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How to rank well on ManageWP.org

Aug. 7, 2014

I am wondering what are the key factors for a post to rank well here? How does one achieve status of McFarlin or Lema where every post is eagerly submitted? What makes a good blog on WordPress nowadays?

47 votes   Flag
Mickey Kay

I've wondered this myself. It seems like the two authors you mentioned typically do very well in terms of garnering upvotes, however I've definitely shared duds from both of them as well. On the opposite side, I've seen generically titled posts like "Top 10 Free Themes for April" - that in my opinion aren't super interesting/useful - do extremely well.

This makes me wonder as to the demographic makeup of MWP's constituency. I consider myself on the more technical side of the WP spectrum, and there are a few article types that hold the most appeal to me:

1. Technical how-to's
2. Editorials that address core philosophy issues (should you make a theme? should plugins only handle functionality? etc)
3. Big WP news (security updates, core changes, etc)

I also think existing rank plays a huge factor in garnering more upvotes. Simply put, the higher up an article is on the MWP homepage, the more likely it is to be seen, read, and upvoted. I wonder if some articles just catch momentum - getting enough upvotes (or simply high enough karma/vote-strength from the original poster) to warrant a high position on the page, and then just getting more and more upvotes from folks thinking: "hey, if everyone else thinks this is a good post, then I might as well too." This is just a theory though, no data to back it up other than the fact that I know I think this way at times :)

On an unrelated note, I would love to see the ability to create a discussion topic that comes in the form of a survey, with radio options and the ability to leave a comment. I was just thinking how cool it would be to take a survey of MWP's demographic makeup (which I think I'll do anyways) and have users be able to check one of x options and leave an explanatory note if desired. Anyhow, I'll post this as a discussion topic, and if it gets good support maybe you'd like to consider adding it.

Keep up the great work!

Tim Nash

Unfortunately for me Tom and Chris have become victims of their own success. Both have adopted the same strategy for different markets. Build up a brand with some great content, then write prolifically on ok to mediocre content. Then target audiences that their post content goes slightly over the audiences head.

The result, lot's of clapping, social shares and comments about what a great job they did. Which is a great strategy. The real shame Chris and Tom could halve their content levels and write great content and achieve the same thing. Tom posts so prolifically and the quality dropped accordingly that I haven't visited his site in weeks. Which means he could have written the most AMAZING post and I have no idea because when it was shared it was just another Tom post.

Other then that, the Tavern and Post Status rank simply because they represent the "News" though the Tavern does feel like it will post more or less anything these days, once upon a time for something to be featured on the Tavern was quite difficult now it feels like its the normal part of any WordPress plugin/themes marketing. Possibly thats simply due to the fact theirs now 2 full time peeps working there.

The sad thing, because peeps on ManageWP know articles by Tom, Chris, The Tavern, Post Status work well their is a rush to post them. So the cycle continues, it's especially frustrating to see a Tavern write up rank higher then the source, especially when it doesn't add content, but was voted up because it was from the Tavern.

So while the question was how do you rank well, the answer is by not writing amazing content, but by writing lots of OK content. Or put another way if you throw enough mud it eventually sticks. Sad really :(

Brian Krogsgard

Interesting comments so far.

I actually find I have to self-post a lot of my content from Post Status, because if I don't some stuff I'd love to see here gets lost. Once I do post it, it gets upvotes usually, fortunately.

This is actually a decent source of referrals for me. More importantly, it's a great source for _good_ referrals, as in, the type of reader I want.

I also submit other people's stuff sometimes, if it's not already here. And I upvote things I like; but generally I also see upvotes on some things that imo are a bit weak (listicles, basically reblogs of other things, posts that have been done a hundred times, etc).

This is a nice source of information, but it is a bit stagnant sometimes. I have a feeling more people are visiting than voting, considering avg upvotes vs avg visits I get (prob 50-100 referalls in a good day). You'd think the upvotes would be at least 10-20%, given it's so easy and that's what drives the front page.

Nevertheless, keep up the good work. I know it's a passion project, so just the fact it exists is nice.

Vladimir Prelovac

Adding a share/upvote button on your site might be worth a try. Would be curious to see how that goes.

As for listicles and reblogs, noninformative content is in principle forbidden by the posting guidelines, so the only thing keeping it on the site is the lack of flags. So next time you see that just hit that flag button.

Tim Nash

Speaking from experience, of incoming ManageWP.org users the share via the managewp button is 0.05% compared to a little over 1% for twitter and 0.5% for Facebook. It's even out performed by Google+

If I don't segment by ManageWP.org referers the percentage is so small it doesn't register.

Now this could be my usage, it's position etc but I don't think ManageWP users are expecting to see a share button, so simply are not in the mindset to up vote during reading the article. It could be my content is rubbish as well of course :p

Chris Lema

I'd love more detail on what content of mine is going over whose head, Tim. I don't mind the criticism, but I don't understand this sentence:

"Then target audiences that their post content goes slightly over the audiences head. "

I'd love to hear more about what that means. Thanks.

Tim Nash

Sorry threading doesn't seem to be working again, so missed your question.

While that part of the comment was possibly more targeted at Tom, where I suspect it's happening completely without knowing, it's a pattern I see all the time, including in my own writings and your own. Obviously in my own writing not to the same scale (at least not any more, choosing to only write about things I find interesting some what dampens your readership :p ). However to put it in context:

The WordPress community like any other, there are a core group of people sharing content, many post here, so I'm going to choose my words carefully so as to not offend to many people. The thing is it's not the developers who drive content sharing on the whole when it comes to WordPress (though plenty do) or business owners (in the traditional sense) it's people who use WordPress, for want of a better term enthusiasts. Which is great and exactly the way it should be and shows a healthy foundation for an open source community, even if I wish more people were interested in development side.

This mainstream group are the ones who mean we still get top 10 themes for August posts and similar, who in effect fuel you should use x plugin posts. Within this group you are "lucky" to be considered a a thought leader as much as you may try to suggest that people shouldn't become one and a inspiration Again this isn't a bad thing you get a 1m visitors, you have a large subscription email list, well known speaker etc in effect I'm saying carry on.

If I asked you who were you aiming at, I suspect you would say WordPress businesses, freelancers, to a little extent developers and designers. You hopefully would explain the narrow focus of your blog etc I don't think the people who share your content are the people you target, at least not the majority. Instead I think it's the people who want to be in the group you target who are your primary readers and sharers. I could be completely wrong of course.

This has started to ramble so the people who I think are driving your traffic, on the whole are doing so not because of the content, which is not really aimed at them, but they want it to be, but to show they follow a thought leader, to become inspired (or rather show they are becoming inspired).

I spent a little bit of the morning grabbing comments from yours, Tom's and ProBloggers blog along with the posts from each I choose one article from each site. I then got my other half to pin the comments to the blog post. This was in no way a scientific test but out of 10 comments her success rate was 4/10. Now obviously I choose more generic comments and it was done as a tongue in cheek to prove a point. (Though it has given me an idea for a fun game) She reads all 3 blogs and indeed had read 2 of the posts previously.

Anyway, my original comment, was why I stopped reading both yourself andTom, in the same way I stop reading a lot of daily blogs. You simply don't inspire me (that sounds out of context of this comment, way harsher then it is) when you do write a post that would be of interest to me, sadly there is a reasonable chance I will miss it because I won't realise it was a great post over the noise. But I'm not your target readership, and not a good person to base your readership around :D

Hope that wasn't to rambly and was vaguely helpful

Mickey Kay

The other way to rank well: post a provocative question and hope the big names answer :)

« ☺ »

That almost sounds too easy.

Marius Talagiu

I know this might be wrong place to ask this, but I will give it a shot anyway (please remove the comment if you think it's not the right place - thank you ).

I am asking this because I did not post anything so far on managewp.org, but is there like a 'repost' checker in place? Meaning that if I want to post a link to a specific topic, there should be a script that will detect if that URL has already been added by an other user and it will not allow me to submit this topic anymore.

I think that the Karma ranking system is something that is very good in terms of high quality content, and it has been proven over and over again on HackerNews, the only think that I can think of it's also down votes that will influence the users Karma.

Thank you

Tim Nash

If the same URL is in the database, then if someone tries to resubmit the url they will be told they can't.

Michael Evans

I think it is the number of votes but of course, the moderators are there to stop you from spamming it :P and of course pogo sticking

Creative Beacon

I think it all boils down to unique content. List posts like "the top 5 security Wordpress plugins" won't do well, because there are 498028220 of them on the web. People are tired of seeing them. However, if you share a post with 5-10 useful and UNIQUE code snippets, or create a post that answers a tough WordPress question thoroughly, those typically get a lot of attention.

I think the main thing is to create unique content that people don't see plastered all over the web. ManageWP seems to curate a good collection of these types of posts.