Blogging Gone Wild

9 05 2012

Each semester, students in Professor Lori Blachford’s magazine staff writing course create their own blogs using WordPress. Students are responsible for posting new articles at least once a week, sharing links to those articles through social media and other sources, and building traffic to their blogs. At the end of the semester, the top three traffic-getters win a prize. This spring, Rachel Weeks set a new record for success with her blogging effort. Here’s her story:

Rachel Weeks

My blog, Dollars, Sense and More, was intended to be a resource for young Des Moines residents to find fun, inexpensive things to do around town. Partially due to my lack of a car and partially due to my love of crafts, I also did a number of do-it-yourself posts, figuring that anything you are doing yourself is saving you money.

Having blogged before with little traffic, I understood the importance of advertising your work on multiple social media sites. So every time I blogged, I posted to Facebook and Twitter. Halfway through my blogging experience this semester, I got a Pinterest account and began posting there as well.

While I had always taken pictures for my blog, Pinterest made pictures imperative. While most of my Des Moines posts did not receive any traffic from Pinterest, one do-it-yourself project turned out to be very successful.

This post (March 16) was not a spectacular one; it included instructions on how to cut an old T-shirt into a tank top. Nonetheless, this post became wildly successful and sent my page visits through the roof. After pinning the tank top post, my blog numbers jumped from roughly 10 visits each day to 200 visits a day. The numbers continued to escalate throughout the semester. Lately, my blog receives over 2,000 views daily from around the world, the vast majority of those views are from Pinterest looking at the tank top post.

In about three and a half months, my home page has been viewed nearly 4,000 times. But the tank top post has gotten over 60,000 on its own.

Every day, one or two people will search the name of my blog on Google, which is kind of a cool thing, even if it is just to see a bunch of pictures of my dorm room floor and an old purple T-shirt.

A look at the quick shift in blog traffic once Rachel posted the tank top project.


Rachel’s blog started with barely a whisper of traffice, but by April …





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