What I’ve Learned From My First 4 Regional Posts for BuzzFeed UK

Over the last couple of months I’ve written a number of regional posts for BuzzFeed UK, after being commissioned by Senior Writer Tabatha Leggett. (‘Regional’ is how BuzzFeed refer to articles which focus on a specific town, city, or area of the UK.) Here are my first four:

– 54 Reasons You Should Move To Bournemouth Immediately

– 51 Pictures That’ll Make You Head Straight To The Jurassic Coast

– 14 Charts That Will Make Every Cardiff Student Chuckle

– Can You Tell Which Dorset Place Names Are Real?

How have they performed?

Buzzfeed Bournemouth Article Stats

Stats from the first month.

Editor Luke Lewis has previously described regional posts as “inherently sharable”, and it’s easy to see why from the graph above. For every “seed view” my Bournemouth article received (direct site traffic) it had two “social views”, meaning that even though it only had around 50K in direct traffic it still clocked up over 150,000 hits overall in its first few days – all thanks to the number of times it was shared. Aside from my previous feature on Homeless Londoners, this article has been my best performer in terms of traffic.

Buzzfeed Bournemouth Article Referrals

A breakdown of where the traffic came from.

Lessons Learned

Although all four articles had a good social lift and a relatively high number of engagements on Facebook, their traffic figures still varied quite a bit (around 20,000 for the quiz, 40,000 for the Cardiff charts, and 60,000 for the Jurassic Coast feature) – and that Bournemouth article was a long way ahead of the rest.

Although it’s hard to pin down exactly why something takes off, here are some tentative conclusions I’d draw:

– Anything with elements of nostalgia seems to perform well
– Anything that accurately taps into a shared joke or common ground has a strong chance of being shared
– The more visual and recognisable the article is, the better
– Facebook and email/message chains carry an enormous amount of traffic-generating power (two thirds of traffic to my Bournemouth article came from these referrers)

I’ll keep trying out new formats and styles and sharing any findings as I go…

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