Alister Cameron // Blogologist

Changing the world. One blog(ger) at a time.

The WordPress dashboard… another secret source of blog traffic

Here’s a cool “secret source” of blog traffic I discovered some time back…

WordpressA couple of months ago, I wrote a post and thought it might have been of interest to the readership of Weblog Tools Collection (a very high-traffic site for WordPress coders and plugin junkies). So I emailed Mark Ghosh about it, and he soon after linked to the post I mentioned on my blog.

As soon as he was linking to me, my blog experienced quite a nice healthy flow of high-quality traffic from him. Very nice.

But as I was studying my blog traffic stats, and pondering the quantity of traffic I was seeing from WTC, I couldn’t help feel pretty jealous of Mark’s traffic. I mean, he’s right up there for popularity.

I wondered why his site was so popular…

First up, he deserves the popularity for the quality, timeliness and consistency of his content. I mean, if something happens of any consequence in the WordPress world, he’s going to post about it. He’s like Lorelle that way. They rock!

But then the penny dropped!

If you’re a WordPress blogger (the software, not hosted at WordPress.com), I’m sure you’re familiar with the pile of links that appear at the bottom of your dashboard. Here is how they appear on my (and probably your) dashboard right now:

My WordPress dashboard

Now, these are links I actually click on. I really do notice them and I regularly click through to the full posts. I’m wondering if you do too? And if you and I are typical of WordPress bloggers who are not averse to clicking those links too… how much traffic does all that clicking add up to?!

To help in the math on all this, does anyone have an accurate figure of the total WordPress installs out there?!

If You Blog About WordPress, Get Linked From the Posts that Link Off the WordPress Dashboard

So here’s my point for people like me, blogging once in a while about WordPress-specific stuff… most obviously plugin and theme creators: the next thing you should do after hitting “Publish” is email the blog authors who feature on the WordPress dashboard, notifying them of your new post. Be polite, be short, be professional, needless to say.

In the past I have emailed Mark and Lorelle a few times and Matt once. Mark has replied and posted each time (my posts were plugin or theme related, so it was a no-brainer for him, really). Lorelle has linked to me more than once. And Matt did not post or reply (but he’s forgiven… he’s a busy lad!).

Of course, unless you’re a stellar blogger on WordPress-related matters, you stand no chance at all of getting your content directly syndicated onto the dashboard. That list of bloggers has remained stable for quite a while (I think a few dropped out when they defected to Habari, but I’m not sure). So the next best thing is getting those bloggers to write about you, and if you’re writing good stuff about WordPress, it’s not hard.

And the traffic? Trust me… it’s niiiiiice!

Who is Syndicated on the WordPress Dashboard?

Your WordPress dashboard is actually just syndicating the content of WordPress Planet, which itself is an aggregator for the following blogs:

You will notice that with many of these blogs above, it is only a particular “WordPress” category or tag which is syndicated across to WordPress Planet. Bear in mind then, that if one of these authors posts a link to your blog, but without categorising it in this way, you won’t be a link away from the “traffic nirvana” you’re hoping for!

So How Much Traffic Are We Talking About Here?

Sadly, I had to move my hosting provider recently and I lost some of the details of my hosting stats, including referrer data. But I know I have received hundreds of unique visitors from each mention on WTC, and a little less from Lorelle (she tends to have so many links in her posts that the traffic to any given link is less, as a consequence).

But I have something I’m really really interested to know… and that I think would really interest others as well: how much traffic do these listed bloggers get from WordPress dashboard links? What volume of incoming traffic do dashboard “clicks” represent as a percentage of overall visits?

If you’re one of the bloggers listed above, would you be so kind as to shed some light on this? I’m not expecting “real” numbers but it would be great if we could get a sense of how important the dashboard links are to your overall traffic volume.

(One thing is clear… incoming traffic from the WordPress dashboard is obviously very valuable to these readers because it is always highly qualified.)

I look forward to hearing from both these particular bloggers, and from you, dear reader, to tell me if you are also in the habit of clicking these links. Or did you not even know they were there?!

wordpress, dashboard, wordpress dashboard, alister cameron, matt mullenweg, ray boren, lorelle van fossen, mark ghosh, weblog tools collection, blog traffic, traffic secrets, traffic strategy, blogging, blog promotion

21 Comments

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  1. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    Wow, great information there. I actually notice and click on those links too. But I never stopped to think about where they were coming from or how they ended up there in the first place!

    Thanks!

  2. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    I don’t blog about wordpress, butI personally hate the clutter those links provide to my dashboard and wish there was an easy way to remove them. I have never clicked on one, and probably never will. Although after reading this I probably can’t help but notice them.

  3. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    I also hate those links in the dashboard, so I downloaded a dashboard plugin to remove them all. Then I added the RSS for the sites I care about (Lorelle’s, the Dev blog, WBC, etc) to my Google Reader.

    The feeds really slow down the loading of the dashboard, and many of them are not relevant. I also don’t like the way they are styled on the Dashboard, but since the problem is easily corrected with a plugin, I won’t complain too loudly.

  4. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    @Kabitzin – in the more recent releases of WordPress, these links are AJAX post-loaded with jQuery. They should not load until everything else on the page has loaded.

    (The Technorati, Dev Blog and WordPress Planet links all load in this way.)

  5. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    I am actually after some hints on how to change the admin section, I have a client who finds it too cluttered and busy. So whats the best suggestion to clean it up so the client can only see what he needs??

  6. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    The traffic is nice, however for WTC you don’t really need to contact Mark directly if there’s a theme or plugin release, you can simply submit it here:
    http://weblogtoolscollection.com/news/

  7. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    I obviously confirm this. I’ve been linked by WLTC regularly, by Lorelle a few times and even by photomatt 3 or 4 times, and the number and quality of incoming traffic is pretty clear.

    This said, alternatively, you could also get in touch with any of the sites syndicated in planetwordpress.planetozh.com 🙂
    Not as effective as the Dashboard of course, but hey, we have more than 700 readers 🙂

  8. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    That’s great, I was wondering if there was a possibility to remove those square links in the dashboard, and now I know. I’ll look for a plugin to do that now. Anyway, the feeds I’m interested in are in my Netvibes account.

  9. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    The most significant traffic is when you have a single post directing traffic to you, not the “collection” posts. WLTC can certainly send a healthy 2000 readers to a single post collectively, and probabky has less subscribers because they don’t need to subscribe, it is in the dashboard.

    Based on traffic, I suppose they have the equivalent to 20,000 readers.

  10. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    The myth of the WordPress Dashboard panel bringing in LOADS of traffic, making a site included a resounding success is just that: a myth. Depending upon the title of the post, I may get anywhere from 100 to 600 visitors, but it had better be a darn good post title that screams “COME HERE!”

    Take a breath and ask yourself when was the last time you looked at your WordPress Dashboard. When did you take time to scroll down and check out the posts listed there? Hmm? Me? I don’t even visit that panel, and if I do when logging in, before it even finishes loading, I’m clicking Write Post or Comments and digging into the work that is my blog.

    Yes, it does bring in traffic. But as you said, if you write about something dealing with WordPress, I may put it under WordPress Tips, WordPress Themes, WordPress Plugins, but not under WordPress News, which is the only category covered by the Dashboard feeds. And thanks to all who get rid of those and add me back in. I hope you get the full site feed. 😀

    There are other more powerful ways to gain incoming traffic through recommendations – get included in Smashing Magazine, Lifehacker, Mashable or similar sites. The WordPress Dashboard folks are a mixed bag.

    Also, I tabbed into the “Are you human” gotcha before I read what was in it. That’s not normal to have the form text be the question, so I didn’t notice it until it was too late. I couldn’t find the question, so I just plowed on, getting an error after submitting. Can you type that in next to the “Are you human” so it isn’t lost when people tag into the form? Thanks.

  11. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    Well from my limited experience, 600 visitors from a single souce is a lot.

    Shoemoney urging readers to read one of my posts with the only 2 links in a short post going to me sent me around 300 visitors.

    John Reese mentioning me in a blog post 300+

    A poorly “sold” link from Techcrunch, a measly 50

    Robert Scoble thinking (at least in his title) I was accusing him of stealing, 500 visitors each of 2 days.

    PayPerPost “loving Andy Beard” about 500 visitors.

    WLTC linking to me in a single post about Dofollow plugins, 1000 visitors both the first and second day, and continued traffic thereafter.

  12. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    600 is a lot but it’s rare. VERY. At least from the WordPress Dashboard. Still it happens, over several days. I’ve only had it happen once in one day. I was adding up cumulatively. During the “life” of a post’s jazzy first entrance into the world.

    I’ve gotten a lot more when Matt, StumbleUpon, Smashing Magazine, and other sources link to one of my posts. The score goes through the roof into 4-5 digits.

    WordPress Dashboard traffic exists. However, the myth that is a major source of traffic is a myth. It’s a source, and if you are counting pennies, counts. But only if your content applies to their needs. Otherwise, they are in and out in seconds.

    As always, I recommend writing the best linkable content you can and you will get found and linked to. It’s the traffic that grows with time and keeps coming back for more that is the traffic I write for. Not the flash in the pan visitors.

  13. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    Hey Alister – do you (or any of your readers) know if those links only show up in the self-hosted WordPress dashboard, or do the WordPress.com people see them, too?

  14. Alister Cameron
    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    @Wendy – Great question, and the answer is no… they are not on the WordPress.com dashboards.

    However… all is not lost for WordPress.com users…

    While I am no expert on it, I have read in places that one of the really cool features of WordPress.com is that any blog that is part of that system is automatically indexed, categorized and featured on the dashboards of all WordPress.com blogs. Those “in the know” tell me that this can be “exploited” as a great source of traffic in its own right.

    At the least a new post of yours will feature for a short while under “Latest Posts”, but it’s the “Top Posts”, “Top Blogs” and “Fastest Growing Blogs” sections that are worth looking at closely for the referral traffic they can provide.

    It’s a whole other question that I’d love to hear WordPress.com users talk about… most obviously those who have top blogs there… Scoble?!

    -Alister

  15. Posted 10 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    Probably Lorelle or Engtech would probably be able to divulge the traffic benefits of that, though Lorelle doesn’t look at stats 😉

    I have written about WP.com linking structures a little in the past.

    It has been almost 2 years since I had a blog on WP.com, I wonder if I will ever get my subdomain reinstated

  16. Posted 10 years ago // Permalink

    I am just getting started with really no content on my site. I appreciate getting this info, especially for the near future!

    Tnx, DP, I am about my FATHER’s Business!
    Making A Difference And Helping Other People Reach Their Goals!

  17. Posted 10 years ago // Permalink

    My numbers for WordPress Bits are different from Lorelle’s.

    Here is a fresh example. Yesterday the tip #6 was posted. Stats page shows that there were 1,421 visitors from WordPress Dashboard. There were another 325 Dashboard visitors today.

    These numbers are not exceptional. This is pretty much what I see every time I post something. WordPress Dashboard is by far the biggest source of traffic to WordPress Bits.

    These amount of visitors is enough to push WordPress Bits up to Blog of The Day lists, where it picks up a bit more traffic.

  18. Posted 10 years ago // Permalink

    >It has been almost 2 years since I had a blog on WP.com, I wonder if I will ever get my subdomain reinstated

    Andy, it’s been just a little bit over 2 years (a month or a little more) since wordpress.com saw the light of the day.

  19. Posted 10 years ago // Permalink

    Lorelle’s right. The link in the dashboard does bring some traffic but depending on the subject of the post the number of visitors can be anywhere between a trickle and a deluge. My last post about not advertising to friends got a lot of traffic however. I think it struck a chord with people, but I received more traffic from stumbleupon and other blogs linking to it than the Dashboard.

  20. Posted 9 years, 6 months ago // Permalink

    I agree with andy!

  21. joaquin
    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    nice blogroll. will try some links

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  6. […] Alister spotlights the the WordPress dashboard as another secret source of blog traffic […]

  7. […] Alister spotlights the the WordPress dashboard as another secret source of blog traffic […]

  8. […] If you blog about WordPress, get linked from the posts that link off the WordPress dashboard. – Alister Cameron on The WordPress Dashboard: Another secret source of blog traffic… […]

  9. […] You might have noticed some links that appear at the bottom of every WordPress dashboard. “If You Blog About WordPress, Get Linked From the Posts that Link Off the WordPress Dashboard” – The WordPress dashboard is secret source of blog traffic. […]

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