This last year has been amazing for the seventy8 Productions blog. We began with nothing, an empty slate, and ideas to put into words. We have shared our favorite memories, but we did share the details of the stats that we have been so excited. Our first post received a whole three views and that month we had ten unique visitors. Now, we are averaging about 4,000 unique viewers a month, a 400,000% increase in a year… not bad.
The dream of blogging began simply as trying to provide some fun stuff for you and record some other thoughts and research for later use. The added benefit that came out of it is that I was able to better conceptualize youth ministry constructs as I prepared for the different relationships and events. When I added the student leadership program and had a summer intern, I planned everything out ahead of time, went through the feedback I received from everyone, and put it into action. I love to converse with great youth workers and tech people, both on the website and through other venues.
Here are the stats over the last nine months:
[easychart type="horizbar" height="100" title="Monthly Unique Pageviews" groupnames="Months" groupcolors="005599" valuenames="Apr,May,June,July,Aug,Sept,Nov,Dec" group1values="672,761,1202,915,1058,2172,3572,3311,4222" ]
While success is easily measured through pageviews, number of comments, and people who have subscribed to your RSS feed, that is a sterile approach to interacting with people. To measure success means more than cold numbers, instead you need to invest the time and energy that can build relationships, share wisdom, and find great resources to have better your own ministries.
We want to share some of the things that we have found to be success. Here are three things we have found to not only increase the number of people that view our website, but make for a better blogging experience.
- Give Away Free Stuff. This is by far the best way to increase the views and benefit others. In fact, three of our five top viewed pages were free resources that we gave out and the category of free stuff accounts for more than twenty percent of our traffic overall. At the same time, people offered up some great constructive criticism that will help make better material for the future to share. If you are not offering free stuff on your blog, you are losing out on what you have to share and the views that come with it.
- Content Is King, Always. Regardless of if you plan to write to make the money or just for the hobby, you need to know what you are going to write about and write it well. Success does not just fall into your lap. Writing a post may require experiencing something in life or ministry, taking the time to do the research and flesh out an article, or having some professional opinions of hot topics of the week. This will require using SEO techniques to know what people are searching for and viewing, writing about unique material that you are an expert on (or at least know what not to do), and putting in the elbow grease for your posts. If you do not put in the effort, you will not get the results.
- Guests Posts Give A Voice To The Audience We love our guest posts. The response to offering guest posts has been amazing and the quality of content was better than we could ever expect. In fact, we plan to make one of the guest authors a regular on the website this month. Not only do we give a voice to a group of people, that week of guest posts not only freed up a week for us at seventy8Productions, but it was the third most active week for us from viewers. Guest posts are a must for all bloggers! Make an event of it.