Comments, re-blogging, and the gratuitous traffic grab

YesMan2008poster

Any engaged writer that has ever sat and Googled “How can increase my blog traffic” soon realized:  the sites you are sent to did the same thing once and figured out that making a blog about increasing web traffic does something kind of peculiar.

It increases their web traffic.

My problem is–I’m more diverse than that.  I couldn’t maintain a site with that narrow of a focus if my actual life depended on it.  It’s not so much a “I want to be Elvis–not Colonel Tom Parker” sort of narcissism. It’s just thatI don’t have it in me to try to breathe life into a perceptibly mundane corpse.

But really.  How many of us are?  We’re all blogging because we tend to believe there is a point–a special time when something we craft will rise above the fray.  And we’re all hoping for that one moment when we become as viral as any ONE of the “unlikely, gangly and possibly handicapped second-classer blows away Simon Cowell” videos.

All we need is that “moment.”

But until that comes, we stay within the confines of the blogging maxims.  You know:

  1. Blog everyday if possible. Especially for the first year.
  2. Comment on other blogs
  3. Promote other blogs

Here’s what I’ve noticed about number 2: The more followers a person has, the more self-promoting in tone many of the comments start to become.  Such will be the case with this blog as well as soon as my now EIGHTY followers blows up exponentially.  I know this will happen because I believe I do have something to offer–and a larger core audience will find its way here.

But as of right now, my comments section is lightly consistent, and substantive.  My hope is that whatever I’ve addressed has sparked a genuine thought.  Such has been the case with the blogs I currently follow; all of them give me something I can chew on–and in some cases, I don’t even agree with their world views at all.  But they’re good.

I have also noticed that some really high-traffic sites can also take it for granted.  One blog, with 15,000 some followers, is the perfect example. It goes something like this:

BLOG POST:  Went to the organic farmer’s market today.  I like their produce better.

FIRST COMMENT: RE-BLOGGED! You hit the nail right on the head!

SECOND COMMENT: It’s funny, but I just covered this subject on my own blog as well. We think alike:)

Of course, that last comment is SURE to have a hyperlinked Gravatar onramp so you can immediately run over there and see what’s going on.

What’s a bummer is that neither of these comments are wrong, unethical, or whatever.  It’s just most of the people attempting to cross-dress their gratuitous self-promotion as aggregate contribution wind up looking like a Luddite hitting the makeup section at Macy’s.

Twitter is even worse.  I will use as my case in point, the Learning Channel’s muscular and and coiffed lead necromancer, Mr. Zak Bagans.  Head of the infamous Ghost Adventures triumvirate.

Now before I do, let’s talk about what it is he does for a living.  Bagans goes around the world, investigating notoriously haunted places, documents what he finds, and does a show about it. To wit: He’s a millionaire because he’s getting paid to be a Goonie.

Okay. Fine.  So the question becomes, is it the sheer visibility of fame that causes the following to be retweeted TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SIX TIMES?

bagans

Or it it because that many people see some raging, carb-free protein boost in the information?

I’m not even going to ask how nearly a THOUSAND people had the synapse connection that said “By George, I’m adding that to my favorites! That’s a real knee-slapper!”

I’m not maligning Mr. Bagans.  And his overt tendency to retweet other people that address him in Twitter-world creates a sort of perpetual-motion generator. So I can’t blame HIM–he’s chumming the waters for ersatz-fans all the time.

So far, I cannot bring myself to manufacture comments.  Granted, I DO think I could do it and never make it look like it leaves the Auspices of Honor.  But I just don’t have that in me.

And there is something to that.  The followers of this blog have thus far decided to do so at the behest of something they’ve read here.  Would I LOVE it if Tyler Perry (Who I think, could make me rich by simply tweeting “Send Ron Giesecke a dollar,”) sent me a stratospheric launch by sharing a post of mine?  Sure.  Maybe one day I’ll do a some one-ff Madea rundown and catch his eye. (Note to self: Put “Tyler Perry,” “Madea,” and “Oprah’s Surprises” in my tag section).

But there’s something to be said for building this brick by brick.  The wall will be so much stronger.  And so perhaps, the resultant success for which we all strive.

And to those that follow now:  THANK YOU!

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3 Responses to Comments, re-blogging, and the gratuitous traffic grab

  1. theryanlanz says:

    You’ve made some good points to think on.

  2. Patrick Rhea says:

    If it was easy…everyone would be good at it…

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