Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
What I'm about to impart is boring. I'm aware of that. I shall impart it nevertheless. I'm working on a project that may involve blogs or bloggish communication, and so I had a look at the most successful (gauged by number of visitors daily) to see what I could learn.
I used the Blogosphere Ecosystem and its traffic rankings, eliminated the non-political (Gizmodo : The Gadgets Weblog) or non-blog (Drudge Retort) and came up with this top ten: Daily Kos, Instapundit, Eschaton (Atrios), Andrew Sullivan, Political Animal, Smirking Chimp, Blog for America, Outside the Beltway, Wonkette, Rooftop Report. (For those of you at home keeping score, that's a 7-2 liberal-conservative distribution. Glenn's the tenth.)
Not all blog traffic is created equally. If you were to draw a line graph charting visitors, it would rise steadily and then start spiking. The 100th-most visited blog gets about 1900, the 10th about 22k, and the first, 119k. It's like America--no middle class! (I am a Bangladeshi peasant, getting 6000 hits a month.)
What makes a successful blog? Well, updating your content frequently helps. The average number of posts per day is 8.4 with a range of 4.7-12.5. Short posts seem to be the ticket, too--more than half the blogs had average post lengths of less than 200 words.
Seven of ten offer comments; four of ten are group blogs (an emerging trend). All but one (Howard Dean) have ads (another trend that seems fully emerged). [Note that this Bangladeshi peasant still offers his content ad free!]
To summarize: successful blogs have frequent, short posts. Wow! You didn't see that coming, did you?