The penrose stamps post was a bold lentil +1,000 page view post, or to use a bloggy shorthand a 1 K post. Dissecting things a little, there are some interesting things to note and keep in mind when writing for a broader audience.
Math Geek Meet Stamp Queen
Just about every post on applied and theoretical blogging out there will note the importance of fresh or original content. Most will also note that you should write for a target audience. One way to define a target audience is to identify larger or established blogs that accept link submissions relating to your topic. These then are the ‘editors’ that you are writing for and a familiarity with the topics and posts they write about is quite helpful. In the case of the penrose stamps it seemed to me like a fun post and one of interest to the DIY, maker, creative geek crowd so I submitted it to the MAKE blog. It was posted and traffic ensued. Interestingly, the post was also picked up by the CRAFT blog which means that it was also of interest to stampers, crafters, and hipsters. In this case, the intersecting interests actually expanded the potential pool of readers. It’s a good thing to keep in mind for future posts (although I expect the intersection of oboe-playing graffitti artists to be small, but that was the point in that particular case).
Mostly Ant-like Behaviors
Keep in mind most of your new readers are ants. Not literally or symbolically or anything creepy but just that they are independent agents that have followed a path to your web site to get something. They didn’t come to read every post you’ve ever made or make witty comments or request an interview or beg for more. For the penrose stamps posts the ants followed the track laid down by the MAKE and CRAFT blogs to learn how to do something. A majority of the ants came from these two sites, even though there are now 100’s of other in-bound links, a majority of these links are to these two blogs. Now what some of the ants will do is click on some of the in-page links. So if you’re writing for a broader audience keep in mind adding some in-page links. And yes the traffic will likely go first, second and third most frequent click-throughs for a link list like this (1, 2, 3).
The Persistent Ones
Some of your new readers will be persistent. These are the ants with extra time, interest, motives or agendas. They may click randomly or with intent but often it will just be a NP-LP or next post-last post type of thing. Which raises the issue of the value of keeping topical posts clustered in time. Even for a specialist, topical blog if you are writing a focused, higher quality post then it probably makes sense to write a related post before and after. The penrose stamps post had a list of book quotes and a cartoon which is pretty dis-joint (but that’s part of the point here) but probably the screw is a bottle opener and the parentheses posts would have made a better trio