Canadian Politics from Canada's Centre

Friday, May 26, 2006

CCP Tops 4000 Page-Views - You can too

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Centrerion Canadian Politics has topped 4000 page-views in a month for the first time in its short history! Based on sitemeter statistics, traffic of approximately 2200 visitors has led to a little over 4000 page-views. Thankyou to all of you who have helped make this happen.

As you know, my goal and my co-blogger's goal is to give a greater voice to moderate and centrist Canadian politics, so this is really good news... flattery, I'd say. There's a caveat though; we used a promotional tool that may not necessarily have led to more influence for moderate politics, though it has increased the readership. I think many of you may nonetheless be interested in emulating the experience, so I'm going to tell you how it was done.

I added links on Wikipedia to this website. Of course, it wasn't links to anything; the links brought wikipedia users to what blog entrepreneur Yaro Starak calls Pillar articles. That is, the top content on your site that really is the product of some hard work and serious research.

Thus, for example, people are coming here from Wikipedia to learn about my research on NAFTA's effects on the Canadian economy (links to the introduction, which links to other pages with the raw data). Others are reading my guide to social bookmarking tool, my advice on how to be influential, tax tips and more.

So the caveat is that much of the new traffic is not necessarily coming to read editorials on , , the , etc. Indeed, the rate at which these readers 'bounce' (or leave the site before it fully loads/within a few seconds) is relatively high, suggesting they may not have expected to come to a political website (though in my defense I have made an effort to label the links as going to Canadian politics site). This especially applies to the advice on how to be influential, since the link is not on a page explicitly about politics.

If you want to use Wikipedia to boost your traffic in the same way as I boosted Centrerion Canadian Politics' traffic, here's what you'll need to do.

1) Write useful content, preferably in your field. That way, if you do market your articles through wikipedia, people won't see your site's title, be surprised and leave. For fellow students, big term papers that required some reserch can probably be used, and that's indeed what I did for the NAFTA material.
2) Find the relevant page on Wikipedia, and link to it under "external links." If no such section exists on that page, you can add it. If you want to link to your site from another part of the page, be sure to mark it as an external link, and make sure the content is not debatable.
Note that blog links in the main body of text (i.e. not in external links) will mostly be deleted, because Wikipedia doesn't consider them valid sources (which is ironic, since Wikipedia itself is snubbed by most established media and educational references, as regards being a source). The exception in my case is because I have hard facts published on NAFTA, which is what I linked to (and because I politely said as much in the discussion page). I couldn't, for example, link to an opinion piece on whether NAFTA is good for Canadians, in that same area of the page.

Again, the key thing to understand here is that you're welcome to contribute in ways that will be of service to the wikipedia reader. Keep in mind that they are mostly in search of information (and not product pitches, which wikipedia-breathing-eating-and-sleeping editors with too much time on their hands will delete), and have a short attention span. So make sure you're providing worthwhile information, and try to keep the paragraphs short.

Thanks again!

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