Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Giveaway: Free sex with Angelina Jolie & Justin Timberlake

I used to wonder why a blog pal who writes mostly satirical articles sprinkles his hilarious roasts of local politicians with lightweight posts on sexy movie stars and swimsuit models. One day I happened to look at his blog stats - and something clicked. This guy gets millions of hits - and I suspect it's partly because of the millions of people Googling movie stars and internet porn.

My pal doesn't disappoint. Visitors very likely ogle his provocative photos of barely clad celebrities, maybe even read his salacious articles - then move on. And his stats are ecstatic.

Recently I realized I'd never clicked on some of the settings of this blog so I started exploring. When I got to the 'stats' tab I made a discovery that confirmed my assessment of my pal's motive for his risque posts. Over the lifetime of this blog, the post entitled 'So, Sex Sells, huh?' topped the pageviews chart - by almost four times as many hits as the runner-up, 'Q & A with Susan Schulman, literary agent'.

Sex definitely sells. As do celebrities - including my own agent Susan Schulman who's a legend in her own right.

I've also discovered the words 'free' and 'giveaway' in a blog post are visitor magnets. I once did a series of book giveaways on my personal blog and was startled to find crowds of total strangers jumping around in the comment trails shouting 'Me! Me!' in an attempt to score a free book.

Intriguing, no? What do you think of the idea of deliberately dropping key search words like the crowd-pullers above into post titles and articles to attract visitors? Is it worth it to risk disappointing the masses searching for naked photos of Megan Fox - but in the process give the blog stats something to smile about? Or should bloggers be contented with the visitors who are genuinely interested in their content and who are therefore more likely to stick around for awhile to read and explore the site?

Liane Spicer


G said...

I don't drop "key" words into any of my blog posts, because I feel that people should visit a blog because their either genuinely interested in me or genuinely curious about me.

I've written about why certain posts of mine are popular and sometimes yes, it does boggle the mind when a particular post that you feel isn't very good, somehow becomes one of your top four most viewed posts on your blog.

I should correct my initial statement about dropping key words.

I wrote a post back in February '10 for Valentine's day that feature snippets from four poignant songs about love and what I considered to be one of my best pieces of flash fiction ever.

I called the post "All Points Bulletin", and as far as I know, some people come to my blog searching for stuff about a popular computer game called "All Points Bulletin".

To this day, some one and a half years later, that post has remained consistently in my top 5.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've been known to stretch the relevance of a blog post to such things at times, but I try not to lie too much. :)

BTW, had I not been planning on visiting this post anyway, the Justin Timberlake reference would have driven me away.

KeVin K. said...

I think just changing our name to "All Nude Novel Spaces" will drive up our traffic ten-fold. However the visual is so disturbing I think I'd have to submit my columns remotely from that point on.

While I'm sure our readers wouldn't mind a bit of light-hearted play with our column titles, I worry it's a slippery slope. We'd run the risk of becoming silly or irrelevant. However, if we take ourselves too seriously there's a risk of becoming pedantic and boring.

I think a commenter on a recent post had it right when she said she came here looking for practical advice on writing. I think if we cover the craft, the business, and the life we should do fine.

Of course, just to be sure, we might want to go back and add "SEX!" to the titles of our lowest-scoring entries.....

Jewel Amethyst said...

Once I saw a cartoon of (I think it was) Donald Duck where a very shapely female sat in a bathing suit with her back turned and a big hat on her head. Donald went up to her all excited until she turned around. Her face was hideous. The expression on Donald's face reflected my shock and horror. I think using misleading keywords to drive up web traffic would have the same effect.

I say we keep it genuine and let people come to the blog on the merits of what is offered on the blog.

That said, in one of my earlier blog post discussing my fear of highway driving, a lady commented that she was searching for a recipe for rum cake when she wound up on the novelspaces blog. She herself had had a fear of driving and was able to share how she was dealing with it. I've never seen her comment on any blog post since then (that doesn't say she never came back to the site).

So yes, people can come looking for other more glamorous things and find something of substance, but if we keep it real, they are more likely to return.

Liane Spicer said...

G, I've only recently made the connection between key words and the bizarre popularity of some posts. I can't see myself can deliberately using crowd-pullers like I've mentioned just to increase hits, however. What I am trying to learn is to word post titles effectively to attract the readers/searchers who would be interested in the article.

Liane Spicer said...

Charles, any reference to either of the actors mentioned would normally drive me away, so I hear you. The post title was meant to be satirical.

I plan on at least trying to remember to make my post titles search engine-friendly for their intended audience.

Liane Spicer said...

KeVin, All-Nude Novel Spaces has a nice ring to it. Wish I'd thought of it myself. Also wish I could get that visual you conjured up right back out of my head.

...add "SEX!" to the titles of our lowest-scoring entries...

Brilliant. Consider it done. :P

Liane Spicer said...

Absolutely, Jewel. My blog buddy gets lots of hits but I imagine most of them are 'spam' visitors - if there's such a thing.

I don't think misled visitors would necessarily be horrified, though; our blog is not at all hideous. They'd just do what I do when I click on a search result that's not what I'm looking for: move right along to the next result. And there's always the possibility of attracting visitors who also happen to be avid readers/writers and who would be hooked by the scintillating content on the blog.

In case you're worried, though, I have no intention of deliberately dropping the terms mentioned into my posts - unless they are germane to the theme.