Tim Ferris: How to Build a High-Traffic Blog Without Killing Yourself

@Kevin | Conversion Optimization, Social

Lately I have been doing a lot of work that requires me to research for hours in front of the computer. I decided instead of listening to music (I still can’t figure out how I can be sick of my iTunes when I have like 60GB worth of music) that I would listen to different presentations on the web about WordPress and Social Media.

To be honest I have had a very mixed experience when it comes to watching social media presentations at different events that I have attended. A lot of them haven’t contained original content or were put on by someone who clearly didn’t have a strong understanding what they were talking about. So far I have been really happy with what I have watched over the last few days and wanted to share some of my favorites and some takeaways.

One of the first  videos I watched was the Tim Ferris speech from WordCamp San Francisco. If you want to watch the video I embedded it below. If not I am going to include the most important takeaways for me.

Here are, in my mind, some of the most important takeaways from this:

When are the best times to post?

10am EST and 6pm EST (usually peak digg.com times) with Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday having the highest engagement.

How much does copy matter?

When he changed the categories widget to say “topics” the average time on site and clicks on that section increased.

Interesting tip:

Tim doesn’t display the date of old posts after they are off of the front page on the top of the post. He displays them on the bottom. Why? On the front page when people are coming in they want to see that there is new content so having the date up top matters. When people come in via search to older material they feel that the content is old when they see the date even though it could be extremely relevant. So Tim places the date on older posts at the bottom after the content.

Keep the new content visible:

On the upper left hand side of his blog Tim has a section for his most popular posts. The current hits refresh every 30 days or so and this gets people checking out more content. When he had just his all time popular posts up front they didn’t navigate through the site as much. (Side Note: Americans always check out the most popular content, Germans check out his favorite tab more than the popular tab.)