Since I’ve started paying a little more attention to traffic in the past month or so, I’ve been reading people’s suggestions for driving more traffic to your blog. There are no end to blog posts out there, especially from people who want to make money from page hits, for getting a lot more people onto your blog. I’m part of a Google+ community for blogging and these things are posted almost continuously.
You know what they all conclude the secret for driving traffic to your blog is? Lying. Yes, that’s right, lying. Doing whatever you can do, saying whatever you can say to con people into coming to your blog, whether they stick around or not.
Want some examples? Those are easy.
How about guest posting? Now I may be naive but my opinion on guest posting has always been that if a fellow blogger needs help, is going to be out of town or is too busy to write posts for a while, I’ll jump in and write some content to help them out. It’s not about me, it’s about producing the best content for their blog and being a good blogging neighbor. But no, apparently I’m wrong, the whole point of guest blogging is to get yourself hits. Fuck the blog you’re writing on. You should find a blog with a bigger readership than yours and write a link-ridden post that makes your blog look good in hopes of getting a bunch of their readers to become your readers. I’ve written plenty of guest posts in my day, but you know what I’ve never done? I’ve never asked anyone if I could do it, I wait until I’m asked. Why would I waste your time, space and bandwidth trying to get hits on my own blog? It seems stupid.
How about controversy? That seems to be on everyone’s list. Do something specifically to piss people off. Talk about dishonesty! It’s one thing to write a post that creates controversy if it’s something that you really feel, it’s another to find a topic people feel strongly about and purposely write something that makes them mad so they swarm like locusts all over your blog. Now yes, controversy sells, we know that, but running around kicking babies just to make them cry seems a bit absurd. I can honestly say that I have never written a blog post solely to piss anyone off. Sure, lots of what I write has that effect, but not that purpose. Believe it or not, I don’t go out intending to be a dick.
One of the newest I’ve seen is Triberr, a site for people who will go around and post links to your posts, so long as you’ll reciprocate and post links to theirs. Keep in mind, these aren’t people who are going to read your work ,decide they like it and then personally recommend it to others, these are just link farms. They don’t bother to read anything you write, they just post links by rote. I find that horribly dishonest. My word means something to me, if I’m going to put out a link to another blog, it means I’ve not only read it, I found it valuable and I am personally recommending it to others. This is just dishonesty galore. There is another one called JustRetweet that does the same thing.
The same can be said of randomly following people on Twitter in hopes that they’ll follow you back. I put this into the same category as paying for Twitter followers. I find this mindless, but then again I’m not trying to look impressive, I actually want the people who follow me on Twitter or Google+ or Facebook to be fans of my work. I’m looking for readers who are actively engaged members of my particular community. There are so many people who follow me on Twitter and get offended that I don’t follow them back, but I’m just not going to do it unless I look at your timeline and see if you’re saying anything I might care about. The overwhelming majority do not so they do not get followed. The ones who try to advertise to me anyhow get reported for spam and blocked. Honestly, although I shouldn’t, I believe that if I’m going to follow you, I’m advocating what you’re saying in general. I’m agreeing to some degree with what you’re posting or tweeting. If I disagree with everything you say and everything you do, why would I follow you around and attach my name to your crap?
Finally, the old StumbleUpon and Reddit trap. This is an issue because they really don’t produce the effect that I’m after. You can post your own articles on StumbleUpon or Reddit, or get others to do it for you, and yes, from time to time you’ll get a huge number of hits as your site gets flooded with link-monkeys. However, the overwhelming majority of them won’t even read your article, almost all of them spend mere seconds on your site before moving on to the next link. They won’t read, they won’t comment and they won’t be back until the next article that gets Stumbled comes along. This is utterly pointless, except to those who make a few cents for everyone who clicks on the page. For those of us who are content providers, who actually produce articles that we want people to read and respond to, there’s no point in StumbleUpon or Reddit and it becomes dishonest when you get groups who just go around Stumbling each other’s posts to avoid getting Ghost Banned.
So maybe that’s my problem, I’m unwilling to be dishonest. I’m unwilling to screw other people over to get hits. I’m unwilling to mislead people down a primrose path because I want more hits. All of these methods could be useful in some small way, I suppose, right up until people want to use them as get rich quick schemes.
I get so sick and tired of being part of the human race sometimes.