March 6, 2008

Using MyBlogLog To Boost Traffic

As you've probably noticed from my right sidebar, I added a MyBlogLog widget awhile ago as something of an experiment. I have read many claims that active participation in MyBlogLog will do wonders for one's blog traffic. I have not noticed any traffic increase yet that I can trace to MyBlogLog, but it is still early and I plan to give it a chance before pulling the plug. If nothing else, has been neat to see the steady increase in the number of atheist blogs being added to the site.

There are probably thousands of blog posts and web pages listing strategies for increasing traffic to one's blog. One common suggestion made by nearly every one I've read involves active participation in MyBlogLog. Notice that I keep saying "active participation?" This is intentional because I have yet to find anyone recommending that users simply add the widget and do nothing else.

To derive the claimed benefit from MyBlogLog, the user is supposed to add the widget and then spend considerable time on the MyBlogLog site to join as many communities as is humanly possible. Think of a community as a group of fans for a particular blog. If you sign up with MyBlogLog, people can join the community which is created for your blog (you can find the Atheist Revolution community here). For this to have any sort of meaningful impact on traffic, most of the recommendations I've seen say that one should try to join something like 15 new communities per day.

The way this is supposed to work is that when someone joins your community, you are naturally curious about them and tend to look at their profile, join their community, add them as a contact, or - and this is the critical factor - actually visit their blog. Now I must confess that I have rarely taken this last step in MyBlogLog and actually visited someone's blog outside of the MyBlogLog site. Even though I do tend to check out profiles, add contacts, and join communities, it is fairly rare that I visit someone's blog out of the site. Assuming that I am not atypical in this regard, I am skeptical that MyBlogLog will do much for one's traffic.

Like any good skeptic, I am trying to follow the recommendations the best I can while monitoring my traffic. I will follow the evidence on this one and withhold any recommendation for MyBlogLog for now. Instead, I will continue my experiment and report the results here once I'm confident that I've given it a fair test.

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