How to Get Hits on Your Blog: Mention a Celebrity
Having trouble getting anybody to visit your blog? Do you get more spam than actual page views? You’re posting well-crafted prose, beautiful poetry or scathingly brilliant ideas on your pages, yet nobody visits them but your sister. You send out e-mail notices of new posts to all your friends, relatives and colleagues (when appropriate), and you even have a few followers who’ve signed up for automatic notices of new posts. You comment on other blogs and dutifully add “tags” to your posts to “optimize” your search engine position, like the self-proclaimed experts tell you to do. But still, visitors are few and far between, and [legit] commenters even fewer.
Except for that one page. If it weren’t for Vickie Newton, my blog would have no visitors at all on most days. My most-visited page is my article about Vickie Newton [see http://dugganpubs.wordpress.com/nonfiction/vickie-newton-fantasy-to-be-tv-anchor-came-true/]. That page — featuring a three-and-a-half-year-old story from the St. Louis Journalism Review — nets a minimum of one hit per day, usually more, sometimes much more. The visitors spike when she changes her hair, calls in sick or takes a week off. The search terms that lead readers to my blog reveal that people want to know if she’s married, if she’s divorced, why she got divorced, where she lives, does she have children, why isn’t she at work?
Who is Vickie Newton? She’s a celebrity. A local celebrity. Until three weeks ago, she was an evening news anchor on KMOV-TV Channel 4 in St. Louis. The day she announced she was leaving, I got 200 hits on my blog, almost all of them between 5:40 p.m. and midnight. The day she actually left, Thursday Aug. 16, it was 184. When she announced that Monday that it was her last week, my hits spiked from 10 the day before to 67, then increased steadily until Thursday. The next Monday, 91 viewers who had just noticed she was gone found my blog while searching for her.
Keep in mind, this is a blog that averages 3 to 4 hits per day, and it’s only that much because of Vickie. Now that she’s gone … But wait, I still have Jennifer Blome, another local TV anchor who generates regular interest.
Judging by search terms, there is a shocking number of people who are interested in the personal lives of even local news celebrities. Some people want to know when Kay Quinn and Art Holliday got married. Kay Quinn and Art Holliday are not married to each other — they just get along well on a 4 p.m. news show on KSDK-TV Channel 5 (St. Louis). Before last September, Art Holliday had been on the morning news with the aforementioned Jennifer Blome for 22 years. Yes, search terms reveal that some viewers thought THEY were married, because they got along so well on-air.
So, I’m thinking, a low-profile blogger like myself could crank up the page-view quotient by writing about more celebrities, bigger celebrities, national celebrities, worldwide celebrities. Not that I would have any reason at all to write about George Clooney or even Brad Pitt, although he IS from Missouri and so is Sheryl Crow (not to be confused with Russell Crowe). But if I wrote about Brad Pitt, I would also have to mention Angelina Jolie. And Sheryl Crow was once engaged to Lance Armstrong, who’s back in the news these days. And George Clooney used to date — well, everybody — but he starred opposite Julianna Margulies in “ER” and now she’s hit it big on her own show, “The Good Wife,” one of my favorites.
If I wanted hits from the younger set, I suppose I’d have to write about Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift or Taylor Lautner or Kristen Stewart or Rob Pattinson (although he was cute in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). Come to think of it, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint would be a must, but then that leads to Alan Rickman (ooh-la-la), Emma Thompson and Maggie Smith (can’t wait for Season 3 of Downton Abbey, can you?) and of course J.K. Rowling.
As for literati, I’ve already expressed my lust for JR Moehringer and Nicholas Weinstock (although they are no Vickie Newton, I can tell you that) but I could mention Stephen King, who’s been known to sell a book or two. Stephenie Meyer has had phenomenal success with the Twilight series, although I haven’t read any of them.
You can’t go wrong by mentioning the celebrity-in-chief Barack Obama or his sidekick, Michelle Obama, or I-feel-your-pain Bill Clinton and his sidekick, Hillary Rodham Clinton, or any of their past or present opponents (no, I think not). Or the fabulous late speechifier Ted Kennedy or his brothers John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy.
Speaking of which, some dead celebrities keep raking in the dough and the attention long after they’re gone, like Princess Diana, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, James Dean, Heath Ledger, Steve Jobs, etc. etc. and so on.
Apropos of nothing, Will and Kate, Prince Harry, Pippa Middleton, Adele, Paul McCartney, Simon Baker, Bonnie Raitt, Kelly Clarkson, Robert Redford.
But if you turned your blog over to celebrity plugs, you’d have to deal with all the comments, both positive and hateful (but you could set comments to be subject to your approval). On the other hand, some of the celebrity-bound visitors might actually stay and read your regular posts and pages. No, probably not.
Maybe I’m better off with Vickie Newton. I’ll miss you Vickie, and your hits, too.