Why Some of Your Posts “Flop” and how you can Fix it

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    Key Points

    • People's interests in the different topics you talk about in your niche are all different, and with some articles you publish, that interest just won't be there for some.
    • If the post doesn't get many comments, pageviews or other reactions, read through it and see if it has any value to it. If there are no lessons in a post, there will be no interest.
    • Once this post goes live and "flops," keep treating it like your other posts. Maybe add some priority to it, but keep marketing it as much as you can and get discussion going.
    • A great technique for getting the post some life is to wait a few months and republish it. You should update it for relevancy, and make it a greater post than it was when it flopped.

    Summary

    Some posts do not perform as well as you want them to. This could be in any category - traffic wise, comments/discussion wise, retweets, etc. In this article, you will learn how to find out why some posts don't bring in your desired results and how to fix it.

    Close

by Alex

Not every post you publish on your blog turns into a smashing success. In fact, quite the opposite is true for more posts than we think – they flop. People’s interests in the different topics you talk about in your niche are all different, and with some articles you publish, that interest just won’t be there for some.

So without that interest, a post you publish today won’t be as successful as the post you published yesterday. That’s not a bad thing, I mean, you should always cater to different types of readers on your blog. But what should you do if you write a post that doesn’t perform well, statistically speaking? As in, few comments, little traffic and not many retweets.

There’s a difference between a post that doesn’t work because of the topic and a post that doesn’t work because it just flat-out sucks.

Diagnosing a “Flopper”

I’m going to refer to these posts that have not lived up to any expectations in one way or another as “floppers.” It kind of sounds funny, so hopefully you will remember it!

So below are some of the symptoms of what a “flopper post” would have:

  • The lessons you teach in your post not beneficial
  • How to test for this: Your post receives low amounts of comments, tweets and any other kind of reaction a post can get.

  • There’s no buzz
  • How to test for this: The post doesn’t bring any traffic and new readers to your blog. Really, it’s just sitting there to make your blog look like you keep it updated consistently.

  • It’s not a post worth quoting
  • How to test for this: If you cannot figure out a way to include that article in a new post (interlinking), then it is probably very irrelevant to something you write. This goes for both your blog and someone else’s blog.

What are other symptoms you can think of that would define a “flopper?”

Work for a Cure: 4 Steps to take

So after publishing a post, it has become apparent to you that it just isn’t doing what it should. Hey, it happens! Not every post we put out here takes our blog to the next level, that’s for sure.

1. Keep Marketing it just like any other post

Treat this post like any other post on your blog. Keep marketing it! Tweet it two to three times a day, post it on forums, use it as your “Site URL” when you comment on other blogs. Of course, those are trivial forms of marketing, but they are also the best for bringing comments and discussion into the post.

Some tips for marketing posts:

2. Call on others for help

Don’t be afraid to get other to try and help you. If you have friends on Twitter (which you should), ask them for favors. You can get a lot of out them. Ask for feedback, ask them to share the post, ask for comments, offer to trade a retweet for a retweet, etc. The possibilities are endless! Just don’t go crazy and ask all of these things from one person.

3. Revise, Revise, Revise

It’s the little things that count, and if you see something you can do to the post that will make it better in any way, freakin’ do it!

If you don’t think the article is as interesting as it could be, or it’s just incomplete, well, now you have a basis to revise it on. Try adding content, try removing content, change up the formatting, reword the heading so it’s more catch, and add some images. It’s the little things that count, and if you see something you can do to the post that will make it better in any way, freakin’ do it!

4. Republish it later

This is an interesting idea I thought, and it’s to wait a few months and then to republish it. As in, move it back to the frontpage of your blog.

I talked about this on Blogussion before; the idea of recycling and reusing blog posts. In a nutshell, your community may accept your content that flopped months ago now because of all the growth your community hopefully went through since then. Your audience should be bigger, and you should have a few readers who take time to comment on all of your posts.

Definitely read that article for more ideas, there’s a lot of great concepts listed in it.

Preventing Future Mishaps

It’s important to do your best to make sure that as few articles as possible flop on your blog. So, when you do have that flopper come up, learn as much as possible from it. Honestly, one flopper can lead to another and it’s important to know why these posts flop and how to prevent them from happening.

Here are a few steps you can take to avoiding future flops:

  1. Review your posting process
  2. The process in which you write your post is very important to how well your post will turn out. If you can’t come up with a solid posting process, from planning to publishing, you will have these floppers come out a lot more than you want.

  3. Review your flopped post
  4. Actually READ the post you wrote and try to figure out why it didn’t do so well. It can be a number of things really – an uninteresting topic, poorly formatted post, not enough information, too much information, etc. Whatever it is, find it. This goes back to the diagnosing stage I talked about earlier.

  5. Apply your new knowledge
  6. Now that you have found out (or have a pretty good idea) what is wrong, you can use the information I taught you today to try and fix the post and of course, prevent as many posts from “flopping” in the future.

How do you deal with floppers?

Everyone has to have a post on their blog that just didn’t live up to their expectations. What have you done to try and make the post add more value to your blog? What were the results, and how do you keep as many posts as possible from not flopping?

I don’t know if you have noticed this, but not once in the article have I used the word “fail.” That word is a really bad word to me and I don’t like to use it too much in my writings. Hence, “flopper.” You can basically sum this article up into one simple quote from one of the funniest comedians alive, Christopher Titus:

I don’t fail. I just succeed at finding what doesn’t work.

What do you think of this quote in the world of blogging?

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Steven Corbett February 2, 2010 at 12:20 am

Great thoughts. Seems that sometimes coming back to a “flopper” a day or two later, I can quickly and easily find good reasons why it didn’t really create any buzz. :)

Thinking of a couple of posts right now that I could go take a fresh look at…
.-= Steven Corbett´s last blog ..Free Flash Contact Mod for PHPmotion =-.

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Alex February 3, 2010 at 5:02 pm

It always sucks to have them Steven, but the best thing you can do is at least try to improve the post, right?

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Steven Corbett February 4, 2010 at 2:55 am

Absolutely- there are plenty more people who are sure to see it via search engines and backlinks!
.-= Steven Corbett´s last blog ..Update for PHPmotion SEO Pack Users =-.

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Helmi @ Huzzer Magazine February 2, 2010 at 1:04 am

Totally agree with you, Alex. Sometimes,we will not learn until the day we ‘fail’ with what we do.

For me personally, those floppers have helped a lot in learning new things that I couldn’t learn from others or by reading.

And I totally love the quote. If im not mistaken, it is by Thomas Edison right?

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Alex February 3, 2010 at 5:04 pm

It’s not that fail, I mean any article you post on your blog will serve a purpose.

The quote is from Christopher Titus, a comedian.

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Eric B. February 2, 2010 at 1:20 am

Great ideas. I occasionally experience this. It’s even weirder when very few people like a post that I put tons of work into, while some of my most popular posts were just posts quickly stitched together at the last minute :P

Usually the problem with my floppers is a lack of buzz. A admit it, I suck at promoting my site. But that’s just something I’ll have to work on.
.-= Eric B.´s last blog ..The Design Of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Website =-.

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King Sidharth February 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Promoting my own content is becoming an obsession, learning how to promote rather but time, patience and quality beats every trick of trade. And that’s exactly what a flop is not – quality and patience. Obv context does matter.

Personally I think you have managed to brand yourself really well. I see you almost everywhere! Your website has turned out to be one of the most awesome designed ones and yes nice content too. Your latest post on Vancouver site was really innovative and inspiring for me.
.-= King Sidharth´s last blog ..A How-to on Hardcore Motivation =-.

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Mark Clayson February 3, 2010 at 3:21 am

Hello mate
thank for nice information you gave
so I add you on my site :p
cheers

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Andrew @ Blogging Guide February 2, 2010 at 3:35 am

I can normally tell when one of my posts is going to flop and the biggest mistake I make is…I still publish it. It’s normally when I’m too busy and the ‘I just need to post’ syndrome kicks in.

I need to reflect, stand back, NOT post it and refine/improve it.

Andrew
.-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..How to Make Money with E-books =-.

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Alex February 3, 2010 at 5:05 pm

We all have those moments for sure Andrew, and it’s kind of embarrassing sometimes. But honestly, I think missing a post completely is better than putting out a piece of crap. What do you think?

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elmot February 2, 2010 at 4:16 am

I think not all posts will generate that big buzz or discussion, and along the way there is something for one blogger to discover on his writing his posts…and as you said it well here, every writing exercise is a learning experience to hone one’s craft and be more sensitive to your market and readers.
.-= elmot´s last blog ..A Democles Sword on Bloggers; The Case of Ella Ganda Sued for Libel =-.

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Alex February 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm

That’s how I like to see posts. I mean, I learn new things from each article I actually take the time and effort to write here. I learn a lot about the subject, and I learn how my community reacts to it, and that opens up a lot of other thoughts like “should I write about it again?” or “how has my thoughts on the topic changed from x months ago?” It’s just crazy how deep I go into my posts sometimes, and I totally agree that it’s a new learning experience every time.

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Chris Palmer February 2, 2010 at 4:17 am

Hey Alex,
Having just started my blog a few months ago, this is very intriguing. I think it would be alright to bring up posts from the very beginning to the forefront more often in that case.

However, if you do have an established user base, it is important to do it sparingly, if at all.

I’m the type of person that would rather totally rewrite the article and make it totally fresh. I believe I’m a much blogger now than I was 3 months ago, so that new experience could have a real impact on the ‘stickiness’ of the blog post.

Also, one thing I learned from Pat Flynn at SmartPassiveIncome.com was to just A/B test the H-ee-double hockey sticks out of everything.

Thanks for the post!
.-= Chris Palmer´s last blog ..Aviator90 Episode 1 =-.

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King Sidharth February 2, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Ah! you brought this up in my mind and I can’t stop from commenting it out.
There are times when our readers are not just ready for that type of post yet. Sometimes it’s just too mature for them. But later, the same thing makes a great hit. So reusing can be savior. Don’t you agree?
.-= King Sidharth´s last blog ..A How-to on Hardcore Motivation =-.

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online shopping cart website design February 2, 2010 at 5:14 am

Quite often there is no predicting what posts become a popular one, regardless of what specific topics you choose to address, I have found that a few types of blog posts have received more traffic compared to others.
I noticed most ”How To” posts usually have tremendous amounts of traffic, linkbacks, and comments.

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Alex February 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm

You’re right, you never know. Sometimes you can be surprised, and other times you will be disappointed. But you have to experiment, I mean you can’t write about the same exact thing forever.

“How-tos” definitely bring in traffic, and I really want to get more of those articles out as they can be immensely useful to others.

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Palabuzz February 2, 2010 at 6:40 am

I couldn’t say that a post is a floop just because it deosn’t brings any traffic now or tommorow since it could bring lots of traffic in the future. A lot of my post are from those past post and theya re bringing me many of my traffic from search engine.
.-= Palabuzz´s last blog ..Darna and Last Prince battling over rating according to AGB =-.

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Alex February 3, 2010 at 5:26 pm

That’s true, but why not try and make it bring in traffic now too? We do sometimes get some traffic from posts that go way back, but that’s usually because we do the things I suggested in this article – market it.

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Chris Peterson February 2, 2010 at 7:40 am

It’s better you face the fact and wipe out this misconception. You need to get out of your usual perspective and learn what others think about your post.

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Alex February 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Very true words Chris! Thanks for sharing. :)

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Jenny February 2, 2010 at 9:16 am

I’m glad you mentioned reusing.. I was actually planning to research that topic tonight since so many of my posts were written during the days when my six closest friends comprised my “blog readership.” Once again… I think you are reading my mind. And I’m okay with that.

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Antti Kokkonen February 2, 2010 at 9:33 am

I don’t set expectations to my posts anymore. I used to, but it just led to disappointments (all posts are flops when you have high expectations). Instead, I work on each and every post the same way, put 100% in it and publish it, and promote them all the same way.

I also review my blog each week, going through my older posts, and polishing them as needed. This way, it doesn’t matter which page a new (or old) visitor lands on, as all the content is up-to-date and same (high) quality.

Actually, now that I think of it, I don’t like the idea of a flopper at all, that would mean that I should have short-term goals for a blog post, instead of writing posts that someone will find useful 2-3 years from now. And for me, if a post helps just one person, it’s a “hit”, the numbers will follow over time.
.-= Antti Kokkonen´s last blog ..A Secret to Making Money Online =-.

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Brandon Cox February 2, 2010 at 10:27 am

Man this is so true! I’ve had some floppers myself. Sometimes I even worry that it was so bad, I delete it, which I know is a bad idea. I agree with you about revising though, which I often do. I’ve changed titles and I’ve even re-written posts. Sometimes, however, I realize that they will like the archive graveyard and I just move on.
.-= Brandon Cox´s last blog ..67 Ways to Get Your Content Into the Cloud =-.

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King Sidharth February 2, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Delete them? Well how about just letting them be there – as a reminder of what not to do? Even a flopper can earn you a loyal reader, you never know. So keep em there.
.-= King Sidharth´s last blog ..A How-to on Hardcore Motivation =-.

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Agent Deepak February 2, 2010 at 11:58 am

Some time the reasons are too simple. Your readers may be busy.

Anyways quite useful post. Recently some of post didn’t do so well. Your tips may help me.
.-= Agent Deepak´s last blog ..MARKETING vs SELLING Your Blog =-.

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King Sidharth February 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

True! True! True!
And sometimes they just don’t know what to comment about. Bounce rate from blog statics reveals the truth.

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John Paul Aguiar February 2, 2010 at 11:58 am

Nice tips.. I like the reposting idea. I do this on twitter.. never thought about reposting it on my blog again.
.-= John Paul Aguiar´s last blog ..Just Released: New Twitter Dummy Guide =-.

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King Sidharth February 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Something that happens to me every now and them. And yes, it’s a lesson learned. Many a times it happens, you write the best post (you think so) and make it awesome. It sounds perfect and awesome read. You hit the publish button and go out for shameless self promotion and….. nothing happens.

It’s hard to learn form lessons like these unless we look at them without emotions. It’s not easy to take rejections.

Is there a personal experience of yours behind this? Anything special? Or pointing to someone ;) ?

PS: At last we can see Mr. Alex’s face. LOL

Let’s be Awesome.
.-= King Sidharth´s last blog ..A How-to on Hardcore Motivation =-.

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Charlie Rogers February 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm

@Alex: Excellent post, do you use google analytics to see the ‘traffic’ on individual pages? In that case you might have a problem if you are counting search engine traffic too. Because there would be outliers on either side (posts that didn’t get any SE traffic or posts that became hit on SEs for some long-tail keywords).

Besides that, counting comments, tweets etc. might be a good measure, ‘IF’ your posts are regularly quoted by others, than number of pingbacks or ‘direct links to the post’ might also be a good indicator.

As you suggested, I have tried ‘re-posting’ an article at an opportune moment and a previouly dud post (or flopper as you call it) did much better.

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Blogger Den February 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Another fantastic idea about how to build up a successful blog. Blogussion is full of awesome posts, keep ‘em up!
.-= Blogger Den´s last blog ..top 10 blogging tips for beginners =-.

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Kok Siong Chen February 3, 2010 at 1:15 am

I think the most common reason is because the content is not good enough. You have provided me a lot of strategies to save some of my articles. Thanks for sharing!
.-= Kok Siong Chen´s last blog ..Cri du Chat Syndrome – Human with Cat-like Cry =-.

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John Jeracevich February 3, 2010 at 2:34 am

Ezine publishers and Web masters have a limited amount of space to dedicate to articles. This is why they look for pieces that are (generally) between 500 – 750 words long. Those articles that far exceed 750 words are likely to be rejected. It could be that your article makes some excellent points, but if you’ve gone into the 850-1000 word range, chances are you’ll never get any “ink.”

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Mark Daniel@Abs Training February 3, 2010 at 2:34 am

Do you know that most publishers receive dozens and dozens of articles every single day? How do most of them choose one or two from the pile? They start with the title. Almost every publisher I’ve talked with says they skim down the list of submissions looking for a title that grabs their attention. If your article doesn’t stand out in the crowd, you’ll most likely be overlooked.

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Doug@discount men's shoes February 3, 2010 at 2:35 am

Many articles simply try to cover too much. They start with a title about creating a killer Web site, move onto how PhotoShop uses layers to build graphics and end up with an inside look at hosting. Pick one, specific topic and stick to it.

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help with thesis January 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I think this post is on the topic. We are here to discuss our blogging techniques not for build a website and using Photoshop, hosting and all. Alex is trying to teach us how we can help a blogger with our new and unique techniques and that is it.

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Chris@Document scanning February 3, 2010 at 2:35 am

There are certain subjects that have just been “done to death.” Here is a sampling: How To Drive Free Traffic To Your Web Site, What To Look For In A Web Host, The Top 10 Web Design Mistakes. Be original. If you must write on one of these topics that you see almost everywhere, take a new approach.

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gautam hans February 3, 2010 at 8:48 am

I agree, there have been times that my posts just couldn’t generate enough money. That is because they didn’t have the right audience. I think recycling the post will help in that. Personally speaking, i try to update posts, that I think might not be getting traffic due to poor quality or lack of information.
The main part is to try ur best and you will surely get it right after some time.
.-= gautam hans´s last blog ..The 11 Types of Bloggers =-.

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scheng1 February 3, 2010 at 9:52 am

haha, fail is not such a bad word. It all depends on the context. Most of us fail to take notice of our nagging mothers!
.-= scheng1´s last blog ..7 steps to Positive thinking =-.

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Dennis Edell February 3, 2010 at 4:48 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve really consider one a real flopper. All good points though, this is a sweet reference piece. ;)
.-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Welcome Aboard Part 2! All The Info You’ve Been Waiting For… =-.

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JR February 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm

I do not think it’s possible for all posts to be remarkable, that is just a fact, so I agree just keep doing your regular routine with all posts and use previous posts as a model for those that shine.
.-= JR´s last blog ..19 Social Web 2.0 Sites To Promote Internet Marketing, Blogging, Make Money Online Content =-.

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Dave Doolin | Website In A Weekend February 3, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Well, sort of.

My article today wasn’t written to get a lot of comments, or fast tweets, or whatever.

What it will get is long term search results. Which pile up day after day, week after week, month after month.

I won’t know whether this article will “flop” for at least 6 months. If it’s not pulling in organic traffic then, I’ll update it and republish.

A large number of people on this circuit are obsessed with their day to day traffic. Frankly, I haven’t looked at my stats in nearly two weeks, and as long as my Alexa stays under about 100,000, I’m fine for now.

In the meantime, I publish good articles, every day. Some days, great articles.
.-= Dave Doolin | Website In A Weekend´s last blog ..Your First AWeber Autoresponder Followup Series =-.

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Reza Winandar February 4, 2010 at 5:57 am

Take a look at comment section and you will find out my your post is flop.
.-= Reza Winandar´s last blog ..This is blog is now Do Follow =-.

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Mark Clayson February 5, 2010 at 4:52 am

I have been searching for a site like this in the field I am interested in. I am a great fan. I also like all things about do it yourself suggestions that help you to save.

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American Finance Solutions February 9, 2010 at 1:24 am

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the excellent work.

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Frank Jovine February 9, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Great information. There are times I use Google Trends to see what’s hot and spicy and if it’s something in my niche, I write a blog about it. It has really worked well, but it’s all in the timing. Once an article hits spicy, you would’ve needed to write an article when it was rising and not at its peek.

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matt lambert July 4, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Some things that can affect post success

Competition – subjects that are done to death, also suffer from serach engine congestion. At least make the title original if not the content

Day of week – for some reason, weekends are much slower than during the week.

Season – people are interested in different things at different time of the year.

Just some suggestions on how to explain why a post you were hopeful about might not match expectations.

All the best – Matt

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document scanning July 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Keep it close to current affairs possibly, when promoting Ensure you are using white hat techniques either way, there’s too much promotional spamming these days. Personally I try to update posts, that I think might not be getting traffic due to poor quality or lack of info.

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Rob O. November 13, 2010 at 5:17 am

I agree that there are posts that you just know aren’t going to be a huge hit yet there can still be valid reasons to go ahead with them regardless – maybe just for your own gratification or sometimes blog posts serve as convenient “brain dumps” just to get an idea “on the books” for future reference.

But what really stings is when you’ve carefully crafted an article, really pouring a great deal of thought and spirit into it, targeting a need or trying to fill some void for your readers – yet it still falls flat. Sometimes the entries that you’re most proud of are the very ones that do go largely unnoticed.

And then other times, you hammer out some quickie post about some trivial or silly thing and get a dozen comments! Not sure if I should take that to mean that readers only want fluff or if they’re just a fickle, unpredictable lot.

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Document Storage January 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve really consider one a real flopper. All good points though, this is a great reference piece. Thanks, Phil

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thesis writing help April 6, 2011 at 11:23 am

Why Some of Your Posts “Flop” and how you can Fix it <——– nice well define title :) keep sharing

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