails that I receive about it. It was written in July 2013, but in 2014 it was viewed 1,218 times.

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Those three posts combined added 18,327 views to Suzie81 Speaks last year.

So, don’t always go for instant gratification and get disheartened if your posts don’t receive the views that you want immediately. Instead, create articles that will consistently appeal to readers over a long period of time and occasionally share them on your social media sites – those ‘slow burners’ may make all the difference to your stats.

What about you guys? Have you had long term success with any of your posts?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to hop on over to my Facebook page and give me a cheeky ‘like’ http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

 

78 thoughts on “Slow Burning Posts

  1. So you basically saying that developing a post for long periods to get constant views rather than on fire posts that die out. Nice I like the advice. Beats chasing the latest topic that someone always beats you to. Thanks

  2. Absolutely true! Slow and steady always wins the race… I find people keep coming back even though that very successful post is few and far between. I guess now I know why: being the very best in the world at everything is an unreasonable expectation we often have of ourselves. And it’s too much pressure for one person to bare! If you enjoy what you write, I’m sure others will as well…

  3. I haven’t been blogging very long, but my biggest slow burning post is 10 Teacher Promises I Can’t Keep. It is almost always one of my top 5 performing posts and was one of the first posts I wrote. I get a little miffed sometimes because I wrote it in like 5 minutes and posts I spent a lot of time on haven’t done nearly as well. A couple of my other slow burners are a complete surprise. I get my teacher specific stuff, but my post on the World War II Museum and Ron Clark?

    I’ve decided not to try and figure it out and just write stuff I enjoy and hope others will enjoy too. I love your blog posts about stats.

    • Thanks my lovely! I always chuckle to myself that one of my most popular posts is a meme about cat Selfies, which took me 30 seconds to upload – it’s been viewed loads more than posts that have taken me hours and have needed lots of research… There’s a tip – post pictures of cats!

  4. This is an interesting point, and it’s true. I notice that when I have a ton of views on a post right away, it fizzles out pretty quickly. But then there are those posts that keep building steadily over time. Some of mine surprised me a bit, and some made sense as to why they continue to get views.

    My highest viewed post was one I wrote about Jennifer Aniston (http://rebeccameyer1.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/internet-high-five-to-jennifer-aniston-women-making-our-own-dreams/), and it’s still being viewed often. But a post I wrote last year about Miley Cyrus (http://rebeccameyer1.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/miley-cyrus-professional-attention-whore/) is still being viewed today, which often surprises me. It’s cool to see those posts being viewed on a regular basis.

  5. Thanks for sharing this valuable advice. I too can only dream of such stats but appreciate your sharing such helpful tips. It’s great to read what can happen with well written posts such as yours.

  6. I love this post!! I find that my most popular posts are the ones that are raw and show my life’s journey as well as posts about books that I have reviewed.

  7. I really like this point. When you have spent ages on something and it gets 3 likes it can feel disheartening at first…Until you pay attention to your stats! Other times posts still flounder but what the hell. I think you probably chose one of the most popular and timeless titles you could have for your first post there girl :0D

  8. I think list posts are definitely easy candidates to be slow burning (I like that phrase, btw) because they are more likely to appeal to people outside the blog world and attract clicks from social media. My Bechdel test post gets some return traffic–the search terms reflect that too–but I can’t think of others that are particularly slow-burning. Maybe I should pay attention to that a bit better though!

  9. Yes, I have several posts that pop up over and over and over on my daily top 10. I love that they are are on the interwebs being read months after I wrote them.

  10. Well, I am not exactly in the same galaxy as you, stats-wise! I HAVE been surprised that people read things I posted a while ago. You are braver than I am; I don’t reread anything because I am sure I’d have to edit the whole lot!

    • I find the process of editing and deleting really therapeutic – I delete posts that I deem to be different from what my writing style has become or is no longer relevant. I must have written about 1000 posts over the last few years, but I only have 400 published articles currently on the blog… Give it a try if you’re feeling brave! Thanks so much for your comment!

      • You’re welcome! I’m aware that I don’t always reply to comments as often as I should, but it’s my mission today to reply to every single one that I’ve received this year… Feel free to contact me any time!

  11. My blog’s a bit of a different animal, since it mainly talks about specific books in each post, but I’ve also found that some attract more long-time attention than others. For about 2 years, until very recently, my post about Faulkner’s Sound and the Fury was always in the top 4 posts, even though I posted it almost 4 years ago.

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