3 Types of Content that Draw Consistent and High Traffic

Traffic: More please!

[This is part of the Developing Great Blog Content Series.]

I’ve been spending a lot of time building strategy around my traffic generation with this blog unlike any other blog previously and it’s been quite an interesting experience to walk back through the years and thousands of posts to see if I can eek out any learnings.

Trust me, there have been quite a few! One of the areas of great interest for me have been to identify the patterns of content that appear to draw the biggest number of views historically.

By spending time doing this type of research I can then capitalize on them for the future, assuming that they still hold as true today as they were over the years (and they appear to be quite “on the money” so to speak).

Here are some of the top “types” of content that appears to do quite well from a traffic perspective:

I would consider this guy an 'expert' for sure!

1. Expertise

Blog posts that showcase an exceptional amount of “expertise” in a certain focused area have always gathered many eyeballs. In fact, even though some of them have not necessarily gathered many comments the traffic has been overwhelmingly-positive.

Some of these posts are continually “stumbled” (meaning lots of traffic from StumbleUpon) repeatedly bringing tens of thousands of new eyes every single time.

Execution on “Expertise” Here on TentBlogger:

As a result I purposely developed this blog here to do just that: Showcase an exceptional level of expertise in the area of blogging and the use of the blogging software WordPress.

How have the results been so far in my attempts? Exceptional. The growth in the past 4 months has been more than I could possibly have hoped for from both a direct traffic perspective as well as organic one.

I plan on sharing much more on how this has worked out in the coming days (perhaps after I finish this grand series on Launching a WordPress Blog).

Engage me with the story of that incredible journey...

2. Story, Journey, Exploration

The next area of content that has been well-received is anything that really can be classified under the idea of a “story” or narrative, especially as it relates to someone going through some sort of “journey”.

An example has been one person who shared his experience launching a new campus ministry and every single week he posted how the progress went. Tons of traffic as well as high engagement in the comment section.

Valuable and strategic? You bet.

Execution on “Story” Here on TentBlogger:

So far I’ve crafted the dialogue here as well as the explicit goal of this blog to describe my journey as a Professional Blogger from (near) start to finish.

I started this blog from scratch investing little to no capital, just like anyone else would, and working hard to build and create valuable and unique content. The community, I believe, is walking with me through this “story” and “journey”.

Is it working? I think so. People have commented as well as privately shared via Twitter or Email that they’ve enjoyed “walking with me” through this part of my life. I count those people as fans for life.

Not sure if you're a Conan O'Brien fan... but he sure is entertaining!

3. Entertainment

The last type of content that has seen some incredible traffic values I categorized into what I call simply “entertainment.” This could be anything from a piece of media (video, photo) to a really exceptional entertaining read.

The thing though with this type is that they provoked an emotion: Humor was a very popular emotional pattern. The internet is a strange place where the “lamest” of things seem to get the most attention and regardless of how you feel about these parts of the web you have to admit that it’s something to consider in your traffic strategy.

Doing it with good taste and a touch of cleverness can bring you scores of hits.

Execution on “Entertainment” Here on TentBlogger:

This area is a bit weak for me as I don’t consider myself exceptionally entertaining. If you were to know me in person you’d probably think I’m just plain weird.

I’ve tried to leverage the power of video blogging a few times a week (if I can muster the strength to get out of my pajamas) to showcase some silly things here and there.

What’s nice is that I don’t feel like I’ve let anyone down or even myself for that matter – you don’t have to execute on all three of these content types to be successful!

So, what about you? Can you take these three content types and do some damage? Perhaps restructure your focus in terms of content?

Let me hear your thoughts!

Oh, and if you need 25 more types of blog posts then check this out!

[This is part of the Developing Great Blog Content Series.]

  • http://www.eduClaytion.com eduClaytion

    Great thoughts as always John. Through a couple years of figuring out a whole lot of what doesn’t work, I agree with you on these three that do. I’m going to find more ways to work video into what I do as well. Your format here is so smooth.

    • John Saddington

      thanks bro!

  • http://www.bensayin.com Ben

    I’m slowly beginning to see what draws more interest, and I definitely practice a lot of what I learn here. I’m sure I’ll have a better idea in a few more months of consistently blogging.

    I also hope to replicate more of these tips on an actual business/professional blog (as opposed to my personal), and see the positive results then.

    • John Saddington

      keep track and take notes! document your process the entire way.

  • Jonas Knudsen

    I’m kicking around rebranding my blog in order to focus my content into more of a narrative approach. I’m looking forward to experimenting with it, and seeing where it goes. Thanks for the post. I find your blog quite helpful.

    • John Saddington

      how’s that rebranding coming? where are you headed with it?

      • Jonas Knudsen

        It’s a little frustrating to be honest. I’m kinda stuck on the name…

        • John Saddington

          doh! gimme something……

  • http://www.pjwriter.blogspot.com/ PJ Lincoln

    Thank you, John. This helps very much.

    • John Saddington

      sure thing PJ!

  • http://mylife-in-stories.blogspot.com Donna

    I am really enjoying your blog. I have had a short (really short) story published but mostly what I do is blog. In doing that, I seem to following the suggestions that you post. My stories are about my life and that’s what the name of the blog is. There’s humor mostly – I tend to follow in Lucille Ball’s shadow. The past days I have been blogging on a challenge I found on someone else’s blog – 21 days of compliments. Not many people comment but I get a little traffic and that’s nice. I have forwarded your blog to lots of friends. Keep up the great work.

    • John Saddington

      whoa. i like that idea!

  • alaJoAnn

    So pleased to find your blog (followed your social widget from WP). Well. You’re very funny (mustering strength to get out of your pajamas!) Tell your daughter she is irresistible. I will subscribe!

    • John Saddington

      sweet! that’s the spirit! welcome to my humble blog. ;)

  • ThatGuyKC

    I’m so glad I “stumbled upon” Tentblogger before starting the “pro” journey (though without the actual webapp). As I continue building up quality content I think the types of posts that are most popular will rise to the top much like they have for you.

    Sidebar: the concept of categories has really helped me not only focus content, but generate it as well. By having a target audience and narrow enough category to write for it channels the obscure creativity that I have to chase down some days.

    • John Saddington

      TOTALLY! my categories inform my writing every day.

    • http://www.randykinnick.com Randy Kinnick

      I need to spend a little more time considering my categories for my writing content. I’ve narrowed, may need to a little more, but need to post on some more evenly.

  • http://www.melissahartfiel.com melissa

    Thanks for this post (well, all your posts actually!). I started my current blog in August of last year mainly because it’s my hobby and I love sharing it. But I’m also a web designer with a few blogging clients and I wanted a better understanding of how to grow a successful blog from scratch so I can help them too.

    Analyzing your traffic is so key! My most popular posts fit right into your top three. My posts specifically on photography get very high traffic but low comments. So I started incorporating photography tips into every recipe post (it’s a food photography blog) and people seem to have responded to it really well!

    • John Saddington

      ahhhhh. food. i’m hungry now.!

  • Suzanne

    I’m sorry – not an entertaining person? I think the video’s of you dancing prove that point wrong! ;)

    • John Saddington

      hah! thanks suzanne!

  • http://www.abrahamchronicles.com Dustin

    Thanks John- these are some helpful tips.

    As someone who is new to the blogging world (writing, not reading), I’m very interested to learn what it takes to continually create strong content, but also what turns visiting-traffic into a stable community.

  • byron

    You are my Yoda! Thanks for the clarity and wisdom. Another great post. I appreciate your writing style man.

    • John Saddington

      sure thing byron!

  • Marc Millan

    Thanks brother, again, I always feel like I owe you a latte..I do, when I see you, I promise, someday. M_

    • John Saddington

      i’ll take it!

  • http://lifeandmotion.tumblr.com Seth Rowoldt

    Hey man, great posts…just started watching your blog and am going to subscribe today…found you from Jon Acuff…
    I appreciate that you reply to most of your comments, most blogs I read I feel the bloggers NEVER look at the comments, but always ask people to write them so that it boosts their esteems and numbers! So…good job man, look forward to reading more! I’m not really a blogger just a musician that likes to read things from time to time! part of team coco here

    • John Saddington

      coco ftw!

      it’s tough, but i really appreciate this community and i want to take the time to respond!

    • http://www.randykinnick.com Randy Kinnick

      Agreed…responding to those who comment is crucial to developing community, in my humble opinion. John, you do a great job at this.

  • http://www.randykinnick.com Randy Kinnick

    This is a great “boil-down” of content that grabs traffic. I’m not much on entertainment. I’m not sure I could pull off the dance routine video! ;-) However, my blog centers around the idea of “journey” so that each post usually has some story from my life and ministry. “Expertise” comes into the mix as I apply the truths from God’s Word or from my experience and training. Hopefully, I will be able to package this in a way that draws eyeballs!

    Your stuff here at Tentblogger is hugely helpful, practical and entertaining. Thank you for all of the entertaining presentation of your expertise as you continue this journey! I owe you a Starbucks coffee!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      let’s do it! when’s the next time you’re in atlanta?

      • http://www.randykinnick.com Randy Kinnick

        I will def let you know!

  • http://tunpb.com/ Rachel Steverson

    This is a great post and very informational. I was just telling someone that I love really blogs that draw up emotion in me usually they are stories.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      thanks rachel! nice gravatar. ;)

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      ah….. you’re behind the Unofficial NP blog? what’s that about?

  • Melanie

    You’ve gotta give the people what they want…

    When I think back to the Tentblogger posts I’ve consistently clicked on, it lines up with what you’re saying. Expertise, because I want to learn how to do certain things well. Story, because I want to hear what you’ve done–to see if I can do it too! And entertainment is just, well, fun.

    What stands out to me is that I’m always thinking about myself, and what I’m going to get from what I’m reading.

    You have a great knack for giving people exactly what they want. Good job!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      thanks melanie! that encouragement is what i need this morning!

  • http://www.wonderingwanderer.com/ Edwin Juen Jr

    Hi John, I just started a travel blog last month and I’m glad that I stumbled on your website for tips.

    I’m positive that a few months from now, I’ll to see myself testifying in your posts on how effective they are.