What I’ve learned from having a personal blog!

How to increase the traffic to my personal blog? That was the question that had me going for quite some time. I was struggling really, after starting a blog in 2013, with too little time to write for it (or at least I felt so) while I was also sharing information in other places like the Articulate Community, Twitter and LinkedIn. Since only some of the articles I wrote got some feedback I felt maybe a personal blog wasn’t the way to go.

With that in mind I started to focus more on the other areas I mentioned. Twitter has always been a favorite of mine so I looked into social media tools that would help me bring the most out of my tweets and got better at it. Unfortunately there is only so much you can say in 140 characters and sometimes you just want to give a bit more back story. Plus Twitter in itself only allows us to reach a select group.

After some thought, I decided to use the Articulate community to write my posts and share those on twitter. They had just launched their brand new e-learning heroes site and after getting a little used to the new look and feel I started adding my articles there, as I mostly write about Articulate related stuff. Again, while doing so I got better at writing the short stories and improved the way I made my demo’s and source files accessible and how using strong visuals would draw people into my posts. Cool! The only thing with the community site was that there where so many people in the discussion forums that I felt my post were gone down the massive stream of other requests, articles and so on, never to be seen again. I was getting some positive feedback though, so I was happy.

I was now tweeting, and posting in the community in a more unified way but I also wanted to let my professional network know what I was up to. So I turned to LinkedIn. Now that is a different animal completely (at least to me). With dozens of groups that ‘could’ be interesting but seemed less alive I wasn’t sure how to use LinkedIn to its full potential. So I started out using it the exact same way I use twitter, posting short status updates to my own content and that of others that I deemed worthwhile. Now that seemed to work ok. Clearly there is a difference in how people deal with the status updates on LinkedIn compared to Twitter. I check my twitter stream multiple times a day but when it comes to LinkedIn I tend to sit down and scroll through the updates at least once every two days… I got some additional comments and likes doing this so it seemed to be working.

…so what to do about my personal blog? Should I leave it there because of the posts I had written earlier? If people clicked a link in the Articulate community, on Twitter or LinkedIn and it wasn’t there anymore how would that look? Besides that, I still thought those posts were good. I did not want to lose them… Maybe I should try picking it up again? Do I have the energy for it if no one notices it?

At about that time LinkedIn presented a new feature… writing blog posts. At first it took me a little while to figure out where to find it (Did you spot that little pen icon in your status update box? I didn’t) but then I started writing my first couple of articles… and they were being noticed… and liked… and commented upon! Wow!

Since I had no clue what my actual traffic was on my personal blog, the Articulate community posts and my twitter posts I felt I had found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This was just the boost I needed to actually keep going. But it did present me with a new challenge. With all these different places to create content… I was getting confused and felt I had less time than before since I had to post content in so many places. And what about those that follow me? How confusing will it be for them to find all these same articles in different spots? I felt lost…

After a little while the answer was staring me right in the face. Start a personal blog. And instead of reposting all the same content everywhere write a short summary or teaser to pull them into my blog.

I took a day off from work, replaced my old website with a fresh instance of WordPress, figured out how to redirect all traffic from my old blog url to the main site, purchased a theme I really liked and worked the entire day to migrate content from all over the web into my new blog and learning about WordPress, plugins and theme options as I went along. I wrote a new post sharing a free Articulate Storyline interaction, prepared a short teaser for the Articulate Community and LinkedIn blog post and aligned my Twitter and LinkedIn status update using BufferApp, selected some additional LinkedIn groups that I wanted to post to as well and went for it.

The results, to me, where staggering. Google analytics, which I had used on my main site for two years now, reported a massive traffic boost of 442%. The stats plugins on my personal blog where giving me some awesome numbers of the amount of unique visitors and where they were coming from and I was ecstatic! People where commenting and sharing everywhere and I felt that all the work in figuring out what works (for me) paid off. I’m super happy with my new blog, have found a way to put what I do and think out in the broader learning community and can’t wait to write my next blog post! In a central spot where everyone can find it.

Feel free to check out the rest of the Blog, subscribe if you like or just follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. You’ll know when something new is out!

 * I’m still adding ‘older’ posts to the blog from the sites mentioned above, so feel free to look around and check out what I’ve shared in the past!

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Jeff Kortenbosch

Jeff is a performance-focused learning professional that believes in making learning relevant again!

6 thoughts on “What I’ve learned from having a personal blog!”

    1. Tnx Dirco. The cool thing about ‘just figuring it out as you go along’ is the reward of learning so much new things.

  1. This is great, Jeff! “How do I drive more traffic to my blog?” seems to be the age-old question for bloggers. Sounds like you’ve done some things to maximize the opportunity for eyes on your blog.

    Out of curiosity, what kinds of things do you do to come up with fresh content on a regular basis?

    1. Hi Brian, indeed I have. I should update the post. My stats are up to 652% now! Content ideas are different, sometimes it’s personal experience like this. The Articulate weekly challenges and community are a great inspiration and sometimes it’s just something I created because I wanted to do it.

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