Friday, February 3, 2012

On Increasing Blog Traffic

I think it’s safe to say that most of us who have blogs would like to have a lot of readers. So how do we get that? Different blogs offer different tips.

One site says that we should tell our own stories. Another site says that we should not appear to be self-absorbed.

One site says that we should ask others to share our posts. Another site says that this appears to be too self-promoting, and we should let the quality of our work speak for itself.

One site says that leaving our comments un-moderated will increase blog traffic. Another site says that we should moderate comments to keep out the trolls, who discourage people from coming to our blogs with their rude behavior.

I was reading one site that said that good blogs have one post a day, pictures and videos, and posts that are not overly long (meaning over 800 words). But I find that there are blogs that I like that have less or more than one post a day, that lack pictures and videos, and that have long posts. I’ll admit that long posts are often a turn-off to me, but there are long posts that people have written that I’ve actually enjoyed.

So I play things by ear. I think that there are things that I can work on, like having a catchy title and opening paragraph in my blog-posts. (Yet, I have written a lot of posts a few months in advance, and so you will see a number of upcoming posts with the title “Nixon’s Civil Rights”, followed by a number, as well as posts with an opening line like “I have such-and-such a number of items on…” Not too creative, I know!)

As far as advertising my work goes, I’m not the type of person who asks for people to share my work, except when I’m submitting posts to the biblical studies carnivals (which share other people’s work, so why not mine?). I’m with the school of thought that says I should let my work speak for itself. At the same time, I do share my work on other blogs when my work is pertinent to a topic that is being discussed. One thing that really gets on my nerves, though, is when people follow, read, or link to my blog specifically so that I will follow, read, or link to their blog—-especially when their blog does not interest me all that much (which is not to say that their blog is bad, but simply that it’s not my cup of tea).

Regarding the frequency with which I post, or the length of my posts, part of me is sensitive to people’s concerns, and part of me does not care. I am sensitive to the concern that many readers of blogs don’t like to plow through long posts, and so there are many times when I place my main ideas in bold-face so that people can get the gist of my posts without reading them in their entirety. But there are times when I am less conscientious about this. In terms of the number of posts that I write each day, I tend to write as many posts as I want, for I think it is fun to blog about more than one thing. Right now and for the next several months, I’ll have on most days an academic post on religion based on a book, a post about another book that I’m reading (on, say, politics), and a free post. Is this overkill? I do not care. As long as I enjoy it, I will keep doing it. When I get tired, I will slow down.

In terms of the length of my posts, some of my posts will be long. I think of many of my posts on the Psalms. But one of my reasons for writing those posts is so that people who are curious about a particular verse or Psalm can come to my blog and read about the variety of ways that the verse or Psalm has been interpreted. Many may not be interested in plowing through my long posts on the Psalms. But those who are interested or seeking certain answers may find those posts helpful.


  1. Do what you want. :) Good content attracts readers. I read the same posts you do that say do this, do that...Very confusing.

    I do know you need to determine who your target audience is. You can, from time to time, wander from the target but it is best not to do that often. Sometimes I get tired writing about religion and I turn to sports, technology, or politics. A little variation is good.

  2. Yeah, I was thinking about your blog when I mentioned good blogs that I read that may have more than one post a day----yours and James McGrath's.

  3. Read your intro.

    You do not mention why you are Jewish and why you decided to attend HUC.

    I have heard it's good to have a focused blog. I would like to see at least one of your foci be Biblical Chronology. It is something that both Jews and Christians in theory should share.

    Gene Faulstich claimed to have had most interest from Orthodox Jews in Israel Yeshivot. He believed in "scientific" chronology. Therefore, sometimes he believed he sometimes was better accepted by liberals than conservatives, who can be blind to truths. Gene sometimes ruffled their "inerrancy" feathers

    This is, I believe, where his library is located.

    I was also wondering if you were familiar with David Flusser and others who look at New Testament from Jewish perspective.

    "A Hebrew Undertext
    After spending many years working with the texts of the New Testament, especially those of the Synoptic Gospels, Robert Lindsey concluded that behind the Greek "originals" there had been a Hebrew undertext.

    Over time, Dr. Lindsey developed many academic and scholarly contacts within Israel. He began working closely with Orthodox Jewish scholars from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Among the most prominent was Prof. David Flusser. Flusser was studying first century rabbis, and Jesus happened to be a prime example. Through his studies, Flusser has become one of the world’s leading academic experts on Jesus. In his book Jewish Sources in Early Christianity, Flusser addresses the common theory that Mark wrote first, in Greek. "The spoken languages among the Jews of that period were Hebrew, Aramaic, and to an extent, Greek. Until recently, it was believed by numerous scholars that the language spoken by Jesus’ disciples was Aramaic. It is possible that Jesus did, from time to time, make use of the Aramaic language. But during that period Hebrew was both the daily language and the language of study. The Gospel of Mark contains a few Aramaic words, and this is what misled scholars" (Flusser, p. 11)."

    Why do you blog? Do you see it as part of your "church"? I have been thinking about it. Do you ever converse by phone with people who read your blog?

  4. Are you familiar with this blog?

    It seems to be "conservative".

  5. Hi Larry! There will be a post coming up about John Meier's arguments regarding the language that Jesus spoke. I think he makes a decent case that it was Aramaic----explaining why there were Targumim. On conversing by phone, I'm a little awkward over the phone, so I prefer not to. But feel free to respond on this blog! As far as my blog's purpose is concerned, it has a variety of functions----to help me in my reading, for me to express my interests, for me to provide information, to make contacts. Sometimes, I have written about biblical chronology, but a lot of times I have not.

  6. One more thing: In my intro, I didn't say I was Jewish, but that I was a Christian searcher.

  7. Or, as I look at it, I said I wasn't entirely Jewish. I should probably write a post on this issue in the future, but it's not a topic I'm currently comfortable with discussing.

  8. While I have trouble keeping up with your daily posts, I think it would be hard to get the kind of reasoned commentary you provide on this site in short posts. We readers need as much thoughtfulness as we can get. Thoughtfulness is definitely an area in which you shine.

  9. Thanks John! I like your posts, too.

  10. "On conversing by phone, I'm a little awkward over the phone, so I prefer not to."

    Sometimes I get emails when I post here and sometimes I do not. Is there any reason for that?

    You did not explain why, as a Christian, you decided to attend HUC.

    Do you explain anywhere your church? I do not have church at this point in my "search". I consider every "dialogue" to be form of "two or three" gathered in my Name.

    Iowa State professor has written book about limitations of social media.

    Do you suffer from Asperger's? I noticed you had some posts about it.

    This is interesting excerpt from recent article which relates:

    "Milne said the lead partnership between Dwolla and Union Square almost fizzled thanks to what Milne called a “philosophical disagreement” he declined to discuss.

    “Any time you are looking at doing a business deal or partnership, there are always going to be disconnects,” Milne said. “Albert and me, we had a strong disconnect. I misunderstood what he was saying and said, ‘It’s a dead deal.’ ”

    But Wegner saw the potential in Dwolla and wanted to fix the relationship. He reached out and before Milne could respond, he boarded a flight from New York to Des Moines. Wegner said it was important that he meet Milne face to face.

    “Misunderstandings without a history of knowing each other are difficult to overcome by phone or email,” Wegner said. “I felt that an in-person trip was the right way to build trust.”"


  11. A lot of Christians attend HUC----at the Graduate School, that is. Mainly, it's because they're interested in languages, which is one of HUC's focus. I went because a rabbi at my undergraduate institution recommended it to me.

    As far as church goes, I attend a Presbyterian one currently.


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