Commenting and Blog Traffic Experiment (Week 3)

The Commenting and Blog Traffic experiment started here.
Last week we found that the traffic to this blog spiraled below 20 views/day, and was heading towards 15/day.

This week, I started visiting random blogs and leaving comments. The goal was one comment on one new blog per day, and I’ve attached my commenting history at the end of this post.

The preliminary result is out: commenting-and-blog-traffic-week2.png

Commenting seems to increase traffic.

Now, this is a very preliminary result, and there are some significant problems with it.

  1. Did my comments on other people’s blogs attract more views, or did I write more interesting posts in the past week?
  2. Or simply because there are more blog entries for people to browse through this week than last week?
  3. Why are the traffic for Saturday and Sunday of week 1 so high?
  4. What’s up with the dip on the Sunday of week 2?

Answering #1 is difficult, because I don’t know whether my comments on other blogs attracted traffic directly. I think people who follow the link from my comments to my blog are not registered as being “referred” to me, whereas if you click on a link in Website X to this blog, then Website X is registered as a “referrer”.

However, my popular posts such as “Shood hands with Stephen Lewis” and “How good should we feel when we take the bus?”, both of which were written during week 1, showed similar traffic generation pattern in posts in week 2 (“Tina is Legend“), where each post got around 13 visitors on the first day, and the number dropped dramatically to 1 or 2 in the subsequent days. So no, I didn’t write more interesting posts in week 2.

#2 may be of some concern, because the old posts are still generating traffic. However, in the last weeks of this experiment when I stop commenting, if we see a decrease in traffic, then we know commenting is a traffic booster.

#3 give me a headache. I think it’s the residual traffic from the initial launch hype (record making 142 visits on January 10th), which throws off this experiment a bit. But that should be remedied by more data.

#4 This is the problem with doing this experiment on a small blog like mine. I only have a few dozen visitors, and if they happened decided to take the same day off reading blogs, then this experiment is thrown off.

* * *

Besides these findings, I also found some other things and decided to change the experimental design accordingly:

  1. Finding a good blog to comment on is HARD!!! It takes me an average of 20 minutes to finally find something interesting and commentable. As a result, I might drop the 4-comments/day week, depending on the result of the next week.
  2. To be consistent, I try to write one blog entry a day. If I can’t do that, I try to find old posts to hopefully attract readers. If I skip a day or write many entries in one day, then of course the traffic will be different.
  3. The data for Fridays, where this experiment transit from one phase to the next, will be discarded because it’s unclear which week the traffic should belong to, and listing the posts that I commented on below may also increase traffic, which is not part of this experiment.
* * *
Here are the places I left comments:
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Commenting and Blog Traffic Experiment (Week 2)

It’s Friday, and we all know what that means: it’s the start of Week 2 of the Commenting and Blog Traffic Experiment! (fine, I am probably the only one who remembers the existence of this experiment )

Below is the summary of Week 1 (no commenting on other blogs):

commenting-and-blog-traffic-week1.png

As you can see, my blog traffic is on a continued decline, kinda like the US stock market in the past few days. Since Friday isn’t over yet, I suspect that the total page views will climb up to somewhere around 15.

The decline may be attributed to the visitors getting busy with school or work, or they’ve read the blog once and that’s enough time-waste for a while. New visitors may also view more pages than returning visitors, who only look for newest posts to read.

I will now start Week 2 of the experiment, picking and commenting on 1 new blog every day. This is pretty exciting for me; hopefully it will turn the decline around and end my week-long misery of watching my blog dwindle.

More on the experiment next Friday then!