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Adii Pienaar

Family man, seeker and learner. Revealing my inner-poet. 2X Founder: Conversio (acquired by Campaign Monitor) + WooCommerce (acquired by Automattic). Ex-Rockstar.

Growing My Audience

In the last couple of weeks, I've been making a real effort to blog more, tweet more and generally just be more visible online. I've just been aiming to do more personal brand building. To achieve this, I had targeted two areas which needed serious improvement:

  1. I need to be blogging more and should use my blog as the central, aggregating point of my online reputation; and
  2. As a supplement to my blog, I should grow my Twitter audience and use that as my main distribution point of my opinions / articles.


First up, let's have a look at the monthly traffic stats on my blog:

[caption id="attachment_1157530449" align="alignright" width="640" caption="Monthly Traffic Stats (Jan '11 - Aug '11)"][/caption]



Not too shabby, right? :) 

This is what I've tried to do:

  • Blog regularly & consistently. This takes hard work and I've only managed this, because I've forced myself to pump out content 3 / 4 times a week. Some weeks I've managed to blog daily, but I've not made that the be-all-and-end-all, because some weeks that is just not possible.
  • Habits & quantity over quality. In every other sphere of my life, I'm a quality over quantity guy, but have gone for a different approach with blogging. Instead of limiting myself to only write when I'm super inspired or when I have a great topic to write about, I'm happy to write a "lesser" blog post for the sake of staying in that habit of writing regularly.
  • Dodged superficial requirements. I think perfection and the perception thereof becomes such a barrier to actually sitting down & writing. So I've eliminated this at all. I've stopped limiting what I write by imposing quality or topical requirements on myself and have decided just to enjoy the actual process of writing.
  • Ignoring the metrics. In the past, I used to judge the "success" of a post by the amount of comments. I've stopped that. The only thing I measure at this stage is the traction & size of my audience, which is a longer term view than having to judge the success of individual posts. I think when I look at individual post stats on a daily basis, it's very easy to become demotivated and lose interest in writing. Writing has no instant gratification.


For Twitter, I had to take another approach, because my challenges were a tad different. Due to my work (read: maintaining my sanity and trying to stay productive), I don't use Twitter in real-time most of the time. Instead I check it a couple of times during the day and batch process / read a whole lot of tweets.

So the same applied to my tweeting to an extent. I've always been concerned about the fact that the majority of my followers are awake in a different timezone to myself, which meant I was tweeting / interacting without much interaction.

Enter Buffer, which has greatly changed my Twitter "workflow". This is what I now do:

  • During my "work" day, I will tweet in real-time as I feel the need.
  • Before I wrap up my work for the day, I will sift through newsworthy articles that I got via Twitter or my RSS subscriptions. I will then spend a hour or so just reading (also a great catalyst to do some writing of my own normally) and then Buffer'ing the links / articles that I found interesting and / or valuable.
  • So from about 6pm until 1am, I have 4 - 7 tweets "scheduled" and I'm thus sharing stuff with the majority of my audience.
This is how my Twitter audience has grown in the last couple of weeks since I've started to use Buffer:

I don't attribute this growth solely to Buffer of course, because I still had to have the discipline to generate the content, but I've found it to be an incredibly useful tool to help me grow my Twitter audience.

So what are your thoughts on following me in the last couple of weeks? Are these statistics indicative of an improved effort by me? :)

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