Work Hard, Get Nothing. Go Easy, Get Rewarded.

I’ve noticed a trend in my blogging pursuits. The articles that I write that are the best-written, most researched, headline-friendly and totally Diggable, quickly fade away with a whimper. Yet blog entries that are thrown together, posted for the sake of posting with minimal thought, bring in the most traffic.

What gives?

At first I thought that maybe I was over thinking things or being extreme. But no, it’s a fact. I rarely see a payoff for articles that I pour my heart and soul into.

It’s starting to frustrate me.

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I’m curious to hear from you. Have the articles you expected to perform well done so? Or, have you been surprised by the success on a ‘thoughtless’ post?

Let’s see if we can identify any trends.

View Comments (21)
  • My personal experience has been a mixed bag. Some well crafted posts have succeeded while others have flopped. Same thing for off-the-cuff posts.

    Here’s one possibility for why your well-crafted posts fail. Maybe they are too complete? If you cover all the bases in your post, you haven’t left much room for comments nor have you left any room for other people to link to your post and add their two cents.

  • Absolutely! Surprised. Twice

    My wife’s knitting blog gets half her traffic/comments from responses to her bunion surgery six months ago.

    I have 500 comments on a gadget post I did, and my blog is about nothing. (But sometimes I really try to make it about something.)

    That’s OK, I’m in it for the fame not the fortune.

  • Noticed something similar recently: after going for months with at least one post per day and steady traffic, I began posting only every other day or three…and traffic has gone UP, as have my clicks on AdSense.

    I don’t quite understand it, but I’m not complaining :-)

  • Well said above. Also the well-prepared posts could be more about subjects less googled… Also these keywords included might bring back other long articles. We blog readers have quite little time, so one good article about wanted subject is enough.

    But mostly, I have to say, I agree with Fern here. Thrown thoughts are easier to comment

  • That’s pretty well been my experience too. If I blog about a news event that’s just happened – the Bush-and-shoe incident comes to mind – the hit count goes way up as people search for it while the story’s hot and they’re googling for more info.

    OTOH, a few posts that went un-noticed at first are now getting hits and comments months later because they were linked to in chat forums.

    Keeping putting your heart and soul into the good ones anyway. It’s great brain exercise.

  • I think the problem is related to the people you are targeting with your post.
    As a test, I am very curious what is happening if you will write for a week or so long quality posts.

  • Generally, I find that for bloggers who write about varied topics, it’s more difficult to keep the readership consistent. Little effort sometimes goes a long way. Yet again, older (well thought-out) posts eventually do get picked up — though maybe months later. Post frequency appears to have an impact as well, as David mentions above. But whether it’s the length, quality, or topic that matters most, it’s more likely to be an unpredictable combination of all of the above.

  • Some great food for though here! I think I will begin to experiment with the length/topics of my posts. This is also a big reminder that paying attention to Google Trends and other ‘topical’ / searched terms, is a huge key to getting traffic.

  • I agree with Fern et al, I think half-baked posts are easier to add t0. Well thought out posts are complete in themselves.

    Here’s another thought: which posts make you the most money? Short posts may drive more traffic, but do you really get paid for traffic nowadays? If your real business is presenting yourself as an expert in your field, the more complete posts may be more valuable.

  • Ups, I think I went too far with the length of my articles, good that I read your comments. I will experiment from now on with different type of posts and see what happens. Very good subject to think about.

  • I have had a similar experience in writing blog posts – the quick ones seems to be the biggest hits. There is an energy in those quick posts – also I think the quick ones are often responses to something I have read elsewhere. I like to see how someone else comments on an existing article just as much as I like reading well researched posts.

  • Interesting. I’m just starting out, and I’m struggling to find the time to write well-thought-out, well-researched posts. Maybe I should re-think that strategy.

  • Dear: Andrew

    I have tried myself to make the many blogs that I have made well known by commentary on other peoples blogs hoping for some recognition for my hard work. But maybe it is being where the traffic is. I am hoping that I can make my mark on the blog scene to open some eyes at the same time opening my ears to what others have to say. I think some regular consistent reading of what people are looking for and bring that or go to where people reading what you write. If only people would grasp the finite possibilities of the blog.

  • I’ve noticed this very same thing!

    Often times the significant blog entries – the ones you’ve put the most effort into or that you’re most proud of are the very ones that seem to go by unnoticed. Yet the fluff pieces or quick & dirty posts garner loads of comments.

    One way I’ve tried to shine a little new light on older posts that never quite seemed to get their due share of exposure is to “deep link” back to your archive posts from within newer blog entries to prompt your readers to explore your older material. Sometimes this does help.

  • I’ve noticed the same thing. The posts that I quickly put together or even reconsider before posting do well on Digg, StumbleUpon, etc., but the posts that I’m sure will do well just sort of die on the vine. Glad to see I’m not the only one!

  • I also experienced the same. But oftentimes, though, I snatch on the fact that a particular topic is not yet covered in google search results. Then my entry goes up for that keyword. Yeah, I’m guilty of that. hehe

  • I thought blogging was about expression why is so everybody concerned about key words, search engine ranking, number of people commenting, you people are pathetic lol

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