Writers who start a blog in the hope of generating interest in their latest, or yet-to-be-written, book, sometimes find that attracting visitors to that blog proves to be a problem. One or two commenters on pieces on this blog have recently remarked on it.
Well, here are some data sent to me by Gav of Gav's studio. Gav has enough knowhow to be able to analyse the traffic to his blog and then to present it in the form of a graph. What the figures show is that when he started his blog, in January this year, he had precisely zero visitors. Numbers rose reasonably steadily in the next few months, levelling out in the low hundreds.
There was, however, a dramatic peak in July: 2192 unique visitors, sampling over 6,000 pages. The reason for this, Gav says, is that he was writing about Live8, and that was what people were typing into Google at around that time.
These figures confirm what I have heard and read from other sources: namely that the choice of title for a post can greatly influence the amount of traffic coming your way from casual enquiries made in the various search engines.
Perhaps the moral is, if you want bulk traffic, you should write posts with titles that people are likely to be searching for. On the other hand, such 'false pretences' traffic really isn't going to sell many books, is it?
The best advice I can offer, to those in the blogging for marketing purposes category, is to build a blog which offers something of value, interest, or concern to people in a particular field of activity, over a period of months or years. And then, if and when you have a book to sell, your existing audience might, perhaps, be willing to give it a try.