Regardless of your motivations behind blogging – communicate with friends, self-expression, business/moneymaking, I’d wager that there are very few people who wouldn’t enjoy a boost in viewers. More people checking out your blog translates to more potential likes, comments, and followers.
I’ve been running this blog only a few months, and have gotten great feedback in terms of followers and comments, at least when comparing to my previous WordPress blog attempt. But this newfound popularity got the better of me, and I wanted more – so I decided recently to advertise my blog on a few websites.
My strategy was pretty simple – I searched for “self taught Japanese” on Google, and advertised my site on any forums I found in the top 50 hits or so. I wasn’t expecting too much, but my daily hits were so low (10-15 average per day) so I thought I didn’t have much to loose.
Within a few hours of doing my advertising I checked my statistics, and suddenly I had 50 views. A look at the referrers showed me much of the traffic was coming from one of the boards I advertised too, though there was a few hits from other ones as well.
Things started getting out of control fast and that 50 views doubled, then doubled again. I got a WordPress notification that my per-hour stats were going crazy, which was fun since I didn’t even know that existed.
By the time the day had ended, I had over 400 views, with over 250 of those unique sources. Overall the traffic was easily 20x over what I usually get.
During this whole time I was ecstatic, checking the stats every few minutes to see how high it would go. In a strange way it reminds me of gambling as I think back on it now.
But as I expected this trend couldn’t continue forever. The next day I got ~300 views, then ~100, and gradually less after that. Once the smoke cleared, I stopped and thought about what I really got out of this whole thing.
I had gotten a few new followers (not more than 5) and two or three comments from new people, and maybe one or more likes than I normally got on an average day. But that was it. No calls from the president saying I was invited to the white house to talk about my blog which was sweeping the US with it’s popularity, and really no major impact on my life.
One of the lessons here is that oftentimes we wish for something without really thinking about the next steps. Dreaming “If I could only have….” is great, until we actually get it and realize our satisfaction lasts only days, or hours. So we think of a loftier goal, hoping that this time we’ll get true satisfaction and be able to “really achieve” something. If I had my blog set up in a fashion so I could make money, maybe I’d have gotten a few extra dollars out of this experience, if that.
As I think about this again, I realize that the most rewarding thing was that this site was ‘up voted’ by at least 15-20 people on one of the web sites I advertised to, which is where much of the traffic came from. Though my site has since been cycled away and replaced by other more recent posts, I’d appreciative that that many people liked my site enough to vote for it. Also my views per visitor of 1.74 means that on average most people looked at least another page besides the topmost one, so the content was interesting enough to keep them focused for at least a few seconds.
As a final note, up until now I have tried to keep this blog very focused to the topic of Japanese study and related items. However this topic was important enough that I had to break my rule. To keep things clear, I’ve added a new category “Aside” as well as added that to the title so people who want to focus only on Japanese study stuff can do so. I’ll probably have a few more aside-type posts in the near future, though I hope to keep most of my posts on-topic.