Open Letter to Dianne Jacob, Coach, Writer, and Editor

A Winner is Born

Dear Dianne,

I enjoyed working with you; (Oops, I know you hate these semicolons) and still do. You are a highly tolerant critic, a good driver (from time-to-time we may get lost but what is the GPS for?), have a great sense of humor (I trust by now you have accepted the “dearly departed” from your blog) and you accomplished what no one before you was able to do: I can ride the blogosphere without the training wheel. Congratulations for a job well done!

As we discussed, I am trying to summarize the method(s) I should use to increase the traffic on my blog. Before I start, however, I must tell you, that if one more person is going to tell me to “write great content” I will collect all the posts that I have discarded for not being “great” enough and will send it to the “adviser” gift wrapped.

I have seen many food blogs with poor contents and 207 enthusiastic comments; (sorry Dianne, I am a creature of habits) I encountered food blogs with such an offensive language that I do not know how someone could use their recipes in cooking; and to be fair, there are a few excellent posts with few or no comments. So let’s face it, great content is in the “eyes of the beholder”.

While I do not disagree with the notion that a well-written blog is a draw for readers, it is far from being the answer for high traffic, or for tons of comments. What maybe a great post for one, maybe a yawn for the other. The statement that “just write it and they will come” does not apply to blogs.

Another frequent recommendation for enhancing one’s traffic is to comment often on other’s, particularly on top food bloggers’, like David Lebovitz, Smitten Kitchen, The Holistic MillennialTartelette, Orangette, Matt Bites, 101 Cookbooks, Gluten-free Goddess, Becks & Posh, Simply Recipes and Canelle et Vanille site. I fail to see, however, how this action would create a surge of visitors on one’s site. First, most “diva” sites do not allow to place one’s URL within the comments; so if you cannot let the people who read your comment know where you coming from, there is no way that they will put on their Holmes outfit and hit the road to search for you. The only way I can see this method working if you insert a comment like: “I love your blog and your photos are fabulous; but if anyone wants to make a six-figures income within 30 days, he/she must visit my blog at http://www………(BTW this would be a great “Pillar Post”, as well). So, finally we found one good idea to increase the traffic on my blog – use fantastic numbers, like “ How to have 20,000 visitors in one day following writing your post a certain way – my way.”

I have seen how controversial topics can do wonders – people like to argue just about anything. The question is this: how do I apply it to food issues? I could have a tutorial about Japanese cooking, in which I tell the students about the importance of placing a bowl with dirty hot waters in the center of the table and ask the guests to rinse their hands in it. Then when the waiter brings the raw chicken legs, they should place them into the bowl with the dirty water to cook. Depending on the weight of the pieces, the chicken should be cooked and ready to be consumed in about 10-15 minutes. And, Bon Appetit. I have a feeling this would create an avalanche of visitors to attack the author, but as always you will also find defenders. I could also tour the food blogs and knock them down, insult the owner, make fun of their recipes and a particularly good idea is to ridicule their kids or pets.

I am sure you heard about the importance of “incoming links” for Search Engine Optimization. This should the easy to carry out and from what I heard it really works wonders for blog traffic. What you need is family members, friends, and coworkers that not only blog, but working on food blogs and ask them to link with you. If they are resistant to the idea, they can be threatened to be reported to the IRS (it always works), send the health department to visit their kitchen from where they are shipping out delicious cookies for a usury price of $6.00 a piece, or just send a photo to their boss, that depicts the entire department learning how to roll tart dough in the company’s kitchen during the “slow” afternoon time. So there you are; I told you this is the easiest.

Lastly, I just came across a great idea for not having comments on my posts that I worked so hard on (and I think they are really well-written and highly informative articles; maybe too informative for some?) – cut it out. Do not offer the option to post comments on the blog and no one will know that I only get 20 uniques a day.

Dianne, please let me know if you have any other recommendations that may work or if any of your students came across the jackpot.

Until next time, good coaching

Georgette